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Bored with the Jews

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The other night at dinner I made the mistake of telling a relative of my wife that I am sick of repeating myself and so I’m thinking of moving on to other lost causes, global warming and overpopulation. This was great news in her view. She said that this website is way too negative, that we should be embracing John Kerry as a hopeful messenger, that our posts are a neverending parade of black crepe. I nodded diplomatically and said, She’s right, and it’s because this is a tragic situation, like visiting Algeria in 1958 and being hopeful. The tracks off the cliff have been laid…  

The morning after, in the kitchen of the resort house my wife’s extended family rents in Pennsylvania, my sister-in-law washed asparagus and made fun of me. By making that confession at dinner, she said, I would never hear the end of it. She affected a Katherine Hepburn drawl and said, “Phil-ip is borrrred of the Jews.” It was funny. Maybe you had to be there.

Listening to my very Christian relation mock me and the Jews in a high-church drawl, I thought about a landmark in the American discussion of Jews and Israel, Gore Vidal’s vicious essay on the Podhoretzes in 1986 in the Nation, called The Empire Lovers Strikes Back. I read it the other day because Vidal’s alleged anti-Semitism was being reassessed a year after his death in Salon. The piece eviscerated “Poddy,” as Vidal called Norman Podhoretz, and his wife Midge Decter, as dual loyalty cases who had no connection to the American history Vidal cherished– the Civil War was as distant to him as the “War of the Roses,” Podhoretz declared to Vidal– but were determined to bend American foreign policy to support Israel. Vidal denounced the neoconservatives as conservatives steeped in Zionism who were forging an alliance with Christian fundamentalists to build a lobby that was twisting foreign policy. If real American interests ever asserted themselves, Vidal said, Israel and its conflict with its neighbors would be as foreign to the U.S. as… the War of the Roses. Brilliant ending. 

Vidal’s piece had the whiff of anti-Semitism (as Scott McConnell notes) because Vidal was old school and entitled and looked on the rise of Jewish cultural power as un-American. But no matter his point of view, there was a rise in Jewish cultural and political power. How can anyone deny it. In 1970 Alan Dershowitz vowed to leave Harvard Law School unless they finally appointed a Jewish dean. Harvard did, Dershowitz stayed. Since then there have been several Harvard Law Jewish deans, the last one replacing another who went on to the Supreme Court, joining two other Jews. And John Kerry’s peace team is led by Frank Lowenstein (son of Allard) and Martin Indyk. And Israel’s war of the roses is the U.S.’s, forever, and the Jewish rise into the establishment is a key factor in that transformation.

That’s what’s boring. Every issue Gore Vidal wanted to talk about 27 years ago is alive and throbbing today. And Vidal was not a prophet. It was obvious. His statement that the neoconservatives were a Greater Israel crowd against a Peace Now crowd of good Jews who opposed the occupation is true today– when Andrew Sullivan tries to draw the line there. His belief that Zionist dual loyalty was a real problem is even truer in the wake of the Iraq war, when American and Israeli interests were conflated by the warmongering neocons who were no longer just writing for egghead magazines, as they were when Vidal got het up, they were counseling a moronic president. Vidal’s statement about the lobby and the Christian Zionists, spot on. His assertion that the battle between Jewish colonists and the Arabs should be as distant to the U.S. as the War of the Roses is perfectly reasonable– but today would be condemned as isolationist or America Firster.

That’s because his ideas were suppressed by the left. The Nation did nothing to anchor his claims in the decades that followed. In fact, it walked away from them. Like Tony Judt’s call for a one-state solution in the New York Review of Books in 2003, which also brought a tsunami of angry protests from Leon Wieseltier and Michael Walzer and all the good liberal Zionists, it was territory conquered at huge cost by Jewish editors, then left undefended.

So the battle raged on, and the mystification continued, and essential intellectual and journalistic labors were wasted. A lot of bodies left in the barbed wire, for territory the left disdained.

But necessary territory. I published an essay in support of Walt and Mearsheimer in the Nation in 2006, but many Nation readers resisted it, as they resisted Vidal, and it’s not like the Nation is talking about the Israel lobby and the neocons. No. The subject has got that whiff. Just like, “Phi-lip is borrrred with the Jewwws” has got that whiff.

An essential conversation (about the neocons and the lobby and the Democratic Party and American interest and the war of the Roses) will never happen until American Jews, who wield such cultural power, are secure enough that a manner of earnest satirical discourse that is perfectly acceptable, and essential, when it comes to say, Christian fundamentalists and choice, or Republicans and gay rights, is permitted on the subject of the lobby and Israel.

Which is why we repeat ourselves, over and over again. You’d be bored too.

About Philip Weiss

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

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121 Responses

  1. surewin
    August 10, 2013, 2:26 pm

    That’s a bummer about Dershowitz. Harvard should have waited for him to resign and then appointed a Jewish dean.

  2. Taxi
    August 10, 2013, 2:33 pm

    Jews are boring cuz they never stop talking about themselves.

    (Well okay a big chunk of them can’t).

    • Richard Armbach
      August 10, 2013, 3:52 pm

      Whats the point of a party if everyone isn’t talking about me ?

    • tokyobk
      August 10, 2013, 5:06 pm

      There might be some truth in this, your 5,312th comment on Jewish run, Jewish identity themed, Mondoweiss.

      Though to be fair only 30 – 50% of what you write is about how Israel is ruining Judaism (which could be true). A good half are about how Israel is set to crack in 5…4…3..2… (which btw I don’t think is true for better or worse).

      • Taxi
        August 11, 2013, 2:24 am

        “… I don’t think is true…”

        Then I hope you’ll enjoy the surprise when it happens.

      • OlegR
        August 11, 2013, 9:30 am

        العرب يحبون نزواتهم

        Any mistranslations are due to Google

      • German Lefty
        August 11, 2013, 11:31 am

        Arabs love … ?

      • miriam6
        August 11, 2013, 2:26 pm

        German [email protected];

        According to my laptop translation Oleg’s quote translates as ;

        Arabs love their whims

  3. Danaa
    August 10, 2013, 2:36 pm

    Until American jews are secure enough to “have the conversation”?

    That’s like waiting for the messiah, I fear.

    A wait made all the longer because as israel goes into the bunker, the establishment American jews will hanker down with them. While dragging the rest of the American ‘”establishment” with them. Who then try to drag the rest of the American people with them (all 300 M of them by last count?). even as the “grand establishment” (what passes for American media included) do their best to rope in the rest of the world.

    But the bunker is not large or deep enough and too many keep venturing out of the den (think Snowden).

    And all we (collective Mondoweissers) have in our arsenal to put up against the bunker mentality is endless repetition. of course, arabs (and palestinians) have another word for that – “Sumud”. The Jews just do it with words and a snark.

    In support of more “boredom” would it help to point out that something IS changing and it’s not quite in the direction Phil and many others here hoped for? Because the change iI speak of s not really happening among “the Jews”, and “the jews” (good, bad, whatever) can’t control the nature of that change – or its timing. BECAUSE when they don’t want to have “those conversations”, and forbid them from being out in the open when the time has come for them to be had, instead of conversation we get murmurs, which are spreading even as they are getting darker.

    Away from the East Coast enclaves, I meet more and more people who don’t find jewish jokes and jokers all that funny any longer. They are resisting the funny. And not a few are starting to resist the smart.

    And speaking of conversations – I’d have more to say (would ya’ believe that?), but since comments are so slow to update and threads shut down as soon as it gets interesting, why add fuel to the fire(s)? it’s not like I am out of wood or anything…

    • Don
      August 10, 2013, 6:28 pm

      ” instead of conversation we get murmurs, which are spreading even as they are getting darker.

      Away from the East Coast enclaves, I meet more and more people who don’t find jewish jokes and jokers all that funny any longer. They are resisting the funny. And not a few are starting to resist the smart.”

      That”s a bit unnerving, Danaa.

      • MRW
        August 11, 2013, 2:02 am

        Why unnerving? It’s true out where I am. Ennui with gratuitous Jewish insider jokes in movies, the exasperate groans and sneers in movie theaters from grannies and 16-year-olds. “oh gawd, jews again.” You only hear it during afternoon shows when the theater audience is sparse. The seemingly endless holocaust stories on NPR (programming varies; our station buys other public radio fare). The disdain among more modest Christian denominations for Christian Zionist Evangelicals. I don’t go to any Christian churches, but I keep my pulse on them via friends and relatives because I think they are the bellwether.

        Then there’s the spectre of Detroit, which is being allowed to die for what we gave Israel since 2008. The quintessential American city, home of Motown and motor cars and the middle class, treated like a turd in the bowl so Israel’s maudlin apartheid can survive and be constantly sold to us like a Ron Pupeil commercial with pro-Israel plants in the audience. This has legs. […]

        And this week, Forbes magazine featured House Majority Speaker Eric Cantor’s picture as the “Heartless Bastard” for sequestering the landmark and important Framingham MA Heart Study (started in 1948 or something). For non-Jews, Cantor’s the picture of all-our-money-should-go-to-Israel in Congress, and his self-proclaimed status (to Netanyahu, in what 2010?) as Israel’s fierce representative in Congress make this association in Forbes a coded message that isn’t lost on even some of the more politically apathetic, the Logan Act be damned.

      • Daniel Rich
        August 11, 2013, 6:00 pm

        @ MRW,

        And why are we constantly exposed to all these TV ‘geeks’ and ‘nerds’ lately in various sitcoms?

        Luckily the only guy in the nerd-loaded ‘The Big Bang Theory’ who has something resembling a ‘normal’ life [in said series] happens to be Jewish [character as well as himself].

        Could it be that Chaim Levine Chuck Lorre’s original colors are shining through?

      • Danaa
        August 11, 2013, 2:47 pm

        Don, unnerving indeed…

        Though I am not sure I see things as bleakly as MRW. Where I am, people are way too polite to say anything untoward about any group of people. So what they do when not wanting to run afoul of impolity is to withdraw interest. The problems I see are in the silences, the questions not asked, comments not made, jokes going over heads. These are selective silences because at the same time there can be great interest shown in other areas, much curiosity expressed and opinions ventured. But when it comes to anything to do with jews or israel it’s like all the words are gone. And me being sensitive that way, I can sense a resistance, a passive one. MRW sees passive-aggressive where I think the passive may be bad enough already.

        Am I reading too much into it? perhaps. But even after subtracting for that, there’s something left over.

        Another aside: sometimes I think New York – anything to do with it – has become a kind of a code. Not so much for things jewish but for over-reach – across the board. For something that stands beside – not with – America (whatever America people have in mind – by no means uniform). new york also stands for the ruling “elites” – and their excesses – elites now now perceived as at least partly Jewish. So people elsewhere in the country withdraw. They indicate their opinions by an absence – of interest.

      • American
        August 12, 2013, 12:27 am

        ”I can sense a resistance, a passive one. MRW sees passive-aggressive where I think the passive may be bad enough already.”…Danaa

        What I sense ..what I feel in the wind is a sort of uneasy “waiting” …..people are living in a holding pattern, seeming in control of themselves but start them talking on the US government, the politicians and the way the country is going and the disgust and anger really comes out. And I think their anger is doubled by the realization that they cant do anything about it.

      • MRW
        August 12, 2013, 3:36 am

        That’s an astute observation about the passive-aggressive thing, Danaa. But you need to add another construct to see it my way, I think. It’s passive physically, aggressive mentally. Or, passive externally, aggressive internally. This has legs.

        I frequent what a New Yorker would call ‘dives’ in the middle of the night. Alone. It’s a way of getting away from myself. People don’t know me, recognize me, I’m a lump on a stool with a book, or my e-reader. It was through this anecdotal process that I perceived in the 1Q 2007 Obama had an 80% chance of winning. My head becomes a Grand Central Station wall, a recipient of ‘conversation swirls’ around me fueled by alcohol and/or lust, late night pronouncements said unguarded in brief flashes of bravado, loaded admission, or simple truth-telling. What has struck me lately is the anger in younger educated blacks who didn’t grow up with the racism their parents experienced–the Zimmerman case brought this discussion out spectacularly–and are therefore pained to be experiencing what their parents and grandparents told them about. They thought it was history, not reality. They haven’t internalized it the same way. But the shock of it being real is a genuine discussion, and there’s not only pain, but real anger. Obama’s election has brought these things to the surface. Rush Limbaugh dissing Oprah Winfrey as if he were in the same league as she; he would never have done that in the 90s. That would have been a Jimmy The Greek moment for him: out.

        These late night forays are also where I’ve heard the Detroit discussions–because it’s in the news and on TV-and the ones connected to aid to Israel. Foreign aid to anyone is a big issue here. There’s one dive I go to where the white Republican couples are coiffed like Larry King at broadcast time and their conversations are Tea Party Central. The level of covert racism is stunning, the certitude of their positions stultifying. The dives where kids come in for a nightcap are far more energized and aware of the issues—but they’re furtive about discussing it, I feign sleep sometimes–and Israel’s $3 billion does come up whenever there’s a reason why something is getting cut.

        I think the most important statement in your first post was

        BECAUSE when they don’t want to have “those conversations”, and forbid them from being out in the open when the time has come for them to be had, instead of conversation we get murmurs

        .
        The editing of people’s speech, and cavalier destruction of reputations to protect doing it, is going to bite them in the ass. (The Buffys, Binnies and I’s, II’s, and IVs got excoriated and mocked in America for their sense of overwrought entitlement; now it’s the steins, bergs, and baums turn.) That’s when the aggressiveness builds up internally. That’s the danger. That’s what I’m hearing. I’m not hearing, “Oh, gee, I’m wrong.” I’m hearing “Who do they think they are” or “How dare they.”

        P.S. I don’t perceive it as a darker thing. I don’t smell anti-semitism, although I can see how an American Jew could. I think it’s more likely a conversation that Americans think they have a right to have. We’ve had it about the Germans, the Italians, The Asians, and currently, the Latinos and Muslims.

  4. RudyM
    August 10, 2013, 2:39 pm

    An essential conversation (about the neocons and the lobby and the Democratic Party and American interest and the war of the Roses) will never happen until American Jews, who wield such cultural power, are secure enough that a manner of earnest satirical discourse that is perfectly acceptable, and essential, when it comes to say, Christian fundamentalists and choice, or Republicans and gay rights, is permitted on the subject of the lobby and Israel.

    Don’t discount the possibility that the non-Jewish majority won’t claim back enough of control over political disourse that such a conversation will take place with or without Jewish assent.

    • Citizen
      August 11, 2013, 12:23 am

      @ RudyM

      Yes, every blue moon a Walt and Mearsheimer arise (and a Snowden and Manning). They say, “Don’t piss on my head and tell me it’s raining!”

      And then they are duly noted with a sigh, “It’s like pissing in the wind….”

      Yet history does record eventual peasant revolts.

  5. American
    August 10, 2013, 2:49 pm

    ””Phil-ip is borrrred of the Jews.” It was funny. Maybe you had to be there.””

    It is sort of funny. Injecting some humor(ous) (ridicule) into the Zio/Isr can of worms might be “helpful” as Hillary says.
    However as I suggested recently—- discuss USA-Isr-Zionism as if it’s not connected to the Jews and the Jewish story. Just refuse to accept or even debate the holocaust justifcations, anti semitism they use and put the discussion on the here and now bottom line it really belongs on re the US and will likely get to eventually—the Zio cabal’s/Israel interest vr American people interest.
    If you’re going to argue against US I-Firstdom you have to argue *your own* or US interest against their interest….you cant give their interest any quarter or compromise because if you do you’ve made it *debatable* whose interest comes first. It shouldnt even be debatable.
    There is no nation in the world that I know of or ever read about that put another country’s interest ahead of it’s own in any critical sectors the way the current US has.
    And yes this applies to more than just the zionist interest, it’s a US leadership corruption and disease that affects many issues.

  6. Citizen
    August 10, 2013, 2:59 pm

    Phil, the in-laws you mention sound like ignorant people on the subject matter; not only that, they sound complacent about that; sheeple with a WASPY pedigree of sorts perhaps, but sheeple none the less, and hence useful tools of AIPAC’s agenda. It’s not only American Jews who have to reach some point of security as you recommend to address the issue of misleading conflation of (even sort term) interests of US and Israel, but people like your mentioned Gentile in-laws too. Sounds like they are well off enough they treat their main interests as people treat hobbies, or maybe they are the same, and so they treat your obsession with this subject matter as of the same nature.

    “The morning after, in the kitchen of the resort house my wife’s extended family rents in Pennsylvania, my sister-in-law washed asparagus and made fun of me. By making that confession at dinner, she said, I would never hear the end of it. She affected a Katherine Hepburn drawl and said, “Phil-ip is borrrred of the Jews.” It was funny. Maybe you had to be there.”

    Not a single American I know has a “resort house.” Many do not even have a home they actually own, rather than rent or have a steep mortgage on. And I’ve been around a long, long time in the USA. Interesting Katherine Hepburn would be the delicious link of connection with you, rather than say, Vanessa Redgrave. Of course you asked for that by your characterization as being bored–except you let out a way to further seek understanding because you said your boredom came from repetition. It was a plea for your mentioned in-laws to ask why you felt you had to keep repeating yourself, not a simple self-deprecation. A la Woody Allen. I sure hope your wife understand the roots of your concern more–now I’m thinking of Larry’s David’s character’s former wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Nice, polite people are rolled over by the likes of Sheldon Adelson.

    • MRW
      August 11, 2013, 1:18 am

      Citizen, c’mon, “resort house” = summer cottage for a bunch of families sharing the rent and cooking. An American tradition for centuries.

      • Philip Weiss
        August 11, 2013, 11:26 am

        Thanks for getting my back here. I have never denied that I’m quite privileged. My parents owned two houses. But this is a rental, and jammed

    • tree
      August 11, 2013, 2:20 pm

      I think you, and Phil, totally missed the point about the Katherine Hepburn drawl and “Phil-ip is borrrred of the Jews,”. Phil’s sister-in-law was making fun of Phil by comparing him as an upper class crusader, bored with his latest crusade, and wanting to move on to something else. An upper class crusader can afford to get bored because he/she is not adversely affected by the wrongs that need to be righted. She wasn’t making fun of Jews, nor did her statement have that “whiff”. She was including you in the power structure, that’s all. You have to re-tune your nose.

      You aren’t really bored, Phil. You are frustrated. Yes, it is extremely frustrating to repeat yourself over and over again and see little to no change but I suspect that most important efforts at justice and equality are like that. You just have to keep at it.

      • marc b.
        August 12, 2013, 9:34 am

        i won’t attempt to classify Weiss’s emotional state, but he does need to take a deep breath, literally and figuratively. my advice? (not that anyone asked for it.) write fewer, longer posts, and more posts that allow for creativity, and are emotionally and intellectually satisfying, like his confessional or reflective pieces. sounds to me like he is a victim of the medium as much as frustration or decreased testosterone production; and by medium I don’t mean increased professional cynicism in the face of turds like rudoren who are so patently devoid of integrity or talent, such that a real reporter might get disgusted. I am talking about the ‘electronic’ press, where everything, always is a crisis, breaking news, a ‘turning point’. take the long view. and weed some [email protected] out.

      • MHughes976
        August 12, 2013, 10:05 am

        Really well said, tree.

    • Kathleen
      August 13, 2013, 1:14 am

      I thought it was telling that the in law said that this website was “too negative” clearly a person who has a hard time with facts and hard data. Could you just be positive Phil enough with the facts just be positive….you know that will make it all get better. Hell we don’t hear or see these facts on our MSM outlets so of course Mondoweiss and a few other sites have to repeat it…hoping that folks might link to it or it would make it out there and prick people’s well constructed bubbles about this critical issue through osmosis or FB linking…something. Could just hear this same relation saying “oh the war in Iraq is just so boring, can’t you just move on” People like this don’t give a rats ass about other people’s brutal realities that are directly linked to the US or neocons agendas. All of that Iraq stuff is so yesterday. So elitist and tragic

  7. Bill in Maryland
    August 10, 2013, 3:01 pm

    Thanks very much Phil. Please don’t get “sick of repeating yourself”. Great teachers go back to the fundamentals, again and again, to establish a solid foundation and framework that students can then use to understand important, more subtle or complex issues as they arise. Mondoweiss has new readers coming in all the time (you, at the lectern in the great hall, with students coming in steadily to fill the back rows, drawn by word of mouth- soon it will be SRO): please keep reinforcing the fundamentals, for the benefit of all of us.

  8. Donald
    August 10, 2013, 3:21 pm

    That McConnell piece was very good. So was Phil’s post.

    And “boring” issues are in fact fascinating at the same time. It’s not a contradiction. A boring topic is one where there’s a huge gap between what the mainstream says and what is obviously true. At first it’s fascinating when one discovers this–then, after about the 1000th time encountering the same set of lies, (frex, from newcomers to the comments section here), it gets a little boring. From that standpoint, there’s nothing more “boring” than the I/P conflict and the Israel lobby.

    • American
      August 10, 2013, 3:52 pm

      ‘At first it’s fascinating when one discovers this–then, after about the 1000th time encountering the same set of lies, (frex, from newcomers to the comments section here), it gets a little boring. From that standpoint, there’s nothing more “boring” than the I/P conflict and the Israel lobby’…Donald

      Ditto.
      Everything that can be said about Isr-I/P-USA-Lobby has been said, on here at least.
      Every time I make a comment these days I think to myself ‘this is really a useless and dumb comment’….cause I’m only repeating myself and others for the 1000th time.
      I think many of us are addicted to this and MW because we hope that one day when we log on MW we will see news of some truly great and concrete change re Isr.

      • Citizen
        August 11, 2013, 12:35 am

        @ American

        The hope is that one day we will see somebody of real influence in our main media and in our government who will show us that they actually are concerned about the welfare of the little people, of all Americans, and that they agree justice and humanism are the goals.

      • American
        August 11, 2013, 2:31 am

        @ Citizen

        Yes indeed C….a big DITTO to that.

    • Cliff
      August 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

      great post donald

      my feelings exactly

      • ritzl
        August 10, 2013, 10:05 pm

        Yes. Great posts Donald and American.

      • yrn
        August 11, 2013, 2:52 am

        “I think many of us are addicted to this and MW”
        What else will you do with your life……….
        I guess many here spend most of their day here.
        What will they do in their life.
        MW open a rehab .

      • Cliff
        August 11, 2013, 4:11 am

        LOL yrn, you comment here as much as anyone.

        Maybe you should get off the ziococaine?

        If we’re ‘addicted’ to anything it’s to seeing justice prevail. That’s passion.

        You’re just a racist weirdo cultist.

      • just
        August 11, 2013, 5:57 am

        The US will be finally be ‘rehab’-ed one day soon, thanks to this site and others that tell the truth.

      • Donald
        August 11, 2013, 12:07 pm

        Thanks Cliff and ritzl.

    • Chillin in Purgatory
      August 10, 2013, 10:07 pm

      So, not a regular commenter here … not sure if I ever will be … but I just wanted to point out to all the writers and commenters on this site that I hope you never do get so bored or frustrated that you stop writing or posting comments.

      I don’t know if you all realize just how much of a resource you are for a huge silent majority that don’t post. I have been stopping by this site for the last two years now, and the articles, comments and links I have found here have been of immense educational value (some not so much, but such is life :)). Even though the realities of the situation are/seem blindingly obvious for anyone who expends any effort whatsoever to look a little deeper, it is essential that the debates here continue in order for this site to remain relevant and current online.

      You are educating new people all the time, so please don’t stop or grow disillusioned – you are making a difference.

      • Citizen
        August 11, 2013, 12:39 am

        @ Chillin in Purgatory

        Why is this huge silent majority so silent? Where do they live? What do they do? How many of them do you know? I don’t know any of them.

      • Danaa
        August 11, 2013, 12:51 pm

        Chillin’ – FWIW:

        I have learnt a lot about myself here on MW. Thanks to the posts and the comments I’ve also learnt about details of jewish history I was utterly ignorant of, though I grew up supposedly steeped in it. More importantly (to me at least) I realized why the battles over history are so important – nothing like a hetherto unknown detail or two to rattle hard core convictions acquired long before reaching the age of reason.

        I would send any recovering zionist to MW in a heart beat. Great re-education site – or is it a rehab (as yrn said above – no doubt in a rare moment of Freudian slip)?

      • yrn
        August 12, 2013, 5:50 am

        Danaa

        “I would send any recovering zionist to MW in a heart beat.”

        Must say MW made me a much bigger Zionist then ever before.

    • seafoid
      August 11, 2013, 8:29 am

      I’ve learnt a lot about spin, mendacity and political blindness from the Zionists.
      Climate breakdown will be more or less the same.

  9. just
    August 10, 2013, 3:27 pm

    I am never “bored” here in this beautiful place of discourse.

    Have a great weekend, Phil. Your reflections are always a joy, and I so appreciate your talent for telling the truth and a personal story @ the same time– you are a great writer! I hope that, one day, you will write a book that will soar to the top of every bestseller list and enlighten the many who have never had the grace nor the fortitude to explore Mondoweiss.

    (PS… Kate and Gore are enjoying a cup of tea as I thank you.)

    Ta- ta!!!!

  10. Krauss
    August 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

    I was with you all the way until the end, when we split ways.

    The last sentence reminds me of the constant refrain of Israel’s lawyers in Washington and the New York media that “Israel needs to feel secure enough”, which is really another way of saying “back off and let them do settlements while we shoot and cry”.

    Ultimately, the victims of Jewish oppression, Palestinians, can’t and won’t afford to see how fundraisers and donors to AIPAC feel about them(which they know is filled with venomous hatred and racism anyway).

    I’m saying that that approach smacks of the J Street way, which tries to narrow the debate inside the Jewish community(where it always dies because we know that the true machers inside the Jewish community are just about all hard-right on Zionism/Jewish Apartheid).

    There’s no de Klerk in sight. We got Abe Foxman and Dershowitz and these are the “liberals”.

    Finally, on the quesiton of repeating yourself. The hardest thing in the world is to say brave, truthful things. Over and over again, because any power center will resist in rage. I’ve said repeatedly before that when we talk about Jewish power, it’s only appropriate in my view to do so in a context of American foriegn policy. As we saw with Iraq, that is a real necessity. The neocons were motivated by concerns for Israel to a large extent even if other interests conflated before the invasion(oil).

    The I/P conflict however, has no other dimension than fanatic support for Jewish apartheid among key Jewish organizations(like AIPAC) and it’s simply madness not to discuss fundraising efforts and other ways to influence the American political process, or the de-facto significant Jewish cultural presence in the media whenever we talk how the I/P conflict is being covered. Like that NYT “correction” where they bent over backwards on settlements after a story was published and faced an immediate firestorm from pro-Occupation (and ultimately pro-Apartheid) supporters.

    But that’s all about I/P and mideast wars. That’s one thing. I have yet to see a single shred of evidence that Jewish media presence in any way affect, say, how taxes are being discussed, how U.S. policy on health care is set and so on. That’s just nonsense.

    But we’re not talking about that stuff, we’re talking about American policy towards the Middle East and not talking about the huge Jewish concerns involved and how that affects the debate, skews it in many ways, is nonsensical. But it’s still met with intense hatred from people who wish to essentiall ban all that speech.

    Well, a lot of us don’t want to see another Iraq. We don’t want to see the apartheid continue in the territories. There are consequences of simply going silent and abandoning this. Because can anyone seriously argue that talking about overpopulation is even nearly as controversial than actually debating these issues?

    • Citizen
      August 11, 2013, 12:56 am

      “Well, a lot of us don’t want to see another Iraq. We don’t want to see the apartheid continue in the territories. There are consequences of simply going silent and abandoning this. Because can anyone seriously argue that talking about overpopulation is even nearly as controversial than actually debating these issues?”

      Yes. The American government and main media is so enmeshed in the Zionist cause all Americans must hear the heretofore verboten debate. If the Amish, for example, don’t want to air their dirty linen in public, it does not matter as the Amish are not steering at the helm of the ship of state; they’re only in a small side rowboat slung on the side of that ship.

    • dbroncos
      August 11, 2013, 1:11 am

      Krauss:

      ” I’ve said repeatedly before that when we talk about Jewish power, it’s only appropriate in my view to do so in a context of American foriegn policy.”

      I agree. In the 20th cent. American Jews have been indispensible leaders in the struggle for a more sane, equity minded America. As a group, and a small minority at that, their contributions to American social justice in the last century is surpassed only by the epic sruggles of the black civil rights leadership and movement. We’ve seen impressive and inspiring Jewish leadership in many other arenas as well. Undeniably a “Jewish century” here in the US.

      Zionism threatens the continuity of those acheivements at least to the extent that Zionist Jews ar determined to attach Jewish identiy to the tragedy of Zionism. Defeat and disgrace will sap the energy, enthusiasm and “will to power” from any group.

    • Donald
      August 11, 2013, 9:11 am

      Krauss–that was a perfect summary of all the issues and nuances.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    August 10, 2013, 4:28 pm

    RE: “I thought about a landmark in the American discussion of Jews and Israel, Gore Vidal’s vicious essay on the Podhoretzes in 1986 in the Nation, called The Empire Lovers Strikes Back. ~ Weiss

    The Empire Lovers Strike Backhttp://peoplesgeography.com/2009/10/21/the-empire-lovers-strike-back/

    • Citizen
      August 11, 2013, 1:39 am

      @ Dickerson3870

      A former Commentary writer apologizes to Gore Vidal after his death:

      “My column was more or less solid. Vidal’s Nation piece attacking the Podhoretz’s was inflammatory, seasoned with anti-Semitic tropes. And I do think that it’s important, for extremely well-founded moral reasons as well as practical ones, to avoid anti-Semitism in polemical discourse. But it now seems clear there are other factors to be weighed in assessing the Vidal piece. The target of Vidal’s ire was plainly not Jews in any general sense, but the Podhoretzes and their loyalties to Israel and the problems such loyalties posed for America. It’s not as if, in 1986, there were an whole slew of Tony Judts and M.J.Rosenbergs and Philip Weisses writing about this subject with verve and passion and judiciousness and sensitivity. No leading political scientists had excavated the workings and explored the consequences of The Israel Lobby. The subject of the U.S.-Israel relationship, if not taboo, was kept far off the national radar screen.
      By writing something over the top, and easily perceived as anti-Semitic, Vidal had fired an illumination flare at a subject which richly deserved his readers’ notice. How then to balance the torts in this case: accusing the Podhoretzes of not being real Americans because of their ties to Israel is reprehensible, but so too are Israel’s policies of occupation and ethnic cleansing. The Podhoretzes use of their considerable talents and cultural influence to defend these policies—and, more, to render debate about them out of bounds, is reprehensible as well.”
      http://www.theamericanconservative.com/why-i-owed-gore-vidal-an-apology/

      • DICKERSON3870
        August 11, 2013, 2:48 pm

        RE: “It’s not as if, in 1986, there were an whole slew of Tony Judts and M.J.Rosenbergs and Philip Weisses writing about this subject… By writing something over the top . . . Vidal had fired an illumination flare at a subject which richly deserved his readers’ notice.” – a former Commentary writer (from above)

        DOSTOEVSKY: “To be acutely conscious is a disease, a real, honest-to-goodness disease.” ~ Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky

  12. American
    August 10, 2013, 4:32 pm

    Can I repeat myself one more time…

    Going all the way back to 2003……Jews must understand that US-Isr or US vr Isr is a national ‘political’ and US policy issue. It is not an issue ‘about the Jews’, it is only connected to them ‘politically” as other issues are connected to other groups.
    They wont be able to discuss this until they accept that for the opposition ….”it’s not personal, its just business”.

  13. Keith
    August 10, 2013, 4:41 pm

    PHIL- “So the battle raged on, and the mystification continued, and essential intellectual and journalistic labors were wasted.”

    Two comments are in order. First, you simply cannot discuss Jewish power in isolation, the discussion needs to concern the nature of power and control in the overall political economy. Second, discussing the nature of power and control in the overall political economy will conflict with basic social mythology. The elites don’t want an informed citizenry, and the 99% mostly prefer to remain in the dark. Social mythology is basically lies which have been agreed upon which provide social coherence and direction. Significant disillusionment usually leads to the decline of the existing order.

    • David Green
      August 11, 2013, 11:33 am

      Agreed. For example, here is a piece I published in my local paper this morning:

      The history of the Korean War is distorted and exploited for political ends
      David Green
      Recent commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War have evoked standard rhetoric and rationalizations regarding the righteousness of the United States’ role in that conflict. From President Obama to columnist Max Boot to a local veteran writing on these pages, the slaughter that the war entailed—at least 2 million soldiers and civilians dead—is retroactively and perversely justified by South Korea’s subsequent economic development and North Korea’s ongoing misery, respectively equated with what is called freedom or lack thereof.
      This hindsight is contrived and morally specious; as a tool of political propaganda by Obama, it is one of many examples of cynical exploitation of militaristic sentimentality by our current Aggressor in Chief. The historical narrative that is determined by Obama’s political opportunism is empty of serious content and critique, as one would expect by this master of fraudulent, manipulative, and hollow rhetoric.
      Historian Gabriel Kolko perceptively wrote in Main Currents in American History (1976):
      The Korean War was essentially the internationalization of a civil conflict that had begun in 1945 immediately after Korea’s liberation from Japan and the artificial partition, which the United States imposed in August 1945. The totalitarian regime (beginning under Syngman Rhee in 1945 and ending not until 1987) that the U.S. funds left the nation in constant turmoil, with guerilla warfare within the south itself and increasingly large scale combat between the two sections along the 38th parallel in the year before the north autonomously made the decision to reunify the nation in June 1950. Divorced from the preceding five years of history, theories on the origins of the Korean War become a part of the Cold War’s mythology.
      Part of what Kolko refers to is Rhee’s recruitment of those South Koreans who had collaborated with the Japanese (who were notorious for recruiting thousands of Korean women into sexual slavery) during the occupation (1910-45), and the subsequent murder by Rhee’s forces of up to 100,000 leftist and nationalist South Korean dissidents from 1945-48—with the help of their American sponsors.
      This American support for formerly collaborationist and authoritarian elements was parallel to support for collaborationist and fascist forces in Greece and Italy against former WWII resistance and leftist fighters during that same period, always fraudulently justified by the Soviet threat. This strategy also foreshadowed American support for the ruthless authoritarian puppet Diem in South Vietnam against his own indigenous revolt, leading to a genocidal American war (1962-75) that is increasingly distorted and rationalized by politicians, including Obama, as living memories fade and opportunism knocks.
      The Korean War was a result of the imperial strategies of the U.S. and Soviet Union, as well the Chinese revolution. Nevertheless, President Truman had the options of either actively promoting a unification agreement or leaving Korea to its own civil war, which would not likely have been joined by either the Soviet Union or China. Instead he chose American aggression—aggravating the subsequent loss of life, destroying the entire country, essentially leveling every structure in North Korea, committing war crimes by bombing dams in North Korea when there was nothing else left to destroy, and risking nuclear war.
      It is to Truman’s credit that he resisted Douglas MacArthur’s lunatic proposal to use nuclear weapons against China and fired the megalomaniac general. However, it is to his discredit that his decision to use anti-communism to justify American militarism and imperialism set in motion foreign policies that have come to deadly and destructive global fruition for six decades. As communist enemies have been conveniently and disingenuously replaced by Muslims, the Orwellian basis of American militarism has been revealed as part and parcel of the aggressive ambitions of American global capitalism and multinational corporations—all, not incidentally, to the detriment of American workers and our own freedom and democracy, as can be plainly seen now more than ever.
      The Truman administration had momentous decisions to make in this period from 1945 to 1953. American workers, accustomed to full employment and labor activism during WWII, demanded a welfare state; unions were empowered to aggressively support such ambitions, and strikes were frequent. These ambitions were consciously subverted by massive government spending justified by military rather than social goals, now known as “military Keynesianism.” Corporate propaganda dominated the media and education in the 1950s. An extraordinary and ongoing climate of fear was created and persists among the population of a country that has no natural enemies and hasn’t been invaded in 200 years. Moreover, a massive military-industrial complex that remains unaccountable to the American people was perpetuated.
      The global and neoliberal legacy of the Truman era has elevated the South Korean working class while decimating the American working class. But since our own Civil War, the American working class has always been the primary threat to and enemy of American elites, who are at heart vulgar Marxists. As long as American workers continue to fight wars for global corporate capitalists, they will continue to lose in their own struggle for freedom and prosperity.

      • Keith
        August 12, 2013, 2:43 pm

        DAVID GREEN- The difficulty is getting people to accept ugly reality when it flies in the face of their self-image. You mention Korea. How many Americans are capable of dealing with the reality that their fathers and uncles who ‘served’ in Korea were imperial storm troopers, not heroic defenders of freedom? Or that their sons and daughters (as the media constantly refers to them) who ‘served’ in Iraq and Afghanistan are also imperial storm troopers? Or that following World War II, the US committed imperial aggression against much of the Third World, killing millions in the process, to keep them subservient to Western economies? Not many, I suspect. In fact, I imagine that I will have pissed off many of those reading this comment. Illusions die hard, particularly when reality is such a bummer. Now that neoliberalism is coming home to roost, will eyes open up, or will anger be shaped by the forces of darkness, as it usually is? Time will tell.

  14. Blank State
    August 10, 2013, 5:42 pm

    “She said that this website is way too negative, that we should be embracing John Kerry as a hopeful messenger………”

    Which would be an admission of ignorance. Of all the horseshit we are currently being fed by the DC posers, is there a bigger farce than this so called “peace process”?

  15. DICKERSON3870
    August 10, 2013, 6:04 pm

    RE: “The morning after, in the kitchen of the resort house my wife’s extended family rents in Pennsylvania, my sister-in-law washed asparagus and made fun of me. By making that confession at dinner, she said, I would never hear the end of it. She affected a Katherine Hepburn drawl and said, ‘Phil-ip is borrrred of the Jews’.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: This is more Woody Allenesqe than a Woody Allen film! ! ! And I’m talking about Woody’s older films. Back when he was funny. Before he became so damned serious! [LOL]

    Annie Hall – The Lobster Scenes [VIDEO, 01:45] – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWtgUq9mfx0

    • Citizen
      August 11, 2013, 12:06 am

      @ Dickerson3870

      Yep. Just like a scene and dialogue in an older Woody Allen film.

  16. German Lefty
    August 10, 2013, 6:07 pm

    You have strange relatives. Bored with the Jews? I think that “tired of the Zionists” would be more appropriate.

    • just
      August 10, 2013, 8:45 pm

      I sure am “tired of the Zionists”.

    • john h
      August 10, 2013, 10:23 pm

      Yes, it would be more appropriate, but that relative obviously conflates the two because to her they are one and the same.

  17. mcohen
    August 10, 2013, 6:08 pm

     philip says

    “You’d be bored too”

    Cannot blame you,because nothing beats hands on.i hear the ambassador,s post in libya is vacant.

    • miriam6
      August 11, 2013, 1:03 pm

      [email protected];

      Cannot blame you,because nothing beats hands on.i hear the ambassador,s post in libya is vacant.

      LOL! Great comment mcohen.

      Just imagine!

      Watch the sparks fly when Ambassador Weiss has to apologise to the Malians and Algerians for all the havoc the blowback of Western intervention in Libya caused..

      ( an ill-thought out destructive intervention which poseur Phil Weiss supported)

      Unintended consequences abound.

      The destruction in Timbuktu was the direct result of the poorly thought-out intervention in support of the Libyan rebellion against Muammar Qaddafi.
      That rebellion and countless weapons have now washed over Africa, sparking among other things the Malian coup that freed Saharan Islamists to wreak havoc on Timbuktu. The Libyan intervention also sparked looting of that country’s archaeological sites and museums, and local Islamists have vented their rage on a Second World War British military cemetery as well as other sites
      cont…

      http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/12769/#.UgfB6eJwbIU

      http://brendanoneill.co.uk/post/41217124950/how-cameron-created-the-chaos-in-north-africa

  18. Don
    August 10, 2013, 7:09 pm

    Having now read both Vidal”s article and Scott McConnell”s, I am somewhat stunned. McConnell”s article is so self-serving I found it nauseating.

    McConnell says “Vidal’s Nation piece attacking the Podhoretz’s was inflammatory, seasoned with anti-Semitic tropes.” Really? Like what, for instance?

    Then McConnell says “By writing something over the top, and easily perceived as anti-Semitic”. Perceived as anti-semitic, or is anti-semitic?

    With all due respect, Philip, you say harsher things about American Jewish zionists on an almost daily basis. And it seems to me that seeing anti-semitism where none exists is not the healthiest thing in the world.

    • Marco
      August 11, 2013, 12:22 am

      Yes. This has the distinct whiff of, well since he was an old WASP saying the same things that Jewish anti-Zionists say, it must be at least faintly anti-Semitic. Nope. Vidal’s life and works are not the product of an anti-Semite or, for that matter, and since anti-Semitism is but a single category of it, any sort of racist.

      • yonah fredman
        August 11, 2013, 7:04 am

        What do you make of Vidal’s latter day’s sympathy for McVeigh? Or his early career support for isolationism and Lindbergh? To me they fit in a pattern. His antiZionism is rational, but the other stuff puts it in a different context. But I’m viewing it through distorted lenses you’d say. but I say you are viewing him through distorted lenses as well.

      • tree
        August 11, 2013, 2:06 pm

        I was unaware of his connection to McVeigh. Having actually read his long piece here:

        http://www.gorevidalpages.com/2001/09/gore-vidal-meaning-of-timothy-mcveigh.html

        I have to say that I am in agreement with him on some of what he says and find his further details interesting to say the least. I did not follow the McVeigh trial at all during the time. I think that Vidal was at his best as a historian there, and as far as his “sympathy” goes it is best summed up by Vidal himself in the article:

        I did several programs where I was cut off at the word “Waco.” Only CNN’s Greta Van Susteren got the point. “Two wrongs,” she said, sensibly, “don’t make a right.” I quite agreed with her. But then, since I am against the death penalty, I noted that three wrongs are hardly an improvement.

        Did you actually read anything that he wrote about McVeigh, or did you again rely on others to do the interpreting for you, believing whatever others said rather than checking yourself?

    • Donald
      August 11, 2013, 9:28 am

      I don’t want to make much of this, but claiming that a descendant of immigrants has to be interested in the Civil War and is unassimilated and didn’t care anything about what happened in this country before Ellis Island all smacks of a WASP with deep roots in this country sticking his nose up at the newcomers. Even if it is true of “Poddy”, and it might well be, it’s not the sort of thing one wants to use in attacking a person of different ethnicity. Most of the article does anticipate what Phil is writing over two decades later and is fair criticism of the neocons and the Lobby, but I don’t want to establish some sort of hierarchy where people who care more about the Revolutionary War or our Civil War are better Americans than someone who thinks more about, say, pogroms in Russia. (Ideally, Americans would be interested in all of it, since it’s all part of the background of people who are Americans today.)

      • German Lefty
        August 11, 2013, 9:43 am

        I don’t want to make much of this, but claiming that a descendant of immigrants has to be interested in the Civil War and is unassimilated and didn’t care anything about what happened in this country before Ellis Island all smacks of a WASP with deep roots in this country sticking his nose up at the newcomers.

        I agree! Bothering about the present situation of the country you live in is entirely sufficient.

      • Don
        August 11, 2013, 10:38 am

        Donald, I agree. But this misses the point entirely. McConnell and others were not accusing Vidal of being an intellectual snob, they were, and continue, to accuse him of being an antisemite.

        McConnell’s apology basically says, gee Gore old buddy, sorry I smeared you as an antisemite. But I only did it because it was good for my career!! and, of course, because you are, in fact, a Jew hating Nazi.

        Oh, well, that sure makes it all better.

        And I would ask again…where is the evidence for Vidal”s antisemtism?
        Take 5 minutes and search this site for the many, many comments Phil has posted about dual loyalty.

        McConnell contributes to the smearing of an innocent (in this context at least) and extraordinary person. And the relentless march to make the concept of antisemitism meaningless.

      • tree
        August 11, 2013, 1:40 pm

        Or better yet, go to the actual piece written by Vidal, here:

        http://peoplesgeography.com/2009/10/21/the-empire-lovers-strike-back/

        And point out the anti-semitism. Don’t rely on others interpretations. Always go to the source. I note a stereotypic swipe at “grimly efficient Asiatics”, but see no anti-semitism there. And Vidal’s comment about NP was precipitated by Podhoretz’ question as to why Vidal was writing a play about the Civil War. It seem that NP couldn’t understand how an American historian would consider the US Civil War important, just because Pod himself didn’t consider it important.

        Vidal’s criticism of the Podhoretz’ was spot on and he didn’t extend his criticism of them to all Jews, and in fact pointed out that they were among a small number of Jews.

        Oh, Midge, resist. Resist! Don’t you get the point? We stole other people’s land. We murdered many of the inhabitants. We imposed our religion–and rule–on the survivors. General Grant was ashamed of what we did to Mexico, and so am I. Mark Twain was ashamed of what we did in the Philippines, and so am I. Midge is not because in the Middle East another predatory people is busy stealing other people’s land in the name of an alien theocracy. She is a propagandist for these predators (paid for?), and that is what all this nonsense is about.

        Since spades may not be called spades in freedom’s land, let me spell it all out. In order to get military and economic support for Israel, a small number of American Jews, who should know better, have made common cause with every sort of reactionary and anti-Semitic group in the United States, from the corridors of the Pentagon to the TV studios of the evangelical Jesus-Christers. To show that their hearts are in the far-right place, they call themselves neoconservatives, and attack the likes of Mailer and me, all in the interest of supporting the likes of Sharon and Israel as opposed to the Peace Now Israelis whom they disdain. There is real madness here; mischief too.

      • Donald
        August 11, 2013, 7:06 pm

        The snobbery is what I think McConnell is talking about when he says Vidal is being antisemitic. Bigotry in general isn’t some binary thing, where you are either Martin Luther King or Adolph Hitler–there are gradations and most of us have at least a little of it in us, even if we try to fight it when we’re aware of it.

        Vidal does a superb job eviscerating the neocons and Podhorotz (sp?) and Midge Decter when he sticks to their views, but he drags in little wisecracks about Ellis Island and lack of assimilation. It’s a vestige or an echo of the sort of elite WASPy snobbery that a few generations back had rich Wasps keeping Jews out of the Ivy League or the country club. There’s just no reason to mention Ellis Island or talk about assimilation or criticize his neocon targets because they aren’t as interested in the Civil War as he is and then link it to their ethnicity. I happen to agree that Americans should be interested in the Civil War, but I also think they should be interested in the historical events that led immigrants to come here. But Vidal was wrong to tie this into an otherwise extremely on-target critique of neocon ideology. He’s not Hitler and he’s not even like the Wasps who would have kept Jews out of the Ivies, but there’s a little of that last group in the way he taunts “Poddy”.

      • tree
        August 11, 2013, 11:13 pm

        The snobbery is what I think McConnell is talking about when he says Vidal is being antisemitic.

        I’m not buying it, Donald. Snobbery is not anti-semitism, and to call it the same thing is to be dishonest, especially since a “whiff” of anti-semitism is enough to ruin one’s career, and snobbery is not. There was nothing specific to the Podhoretz’ ethnicity in his jab at their lack of assimilation, and you and McConnell fail to note that NP himself was engaging in his own snobbery in questioning Vidal’s interest in the Civil War, and then going on to profess that it was of no importance to him. Snobbery deserves snobbery in return, if that’s what Vidal gave him, but it certainly wasn’t anti-semitism, and I see nothing in the article that makes him an antisemite.

        Bigotry in general isn’t some binary thing, where you are either Martin Luther King or Adolph Hitler–there are gradations and most of us have at least a little of it in us, even if we try to fight it when we’re aware of it.

        So then you wouldn’t mind at all if some one called you an anti-semite, or a racist? After all, most of us have a little of it, right? Or do you consider yourself one of the few who is pristine?

      • Don
        August 12, 2013, 11:04 am

        Well, very important topic so I”ll comment again. I agree with Tree, Donald.

        And here is an article in the Forward that is well worth reading…
        Gore Vial and the Jew he Loved
        http://forward.com/articles/160362/gore-vidal-and-the-jew-he-loved/?p=all

        I mean, really…does this description of Vidal make him sound like an antisemite? I mean…read this article. The accusation is absurd.

      • seanmcbride
        August 12, 2013, 11:58 am

        Don,

        I mean, really…does this description of Vidal make him sound like an antisemite? I mean…read this article. The accusation is absurd.

        The offenses of Norman Podhoretz (and *all* his fellow neocons) have greatly exceeded those of Gore Vidal. Vidal was never a ranting ethnic nationalist and xenophobe — and he managed to produce some literature of merit.

        What have the neocons produced? Endless reams of crude inciting propaganda and failed wars that have wasted trillions of dollars and severely damaged the American economy. Far from understanding and respecting fundamental American constitutional and democratic traditions, they have done their best to undermine and destroy them.

      • marc b.
        August 12, 2013, 12:24 pm

        it is silly/stupid, don. even with regard to the podhoretz/decter article, vidal happily aligns himself with norman mailer against the gruesome twosome. and I still haven’t seen any evidence to support the accusation here, by some, that he had a problem with ‘the Jews’. the ‘problem’, if there is one, is the conflation of the positions of podhoretz/decter with that of a general program of ‘the Jews’. of course ‘anti-semitism’ will continue to a problem if criticism of the likes of them is considered anti-Semitic. a cynical person might come to the conclusion that that is the whole point of this slander.

      • American
        August 12, 2013, 12:42 pm

        ”Vidal does a superb job eviscerating the neocons and Podhorotz (sp?) and Midge Decter when he sticks to their views, but he drags in little wisecracks about Ellis Island and lack of assimilation.”….Donald

        Perfectly acceptable snobbery to me on that count…..snobbery…if thats what we want to call it, is not always bad if it’s shows up right vr wrong or acceptable vr unacceptable.
        I’ve referred to some well known I-Firsters and some other people as *Ellis Island Opportunist* cause that is what they are…they are *users* of us, not one of us.
        Doesnt bother me to be snobby or look down on that sort of people.
        We should actually be a lot more snobby about it—-it’s unacceptable.

        op·por·tun·ist
        /ˌäpərˈt(y)o͞onist/

        Noun
        A person who exploits people and circumstances to gain advantage rather than being guided by principles.

  19. Chespirito
    August 10, 2013, 8:26 pm

    Phil, I hope you don’t ditch this issue in favor of global warming and overpopulation. Honestly this site is lonely and essential, it leaves that Beinart thing at Daily Beast in the dust. There are plenty of other neo-post-Malthusians w/ websites but nobody is doing what you are doing so well!

    • ritzl
      August 10, 2013, 10:04 pm

      Totally agree.

    • RoHa
      August 10, 2013, 11:35 pm

      I agree, too. There are far too many sites already dealing with those issues.

      If you want to diversify, you could post articles about grammar. That’s always popular.

      • Citizen
        August 11, 2013, 6:57 am

        I also agree. Here’s a BIG picture of why named Insults To Our Intelligence: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/09/insults-to-our-intelligence-2/

      • German Lefty
        August 11, 2013, 7:59 am

        If you want to diversify, you could post articles about grammar. That’s always popular.
        Right! Such articles are particularly popular with non-native speakers, like me :-)
        Or how about examining the choice of words of Zionists? Just like Obama re-defined the word “militant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone” in order to avoid counting civilian deaths, Zionists have their linguistic tricks, too.

      • RoHa
        August 11, 2013, 7:08 pm

        And Phil did say he was thinking of moving on to other lost causes.

  20. miriam6
    August 10, 2013, 9:07 pm

    Bizarre that Weiss married into a family of such hopelessly stuck-up folks…

    Then again one can’t choose one’s in-laws…

    On the subject of lost causes …..

    The woman christened Australia’s answer to Sarah Palin says;

    I don’t oppose Islam as a country…

    http://news.sky.com/story/1126924/politician-quits-race-after-interview-gaffes?plcktb=M1EdX20GbEt7f2ZbBTUg0

    What I love in this news report about failed One Nation party prospective election candidate Stephanie Bannister , is when she pipes up at the end 1.12 mins and asks if she can say something ( more ).

    How rapidly and firmly the party spokesman standing next to her, who is defending Bannister’s inexperienced, gaffe-filled performance performance , says NO!

    • RoHa
      August 10, 2013, 11:35 pm

      “The woman christened Australia’s answer to Sarah Palin…”

      Not that we needed one.

    • MRW
      August 11, 2013, 1:14 am

      Bizarre that Weiss married into a family of such hopelessly stuck-up folks.

      You know nothing about them. All Phil stories about his wife shows why he married her. And I think they’re Quakers, if memory serves. Give me a room full of Quakers anytime.

    • just
      August 11, 2013, 12:02 pm

      “Bizarre that Weiss married into a family of such hopelessly stuck-up folks…”

      How very rude and bizarre you are.

      • miriam6
        August 12, 2013, 4:22 am

        just;

        Talk to the hand pollyanna

      • miriam6
        August 12, 2013, 1:07 pm

        [email protected];

        Talk to the hand Pollyanna..

        You are unable to grasp the distinction between the private/ public sphere.

        If Weiss doesn’t want people to pass judgement , on this PUBLIC forum , on his in-laws/ family he should keep his thoughts’ and comments about them PRIVATE!

        Your opinion is worth exactly diddley squat to me !

      • American
        August 14, 2013, 2:22 pm

        @miriam6

        Evidently you didn’t pay attention to your momma’s lectures on good manners.
        When you are on somone’s blog, public or not, it’s like being in their house—you can debate, totally disagree and argue on some subject with them —-but you dont go ‘insulting’ them or ‘their family’.

    • Donald
      August 11, 2013, 12:04 pm

      “Bizarre that Weiss married into a family of such hopelessly stuck-up folks”

      Evidence? I can’t tell anything of the sort–for example, there’s different ways to read what Phil’s sister-in-law meant with the “bored with the Jews” joke. I took it to be gentle teasing of Phil and his obsession (which all of us regulars at this blog share to some degree), not snobbishness, but it could be snobbishness too–those of us who weren’t there and don’t know Phil’s family can’t tell.

      • seanmcbride
        August 11, 2013, 12:33 pm

        Donald,

        I, for one, am bored to death by too much discussion about any single ethnic or religious group. Most of the important problems that are facing the world transcend ethnic and religious identity. (How many commenters on Mondoweiss are worried about the continuing leakage of radioactive water from Fukushima into the Pacific Ocean?)

        I confess, however, that I am more interested in Jewish discussions about Jewish issues than about most discussions concerning other ethnic and religious groups — especially when they are conducted by great Jewish scholars coming the Enlightenment tradition. Those scholars usually manage to universalize the discussion and make it relevant to humanity at large. They think deeply and write well.

        Most of the harangues about Zionism remind one a great deal of the nasty internecine conflicts which wracked the Jewish world in the historical period which directly preceded Rome’s sacking of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. — useless chatter — self-destructive chatter — a complete waste of time.

    • libra
      August 11, 2013, 3:55 pm

      miriam6: On the subject of lost causes …..
      The woman christened Australia’s answer to Sarah Palin says;

      Miriam, I rather think you’ll be better qualified to be Australia’s answer to Sarah Palin when you finally manage to board that plane at Heathrow and fly out there.

  21. dbroncos
    August 10, 2013, 9:59 pm

    “If you repeat something enough times it becomes true.”

    Zionists have been employing this truism for decades. Mondo is just fighting fire with fire, Phil – and with great success. Don’t give up : -)

  22. ziusudra
    August 11, 2013, 3:43 am

    Greetings,
    We remember a short Story written by a Swiss with 3 characters; a Monk, his favorite Cat & a big Rat.
    Cat & Rat met up for a last battle & got so entwined that the Monk saw no other possibility than to throw both into the furnace, he did!
    Might he have meant the Monk was God making a final decision?
    Would it help the globe to sacrifice the Falesteeni allowing the zio Regime to implode over hubris in the ME?
    ziusudra

  23. Egbert
    August 11, 2013, 3:48 am

    “His assertion … is perfectly reasonable– but today would be condemned as isolationist or America Firster.”

    Wow, to think that an American would be condemned for putting America first. That really shows how far the US has sunk.

  24. giladg
    August 11, 2013, 7:47 am

    Philip, how does it feel to be sponsored by Arab oil money? Do you not feel uncomfortable with this fact? We know that it is in your interests not to follow the money. Soros and/or Arab oil money. Which one is it Philip? Yuk to both.

    • just
      August 11, 2013, 12:05 pm

      wth???????????????

      You might just be another rude drone, giladg.

    • dbroncos
      August 11, 2013, 10:40 pm

      giladg is onto you, Phil. He’s discovered the roustabout side-work work you do on weekends to keep the lights on at Mondoweiss.

  25. gingershot
    August 11, 2013, 8:23 am

    ‘Bored with the Jews’

    Don’t give in! The premier legal technique by which Israelis plan to complete their takeover of Palestine is to bore the world to death by their angels on the head of the pin-tenacity and mendacity.

    It’s like listening to Alan Dershowitz and you finally turn it off or go away because you just can’t stand his lies mixed with his stupidity anymore – the Israelis are counting on you being bored to death! That’s what they call a big win

    Squeezing turnips for blood is the same kind of ‘boring’ – and that’s what they are counting on. Time for a change – time to toss the turnips in the hot water and cook em up for dinner instead – time to change their paradigm and framing and dismantle their ‘Boring Apartheid’ out from under them

    Giving in to Talmudic ‘reasoning’/lies/etc just to STOP being bored to death is a stellar victory and a sign of their genius, in their eyes

    Let’s turn the tables and bore the Israelis to death with relentless worldwide sanctioning of every single Israeli product – down to hummus – until they dismantle Apartheid to stop the pain.

  26. seafoid
    August 11, 2013, 9:35 am

    “She said that this website is way too negative, that we should be embracing John Kerry as a hopeful messenger, that our posts are a neverending parade of black crepe”

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/89686-life-is-not-so-bad-if-you-have-plenty-of

    “Life is not so bad if you have plenty of luck, a good physique and not too much imagination” Christopher Isherwood

  27. Stephen Shenfield
    August 11, 2013, 10:04 am

    Philip, IF you can find a colleague who is able and willing temporarily to take over the job of running this site then why not switch to other issues for a while and return refreshed?

    There are in fact many connections between the issues discussed on this site and the problem of climate change. Consider, for instance, the carbon footprint of the IDF. Above all, a global consciousness is a prerequisite for effective action against global heating — and global consciousness is the complete opposite of the narrow tribalism promoted by Zionism. And the Palestinians, who have no escape from Zionism however tired they too (and especially) may grow of it, will also be able to give climate change the attention it requires once a just solution to the conflict has been achieved.

    • seanmcbride
      August 11, 2013, 10:22 am

      Stephen Shenfield,

      There are in fact many connections between the issues discussed on this site and the problem of climate change.

      The endless neurotic and petty squabbles about competing ethnic and religious nationalisms in the Middle East are diverting the attention of Americans and the world at large away from issues of much greater importance for us all.

      It is almost shameful to be wallowing in these sterile and unproductive arguments that go round and round in circles while so much of the world is falling to pieces. It’s crazy.

      Once you’ve seen the same pattern of useless social interaction for the thousandth time, you might well think, time to move on. Wake up. Look around. See the big picture.

      • ritzl
        August 11, 2013, 1:50 pm

        I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that anything that requires global-scale international cooperation to solve has to wait until this issue is solved. There is no diplomatic “oxygen” for anything else while this issue festers, and every potential diplomatic achievement on anything else is for sale to further the Israeli agenda (via the US). In that sense, which I think is pretty much the complete operative sense, all the solutions to those “larger” issues must necessarily pass through this issue.

        One might counter that the USG is big enough to walk and chew gum at the same time. I used to think that, but not anymore.

      • Taxi
        August 11, 2013, 4:03 pm

        I agree, ritzl.

      • Danaa
        August 11, 2013, 8:47 pm

        i also agree, ritzl. For all the reasons I went through before (such as the “dumbing down” of our foreign service corps that left no room for any smart moves. Evidence is all around us that the US foreign policy is adrift – on basically every continent and at every level).

      • MRW
        August 12, 2013, 4:11 am
    • just
      August 11, 2013, 11:52 am

      Stephen– you are so correct.

      Climate change, the fishing bans, the water theft are all affecting Palestinians right NOW!

      All over the world, the massive mess and pollution that the rich and privileged impose on others is unconscionable– yet it’s always blamed on “the masses”.

      Where does gelfilte fish come from, anyway? Why can’t a Palestinian fisherman pursue his living to support his family? Who over- fishes and maintains their stolen fiefdom while polluting the environment without a care in the world?

      “Israel navy gunboats open heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian fishermen
      GAZA (PIC) 12 May — Israeli navy gunboats opened heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian fishing boats working off the coast of central Gaza Strip on Saturday night. Local sources told the PIC reporter that the gunboats opened intensive fire at the boats that were fishing off the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
      link to http://www.palestine-info.co.uk

      http://mondoweiss.net/2013/05/palestinian-controlled-previously.html

      (thanks to Kate!)

  28. MHughes976
    August 11, 2013, 12:27 pm

    Much is being achieved, it’s just very slow. Keep up the good work.

  29. talknic
    August 11, 2013, 2:37 pm

    “Which is why we repeat ourselves, over and over again”

    However, countering the same olde Hasbara twaddle again and again affords one the opportunity to hone one’s argument to be concise, factual, easy to understand and to the Hasbarristers’ frustration, hole proof.

  30. Kathleen
    August 11, 2013, 3:09 pm

    The relative of your wife who said this site is “too negative” must have a problem with facts. Drives me crazy when people refer to facts as “negative”

    And on repetition how does that squeaky wheel gets the grease thing go?

    Let’s not forget that Sullivan supported the invasion of Iraq.

    Phil thought it as the Nation that provided you with means to birth Mondoweiss?

    Do agree that it would be great to witness MSM outlets addressing this issue based on the facts that seem “too negative” for your relative.

    “Brave”should definitely be used when it comes to the way Vidal stepped up the plate on this issue decades ago. Far more “brave” than Beinart and others who Weiss has been more than willing to label “brave” for more recently addressing these issues in honest and serious ways long after Vidal did so.

  31. anomalous
    August 11, 2013, 3:50 pm

    I’ve always felt that this endlessly-repeating pattern – of Jews talking to Jews about Jews and about which non-Jews have “the whiff” of anti-semitism (it’s always a smell for some reason); and of Jews telling other Jews that there is nothing more important than Jewish opinion, and particularly of Jews telling other Jews that various outcomes “will never happen until Jews [______]” – is truly the single most boring thing on earth.

    It seems to me that this pattern – shall we call it progressive judeocentrism? – sits right at the heart of the conflict. Perhaps tossing it into the sea would relieve you of some of the boredom. There truly are other things to talk about, other people to talk to, and other opinions that matter.

  32. Mayhem
    August 11, 2013, 7:02 pm

    So anybody (e.g. Vidal) who can devise powerful anti-Israel invective has to be a ‘good’ guy and could not really be anti-semitic. RIP
    And the second take from Weiss’ soliloquy is that having to continually deal with the Israel lobby is terribly tiresome but thanks to the Mearsheimers of this world.
    But why does Weiss have to dress up his doll with the title “Bored with the Jews”?
    This is basically dirty inflammatory language that is offensive before you have even read a single word of the article. Boredom is not relevant at all if you are serious and truly concerned about the issues at stake – Weiss however reduces the complexities of the conflict to a political game. No wonder he sounds more and more irrelevant all the time (and boring) – he has nothing new to say, milking the anti-semitism cow for all it’s worth.

  33. James Canning
    August 11, 2013, 7:25 pm

    Yes, “the Jewish rise in the [American] establishment” is a key factor explaining the subverting of American interests in the Middle East. By Israel. With steady encouragement of the US Congress. Should be amazing.

  34. Kathleen
    August 11, 2013, 11:05 pm

    How about taking this site up a notch with Phil, Adam, Annie, etc conducting live audio/video interviews with Noura Erakat, Finkelstein etc with participants at the site. This was one of my favorite stategies taken at Firedoglake for awhile. Live interviews with Valerie Plame, Kucinich and many others where first rate debates took place. We all know that critical thinkers on the I/P issue are seldom heard on the US MSM outlets. Chris Hayes had a few honest programs about these issues that avenue was shut down after his move to a prime time spot on MSNBC. Steve Korancki of UP has not pushed the envelope on this issue and Chris Hayes has dropped the ball also.

    Would be a great way to take the debate up a notch here at Mondoweiss

    • Annie Robbins
      August 11, 2013, 11:54 pm

      wow kathleen, what a fun idea!

      • Kathleen
        August 12, 2013, 9:01 am

        Lots of live conversations and debates took place over at FDL (not sure if they are still doing it) Plame gave her first live interview to Dr. Marcy Wheeler aka Emptywheel over there after the trial (I think that was the timeline) We were able to ask Valerie questions etc.

    • German Lefty
      August 12, 2013, 12:53 pm

      Chris Hayes had a few honest programs about these issues that avenue was shut down after his move to a prime time spot on MSNBC.
      I’d like to read an interview with Chris Hayes about his personal opinion on the conflict and why he stopped discussing the topic on his show. Was there pressure from his boss? Was he bribed to silence? Rachel Maddow once mentioned in an interview that there are arguments whenever she wants to bring up the issue on her show.

      Also, here are two infographics.
      Childbirth In Palestine
      http://bcupalestinesociety.com/childbirth-palestine-info-graphic-visual/
      Water In Palestine
      http://bcupalestinesociety.com/water-palestine-thirsting-justice-info-graphic-visual/

      And a Zionist Dictionary:
      http://bcupalestinesociety.com/zionist-dictionary/

    • just
      August 12, 2013, 5:13 pm

      Kathleen– I completely agree! FDL was once quite spectacular in that regard– also with their Book Salon.

      “Democracy Now”continues to fill a lonely place here in the a/v journalism … I’d love to see MW enter the “fray”!

      • Kathleen
        August 13, 2013, 1:06 am

        Yes the Book Salon may have been what it was called. Really great conversations, debate, learned so much. With the I/P issue not being discussed on the MSM, no guest on these outlets to zoom in on the issue, MW could provide another much needed venue..

  35. Denis
    August 12, 2013, 9:55 am

    In submitting the 102nd comment in this thread — and as a congenital, but faux-circumcised, goyim Salinger groupie and admirer of Jewish writers in general — may I present some quantitative, objective data suggesting your predicament is real: the threads on MW that reach the century mark are not the ones about the I/P troubles but the ones about Jews per se, the angst of being an American Jew, the Shoah, . . .

    I have yet to see here a comment about the angst of being Irish-American.

    When you get the choir you are preaching to all singing the same song, you will only have reached 2% of the population. By then the other 98% will have drifted away knowing that they are not a part of that choir even if they agree with the song.

    If you move on to global warming and over-population, will that be for a Jewish audience, too? [BTW — over-population!!!! Man, where did you get that? How ’60’s can you get — ZPG is the bell-bottom trousers of liberal causes. It’s only the most important issue ever. There is only one green problem: too freakin’ many people. And only one green solution, and it ain’t solar and wind. Go for it! ]

    PS: From the hints you have dropped, your wife’s family must be a lot of fun; I bet they love you. I envy you — none of my ex-sisters-in-law would have ever washed asparagus in my presence. Take some time off. If Stewart can, you can. Write a movie script about your annual summer gatherings — something along the lines of The Big Chill/Same Time, Next Year from the viewpoint of Salinger’s Lionel. Or something.

  36. broadside
    August 12, 2013, 2:00 pm

    For the record, y’all, it’s Katharine with an a.

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