Stop the Nonsense: Nobody is proposing a boycott of ‘the Jews’

ActivismUS Politics
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On December 4, the National Council of the American Studies Association (ASA) unanimously approved a resolution to honor the call from Palestinian civil society to boycott Israeli academic institutions. This decision has engendered intense debate.

The majority of those opposed to the resolution (and to academic boycott in general) have avoided engaging substantive questions, instead deploying hyperbole and hysteria, a distinctive rhetoric of victimhood anybody who has run afoul of Israel’s devotees will easily recognize.  Numerous scholars, ostensibly rational and apolitical, have reinvigorated the age-old cacophonies of colonial delirium.  The intrinsic affinities of the responsible, objective class of scholar have now been revealed.  Those affinities are uglier than even the most weathered among us expected.

A particular response to the resolution has gained traction and warrants rebuttal, the notion that boycott of Israeli universities targets “the Jews” or constitutes a stealth attack against “the Jews.”  In this framework, the term “Jews,” accompanied by its exotic article, “the,” sequesters Jewish people from the moral spaces of dissent and renders them exceptional historical actors in geopolitical conflict.  Yet the boycott in no way targets Jews.  It doesn’t set sights on individuals of any ethnic or religious community.  In fact, it doesn’t target individuals at all.

One of the great features of boycott is that it refuses to conflate Jewish cultural and religious practice with the state of Israel.  When Jewishness is conflated with the conduct of a nation-state, especially one as belligerent as Israel, cultural practice is at least tacitly implicated in state violence, reducing complex peoplehood to a brute synecdoche of military occupation.

David Greenberg

David Greenberg

Charges of anti-Semitism from the lobby’s petulant conscripts are unsurprising, but the petulance has also arrived from a more respectable sort.  On the ASA Facebook page, for instance, David Greenberg, a Rutgers professor and New Republic writer, proclaims, “For the ASA to claim it opposes anti-Semitism while simultaneously backing efforts to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

The only unpleasant odor in evidence here is the musty rot of cliché.  Greenberg’s type of argument is customary in academe:  it relies on the commonplaces of settler colonial logic to forestall substantive challenges to the sites of authority upon which that logic survives.  It is a rhetorical flourish that requires neither evidence nor engagement with evidence.  In this case, it diverts attention from the matter of Israel’s occupation and what we might do to contest it.  Supporters of boycott are forced to explain that we aren’t anti-Semites, instead.

Diverting attention with hyperbole and animosity to avoid substantive discussion is the classic definition of trolling. (If the name is vaguely familiar, David Greenberg is the person who pilloried Howard Zinn for being too simplistic and tendentious.)

Jonathan Marks

Jonathan Marks

A tweet I received from Jonathan Marks of Ursinus College employs the same diversionary tactic:  “If you want to keep BDS + anti-Semitism sharply separated Roger ‘Jewish lobby’ Waters ain’t your guy.”  The strategy is to root out any hint of anti-Semitism, even if the speaker has to invent it through a show of manifest paranoia.  Scholars are tasked with providing substance to points of view derived from available evidence; that these scholars deploy innuendo, assumption, and slander to raise an argument in defense of Israel speaks to the irrational loyalty fostered by the rituals of Zionism.

The idea that the ASA secretly desires the destruction of world Jewry is a byproduct of having no legitimate argument against boycott.  Defamation emerges where acumen fails.

Scholars like Marks and Greenberg exploit the notion of objective judgment to impugn the motives of their political opponents.  This has long been the custom of those who exalt objectivity; such exaltations implicitly condemn modes of inquiry and theorization that do not accommodate centers of institutional authority.  As with claims of anti-Semitism, diversion ensues.  We focus on the orthodoxies of cultural normativity rather than considering solutions to the hardship of those impoverished by orthodoxy.

Who is the operative?  Who is the dissembler?  Who is the manipulator?  Who is the troublemaker? Who is being dishonest?  Who is debasing the sanctity of scholarship?  Who is undermining academic freedom?  Those against boycott embody every negative quality of which they accuse their opponents.

Here we are, again, spending our time on them and their self-seeking angst instead of on the victims of the rotten system they support.  Their approach is unwittingly brilliant in its half-baked mendacity.  We have to work doubly hard to highlight the systemic oppression they support and celebrate.

Enough with the nonsense:  boycott of Israeli academic institutions isn’t about “the Jews.”  It’s about the racism Zionists visit on Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people, using the imprimatur of cultural autonomy to justify settler colonization.  Those who howl about being mean to “the Jews” in response to a carefully-considered boycott of a bellicose nation-state do little more than reproduce the perilous confinement of the ethnic ghetto.

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  1. just
    December 15, 2013, 9:21 am

    “Here we are, again, spending our time on them and their self-seeking angst instead of on the victims of the rotten system they support. Their approach is unwittingly brilliant in its half-baked mendacity. We have to work doubly hard to highlight the systemic oppression they support and celebrate.

    Enough with the nonsense: boycott of Israeli academic institutions isn’t about “the Jews.” It’s about the racism Zionists visit on Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people, using the imprimatur of cultural autonomy to justify settler colonization. Those who howl about being mean to “the Jews” in response to a carefully-considered boycott of a bellicose nation-state do little more than reproduce the perilous confinement of the ethnic ghetto.”

    Thanks Steven– on many levels. These last two paragraphs are particularly brilliant.

    “Defamation emerges where acumen fails.”

    This is a “keeper”! It describes perfectly the treatment that Walt, Mearsheimer, Carter, Waters, Blumenthal, Walker et al have faced……..I’ve never seen it described so elegantly/eloquently.

    • Castellio
      December 15, 2013, 6:20 pm

      Yes, it needed to be said, and Stephen has said it particularly well.

    • Ellen
      December 16, 2013, 7:36 pm

      This is, indeed, an excellent and intelligent comment. Thank you Prof. Salaita.
      The crux of much debate beyond that of the BDS boycott is summed up with Salaita’s words:

      One of the great features of boycott is that it refuses to conflate Jewish cultural and religious practice with the state of Israel. When Jewishness is conflated with the conduct of a nation-state, especially one as belligerent as Israel, cultural practice is at least tacitly implicated in state violence, reducing complex peoplehood to a brute synecdoche of military occupation.

      I hope this is published elsewhere. Would NPR touch the story?

      Or do we need to hear more from NPR on German Grandma’s Christmas cookies or the importance of hoarding Mallomars?

      link to npr.org

      Or Terry Gross grasping to make Robert Redford’s life interesting.
      link to npr.org

    • Allan
      December 17, 2013, 1:47 pm

      Your argument reminds me of an old “Peanuts” cartoon where Lucy says “I love mankind… It’s just people that I can’t stand.” You love Jews, it’s just Zionists that you can’t stand? Face it – you are at best a hypocrite.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 2:34 pm

        You love Jews, it’s just Zionists that you can’t stand? Face it – you are at best a hypocrite.

        Except that I’m Jewish and can’t stand Zionist hypocrites.

      • Obsidian
        December 17, 2013, 2:54 pm

        @Hostage

        “Except that I’m Jewish and can’t stand Zionist hypocrites.”

        Only Zionist hypocrites?

  2. Citizen
    December 15, 2013, 9:29 am

    Larry Summers didn’t get your memo. He recently pronounced that the ASA boycott is “antisemitism, in effect.” He says if that were not so, why is there no similar boycott of all the other countries that mistreat those under their control.

    • Citizen
      December 15, 2013, 9:33 am

      The former president of Harvard’s recent interview with Charlie Rose: link to legalinsurrection.com

      • Public Poster
        December 15, 2013, 11:27 am

        “campaigns against injustice inevitably single out one target, while ignoring others. The farm workers’ grape boycott of the 1960s and 1970s didn’t go after every workplace (or fruit) in the country; it shone a spotlight on one particular set of working conditions. The antiwar movement of Kazin’s youth didn’t go after all wars (or even all unjust wars) being fought around the globe; it targeted the war in Vietnam. The civil rights movement didn’t fix on every racial injustice on the planet; it went after American apartheid.

        Nor do these movements necessarily target the worst injustices. Working conditions in the fields of California were awful, but God knows there were far worse elsewhere. American sexism wasn’t the most terrible on offer. South African apartheid wasn’t the most oppressive regime, and the death squads in El Salvador were hardly grislier than the killing fields of Cambodia. Yet the leaders of the domestic movements against California agribusiness, American patriarchy, South African apartheid, and the Salvadoran death squads chose their targets as they did, without burdening themselves with the charge of fighting even worse injustices elsewhere. Many people…supported them, and the world is better for that.

        When Kazin invokes consistency, he reminds me of nothing so much as those rigid and abstract ideologues he so often denounces elsewhere. Indeed, what would Kazin say about a movement that, acting on some cockamamie notion of consistency, decided that it could only go after injustice somewhere if it simultaneously went after injustice everywhere? He’d call it foolish and dogmatic, and he’d be right. Those campus living wage movements he supports, after all, aren’t fighting for living wages everywhere, are they? And what would Kazin say to someone who refuses to support a living wage for workers—or a union for adjuncts—at Georgetown, where Kazin teaches, because workers in Guatemala have it so much worse? (If he hasn’t heard such criticisms, he should go to more meetings. Or read Matt Yglesias.)”

      • Castellio
        December 15, 2013, 6:30 pm

        Summers position is that as long as there is injustice anywhere, Israeli injustice is off limits. In other words, Israeli justice is off limits.

      • piotr
        December 16, 2013, 1:53 pm

        Quite uniquely, apologetics of Israel state form an industry, and some economists could measure the percentage of American national product that is produced (consumed?) by that industry. As in any trade, a specialized vocabulary was developed, but the meaning of that vocabulary is quite unclear to other folks.

        One of my favorite is “delegitimization”. At seven syllables, it takes some practice to use it smoothly in a spoken sentence. A look-up in Merriam Webster dictionary returns something rather un-offensive: to diminish or destroy the legitimacy, prestige, or authority of X. To make a crime (a though crime?) out of diminishing prestige or authority is nothing else as legislating own feeling of entitlement. Legitimacy, prestige and authority are not some in-born rights but stem either from merit or from power. Seems to me that delegitimization is inherently a legitimate activity, unless proven otherwise in particular circumstances.

        In other words, delegitimization is a particular way of challenging status quo, .

    • John Douglas
      December 15, 2013, 5:01 pm

      What is this business of “anti-Semitism in effect” that Larry Summers wants to push? As best I can figure it’s something like this. BDS has the effect of weakening Israel or its policies and therefore weakening “the Jews” of which Israel is the embodiment (Okay, this makes no sense but let’s ignore that.). So even if the BDS supporter has no bad thoughts about “the Jews” his or her support for BDS is bad for the Jews in its effect and so is anti-Semitic. Summers is a smart guy, (though I doubt as smart as he thinks he is), but smart enough so that this “in effect” claptrap must be claptrap “in intent” on his part and not just claptrap “in effect”. There is no racism, sexism or anti-Semitism or anti-Catholicism without invidious generalization or wishing ill. There can be no anti-Semitism or anti-Catholicism by unintended consequence. Think of the Catholicism case. A journalist who exposes a dozen sexually abusing priests diminishes respect for Church and its leadership. It would be foolish to insist that this journalism is ipso facto a case of anti-Catholicism, either “in intent”, “in effect” or in any other way. Larry Summers knows this and is intentionally muddying the waters of discourse to protect Israeli expansionism.

      • MHughes976
        December 16, 2013, 2:05 pm

        Objection to something done by people who are Jewish/Catholic/Protestant is not the same as objection to people’s being Jewish etc. unless being that thing implicitly brings with it the commission of those acts. Being Jewish clearly does not imply being a Zionist or acting like one. However it is in principle possible to hold to an ideology that brings evil acts in its train, but even in that sad case the objection should not read as an expression of hostility but as a plea for change. Not as a denial of common humanity but as call for that common humanity to be affirmed.

  3. American
    December 15, 2013, 9:35 am

    ”Supporters of boycott are forced to explain that we aren’t anti-Semites, instead.”

    My advice—-quit ‘explaining’, period.
    Dont even bother, just ridicule their accusations and laugh at them.
    The more you think you are ‘forced’ to explain yoursleves the more they will keep on with their nonsense.

    Every time someone opens their mouth to defend against their anti semite slurs the conversation becomes all about the Jews and anti semitism—instead of Israel, international law, Palestine, etc——which is exactly why they use the slurs.
    Dont help them by even responding to the charge.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      December 15, 2013, 6:07 pm

      Agree completely. While I can understand why people – especially in the US – feel compelled to explain (over and over and over again) exactly why they are not ‘anti-Semitic’, the very act of doing so takes the focus off the real issues, and, as you say, makes it all about Jews and their ‘concerns’, while putting the speaker on the defensive. It’s those who defend Israel who should feel the need to defend their indefensible stance, not those who oppose it.

      And isn’t there a saying: If you’re explaining, you’re losing?

      • MHughes976
        December 16, 2013, 1:52 pm

        I agree that we put ourselves on the defensive by responding to accusations of anti-Semitism with denials and explanations. My feeling is that it’s better to take no notice of them. If explicitly asked ‘Why don’t you defend yourself?’ reply ‘If you can show me a mistake in my argument, we can ask whether that mistake was caused by some form of prejudice. But what mistake do you have in mind?’ That at least keeps to the subject.

  4. Krauss
    December 15, 2013, 9:40 am

    When it comes down to it, the Israel lobby(which was never the same thing as AIPAC; but Walt/Mearsheimer’s original definition was at once much more decentralized as well as accurate) and its apologists only have one recourse and one resource only:
    Hijack and divert the discussion by screaming anti-Semitism.

    The problem, for them, is that it hasn’t helped. We know that they don’t want to see BDS succeed. Their main challenge is that they have no viable answer whatsoever to the rising challenge of Israeli Apartheid.

    For ages, “liberal” Zionists – an oxymoron if there ever was one – used to tell a fable to liberal America something like this:

    1. The settlers are not the “Real Israel!”. Every country has their extremists, are you going to stereotype Britain because it has skinhead elements on the fringes of society!? Of course not!

    2. And if you are, but fail to do so on other countries = Anti-Semitism!

    The problem with this two-pronged approach is that the British government does not have skinheads in Cabinet. Israel has an economics minister(Bennett) who has endorsed an organization which seeks to stop Jewish/Arab interracial relationships.
    Lieberman, Elkin as well as the chief justice of the Supreme Court(!) all live in occupied territory. These people are the de facto establishment.

    Since Greenberg et al have no answer to this, i.e. their fable of the “Real Israel” falls apart completely under their feet, they have no other recourse but to stall what must happen: sanctions on an fundamentally racist regime. So they invoke anti-Semitism over and over. And essentially nullify Godwin’s law with so many “we know where boycotts of Jews lead to in GERMANY IN THE 1930s!!!!!!!!!!!!1″ that your ears start to hurt.

    It hasn’t worked so far. Greenberg et al cannot point to the “Real Israel” anymore and fool the world. The real Israel are the settlers and the political parties – including Labor, which initiated them and has sustained them as well as Yesh Atid, whose election campaign begun in Ariel – that support them are in a permanent majority.

    The goal should be straight forward. Greenberg support Apartheid by pointing to the Holocaust. Thus, they abuse the memory of the Holocaust while denying the human rights of the Palestinians.

    These kinds of people cannot be reasoned with. They only have one single objective: stall and delay the judgement day of Apartheid as much as possible. To entertain debate with these people is to at some level legitimize Apartheid, as if it were negotiable.

    • Cliff
      December 15, 2013, 4:47 pm

      The standard Zio-formula is :

      Verb, noun, antisemitism.

    • pabelmont
      December 15, 2013, 6:08 pm

      ” the Israel lobby(which was never the same thing as AIPAC * * * ” Well, if AIPAC is taken to mean the collection of Jewish big-money-men who are big-money-wise pro-Israel, then, yes, the Israel Lobby also includes a huge number of Evangelical Christians: very pro-Israel. But it seems to me these kindly and manipulative folks are also antisemitic, because their dogma calls for Israel to foment the war at Armageddon which brings on the “end times” wherein all Jews and others who do not become (sufficiently or correctly) Christian will go to hell (do not pass Go, do not collect $200). Perhaps some will not call this “all non-Christians will go to hell” antisemitic, because, for instances, it includes a trip to hell for a lot of other people as well. But this support for Israel (“The Jewish State” ™) with fingers sort-of-crossed as to going-to-hell seems to me a bit antisemitic. Others may disagree.
      However, some seem to support this view:

      Similarly when it comes to Israel and the Jews, McCain professes that he “didn’t know” the views of Rev. Hagee, concerning the fact that the good Rev. believes that Hitler was an “instrument of God” when driving the Jews to Israel where they “belong.”

      That’s like saying that when you got the endorsement of the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan that you didn’t know they were a racist outfit. McCain has had enough run-ins with the Evangelical right, to know exactly who they are.

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 10:32 am

        @pabelmont

        John McCain all during the 1990s an into the 2000 campaign was absolutely opposed to Likud’s settlement strategy and strongly sided with Labor’s attempts at a two state solution. With McCains attempt to move right after 2004, and the Iraq war becoming a rightwing cause McCain ended up having to shift his position on Israel. McCain is pretty inconsistent and if you could get him to tell truth my guess is he’s still slightly to the left or Rabin on Israel Palestine. And that’s best case. Heck, it wouldn’t shock me if in his heart he’s the old fashioned Eisenhower pro-Arab, anti-Zionist kind of Republican. But at the end of the day from the contras, to the fight against Soviet vassal states, to the opposition to the Ba’ath to now Iran Israel, and the Israeli right in particular has been on his side. And he’s reciprocated by being a staunch ally in the Senate to Israel.

        As for the Christian Zionists and anti-semitism. I’ve never had a problem with Christians who believe that Jews are going to hell for the same reason that Muslim, Buddhists and Hindus are going to hell. Please group us in with the other heathens that reject Jesus! I want to be just another religion. Which is why I loved when the Jesus seminar started leaving the Greek words for Jews untranslated. That way the New Testament is taking place in Iudaea among Iudaeans whose religion was Ioudaïsmos. Much, much, much safer. What scares the daylights out of me are theological principles that create some sort of unique relationship. Liberal Protestant theologies in America that consider Jews off limits for missions scare me. While these are intended to be nice, they don’t strike me as all that theologically different from the 19th century Protestant theologies that considered Jews incapable of conversion since they weren’t really human.

        But there as long as the New Testament is about Jews then the 144,000 righteous celibate Jews are the people who accompany Jesus and well… there isn’t much we can do about that.

      • Ellen
        December 16, 2013, 7:47 pm

        JeffB, this is a new one. Can you please cite exactly what “19th century Protestant theologies that considered Jews incapable of conversion since they weren’t really human. “??

        Strange, you are not at all troubled by the idea — and where such ideas can lead — that some people (Christian fundamentalists?) think others are “going to hell” because they think differently. Just because their spirituality has adopted different symbols? You think that is really ok?

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 6:43 am

        @Ellen –

        I’m surprised this is a new one. I would have figured the origins of the term “antisemitism” i.e. “we of the antisemitism league aren’t anti-judaic we are antisemitic” . The modern example is from the Aryan Christ movement which dealt with whether baptism was effectual on Jews. Arthur de Gobineau for whom the colored races, which included Jews, shouldn’t be meaningfully considered part of the specifies. He thought the Jews constituted a mid point between white humans and colored races. This BTW is the theologian who influenced Wagner. That statement above, the invention of the word antiSemitism was Wilhelm Marr and the Antisemitism League. While Marr himself wasn’t a theologian the league had many members that were. Eventually their influence spread to wider society the Pan-German League which had originally admitted converted / assimilated Jews stopped admitting them. Another person influenced was Adolf Stoecker, a theologian who was court chaplain and founder of the Christian Social Gospel political party. It is unclear whether he believed Jews were incapable of converting to Christianity and being good Christians or whether he just believed it unlikely. In Austria you have the Karl Lueger and his Christian Social Party, which won the elections in Vienna for example, so obviously included quite a few Christians. He was financed by Georg Ritter von Schönerer, who rejected the possibility of Jewish conversion and did so openly…

        I could keep going. This is mostly about 1/3rd of the characters you would see in any of the discussions of the evolution of continental anti-semitism in the 4 generations prior to Nazism.

        In English speaking countries British Israelism, which is the core belief that the ten lost tribes of Israel are the British. In itself this group didn’t reject conversion though by the 1890s many of the ideas of Christian Identity, in particular the notion that non-whites (again including Jews) don’t have souls and thus can’t be saved. That notion didn’t catch on wildly though until it hit the USA and that’s early 20th century. Today the religious arm goes by Kinism which you may have run into. Mainstream Presbyterian groups (like the PCA) have had to deal with this theology in their own contemporary membership, and they reject it, but they deny its existence.

        Anyway I’m not sure where to go from here. Hopefully this answered your question.

  5. yonah fredman
    December 15, 2013, 9:48 am

    “If you want to keep BDS + anti-Semitism sharply separated Roger ‘Jewish lobby’ Waters ain’t your guy.”

    The fact that Roger Waters has a Star of David on his floating pig at his concerts, certainly plants the idea that Roger Waters and antisemitism belong in the same sentence. This does not really require invention and it certainly does not require paranoia. True, one can explain that Waters wishes to condemn Israel with his floating pig and the star of David, and obviously Israel employs the star of David as its symbol on its flag and in its rhetoric. Still, the inclusion of a star of David on Waters’ floating pig is not imaginary. And if it is not antisemitic, one can experience it as antisemitic without being inventive or paranoid.

    Salaita’s use of the term paranoia to describe such a reaction is wrong and unuseful and the term irrational used by someone who is defending Roger Waters is totally misusing the term. Roger Waters is incapable of irrational discourse and attacking Roger Waters is ultimately rational.

    • Citizen
      December 15, 2013, 9:56 am

      @ yonah fredman

      Waters has taken to his Facebook page to fight back, and in an open letter he writes, “I also use the Crucifix, the Crescent and Star, the Hammer and Sickle, the Shell Oil Logo and The McDonald’s Sign, a Dollar Sign and a Mercedes sign (in the show)…” and points out his circle of friends include Nazi hunter Wiesenthal’s nephew and his daughter-in-law.

      He also takes aim at Israeli policies in his online rant, stating, “In a functioning theocracy it is almost inevitable that the symbol of the religion becomes confused with the symbol of the state, in this case the State of Israel, a state that operates Apartheid both within its own borders and also in the territories it has occupied and colonized (sic) since 1967.”

      He adds, “The Star of David represents Israel and its policies and is legitimately subject to any and all forms of non violent protest. To peacefully protest against Israel’s racist domestic and foreign policies is NOT ANTI-SEMITIC.”

    • Krauss
      December 15, 2013, 10:05 am

      The fact that Roger Waters has a Star of David on his floating pig at his concerts, certainly plants the idea that Roger Waters and antisemitism belong in the same sentence.

      Except that he has a Christian cross and an Islamic crescent at the same shows. Oops.

      Also, notice the typical Zionist tactic: divert, divert, divert!

      They know they cannot defend Apartheid so all they got left is stalling tactics.

    • Bumblebye
      December 15, 2013, 10:32 am

      Israel chose to use the Star of David as the symbol on its flag. The flag represents a nasty, belligerent, supremist nation. The flag is therefore ‘fair game’ to be used in the manner Roger Waters used it. It has had its religious ‘power’ stolen from diaspora Jews by the State of Israel.

      • Krauss
        December 15, 2013, 12:32 pm

        I understand your arguments, Bumblebye, but do not agree with them. The Star of David belongs to the Jewish people and religion, not Israel per se. Nothing can change that. Neither Waters nor Netanyahu.

        Nevertheless, as I wrote in a response, the Star of David represents Judaism in this case, not Israel, and Waters put up the cross and the crescent there as well.

        He is making an anti-religious point, or at least a point about how religion can oppress people. (I’m guessing more the former since Waters is essentially an atheist and an aggressive secularist).

      • JeffB
        December 15, 2013, 4:19 pm

        @Bumblebye

        The flag represents a nasty, belligerent, supremist nation…. It has had its religious ‘power’ stolen from diaspora Jews by the State of Israel.

        Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews. The symbol is Jewish and remains Jewish. You or Roger Waters are certainly free to hate Judaism. But if you attack the Star of David you are attacking Israel because it is Israel not because of any nastiness towards the Palestinians.

        Otherwise people are free to call you a bigot and say that since the anti-Zionists appropriated bigotry acts like desecrating religious symbols for political effect for they stole the term from bigots in other areas.

      • Hostage
        December 15, 2013, 7:11 pm

        Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews. The symbol is Jewish and remains Jewish.

        You’re pretty odd. When American Jews living in Kansas watch the Olympic games, and they play the Israeli national anthem and show that flag while handing out the medals, it always means our athletes lost.

      • just
        December 15, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Very true. Don’t think that JB will understand, though.

        Too bad.

      • JeffB
        December 15, 2013, 8:44 pm

        @Hostage –

        Speak for yourself. I don’t watch sports much and I don’t think I’ve ever seen judo, sailing or canoeing on TV. But if I did, I’d be cheering that flag. America has 2400 medals, they’ve got nothing to prove. I think Israel has 6 they do.

      • Bumblebye
        December 15, 2013, 8:12 pm

        @JeffB
        I call you out as a bigot – the flag of a nation is supposed to represent those of that nationality! You have declared in your statement that it does not represent Israel’s non-Jewish citizens – or you mean that they are not ‘real’ Israelis, which is even worse bigotry. Doesn’t change the *facts* that Israel is a nasty belligerent nation, always warmongering, always running to Uncle Sam for protection from the consequences of its behavior.

      • Talkback
        December 16, 2013, 8:32 am

        The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews.

        Oh, than Israel is an Apartheid state. I always thought that the flag would represent all citizens of Israel.

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 10:10 am

        I always thought that the flag would represent all citizens of Israel.

        Flags represent the state not the people. So for example the Eagle of Saladin on the Egyptian flag doesn’t represent the Egyptian Copts. Arguably it doesn’t even represent the majority of the population who reject the notion of a racial Arab nationalism (Ba’ath) ideology and instead prefer a pan-Islamic identity.

        So… my question to you is: under your theory of symbols why isn’t Egypt an apartheid state?

      • Sibiriak
        December 17, 2013, 12:25 am

        Talkback:

        I always thought that the flag would represent all citizens of Israel.

        How could it, given that it was composed of Jewish symbols by Zionists to represent a state for global Jewry, not a state for all its citizens?

        Is the Israeli national anthem* an anthem for all the citizens of Israel?

        —————-
        *
        “As long as in the heart, within,
        A Jewish soul still yearns,
        And onward, towards the ends of the east,
        An eye still looks toward Zion;

        Our hope is not yet lost,
        The ancient hope,
        To return to the land of our fathers,
        The city where David encamped.”

      • eljay
        December 16, 2013, 8:48 am

        >> The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews.

        And non-Jews. Unless you’re a Zio-supremacist bigot.

      • Sibiriak
        December 17, 2013, 12:11 am

        JeffB:

        The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews.

        That might have made more sense if you had written:

        The Flag of Israel* represents the Jewish People

        And that epitomizes the problem. Israel has a sizable non-Jewish population which is fundamentally deprived of political and social equality in a state defined as Jewish and belonging to global Jewry.

        —–
        *

        The flag [of Israel] was designed for the Zionist Movement in 1891. The basic design recalls the Ashkenazi Tallit, the Jewish prayer shawl, which is white with blue stripes. The symbol in the centre represents the Magen David (“Star of David”), a Jewish symbol dating from late medieval Prague, which was adopted by the First Zionist Congress in 1897.[1]

        link to en.wikipedia.org

      • Cliff
        December 16, 2013, 10:13 am

        @JeffB

        Nope. Doesn’t work that way. The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews. The symbol is Jewish and remains Jewish. You or Roger Waters are certainly free to hate Judaism. But if you attack the Star of David you are attacking Israel because it is Israel not because of any nastiness towards the Palestinians.

        The people of Israel includes 20% non-Jews. Those non-Jews are the remnants of the indigenous population that Jewish terrorists raped/massacred/bombed/intimidated into fleeing.

        The Star Of David is a religious symbol – yes. However, it has become nationalistic symbol as well.

        That is the context in which it was drawn onto a pig – as the symbol of Zionism and Jewish nationalism.

        Not as a symbol of Judaism.

        Stop using Judaism as a human shield for your cowardice and Zionist ideology.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 8:05 am

        @Cliff

        Tzion is literally Jerusalem. The Star of David represents David’s kingdom which was Jerusalem. Judaism in the 20th and 21st century is morphing into Zionism, Zionism is the realization of Judaism. What you are saying is would be like trying to divorce Catholicism from the Catholic hierarchy. That’s why Jewish organization in America tie themselves to Israel in a way they don’t to say French Jews or what’s left after Chavez of Venezuelan Jews.

        As for the non-Jewish citizens of Israel they complicate things. But ultimately they haven’t becoming meaningfully citizens in terms of being loyal to the state. The flag doesn’t represent them, and they don’t fight for that flag. That sounds harsh, and hopefully when the rest of this plays out that can be fixed but for right now… yeah they don’t treat it as their flag so it isn’t their flag. They just live there.

      • Ecru
        December 16, 2013, 11:58 am

        @ JeffB

        The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews. The symbol is Jewish and remains Jewish…….[SNIP]…if you attack the Star of David you are attacking Israel because it is Israel not because of any nastiness towards the Palestinians.

        That’s a very, um, interesting way of looking at things. To say the very least.

        The flag of the UK is made up of three crosses, so when Irish Republicans use the Union Jack as a symbol of British oppression they’re insulting the British because they’re British not because of, oh I don’t know, things like Bloody Sunday? Even the Irish British who have full citizenship and civil rights in the UK and close links to the Republic or Ulster? And they’re also insulting the people of Australia, New Zealand, Tuvalu and Fiji because they use the Union Jack in their flags too? Or are they insulting every single Christian on the planet, including themselves, because they’re using a Christian symbol? Maybe they’re insulting the Swiss. Well they use a cross on the flag too. As for that matter do the Swedes. Oh and the Greeks. And many many others.

        My but those Irish Republicans are insulting a lot of people aren’t they.

        You might want to rethink your claim because it’s frankly so silly I half expect the Colonel from Monty Python to show up and stop the conversa……..

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 12:24 pm

        @Ecru –

        The Union Jack symbolizes the union of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The point of the symbol is the union of Saint Patrick (Ireland), Saint Andrew (Scotland) and Saint George (England). When they attack the Union Jack they are attacking the union. They are saying that Ireland is not part of Great Britain, that there shouldn’t be a Great Britain.

        And yes they are insulting the Australia, New Zealand… who see themselves as part of the British commonwealth. They are declaring their non-membership. It wasn’t about specific issues they wanted a permanent divorce. That’s why Ireland isn’t part of the commonwealth even today.

        Ireland in attacking the Union Jack in the 20s onward was declaring unambiguous “we are not part of the same country, we are not the same nation”. The Irish Republicans in Northern Ireland was doing the same thing. It had nothing to do with massacres, even without the massacres they didn’t want to be part of Great Britain. That was the whole point of the war they were waging. If they just wanted to complain about England they would be using the flag of England (which just has the cross of Saint George) and not the Union Jack.

        I’m not sure how you example doesn’t reinforce what’s meant by attacking the Star of David. The Irish Republicans consider Great Britain an illegitimate union. The anti-Zionists consider Israel and illegitimate country / people. In neither case does it have anything to do with specific acts.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 11:50 am

        As for the non-Jewish citizens of Israel they complicate things. But ultimately they haven’t becoming meaningfully citizens in terms of being loyal to the state.

        You are such an asshat. Israel used armed force to deliberately drive many of them off their lands and property. The Jewish State used expropriation, martial law, forced labor camps, and emergency regulations to keep them internally displaced and from ever returning to their homes – and even today – it denies them equal human and constitutional rights under the law. We still read about the daily persecution, evictions, home demolitions, and illegal deportations in Jerusalem – and in return for this you expect loyalty. The problem is that the responsible state officials aren’t being hunted-down and punished for their crimes yet.

        That sounds harsh, and hopefully when the rest of this plays out that can be fixed

        What’s playing out is that bunch of idiots think they can reestablish the Second Jewish Commonwealth, complete with its utterly xenophobic hatred of Gentiles and Hellenized Jewish people and values and not end-up being despised, cut-off, marginalized, and overthrown by the persecuted inhabitants and the rest of the world. You know, just like the last time.

      • talknic
        December 16, 2013, 11:15 pm

        JeffB “The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews”

        You’ll say anything no matter how stupid… A country’s flag represents all its citizens regardless of religion, race, ethnicity etc

        ” if you attack the Star of David you are attacking Israel because it is Israel not because of any nastiness towards the Palestinians”

        Sure…Never mind that Israel has for 65 years been illegally acquiring occupied non-Israeli territory link to mfa.gov.il , illegally annexing occupied non-Israeli territory, illegally settling in occupied non-Israeli territory link to domino.un.org

      • Shingo
        December 17, 2013, 6:13 am

        And yes they are insulting the Australia, New Zealand… who see themselves as part of the British commonwealth.

        Don’t be stupid. No one in Australia gives a hoot about the Union Jack being desecrated. The majority of Australians want to be a republic.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 9:38 am

        @Sibiriak

        Can’t reply to your posts, but thank you for stating the obvious. Aa Jewish tallis with the symbol of a mythic Jewish religious figure is a Jewish symbol. One can debate whether Israel should have a state religion. One can’t debate that attacks using that symbology aren’t also attacks on the religion.

        And you are absolutely right about the national anthem being explicitly Jewish too. Jerusalem of Gold, isn’t explicitly Jewish but it doesn’t recognize the ’49 borders either. So the likely secular replacement would be seen as equally objectionable.

      • Shmuel
        December 17, 2013, 10:18 am

        Jerusalem of Gold, isn’t explicitly Jewish

        Unless you count the biblical references (Lamentations), the Talmudic reference in the expression “Jerusalem of gold” itself, references to the Temple Mount and the shofar, denial of Palestinian presence (“solitary”, “empty”, “no one”, “wells run dry”), and use of the words “we” and “return” that can only be understood as references to Jews.

        Other than that, it’s as neutral and inclusive as can be.

      • talknic
        December 17, 2013, 12:00 pm

        JeffB “One can’t debate that attacks using that symbology aren’t also attacks on the religion”

        Pray tell what symbol of Israel can one use to highlight Israel’s continual non-adherence to the UN Charter and International Law?

        Maybe Israel should change its flag because the coveting of other folks property is NOT a Jewish value. Nor is lying about not having borders. Or wanting peace. Especially while continuing to build illegal settlements in non-Israeli territory

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 12:09 pm

        Shmuel –

        Can’t reply so replying up one level.

        You got me on the Talmudic reference and Lamentations. I stand corrected.

        The shofar is kinda mixed (like the flag) since it was also a Zionist symbol of defiance to the British since the British didn’t permit it 1931-47. I was taking it that way, but of course there is no way to disentangle it from the religious meaning.

        Empty… is what I meant by “explicitly Jewish”. There is no way to get all the implicitly Jewish stuff out of Israeli culture ever. The same as an American Jew, the west is Christian my western heritage is a Christian heritage and there is no way to disentangle Western / American culture from Christian culture. The very debates we are having about freedom of religion comes from the Anabaptist declarations of the four freedoms.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 2:02 pm

        One can debate whether Israel should have a state religion. One can’t debate that attacks using that symbology aren’t also attacks on the religion.

        LoL! You keep pretending that every other country has a state religion that either persecutes or threatens Jews, even when we are good, although we know perfectly well that’s not the case.

        You’ve complained that non-Jews are to blame for not integrating very well into Israel’s admittedly unique religious legal system of determining personal status. It certainly doesn’t hesitate to coerce or exclude non-Jews even when they are good. And now you expect us to feel bad when its symbol gets attacked? All I can say is, this is pretty ineffective propaganda.

      • Talkback
        December 16, 2013, 5:15 pm

        JeffB: “The Flag of Israel represents the people of Israel who are Jews.”
        JeffB: “Flags represent the state not the people.”

        LOL. Hasbara and logic …

      • just
        December 16, 2013, 5:30 pm

        It keeps them warm at night.

        As a teenage friend once said *gross alert*: “I love it when I fart at night under the covers and inhale– it’s very comforting!”

      • Ellen
        December 16, 2013, 7:59 pm

        Just, since there is not a reply link to JeffB’s absolutely bizarre and ignorant lecture to Ecru, adolescent fart jokes are the only answer. ;)

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 6:28 pm

        OK 2 points for you. You did catch me in some poor phrasing there.

        But my answer to Ecru is pretty much sums up my opinion:
        I’m not sure how you example doesn’t reinforce what’s meant by attacking the Star of David. The Irish Republicans consider Great Britain an illegitimate union. The anti-Zionists consider Israel and illegitimate country / people. In neither case does it have anything to do with specific acts.

      • Ecru
        December 18, 2013, 2:00 am

        @ JeffB

        The Irish Republicans consider Great Britain an illegitimate union.

        Really? I do? Yes Jeff, you’re lecturing an Irish Republican on what it is to be an Irish Republican and making a fool of yourself in the process all over again.

        First off Great Britain ≠ United Kingdom. Great Britain is the ISLAND of Britain not the political unit created by the Act of Union. Ulster CAN’T be part of Great Britain without some serious geological engineering that at the moment Jeff is well beyond human, and yes even Israeli, capabilities. We’ll worry about being part of Great Britain when that’s no longer the case. OK?

        Now to the Union Jack. When I see the flag of the UK being insulted Jeffy Baby I actually KNOW it’s not the “Act of Union” that’s being deplored – it’s the ACTIONS of the UK that’s being denigrated. We don’t give a flying f@ck if Scotland, Wales and England want to be in a Union – that’s their business. Hell most of us aren’t even that bothered these days that Ulster is still under UK rule funnily enough. Yes we’re Republicans and would prefer Ulster be welcomed into the rest of the Republic but it’s no longer the burning issue it once was. And do you know why Jeff? Because the Republican Community in Ulster’s getting treated better these days. Actually like human beings, not like Israeli Jews treat Palestinians.

        And yes they are insulting the Australia, New Zealand… who see themselves as part of the British commonwealth.

        Funny that because I’ve never heard of ANY Australian or New Zealander complain about it. EVER! And considering I’ve friends in Australia and New Zealand I’d have thought I would have. In fact one of the players at the Irish music session I used to play in was a New Zealander and he had NO trouble with it at all. Absolutely none.

        And as an FYI – if insulting the Union Jack was offensive to nations based simply on them being part of the Commonwealth that would be an awful lot of nations none of whom have ever shown ANY offence.

        It wasn’t about specific issues they wanted a permanent divorce.

        And a big reason we WANTED the divorce were the actions. How dense do you have to be not to see that?

        It had nothing to do with massacres, even without the massacres they didn’t want to be part of Great Britain

        Considering the massacres go back to the very beginning of British dominion in Ireland that’s an impossible claim to make. Silly in fact. Do you need another visit from the Colonel?

        If they just wanted to complain about England they would be using the flag of England (which just has the cross of Saint George) and not the Union Jack

        How on earth do you come to that conclusion? Do you know just make this stuff up? Ah Bandkeramik – of course you do.

        The Irish Republicans consider Great Britain an illegitimate union.

        Again? No we don’t. Simple as that. We don’t like Ulster being part of the Union, but can live with it for now (we ARE the demographic threat after all) and would rather it wasn’t, but the core of the Union, England Scotland, Wales, isn’t any of our business.

        anti-Zionists consider Israel and illegitimate country / people. In neither case does it have anything to do with specific acts.

        Speaking as both an Irish Republican AND an anti-Zionist it has EVERYTHING to do with specific acts. You’re simply sticking your fingers in your ears and pretending you can’t hear anything doesn’t change that.

        And you have failed to address the Christian aspect I raised. Wonder why. But at least try and answer this time – how come the Star of David (religious symbol) can ONLY be a symbol of ALL Jews, irrespective of context, and yet the Cross (religious symbol) isn’t the symbol of ALL Christians. Even though every denomination of Christians I know of uses the Cross as a symbol of their faith? When the cross is so deeply embedded in Christianity that when Rachel Weisz wore one for a photo shoot the Jewish press raised its collective eyebrows at this flagrant use of another faiths religious symbol? When you yourself state,

        the west is Christian my western heritage is a Christian heritage and there is no way to disentangle Western / American culture from Christian culture.

    • American
      December 15, 2013, 11:10 am

      ”And if it is not antisemitic, one can experience it as antisemitic without being inventive or paranoid”…yonah

      How you ‘experience’ it is your personal problem isnt it?
      You dont get to define what anti semitism is for others.

      EU drops its ‘working definition’ of anti-Semitism

      link to timesofisrael.com
      December 7 –

      ”Fundamental Rights Agency had previously defined the term to include the vilification of Israel or Israelis .”

      ”We are not aware of any official definition [of anti-Semitism],” Blanca Tapia of the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency told JTA on Tuesday .”

      ”The European Union’s designated racism watchdog says it has no such definition and no plans to create one.”

    • Hostage
      December 15, 2013, 11:30 am

      attacking Roger Waters is ultimately rational.

      But why even bring him up in the context of the ASA academic boycott? The ASA boycott is not a “cultural” one that prevents scholars from working with individual colleagues in Israel or here in the US on the basis of national origin.

      Waters is not boycotting all of “the Jews,” but he certainly is participating in a voluntary cultural boycott of Israel. Unlike the ASA boycott, it does apply to everyone there on the basis of their national origin, without regard to their individual beliefs. It’s obviously not antisemitic, since the goal is to get Israel to comply with international law and universal principles of human rights for everyone.

      • marksjo1
        December 15, 2013, 2:30 pm

        The reason to bring up Roger Waters is that he wrote a note in support of the ASA position and supporters of that position, like Prof. Salaita himself, trumpeted that support. If you look at the tweet Prof. Salaita links to you’ll see how it came up (that is, Prof. Salaita brought it up, and if you look at the interview that my tweet links, you’ll see why Prof. Salaita, Electronic Intifada, and Mondoweiss probably shouldn’t be as excited as they seem to be about Waters (not sure why his support would be that exciting either way, but people who take seriously the allegation that a powerful Jewish lobby in the music industry may be out to kill them are probably not people you want to hoist up as trophies).

      • Hostage
        December 15, 2013, 3:39 pm

        Hostage: But why even bring him up in the context of the ASA academic boycott?

        marksjo1: Prof. Salaita brought it up, and if you look at the interview that my tweet links, you’ll see why Prof. Salaita, Electronic Intifada, and Mondoweiss probably shouldn’t be as excited as they seem to be about Waters

        My rhetorical question was addressed to Prof. Salaita. I have no problem with people being excited about Waters position, but he is just a supporter of the ASA academic boycott, not a participant.

    • yonah fredman
      December 15, 2013, 11:01 pm

      Sorry for the fatigue induced mistake: I meant to write “Roger Waters is incapable of rational discourse”. I commented on this regarding Waters mentioning Nazi Germany (not circa 1938, but circa 1939-45) in this recent post: link to mondoweiss.net

      • Talkback
        December 16, 2013, 8:38 am

        Sorry for the fatigue induced mistake: I meant to write “Roger Waters is incapable of rational discourse”.

        Hasbara’s irrationality can be very tyring. Here is something to wake you up:
        “[We’ve become] a brutal occupation force similar to the Germans in World War II,”
        link to m.democracynow.org

        I actually consider it to be a form of denial, if Nazi crimes are reduced to the crimes they commited against Jews in general, or their genocide against Jews in particular just to divert from the similiar brutality of both occupiers.

  6. just
    December 15, 2013, 9:54 am

    ” Roger Waters is incapable of irrational discourse”

    Agreed.

    • Citizen
      December 15, 2013, 10:03 am

      @ just
      Yep, pretty obvious who is irrational here, and it ain’t Waters:

      “Roger Waters is incapable of irrational discourse and attacking Roger Waters is ultimately rational.”
      If Waters in not capable of irrational discourse, then by logical deduction Waters is limited to rational discourse. So attacking Waters’s POV, again by logic, is ultimately irrational. That means you, yonah. Defending Zionism is an irrational enterprise. Either the good applies universally, or it’s no good.

  7. SFVGirl
    December 15, 2013, 10:38 am

    Please accept the consequences of your actions and beliefs. It is cowardly and disingenuous to deny what you say you want. If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews. Me thinks thou doth protesteth much. Despite the Ph.D., you appear to know no history of so many other boycotts against Jews & their institutions and commercial entities. How embarrassing for you and your fellows in the Humanities professoriate. What you are calling did is right-wing and fascistic, not progressive and multicultural. Own if.

    • lyn117
      December 15, 2013, 3:34 pm

      If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews.

      If by boycotting Israel you boycott Jews, then I guess you are claiming there are no non-Jewish citizens of Israel. That there are no non-Jewish “nationals” of “Israel” seems to be official Israeli policy. This is certainly a racist attitude (on your part) and racist policy (on Israel’s part). Since the Palestinian Arabs are the native people of the land Israel claims, it’s doubly racist.

      By the way, the BDS movement does not endorse a blanket boycott of Israeli citizens, even of Jewish ones. So even if all Israeli citizens were Jews, the boycott would not be against Jews.

    • Hostage
      December 15, 2013, 4:37 pm

      Please accept the consequences of your actions and beliefs. It is cowardly and disingenuous to deny what you say you want. If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews.

      Yeah, but this article explains why that still doesn’t amount to a boycott of “the Jews”. Israel doesn’t even symbolically represent all of the Jews.

      • just
        December 15, 2013, 4:43 pm

        exactly, Hostage.

        btw– Israel is the “Jewish” state only in your and the zios’ dreams, SFV.

    • Cliff
      December 15, 2013, 4:44 pm

      @SFVGIrl

      Look Zio, the ‘one and only’ Jewish State is boycotted because of it’s crimes against the indigenous population.

      If you think that State represents you, then you clearly support its policies. If you support its policies, then you are an abhorrent person. However, no one is boycotting you personally. Nor are they boycotting Israelis personally.

      No one is saying they will refuse to serve food to an Israeli or to a Jew.

      They are refusing to normalize relations with the apartheid, ‘one and only’ Jewish State.

      They are refusing to do business with the ‘one and only’ Jewish State when it brings its settlement products for sale.

      Etc.

      You ask your political opponents to own ‘it’ – what is ‘it’? Justice? Equal rights and not Jewish privilege and second-class citizenship for Palestinian Arabs and apartheid for the Palestinians of the OT?

      Sure, we’ll own ‘it’.

      Now YOU own up to your racism, Jewish supremacy, support for Jewish colonialism and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate.

    • Shmuel
      December 15, 2013, 4:59 pm

      If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews

      So what you are saying is that Jews (or at least self-appointed representatives of “the Jews”) cannot be held responsible for their actions. That sounds like racism to me.

      • Shingo
        December 15, 2013, 5:44 pm

        That sounds like racism to me.

        Yes, even a little touch of Protocols even.

    • Shingo
      December 15, 2013, 5:42 pm

      If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews.

      So let’s turn this around shall we? If you object to the boycott what you claim to be the the one & only Jewish state (there are no Christian states BTW), then we must assume you are endorsing mass murder, ethnic cleansing, land theft and human right violations so long as Jews carry it out.

      Despite the Ph.D., you appear to know no history of so many other boycotts against Jews & their institutions and commercial entities.

      Despite your hot air about the history of so many other boycotts against Jews, you fail ro mention even one. It is you that is supporting right wing fascism.

    • pabelmont
      December 15, 2013, 6:22 pm

      “If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott [o]f Jews. ” Hunh? come again?

      Apartheid as practiced by Israel is a matter of choice, not of Jewishness.

      Attacking a Jewish “X” is not attacking all Jews. Just as a prosecutor who prosecutes a Jewish mobster is not attacking all Jews. Jews don’t have to be mobsters, but some choose to be. Jews don’t have to be Zionists, but some choose to be.

      And — of importance to BDS and ASA — Jews don’t all choose to implement apartheid, but Israel and its academic institutions perform and/or support apartheid. Didn’t have to. Choose to. Voluntarily. And still choose to, though they could turn it around if they should choose to do that.

      Apartheid as practiced by Israel is a matter of choice, not of Jewishness.

      Israel is the creation of people, mostly non-religious before 1948, who did and are still doing some terrible things. Yes, they were/are Jews. But not all Jews before 1967 supported Israel or considered themselves Zionists, and many still (or now) don’t as well.

      If you are Jewish and a non-Zionist, you are saying, as I would say, “Hey, guys and gals, you got it wrong. You may be Jewish, but Jews can make mistakes. You made dreadful mistakes, Some of these mistakes are also crimes.”

      And that’s all BDS says, and all ASA’s proposed boycott on Israeli educational institutions says.

      • just
        December 15, 2013, 6:28 pm

        well said.

    • eljay
      December 15, 2013, 7:11 pm

      >> Please accept the consequences of your actions and beliefs.

      This is something Zio-supremacist Jews really need to learn to do.

      >> If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews.

      At most, it would be a boycott of Israeli Jews. Jews who are citizens of states elsewhere in the world are not affected.

      The bigger issue is the whole concept of and ideology behind an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”. And its past crimes of terrorism and ethnic cleansing. And its 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction and murder. And its refusal to be held accountable for its past and on-going (war) crimes. And its refusal to honour its obligation under international law. And its refusal to enter into sincere negotiations for a just an mutually-beneficial peace.

    • SQ Debris
      December 16, 2013, 11:33 am

      “If you call for a boycott of the one & only Jewish state, and only that one state, then it is by definition a boycott if Jews.”

      There is one and only one nation singled out to be the top recipient of U.S. foreign aid. There is one and only one nation singled out to be recipient of the most lethal weapons that the U.S. government has created. There is one and only one nation whose crimes are protected by the majority of U.S. Security Council vetoes ever cast, stymieing the will of the international community and the application of international law. Prioritizing action against that entity can not be cast as anything but humanist engagement against a super-power enabled criminal enterprise. Israel is singled out all right, in all the wrong ways, and has been for decades. Now, in the absence of responsible government policy, civil society is targeting that nation for boycott. Amen.

  8. amigo
    December 15, 2013, 11:40 am

    “David Greenberg, a Rutgers professor and New Republic writer, proclaims, “For the ASA to claim it opposes anti-Semitism while simultaneously backing efforts to isolate and delegitimize the Jewish state just doesn’t pass the smell test.””

    But it is not the Jewish State.It is the State of Israel.The State of ALL it,s citizens.

    Is it not????.

  9. BrianEsker
    December 15, 2013, 12:35 pm

    “boycott of Israeli academic institutions isn’t about “the Jews.” It’s about the racism Zionists visit on Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people, using the imprimatur of cultural autonomy to justify settler colonization. ”

    Bullshit.. That’s why there are never less than 60 Arabs working alongside Jews interning at Hadassah Hospital at any one time to complete their qualifications as doctors. And another thing…..Jews are indigenous to the Middleast. So Israel is not a “colonization.”

    Suck it up.

    • Hostage
      December 15, 2013, 4:29 pm

      Bullshit.. That’s why there are never less than 60 Arabs working alongside Jews interning at Hadassah Hospital at any one time to complete their qualifications as doctors. And another thing…..Jews are indigenous to the Middleast. So Israel is not a “colonization.”

      Last I heard Hadassah Hospital is bankrupt and laying off staff because it can’t afford to pay them. It’s practices are hardly indicative of the standard employed by the rest of Israeli society to separate the Jewish and Arab sectors in other functional areas or for the hundreds of ethnic Jewish communities in Israel proper or in occupied Palestine.

      The Israelis are colonizers in the modern State of Palestine in any event. FYI, Demographic expert U.O. Schmelz highlighted the fact that the indigenous Jews of 19th century Palestine died-off faster than they reproduced. So they couldn’t even maintain their meager population even then, without foreign immigration. For example:

      The salient finding was the enormous mortality among the Jews of Jerusalem at that time, which caused a marked deficit in their natural rate of increase notwithstanding high nuptiality and, apparently, great fertility. Under these circumstances, the maintenance and gradual increase of the numbers of Jews in Jerusalem were entirely due to migratory reinforcements, i.e. to ‘aliya.

      See U.O. Schmelz Demographic Research of the Jerusalem
      and Hebron Regions Towards the End of the Ottoman Period, in David Kushner, Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation, BRILL, 1986, page 363.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 3:03 pm

        A lot of the mortality was “helped along” by Arab attacks.

        As to the “gradual increase in the numbers of Jews in Jerusalem”, it’s not so. Jews were a majority population there in 1871, when William H. Seward, who served as President Abraham Lincoln’s Secretary of State, visited there.

        He wrote: “Mohammedans are four thousand, and occupy the northeast quarter, including the whole area of the Mosque of Omar. The Jews are eight thousand, and have the southeast quarter. These two quarters overhang the Valley of Jehoshaphat and the brook Kedron. The Armenians number eighteen hundred, and have the southwest quarter; and the other Christians, amounting to twenty-two hundred, have the northwest quarter, which overlooks the Valley of Hinnom….” Note that the Jewish population in 1871 was double any other group in the Old City.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 4:17 pm

        As to the “gradual increase in the numbers of Jews in Jerusalem”, it’s not so.

        Once again, I’m citing Jewish experts on the subject of demography who used the available Ottoman and Montifiore census data, i.e. U.O. Schmelz Demographic Research of the Jerusalem and Hebron Regions Towards the End of the Ottoman Period, in David Kushner, Palestine in the Late Ottoman Period: Political, Social, and Economic Transformation, & etc.

        I’ve pointed out elsewhere that there was large population of alien Jewish “Protégés” who were not Ottoman subjects at all, and that they could hardly be considered indigenous.

        Secretary Seward was perfectly well aware of the fact that the numbers he reported included many Jews who were US citizens living in Palestine.

    • RoHa
      December 15, 2013, 10:09 pm

      “Jews are indigenous to the Middleast.”

      Arab Jews are, but Polish Jews aren’t.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 3:11 pm

        “Arab Jews are, but Polish Jews aren’t.”

        The Palestinians say that all of the millions of descendents of the 330,000 original refugees should be granted the right of return. By your logic, are you saying the this shouldn’t include Palestinians residing in the US, France, England etc.? Wow! I never thought I would hear that from a BDS supporter!

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 3:56 pm

        The Palestinians say that all of the millions of descendents of the 330,000 original refugees should be granted the right of return.

        No they are not. They are saying that the descendants, who are registered as refugees with UNRWA, have a legal right to return.

        The Polish Jews weren’t refugees. Their rights as a Polish national ethnic minority were governed by a treaty deposited with the LoN. Even the Palestine Mandate noted that it did not prejudice their rights and political status. See for example “Rights of Minorities in Upper Silesia (Minority Schools), Germany v. Poland, link to worldcourts.com

        It dealt with the Geneva Convention concerning Upper Silesia. Articles 70 and 71 implemented the provisions regarding the rights and standing of Polish Jews contained in Articles 10 and 11 of the Versailles Minorities Treaty of June 28th, 1919. Jews like Bernheim vigorously defended their rights and there was a World Court case that dealt with the same subject. So there is realy no reason why Palestinians should negotiate instead of going to the World Court too.

        Here is Prime Minister Clemenceau’s memo that was attached to the Polish Minority Rights Treaty:

        This treaty does not constitute any fresh departure. It has for long been the established procedure of the public law of Europe that when a State is created, or when large accessions of territory are made to an established State, the joint and formal recognition of the Great Powers should be accompanied by the requirement that such States should, in the form of a binding International convention undertake to comply with certain principles of Government. In this regard I must recall for your consideration the fact that it is to the endeavors and sacrifices of the Powers in whose name I am addressing you that the Polish nation owes the recovery of its independence. It is by their decision that Polish sovereignty is being restored over the territories in question, and that the inhabitants of these territories are being incorporated into the Polish nation…. …There rests, therefore, upon these Powers an obligation, which they cannot evade, to secure in the most permanent and solemn form guarantees for certain essential rights which will afford to the inhabitants the necessary protection, whatever changes may take place in the internal constitution of the Polish State.’

        See Sovereignty, Stephen D. Krasner, Princeton University Press, 1999, ISBN 069100711X, page 92-93 link to books.google.com

        So they were Polish Jews, not Palestinian Jews.

      • MHughes976
        December 17, 2013, 3:53 pm

        Everyone is indigenous where they were born, in the normal use of words, I think, though of course you may both inherit rights from parents born elsewhere and renounce rights that you have by birth.

    • talknic
      December 16, 2013, 12:55 am

      @BrianEsker //“boycott of Israeli academic institutions isn’t about “the Jews.” It’s about the racism Zionists visit on Palestinians in the name of the Jewish people, using the imprimatur of cultural autonomy to justify settler colonization. ”//

      “That’s why there are never less than 60 Arabs working alongside Jews interning at Hadassah Hospital at any one time to complete their qualifications as doctors. ”

      Uh? How TF is that why? Your comment is complete nonsense

      “And another thing…..Jews are indigenous to the Middleast.

      Chinese Jews? Sophie Okonedo? Japanese Jews? Kaifeng Jews? Australian Aboriginal Jews?

    • adele
      December 16, 2013, 6:38 pm

      There were black doctors in Apartheid era South Africa too. Does that erase or mitigate the fact that apartheid was a legal doctrine violently enforced by the white-dominated government? Nelson Mandela was a lawyer by profession, relatively privileged in comparison to the majority that toiled for low wages, yet he was a leader in the anti-apartheid movement. Please go back to the hasbara drawing board and try again.

  10. gracie fr
    December 15, 2013, 1:18 pm

    …All one has to do is dare look at the current tragedy (flooding, sewage, lack of power) which is Gaza to view in plain sight how the “us” is treating “them”…..

    • Allan
      December 17, 2013, 3:24 pm

      The only “us” mistreating “them” is Hamas! The only reason Gaza has no power is because Hamas refuses to pay reasonable prices for gas and insists on paying 1/4 of what Israelis themselves pay. If they would spend a little less on missiles and bullets and stop wasting concrete on terror tunnels, maybe their people could live in more decent conditions.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 4:48 pm

        The only “us” mistreating “them” is Hamas!

        Israel destroyed 28,000 homes during Operation Cast Lead and has prevented construction materials needed for repairs of infrastructure or new construction from entering the strip in violation of UN Resolutions, which call for the unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

        IDF soldiers have stated that they were ordered to deliberately destroy homes that posed no threat. FYI, the Nuremberg Tribunal hanged General Alfred Jodl for a similar crime, involving the deliberate destruction of 30,000 homes.

      • talknic
        December 17, 2013, 5:05 pm

        @Allan What’s in you bag of straw…

        “The only “us” mistreating “them” is Hamas!”

        Uh huh. Israel hasn’t ever bombed the crap out of Gaza? AMAZING!

        “The only reason Gaza has no power is because Hamas ..”

        The Occupying Power is responsible for all shortfall in necessities in Occupied Territories

        “.. insists on paying 1/4 of what Israelis themselves pay”

        Source… thx I’ll wait

        “If they would spend a little less on missiles “

        They wouldn’t even have very inneffective home made rockets

        “stop wasting concrete on terror tunnels”

        There’s only Israeli evidence Hamas allegedly built ONE tunnel. By where it went, it was far more likely built by illegal Israeli settlers prior to the so called disengagement. Such a large investment by Hamas on a ‘use once only tunnel’ just doesn’t add up.

        “maybe their people could live in more decent conditions”

        They’re under occupation by the arrogant land coveting State of Israel

      • just
        December 17, 2013, 5:12 pm

        And.. kerpow.

        Another one bites the dust. Well done, talknic.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 5:13 pm

        @talnik –

        Gaza is not occupied territory, it is independently governed territory. And yes I know the Zionism is Racism institution doesn’t agree.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 5:45 pm

        Gaza is not occupied territory, it is independently governed territory.

        You don’t seem to have a clue. Article 7 of the Geneva Convention allows any occupying power to enter into special agreements to govern through local indigenous officials. That doesn’t mean they are no longer occupied.

        Israel has placed large buffer zones inside Gaza, its territorial waters, and its airspace. They are all under the effective control and jurisdiction of the IDF. It also still controls its borders and the Palestinian population registry. So long as Gazan territory remains subject to any IDF jurisdiction or control the territory can be considered occupied.

      • just
        December 17, 2013, 5:51 pm

        omg. JB– you are seriously deluded to the point where you are lying outright.

        Of course Gaza is Occupied by Israel and her thugs.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 7:58 pm

        There is an interesting exchange on the UN website at link to unispal.un.org:

        Question: …A year and half after the last Israeli withdrew from Gaza, the UN system still refers to Gaza as an Occupied Palestinian Territory. The only people who are not Palestinian in Gaza currently are UN people. Do you mean that Gaza is occupied by the UN?

        Spokesperson: Definitely not.

        Question: So who is it occupied by?

        Spokesperson: Well…

        Correspondent: I think there are some Israeli soldiers on the border…

        Question: Not borders, who is Gaza occupied by?

        Spokesperson: Traditionally, this is the terminology we have used. Yes?

        Question: But the situation on the ground changed since Israel withdrew from Gaza.

        Spokesperson: I will look into this.

        Correspondent: Thank you.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 7:59 pm

        @Hostage –
        (reply up a level)
        I don’t think anyone will believe that Hamas is Israel’s local governing authority in Gaza. Whatever you can accuse Hamas of, being an Israeli stooge is not on the list. They are an independent government.

        A partial occupation does not an occupation make. Otherwise Cuba would be occupied territory. As far as the trade stuff, that’s Gaza under blockade not occupation. Two countries are going at it and one is blockading the other. That isn’t occupation.

      • Hostage
        December 18, 2013, 12:04 am

        I don’t think anyone will believe that Hamas is Israel’s local governing authority in Gaza Whatever you can accuse Hamas of, being an Israeli stooge is not on the list. They are an independent government. A partial occupation does not an occupation make.

        A “partial” occupation certainly does trigger Israel’s obligations under the Geneva Conventions and the applicable protocols. It never mattered for example, whether or not Israel occupied all of the territory on the East Bank of Jordan too.

        Whenever the Israeli armed forces are conducting blockades or other operations on any territory beyond the Green Line and they are wounding or capturing civilians the IHL in the Geneva Conventions and Protocols apply right then and there, whether the rest of that entity’s territory is occupied or not. BTW the IDF has used its effective control over all of Gaza’s airspace to carry-out extra-judicial killings and according to the Supreme Court, its authority to do that is grounded in public international law, including the Geneva Conventions. So it obviously is still exercising jurisdiction over the territory and still has the corresponding legal obligations that “come with the territory” as they say.

        I don’t think anyone will believe that Hamas is Israel’s local governing authority in Gaza.

        The special agreements in article 7 of GCIV do not transform a belligerent occupation into an armistice occupation. Israel and the US both recognize Hamas as the de facto local government and have even negotiated cease fires with the regime and demanded that it comply with agreements on crossings & etc., and comply with international law.

        In point of fact, I’ve always thought the Bush administration and Israel deliberately provoked the preemptive coup in Gaza when their efforts to pressure Abbas and the PLO into adopting a no confidence measure and remove Haniyeh had failed. A Fatah Commander interviewed for the Vanity Fair Gaza Bombshell article felt the same way. “You know, he said, since the takeover, we’ve been trying to enter the brains of Bush and Rice, to figure out their mentality. We can only conclude that having Hamas in control serves their overall strategy, because their policy was so crazy otherwise.” link to vanityfair.com

        That all corresponds very well the idea revealed in Wikileaks cables where Hamas is simply Israel’s excuse de jour. Israel says Abbas can either reconcile with Hamas or have peace with Israel, but not both. In the meantime Israel negotiates with Hamas through intermediaries over the terms of cease fires and prisoner exchanges. All that simply drags out and delays any possibility of a 2 state solution.

        Wikileaks revealed that Military Intelligence Director, Amos Yadlin told the US government that Israel would be “happy” if Hamas took over Gaza because the IDF could then deal with Gaza as a hostile state. link to wikileaks.ch

      • Hostage
        December 18, 2013, 12:30 am

        There is an interesting exchange on the UN website

        A territory is considered occupied whenever a foreign military exercises “effective control”. There is also a principle of international law which says that any military blockade of a territory is automatically illegal, unless it is also “effective”. So you really can’t have it both ways fellas.

        There was an answer supplied to the question that you probably won’t like, which is that the UN Security Council and the General Assembly have both stated that Gaza is still part of the Occupied Palestinian territory, or the territory occupied by Israel since 1967 – and that those resolutions have force and effect in international law. The Security Council resolution recognized the effects of the blockade and called on all parties to facilitate the free movement of humanitarian aid.

        In any event the UN Legal Affairs Section has advised that UN organs will continue to consider Gaza to be occupied territory until the Security Council or the General Assembly say otherwise.
        See UN: We still consider Gaza “occupied” link to youtube.com

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 10:40 pm

        Replying to Talknic:
        Since 2005, Hamas has fired more than 8000 rockets into Israel. Do you really expect Israel to just sit idly by and let it happen?

        Source for gas comment: See link to nytimes.com

        “Hamas has since refused the $1.62 per liter price, insisting on paying no more than 79 cents per liter, Mr. Bessisso said. Instead, it closed the plant. ”

        The current price of gas in Israel is about 7.70 NIS per liter, which is equivalent to $2.19 per liter. Sorry – one quarter was a bit of an exaggeration. It’s actually closer to one third.

        Your suggestion that the tunnels were “more likely built by illegal Israeli settlers prior to the so called disengagement” is too mind bogglingly idiotic to merit a reply.

      • Hostage
        December 18, 2013, 2:26 am

        Replying to Talknic:
        Since 2005, Hamas has fired more than 8000 rockets into Israel.

        About the time that Galid Shalit was captured, Amos Harel and Haaretz had just reported that the IDF records indicated its artillery batteries deployed along the Gaza Strip border had fired more than 5100 shells at Gaza in six weeks time. That number alone eclipsed anything fired at Israel. See Amos Harel, May 14, 2006 “IDF has fired more than 5,100 shells at Gaza in six weeks” link to haaretz.com

        That’s before we even consider major Israeli offensives like Operations Cast Lead and Pillar of Defense.

        Even back then, UN Special Rapporteur John Dugard had summed-up the situation: Persons responsible for committing war crimes by the firing of shells and rockets into civilian areas without any apparent military advantage should be apprehended or prosecuted. This applies to Palestinians who fire Qassam rockets into Israel; and more so to members of the IDF who have committed such crimes on a much greater scale. link to unispal.un.org

        See also Dissecting IDF propaganda: The numbers behind the rocket attacks
        link to mondoweiss.net

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 9:15 pm

        Allan –

        Replying up a level. That exchange was perfect. That’s exactly the craziness. The UN is so warped that they can’t acknowledge that Israel left Gaza. The Gaza Palestinians have a state.

  11. JeffB
    December 15, 2013, 1:42 pm

    Basically what the author is saying is he doesn’t like the fact that he’s up against an opponent who can punch back. And certainly that’s the case with many human rights causes on the left. Argue against Saudi Arabian sexism and while there may be Americans who like the house of geopolitical or economic reasons few are on the left. Israel-Palestine is a case where leftwing activists have to deal with what leftwing politicians have to deal with in the broader public, people who think they cause is a bad cause and often that they are bad people for supporting it.

    The anti-Zionist cause uses very aggressive rhetoric. A domestic minority group finds that rhetoric threatening and offensive. The anti-Zionist’s lobby’s position is that they are going to use it anyway. Well what do you think is going to happen then?

    What do you think that Southern Conservative Politicians have to deal with when they are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm black people while trying to achieve some other objective and use some borderline racist language regarding African Americans? They get demonized in the press. What do you think happens to Western Conservatives when they are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm Hispanics while trying to achieve some other objective and use some borderline racist language regarding Hispanics? They get demonized in the press.

    So why do you think that when you as Liberals are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm Jews while trying to achieve a Palestinian state that using some borderline racist language regarding Jews is going to escape notice? Other countries don’t have their legitimacy attacked. People disagree with French policy they don’t disagree with the existence of France. People disagree with Russian policy, they don’t deny there is a Russian people and claim they should all move back to Poland. Of course there is a presupposition of antisemitism when you take such a strong position. Why wouldn’t there be?

    As for the rest I think there is a bit or irony here for example:

    that these scholars deploy innuendo, assumption, and slander to raise an argument in defense of Israel speaks to the irrational loyalty fostered by the rituals of Zionism.

    I’m assuming “the rituals of Zionism” means Judaism because Zionism itself is a political belief without many rituals. And what exactly with that line do you think you are doing but deploying innuendo?

    For a slander example:

    We have to work doubly hard to highlight the systemic oppression they support and celebrate.

    Nobody celebrates systemic oppression. No one. Oppression is a tool used to accomplish some other end that is seen as justifying the acts required to oppress. By accusing Zionists of “celebrating oppression” you are engaging in the very rhetoric you object to.

    ___

    If you want to avoid this sort of dialogue.

    1) Be extremely measured and fair.
    2) Always take Jewish sensitivity into account.

    If that seems like too much trouble, then obviously you consider the end worth engaging in language which America’s Jewish minority finds offensive and are justifying that based on how important you think your political objective with regard to Palestine is. It should be understandable to you how people might confuse that choice to not be sensitive with celebrating insensitivity.

    • lyn117
      December 15, 2013, 3:49 pm

      @JeffB,

      Since Zionism is a political movement premised ethnic cleansing, and Israel is premised on denial of rights (including the right to life but in particular the right to life and citizenship in their land of origin) to its native people, I have to question why Jews find anti-Zionist rhetoric offensive. It isn’t my image of Jews that they support ordering people from their homes, lining them up and shooting them, or confiscation of the land, homes, money, jewelry, factories and possessions of non-Jews and turning them over for Jewish-only use. That is the Zionist position, not the Jewish one, although Zionists don’t admit it and make every attempt to conflate Zionism with Judaism.

      Why Jews are offended by anti-Zionist rhetoric is beyond me. From your language, I gather you support the Zionist cause and thereby (you can’t get around it) the mass murder of innocent villagers and townspeople by which Israel was founded. Why? Why do you want all Jews everywhere to be labeled as ethnic cleansers and racists?

      • JeffB
        December 15, 2013, 8:11 pm

        @lyn117

        I gather you support the Zionist cause and thereby (you can’t get around it) the mass murder of innocent villagers and townspeople by which Israel was founded. Why? Why do you want all Jews everywhere to be labeled as ethnic cleansers and racists?

        A bit rhetoric but I think underneath it that’s a good question.

        I support Zionism because I believe that Judaism is uniquely unable to deal with Christianity. Because Judaism plays a central role in the Passion, Christians are unable to treat Judaism like any other group of “heathens” but instead project all sorts of theological, philosophical and psychological issues on to Jews. Which means Jews can never just melt into Christian countries and ever be truly at home. I think Zionism in helping Jews become a people like any other by making Israel a country like any other solves this existential problem.

        The rest of your question is basically that Zionism isn’t nice to Palestinians and do I support that. I do think Israel is participating in a tribal war on the usual basis of tribe X and tribe Y want land Z. I don’t think tribe X winning that war proves that they are racist against tribe Y, especially when tribe Y is of the same race as many of the people in X. So I rejection the characterization as racist.

        From a Jewish perspective it is therapeutic. Jews are getting to see politics from the Tzar’s point of view. Having been exactly where the Palestinians are though I think what they are going through is dreadful. The smart thing for them to do would be to do the equivalent of convert to Christianity, that is become loyal Israelis. I don’t think they are going to. So ultimately, if they survive as a people after Palestine, they seem destined to experience history from the Jewish point of view and come to understand why the Jews were so desperate to do what they did in Palestine.

        The question is not why do you support killing and ethnic cleansing? I don’t, Israelis don’t. But I think the Israelis are right that if in the end the Palestinians create the kinds of problems that Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian had with Jews then ultimately we are going to have use the same sorts of solutions that they used.

        I would love to have this phase of Israel’s history end tomorrow. Where Israelis of Palestinian descent participate in the life of Israel, marry and have babies with Israelis of Jewish descent to the point that there are no two people. I think Zionism supports that. And I think humanism supports that. And I think Israel would support that.

        Right now the Palestinians don’t support that.

      • Memphis
        December 16, 2013, 2:16 pm

        Geez, Jews sure seem at home in Canada and the U.S

        They are quite successful in these countries too, I might add.

        And isn’t it odd that more and more young Israeli’s feel more at home in Berlin and other European countries than they do in their so-called homeland

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 6:37 pm

        @Memphis

        I’ll stand by the history on this topic. There have been other times and places that were good for Jews and then things got nasty a century or two later.

        I live in the USA and I’ve had very few instances of anti-Semitism in my life. It’s been very comfortable. But I’m well aware it is a Christian country.

        Reformed Judaism if you think about it takes the forms and social structures of a Protestant denomination and applies them to Judaism, thus making Judaism into “just another denomination”. Conservative Judaism copied it in that. The forms of Judaism that thrived in the United States are mainline Protestantism for Jews. I didn’t live in the generation of Jews that had Christmas trees to fit in, but that wasn’t coming from nothing. There is a good book by an Dr. Brodkin on this transformation in America, How Jews Became White Folks

        I didn’t make aliyah. But I’m very very happy I have the option. And isn’t it funny how when there are threads talking about AIPAC the liberals get worried about blowback?

      • Hostage
        December 16, 2013, 4:46 pm

        Because Judaism plays a central role in the Passion, Christians are unable to treat Judaism like any other group of “heathens” but instead project all sorts of theological, philosophical and psychological issues on to Jews. . . . Christians are unable to treat Judaism like any other group of “heathens”

        You can’t be talking about western secular societies, because this is certainly not “an existential problem” and Christians have no such powers. I’d also point out that many Jews take great delight in being enemies of “idolaters” and “that man,” while they are not busy running around spouting shit like this and “projecting” their own bigotry on to the Christians who have long-since moved on.

        I happen to know plenty of them in the USA who think that he was sent to his own (i.e. mankind) and that despite the fact that they all rejected and killed him (i.e. both the Romans and the Jews) he forgave them – and taught them to love their enemies. BTW, as a secular skeptic I think that neither the Christians nor the Jews should ever be allowed to create “States” to solve their imagined problems.

      • JeffB
        December 16, 2013, 6:43 pm

        @Hostage

        No I’m not talking about mostly secular societies like Israel. I’m talking about deeply religious societies like the United States where we both live.

        For example
        87% claim religion is an import part of their life
        81% of Americans believe in an afterlife, with another 9% uncertain
        79% believe the soul is eternal,
        77% are Christian, 50% consider themselves absolutely committed to Christianity / Christ
        69% believe in all knowing, all powerful creator
        60% believe the bible is infallible in all of its teachings (which if they read it does not support the rather cavalier positions you attribute to them)
        28% reject any notion of salvation apart from Christ (i.e. doesn’t matter how good you are, you go to hell).

        link to barna.org

        ___

        You are a bit odd. You spend a great deal of time for month (years) on end arguing that Jewish religion led people to do stuff that’s threatening to non Jews while dismissing the possibility that any other faith has similar problems.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 1:44 pm

        @Hostage No I’m not talking about mostly secular societies like Israel. I’m talking about deeply religious societies like the United States where we both live.

        Israel is officially non-secular, because the religious courts there have been granted a monopoly (exclusive jurisdiction) to determine an individual’s personal legal status:

        Religious Courts

        While military and Labor courts are not exclusive to the Israeli legal system, the Religious Courts are. The Israeli legal system is unique among modern legal systems in the utilization of various personal status laws in the area of family law, applied by religious courts.

        link to mfa.gov.il

        Obviously you have to resort to polls from barna.org, because US government websites offer you such slim pickings. In this country we enjoy freedom from religious coercion. Our society hasn’t adopted an official religion or granted ethnic religious cults any exclusive role in government. Our Courts have prevented our lawmakers from granting any exclusive franchise or monopoly power over others to any religious group for more than a hundred and fifty years.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 1:51 pm

        @Hostage –

        Replying up a level. Your argument was that American society is secular and thus the people didn’t hold certain theological position. Your argument was not that the American legal system is non-discriminatory. Those are two very different concepts.

        So absolutely the US government isn’t in the business of taking a census of religious opinion, that’s Barna’s business. But that has no impact on whether the American culture is secular or not.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 2:31 pm

        @Hostage –

        Replying up a level. Your argument was that American society is secular and thus the people didn’t hold certain theological position. Your argument was not that the American legal system is non-discriminatory. Those are two very different concepts.

        Says you. You are forgetting the legal system governs the society you are talking about – even to the point of sending in the troops to desegregate the schools in Little Rock, Arkansas and to remove Alabama’s Governor Wallace from the schoolhouse door.

        Why don’t you just drop the pilpul and the flim-flam? I ain’t gonna pass without comment. In Israel Judaism is used as an excuse to keep the Jewish and Arab sectors legally segregated in areas like education and deny Arabs full participation in the political;, social, and economic life of their own country.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 3:35 pm

        As opposed to, say, Saudi Arabia, where Islam ensures that non-Moslems have no rights?, Or Egypt, Syria, Kenya, etc. etc. where Christians are being killed or forced to convert at gunpoint, and their churches destroyed?

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 4:37 pm

        As opposed to, say, Saudi Arabia, where Islam ensures that non-Moslems have no rights?, Or Egypt, Syria, Kenya, etc. etc. where Christians are being killed or forced to convert at gunpoint, and their churches destroyed?

        Non-Muslims in Egypt do have rights. FYI, when Egyptian authorities committed human rights violations against demonstrators, I did write an article here at Mondoweiss which explained that the law would require a cutoff of foreign and military aid. The same law applies to Israel which has done the same things, but still manages to somehow obtain funding increases from our government.

        All of the countries you mention have had their human rights abuses condemned by the UN, the treaty bodies, and those of us here at Mondoweiss. But none of them asked the Great Powers for assistance in colonizing another people’s territory to establish their national home or resorted to the UN for help in establishing a state in another people’s country. There were terms and conditions that came along with that assistance, including the requirement that the Jewish national home be established in accordance with the requirements of public international law.

      • RoHa
        December 16, 2013, 7:36 pm

        “Which means Jews can never just melt into Christian countries and ever be truly at home.”

        They could stop being Jews. It would be “the smart thing to do”.

        “I think Zionism in helping Jews become a people like any other by making Israel a country like any other solves this existential problem.”

        First you need to be clear about what you mean by “a people”, and then work out in what way Jews are to be “like any other.” Are Australians “a people like any other”? If so, Australian Jews (who are surely part of the Australian people) are already members of “a people like any other”. Israel is not necessary.

        “The smart thing for them to do would be to do the equivalent of convert to Christianity, that is become loyal Israelis. I don’t think they are going to.”

        If Israel became a state for all its citizens, and the Palestinians were full, equal, citizens, why wouldn’t they be loyal?

        “But I think the Israelis are right that if in the end the Palestinians create the kinds of problems that Vespasian, Trajan, Hadrian had with Jews then ultimately we are going to have use the same sorts of solutions that they used.”

        That’s because you think that Jews are more important than Palestinians.

        “Where Israelis of Palestinian descent participate in the life of Israel, marry and have babies with Israelis of Jewish descent to the point that there are no two people. I think Zionism supports that.”

        Not the Zionism that we have seen in action. That Zionism supports Jewish supremacy and domination.

        “And I think humanism supports that. And I think Israel would support that. ”

        No sign of Israeli support for that.

        “Right now the Palestinians don’t support that.”

        They supported that in the 1930s, but the Zionists rejected it. And Israel isn’t supporting it now.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 3:02 pm

        @RoHa

        They could stop being Jews. It would be “the smart thing to do”.

        RoHa if I had been around after or during the 3 Roman wars I would have been opposed. I think we lost a lot for circumcision and trying to deny the right of Roman soldiers to have eagles on their flag. We did the dumb thing, I freely admit it.

        First you need to be clear about what you mean by “a people”, and then work out in what way Jews are to be “like any other.

        I’d use: a large aggregate of homo sapiens united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular territory.

        Are Australians “a people like any other”? If so, Australian Jews (who are surely part of the Australian people) are already members of “a people like any other”. Israel is not necessary.

        For now yes. I’d agree. Israel is not necessary for Australian Jews in 2013. Up until a few years ago Venezuelan Jews were part of the Venezuelan people. Then Chavez came to power and suddenly they were an enemy 5th column and most of them fled to Israel. Israel was necessary for them. Israel doesn’t seem as necessary now because there just aren’t that many Jews left in non-israeli countries. With the exception of the American Jews, Jews have been rescued from all over the planet.

        If Israel became a state for all its citizens, and the Palestinians were full, equal, citizens, why wouldn’t they be loyal?

        Why would you expect that to solve the problem? The southern whites during the civil war were always before and after full equal citizens. Catalans have full equality and they still want out.

        For Palestinians, because they retain their Palestinian identity and thus the memory of the horrors of their dispossession they would view over 1/2 the population as racist colonizers who had no right to be there and would expect their state to defend them against their internal enemy. Not a good situation likely, crack out the Zyklon B. Or alternatively in the new Islamic identify that’s developing they would view them as a religious minority destined to be ruled by the muslim majority. etc…

        That’s because you think that Jews are more important than Palestinians.

        How do you think it advances this dialogue by making accusations which you know are false? What point do you think that one liner serves?

        [the Palestinians] supported [egalitarian democracy] in the 1930s, but the Zionists rejected it.

        What are you talking about? Do you know anything about the 1930s? The Arab League was working hard at the time to block Jewish immigration. The British throughout WWI and after prevented revolts by blocking Jewish immigration. Why do you think they were doing that? The Palestinians had several violent attacks against Zionists settlements. 1929 for example the Palestinians rioted against equal access for Jews to holy sights.

        I’d say if anything the 1920 riot is what started to put an end to the Zionist dream that the Palestinians would join them a socialist state. By the 1930s no one expected anything other than a violent ethnic war on either side. In 1936 they lost their first major war of extermination (there were flare ups earlier): link to en.wikipedia.org The later 1930s were a key turning point where the Zionists because of Palestinian hostility were able to mostly ally themselves with the British against the Palestinians.

        So no. Nothing like that remotely happened.

      • JeffB
        December 19, 2013, 9:35 am

        @Roha –

        Replying up a level since there is no reply button. You were arguing in this post that they Palestinians supported equality in the 1930s. You are now arguing they didn’t support it because they didn’t want invaders. If Zionists are invaders not citizens of equal worth then they can’t be equal. During the 1930s people were passing back and forth between the borders. There weren’t (yet though they were forming) hard lines between Palestinians and the people of neighboring countries. People who might migrate from Lebanon to Palestine are migrants. I wasn’t invading New Jersey when I moved here from California.

        “Invader” implies an illegitimacy. That would be like a white racist, saying “I support full legal equality for niggers”. The very use of the term “nigger” means they don’t support full equality.

        In the 1930s the issue was never the equality of the Jews already in Palestine. I don’t think the Palestinians were offering that, and believe it is easy to prove but ultimately it is irrelevant. What both sides were arguing about was the equality of those Jews not yet in Palestine. Even if the Palestinians were willing to have .2% of the Jewish population in a state of full equality what good does that do for the Jews of the world?

        As far as truth and reconciliation,

        I don’t know it’s false. It seems a reasonable deduction on the basis of your writings. Your concern seems to be with protecting Jews and advancing their cause, rather than justice for Palestinians,.

        That’s very different from me considering Palestinians to not be of equal worth. I work for company X. My job is to advance the interests of company X. If company X is competing with company Y I may be acting against company Y’s interests. That doesn’t mean I don’t in the abstract view X and Y as equal, I just happen to be on one team.

        I absolutely consider the Palestinians of equal worth. I don’t think justice is possible for them, every Israeli could get killed by aliens tomorrow and that would fall short of justice. Justice is off the table.

        What I would love is peace and prosperity for them. I’d love them to join in full equality in Israel as Israelis and I’d happily support raising their standard of living and working towards making their lives equal good with those of the Israelis.

        But even while believing they are of equal worth, if they are permanent enemies of Israel I’ll encourage Israel to crush them even to extinction. That’s the same reason I support most USA acts against Islamists. I don’t consider them not to be of equal worth, I do consider them enemies.

      • Hostage
        December 19, 2013, 5:06 pm

        You were arguing in this post that they Palestinians supported equality in the 1930s. You are now arguing they didn’t support it because they didn’t want invaders.

        Yes, they supported equal rights for the Jewish minority and an end to foreign Jewish immigration aimed at establishing a Jewish majority.

        For example, On September 29, 1947, the representative of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal Husseini, appeared before the General Assembly Ad Hoc Committee hearing on Palestine. He said:

        “The future constitutional organization of Palestine should be based on the following principles: first, establishment on democratic lines of an Arab State comprising all Palestine; secondly, observance by the said Arab State of Palestine of human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law; thirdly, protection by the Arab State of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities; fourthly, guarantee to all of freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.”

        link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

      • Ellen
        December 16, 2013, 8:12 pm

        JeffB, Zionism and the Israeli state does not tolerate miscegenation. Non Jews do not have the same legal rights. Israel will not tolerate Palestinians becoming permanent and loyal Israeli citizens. It could have happened, but Zionism would not and will not allow it. You know, the fear of loosing a Jewish identity for the state, blah blah.

        Your hopes cannot come to pass under Zionism.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 7:29 am

        @Ellen

        Zionism and the Israeli state does not tolerate miscegenation.

        Of course they do. Ashkenazi Jews and Sephardic Jews marry all the time in Israel. Palestinian Jews, which probably have 0 racial differences from other Palestinians marry freely. They’ve adopted the term Mizrahim Jews so as to indicate that racial arabs are to be fully embraced. The Israel’s government has worked hard to diminish racism in their society. They still have problems, like we do, but I’d argue they likely encourage “miscegenation”.

        Now what you probably really meant was not miscegenation ,which is about race, but rather that they don’t encourage marriage between people who identify with the state religion and those that reject the state religion. And they certainly don’t encourage that. On the other hand they tolerate it, you can see this in the Russian community where Russian Christians married to Jews who identify as Israelis and are loyal to Israel are welcomed. That’s a counter example to the racism / religious bigotry charge. Israel can tolerate people who want to become Israeli even if they aren’t willing to renounce Christ.

        Israel will not tolerate Palestinians becoming permanent and loyal Israeli citizens. It could have happened, but Zionism would not and will not allow it. You know, the fear of loosing a Jewish identity for the state

        I don’t see any reason why loyal Palestinians would have been a problem for Israel’s Jewish identity. Even the Palestinians in ’49 Israel have been mildly hostile not really loyal. The one in Jordan, Egypt, Syria and later Lebanon were outright enemies of the state. The ones in Gaza are incredibly hostile. The ones in the West Bank were friendly until the early 1980s, they were being assimilated into Israel, and then they became hostile and the situation has deteriorated for over a generation.

        I would agree that Israel has not been the best at bringing the Palestinians into the fold. That being said, I think the Israelis and the pre-Israeli Zionists have shown themselves open to friendly relations with the natives when when friendship was available. Had the Palestinians bought into Zionist socialism and joined with the Jews in seeing the Turkish as their common enemy you would be looking at a different situation. Had the Israeli Arabs embraced their Israeli citizenship (like those Russian Christians do) rather than tolerating it, I think there wouldn’t be a distinction even made between them and Israelis after 3 generations. Had the 1st intifada never happened you would be looking at a situation in the WestBank where WestBank Palestinians are freely participating in the economy, the educational system… of Israel. Had the 2nd intifada never happened you wouldn’t have Israel laying the groundwork for another round of ethnic cleansing (or possibly genocide).

        I can fully understand that because what happened to the Palestinians is completely unfair they aren’t willing to make the concessions required of an immigrant. But let’s be fair here. Israel is not willing to have a 5th column and the Palestinians are not willing to act like immigrants in what they perceive as their own country. Both sides are rejecting the other’s terms for Palestinians living in Israel as Israelis. Both sides are rejecting the other.

      • RoHa
        December 18, 2013, 7:27 pm

        if I had been around after or during the 3 Roman wars
        Eh? Jews can stop being Jews at any time. Even now.
        First you need to be clear about what you mean by “a people”, and then work out in what way Jews are to be “like any other”.
        I’d use: a large aggregate of homo sapiens united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular territory.

        On that basis, it looks as though the Zionists have created the Israeli people. Jews in general are still not “a people”, however.
        If Israel became a state for all its citizens, and the Palestinians were full, equal, citizens, why wouldn’t they be loyal?
        .. For Palestinians, because they retain their Palestinian identity and thus the memory of the horrors of their dispossession they would view over 1/2 the population as racist colonizers who had no right to be there and would expect their state to defend them against their internal enemy.

        Dealing with those sorts of things is what truth and reconciliation projects are for.
        That’s because you think that Jews are more important than Palestinians.
        How do you think it advances this dialogue by making accusations which you know are false?

        I don’t know it’s false. It seems a reasonable deduction on the basis of your writings. Your concern seems to be with protecting Jews and advancing their cause, rather than justice for Palestinians,.
        [the Palestinians] supported [egalitarian democracy] in the 1930s, but the Zionists rejected it.
        What are you talking about? …
        The later 1930s were a key turning point where the Zionists because of Palestinian hostility were able to mostly ally themselves with the British against the Palestinians.

        The hostility was the result of the refusal of the Zionists to become equal members of a Palestinian state. The Zionist made it clear that they intended to take over the land and set up a Jewish state. The Palestinians didn’t want any more invaders, but they were prepared for those who were already present to be full, equal, citizens of Palestine.

      • RoHa
        December 19, 2013, 9:23 pm

        The reply buttons on this thread do seem to be malfunctioning.

        I call them “invaders” because they were not immigrants prepared to become part of the country they moved into, but were planning to take it over and make it into another country.

        “What both sides were arguing about was the equality of those Jews not yet in Palestine. Even if the Palestinians were willing to have .2% of the Jewish population in a state of full equality what good does that do for the Jews of the world?”

        The Jews not yet in Palestine had no rights to live in Palestine. The people of Palestine had no special obligations to them. If those Jews did not have rights equal to those of their fellow citizens in their home countries, that was a matter for the home country.

      • JeffB
        December 20, 2013, 8:21 am

        @Roha –

        replying up a level

        I call them “invaders” because they were not immigrants prepared to become part of the country they moved into, but were planning to take it over and make it into another country.

        Which is a reasonable definition. I think you should consider this definition though with respect to the current BDS definition regarding return. If the one is an invader so is the other.

        The Jews not yet in Palestine had no rights to live in Palestine.

        Then you are point blank rejecting the Zionist claim. Which is a denial of equality. You are presupposing that there should be a Palestinian state and not a Jewish state. That’s not equality.

        The people of Palestine had no special obligations to them. If those Jews did not have rights equal to those of their fellow citizens in their home countries, that was a matter for the home country.

        Zionists argue there home country was Judea. I understand you think they are incorrect, but again you are presupposing they were wrong to prove they were wrong.

      • eljay
        December 16, 2013, 9:41 pm

        >> I think Zionism in helping Jews become a people like any other by making Israel a country like any other solves this existential problem.

        Jewish terrorism, the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homes and lands, the establishment of oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State”, and a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder helps Jews all over the world with their “existential problem”. Interesting.

        >> I do think Israel is participating in a tribal war on the usual basis of tribe X and tribe Y want land Z.

        Yeah, it’s just like Rapist A and Victim B squabbling over who gets to have her body. They’re both to blame.

        >> From a Jewish perspective it is therapeutic.

        Nothing says “therapeutic” like engaging in terrorism, ethnic cleansing, oppression, colonization, torture and murder. But, hey, as long as it makes Jews feel good about themselves…

        >> The question is not why do you support killing and ethnic cleansing? I don’t, Israelis don’t.

        And yet they keep doing it. Interesting.

        >> I would love to have this phase of Israel’s history end tomorrow. Where Israelis of Palestinian descent participate in the life of Israel, marry and have babies with Israelis of Jewish descent to the point that there are no two people. I think Zionism supports that. And I think humanism supports that. And I think Israel would support that.
        >> Right now the Palestinians don’t support that.

        Zionism cannot support it and neither can Israel. It would defeat the entire purpose of supremacist “Jewish State”.

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 9:52 am

        @eljay –

        Yes. Living like other nations helps Jews. They are undoing the same sort of nation state forming process that people’s all over the planet have engaged in and when completed it will allow the Jews to live like any other nation.

        I don’t agree with your characterization of Israel as being offensive rather than defensive. Israel’s support for the National Front for the Liberation of Angola was offensive. Israel’s work in Honduras and Costa Rica was offensive. Israel defending themselves against a hostile population that wants to dispossess them of their country is defensive though I have no problem calling the Palestinian resistance also defense. I see two people’s fighting for the same land. The Palestinians are a threat to Israel, people have a right to defend their home. I get that you believe that the Palestinians have a legitimate case and the Israelis don’t but that doesn’t change the nature of the conflict. You are just siding with the other team. The rapist analogy is simply grotesque.

        Zionism cannot support it and neither can Israel. It would defeat the entire purpose of supremacist “Jewish State”.

        When has Zionism ever declared itself in favor of supremacism? That’s you, who obviously hate the Israeli people, putting words in their mouth they never said nor even indicated they believe. Arguing that Israel can’t do X, because Israelis are bad and X is good is kinda silly.

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 11:56 am

        Ellen: Zionism and the Israeli state does not tolerate miscegenation.

        JeffB: Of course they do. (extended denial, diversions, dissimulation, and prevarication)

      • Sibiriak
        December 17, 2013, 1:31 pm

        JeffB:

        When has Zionism ever declared itself in favor of supremacism?

        Zionism is avowedly supremacist.

        Definitions:

        supremacist adj. characterized by belief in the supremacy of any particular group.

        supreme adj. 1. Greatest in power, authority, or rank; paramount or dominant.

        Zionism –the predominant political version — calls for a Jewish nation-state, that is, a state where a particular group–Jews–reign supreme.

        Having said that, it seems to me that “supremacist”is more a polemical term than an accurate descriptor.

        “Supremacist” has strong associations with concepts of racial superiority, not simply political/cultural dominance– as in “white supremacist”– so the term could be used to mischaracterize Zionism, which is not fundamentally based on notions of racial-superiority (which isn’t to say that notions of racial, ethnic, religious, cultural and/or civilizational superiority haven’t played and continue to play a role in actual Zionist thought and practice).

        I would prefer to describe Israel as an “ethnocratic state with theocratic and liberal-democratic elements”, in the same spirit as Israeli sociologist Baruch Kimmerling who wrote:

        Israel is thus, in fact, a democracy only within the parameters fixed by a particular interpretation of “Jewishness,” and the Israeli state fluctuates between secular liberal democracy and nationalist theocracy.

        (“The Invention and Decline of Israeliness”)

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 2:14 pm

        When has Zionism ever declared itself in favor of supremacism?

        An Israel lawmaker, Lapid, publicly stated to an audience of Palestinian Arab citizens that democracy was incompatible with Judaism. link to jpost.com

        He’s not alone. The lawmakers tasked with writing Israel’s constitution have been saying the same thing since the first Knesset was convened. they admit publicy that this is why there is still no constitutional right of equality:

        Religious and secular MKs participating in a meeting of the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee were at loggerheads Tuesday over the inclusion of the principle of equality in the draft of Israel’s constitution.

        During the meeting, members of the ultra-Orthodox parties and the National Religious Party reiterated their objection to the incorporation of the concept of equality into a constitution, as they say it contradicts their religious beliefs.

        “There cannot be a constitution in a Jewish and democratic state if it does not defend the unequal values of Judaism – and they are unequal,” MK Yitzhak Levy (NRP) said. “Equality in fact will close the rabbinical courts,” a contingency he was not prepared to allow for. “If you want equality in the constitution, it must be limited.

        link to haaretz.com

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 2:09 pm

        @Sibiriak

        I would prefer to describe Israel as an “ethnocratic state with theocratic and liberal-democratic elements”

        That’s a fair characterization, supremacist is not because of the implied racism. Most countries with a state religion want their religion supreme. That doesn’t mean much other than Israel, like Iran, is trying to find a way to have a state church and democracy.

        I think the absorption of the Mizrahim and Sephardic and more recently the Russian Christians prove that the state can move in a less ethnocratic direction. We’ll have to see how things play out with the Maronites after the initial generation of SLA is gone but so far so good. I think those several examples prove that ethnocracy is not an unavoidable component of Zionism. I could easily imagine during the next century that the ethnic elements become less important.

      • Allan
        December 17, 2013, 8:35 pm

        lyn117, your arguments are pure sophistry. You state an offensive opinion as fact, and then can’t understand why people who don’t agree with you might be offended. You claim that Zionism is premised on ethnic cleansing. Israel claims that the Palestinians were urged by their leaders to leave for a few weeks so that the Arab armies would have a clear field upon which to kill the Jews, after which the Palestinians could return.

        Lending credence to the Israeli version, the New York Times just ran an article a few days ago where a Lebanese leader complained about Syrian refugees in Lebanon. (See link to nytimes.com)

        Makram Malaeb, a manager in the Syrian refugee crisis unit at the Ministry of Social Affairs, said: “We had Palestinian refugees who were supposed to stay here for a month in 1948, and now they are a population of 500,000. And we went through a 15-year civil war where the Palestinians were a large player.”

        If the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by Israel, why does Malaeb say that they were they only supposed to stay in Lebanon for a month?

      • Hostage
        December 17, 2013, 10:15 pm

        your arguments are pure sophistry. . . . Israel claims that the Palestinians were urged by their leaders to leave for a few weeks so that the Arab armies would have a clear field upon which to kill the Jews, after which the Palestinians could return.

        Which is pure sophistry, and Nakba denial considering the State recently promoted a self-confessed war criminal who made national headlines there by bragging that Israel had razed enough villages to displace a million Arabs:
        * 100-Year-Old General: We Razed Arab Villages, So What?
        Brig. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Pundak: If we hadn’t done it, there would be a million more Arabs and there would be no Israel.

        link to israelnationalnews.com
        * 100-Year-Old Becomes Israeli Major-General
        100-year-old finally gets rank of “Major General” that he earned 60 years ago. link to israelnationalnews.com

        If the Palestinians were ethnically cleansed by Israel, why does Malaeb say that they were they only supposed to stay in Lebanon for a month?

        Because that’s what everyone thought at the time. The UN Security Council had ordered a truce which should have allowed Palestinian citizens to return to their homes and given the UN Mediator/Chairman of the International Red Cross and UN intermediaries carte blanche to impose an armistice and a peaceful solution that would restore international order. Bernadotte was adamant that the refugees would have a right to immediately return to their homes.
        * S/Res/61 link to un.org
        * S/Res/62 link to un.org

        By the way, we could have endless “what if” debates here about the Holocaust too. But this website is not supposed to be employed for debates about the Nakba or the Holocaust. Both are widely attested and documented historical events.

    • Hostage
      December 15, 2013, 4:00 pm

      So why do you think that when you as Liberals are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm Jews while trying to achieve a Palestinian state that using some borderline racist language regarding Jews is going to escape notice? Other countries don’t have their legitimacy attacked. People disagree with French policy they don’t disagree with the existence of France. People disagree with Russian policy, they don’t deny there is a Russian people and claim they should all move back to Poland. Of course there is a presupposition of antisemitism when you take such a strong position. Why wouldn’t there be?

      We’ve already addressed this false narrative before. The fact is that the UN Security Council and General Assembly have adopted decisions on sanction regimes which imposed the duty on members ‘not to recognize as lawful’ the government regimes, occupation regimes, the laws, or the territorial claims of several countries. The list included the Union of South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, the South African apartheid and occupation regime in South West Africa, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyrus, and Israel. Three of those states no longer exist.

      So why do you think that when you as Liberals are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm Jews while trying to achieve a Palestinian state that using some borderline racist language regarding Jews is going to escape notice?

      I’m Jewish. If you could actually give me an example of a proposed Liberal law that “coincidentally” harmed me I’d love to hear it, rather than these false innuendos.

      • Shingo
        December 15, 2013, 6:40 pm

        Nicely Hostage,

        Maybe Charles Taylor should insist he be released and exonerated for the war crimes he committed because is black and imprisoning him harms black people.

      • Hostage
        December 15, 2013, 9:57 pm

        Well it’s really amusing to hear JeffB spout nonsense. Most of us have spent years listening to arguments that say Palestine isn’t a state because the UN hasn’t formally recognized it. Yet he argues that resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly which declared the government of Southern Rhodesia an illegal racist regime; required the members not to recognize it as legal; and approved sanctions to terminate its existence and bring about its replacement by a representative government of Zimbabwe didn’t have the operative effect of denying and preventing its statehood.

        § 201 -203 (regarding States, Governments, and Establishing and Maintaining Diplomatic Relations) in the Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States each explain that all States have a customary legal obligation not to recognize, assist, or establish relations with states that acquired any of the qualifications for statehood (a government, a population, or a territory) in violation of the UN Charter. § 102 explains that binding resolutions of international organizations, have been accepted by the United States as sources of international law, and even cites the UN Security Council resolution regarding non-recognition which imposed an embargo on products of Southern Rhodesia. See 22 U.S.C. § 287c.

        The Jurists working for the Nuremberg Tribunal felt that while state officials could be held individually accountable, States themselves were only legal entities without a physical body that could be delivered and put on trial. That reasoning wasn’t accepted when the UN drafted the terms of the Genocide convention, which delegated the power of determining state responsibility for the crime to the ICJ.

        In 1976 the UN International Law Commission unanimously adopted Article 19 of the Draft Articles on State Responsibility for Wrongful Acts. Article 19(3) a-d outlined four bases for which States could be held responsible for international crimes. Interestingly enough, the UN has adopted resolutions which condemn Israel for four types of crime.
        link to books.google.com

        So we are really only arguing if the international community can fairly adopt sanctions against States for criminal acts to bring about regime change or to deliberately bring a successor State, like Namibia or Zimbabwe, into existence. Even if you don’t subscribe to those examples, you can simply substitute the ones where the Neo-Con wing of “Liberalism” enshrined the idea of imposing sanctions to achieve regime change on various bases of illegitimacy in our own US foreign relations law.

      • just
        December 15, 2013, 10:03 pm

        long- winded nonsense at that.

        Hasbara tedium.

      • JeffB
        December 15, 2013, 10:09 pm

        @Hostage

        The representative government of Zimbabwe? Really! Really!

        As for the rest regarding what we are debating, I’m not sure we are debating that. You are arguing against points I’ve never made.

      • Hostage
        December 16, 2013, 6:29 pm

        @Hostage . . . The representative government of Zimbabwe? Really! Really!

        Yes, the Security Council took great pains to prevent the state of Southern Rhodesia from being recognized as legal. It declared it was an illegal and racist minority regime and cited resolutions of the General Assembly that called for it to permit the exercise of the right of self-determination of the people of Zimbabwe in UN SC resolutions 326, 423, 445, and 448.

        I’m illustrating that your absurd contention is incorrect, and that the UN has denied the right of states, as such, to exist or exercise sovereignty over populations and territories in violation of the customary law reflected in the UN Charter. The South African occupation and apartheid regime in South West Africa is another prime example where the Security Council and General Assembly prevented it from being recognized as legal and demanded it allow the exercise of the Namibian people’s right of self-determination. So the UN isn’t picking on poor little Israel when it refuses to recognize as legal the situations it has created in Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, and the Occupied Palestinian territory.

      • eljay
        December 17, 2013, 12:20 pm

        >> I don’t agree with your characterization of Israel as being offensive rather than defensive.

        Of course you don’t – you’re a Zio-supremacist. You have the ability to ignore your supremacist “Jewish State’s” past an ON-GOING record of terrorism, ethnic cleansing, aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

        >> The rapist analogy is simply grotesque.

        Funny stuff, coming from a Zio-supremacist.

        >> When has Zionism ever declared itself in favor of supremacism?

        Zionism is the ideology behind the creation and existence of the supremacist “Jewish State”. The math is straightforward.

        >> Arguing that Israel can’t do X, because Israelis are bad and X is good is kinda silly.

        What’s kinda silly is:
        - intentionally distorting my words; and
        - pretending that a state devised, established, maintained and defended for over 60 years as a supremacist “Jewish State” has any interest in embracing humanism and abandoning its status as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

    • Cliff
      December 15, 2013, 4:39 pm

      @Hasbarat

      There is no issue of Jewish sensitivity.

      There is no conflict between Jews and anti-Zionism. The conflict is between anti-Zionism and Zionism.

      The phony outcry from Jewish students (who are primarily Zionist) is meant to demonize this protest tactic and cause a diversion.

      The language of the Left w/ regards to this conflict is measured and fair.

      Israel is a settler-colonialist State that regularly commits human rights abuses and gets away with committing war crimes.

      These mock demolition orders are mock demolition orders. To be offended by them in that you think your dorm room or apartment is getting bulldozed – is bullshit.

      These ‘outraged’ Zionists are not offended. They are simply exploiting identity politics and indulging their absurd sense of entitlement.

      Being Jewish does not give you – nor any other fanatic nationalistic – the right to abuse others, lie, steal, murder, etc.

      These outraged Zionists seem to think being born with J-positive blood gives the right to trample non-Jews.

      That is the issue and their indignation and PHONY ‘concern’ says it all about their character.

    • Shingo
      December 15, 2013, 6:31 pm

      The anti-Zionist cause uses very aggressive rhetoric.

      So does the pro Zionist cause. Ever heard Liberman or Bennet? Does your domestic minority groups find their rhetoric threatening and offensive?

      So why do you think that when you as Liberals are making the case for passing laws that just “coincidentally” harm Jews while trying to achieve a Palestinian state that using some borderline racist language regarding Jews is going to escape notice?

      What borderline racist language regarding Jews are you referring to?

      Other countries don’t have their legitimacy attacked.

      Other countries don’t delegitimize themselves or complain endlessly about heir legitimacy being attacked. Nor do they come up with straw men arguments abotu their right to exist.

      People disagree with French policy they don’t disagree with the existence of France.

      What you are deliberately conflating is Israel’s existence within Israel with Israel’s right to take land outside it’s borders. So when Israel is criticized for occupying Palestine, you apologists turn around and claim Israel’s right to exist is being questioned.

      France is no longer staling land and occupying it, but if and when they do, they will similarly be criticized and attacked for it.

      People disagree with Russian policy, they don’t deny there is a Russian people and claim they should all move back to Poland. Of course there is a presupposition of antisemitism when you take such a strong position. Why wouldn’t there be?

      People disagree with Russian policy, they don’t deny there is a Russian people and claim they should all move back to Poland.

      You’re clearly an Israeli propagandists, seeing as you have no problem with Israeli propagandists claiming that the Arabs only came to Palestine after the Jews made the desert bloom or claiming there is no such thing as a Palestinian.

      Again, what you are demanding is hat the victim stop resisting their tormentors.

      I’m assuming “the rituals of Zionism” means Judaism because Zionism itself is a political belief without many rituals.

      Cut the dishonesty. Zionism stopped being a political belief long ago and has been transformed into messianicism.

      Nobody celebrates systemic oppression. No one.

      Tell that to the Israeli nut jobs who were popping champagne corks as they sat on Parash Hill, watching the slaughter and cheering as if it were the latest hit movie .

      Tell that to General Yitzhak Pundak, the top commander of the Zionist forces, whowitnessed the 1948 expulsion with joy.

      “My heart is singing. There were over 200 Palestinian villages here and there are no more. It was necessary to destroy them. Otherwise there would have been here another million Arabs among us.”

      Stop trolling and wasting everyone’s time with your diatribes. You’re not even making an effort to engage in an honest debate here.

      “And after 2000 years of exile, one cannot create a state by using silk gloves”.

      • JeffB
        December 15, 2013, 8:27 pm

        @Shingo

        What minority does the pro-Zionist cause threaten in the USA?

        What borderline racist language regarding Jews are you referring to?

        The wild conspiracy theories about Jews secretly controlling governments and corporations. Essentially Jews work as the agents for the prince of the age (satan).
        The idea that Jews should be held to standards totally unlike the rest of humanity, since after all they aren’t really human.
        The idea that what Jews do is of cosmic importance, so that Israel isn’t some tiny insignificant country but rather the key issue of the age.
        The constant lying about Israel. The idea that such lying is acceptable. Since all evils ultimately are attributable to Jews anyway.

        etc…

        Anti-Zionism is unabashed classic anti-Semitism. It essentially takes the theological position from the Gospel of John and writes it into modern politics.

        And that’s on top of people who had no problem objecting to Terry Jones’ Koran burnings having no problem on this very thread arguing for the acceptability of going after Jewish symbols like the Star of David.

        What aspects of anti-Semitism has anti-Zionism not embraced?

        You’re clearly an Israeli propagandists, seeing as you have no problem with Israeli propagandists claiming that the Arabs only came to Palestine after the Jews made the desert bloom or claiming there is no such thing as a Palestinian.

        There is a perfectly good example. I’ve said the exact opposite repeatedly. But you felt no compulsion about lying.

        France is no longer staling land and occupying it

        Of course they are. All of France is occupied stolen land.

      • talknic
        December 16, 2013, 7:04 pm

        @ JeffB “The idea that Jews should be held to standards totally unlike the rest of humanity, since after all they aren’t really human”

        Quote an example … thx

        “Anti-Zionism is unabashed classic anti-Semitism”

        Strange, not all Zionists are Jews and not all Jews are Zionists

        “..having no problem on this very thread arguing for the acceptability of going after Jewish symbols like the Star of David”

        Israel can’t be represented without the Star of David, it’s on the flag

        // France is no longer staling land and occupying it //

        “Of course they are. All of France is occupied stolen land.”

        UNSC resolution number what?

        Meanwhile try UNSC res 476

      • JeffB
        December 17, 2013, 7:01 am

        @talknic

        JeffB: “Of course they are. All of France is occupied stolen land.”

        talknic: UNSC resolution number what?

        -50,000 approximately. That’s when the UNSC was dealing with the massive populations transfers happening all over Europe as a result of Attila’s invasion of Europe. In particular when the Visigoths were pushed into Spain by the group that became the Franks. That is “stealing the land” to apply the same standards you want to apply to Israel.

        JeffB: The idea that Jews should be held to standards totally unlike the rest of humanity, since after all they aren’t really human
        talknic: Quote an example … thx

        A good example is the one above. In my entire life I’ve heard zero people argue that the France is an illegitimate country, that the French should move back to Germany and give France back to the Spanish…. That the French people aren’t rightfully entitled to France… Or for that matter the Spanish aren’t rightfully entitled to Spain, since the Visigoths pushed the Vandals out. Or I gave the example in India of these sorts of mass migrations. There is a mass migration going on in right now in Pakistan from Afghanistan and I don’t hear the same language being applied to them.

        The policy for every human group is to be understanding towards mass migration, seeing it as a natural process that’s been going on for billions of years and not consider a property of how the migrators are evil. It is understandable the Pashtun are leaving, there is has been 4 decades of war in Afghanistan. No one considers them having taken up residence in Pakistan to be “stealing”.

        Israel can’t be represented without the Star of David, it’s on the flag

        Of course it can be represented. Just don’t use the flag in hostile representations pick another symbol. The USA has managed to be plenty hostile to other countries without tarnishing their flags.

  12. pabelmont
    December 15, 2013, 2:54 pm

    The ASA boycott, as is all BDS activity, is not aimed at the actors but at the acts, and the acts aren’t Jewish. A prosecutor prosecuting Jewish gangsters would be focusing on the gangtsterish acts, not on the asserted (and wholly irrelevant) Jewishness of the accused. And if Israel ended its apartheid tomorrow, the BDS activity would likewise terminate. In that case, only the antisemites would continue it, and most people would not listen to them.

    And the boycott — when it does not take place as internal pressure within Israel (where it has been made effectively illegal) — is an attempt to apply external pressure on Israel to end apartheid.

    All those opposing the ASA boycott could, but only if Jewish, go to Israel and apply for citizenship and the vote. At that point they could become part of the internal pressure group for (or against) the settlements and continued occupation (outer apartheid) and the internal legal discrimination (inner apartheid). Here, by their protest, they seek to be part of the external pressure group FOR continued apartheid — as is their right.

    Those favoring the ASA boycott, if Jewish, might well, however, not be admitted to Israel as citizens if they applied — because they seem to oppose a major “defining” aspect of the State — its legal discrimination in favor of Jews.

    And so they might well be unable, even if they wanted to, to be part of the internal pressure group against (or for) Israeli apartheid. Thus they seek to be part of the external pressure group against apartheid.

    If Jews wish to act to affect the actions of a state, any state, and particularly one which claims to act for ALL the Jewish People, then that should be especially their right — although non-Jews have their own reasons for wishing to act.

    And it must never be forgotten that a major purpose of any boycott is to educate and engage the general public, something that cannot be done so easuily by sitting on one’s hands and doing nothing as the pro-apartheid forces would appear to prefer ASA do.

    And external pressure is what is needed since, left to itself, Israel seems likely to continue the status quo.

    • JeffB
      December 15, 2013, 4:33 pm

      @Pabelmont

      A prosecutor prosecuting Jewish gangsters would be focusing on the gangtsterish acts, not on the asserted (and wholly irrelevant) Jewishness of the accused.

      The ASA aren’t prosecutors they are lobbyists. Using your analogy they are lobbyists looking for an attack on the Jewish neighborhood because of gangsterism. The sort of thing that Republicans often push for in Black neighborhoods that drive USA incarceration rates sky high.

      As for gangster prosecution being ethnic blind… when Italian gangsters were being prosecuted absolutely it had to do with dynamics in Italian neighborhoods and Italian-American community. Lots of the people who were strong advocates wanted to break up the neighborhood systems to allow for redevelopment projects. On balance those were probably good things, but of course they were attacks on Italians. The crimes nor the support for these neighborhood groups were ever decontextualized.

      The rest of your comment I mostly agree with.

  13. German Lefty
    December 15, 2013, 5:25 pm

    Greenberg’s type of argument is customary in academe
    This just shows that the academe isn’t very academic.

    Let me link to this recent, state-funded German TV documentary about “anti-Semitism” again: link to youtube.com
    Here’s a screenshot from minute 42: link to img823.imageshack.us
    The narrator says: “Boycott today and yesterday.” This statement doesn’t only claim that BDS is just like the Nazi boycott of Jews, but it also implies that Nazi Germany existed until as recent as yesterday.

    • Citizen
      December 16, 2013, 9:46 am

      @ German Lefty
      What is the German government’s official POV on the Palestinians? What do the status quo politicians say? That they deserve their fate and current treatment by Israel? That they are simply expendables in the interest of having a safe haven for Jews anywhere? Do they demonize the Palestinians, paint them as terrorists and anti-semites?

  14. traintosiberia
    December 15, 2013, 6:24 pm

    It ( BDS ) and boycott could be seen as anti-Semite if the efforts are supposed to exact
    following unpleasant prices
    – 1 forced dieting of the settlers
    2. Taking the food off the table occupied by children
    3. Reducing the birth rate of the wail wall crying women and men with AK 47 around the waist
    4 starving them until the rest of Israel rises in revolt to change regime
    5 no more drawing of the nuclear bottle at UN and removing the crayon away from adult and children

  15. MRW
    December 16, 2013, 1:58 am

    Here we are, again, spending our time on them and their self-seeking angst instead of on the victims of the rotten system they support. Their approach is unwittingly brilliant in its half-baked mendacity.

    [...] Those who howl about being mean to “the Jews” in response to a carefully-considered boycott of a bellicose nation-state do little more than reproduce the perilous confinement of the ethnic ghetto.

    Hear, hear.

  16. marksjo1
    December 16, 2013, 9:39 am

    Sixty comments, but no one seems to want to address what Waters said: “The Jewish lobby is extraordinarily powerful here and particularly in the industry that I work in, the music industry and in rock’n roll as they say. I promise you, naming no names, I’ve spoken to people who are terrified…. They have said to me “aren’t you worried for your life?” Waters is a standard bearer for BDS (if you search him on this site you will get a couple thousand hits). Do you plan to keep him?

    • piotr
      December 16, 2013, 2:32 pm

      I would be glad to take on that challenge, but are you claiming that Jews have no power in the music industry and that no one in that industry is scare of them?

      My skimpy data comes mostly from fiction, but my impression is that artists that want to make a living as such are uniquely vulnerable to managers, studio execs etc. so they may have a very rational fear concerning their livelihood. Concerning the physical danger, this is not THAT far fetched.

    • yrn
      December 16, 2013, 3:14 pm

      Waters
      “I’ve spoken to people who are terrified…. They have said to me “aren’t you worried for your life?”

      How would you call it Paranoia……. infected with anti-Semitic mythology

  17. Citizen
    December 16, 2013, 11:24 am

    Israel reaches out to US Jews to save them from American values: link to npr.org

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