Rob Reiner wants to pick Palestinians’ leaders for them

Israel/Palestine
on 60 Comments
Rob Reiner

Rob Reiner

Hollywood director Rob Reiner says you have to “eliminate” Hamas not negotiate with it (even as Israel is negotiating with it). And Palestinians have no right of self-determination, let alone the right to vote. From Politicking with Larry King, reported by CBS News:

“[Y]ou can’t negotiate with that, you have to say either Hamas goes away and the Palestinian Authority takes over all that region and deal with some kind of honest broker here, and create the two-state solution…”

He then paralleled the terrorist group with the Tea Party.

“Anytime you’re dealing with an extreme group, you cannot negotiate with them, and the way to do it is to eliminate it,” Reiner said. “With the Tea Party, you have to go through political thing, you have to wait till 2020 to redistrict, but that is really tough stuff.”

King then asked Reiner what should be done about the Gaza situation and Israel.

“Well, there again, you’ve got a horrible situation where you have an extreme faction, the Hamas, that controls Gaza, that is written into their playbook, the destruction of Israel, the destruction of every Jew on the planet,” Reiner said to King. “You can’t negotiate with that you have to say either Hamas goes away and the Palestinian authority takes over all that region and deal with some kind of honest broker here, and create the two-state solution.”

Well, at least people in the Tea Party districts get to vote, even if Rob Reiner doesn’t like who they vote for.

Contrast Reiner’s position to that of Irish Senator David Norris, and then ask, Who’s the liberal? Norris:

My Jewish and my pro-Israel friends say to me sometimes, How would you fare as a gay man in any of these [Middle East societies]–? I know exactly how I’d fare. It doesn’t mean that it is correct to deny people the right to choose their own government. What self-respecting or sane people would allow their enemies to choose their government for them?

PS. Rob Reiner is very old school, i.e., these are generational Jewish attitudes, and he feels completely comfortable about expressing them, because he’s with another altacocker, Larry King. So they’re off to the races. (Make that racist). These people have no clue what is swirling and raging up from the young people.

About Philip Weiss

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

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60 Responses

  1. seafoid
    August 18, 2014, 3:30 pm

    “How would you fare as a gay man in any of these [Middle East societies]”

    Better life expectancy than a kid in Gaza under the Israeli heel
    The orientalism in those bot pronouncements on the Middle East is nauseating.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2007/05/the-kingdom-in-the-closet/305774/

    And how easy is it to be lesbian in Mea Sharim or Bnei Brak ? Really tolerant, are they ?

  2. just
    August 18, 2014, 3:47 pm

    “Meathead” becomes worse than “Archie”.

    Whodathunkit?

    • Citizen
      August 18, 2014, 5:13 pm

      @ just
      I thought he was at least as bad as Archie when the show was first on the air.

      • Walid
        August 19, 2014, 12:34 am

        Never liked either of them. Reiner’s father was the real comedian.

    • Philemon
      August 18, 2014, 7:56 pm

      “Meathead” was set up to be just as ridiculous as Archie, if not more so. Archie got a more sympathetic treatment as he was usually portrayed as completely honest and down-to-earth if ignorant, whereas Michael was often portrayed as a strident unrealistic hypocrite and someone Archie could make Pollack jokes about.

      Unlike Phil, I don’t see it as so much a generational thing as a Hollywood bubble thing.

  3. eljay
    August 18, 2014, 3:49 pm

    >> My Jewish and my pro-Israel friends say to me sometimes, How would you fare as a gay man in any of these [Middle East societies]–?

    Zio-supremacists are strange: When they aren’t reaching back 1,500 years for examples of injustice and immorality with which to attempt to defend their supremacist “Jewish State’s” past and on-going, 20th and 21st century acts of immorality and injustice, they’re proudly comparing their supremacist “Jewish State” to the worst of the worst in modern-day states (Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”).

  4. pabelmont
    August 18, 2014, 4:12 pm

    These guys think that Jews (altacockers?) rule the world, or should. And in the USA they are not far wrong — recent political and social and business experience in the USA backs up this racist (and triumphalist) idea.

    But what undergirds it — this is truly remarkable — appeears to be an (old, rich) Jewish communal assumption — that in earlier days would not have been revealed in public but which they are revealing by having a conversation in public the content of which is as if it were a private conversation among Jews.

    And what is this formerly private (among Jews) but now public assumption? First, that it is OK to say that Palestinians and other Arabs do not matter, do not deserve human rights, self-determination, etc. And, of course, the idea of Israel uber alles.

    And second — because this discussion is blatant and public — the newer thought that non-Jewish Americans are invisible, must listen to these ideas contrary to American decent and democratic ideals, must acquiesce in their trashing of human rights, their assumption of primal importance for Israel (and for Jews).

    These guys (Reiner, King) think they’ve got America by the b*lls and they flaunt it. That’s part of the message of this conversation. How long will it take Americans to realize this? (Absolute power currupts absolutely.)

    They do not speak for me.

    • seafoid
      August 18, 2014, 4:44 pm

      The dehumanizing of the Palestinians is way out in the open now

      http://www.irishtimes.com/debate/letters/cultural-boycott-of-israel-1.1898405

      “Sir, – Raymond Deane (August 15th) comments that Palestinian “civil society” supports a boycott of cultural events linked to the Israeli state. The Gaza Strip is ruled by sharia law and Palestinian women there have no rights, so I wonder what civil society is he referring to?

      • just
        August 18, 2014, 4:58 pm

        I guess that you really can’t fix stupid.

        “Do you know what we call opinion in the absence of evidence? We call it prejudice.”
        ― Michael Crichton, State of Fear

        “What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice.”
        ― Albert Einstein

        “There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”
        ― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Collected Works

      • Walid
        August 19, 2014, 2:02 am

        Raymond Deane wrote a JSF piece back in 2009 in which he took Barenboim to task for having indirectly mislabeled Palestinian kids in saying “… an hour of violin lessons in Palestine is an hour away from violence and fundamentalism” and for having bad-mouthed Hamas while the Cast Lead was raining phosphorus on Gaza in 2009. The FitzGerald guy commenting in the IT has no clue what Sharia Law is about and how many of Europe’s civil codes and rights granted to women had been inspired by it.

        http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/2009/12/deane-disses-dodgy-daniels-divan.html

      • amigo
        August 19, 2014, 7:46 am

        “The dehumanizing of the Palestinians is way out in the open now “seafoid

        Todays Irish times letters had this response to the diatribe written by Mr Desmond Fitzgerald (a well known Islamaphobe)

        “Sir, – Desmond FitzGerald (August 14th) seems determined to label anyone who protests Israeli actions in Gaza as anti-Semitic. I think he is deliberately missing the point. The reason so many people from different backgrounds and persuasions are condemning these actions is because their representatives, who have no trouble unequivocally opposing Russia, the Taliban, both sides in Syria, the Islamic State and a host of sub-Saharan African warlords, are strangely reluctant to come out strongly against the atrocities (and that is undoubtedly what they are) being committed against innocent civilians and children in Gaza.

        I am prepared to condemn unconditionally any terrorist actions by Hamas against Israel. I look forward to an equally clear-cut statement by Mr FitzGerald concerning Israeli actions. I suspect I may be waiting some time. – Yours, etc,

        Dave Robbie.

        Don,t worry Dave, Mr Fitzgerald will show up again on the pages of the IT with more of his Arab hatred safely perched on his canary wharf in London.But he won,t condemn Israel,s actions.

    • Citizen
      August 18, 2014, 5:18 pm

      Every day these days on Fox News channel an ad appears multiple times, asking for donations to help a family in need of food in Israel because Israel has to spend more and more money on fighting terrorism. Another reoccurring ad on said channel asks for donations to stop HAMAS. I can just see old and poor Evangelical women sending in their crinkled dollar bills.

      • Marnie
        August 19, 2014, 8:37 am

        So if the US won’t send me the weapons I demand then fine, at least provide the future IDFers diapers, formula, Bomba (barf) and schnitzel, not to mention a good chicken dinner on shabbat. Can most americans even feed themselves anymore? Fox News hates poor americans; what makes poor israelis deserve better? Hannity isnt going to go on a tear about “lazy” israelis who’d rather be on welfare than actually get a job? That would be very interesting. Hey Sean – don’t look to Chicago when you talk about a welfare state – look across the pond to the welfare state of israel and quit treating americans like shite.

  5. JeffB
    August 18, 2014, 4:12 pm

    @Phil —

    I’m all for the right of self determination including the right of the Palestinians to elect Hamas to represent their interests. Rob Reiner is dead wrong on this.

    The problem with David Norris in the speech you quote is he is doing precisely what he is accusing the Israelis of. He is proposing that the Israeli ambassador (I’d assume Boaz Modai though he never directly names him) not be able to negotiate with Ireland on behalf of Israel because Modai is faithfully representing the positions of a government Norris disagrees with. Either you believe in self determination or you don’t. If you do, then Modai’s job is to represent the Netanyahu government in Ireland, period. If you don’t then you throw the ambassador out because he is an “apologist for war criminals”. Norris doesn’t. He is a hypocrite.

    • Philemon
      August 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

      “Either you believe in self determination or you don’t.”

      Count me among those who don’t believe in self-determination if it involves stealing land from the indigenous population, murder, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, refusing to recognize the rights of all people in the territory, confining refugees from ethnic cleansing in a besieged open-air prison where they are subject to collective punishment for any reason, bombing their homes, hospitals, ambulances, farms, power plants, water treatment and sewage facilities to smithereens, and… No, I’m too disgusted to go on.

      But according to JeffB, Israel gives “Jews” “dignity.” Tell me how, JeffB.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2014, 1:24 pm

        “But according to JeffB, Israel gives “Jews” “dignity.” Tell me how, JeffB.”

        I don’t know Marnie. It sure seems to me like JeffB thinks Israel means he swings a big dignity.

    • Kris
      August 18, 2014, 10:38 pm

      David Norris is not saying that Israel can’t have whatever government it wants.

      Norris is saying that because of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, Ireland should not have diplomatic relations with Israel. This means recalling the Irish ambassador from Israel, and expelling the Israeli ambassador from Ireland.

      It really is past time for Israel to be isolated and shunned by everyone, worldwide. Either you respect international law and human rights, or you don’t. Israel doesn’t.

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 11:23 am

        @Kris

        Norris is saying that because of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, Ireland should not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

        He didn’t say that. He said the ambassador should be expelled for failing to listen to him. He was quite explicit. Severing diplomatic relations is of course a major step towards war. And one I incidentally don’t approve of even during wars. That would have been a reasonable position but that is not at all what he said.

        This means recalling the Irish ambassador from Israel,

        I understand what severing diplomatic relations means. He didn’t call for that. You may be calling for that, he didn’t.

        Either you respect international law and human rights, or you don’t. Israel doesn’t.

        If by International law you mean subservience to the UN, you are absolutely correct Israel doesn’t. If by International law you mean the standards for conduct between states and nations that have existed for thousands of years and evolved through tradition then Israel absolutely does. The UN is a perversion of International Law not its embodiment.

        As for human rights, Israel has a pretty shoddy record on human rights with regard to Palestinians. That’s a fair criticism. It is not fair to say they reject human rights generally as they have pretty strong protections in their society for those under their law. They also have a pretty wide understanding of it in their media.

      • amigo
        August 19, 2014, 2:14 pm

        “If by International law you mean the standards for conduct between states and nations that have existed for thousands of years and evolved through tradition then Israel absolutely does.” jeff b

        thousands of years???.

        Israel has not existed for thousands of weeks.

        ” It is not fair to say they reject human rights generally as they have pretty strong protections in their society for those under their law.” jeff b

        Would those 50 plus racist discriminatory laws that benefit Jewish citizens of Israel and punish non Jewish citizens be what you had in mind.

        http://adalah.org/eng/Israeli-Discriminatory-Law-Database

        Help me out jeff, I have just tilled my garden and need lots of equine/bovine manure.

    • CliosBitch
      August 19, 2014, 12:04 am

      It’s actually quite arresting how stupid this argument is. Particularly because it relies on such a mendacious little hat trick of language. So let’s unpack this, shall we?

      1. Boilerplate about how, of course you support Hamas (and thus let the terrorists win, amirite?)

      2.

      The problem with David Norris in the speech you quote is he is doing precisely what he is accusing the Israelis of.

      Ah. Here’s where the lying comes into play. See, if you read or heard his actual speech you’ll come across this bit:

      …Israel could not get away with these shameful acts of piracy and brigandage

      Or this bit:

      an extreme rightwing regime that is behaving in the most criminal fashion and defying the world

      Or really note that the tenor of Norris’ speech (and career) relies on the power of civil society to stem the tide of a coarsened 19th-century style of state violence. That JeffB draws an equivalence from such scenarios as an expelled ambassador, or boycotts to 2,000 dead Palestinians (the proportionate equivalent of the Nazi Blitz on Britain, to give an example) is evidence of extreme bad faith, intellectual torpor, and moral blindness.

      3. not be able to negotiate with Ireland on behalf of Israel because Modai is faithfully representing the positions of a government Norris disagrees with.

      This isn’t so much idiotic –well it is– as it reveals something about the undemocratic nature of this argument. See, this isn’t about self-determination. Nothing about Ireland recalling its ambassadors or expelling the Israeli ambassador will result in the Israeli electorate losing its franchise or in the Israeli government losing its monopoly of power within its borders.

      After all states break off relations, recall and sanction ambassadors, make diplomatic harangues with considerable regularity. That’s a longstanding part of the international order.

      This is about privileging power and access by leveraging a democratic discourse. The power being privileged? Videlicet, Israel’s access to a rich Western country with which it wants to do business as well as its wider “legitimacy” and thus ability to sway the multinational system. Power.

      It’s a bit par for the course, as Zionists are wont to conflate Israeli convenience, comfort and power with Palestinian rights (and of course we know how they prioritize those two when they clash) but it’s always jarring to see it expressed and in such unctuous and self-serving pseudo-ideologemes.

      The rest is nonsense of course, and a kind of intellectual fascism where one must abnegate nuance so that this more allegedly more thoughtful variant of hasbarist can score a cheap debate point.

      So to answer the loaded question. No. You can believe, as I do, that self-determination encapsulates the concept of inviolability which generally means that a people has the right to make its decisions without having violence visited upon them for said decisions (see Operation: Protective Edge.)

      You can also believe that states as world actors, and its constituent peoples, entities, etc. have the right to use the power of civil society –intranational and international– to peacefully sanction and modify the behavior of states that violate these existing norms, as Norris suggests Ireland do to Israel.

      Or if you want to put it into more easily digestible (and mathematical!) terms:

      Bombing a people =/= expelling an ambassador.

      P.S. And yes, I do think lying is just the right sort of tenor to take with a post like this when JeffB sneakily posits that Israel has the right of unlimited intercourse with the Irish state (or hypothetically any state that disapproves of Israeli actions) when he has also previously noted that:

      First off trade is not in any system human right. No one has the right to trade with a 3rd party, trade requires the consent of both parties.

      He is a hypocrite.

      Hmmmmmmmmm…

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 11:46 am

        @CliosBitch

        Boilerplate about how, of course you support Hamas (and thus let the terrorists win, amirite?)

        What terrorists? If you mean Hamas I think that once a terrorist group has the support of a population and a fixed territory they aren’t a terrorist group. Hamas of Gaza IMHO can engage in terrorism they can not be merely a terrorist group. Once could perhaps call Hamas of the WestBank a terrorist group but again given their degree of support I’d call them a political party that engages in terrorism. Besides mostly Hamas of Gaza engages in war not terrorism. They suck at war, their strategy is terrible but they are not a terrorist group.

        That JeffB draws an equivalence from such scenarios as an expelled ambassador, or boycotts to 2,000 dead Palestinians (the proportionate equivalent of the Nazi Blitz on Britain, to give an example) is evidence of extreme bad faith, intellectual torpor, and moral blindness.

        That’s not what JeffB did. JeffB simply didn’t discuss at all the comparison between Israel’s objections to Hamas and the Irish left’s objections to the Israeli government. Which BTW is the comparison not the acts that each engaged in. I’ll hit the acts in the next response.

        Nothing about Ireland recalling its ambassadors or expelling the Israeli ambassador will result in the Israeli electorate losing its franchise or in the Israeli government losing its monopoly of power within its borders.

        Of course not. I never claimed it would. What I did claim was that Norris was rejecting Modai because Modai faithfully represented that government. That was Norris’ charge. Modai doesn’t agree with Norris.

        Modai has no obligation to agree with Norris, the whole concept is ridiculous. Modai’s job might and probably would include faithfully represent to Israel Norris’ opinions but that’s the extent of it. If Ireland believes Israelis should eat more ice-cream it is Modai’s job to negotiate on that issue. If the government of Israel rejects Ireland’s opinion about their ice-cream consumption Modai is obligated to reflect that disagreement, nothing more.

        The fact that Norris thinks otherwise shows that he believes Modai does not have the right to reject Ireland’s opinion about ice-cream consumption. Well of course that implies that he is rejecting Israel’s right to decide how their people shall live that is to say self determination. There is no way to make sense of his statement without seeing a rejection of self determination.

        Your comments about the real underlying issue, i.e.the level of violence being used in Gaza actually speaks to contempt for Jewish self determination. It is up to the people of Israel not the people of Ireland to decide how the IDF should act. Ireland of course is free to apply pressure and Modai can and should be a conduit for that pressure but it is not is his job to betray his country or his government on behalf of Ireland’s positions.

        This is about privileging power and access by leveraging a democratic discourse. The power being privileged? Videlicet, Israel’s access to a rich Western country with which it wants to do business as well as its wider “legitimacy” and thus ability to sway the multinational system. Power.

        I don’t know what’s particular democratic about ambassadors. Ambassadors predate democracy and mostly existed in a world where there were few or no democracies. I’d say that ambassadors are arguably more important for less democratic states than they are for democratic states where the countries can just read one another’s media to get a general sense while in a despotism or tyranny that would be much less effective. So if one wants to argue that Israel is non-democratic Ireland should reasonable be more inclined not less inclined to have an ambassador.

        Now if the goal of Ireland is to sever business relationship with Israel because they object to Israel’s human rights violations. I think that’s stupid policy and bigoted to boot since Ireland is certainly willing to trade with far worse tyrannies most notably Saudi Arabia. But that has no connection with expelling an ambassador for not listening to Norris.

        Which addresses your last point conflating diplomatic relations and trade.

      • CliosBitch
        August 19, 2014, 1:10 pm

        What terrorists?…

        This is a nice little passage that just confirms exactly why you set up your whole “I lurve Hamas” nonsense. You don’t actually support the notion of Palestinian resistance because otherwise you’d extend many of your arguments to Hamas in the same way you privilege Israel. In essence, all this Hamas stuff is a useful rhetorical crutch to support your inane argument later. In essence, it’s a more enlightened form of Bibi’s political reliance on Hamas.

        That’s not what JeffB did. JeffB simply didn’t discuss at all the comparison between Israel’s objections to Hamas and the Irish left’s objections to the Israeli government. Which BTW is the comparison not the acts that each engaged in. I’ll hit the acts in the next response. ‘

        Of course you didn’t. That would require actually thinking about your position. But pray, what is the expected threat behind Norris’ vehemence at Israel? What gives his words a socio-political dimension? The hypotheticals I mentioned. Likewise, Israel is of course free to try and change Palestinian behavior. That it does not do so in a moral manner (wars of mendacity, ethnic cleansing, Jim Crow within its own borders) and that you sort of haltingly and very dishonestly concede that *Rob Reiner* –not Israel of course, because while Mr. Reiner is an idiot, he’s not actually making government policy– is “dead wrong on this” is evidence of exactly the kind of pseudointellectual hustle you have to do do –not to mention the hilarious hairsplitting above– to draw an equivalence between Israeli war crimes, and international attempts to sanction said war crimes.

        Also referring to yourself in the third person? Creepy and weird, brah. Creepy and weird.

        Of course not. I never claimed it would. What I did claim was that Norris was rejecting Modai because Modai faithfully represented that government. That was Norris’ charge. Modai doesn’t agree with Norris.

        It’s funny because literally a sentence later:

        Modai has no obligation to agree with Norris, the whole concept is ridiculous.

        And neither does Norris have an obligation to agree with Modai. The whole concept is ridiculous.

        In essence, Israel has no particular right to have an ambassador anywhere. That applies to any country. Posting an ambassador in a given place requires the host country’s consent and willingness to engage. If Ireland prefers to shun Israel or to make its displeasure known by expelling Modai –who is even without the confines of your stultifying argument– one of the more racist and vile Israeli apparatchiks, Ireland is well within its rights to do so.

        There is no way to make sense of his statement without seeing a rejection of self determination.

        Sure. If Ireland was bombing Israel to overturn election results, blocking its ports, stealing its land etc. Otherwise you’re right. Expelling an ambassador is totally a democracy-killer and could never be a sanctioned form of speech in the international forum in and of itself. That would just make too much sense and undermine this dream-castle in the sky you’ve built for yourself.

        Your comments about the real underlying issue, i.e.the level of violence being used in Gaza actually speaks to contempt for Jewish self determination.

        As a Jew myself, I’m very careful to avoid conflating Judaism with Israel (hence Zionism.) Not because I agree with those who use it as an argument-derailer (“not all Jews..”) or because I disagree with the notion that the Jewish establishment supports Israel uncritically (it does) but because it’s frankly vile, a bit anti-semitic and no more than the usual propaganda where any criticism of Israel must be ran through an ideological Philosopher’s Stone and turned into a talismanic prejudice or at the very least a type of Phantom Prejudice (my working title for my Bond screenplay!) that colors a third party’s view of an argument.

        Your reading is of course, dishonest, and rather pathetic, but I feel I should point that out to any incidental readers.

        It is up to the people of Israel not the people of Ireland to decide how the IDF should act.

        They’re not Jews anymore? Ah well, the mask came off a few sentences ago and sort of tipped your hand for ethnic supremacy (Jewish self-determination, naturally, not Israeli self-determination) but whatever. You’re not antisemitic just a moral idiot, so let’s move on.

        So let me say I absolutely agree. States do get to decide how their armies will conduct themselves; that’s an established part of the Westphalian Sytem. There are of course, exceptions. Exceptions which Israel has voluntarily signed on to (human rights charters, etc.) Exceptions and norms which Israel has consistently violated. That’s not really opinion, that’s a fact, a fact that you concede in another post. But even that sort of obscures the wider point in which I agree with you that states do have a pretty broad raison d’etat.

        That also means that states have to live with the consequences of all that sovereignty. As you yourself admit:

        Ireland of course is free to apply pressure

        There’s no issue here, no philosophical or legal right to have an ambassador or to an absolute right of intercourse, and certainly no hypocrisy on Mr. Norris’ part. Were you honest, you’d have stopped here and admitted your initial argument is bullshit, and the type of bullshit meant to use the currency of real Palestinian suffering and make it about Israel. It’s self-absorbed and dumb.

        On the other hand, you could certainly make an argument about engagement being important or whatever. But that’s not the hill you chose to die on.

        I don’t know what’s particular democratic about ambassadors.

        This is self-parody right? Your entire argument relies on the notion that Mr. Modai –presumably garlanded in sandalwood ablutions, and various Greek unguents, an olive wreath perched on his head and all the oratory lays of Athens on the tip of his tongue– is some type of democratic avatar, the violation of which is a body blow to Israeli democratic self-determination (or excuse me, Jewish self-determination since you insist on making this about ethnic supremacy.)

        The non-sequitur about the difference between democratic and non-democratic body publics is interesting and arguable and even worth pursuing, were you an honest interlocutor. You are not. The same applies to your “hypothetical” about Israel not being a full democracy (well duh, Jim Crow.)

        I think that’s stupid policy and bigoted to boot since Ireland is certainly willing to trade with far worse tyrannies most notably Saudi Arabia.

        I agree with you. Saudi Arabia, etc. have terrible human rights records and should be duly sanctioned. Bigoted though? Once again you overreach on the merits.

        But that has no connection with expelling an ambassador for not listening to Norris.

        Which addresses your last point conflating diplomatic relations and trade.

        And finally an honest statement only half-marred by a stupid conclusion. You’re free to think that Mr. Norris’ preferred policy is stupid. Whatever. That’s not the same as saying he’s a hypocrite or proving he’s violating some chimerical principle of self-determination that I suspect you’re improvising as you argue (given the internal incoherence of your scattershot approach.)

        As regards the last point: state intercourse requires mutual consent. There’s no difference between Ireland deciding to cut off trade or diplomatic relations for any real reason it wants (ambassadors are at-will employees, essentially.) You might think it stupid, etc. but it’s basically within Ireland’s rights to do so.

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 2:41 pm

        @CliosBitch

        I refrain from the sort of rude comments this post is littered with. If you are going to present yourself as being ethical you should as well.

        Let’s start with the key point:

        In essence, Israel has no particular right to have an ambassador anywhere. That applies to any country. Posting an ambassador in a given place requires the host country’s consent and willingness to engage. If Ireland prefers to shun Israel or to make its displeasure known by expelling Modai –who is even without the confines of your stultifying argument– one of the more racist and vile Israeli apparatchiks, Ireland is well within its rights to do so.

        Of course Ireland is within their rights to no longer have diplomatic relations with Israel. They are free to go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians if they so choose. That was never the point in question. Though as an aside I happen to disapprove of using diplomatic relations as a way of showing displeasure generally, I think it is stupid, dangerous and damaging to world peace in all situations. So even if that were Norris’ stated reason I would still disapprove as I disapprove of the USA not having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

        What Norris was doing was advocating something different. He was advocating a position that the Israeli ambassador should be expelled for faithfully representing Israel’s position. He didn’t say that Israel’s position was wrong, he said the ambassador wasn’t listening to him. What Norris’ stated reasons were for wanting to take a variety of acts was Israel’s behavior. His specific reason for that particular act was that Modai had (evidently) failed to betray his oath to faithfully represent Israel when Norris asked him to.

        You don’t actually support the notion of Palestinian resistance because otherwise you’d extend many of your arguments to Hamas in the same way you privilege Israel.

        I don’t know what “support the notion of Palestinian resistance” even means. So I have no idea whether I support it or not. I’m not sure how you supposedly know my thoughts better than I.

        to draw an equivalence between Israeli war crimes, and international attempts to sanction said war crimes.

        All policies are equivalent in terms of diplomatic relations. That’s why I used the analogy of ice cream. “War crimes” is just inflammatory and confuses the underlying issue. Norris would assume uncritically that Eamonn McKee’s job to to reflect the policy of the elected government of Ireland, not the policy of Israel. Yet he doesn’t apply this equally and that is a serious problem. You keep trying to dance around this issue, but that is the core issue.

        For example I don’t approve of Ireland’s handling of cloud computing laws. That doesn’t mean I advocate for the expulsion of Anne Anderson. She is the point of negotiation, she is how the issue should be resolved. Nor do I think she is doing anything immoral in faithfully representing Ireland’s position, even though I consider Ireland’s position to be stupid. And even if Ireland never changes their policy on cloud technologies I’d still be opposed to expelling the Irish ambassador. And more importantly were the USA to expel Anderson for faithfully representing Irish policy that would be immoral.

        Norris by encouraging Modai to betray Israeli policy is attacking the very concept of the role of an ambassador.

        Sure. If Ireland was bombing Israel to overturn election results, blocking its ports, stealing its land etc.

        I don’t think I ever argued that expelling the ambassador was unduly harsh action. I’ve said it was stupid, likely to have the opposite result desired, destructive to world peace… But not unduly harsh.

        JeffB: It is up to the people of Israel not the people of Ireland to decide how the IDF should act.

        Clois: They’re not Jews anymore? Ah well, the mask came off a few sentences ago and sort of tipped your hand for ethnic supremacy (Jewish self-determination, naturally, not Israeli self-determination) but whatever.

        No the IDF is Jewish (though there are non-Jewish IDF soldiers). I don’t agree with your whole breakout. Israel is a state formed by Jews to advance Jews. Judaism is the state religion of Israel. The Jewish communities in most countries have responded to Israel by migrating there, and the the Jewish community in the USA has responded by strong political support; though there were delays depending on country. Israel has some non-Jewish inhabitants and has a variety of policies towards them depending on their relationship to the state.

        I do believe the objection to Israel however is fundamentally an objection to Jews. In the case of self determination an objection to Jewish self determination. I start with the basic premise that the Irish have all the rights to govern Ireland in the same way that Israelis / Jews have towards Israel. So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have rejected being ruled over by Arabs. Israel has the same rights to govern Jerusalem that Ireland does towards Dublin. And in particular Modai should be held to the same standards but only the same standards that McKee is held to.

        I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Israel should not attempt to pressure McKee to betray and misrepresent Irish policy and similarly Ireland should not attempt to pressure Modai to betray and misrepresent Israeli policy. I know you consider me a “moral idiot” for believing that Jews should live like all other people but I’m not changing that opinion.

        Were you honest, you’d have stopped here and admitted your initial argument is bullshit, and the type of bullshit meant to use the currency of real Palestinian suffering and make it about Israel

        An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza. They live in another country. It does have something to do with “war crimes” and his job is to act as a conduit for Ireland’s objections.

        I agree with you. Saudi Arabia, etc. have terrible human rights records and should be duly sanctioned. Bigoted though? Once again you overreach on the merits.

        Yes bigoted. Unequal application of the law is bigotry. For example if the police issue me a $100 ticket for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit and arrest black people for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit that’s bigotry. Israel is being treated unequally. In the case of Norris he fully expects Kevin F. O’Malley, the USA ambassador, who represents a country that has an army that kills far more people than the IDF to represent the USA and not Ireland.

        So in response to your article, my objection in the original was to Norris’ argument in that it was essentially the same as Reiner’s and was blatant hypocrisy. I also happen to think it is bad policy if Norris were making the argument you are making.

      • CliosBitch
        August 19, 2014, 4:26 pm

        I refrain from the sort of rude comments this post is littered with. If you are going to present yourself as being ethical you should as well.

        Nonsense. I’m paying you tremendous (and undeserved) respect at that by honestly engaging with the folderol you keep writing. As for the rest, you haven’t earned any sort of tone from me.

        Of course Ireland is within their rights to no longer have diplomatic relations with Israel. They are free to go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians if they so choose. That was never the point in question. Though as an aside I happen to disapprove of using diplomatic relations as a way of showing displeasure generally, I think it is stupid, dangerous and damaging to world peace in all situations. So even if that were Norris’ stated reason I would still disapprove as I disapprove of the USA not having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

        Concession accepted.

        What Norris was doing was advocating something different. He was advocating a position that the Israeli ambassador should be expelled for faithfully representing Israel’s position. He didn’t say that Israel’s position was wrong, he said the ambassador wasn’t listening to him.

        This is precisely the sort of brain-dead hairsplitting that makes you a joke, old man. Why is Israel’s position wrong? Is the ambassador perpetuating wrong policies by not listening to Norris? Etc.

        What Norris’ stated reasons were for wanting to take a variety of acts was Israel’s behavior. His specific reason for that particular act was that Modai had (evidently) failed to betray his oath to faithfully represent Israel when Norris asked him to.

        And? Modai is under no obligation, as you noted, to betray an oath –though of course one wonders whether a functionary of a state committing war crimes can even claim honor– and Morris is more than free to suggest that because of this moral failing Modai (and Israel by proxy) should be punished diplomatically.

        I don’t know what “support the notion of Palestinian resistance” even means. So I have no idea whether I support it or not. I’m not sure how you supposedly know my thoughts better than I.

        It’s fairly obvious. The special pleading you’re making for the state of Israel (all the while declaiming bigotry) whilst not applying the same standards to the Palestinians is evidence enough that you’re no friend of these oppressed people. It’s why it’s annoying and pretty obvious when apologist cant like yours is larded with a throwaway line about caring about Palestinian X, Y, or Z. Let’s be completely honest here. When push comes to shove, you don’t actually care.

        All policies are equivalent in terms of diplomatic relations.

        They aren’t. States discriminate on the basis of expected and past behavior and make baked-in value judgments about certain policies all the time. Mendacious and self-evidently false.

        That’s why I used the analogy of ice cream.

        I believe that has more to do with being a terrible thinker and an even worse writer. Tropes! Treat them well.

        “War crimes” is just
        inflammatory and confuses the underlying issue.

        Nonsense. War crimes have a specific and well-defined meaning, and one which you’ve conceded in other posts. If not objecting to Israeli war crimes, what are we objecting to here? Certainly that is what Mr. Norris is referring to.

        Norris would assume uncritically that Eamonn McKee’s job to to reflect the policy of the elected government of Ireland, not the policy of Israel.

        *Sighs*

        Yet he doesn’t apply this equally and that is a serious problem. You keep trying to dance around this issue, but that is the core issue.

        You mean Mr. Norris believes he has a morally superior policy to that of Israel’s? I know you’re not a relativist because later on in your post you describe the special manifest destiny of Israel so this meaningless.

        There’s no obligation to apply this equally. That’s meaningless pseudointellectual nonsense you keep peddling. You’ve already conceded that nothing Mr. Norris is doing actually violates Israeli self-determination. All you’re kvetching about is that Mr. Norris isn’t recognizing the special quality of Israeli self-determination in which Israel does what it wants and then pays no consequences.

        The world doesn’t work like that. In diplomacy you have opportunity costs. If Mr. Norris’ position prevails –and I am certainly sympathetic– then Israeli diplomatic relations with Ireland will suffer. Such is life.

        Trying to muddy the waters by regurgitating that time you went on an acid trip with your international relations buddy and came up with a solid kritik of the Realist system is frankly kind of hilarious. Or at least it would be if it weren’t being used to distract from the fact that hundreds of civilians are murdered over shit like this.

        For example I don’t approve of Ireland’s handling of cloud computing laws. That doesn’t mean I advocate for the expulsion of Anne Anderson. She is the point of negotiation, she is how the issue should be resolved. Nor do I think she is doing anything immoral in faithfully representing Ireland’s position, even though I consider Ireland’s position to be stupid. And even if Ireland never changes their policy on cloud technologies I’d still be opposed to expelling the Irish ambassador. And more importantly were the USA to expel Anderson for faithfully representing Irish policy that would be immoral.

        I’m not sure if you’re just that debile as a prose stylist or whether you’re really trying to craft an eidolon of the anodyne political metaphor, but good lord, this passage is not only stupid but profoundly boring.

        Yes, the USA would be immoral in your case scenario because there’s very little moral commanding heights –to borrow from some Socialist terminology– on that issue. Rather, let us suggest that in the near future, anti-semitic fascists –a New Reich perhaps in Germany– take control of a major power.

        Would Israel be immoral in breaking relations with such a state if it began discriminating against its Jewish population? What about pogroms? Etc.

        At that point, your principle about not breaking off relations starts to look pretty goddamn silly, particularly in light of sincere and well-thought out oppositions to racism, to colonial policies, to human rights violations, etc.

        This is why your nonsense is so transparent. See you can’t make the argument that you disagree with Mr. Norris on the merits –Israel has certainly committed war crimes (hell, I’ll concede that Hamas has too and we can both go to the ICC)– so you try and make up an extra-special metaphysical principle of international relations which makes your special pleading for war crimes by a particular state into a principled stand.

        I don’t think I ever argued that expelling the ambassador was unduly harsh action. I’ve said it was stupid, likely to have the opposite result desired, destructive to world peace… But not unduly harsh.

        That’s an actual argument! I disagree with it, but I can honor it, particularly as sincere people in the Palestinian camp have differing positions on the spectrum of engagement and isolation. Congratulations.

        Like I said. Hilarious were it not pathetic and kind of gross.

        No the IDF is Jewish (though there are non-Jewish IDF soldiers). I don’t agree with your whole breakout. Israel is a state formed by Jews to advance Jews. Judaism is the state religion of Israel. The Jewish communities in most countries have responded to Israel by migrating there, and the the Jewish community in the USA has responded by strong political support; though there were delays depending on country. Israel has some non-Jewish inhabitants and has a variety of policies towards them depending on their relationship to the state.

        This is really rather off-topic, but it’s still a fascinating look into the rot in Israel’s moral core. A state religion? An exclusive ethnic character to the most powerful force within that state (and certainly that force could never be turned against Israeli citizens of non-Jewish ethnicity, no?) That you can blithely list all this and not experience any sort of doubt is rather alarming, if cretinous.

        I do believe the objection to Israel however is fundamentally an objection to
        Jews.

        Nonsense.

        In the case of self determination an objection to Jewish self determination.

        It’s part and parcel of the Zionist argument to tend towards maudlin sollipsism so I’ll simply point out that you don’t make mention of the fact that there are competing rights here. Idem there are other people there who have the same rights.

        I’ve never objected to Jews living in the Holy Land (though I’m an Atheist myself) or having all the rights a liberal democracy should guarantee. I simply object to Palestinians –both within Israel and without– not partaking of those same rights.

        I start with the basic premise that the Irish have all the rights to govern Ireland in the same way that Israelis / Jews have towards Israel.

        Are the Irish dispossessing an ethnic group to govern their country? Have they killed the equivalent of 18,000 or so (adjusting for population) of these people to govern? Do they get support from the self-proclaimed City on a Hill to do so? Do they claim to be an exceedingly moral state in the process of doing so? Does the Irish state claim one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century as a special rationale for its security?

        So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have
        rejected being ruled over by Arabs.

        So the Afrikaaners rejected Bantu rule for the same reason that the Jews rejected being ruled over by Arabs.

        Nice try, but Arabs here are the colonial natives. This is almost as funny as that Lawfare article positing that Zionism is an anti-colonial ideology. It’s at best a more murderous form of Garveyism and if you know your African-American history (I suspect you do not), that was more than well-supported by racist white imperialists.

        Israel has the same rights to govern Jerusalem that Ireland does towards Dublin.

        *Sighs*

        Except Dublin is not internationally recognized as a divided city.

        And in particular Modai should be held to the same standards but only the same standards that McKee is held to.

        Precious.

        I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Israel should not attempt to pressure McKee to betray and misrepresent Irish policy and similarly Ireland should not attempt to pressure Modai to betray and misrepresent Israeli policy.

        The United States should not attempt to pressure Chancellor Hitler to betray and misrepresent German policy.

        I know you consider me a “moral idiot” for believing that Jews should live like all other people but I’m not changing that opinion.

        lololololol

        The Zionist –aka the special homeland for the Jews who deserve it because of their unique historical status– is arguing that Jews should live like everyone else (in their isolated ghetto where intermarriage rates are nearly non-existent) by… not being subject to any sort of pressure on policy ever?

        The manifold stupidity of this is staggering. You’ve constructed a giant snowflake crystal of derp. From the inability to understand that diplomacy involves pressure to “betray” or –if we’re not using loaded fascist terminology radically change policy– all the time to the special time of white people privileged jujitsu I call honkudo where NO YOU’RE THE REAL RACIST.

        Starting to think this is performance art. Here. Wear a funny hat. And maybe a meat dress.

        An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza. They live in another country. It does have something to do with “war crimes” and his job is to act as a conduit for Ireland’s objections.

        Welcome to SPOT THAT CONTRADICTION.

        Alright. Let’s see if you can spot it here. An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza –a foreign policy issue– but he is also a conduit for Ireland’s objections to said policy.

        I know the Nazis called quantum mechanics “Jewish Physics” (charming, n’est pas?) but this kind of shilling for the principle of indeterminacy in everything (Nothing makes sense! Entropy will kill us all! Everything sucks! –hat-tip Jews Sans Frontieres–) is almost surprising.

        Almost.

        Yes bigoted. Unequal application of the law is bigotry. For example if the police issue me a $100 ticket for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit and arrest black people for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit that’s bigotry. Israel is being treated unequally.

        So the real crime here isn’t the bombing of children but the fact that –hey that guy was doing it too!

        This isn’t a serious argument. It’s the equivalent of saying that “not all men rape” when you’re talking about the issue of rape culture. It’s like saying that a rapist should be let off because most rapes are statistically not prosecuted. It’s in essence the rhetorical equivalent of a belch; letting a noxious miasma of half digested gobbledy-gook and somewhat-masticated fascism serve as an argument instead of focusing on the morality of the issues.

        However, I will condescend to address this, which is far more than you deserve.

        No, Israel is not the world’s greatest human rights violator. That would probably be the United States, North Korea, or China. That it isn’t literally makes no difference as it still violates human rights (a fact you’ve conceded) and in that the editorial policy of this site is to focus on the manifold fissures in American and Middle Eastern life that make the Israel issue so salient.

        Though bonus points for trying to usurp the black experience in the United States (when all the statistics and evidence we have show Palestinians in Israel –aka your token Arabs– to be treated as badly as black people are in this country) to make your cheap point.

        In the case of Norris he fully expects Kevin F. O’Malley, the USA ambassador, who represents a country that has an army that kills far more people than the IDF to represent the USA and not Ireland.

        1. You don’t know that. What is Mr. Norris’ position on the United States?
        2. It doesn’t matter. Mr. Norris has no obligation to care about what you care about.
        3. With that being said, our leaders should be tried for war crimes, and the vast majority of our state apparatus too, no doubt. I also have no doubt of your sincere commitment to such an effort.

        So in response to your article, my objection in the original was to Norris’ argument in that it was essentially the same as Reiner’s and was blatant hypocrisy.

        Except means matter. If Reiner wanted to undermine Hamas by improving living conditions in Gaza, actually negotiating with the Palestinians, honoring human rights, etc. then he’d be on to something.

        I also happen to think it is bad policy if Norris were making the argument you are making.

        It’s funny how you make that argument but then don’t try to actually bolster it in terms of analysis, empirical evidence etc. Also very funny in how you basically waste all of our times with the usual warmed over hasbara about Israel singled out! Abstract principles which prove my child murdering is okay! Jews and antisemitism!

        The only interesting thing about you is that you have a little bit more endurance and that I think you’ve cracked open a Poli Sci 101 book. Little more is to be expected from your fellow trolls, so in that respect you are much like the thinnest kid at fat camp.

        As the great moral philosopher Chris Rock would say.

        Whaddya want? A cookie?

      • Citizen
        August 19, 2014, 4:43 pm

        @ JeffB

        Re: “I start with the basic premise that the Irish have all the rights to govern Ireland in the same way that Israelis / Jews have towards Israel. So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have rejected being ruled over by Arabs. Israel has the same rights to govern Jerusalem that Ireland does towards Dublin.”

        So in history, England was not the colonial power over Ireland? And the Jews were the principal native population in what became known as the British Mandate Land for thousands of years, right up into the early 20th Century? The Arab Palestinians were the colonial power?

      • Citizen
        August 20, 2014, 8:54 am

        @ Jeff B
        “An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza. They live in another country. It does have something to do with “war crimes” and his job is to act as a conduit for Ireland’s objections.”

        And let’s not forget Ribbontrop, the head diplomat for Nazi Germany, was the first defendant executed at Nuremberg.

    • amigo
      August 19, 2014, 7:57 am

      “Either you believe in self determination or you don’t.”jeff B

      Bullsh-t, Israel does not believe in Palestinian self determination.

      Norris is right .

      Cut the nonsense Jeff.

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 11:14 am

        @Amigo

        Bullsh-t, Israel does not believe in Palestinian self determination.

        Of course they do. When has Israel ever objected to self governance among the Palestinian town in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan? For that matter most of the Israeli right at some points favored a Palestinians overthrow of the Jordanian government. Almost all of Israeli society wants Gaza to be an almost entirely self governing colony. Israel is rather supportive of the PA.

        I’d say that’s a long track record of supporting self government for Palestinians. Now supporting self government for Palestinians doesn’t mean they themselves want to be ruled by them nor that they are going to tolerate Palestinians bad behavior.

      • Citizen
        August 19, 2014, 11:31 am

        @ JeffB
        So, in your mind, those illegal Israeli settlements in the WB support Palestininan self-government? And that Israeli blockade of Gaza too?

      • eljay
        August 19, 2014, 12:00 pm

        >> Citizen: So, in your mind, those illegal Israeli settlements in the WB support Palestininan self-government? And that Israeli blockade of Gaza too?

        According to the Zio-supremacist mind, morality = goal + methods.

        Those settlements and the blockade are the methods to Israel’s desired goal of a supremacist “Jewish State” of (Greater) Israel.

        Who can possibly object to such “morality”?

      • amigo
        August 19, 2014, 2:48 pm

        “So, in your mind, those illegal Israeli settlements in the WB support Palestinian self-government? ” citizen.

        What jeff means is!!, Israel supports Palestinian right to self government as long as it is not in the so called greater Israel.

        Check his references to Jordan/Lebanon and Syria.

        Treat him as you find him.

      • amigo
        August 19, 2014, 1:14 pm

        “I’d say that’s a long track record of supporting self government for Palestinians.” jeff b.

        The following might put a chink in your vacuous claim above.

        In case you do not recognise , it is the likud charter.

        a. “The Jordan river will be the permanent eastern border of the State of Israel.”

        b. “Jerusalem is the eternal, united capital of the State of Israel and only of Israel. The government will flatly reject Palestinian proposals to divide Jerusalem”

        c. “The Government of Israel flatly rejects the establishment of a Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan river.”

        d. “The Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza are the realization of Zionist values. Settlement of the land is a clear expression of the unassailable right of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel and constitutes an important asset in the defense of the vital interests of the State of Israel. The Likud will continue to strengthen and develop these communities and will prevent their uprooting.”

        The present Irish Government may not have the orbs to give Modai his marching orders but that is what they (irish gov) will get next election.

        Irish people do not like war criminals moving around freely amongst us.

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 2:42 pm

        @Amigo

        That’s the dispute about where the Palestinians have self determination. In the case of Jews the issue is not merely about where. Read Eljay’s reply for a good example.

    • eljay
      August 19, 2014, 1:46 pm

      >> Either you believe in self determination or you don’t.

      Sure do. Citizens of, immigrants to and ex-pats and refugees from a geographic region comprising a country have the right to self-determine as X. They hold, as equals, a bureaucratic nationality of Country X.

      Israel – Israelis
      Palestine – Palestinians
      France- French
      Canada – Canadians
      Germany – Germans

      There is no country of Jewish and there is no bureaucratic nationality of Jewish, just as there is no country of Homosexual or bureaucratic nationality of Homosexual.

      Creating a supremacist “Jewish State” / “Homosexual State” is not self-determination, it’s religion-based / or sexual orientation-based supremacism.

      There’s nothing just or moral about that. It’s certainly not something that should be believed in.

      • JeffB
        August 19, 2014, 2:52 pm

        @Eljay

        There is no nation of Persia either. There isn’t a perfect mapping between people who live in the territory of Iran (and certainly not expats) and those who have rights in Iran. For example those who practice the Bahá’í Faith is a criminal act, equivalent to espionage in the USA. Does that mean that Iran is an illegitimate country, not entitled to self determination and thus Mitt Romney’s position of regime change morally legitimate?

        If you are all for treating everyone equally then why is total cultural annihilation appropriate in one case and nothing in the other?

        Jews have the right to self determination as Israelis. Whether they also have a civil rights problem and should include others in that definition is a question for political reform. Reform isn’t what is being discussed by you. You want to flood Israel with an alien and hostile people. That would be the sort of action America would visit upon Iran if they wanted to permanently destroy it.

      • eljay
        August 19, 2014, 3:37 pm

        >> JeffB: There is no nation of Persia either.

        So what?

        >> There isn’t a perfect mapping between people who live in the territory of Iran (and certainly not expats) and those who have rights in Iran.

        Then I have a problem with Iran.

        >> Does that mean that Iran is an illegitimate country, not entitled to self determination …

        No, Iran is a legitimate country, as is Israel. A supremacist “Persian State” would be just as illegitimate as is supremacist “Jewish State”.

        >> Jews have the right to self determination as Israelis.

        Jews have a right to be Jews in whichever country they happen to reside. They have no just or moral “right” to self-determine as a supremacist nationality. No-one does.

        >> You want to flood Israel with an alien and hostile people.

        No I don’t.

      • JeffB
        August 20, 2014, 12:58 am

        @eljay

        Then why not be consistent and include on every mention of Iran the “ethno- supremacist state of Iran”? If ethno-supremacism is really the issue…. Or when discussing virtually every European country historically since in the 19th century that had institutional state churches…

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2014, 3:58 pm

        “You want to flood Israel with an alien and hostile people.”

        Yeah, they came flooding in from a place called Palestine. It was a short trip.`

      • justicewillprevail
        August 19, 2014, 5:35 pm

        Israel is flooded with an alien and hostile people, from Europe, Russia and Brooklyn. Hostile doesn’t quite capture the sadistic savagery they specialise in.

        Btw, kudos to clios for an entertaining rip down of jeff’s psychobabble. A prodigious effort, which will sail right over his head. Thinnest man at fat camp! Ha ha

      • eljay
        August 20, 2014, 9:08 am

        >> JeffB: Then why not be consistent and include on every mention of Iran the “ethno- supremacist state of Iran”?

        If this site were about Iran, and if Iran functioned as a “Persian State” – a state primarily of and for Persian Iranians and non-Iranian Persians – I would be referring to Iran as the supremacist “Persian State” when responding to the Persian equivalent of Jewish supremacists like you.

        But the issue at hand is Israel’s existence as a supremacist “Jewish State”.

        >> Or when discussing virtually every European country historically since in the 19th century that had institutional state churches…

        We live in the 21st century, not the 19th. And in the 21st century, Israel is an oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist state. Which is fine if your goal is simply to be a bit better than Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

  6. ckg
    August 18, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Reiner is half right. Congress is indeed controlled by an “extreme” political group that needs to be politically “eliminated”. But it’s not the Tea Party–it’s AIPAC. The Tea Party controls at-most a third of Congress, but AIPAC controls all but eight. If it were eliminated then America could pick its own leaders.

  7. chauncey
    August 18, 2014, 7:23 pm

    We could be kind and say that Reiner should stick with what he knows, making movies. But we can’t; his latest movie, And So It Goes, is rubbish. Save your $10.

  8. lproyect
    August 18, 2014, 7:55 pm

    I don’t know how generational it is. I’m Reiner’s age and wouldn’t be caught dead making such a racist statement. It is more a function of living inside the Hollywood bubble.

  9. Pippilin
    August 18, 2014, 9:25 pm

    As Rob’s TV father (Carroll O’Connor) on “All in the Family” might have said:” Oh, clam up, Meathead.”

  10. Rusty Pipes
    August 18, 2014, 9:30 pm

    In many ways, Reiner is a PEP who lives in a Hollywood bubble. He answers the questions about international politics that King throws at him at the start of the interview with fairly boilerplate liberal Zionist rationalizations. Later in the interview, when King asks him about whether Hollywood influences politics, he talks about how individuals can use their celebrity to raise awareness about issues. There, he says that if a celebrity doesn’t know their issue thoroughly, they can do more harm than good … also mentions some issues he has championed, none of which involve the Middle East.

    Maybe Reiner just needs to be encouraged to step outside the bubble and learn about the issue in depth (especially regarding American biases about Arabs and Muslims). He also comes across as a long-time supporter of Hillary, but as more dedicated to the Democratic Party than to one particular candidate.

    • Philemon
      August 18, 2014, 9:48 pm

      Rusty, Reiner wouldn’t have been cast to play “Meathead” Michael, the Pollack, all those years ago if he wasn’t what he was and is now.

  11. piotr
    August 18, 2014, 9:51 pm

    “With the Tea Party, you have to go through political thing, you have to wait till 2020 to redistrict, but that is really tough stuff.”

    Of course, it would be much simpler to direct artillery fire at the districts electing Tea Party candidates. Actually, I wonder what about Tea Party irritates Reiner so much. That some members are sceptical about foreign adventurism and support for Israel? That other members take trips to Israel and “support” in the most annoying way, like opposing any limits on settlements and adding “everybody between Jordan and the sea should have equal rights”? They were lectured in Israel that Palestinians want to discriminate against the Jews, but those stupid guys then think that ANY discrimination is wrong. As a rule, members of Tea Party are hopeless at reading between the lines.

    • Marco
      August 18, 2014, 10:23 pm

      The anti-Tea Party sentiments of Hollywood liberals like Reiner is motivated more by condescension towards rednecks and bible thumpers than it is by a genuine commitment for the poor and minorities. This fact helps explain how PEPs like meathead can simultaneously crusade against racists in the US and on behalf of racists in Israel.

      • adele
        August 19, 2014, 5:00 am

        very well put Marco

      • Citizen
        August 19, 2014, 4:51 pm

        @ Marco
        Yep. You can be sure Reiner despises the Christian Zionists for the same reason, although he’s happy they support Israel, and he equally laughs privately among his MOTs at the Evangelical concept of the Last Days. Meathead spoke liberal Jewish POV of that time, but got ridiculed as a “Pollack.” Imagine the program if the Meathead character was identified in the show as a “Pollack Jew,” or simply a Jew. It would have been off the air in no time at all, assuming it would even have been broadcast on mainline US TV.

      • Philemon
        August 19, 2014, 8:22 pm

        Not really. Lots of mainstream U.S. TV at the time, there were only three channels, and well before it, only three channels, had its fair share of sympathetic Jewish POV.

        Meathead was made a Pollack so that they could use Pollack jokes and make fun of the new generation of college-educated academically-inclined liberals of the time. He could easily have been portrayed as a young atheistic Jew, but then they wouldn’t have been able to use the Pollack jokes (boo! hiss!) and he would have had to be portrayed more sympathetically, e.g., turning Archie’s malapropisms on their head more often, to win a battle of wits, which would have been difficult for the writers.

        Now, the one thing they couldn’t have done was to make Archie jewish, even though his character was based on at least one, or more, of the producer’s/writer’s jewish father. But Archie was too ignorant, bigoted and abrasive to be explicitly jewish. Even though Archie was representative of an earlier generation of labor-movement working-class jewish organizers, who were being compared and contrasted with the a later generation which had more book-knowledge than practical experience, he had to be non-jewish. A Jewish bigot? No way!

        Therefore, he had to be some vague denomination of Christian, Mason, WASP, Catholic at the time.

        Archie was the real “alter cocker” character, but he was an affectionate parody because his character was based on someone’s father.

  12. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 19, 2014, 12:27 am

    BTW, just where has Hamas called for “the destruction of every Jew on the planet.” Anyone want to give a link? I know that for most Zio-Jews it’s part of the faith that all gentiles secretly long for their destruction, but if this paranoia is going to be used to justify aggression like the attack on Gaza, shouldn’t we ask for some documentation?

    • Citizen
      August 19, 2014, 4:53 pm

      The Zio-Jews point to part of the HAMAS charter (and always ignore the Likud party platform).

  13. Marnie
    August 19, 2014, 1:27 am

    Now that things are looking bad for team israel, now they’re talking about 2-state solution as the only way, but only with preconditions – can’t deal with Hamas, they’ve got to be out of the picture. And always some outsider who wants to have a say in how things run. I was told that the NAACP was actually started by jews as a way to keep an eye on and control the affairs of african-americans. I don’t know if this is true or if there is credible history to validate or invalidate this (its hard to know the truth in the US because of extensive “white-washing” of history), but this article made me think of that. Stay out of it Mr. Reiner please, don’t you have a movie to make or something? And stop with the continual blood libel “Hamas wants to kill all the jews”. Do they really? Will refusing to deal directly with them make them disappear? Of course not. If you continue to refuse to negotiate with them, and they aren’t insignificant by any means, you only want to continue conflict, escalation and wars, every 2-3 years, because that has been the history and its stupid and the world is sick and tired of it. Maybe God has hardened the hearts of the israelis, and they won’t listen to reason. This is going to end very badly and I really am worried for my daughter’s generation and the generation (if there will be any) after that. I can’t go to sleep at night seeing the faces of all the people in Max B.’s pictorial and in any of the photos posted on MW; looking at the young people and children and wondering what will the future bring to them? How can so-called leaders just “shrug their shoulders” when told straight out “you have blood on your hands”? There’s too many people with no stake in the day-to-day lives of anyone here, making decisions about what is to be done and know damn well there has to be a lot of earth moved first to level the field, a lot of atonement for the crimes and a lot of cleansing. This happens over and over and over and each time some ass says “never again”. I’m not talking about the jews, just collectively humanity – Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Somalia, Eritrea, Syria, etc. We humans are really great at “never again”.

  14. jon s
    August 19, 2014, 6:32 am

    Does PEP mean people who are generally progressive, except in the case of Palestine , where they support violent religious fundamentalists?

  15. JeffB
    August 19, 2014, 7:19 pm

    @Citizen

    There is good video on Palestine and who is the colonial power:

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-evIyrrjTTY&w=560&h=315%5D
    I don’t agree with all the details but the message is spot on.

  16. JeffB
    August 19, 2014, 8:33 pm

    @Clios

    I think we understand each other on the issue of Norris. I don’t have much else to say. I think he quite explicitly gave a reason for his actions and you keep saying no… he meant something else that can be inferred and we should ignore his explicitly stated reasons. I don’t think the topic of their disagreement is relevant, you do. But there is a point below which might explain this better in your reincarnated Nazisism so I’ll pick it up from there.

    And? Modai is under no obligation, as you noted, to betray an oath –though of course one wonders whether a functionary of a state committing war crimes can even claim honor

    Of course they can. The UN’s role is not much different than the Church / Pope’s was in earlier centuries claiming to be a sort of unaccountable super-government that all governments had to pay homage to. Jews wouldn’t exist if they listened to that claptrap.

    It’s fairly obvious. The special pleading you’re making for the state of Israel (all the while declaiming bigotry) whilst not applying the same standards to the Palestinians is evidence enough that you’re no friend of these oppressed people.

    I’m not a friend to these oppressed people. I’m a partisan on the other side. I advocate some degree of compromise with them. But there is no reason they shouldn’t consider me an enemy.

    It’s why it’s annoying and pretty obvious when apologist cant like yours is larded with a throwaway line about caring about Palestinian X, Y, or Z. Let’s be completely honest here. When push comes to shove, you don’t actually care.

    Of course I care. I want Israel to be humane. I want other things for Israel far more. As I’ve said before Israel should be: as moral as possible, as brutal as necessary. I advocate offering full citizenship for West Bank Palestinians who agree to become Israel and full independence for Gaza. That’s IMHO is a reasonable and ethical position even if I weren’t a partisan.

    You mean Mr. Norris believes he has a morally superior policy to that of Israel’s? I know you’re not a relativist because later on in your post you describe the special manifest destiny of Israel so this meaningless.

    I’m a relativist on the proper role of ambassadors. I’m not a relativist on the proper conduct of the underlying governments. That is part of the distinction I’ve been making for 3 posts.

    The world doesn’t work like that. In diplomacy you have opportunity costs. If Mr. Norris’ position prevails –and I am certainly sympathetic– then Israeli diplomatic relations with Ireland will suffer. Such is life.

    Well yes of course. That’s always the case for any country X if the enemies of that country in Y are successful in getting their way than X’s relationship with Y suffers. Nothing unusual about that.

    Rather, let us suggest that in the near future, anti-semitic fascists –a New Reich perhaps in Germany– take control of a major power. Would Israel be immoral in breaking relations with such a state if it began discriminating against its Jewish population? What about pogroms? Etc.

    Good this gets to the meat of the issue.

    I don’t think Israel should break diplomatic relations because as I’ve said before I don’t think that’s ever a good thing. What I do think Israel should act to rescue those Jews. One of Israel’s successes has been rescuing Jews when anti-Semitism heats up. Situations like this have arisen since the creation of Israel numerous times and when they do Israel has effectively mitigated the mass slaughter or less oppression that would have otherwise resulted. The ambassador might be very effectual in negotiating the migration rather than extermination.

    This is why your nonsense is so transparent. See you can’t make the argument that you disagree with Mr. Norris on the merits –Israel has certainly committed war crimes (hell, I’ll concede that Hamas has too and we can both go to the ICC)– so you try and make up an extra-special metaphysical principle of international relations which makes your special pleading for war crimes by a particular state into a principled stand.

    Not really. I have a general pleading that I think most of the 4th Geneva convention is completely unrealistic. I pretty much oppose most of post WWII international law in other situations. For example I agree with Putin not the UN on Ukraine. That isn’t a special pleading it is a generalized strong belief in self determination. While I favor some of the liberation movements of the anti-colonial movement I think good deal of their ideology was destructive and the UN did poorly to adopt it. Far more sensible were the 19th century international standards which were based on a realistic and thus enforceable standards of conduct.

    If you want my actual position on Norris… In the case of Ireland’s hatred for Israel I don’t think it has much to do with the Palestinians or human rights. The Republicans / IRA were part of the “liberation movement” along with the anti-colonialists and later PLO and traded arms back and forth as well as helping one another. That tradition has held and Ireland is thus a hotbed of anti-Israelism. Conversely the Unionists are strong Israel supporters more so than even the USA. Both parties relate to Israel / Palestine out of their own history with no genuine understanding. This gets compounded by Catholic replacement theology for Ireland while Protestant Christian Zionism plays a huge role in Northern Ireland. Which is to say that Ireland is strongly inclined to be hostile to Israel and if they can find a good excuse they will be. Probably Israel cannot be genuinely friendly with Ireland for another century or so regardless of what happens with Palestinians. Though Ireland I suspect is only going to want to make symbolic moves. Norris was advocating in that speech for Ireland to send peacekeepers to Gaza against Israel’s will… given the relative strength of the IDF and the Irish Army (I don’t think they would last two hours in a full on fight) a position that strikes me as proving the man is simply off his rocker.

    This is really rather off-topic, but it’s still a fascinating look into the rot in Israel’s moral core. A state religion?

    Your questioning a state religion when talking about Ireland? Ireland only exists because of Catholicism. The state religion has been the central political issue for Ireland since Queen Elizabeth I.

    An exclusive ethnic character to the most powerful force within that state (and certainly that force could never be turned against Israeli citizens of non-Jewish ethnicity, no?)

    I didn’t say that. It most certainly could be if they continue down the road of identifying with the Palestinians. The Israeli Arabs since the 1980s have been waffling whether they want to be Israelis or a Palestinain 5th column. They seem to be creeping towards 5th column. If they keep going in that direction, eventually it will be turned against them.

    It’s part and parcel of the Zionist argument to tend towards maudlin sollipsism so I’ll simply point out that you don’t make mention of the fact that there are competing rights here. Idem there are other people there who have the same rights.

    Of course there are. It is a true tragedy for Palestinians that their society was destroyed to make room for Israel. God (I’m also an atheist, being metaphorical here) has a cruel sense of humor. The Palestinians of the last century had no empathy or sympathy for the Jews of the diaspora so he is turning them into the Jews of the diaspora. Jews meanwhile never understood the world from the Tzar’s point of view and so they have had to relive it from the other side.

    I get they have competing rights. But the fulfillment of those rights is the annihilation of Judaism and Israel. At best they can settle for some sort of half baked totally unfair compromise or IMHO far better for them agree to become Israeli.

    Are the Irish dispossessing an ethnic group to govern their country?

    Ireland is one of the very few countries in the world where the ethnic group there now did not forcibly displace another group. So no. But with virtually every other country, including the Palestinians, yes.

    Does the Irish state claim one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century as a special rationale for its security?

    I’m not sure why you see that as a negative. But the Irish do claim one of the great tragedies of the 19th century (the potato famine and the policy of starvation) as the special rationale for their independence. So that one they do pretty much match on that accord.

    So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have
    rejected being ruled over by Arabs.

    Nice try, but Arabs here are the colonial natives.

    No one is native. Both groups are migrants. Jews have better aboriginal claims. Palestinians have better recent claims. BTW most of the colonial natives weren’t really native to the places they were expelling the whites from, just earlier.

    This is almost as funny as that Lawfare article positing that Zionism is an anti-colonial ideology. It’s at best a more murderous form of Garveyism

    That’s a fair comparison. Had Black’s chosen to return to Africa rather than be Americans then likely they would have had to do much of what Israel is doing now. And if you look at the history of Liberia when the natives finally rose up against the descendants of the African Americans they slaughtered them.

    and if you know your African-American history (I suspect you do not), that was more than well-supported by racist white imperialists.

    No I don’t know my African American history. But I do know that repatriation was supported by both racists and 19th century liberals.

    Except Dublin is not internationally recognized as a divided city.

    Who cares? There were periods of time that Dublin was internationally recognized as British property. So what. The people of Dublin decided on what the proper government of Dublin should be, just as the people of Jerusalem should decide on what the proper government of Jerusalem should be. That line is a pretty clear denial of self determination.

    JeffB: I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Israel should not attempt to pressure McKee to betray and misrepresent Irish policy and similarly Ireland should not attempt to pressure Modai to betray and misrepresent Israeli policy.

    Clois: The United States should not attempt to pressure Chancellor Hitler to betray and misrepresent German policy.

    The analogy would be: Hans Luther, Hans-Heinrich Dieckhoff and Hans Thomsen. All 3 were treated well by the United States. All 3 were allowed to come and go. And Hans Thomsen in particular when the war started was treated in accord with his position. Luther and Thomsen helped the USA in the reconstruction of Germany after the war given positions of respect and honor. The USA treated them like ambassadors. America understood their role was to faithfully represent the 3rd Reich to America and that was all. Luther went further than that and gave a well covered lecture series to Americans at Columbia which was an apologetic for Nazism which he was allowed to freely present.

    They are counter examples to your position.

    The Zionist –aka the special homeland for the Jews who deserve it because of their unique historical status– is arguing that Jews should live like everyone else (in their isolated ghetto where intermarriage rates are nearly non-existent) by… not being subject to any sort of pressure on policy ever?

    I didn’t say that. I have no problem with reasonable levels of pressure on Israel for things they have done wrong. For example when Teva Pharmaceuticals violated Pfizer’s patents I had no problem with Israel having to pay damages. That was just them being held to the standards that every other country is held to.

    Alright. Let’s see if you can spot it here. An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza –a foreign policy issue– but he is also a conduit for Ireland’s objections to said policy.

    That’s right. He is a conduit he is not responsible for the policy. That’s the distinction between a battery and wire. There is no contradiction there.

  17. Accentitude
    August 20, 2014, 3:51 am

    1. This guy hasn’t directed a good movie since 1989 (When Harry Met Sally) and even then it wasn’t the greatest thing in the world.

    2. It’s not “The Hamas”; its just “Hamas” although if he wants to parrot the Israelis, maybe he should call them “Khamas.”

    3. Hamas’ charter was revised in 2006 and no longer advocates for the so-called destruction of Israel. Unfortunately, Likud, Yisrael Beitineu, and The Jewish Home party haven’t changed their charters, platform, or political positions and mostly refuse to recognize any legitimacy to Palestinian claims or the right to self determination….and well….they’re the folks that have orchestrated the last 4-5 wars and spilled the blood of thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians. Can we negotiate with them or should they be eliminated too?

    4. In regard to the aforementioned Hamas charter, revision or not, neither Hamas or any Palestinian hizb (faction or political party) have ever called for the elimination of “every Jew on the planet.” It never was a war against Jews.That’s f*cking stupid. Its an outright lie and Rob Reiner knows it.

    5. Israel and the United States, both of which claim to be “democratic” nations firmly rooted in the belief that the voice of the people direct the leadership of the government, cannot dictate nor force upon the Palestinian people who should or should not be running the Palestinian Government. Like both Israel and the United States, we had elections, people voted, Hamas won. Cry me a river if you don’t agree with the results. That’s how democracy works. Sometimes you get who you want and sometimes you don’t. Lest we forget, that most Americans (and others around the world) didn’t want George W. Bush to have a second term as U.S. President and most thought the person who should have been Pres was Al Gore. But that didn’t work out how we or you wanted, did it? Should the MENA countries have demanded that they will cut off all oil exports and cease cooperation with the U.S. until Al Gore took over?

    6. Spinal Tap 2 or GTFO.

  18. JeffB
    August 20, 2014, 10:30 am

    @Citizen

    And let’s not forget Ribbontrop, the head diplomat for Nazi Germany, was the first defendant executed at Nuremberg.

    The charges against him were for things he did not his functioning as a diplomat. I suspect in particular the policy of lynching allied pilots. The charges against him were for planning of the invasion of Poland not just presenting the case of why Germany should invade Poland. That’s a crucial distinction. Or in the case of Jews coordinating the shipment of Jews to the death camps in 1942 i.e. being an architect of the final solution, not defending the final solution diplomatically.

    If Modai were actually orchestrating current war-crimes then I could see Ireland’s point. If Modai had been involved in previous war-crimes then rejecting him as ambassador and requesting a different one would be reasonable. Otherwise they are confusing the battery and the wire.

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