‘Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children’

Israel/Palestine
on 210 Comments
Nine-year-old girl injured by shrapnel, in Gaza. Photo from Telegraph/Rex

Nine-year-old girl injured by shrapnel, in Gaza. Photo from Telegraph/Rex

Yaacov Lozowick is the state archivist of Israel. A scholar who moved to Israel from Europe, he is a true believer in the necessity of Jewish nationalism. Scott Roth and I once met him in West Jerusalem and had a polite conversation that became more adversarial when it was continued on email in the months after.

Yaacov has an active twitter account in which he trumpets Israel; and on August 4 he tweeted:

Lesson of this war: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children. Just like every warring nation in history.

I sent Lozowick the following note:

This strikes me as a somewhat crude slogan– given that you’re an intellectual at the highest level.

And secondly, you omit me in your declaration of what “The Jews” do. I’m a Jew and I don’t want to be part of a collective that makes these types of determinations. And I feel great concern about having anyone — even the distinguished state archivist of a “warring nation” — announce to my non Jewish neighbors how many children I need to kill to keep my nation going. It’s actually a kind of blood libel– again from a distinguished state archivist.

Also: what does it mean to be a “warring nation”? Really, is that a category that any citizen would embrace? The history of “warring nations” doesn’t offer a lot of hope. It seems to me you are making Israel a Sparta [cribbing Hannah Arendt]. Or as my friend Golda once said to me in Rehavia, We’re going to have one war after another after another, till they accept us. It’s not a vision for a future. Yet 95 percent of Israeli Jews have embraced the Gaza onslaught out of this understanding. Which only increases the responsibility of American Jews to say, Not in my name!

Lozowick responded. Here’s his note in full:

1. The Jews: It is an objective and implacable fact that Zionism is the largest and most significant Jewish project in at least 2,000 years, probably more. There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it. The fact that about 50% of the world’s Jews live in Israel strengthens this, (the proportion will soon tip over to more than 50%), and the fact that a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, bolsters its strength, but doesn’t change it. You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.

You can rail against this for every remaining day of your life (until 120, as we Jews say), and it still won’t make the slightest difference, not even if you gather around you thousands or tens of thousands of like-minded American Jews. I think it was Abe Lincoln who once said in court something about the strength of a fart in a blizzard or some such. Live with it, Phil, because there’s nothing you can do to change it. Nothing.

(Apropos numbers: there were more Jews at the funeral of Max Steinberg last month, which I blogged a bit about, than all the committed Mondoweis Jews together, and it was just one funeral).

2. Will defend themselves: Look, I know you’re convinced Israel is the once and always, perpetual aggressor. Of course this doesn’t explain how if we’re such agressors the Palestinians keep multiplying and acquiring new assets such as the PA, parts of WB, all of Gaza, international standing etc etc. We must be really really bad at getting our job done. But as we both know, you and I can’t agree on the basic facts of this point, so let’s leave it as I said: A majority of the Jews worldwide and a total majority in Israel know we’re defending ourselves from enemies who would eagerly destroy us if they had the power, just as happened in the past. (Lots of non-Jews agree with us, by the way, either because we’ve got them under our thumb as you see it, or because it’s a simple fact, as I see it).

3. Even if it means killing: My PhD was about Nazis, and I know more about them than most people, so Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply to me. I can speak about Nazis as a scholar, not a demagogue. So here’s a thought experiment. Say that in order to end Nazism you had to kill 70,000 (not a few hundred) innocent, non-German civilians, Frenchmen, say. Would that be defensible? 70,000 dead French civilians, all innocent, many children, to end Nazism and as a by-product also end the Holocaust? Would that be moral? Permissible? Defendable in some later discussion? I ask because it’s not a thought experiment, it’s what the USA and UK did in 1944 as they went through France so as to destroy Nazism in Germany. Some goals, my friend, justify even horrible side effects, or collateral damage, or whatever you wish to call it. The reason being that the alternative, of allowing Nazism to stay in place, would hvae been far worse.

So If Israel has to chose between its own safety or refusing to kill any innocent bystanders whatsoever, we’ll choose to defend ourselves. You bet. Of course, we can seek shades of gray, alternatives of greater or lesser destruction, and we can argue about those and indeed, we must seek them and argue about them. But the basic framework remains solid. Our safety is to be assured even if there’s a price to it, even if some innocents die. As few as possible, hopefully, but the inevitably some, yes.

4. Just like every warring nation in history: Simple. Every single nation in human history, including in the 21st century, which finds itself at war, has one of two options regarding the moral dilemna in the preceeding paragraph. Either it accepts that it will kill some inocents in order to protect ts goals, or it doesn’t care. The Syrian don’t care. ISIS certainly doesn’t care. The North Vietnamese probably didn’t care, so far as I can tell. I don’t think the North in your Civil War much cared. The US in WWII didn’t care at all when it came to German civilians in bombable towns. Hamas certainly doesn’t care – well, actually it does. It regrets it doesn’t manage to kill more Jews and Arabs who live among them.

Anericans nowadays do care, as do the British, and a small handful of other mostly enlightened nations, Israel among them. Yet whenever they chose to go to war, they also accept they’ll be killing at least some innocent bystanders – and they then do. In Serbia in the 1990s, in Kuwait in the 1990s, in Afghanistan and Iraq in the 2000s, and yes, I’m sad to tell you, against ISIS in 2014 (and 2015? 2016? 2025?). No-one has existentially threatened the US since the 19th century, or maybe even ever. Which isn’t to say the US hasn’t fought just wars. But they were never about its very existence. And in every one of them they have killed civilians. Tragic, but true. And as long as the US continues to be at war, for whatever reasons, it will continue to kill civilians. As few as possible, one hopes, and one assumes they’ll take great efforts to limit the numbers, but to pretend you can go to war and not kill civilians is being willfully blind.

Israel, unlike the US, faces enemies who proudly broadcast their intention to destroy it, in the most basic meaning of the word “destroy”. So Israel must choose: will it defend itself even if thereby some number of innocent civilians die, or will it not defend itself, and thereby large numbers of its own civilians will die.

The answer is clear. Any other answer would be immoral.

So, that’s it. I know your methodology, and that of your fans. You’ll now turn to all sorts of other objections and whatabouttery. But I’ve responded to the questions as you posed them, and that’s enough. The whatabouttery is, by definition, about other matters.

About Philip Weiss

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

Other posts by .


Posted In:

210 Responses

  1. just
    August 20, 2014, 10:03 am

    “Yaacov Lozowick is the state archivist of Israel”

    Therein lies the problem.

    • Krauss
      August 20, 2014, 12:22 pm

      This is a sidenote, but still quite telling. The background in his profile photo on Twitter is Europe, not the Middle East, which kind of says it all.

  2. American
    August 20, 2014, 10:14 am

    ” Say that in order to end Nazism you had to kill 70,000 (not a few hundred) innocent, non-German civilains, Frenchmen, say. Would that be defensible? 70,000 dead French civilians, all inocent, many children, to end Nazism and as a by-product also end the Holocaust? Would that be moral? Permissable? ”>>>>

    Lozowick doesnt get that Israel is the Nazis in this situtation.
    If you’re a delusional zionist cult member you cant be very intellectual.

    • Kay24
      August 20, 2014, 11:02 am

      I agree, for a self proclaimed top scholar in nazism, and bragging he knows most about them, he sadly lacks intuition, the ability to recognize similarities, sympathize with civilians being blown to bits, by those wanting to “defend” themselves, and be able to see what the majority in the world, sees. He is blinded by what he was fed from the time he was born, the dangerous assertions that HIS life, and the lives of those like him, are MORE precious than others, and that anything done to ensure that they get away with crimes against humanity is OKAY. That goes for killing Arab children, blowing up women and men who are unarmed, bombing their homes, hospitals, mosques, and their lives, even the occupation and illegal settlements are okay, after all he belongs to that superior race. A sense of entitlement in all what he says comes through.

      • lysias
        August 20, 2014, 11:16 am

        1. The Jews: It is an objective and implacable fact that Zionism is the largest and most significant Jewish project in at least 2,000 years, probably more. There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it. The fact that about 50% of the world’s Jews live in Israel strengthens this, (the proportion will soon tip over to more than 50%), and the fact that a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, bolsters its strength, but doesn’t change it. You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.

        A self-proclaimed top scholar in Nazism should recognize that an apologist (archivist?) for Nazi Germany would have said very similar things about the relationship between Nazi Germany and “the Germans”.

      • Walid
        August 20, 2014, 12:35 pm

        “You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there,…”

        lysias, it’s more a question of having Jews pining for Israel for that long and then actually ending up NOT going there. I remember reading eons ago how Ben Gurion on one of his recruitment drives told American Jews that it was the duty of every family to send at least one member of the family to live in Israel. I guess that’s when the cheque “in lieu” came into play and has been in play since then.

        Excerpt from a JPOST narrative”

        “… “The first Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion once spoke to a group in Sde Boker, and I was with them. He told us a story and said: ‘You need to become like a Catholic family’. Back then I did not know what a Catholic family was, and I asked what that was all about. Ben-Gurion responded: ‘in a Catholic family they always want one child, a boy, who will become a priest or a girl who will become a nun’. And I guess I still did not get it. Then he explained: “Every Jewish family in America should feel obligated that at least one of their children comes to live in Eretz Israel”. This is because one person moving to Israel would be followed by families visiting them.”

        http://blogs.jpost.com/content/seed-hope-zionism-%E2%80%93-personal-story-barbara-goldstein-deputy-director-hadassah-israel-and-kkl

  3. just
    August 20, 2014, 10:17 am

    Just went for a bit of search for Yaacov, and came across this from Sunday:

    “The IDF takes international law very seriously. Over the past decade it has considerably expanded the part of the military prosecution which deals with the laws of war, and there is now an entire team of officers, many at the colonel level, whose entire profession is to ensure the IDF functions within the law. I’ll stray from the Yedioth article for a moment to add that I’ve come across these folks in recent years, in professional discussions, and they’re knowledgeable, committed and professional. I expect that they know more about the laws of war than just about any media type or pundit who pontificates on the matter, except of course the other professionals. It seems safe to me to say that if anyone who doesn’t have a full and updated education in the laws of war informs you about how what the IDF does is illegal etc, they are probably talking through their hat comfortable that you, too, don’t know enough to call them out. The laws of war, like any branch of law, is a professional field, and it takes training and practice to be good at it.

    ………..

    I recognize this entire story is completely, totally and irrevocably incompatible with roughly 100% of the international media reports over the past month. But you see, the thing about truth is that it isn’t effected by media reports one way or the other. People’s understanding of reality is; their ideologies and Weltanschaungen can be, but hard facts aren’t.

    It’s also yet another example of how it happens that Israelis understand the world differently than everyone else. This is often used against them: if everyone says you are X, you must be X, and if you insist you aren’t X you’re not only wrong, you’re fools. But of course, the entire surroundings has been telling itself falsities about Jews for millennia (literally). This didn’t make it true then, and doesn’t make it true now.

    Ah,I forgot to add: feel free to show me one other military in the annals of war which can tell a similar story.”

    http://yaacovlozowick.blogspot.com/

    • American
      August 20, 2014, 10:51 am

      ” It seems safe to me to say that if anyone who doesn’t have a full and updated education in the laws of war informs you about how what the IDF does is illegal etc, they are probably talking through their hat comfortable that you, too, don’t know enough to call them out. The laws of war, like any branch of law, is a professional field, and it takes training and practice to be good at it.”>>>>>>

      He obviously knows nothing..zero…about the laws of war.
      He’s either stupid, or thinks the people his audience is stupid.
      I cant remember how long ago the Isr settlements were ruled “Illegal’ under International Law—-but the zios still to this day refer to them as disputed.
      So much for the zio brain and Isr understanding of ‘laws’.

      I can hardly tolorate reading any zionist’ intellectuals’—its all jibberish .

      • Philemon
        August 20, 2014, 7:54 pm

        Gibberish isn’t surprising given how many of them write things that sound like they’re trying to fulfill all the criteria in Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist. Glib/superficial charm -check, grandiose sense of self-worth -check, pathological lying -check, cunning/manipulative -check, lack of remorse or guilt -check, emotionally shallow -check, callous/lack of empathy -check, failure to accept responsibility for own actions -check…

        What psychopaths write often comes across as gibberish to normal people because they don’t think like normal people, and it shows in what they write. One sentence might be callous “might makes right”, the next self-important grandiose paranoid fantasy, the next special-circumstance pleading, the next lugubrious sentimental clichés, etc.

        “A majority of the Jews worldwide and a total majority in Israel know we’re defending ourselves from enemies who would eagerly destroy us if they had the power, just as happened in the past.”

        Well maybe most Israeli Jews “know” this because it’s what they’ve been taught to believe from their first day in school, if not before, but how does Lozowick know what a “majority of Jews worldwide” “know”? The fact is that he doesn’t and can’t. He’s just being a blowhard.

  4. OlegR
    August 20, 2014, 10:28 am

    And he pretty much nailed it.
    Sad but true.

    • OlegR
      August 20, 2014, 10:39 am
      • seafoid
        August 20, 2014, 10:46 am

        The nearest we have to video of Cossack pogroms in old Poland.

      • asherpat
        August 20, 2014, 3:47 pm

        Bet you have many of those on Youtube!

      • Citizen
        August 20, 2014, 8:42 pm

        What is the point of that video, OlegR? Some girlie boys playing with free real American guns, shrieking girlie like in a bomb-out building, drawing a bead on some woman, way down there in the middle of the street? Yelling at her, firing a round in front of her, for what? I don’t get it. It ends with one of the girlie boys with his shirt off, kneeling…

      • Pixel
        August 20, 2014, 11:37 pm

        .
        girlie boys?

  5. eljay
    August 20, 2014, 10:28 am

    So If Israel has to chose between it’s own safety or refusing to kill any innocent bystanders whatsoever, we’ll choose to defend ourselves.

    So if Palestinians have to choose between…
    – their own safety when confronted by an enemy that has been stealing, occupying and colonizing Palestinian land and oppressing, torturing and killing Palestinians for over 60 years; and
    – refusing to kill any innocent Israeli bystanders whatsoever,
    …they are entitled to choose to defend themselves, yes, Mr. Lozowick?

    Or are you just another (typical) Zio-supremacist hypocrite?

    • asherpat
      August 20, 2014, 3:48 pm

      eljay, do you have any better arguments than “Zio-spremacist” etc?

      • eljay
        August 20, 2014, 6:16 pm

        >> asherpat: eljay, do you have any better arguments than “Zio-spremacist” etc?

        If you’re looking for an argument that absolves Zio-supremacists of your past and on-going (war) crimes – (war) crimes committed in the pursuit of a supremacist “Jewish State” – no, I don’t have that argument.

  6. seafoid
    August 20, 2014, 10:32 am

    “Live with it, Phil, becase (sic) there’s nothing you can do to change it. Nothing.”

    Tail risk is such a bitch

    • Philip Weiss
      August 20, 2014, 10:37 am

      thanks I have corrected typos

      • LeaNder
        August 20, 2014, 11:25 am

        Phil, I understand you are relying on Hannah often, but concerning Israel generally and its achive gatekeepers you really should read “a very short auto-biography” by Raul Hilberg, which unfortunately is not awailable in ebook format it seems. The Politics of Memory

        I unfortunately cannot cite what is vaguely on my mind since I passed my copy on to a friend.

        But this is Norman Finkelstein in a fast search of the book:

        In his often acrid memoir The Politics of Memory Hilberg tells the story that when he first proposed studying the Jewish genocide to his advisor at Columbia University, the great German-Jewish sociologist Franz Neumann (author of Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism, a classic study of the organization of the Nazi state), Neumann warned him that “this will be your funeral.”

        Really, very, very short book.

        Some kind of déjà vu? And what exactly is the history of this: this will be your funeral?

  7. geofgray
    August 20, 2014, 10:39 am

    this is chilling and depressing. if lozowick speaks for the mainstream likud government, there is no hope of reconciliation. this man is brilliant and crazy.
    the usa created this monster, who like, isis, is now grown up and gone rogue.

  8. American
    August 20, 2014, 10:43 am

    A Special Place in Hell
    by Bradley Burston

    Israel will be better off when my generation is dead
    Someday, a new generation will arise in Israel, look at what we’ve been doing, and say to my generation: You had your chance. You blew it. You’re done.

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/a-special-place-in-hell/.premium-1.611354
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The new generation from all current indications wont be any better. They’ve been raised on racism, Jewish supremism, greed and violence.

    • jimby
      August 20, 2014, 12:25 pm

      @American. great read by Burston…. a quote:

      “My generation is the era of state-paid, indictment-immune rabbis counseling hatred, preaching racism, inciting bloodshed, exalting war, degrading democracy, sanctifying inequality, forbidding compromise, undermining solutions. “

    • Pixel
      August 20, 2014, 11:51 pm

      .
      +1 on the great read.

      In the words of the late great Professor Henry Higgins,

      “By Jove, I think [he’s] got it!”

  9. seafoid
    August 20, 2014, 10:47 am

    It was a war of choice as well. Nothing to do with defence.
    And who is this schmuck to speak on behalf of Jews ?

    • American
      August 20, 2014, 10:59 am

      seafoid says:
      August 20, 2014 at 10:47 am
      It was a war of choice as well. Nothing to do with defence.

      >>>>>>

      It cant even be classified as a ‘war’. A ‘war’ implies national armies fighting other national “armies”.
      What Isr does is “militarily put down” any uprisings in a area they have illegally blockaded.

      • gracie fr
        August 20, 2014, 6:53 pm

        Should we be surprised at Israel’s disproportionate use of force and the erasure of entire neighborhoods in Gaza….????
        In a 2008 interview with GOC Northern Command Gadi Eisenkot, and articles written by two senior reserve officers have indicated that the IDF will continue to give first priority to firepower, even if the targets it chooses are different than those chosen in previous conflicts. Eisenkot presented his “Dahiyah Doctrine,” under which the IDF would expand its destructive power beyond what it demonstrated two years ago against the Beirut suburb of Dahiyah, considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
        “We will wield disproportionate power against every village from which shots are fired on Israel, and cause immense damage and destruction. From our perspective, these are military bases,” he said. “This isn’t a suggestion. This is a plan that has already been authorized.”
        Colonel (Res.) Gabriel Siboni recently authored a report through Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies backed Eisenkot’s statements at the time.
        The answer to rocket and missile threats from Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, he believes, is “a disproportionate strike at the heart of the enemy’s weak spot, in which efforts to hurt launch capability are secondary. As soon as the conflict breaks out, the IDF will have to operate in a rapid, determined, powerful and disproportionate way against the enemy’s actions.”
        http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/analysis-idf-plans-to-use-disproportionate-force-in-next-war-1.254954

    • tree
      August 21, 2014, 3:58 pm

      And who is this schmuck to speak on behalf of Jews ?

      Actually he spoke on behalf of “the Jews”. I’m surprised that hophmi didn’t come riding in on his steed to curse Lozowick for his anti-semitism. Oh, wait, he’s a Zionist. Zionists are allowed to speak for “the Jews” in hophmi’s book.

  10. Betsy
    August 20, 2014, 10:55 am

    what an amoral barbarian! Yet another example of the collapse of universal humanitarian values. And the rise of vicious particularistic identities which imagine our common world to be merely a war of all against all, with no goals higher than mere survival.

    To me, his way of thinking is so basically flawed that I don’t even know where to start to critique it. It reminds me of my latest run in with a crazed libertarian. Where do you even start?

    • OlegR
      August 20, 2014, 10:59 am

      You start by taking off the rose glasses and looking at the world like it is not like you imagined it to be.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 11:58 am

        “You start by taking off the rose glasses and looking at the world like it is not like you imagined it to be.”

        Yeah Betsy, when you’ve been killed, and are dead, like OlegR is, you’ll have the right to complain. What do you know of reality Betsy, you’re still alive, and you probably have that rose-colored where-there-is-life-there-is-hope nonsense embroidered on a sampler.
        But OlegR has seen it all, and posthumously tells you to wise up.

      • Betsy
        August 20, 2014, 12:27 pm

        @OlegR– that’s pretty hilarious comment, considering that I was born in a country experiencing mass slaughter based on religious / ethnic identities. Since then, my real life experience is that that kind of slaughter is *prevented* by the kinds of values that Lozowick is trashing.

      • eljay
        August 20, 2014, 12:51 pm

        Zio-supremacists seem content to strive to be just a little bit better than the worst. Their philosophy appears to be something along the line of “Sure, I could be a law-abiding citizen, but murderers exist so I might as well be a rapist.”

      • Donald
        August 20, 2014, 2:40 pm

        “Zio-supremacists seem content to strive to be just a little bit better than the worst. Their philosophy appears to be something along the line of “Sure, I could be a law-abiding citizen, but murderers exist so I might as well be a rapist.””

        I think you’ve got something there. Most defenses of Israeli behavior rely heavily on that sort of reasoning. I think I’d summarize most of them as follows–

        1. We try to avoid civilian deaths. (As evidenced mainly by the fact that they could have killed even more if they wished).

        2. Someone else is worse.

        3. Therefore, criticism of Israeli war crimes is invalid.

      • Shingo
        August 20, 2014, 5:53 pm

        You start by taking off the rose glasses and looking at the world like it is not like you imagined it to be.

        And Zionism is not like you imagined it to be.

    • Pixel
      August 20, 2014, 11:53 pm

      @Betsy

      you don’t

  11. dimadok
    August 20, 2014, 11:05 am

    A fantastic response! Richard Cohen seems to get it as well:http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/richard-cohen-israel-is-held-to-an-impossible-standard/2014/08/18/16cecc90-2701-11e4-958c-268a320a60ce_story.html
    Here, you are an odd bunch of Jewish and non-Jewish pseudo-intellectuals and elitists, mixed with a hefty dose of antisemitic ( I’m sorry -anti”Zionist’) activists, and Arab and Muslim supremacists.
    It’s a war there and in every war there are civilian casualties. However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses. Hypocrites, crying about “genocide”, “apartheid” and a new Holocaust, are immoral and hateful group of people indeed.

    • Hostage
      August 20, 2014, 2:27 pm

      We must be really really bad at getting our job done.

      That’s the only intelligent thing he had to say on the subject.

      However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses.

      The first thing the Zionists needed from the US stockpiles was ammunition for 120mm mortars and grenade launchers. You don’t use those to minimize casualties. When you flatten 10,000 homes with airstrikes or tank shells you need to shut-up about minimizing casualties altogether, unless you want to sound clueless.

      • asherpat
        August 20, 2014, 3:52 pm

        Hostage, regarding your argument on 120mm mortars – how many years have you served in infantry? Oh, I forgot, you were a hostage!

      • Shingo
        August 20, 2014, 5:56 pm

        Sorry Asshat, did you have a point to make?

      • asherpat
        August 20, 2014, 6:49 pm

        @Shingo, my point is whether Hostage is a military expert so that he can back his allegation of using 120mm mortar. What is your point in trying to insult me?

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 8:24 pm

        “Oh, I forgot, you were a hostage!”

        Somebody is destined to have another short career here. That was inexcusable.

      • Hostage
        August 20, 2014, 10:54 pm

        my point is whether Hostage is a military expert so that he can back his allegation of using 120mm mortar.

        It’s not an allegation. Obama and Kerry found out that the Pentagon had approved the release of 120mm mortar and 40mm grenade ammo, when CNN reported it to everyone else. CNN said that Israel had run short during the third week of the war and requested it be issued from prepositioned US stockpiles in Israel. The State Department and White House spokespersons explained that those are not weapons with pinpoint accuracy or surgical precision and that the US had implemented review procedures that would require a cabinet-level okay in the future, due to concerns over the excess of civilian collateral casualties. The story has also been covered by Haaretz, the WSJ, and Mondoweiss.

      • asherpat
        August 21, 2014, 12:16 pm

        @Mooser – are you trying to imply that my posts will be blocked on this site? Is it because they undermine your narrative, and they do it in a level-headed, logical way, just like Yaacov Lozovic’s response?

      • Hostage
        August 20, 2014, 10:10 pm

        Hostage, regarding your argument on 120mm mortars – how many years have you served in infantry? Oh, I forgot, you were a hostage!

        I spent about 9 years in Air Force Special Tactics units and worked directly with the US Army special forces, infantry, and cavalry units during much of that time. FYI, the infantry isn’t the only user of these mortar tubes or grenade launchers. Even the USAF has toyed around with the idea of using 120mm smooth bore ammo and launchers on the AC-130 gunships, instead of the existing 105mm weapon systems.

      • asherpat
        August 21, 2014, 2:58 pm

        @Hostage, if indeed you have combat experience, and you believe that Israel is targeting civilians or is reckless, then you have to explain how thee are so few civilian casualties per strike. I don’t think that one (especially on this site) can say that Israel didn’t make thousands of strikes wit high-explosive projectiles. As an airforce person, can you explain how it is that only about a thousand civilians have died in Gaza? What was the proportion in Falujja? In Syria?

        And again, as a military man that you claim to be, can you determine what were the factors of an Israeli commander under fire in a dense urban environment and deduct that there was a war crime? Or you only speculate out of hatred to anything Israeli?

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 6:11 pm

        then you have to explain how thee are so few civilian casualties per strike

        Right after you explain what it is you are smoking. Israel destroyed entire families per strike, entire buildings.

        As an airforce person, can you explain how it is that only about a thousand civilians have died in Gaza?

        WTF are you talking about? It is not about a thousand civilians, it’s well over 1,500. That means Israel killed more civilians in 3 weeks than the entire East Ukrainian conflict has in 4 months.

        The proportion of civilian casualties is close to 80%, which is surely no less than Syria or Fallujah.

        can you determine what were the factors of an Israeli commander under fire in a dense urban environment and deduct that there was a war crime?

        There were no Israeli commanders under fire in a dense urban environment. The IDF were too chicken-sh%t to engage in urban warfare, so they stuck to shelling and bombing from a safe distance.

      • Hostage
        August 21, 2014, 7:00 pm

        @Hostage, if indeed you have combat experience, and you believe that Israel is targeting civilians or is reckless, then you have to explain how thee are so few civilian casualties per strike.

        No I don’t. It doesn’t matter how many so-called “legitimate strikes” the IDF conducts, if it is also routinely attacking civilian targets, family dwelling places, hospitals, schools, emergency shelters, and infrastructure essential to the survival of the civilian population.

        As an airforce person, can you explain how it is that only about a thousand civilians have died in Gaza? What was the proportion in Falujja? In Syria?

        You’re citing three situations that should result in war crimes trials. FYI, one of the reasons that the ICC was established is that a person stands a better chance of being prosecuted for murdering one person than for murdering 100,000 persons. When you talk about “only a thousand civilians” dying as a result of Israel’s rampage through occupied Palestine over three of its missing teenagers, you simply illustrate that point.

    • Shingo
      August 20, 2014, 5:55 pm

      It’s a war there and in every war there are civilian casualties.

      Yes, let’s forget why there was a war and why it was started, which at Nuremberg was the mother of all war crimes.

      However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses

      Clearly not. Israel killed 2000 people in 3 weeks.

    • Shingo
      August 20, 2014, 6:01 pm

      Richard Cohen seems to get it as well

      What do you mean get it? Richard Cohen has been a consistent Israeli apologist and Israeli firster, right or wrong, all his career.

    • Pixel
      August 21, 2014, 12:12 am

      @dimadok

      “Here, you are an odd bunch of Jewish and non-Jewish pseudo-intellectuals and elitists, mixed with a hefty dose of antisemitic ( I’m sorry -anti”Zionist’) activists, and Arab and Muslim supremacists.”

      I had to read that line a couple of times. Seriously, I’ve never been so flattered in all my life. No joke; you totally pegged me. I am odd!

      You sound a little threatened.
      There’s no need to be.
      As long as you’re here there’s hope!
      Join us, the water’s great!

      (ps: I’ve got odd covered so you’re going to have to be one of the other things.)

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 12:18 am

        come out, come out wherever you are!

        LOL, good work Pixel!

    • eljay
      August 21, 2014, 7:49 am

      >> dimadokeee: It’s a war there and in every war there are civilian casualties. However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses.

      The wind blows a certain way today and Zio-supremacists say “most moral army” and “moral beacon”. Tomorrow the wind shifts and suddenly Zio-supremacists say “Israel isn’t as bad as Saudi Arabia, Mali and African ‘hell-holes’.”

      But regardless of which way the wind blows, the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

      And Zio-supremacists “primarily celebrate”.

      • seafoid
        August 21, 2014, 8:47 am

        One of my fave bot bromides :

        http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/rabbis-round-table/.premium-1.601941
        “as Jews and as Zionists, whose sacred mission is to create a just world”

      • MHughes976
        August 21, 2014, 9:20 am

        The Haaretz paywall conceals the context here, but it seems a bit racist. The sacred mission to make the world, so far as we are able, a somewhat better and more just place is for all of us, Jewish and non-Jewish, Muslim and non-Muslim alike.

      • Citizen
        August 21, 2014, 11:17 am

        Seems, rather than having a goal to “create a just world.” many liberal zionists are choosing to “stand with the damned.” http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/20/the-dilemma-of-the-liberal-zionist/
        When it comes to justice, they think Israel does not have that goal; the Other is just a means to an end, the perpetual survival of Israel as a Jewish Supremist state.

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 6:23 pm

        But regardless of which way the wind blows, the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel remains engaged in a 60+ years, ON-GOING and offensive (i.e., not defensive) campaign of aggression, oppression, theft, colonization, destruction, torture and murder.

        Which ever way it blows, just be sure not to be downwind – because the stench is awful.

    • talknic
      August 21, 2014, 8:36 am

      @ dimadok “It’s a war there and in every war there are civilian casualties”

      On both sides usually. Say…. what’s the ratio between Israeli and Palestinian civilian casualties after 66 years of belligerent Israeli occupation?

      BTW Many American civilian casualties in the USA during WWII?

      “However, Israel is the ONLY state to go to such extends to try and minimize their losses”

      Israel’s losses. Indeed. However, by completely closing off any exit from the war zone, Israel is in breach of the Laws of War. Israel had ALL crossings closed, under the 2005 agreement with Egypt, thereby preventing civilians from fleeing a war zone, BEFORE attacking, which is illegal under Geneva Convention 1V…Section II..Occupied territories..Art49…The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand. Civilians could not even flee into the sea, because Israel controls the Palestinian territorial waters.

      “Hypocrites, crying about “genocide”, “apartheid” and a new Holocaust, are immoral and hateful group of people indeed”

      Go moan to the Zionist Federation pal… They’re responsible for this debacle and always fear mongering about “genocide”, “apartheid” and a new Holocaust

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 6:28 pm

        owever, by completely closing off any exit from the war zone, Israel is in breach of the Laws of War. Israel had ALL crossings closed, under the 2005 agreement with Egypt, thereby preventing civilians from fleeing a war zone, BEFORE attacking, which is illegal under Geneva Convention 1V…Section II..Occupied territories..Art49…The Occupying Power shall not detain protected persons in an area particularly exposed to the dangers of war unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons so demand.

        Don’t let the Egyptian scum bags off the hook here Talknic. El Sisi and his junta are are even more guilty of war crimes than Sharon was for Sabra and Shatilla. The only thing El Sisi and didn’t do was set up flood lights.

        Egypt is just as guilty of war crimes and these criminals need to be hung at the Hague.

      • lysias
        August 21, 2014, 6:47 pm

        Nitpick: hanged.

        The clothes were hung in the closet.

        The man was hanged by the neck.

        Hague doesn’t have capital punishment.

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 6:55 pm

        Thanks Lysias,

        My reference to hanging at The Hague was a metaphor, not literal.

  12. lyn117
    August 20, 2014, 11:06 am

    The rhetorical question, “If you had to kill 70,000 French to end Naziism would you do it.” is rather curious. Is he implying Israel is killing innocent Palestinians in order kill what, Palestinianism?

    All this “brilliant” analysis is based on the premise Israel is defending itself. I don’t think any neutral observer would say that Israel is defending itself, in expelling non-Jews and expanding its territory.

    It’s far from perfect but a more analagous question is, “If you had to kill 10 million non-Aryans in order to defend the Aryan state, would you do it?”

    • seafoid
      August 20, 2014, 11:20 am

      This whoever you don’t like = Nazis is very troubling.

      “If you had to rape 70000 children to end Naziism would you do it ” ? Say the paedophiles very helpfully. “If you don’t we’ll do it for you”

    • JeffB
      August 20, 2014, 12:41 pm

      @lyn117

      Is he implying Israel is killing innocent Palestinians in order kill what, Palestinianism?

      Yes. Palestinians and Israelis are debating the nature of the state that will exist in mandate Palestine. The Palestinians want to try and recreate their state and construct a culturally Arabic state, with a large Palestinian population ruling over a smaller subservient Jewish population. The Israelis want a Hebrew speaking hybrid state culturally crossed between the various Jewish population groups that immigrated with possibly some light Palestinian flavoring.

      That’s what the wars/debate is about. Not equal rights. Not occupation. But totally contrasting views for what the state itself should be.

      • talknic
        August 20, 2014, 1:08 pm

        @ JeffB “Palestinians and Israelis are debating the nature of the state that will exist in mandate Palestine”

        Sheeeesh.. The mandate terminated 66 years ago buster

        “The Palestinians want to try and recreate their state and construct a culturally Arabic state, with a large Palestinian population ruling over a smaller subservient Jewish population”

        The facts are quite different But idiotic fear mongering drivel suits you. Keep up the good work.

        “The Israelis want a Hebrew speaking hybrid state culturally crossed between the various Jewish population groups that immigrated with possibly some light Palestinian flavoring” and a swathe of non-Israeli territory they’re willing to kill for

        “That’s what the wars/debate is about. Not equal rights. Not occupation. But totally contrasting views for what the state itself should be.”

        Nonsense repeated over and over is nonsense repeated over and over…. keep up the good work. That scholarship can’t be far off

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:17 pm

        Yup, if there is anything ol JeffyB misses, it’s mandate Palestine. Zionism’s been his mandate for his whole life, probably. Not, of course, that there is anything wrong with that!

      • amigo
        August 20, 2014, 2:29 pm

        “The Israelis want a Hebrew speaking hybrid state culturally crossed between the various Jewish population groups that immigrated with possibly some light Palestinian flavoring.”jeff b

        Until the light Palestinian flavouring could be deglazed but not used lest it spoil the Juden palate.

        Then when all that Palestinian flavour is gone , the natives will turn on each other.It,s the zionist way.Got to have enemies.

      • Philemon
        August 20, 2014, 9:12 pm

        JeffB: “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.”

        Shorter JeffB: “Wouldn’t it be nice if it were like it was back in the day when colonialism, land-grabs, racism, and supremacist ideology of the sort Zionism is based on were more common because then Israel could get away with it, with the approval of the world as we know it!”

        But, no, the world sees Israel as a shitty little country. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that because you give people money, they’re your friends. They just like money.

        It reminds me of “Cabaret” for some reason.

  13. seafoid
    August 20, 2014, 11:08 am

    “The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children’

    I am dying to see that Powerpoint at Herzliya next year and at the Presbyterian conf thereafter.

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 12:26 pm

      “I am dying to see that Powerpoint at Herzliya next year and at the Presbyterian conf thereafter.”

      At least they have one, a conference, that is. All we have is Zionism

  14. American
    August 20, 2014, 11:09 am

    The most overused and incorrect descriptions re Isr and zionist:

    Intellectual
    Only Democracy
    Moral
    Defensive war
    Higher standards
    Disputed territory
    Anti semitism
    Terrorist

  15. Elliot
    August 20, 2014, 11:16 am

    Good letter, Phil.

    1) Israeli Jews use the simple majority to deny Palestinians their rights. They struggle to maintain the magic trump card of 50% +1 by importing Russians and managing the Palestinians. Now Lozowick uses that argument against the Jews of the world – which, per the Israeli government is what makes the State of Israel “the Jewish State”.

    2) “You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.”

    Over the course of three generations, I have several family members who moved to Palestine or Israel and then left. The Second Aliya (which produced Ben Gurion and the other founders of the State of Israel) was famous for losing . It seems that pining leads to experimentation in some cases. In most cases, Jews are happy to continue to pine from the comfort of their synagogues around the world. Perhaps these Jews have figured out that some dream are better left unrealized.

    3) “how if we’re such agressors the Palestinians keep multiplying ”
    Nice family you got there. What a pity if somebody happened to blow them to smithereens.

    4) Finally, how poetically perfect. Israel, which is lost in its own Holocaust narrative about Palestinians, hires a Holocaust historian to be its archivist.
    Was the Ph.D. in Nazi studies a requirement for getting the job?

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 12:13 pm

      “Was the Ph.D. in Nazi studies a requirement for getting the job?”

      Maybe not, but the exemption from Godwin’s law which came with the Ph.D? Priceless, just priceless.

  16. Les
    August 20, 2014, 11:34 am

    When the US media fails to mention that Israel’s massacre of Palestinians is done in the name of Judaism, it only fuels anti-Semitism.

  17. Dan Crowther
    August 20, 2014, 11:35 am

    So, I’m totally with Lozowick’s #1 response. The rest is nonsense, but he does a good child of slapping down Phil’s selfish and childish “I don’t want to be a part of a collective….” plea. The collective is what it is; you can either deal with things how they are, or you can project your own values on them. The former is rational, the latter is just wishful thinking, pure and simple.

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 12:04 pm

      “The collective is what it is; you can either deal with things how they are, or you can project your own values on them.”

      Very true, and I’m glad we agree! A non-Zionist, or even anti-Zionist Judaism could emerge at any time now. And sooner rather than later.

      Or are Zionists the only ones who can ‘project their own values’ on Judaism?

      • Philip Weiss
        August 20, 2014, 12:47 pm

        Im with you Mooser. Communities are fluid. I let my membership slip in the Jewish collective, till neocons declared it was militant Zionist, then I paid up and took them on, cuz I disagreed with them.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:22 pm

        “I let my membership slip in the Jewish collective, till neocons declared it was militant Zionist, then I paid up and took them on, cuz I disagreed with them.”

        That’s right! We will never forget that fateful banquet of 1883, at which the food tasted like poison, and the portions were too small!

      • Pixel
        August 21, 2014, 12:18 am

        @M

        lol lol lol

      • LeaNder
        August 20, 2014, 12:55 pm

        I can’t resist to respond to you before I leave again, dear Moose.

        No doubt hard times. I was wondering a couple of days ago what Clare Spark was doing on her blog recently. Now Clare Spark was the most faithful contributor to H-Antisemitism after my spirtual friend Richard L. Levy was “cleared” from H-Antisemitism as editor a couple of years ago.

        What ideas would Clare, I asked myself, have to contribute to H-antisemitism at this point in time concerning the last Gaza operation. She wasn’t present on H-Antisemitism, I noticed first.

        Now interestingly Clare managed to escape Gaza to what I admittedly consider a related issue. As a scientist she of course needs to be able to categorize clearly. Like the groups and their respective collective identities here: “The Left, The Liberals and other anticommunist social democrats, The Right” apparently without a “cohesive perspective on race”.

        But along the way as Israel launched its latest Gaza war, she circled in on her her main scapegoat: multicultural collectivism versus the American correct ideology of “the melting pot.

        Thankfully under Jo as editor Jochaved Menashe the ultimate scapegoat rather prominet in the larger US race discussions — race baiting, remember–have surfaced: Media. (wong link:)

        Re: Invitation for Discussion: “Moral Clarity in Gaza”
        Gabriel Mayer M.D.’s picture
        Submitted by Gabriel Mayer M.D. on Wednesday, July 30, 2014

        The issue of moral clarity is perhaps best undertaken as a discussion of the media. The whole Gaza conflict, now and in the past, has become a media event, and political considerations are presented, as the media deems suitable. Let’s face it, the fourth estate is in control of public opinion, and unfortunately the rules are different in this game. What we have is right and wrong, replaced by photo opportunities, whereby telegenic images of tragedy and death are the prize, and a neutral press no longer exists. Krauthammer’s remarks are well placed, but do not delve into the matrix of the media folly. Frankly, this is a challenge for all of us and I hope to see more remarks posted to this conversation.

        Gabriel Mayer

        Is Honesty in Reporting loosing ground?

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:48 pm

        Thanks, LeaNder.

      • Dan Crowther
        August 20, 2014, 1:02 pm

        Thing is – it’s not judaism that’s having different views projected on it, it’s jewishness. This isn’t about judaism, it’s about jewishness.

        Funny that the Moose Man and Phil can be in agreement when they’re talking about two different things.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:27 pm

        “This isn’t about judaism, it’s about jewishness.”

        Both, actually. Both. It’s a lot (as the song says) like love and marriage; “♪ you can’t have one, you can’t have one, can’t have one, without the other♫”.

      • Philip Weiss
        August 20, 2014, 3:00 pm

        Is that Hebrew, Mooser?

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:21 pm

        “Is that Hebrew, Mooser”

        It’s pure Sammy Cahn.

      • seanmcbride
        August 20, 2014, 1:24 pm

        Dan Crowther,

        The worldwide Jewish religious establishment has projected an image of itself and of Judaism to the entire world that is entirely Zionist — for the last half century (at least) it has been fusing Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology and political program.

        Simply consult the official statements issued during that time frame by the leading organizations representing Judaism.

        You can find a list of them here:

        Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: Member Organizations

        http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/about/members

        In all the controversies surrounding Zionism, this issue strikes me as the most consequential by far — the one that needs to be addressed most forcefully.

        The behavior of the Israeli government is not only delegitimizing Zionism — it is delegitimizing Judaism. Zionism and Judaism are now joined at the hip.

        As for Mooser’s dream of a non-Zionist Judaism emerging in any significant way — I’ll believe it when I see it. Matters are trending in the opposite direction — especially in Israel.

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2014, 2:25 pm

        Sean, that’s only a list of American Jewish organisations. There are Jews, and organisations, in plenty of other countries.

        And as far as I can tell, they all support Israel.

        That’s why I want to see Mooser start his own branch.

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2014, 4:01 pm

        Well, nearly all.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 5:07 pm

        “That’s why I want to see Mooser start his own branch.”

        You’re barking up the wrong tree. I’d have to turn over a new leaf.

      • just
        August 20, 2014, 5:15 pm

        clever mooser.

      • Elliot
        August 20, 2014, 2:36 pm

        “As for Mooser’s dream of a non-Zionist Judaism emerging in any significant way — I’ll believe it when I see it.”

        It’s happening. Jewish Voice for Peace is Jews organizing as Jews against Israeli policy, dropping Zionism. JVP is growing at a fantastic rate. 50,000 new members and some 20 new chapters in July alone.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:54 pm

        Elliot, it looks to me, from the article posted this morning on the Denver JF, JVP is forcing the issue!
        And they are getting their answer: “Absolutely not”.
        And the “Jewish Federation” owns everything in that building. Except the word “Jewish”. That, if nothing else can be taken from them, if anybody wants it.

      • Philip Munger
        August 20, 2014, 7:15 pm

        Elliot,

        My wife is a member of JVP, but she is not Jewish. 50,000 in one month is a lot. Is anyone estimating what percentage of new members of JVP are not Jewish?

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:36 pm

        “As for Mooser’s dream of a non-Zionist Judaism emerging in any significant way — I’ll believe it when I see it. Matters are trending in the opposite direction — especially in Israel.”

        Good, thanks for telling me. So if we do the opposite of what they do in Israel, we can’t go far wrong.
        Or is their some Jewish authority which Jews must knuckle under to?

        Oh wait, I know why you’re such a pessimist. Yes, Citizen, the music will include Chicago blues. Lot’s of it.

      • seanmcbride
        August 20, 2014, 3:08 pm

        Mooser,

        Good, thanks for telling me. So if we do the opposite of what they do in Israel, we can’t go far wrong. Or is their some Jewish authority which Jews must knuckle under to?

        When the leading organizational representatives of Judaism in the United States, Israel and Europe succeed in distancing themselves from Zionism as an ideology, and moderating the policies of the Israeli government, this will no longer be an urgent issue. But I, for one, don’t see that occurring any time in the foreseeable future. And, in fact, I am predicting that this crisis in Jewish civilization is going to become much worse before these issues are resolved.

      • Elliot
        August 20, 2014, 9:41 pm

        @ Philip M – “My wife is a member of JVP, but she is not Jewish. 50,000 in one month is a lot. Is anyone estimating what percentage of new members of JVP are not Jewish?”

        I don’t know and I would think JVP does not ask that question. Just like in other Jewish orgs, it is impolite to ask. Reform synagogues are full of non-Jews and nobody quite knows exactly how many there are. The Jewish community is increasingly interfaith (literally, Judeo-Christian or Judeo-formerly Christian), why should Jewish Voice for Peace be any different?

        I’m curious why your wife chose JVP and not any other organization working on the issue?

      • Philip Munger
        August 21, 2014, 12:44 am

        Replying to Elliot:

        I’m curious why your wife chose JVP and not any other organization working on the issue?

        We both donate widely, thought not as much as the NYC Philip Munger (Charlie Munger’s very wealthy, somewhat progressive philanthropist son, who donors sometimes have me confused with when seeking funding). I never asked why she chose them, but she probably reacted to a powerful appeal from them. We also donate to Code Pink and Alaskans for Palestine, and have donated to several orgs devoted to justice for Palestinians in the past, like JfJfP in London and the ISM.

      • Keith
        August 20, 2014, 2:52 pm

        SEANMCBRIDE- “The worldwide Jewish religious establishment has projected an image of itself and of Judaism to the entire world that is entirely Zionist — for the last half century (at least) it has been fusing Judaism and Zionism into a single ethno-religious nationalist ideology and political program.”

        I essentially agree, although I phrase it somewhat differently. The enlightenment saw the end of Classical Judaism as world Jewry splintered into Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and secular Jews. Zionism combines religious imagery and Jewish mythology with blood and soil nationalism, the product of which is Israel. Zionism is the modern unifier of the Jews providing both internal cohesion and organizational focus to an ethnically defined power-seeking collective.

        Of course, I appreciate Phil and Mooser’s desire to disassociate themselves from Zionism, something which is doable. However, it is difficult to imagine organized Jewry abandoning Zionism anytime soon, or of Jewish fat cats being anything other than empire Jews. I provide a quote and a link to an article concerning California venture capital, much of it Jewish, investing in Israel.

        “The business links between Silicon Valley and Israel aren’t apolitical. Many of California’s venture capital investors and technology executives are staunch supporters of pro-Israel causes. They have established numerous nonprofit organizations to strengthen economic and political ties between California and Israel.” (Darwin Bond-Graham)
        http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/20/israels-most-important-source-of-capital-california/

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:11 pm

        “disassociate themselves from Zionism, something which is doable.”

        I, and thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews in America, don’t need to “disassociate” ourselves with Zionism, we were never associated with it, except by a proxy for which no permission was sought or given, and if we were associated with it, tough noogies, people change.

        As far as I know, the American Jewish community enjoys the full panoply of associational rights inalienable (if not granted, unfortunately) to all Americans, and don’t have to answer to Judaism except in their own consciences, for anything they do. If you know different, I’d like to hear about it.
        As far as I know, if a group of Jews (or even not all Jews, who knows?) decide to rent a building, get a Hammond organ, and hold services, nobody will consult with the Jewish Federation before renting or selling them a building. What is the Jewish Federation (or any other of a laundry list of organizations) going to do, sure them for the un-authourised use of the word Jewish and the Star-o-David symbol?
        What can they do, threaten to write us out of the will?

      • Keith
        August 20, 2014, 3:53 pm

        MOOSER- “I, and thousands, hundreds of thousands of Jews in America, don’t need to “disassociate” ourselves with Zionism….”

        How to explain all of the Jewish voices for peace groups and the “not in our name” groups and Mondoweiss’ focus on Israel and the Middle East? All of this protest as Jews is a de facto acknowledgement that the “Jewish state” is inexorably linked with American Jewish support and with Zionism. I assumed that Phil’s anti-Zionism was an expression of his desire to, among other things, make clear that he does not support (political) Zionism or Zionist Israel, that is, to disassociate himself from Zionism. I thought you did too. Oh well, live and learn.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 6:31 pm

        “And, in fact, I am predicting that this crisis in Jewish civilization is going to become much worse before these issues are resolved”

        Look, Sean, if you are going to be so down-in-the-mouth all the time, become a dentist.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:27 pm

        “The worldwide Jewish religious establishment”

        Sean, I’ve had a bone to pick with those people for quite a while. Could you give me the address of the headquarters so I can write them? How about an e-mail, that’d be a start?

        And don’t worry, I’ll be sure and mention they have no stauncher supporter than Sean McBride, who has not the slightest doubt of both their existence and their potency.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:35 pm

        Oh wait, I know what Sean’s problem is with the “Jewish religious establishment”. Sean, are you seated? Okay, gripping the arms of the chair? Here goes, Sean: Those “eternal lights” in the Temples are really (oh god, I hate to do this) just electric light bulbs, or gas flames. They can be purchased or commissioned from an artist. No transmogrification, or whatever it’s called involved.

      • seafoid
        August 20, 2014, 4:10 pm

        Mooser

        would a Moog be an acceptable replacement for the Hammond Organ ?

      • seanmcbride
        August 20, 2014, 4:29 pm

        Mooser,

        Sean, I’ve had a bone to pick with those people for quite a while. Could you give me the address of the headquarters so I can write them? How about an e-mail, that’d be a start?

        You can find all their contact information from this starting point:

        Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organziations
        http://www.conferenceofpresidents.org/

        The Conference includes the most influential organizations and institutions in American Jewish life — for both Judaism and Zionism. Collectively, this lobby wields extraordinary power in American politics — in the US Congress and the White House — and has defined the character of mainstream Judaism for quite a few decades now.

        AIPAC, ADL, JINSA, RJC, NJDC, AJC, BBI, etc. are all components of the Conference of Presidents.

        Does this subject make you nervous? — you seem to be a bit defensive about it. Perhaps I am misreading your tone.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 4:29 pm

        “would a Moog be an acceptable replacement for the Hammond Organ ?”

        Well, not for me, but I’ll go with the majority on this. If the highlight of the service is the “Mambo” from Dirty Dancing, I’m cool with it. We’ll show them we won’t be put in a corner.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 7:06 pm

        Keith, although I may not have expressed it well, I meant to try and express the fact that there are many, many Jews in America over whom Zionism has no hold, and might be eager to have some way to express Judaism in a non-Zionist context.
        I meant that they won’t even have to dis-entangle themselves from it.

  18. HarryLaw
    August 20, 2014, 11:54 am

    Sparta will try and defend itself, unfortunately the qassam rockets are expanding their range and are so easy to produce, they could be launched from the West Bank or even inside Israel they are so simple a 10 year old could make one. A piece of pipe with 4 fins spot welded on, filled with a mixture of sugar and fertilizer and then… what would happen the day after a rocket explodes into Israels only International airport? 1/ Massive chaos. 2/Stock market collapse.3/Business bankruptcy.4/Tourism decimated. 5/High tech failure. 6/ Israel could lose everything. The Iron dome is a failure, according to experts it can stop 5% at best of those rockets Professor of science Theodore A Postal, Massachusetts Institute of Technology..http://www.magenlaoref.org.il/IndicatorsofIronDomePerformanceMarch122013.pdf Israel cannot win this 4th generation war. Unless they ban the sale of sugar and fertilizer worldwide.

    • Walid
      August 20, 2014, 12:20 pm

      “… what would happen the day after a rocket explodes into Israels only International airport?”

      Qassam Brigade just gave notice to all international air transporters that effective 6 am tomorrow morning, BG Airport will be open season for their missiles. There has been a report going around all day that Israel’s offshore gas platform had been targeted.

    • JeffB
      August 20, 2014, 12:46 pm

      @HarryLaw

      Yeah we’ve been hearing about how Israel will fall for a long time. What would happen the day after a rocket explodes into Israels only International airport? There would be a minor disturbance in flights, the damage would be quickly repaired and life would return to normal. 9/11 which dropped tons of rubble on the New York Stock exchange didn’t end America’s ability to trade securities. Societies are more resilient than that.

      • lysias
        August 20, 2014, 1:04 pm

        9/11 may well have destroyed democracy and the rule of law in America beyond repair. The jury is still out on that.

      • HarryLaw
        August 20, 2014, 2:09 pm

        JeffB@ “the damage would be quickly repaired and life would return to normal” I disagree, the resistance will soon have the capability to target Ben Gurion and Israeli oil refineries with these rockets on a daily basis. Remember just one near miss was enough to close BenGurion to International traffic [the FAA] It is not the Israeli government that decides whether an airline can land at Ben Gurion or even the airlines themselves, the insurance companies do that. Ben Gurion is the life blood of the Israeli economy and tourism, it could be closed on a permanent basis, any study of the potential of these simple rockets would inform that 1/ they cannot be stopped. and 2/ Israels economy and 75% of its population is in that central Tel Aviv region. It is very vulnerable, the rockets are a game changer, Israel knows that hence the panic to try and stop them. These rockets can be produced in great numbers, Spiegal online visited a small workshop in the Gaza strip and found that 2 or three men could produce up to 100 rockets in one shift.http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/graveyard-shift-for-islamic-jihad-a-visit-to-a-gaza-rocket-factory-a-531578.html

      • JeffB
        August 20, 2014, 2:41 pm

        @Harry

        You can’t have this both ways. Larger more complex rockets have longer launch times (unless you are speculating a massive upgrade) and more a more complex launch process. There are also much harder to conceal. The current rockets that Hamas has:

        a) Have very short range
        b) Are wildly inaccurate
        c) Have very light payloads

        Fix any of those 3 and the complexity of the weapon goes way up. Fix all of those 3, which is what would be required for the kind of mass killing you are talking about and the complexity of the weapons becomes orders of magnitude greater.

        So of course they can be stopped it is question of proportionality. In the 1980s the USA built an infrastructure in Germany to be able to disable most of the Russian nuclear force which is vastly larger, more sophisticated, much more hardened defenses with far more distance for the anti-missles missiles to cover.

        Yes certainly one near miss panicked the FAA in a period right after there were several planes shot down in other parts of the world.

        We don’t have to speculate. The Palestinians in the 2nd intifada managed to conduct a successfully bombing campaign. And during that campaign there was a huge drop in tourism it did induce a severe recession. That wasn’t a game changer. Israel survived a successful bombing campaign, they survived it relatively easily and weren’t anywhere near close to crumbling.

      • HarryLaw
        August 20, 2014, 4:12 pm

        JeffB @ Have very short range
        b) Are wildly inaccurate
        c) Have very light payloads
        The home produced Qassam 1v, a simple 8 foot long rocket has a range of approx 14 kilometres the West Bank is approx 8 kilometres from Ben Gurion airport. Of course they have longer range missiles supplied by Syria, Hezbollah and Iran.
        b/ How accurate do they have to be when targeting an airport or refinery which are all over 15 square kilometres?
        c/ a 1kilogram or 5 kilogram warhead dropping on 1 empty 747 sitting on the tarmac at Ben Gurion would permanently shut it down.
        The notion that the US has installed a system in Germany to intercept Russian missiles is a fairy story. [like star wars or that the Ratheon supplied iron dome works].
        Rather like the fairy story about Israels future- they appear to assume their opponents will not dramatically improve their technological capabilities over time, which is a very bad assumption to make.

      • Qualtrough
        August 20, 2014, 10:24 pm

        @JeffB. Thank you for confirming that those rockets are nothing to fear. Certainly nothing worth killing 500 children over.

      • Shingo
        August 20, 2014, 5:59 pm

        There would be a minor disturbance in flights, the damage would be quickly repaired and life would return to normal.

        No, not after MH17. Furthermore, after MH17, no international airline will take that risk.

        9/11 which dropped tons of rubble on the New York Stock exchange didn’t end America’s ability to trade securities.

        Securities are exchanged electronically dufus. Passenger planes are not binary code.

  19. Gien
    August 20, 2014, 12:00 pm

    If Lozowick is really a scholar, and not a demagogue, then he knows very well that the bombing of French cities and towns, that killed 70.000 French civilians in World War II, had no military value. Non what so ever! French civilians suffered, but not the German military. So the bombing was not moral, not permissible and not defendable.
    If he doesn’t know that, he is not a very good scholar. If he knows but doesn’t say this, then he is indeed a demagogue.

    And the bombing of Gaza, that also has no military value, is also not moral, not permissible and not defendable.

  20. Elliot
    August 20, 2014, 12:04 pm

    1) “a majority of self-identifying Jews among the non-Israelis are Zionists, ”

    If we are tossing out assertions as facts, it’s safe to say that “”a majority of self-identifying Christians among Americans are Zionists, ” And Netanyahu repeatedly credits Christian Zionism with the creation and continuation of the State of Israel.
    So what?

    2) Since Lozowick brings identity into it, it should be noted that he wears a kippa; he identifies as Orthodox. The overwhelming majority of Israeli Orthodox Jews are anti-democratic, are perceived by American Jews as anti-women and hold racist attitudes against non-Jews.

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 12:20 pm

      Jeez, I am getting tired of American Jews saying “But Dad, I’m serious!”
      Rent a friggin’ building, start a Jewish non-Zionist denomination (but don’t sit around singing Beach Boy’s songs all day, like NK) and I guar-an-tee, the growth will be explosive!

      Yes, I know, it’ll be the first ever division, schism, makeover or intra-tribal conflict in Judaism, ever! In 3000 years, nothing like it has ever happened. In fact Jewish life has been, take it all around, fairly dull and humdrum up til now, just a steady plod upwards into affluence and influence.

      • Elliot
        August 20, 2014, 12:33 pm

        “sit around singing Beach Boy’s songs all day, like NK”

        Now, that would be a sight! Can you imagine Neturei Karta singing the Beach Boys?

      • Philip Weiss
        August 20, 2014, 12:49 pm

        Thanks Elliot, I’m trying to find that cut on Pet Sounds. I guess they translated it?

      • Elliot
        August 20, 2014, 10:13 pm

        They are singing three songs on the clip:
        1) “My God, My God, why have You abandoned me.” (No, not that one from the NT).
        2) Indecipherable. Something about “the wicked people.”
        3) The Neturei Karta anthem: “We do not believe in the regime of the heretics, we do not follow their laws, we will follow the flag of the Torah and sanctify the name of heaven!”
        The Jews of Kiryas Yoel are singing in solidarity with Jerusalem’s Neturei Karta

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:41 pm

        Oh, sorry, but I pictured them singing “Frum, frum frum, til Daddy takes the Torah away” or something. But they probably don’t.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 3:16 pm

        Then again, those NK fellows might be “Jan and Dean” fans. You remember, “She’s my little….”? Nah, probably not. Or maybe something from “Flower Drum Song”? “I enjoy being a….” No, don’t see it.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 7:09 pm

        “2) Indecipherable. Something about “the wicked people.”

        You don’t remember this one from Hebrew School? Here’s a translation:

        “My buddies and me are getting real well known
        Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone

        I get around
        Get around round round I get around, and etc, etc.”

      • Betsy
        August 20, 2014, 12:35 pm

        Go Mooser!!

      • globalconsciousness
        August 20, 2014, 12:58 pm

        Yes, affluence and influence toward evil deeds indeed…

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:43 pm

        I was being sarcastic. I’m no expert, but I don’t think the Jewish religion is a complete stranger to upheavals, major changes in belief and mores.

  21. John O
    August 20, 2014, 1:43 pm

    By chance this week, in my day job, I have been editing some educational materials on the topic of the ‘Just War Tradition’. It’s a concept that goes back hundreds of years, but it underpins today’s laws and conventions.

    In a nutshell, there are eight criteria. Six are for the decision to go to war (‘Jus ad bellum’) – proper authority (e.g. monarch, parliament); a just cause (e.g. self-defence); a right intention (i.e. if stopping an aggressor involves invading his territory, you are not entitled consequently to annex it); proportionality; good prospect of success; it must be a last resort. Two are for the conduct of the war (‘Jus in bello’) – proportionality (i.e. you mustn’t bomb someone back to the Stone Age just because you can); civilians are not legitimate targets.

    Let us assume for the sake of argument that, in the recent assault upon Gaza, the Israeli government decision was properly authorised. Of the seven remaining criteria, I reckon only one – self-defence – could apply to Israel’s actions (and even that one is pretty well negated by the criterion of proportionality).

    • just
      August 20, 2014, 1:57 pm

      Thanks, John O.

      I would submit that they’ve failed on all 7 that remain.

    • RoHa
      August 20, 2014, 2:15 pm

      Don’t forget about jus post bellum.

      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/war/#2.3
      http://www.iep.utm.edu/justwar/#H3

      (The first link has a useful, more detailed, analysis of jus in bello, as well.)

    • Keith
      August 20, 2014, 3:29 pm

      JOHN O- “By chance this week, in my day job, I have been editing some educational materials on the topic of the ‘Just War Tradition’. It’s a concept that goes back hundreds of years, but it underpins today’s laws and conventions.”

      Just War Theory would more properly be called “Justify War Theory.” I am unaware of any war which has been prevented by Just War Theory and seriously doubt that the Pentagon seeks the advice of “Just War” theorists prior to launching an attack or other forms of destabilization. Just War theorists earn their living and status within the doctrinal system by justifying imperial aggression while criticizing the actions of imperial enemies. Yet another example of imperial hypocrisy. R2P is a fraud and a pretext for aggression.

  22. gracie fr
    August 20, 2014, 1:54 pm

    Israel is slowly pushing the boundaries of existing law in an explicit attempt to reshape it. This is an affront to the international humanitarian legal order, which is intended to protect civilians in times of war by minimizing their suffering. Israel’s attempts have proven successful in the realm of public relations, as evidenced by President Obama’s uncritical support of Israel’s recent onslaughts of Gaza as an exercise in the right of self-defense. Since international law lacks a hierarchal enforcement authority, its meaning and scope is highly contingent on the prerogative of states, especially the most powerful ones. The implications of this shift are therefore palpable and dangerous.

    To justify its use of force in the OPT as consistent with the right of self-defense, Israel has cited UN Security Council Resolution 1368 (2001)and UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001). These two resolutions were passed in direct response to the Al-Qaeda attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001. They affirm that those terrorist acts amount to threats to international peace and security and therefore trigger Article 51 of the UN Charter permitting the use of force in self-defense. Israel has therefore deliberately characterized all acts of Palestinian violence – including those directed exclusively at legitimate military targets – as terrorist acts. Secondly it frames those acts as amounting to armed attacks that trigger the right of self-defense under Article 51 irrespective of the West Bank and Gaza’s status as Occupied Territory.

    The Israeli Government stated its position clearly in the 2006 HCJ case challenging the legality of the policy of targeted killing (Public Committee against Torture in Israel et al v. Government of Israel). The State argued that, notwithstanding existing legal debate, “there can be no doubt that the assault of terrorism against Israel fits the definition of an armed attack,” effectively permitting Israel to use military force against those entities.Therefore, Israeli officials claim that the laws of war can apply to “both occupied territory and to territory which is not occupied, as long as armed conflict is taking place on it” and that the permissible use of force is not limited to law enforcement operations. The HCJ has affirmed this argument in at least three of its decisions:Public Committee Against Torture in Israel et al v. Government of Israel, Hamdan v. Southern Military Commander, and Physicians for Human Rights v. The IDF Commander in Gaza. These rulings sanction the government’s position that it is engaged in an international armed conflict and, therefore, that its use of force is not restricted by the laws of occupation. The Israeli judiciary effectively authorizes the State to use police force to control the lives of Palestinians (e.g., through ongoing arrests, prosecutions, checkpoints) and military force to pummel their resistance to occupation.

    http://www.sott.net/article/281885-No-Israel-does-not-have-the-right-to-self-defense-against-Palestinians

    • JeffB
      August 21, 2014, 4:32 pm

      @Gracie Fr

      There is another way of looking at this, which is that the UN keeps trying to push an inappropriate frame onto the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

      An occupation is supposed to be a temporary situation where a military exercises control over a territory for tactical or strategic reasons during an armed conflict. For example America occupied Iraq recently.

      In the case of Gaza what you have is a an area of land, a government of the people with support by the people and an army (Hamas armed wing) loyal to that government. Gaza should be considered a state. The UN by insisting that the West Bank and Gaza are indivisible confuses the issue and thus confuses a partial blockade conducted by one state against a weaker state during an armed conflict with an occupation. That confusion means the laws governing occupation don’t fit the situation. And thus countries and individuals are coming to believe that the laws governing occupation aren’t sensible. The solution is to return to a stricter definition of occupation.

      In the case of the West Bank the situation is clearly not designed to be temporary. Israel has moved 10% of its population into the West Bank and has built permanent infrastructure for the West Bank tying it to 1967 Israel, which is a defacto annexation of huge chunks of the West Bank (Area-C plus parts of Area-B). Moreover Israel has formally annexed a large chunk of the West Bank and altered both the architecture and the demography.

      Again that is not an occupation it is forcible annexation. There is a concept that forcible annexation is not permitted and the UN’s response is to pretend that what is illegal is non-existent. Which is essentially like pretending that a murder victim is still alive because murder is illegal. And again what you find in this situation is the laws regarding an occupation fit a forcible annexation poorly. Which is having the effect of discrediting the laws.

      And again the situation would be the same thing. For the UN to admit that while Area-A might be under occupation, Jerusalem and Area-C have been forcibly annexed. As there is no military other than the IDF that is a plausible contender for the IDF with interest in that territory, it is not even disputed territory. Acquisition of territory by force may be a criminal act under international law but it is fait accompli. Pretending there is an occupation just damages international law. The proper response would be to recognize their status as part of Israel.

      The institution damaging international law is the UN not Israel. A robber doesn’t damage the laws against robbery. But a DA and judge who keeps misclassifying bar fights as robberies and trying to apply the statutes against robbery rather than those against assault does damage the laws against robbery by making them seem poorly conceived.

      (I actually think forcible acquisition is an oversimplification of what happened in the West Bank. But that’s a separate misunderstand from the UN from their deliberate misclassification of occupation).

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 5:43 pm

        There is another way of looking at this, which is that the UN keeps trying to push an inappropriate frame onto the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

        How typical for an Israeli apologist to refer international law as inappropriate.

        That confusion means the laws governing occupation don’t fit the situation

        What are you blathering about you clown? Yes the laws DO fit the situation. Don’t confuse that fact with the fact Israel flouts them.

        Moreover Israel has formally annexed a large chunk of the West Bank and altered both the architecture and the demography.

        When did they formally annex it?

        There is a concept that forcible annexation is not permitted and the UN’s response is to pretend that what is illegal is non-existent.

        My God you are thick! It’s the UN’s response because that is the position of every member if the UN except Israel. A better analogy would be that Israel keeps insisting that the Earth is flat.

        It’s not the laws that are bring discredited , it is that Israel refuse to admit that EJ is not negotiable. Israel still pretends that EJ is disputed and that they are willing to negotiate it’s final status, so to use your absurd analogy, it is Israel that insists the murder victim is still alive – much like John Cleese insisting the parrot isn’t dead.

        But the again, Israeli apologists are about as serious as a Monty Python skit.

      • eljay
        August 21, 2014, 6:32 pm

        JeffBeee has already re-defined morality (“morality” = goal + methods), so it seems that now he’s out to re-define occupation, annexation and international law.

        >> The institution damaging international law is the UN not Israel.

        Laws are damaged when they are not respected and enforced. Israel disrespects the laws; and Israel and the U.S. are doing everything in their power to undermine enforcement.

        >> A robber doesn’t damage the laws against robbery. But a DA and judge who keeps misclassifying bar fights as robberies and trying to apply the statutes against robbery rather than those against assault does damage the laws against robbery by making them seem poorly conceived.

        The DA and judge haven’t mis-classified anything. Israel is committing robbery, but it keeps insisting that its past and ON-GOING acts of robbery are merely a “repossession” of goods. Luckily (so far) for Israel, it has a wealthy benefactor and high-powered lawyer in its corner.

      • eljay
        August 21, 2014, 9:25 pm

        “Your Honour, you are damaging the laws against kidnapping, confinement and rape by trying to apply these statutes against my client when, in reality – and given the countless months he and the young lady have spent together in his bunker – what exists between them is, in fact, a ‘dominant/submissive life partnership’. Pretending that he’s a rapist and she’s his victim just damages the laws.”

      • seafoid
        August 21, 2014, 5:44 pm

        “The institution damaging international law is the UN not Israel. ”

        You really are for the birds, Jeff .
        Thanks for the laughs.

        And Israel will need international law but then it’ll be too late.

      • Hostage
        August 21, 2014, 6:41 pm

        There is another way of looking at this, which is that the UN keeps trying to push an inappropriate frame onto the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

        It’s pretty obvious that you are projecting and doing a much worse job of pushing “an inappropriate frame” than the UN.

  23. MHughes976
    August 20, 2014, 2:03 pm

    I do quail at the thought of the price paid in innocent lives, rapes and general acts of destruction in order ‘to get rid of Nazism’. Both the end in view and the alternatives available need to be assessed with intense care, even with agony.
    If you make everything but everything depend on the end and purpose you cannot condemn any means or methods absolutely and in themselves – not even the much-condemned terrorism and massacre. If you remove that sort of condemnation the moral universe becomes very dark, somewhat infernal.
    I used the word ‘demonic’ yesterday in reference to Katie’s cartoon exposing the horror of the ‘human shield’ argument and would use it again faced with that pulse of exultation in ‘even if it means killing children’.

    • John O
      August 20, 2014, 2:14 pm

      It is troubling. (If you’ve seen my earlier post, you’ll know where I’m coming from.)

      You can wage a just war by unjust means (e.g. the British RAF area bombing of German cities in WW2).

      You can wage an unjust war justly (the example many have used is the WW2 German general Erwin Rommel, and in particular his burning of Hitler’s notorious ‘commando order’ to execute any allied soldiers captured behind German lines).

      • lysias
        August 20, 2014, 2:46 pm

        The U.S. bombing of Germany started out more pinpointed (and ineffective) than the UK bombing, but by 1944-5 it had become just as bad. And the worst bombing took place in the last months of the war. Jörg Friedrich’s Der Brand [The Fire], about that bombing is one harrowing read. At least it was for this Vietnam War-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

        And the fire bombing of Japan (almost entirely by the U.S.) was, if anything, even worse. Curtis LeMay and his aide Robert McNamara both said that, if the U.S. had lost the war, they would have been tried for war crimes for what they did to Japan.

        And then there’s the atom bomb.

        I remember once, when I was stationed in Berlin with the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, a German walked up to me and started berating me and the U.S. for what we were then doing to Vietnam. He had survived the fire bombing of Dresden.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 2:59 pm

        How the hell can you wage a “war” on territory you have already conquered and control? There’s names for an attack like that, but I’m pretty sure “war” isn’t one of them.

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2014, 4:04 pm

        “You can wage a just war by unjust means…”

        But if you do, the war becomes unjust.

      • lyn117
        August 21, 2014, 12:19 am

        “You can wage an unjust war justly …”

        No you can’t. The example you cited, refusing to kill POWs, was an example of not taking part in war orders, that is, not actually waging war.

    • Elliot
      August 20, 2014, 10:14 pm

      @Martin:
      “that pulse of exultation in ‘even if it means killing children’.”
      Thank you for your perceptive observation and your humanity.

  24. Qualtrough
    August 20, 2014, 2:32 pm

    What he said is no different than this, only the people and numbers have been changed:

    “So here’s a thought experiment. Say that in order to end the threat posed to the Aryan race and the world you had to kill 6,000,000 (not a few hundred) Jews. Would that be defensible? Six million dead Jews, all innocent, many children, to end the threat to our people and homeland, a final solution? Would that be moral? Permissible? Defendable in some later discussion?”

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 7:14 pm

      Actually, that quote you paraphrased does sound to me like an actual Hitler quote from Mein Kampf, I’m sure somebody will come up with it.

      • Philip Munger
        August 20, 2014, 7:31 pm

        I’d hesitate to make that statement, Mooser, unless I had a PhD in “Nazi Studies.” /s

        As absurd as parts of this comment thread are, Yaacov Lozowick’s email response to Phil Weiss is truly troubling. The Allied bombings and shellings of highly populated areas in France in general, and Normandy in particular in the summer of 1944 were morally indefensible, and in almost every case, militarily stupid.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2014, 8:31 pm

        “I’d hesitate to make that statement, Mooser”

        I did, since yesterday. I might be wrong, okay, I’m probably wrong, as usual, but I think I remember a quote very similar to the paraphrase.

  25. Keith
    August 20, 2014, 4:37 pm

    “Lesson of this war: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children.”

    For what it is worth, during World War II, Nazi propaganda always claimed that everything that Nazi Germany did was in defense against those who wished to destroy Germany and the German people. This is standard irrational BS from an ideological fundamentalist.

    • Citizen
      August 20, 2014, 9:52 pm

      The weight of the Versailles Treaty on Germany was very heavy, you may recall, and it combined with the red threat from the East, also real, made said Nazi propaganda quite effective, was an irrational leap from a somewhat rational base of experience, eh?

      • Keith
        August 21, 2014, 11:19 am

        CITIZEN- “…an irrational leap from a somewhat rational base of experience, eh?”

        Good point. Unfortunately, many groups have previous negative experiences which may condition their thinking towards irrational paranoia. Also, it doesn’t have to be real experiences, it can take the form of perceived persecution (two thousand years of irrational anti-Semitism?). Perhaps that is why most social mythology is fundamentally irrational? Not a hopeful situation.

        As an aside, both Britain and France wanted to loosen the financial burden on Germany if only the US would loosen their debt obligations to America, however, the US refused. Michael Hudson discusses this and other important financial considerations in “Super Imperialism: The Origins and Fundamentals of U.S. World Dominance.”

      • Citizen
        August 21, 2014, 12:02 pm

        @ Keith
        Thanks. Didn’t know anything about how the US factored into not loosening Germany’s obligations under Versailles Treaty.

  26. Don
    August 20, 2014, 5:27 pm

    “You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.”

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful to any Jewish person anywhere in the world who is honestly…”pining for Israel”…but is that like pining for the fjords?

    • just
      August 20, 2014, 5:52 pm

      Excellent memories… so very brilliant! Thanks, Don.

      So many of the Israeli narratives are going the way of the parrot.

      • Don
        August 20, 2014, 7:20 pm

        You are most welcome, Just!

    • Mooser
      August 20, 2014, 7:17 pm

      “You can’t have Jews pining for Israel over millennia and then going there, and not have it be the most important development in all those millennia.”

      “Jews pining for Israel over millennia”? Gosh, we live a long time! I thought Methuselah was an exception.

  27. MiraKarell
    August 20, 2014, 9:14 pm

    Using past savagery to rationalize today’s savagery doesn’t seem like an intellectual argument. I agree with Howard Zinn. Modern weaponry makes war an untenable proposition.

  28. Pixel
    August 20, 2014, 11:18 pm

    .
    Refining the working definition of an “intellectual” would be a very valuable exercise, here. (Hint: This guy ain’t it.)

    Twitter Following:
    …..Israeli State Archivist ———————– 2,050
    …..Phil Weiss (MW) Global Archivist — 30,700

  29. The Hasbara Buster
    August 21, 2014, 7:53 am

    Lozowick is not an intellectual in the highest level. (Tip: guys who flaunt their PhD’s in your face usually aren’t.) I recall debating him and he didn’t know the difference between colonies of exploitation and colonies of settlement — a striking unawareness coming from a historian. He also wasn’t aware that the UNSC had declared Israel’s settlements legally invalid.

    Also, Lozowick is a dishonest person. Back in 2002, when Israel conducted Operation Defensive shield, he maintained that Israel is especially moral because it launched a ground offensive instead of bombing Jenin from the air. But in 2008, when Israel bombed Gaza using planes and missiles, Lozowick changed his tune and found nothing wrong with such an aerial attack.

    In sum, and despite his abilities as a fluent and articulate writer, I don’t think we need to take him (or Asa Kasher, or any of the other “historians,” “philosophers” and “intellectuals” who seek to justify Israel via plausible deniability) particularly seriously.

    • Danaa
      August 21, 2014, 2:34 pm

      Hasbara Buster:

      Lozowick to Intellectual is like Twerking is to Grand Jete.

  30. W.Jones
    August 21, 2014, 11:44 am

    There are non-Jews who are Israeli citizens, there are Jews who intensely dislike Zionism, there are even a handful of anti-Zionist Jews in Israel. None of these facts can change the fundamental truth: in Zionism the Jews set out to re-create a national existence on the political playing field, in their ancestral homeland, and Israel is its expression, or outcome, or whatever you wish to call it.

    At what percent of a group’s support or performance of something does it become correct or permissible to say that the group supports or performs it?

    • JeffB
      August 21, 2014, 6:22 pm

      @W. Jones

      percent of a group’s support or performance of something does it become correct or permissible to say that the group supports or performs it?

      When
      1) the group has institutions which draw broadly who perform the action
      2a) a supermajority of the population is supportive directly or indirectly
      2b) a majority is unopposed
      3) at best a tiny fraction dissents in a way designed to prevent the action rather than merely oppose it in principle.

      So for example is is reasonable to say Americans invaded and occupied Iraq. After 2006 it would probably be best to limit that to the Bush administration or Republicans or…

    • Mooser
      August 21, 2014, 7:52 pm

      “At what percent of a group’s support or performance of something does it become correct or permissible to say that the group supports or performs it?”

      Guess that sorta depends on whose word you take on the extent and nature of that support. And if you want to believe Lozowick, I can’t stop you. You can decide if he is trustworthy.

  31. adele
    August 21, 2014, 12:32 pm

    So, that’s it. I know your methodology, and that of your fans

    Phil,
    let it be known to Yaacov that I, a reader of and commentator at Mondoweiss, am not a “fan” of anybody, never have been, never will be. I am an admirer of certain things and people, but for Yaacov to label us collectively as “fans” is condescending. I am an independent thinker who has seen first-hand the savagery of Zionist policy so I don’t need this Yaacov-come-lately allocating me a role or undermining my views.

    As for his letter overall, it is a very disturbing and revealing portrait of the psychology of a human being who is both the beneficiary and supporter of a system that uses extreme measures of violence as a means to oppress others. It gave me chills.

    signed,
    not your groupie

    • Philip Weiss
      August 21, 2014, 12:47 pm

      Thanks Adele, that’s helpful. I understand that Yaacov has had more to say today on his own site about this flap…

      • Elliot
        August 21, 2014, 3:25 pm

        From the State Archivist’s latest rumination:

        ” When I was researching my doctorate many years ago the Nazis I was following were mostly dead and I learned about them from documents. The Mondoweiss hordes are alive and active, and I can provoke them and learn how they respond).”

        My, for a man who condones bombing kids to death, he seems to have rather thin skin! Calling Mondoweiss commenters neo-Nazis. That’s what you get for a Ph.D. in Nazi studies.

  32. eljay
    August 21, 2014, 1:01 pm

    >> P.W.: I understand that Yaacov has had more to say today on his own site about this flap…

    Doesn’t he, though!

    My occasional pen-pal Phil Weiss, he of the Mondoweiss website, that lair of American-hating Antisemites, wrote to tell me he was troubled by a short message I posted a few weeks ago on Twitter. … If it weren’t for his absolutely totally inexcusably repulsive website. i.e. in another life, he and I might even be friends.

    It’s amazing and amusing to see such vitriol from a hateful and immoral Zio-supremacist.

    • just
      August 21, 2014, 4:18 pm

      Cool, we’re in a lair!

      (Pretty puerile for a PhD sort, but then again he’s a proud Zionist and the official archivist of Israel)

      • Philemon
        August 21, 2014, 7:28 pm

        I’m surprised he didn’t mention minions, but I can live with being a horde.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2014, 11:37 pm

      he of the Mondoweiss website, that lair of American-hating Antisemites

      lol! can’t stop laughing. such flair!!!

  33. Danaa
    August 21, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Phil, lost in the verbiage of Lozowick is a barely concealed contempt for the Jews of the world. Not sure others caught just how very dismissive his tone is towards Jewish people in general, including those who may be zionists but do not live in Israel.

    He may direct his ire towards those who question IDF bad manners as they conduct “just war”, arguing that the “Just” part sanctifies poor behavior. But the spite towards those usually referred to, euphemistically, as “diaspora” is unmistakable. We won, you lost, the spaces in-between-the-words seem to say, followed by a not-quite-audible, “now get lost” cadenza, trumpeted in the distance.

    To those outside the israeli paranoic group think, it may be obvious that the attack on Gaza is more of a pogrom than a “war”, Gaza already being a prison from which there is no escape. It goes almost without saying that applying the word “Just” to a purely punitive campaign, while comparing Gazans to Nazi Germany, is neither relevant, nor logical*. But what he is really saying is that whatever these “other’ jews, not absorbed into the Borg zio mindset , are thinking is immaterial, because they are “outside the hive”, and therefore, by definition, inferior.

    I think this contempt for and dismissal of any and all opinions from outside the Borg should not be taken lightly or ignored. Neither should we blind ourselves to the obvious loss of mental acuity that is a natural side-effect of being “assimilated”. What Lozowick reflects is nothing short of n attack on the very concept of enlightened discussion. I kind of doubt that any of the good points made by commenters here would have the slightest effect on him. I would expect him to be immune to both reason and logic when they touch – even obliquely – upon the First Imperative, which is “self-defense”.

    My worry is that the Borg may morph into Daleks, and then what?

    ___
    * would not a better comparison of Israel’s Protective Shield’ (itself a euphemism of the operation name which is better translaterd as “Hard Rock”) be to the Romans swooping in to attack annoying little Judea the better to dislodge those zealots (cf. the biblical Hamas) once and for all?

    • JeffB
      August 21, 2014, 6:49 pm

      @Danaa

      Phil, lost in the verbiage of Lozowick is a barely concealed contempt for the Jews of the world. Not sure others caught just how very dismissive his tone is towards Jewish people in general, including those who may be zionists but do not live in Israel.

      That’s standard Israeli Zionist discourse and has been for over a century. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negation_of_the_Diaspora

      The article doesn’t mention it but Zionism has held to 3 central ideas:

      1) Exile serves no purpose and fulfills no mission (i.e. rejection of the rabbinic interpretation of the exile)

      2) Exile causes suffering and distorts the soul.

      3) Exile is non-feasable in a world of nation states.

      During the pre WWII years American Jewish Zionists used to argue (and this is still the majority view in practice for American Jews) that the negation of the diaspora had happened in America, because America is a homeland for the Jews who live there. Thus Israel was an appropriate homeland for the Jews of Eastern Europe who were still in exile but that the spiritual sickness of exile weren’t applicable to American Jews who had found a home. In the current world where most of the non-American diaspora no longer exists the debate is more nuanced. Both sides have softened their positions over the decades. Israelis no longer hold the utopian socialist ideals that made the unabridged form possible and most American Jews will agree that they are not fully at home as Jews in America.

      On point the angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither fully embrace nor fully break from is precisely the sort of existential angst that Zionists writers of earlier generations critiqued in diaspora Jews. Anyway (and I’m assuming you are Christian since you found this surprising) there is still a point of debate between Israeli and American Jews and we are used to hearing this sort of stuff. IMHO (and I say this as an American who is not moving) he has a very good point in his critique.

      • Hostage
        August 21, 2014, 7:10 pm

        That’s standard Israeli Zionist discourse and has been for over a century.

        Just to keep the record straight: The 1950 “Entente” agreement between AJC President Jacob Blaustein and Prime Minister Ben-Gurion still reflects the thinking of most American Jews. It stipulated that Jews living in the USA are not “exiles” and that the government of Israel does not represent us in any way.

      • Philemon
        August 21, 2014, 7:19 pm

        JeffB: “…and I’m assuming you are Christian since you found this surprising…”

        Is this guy a clown or what?! He’s making me laugh so hard it hurts!

      • Shingo
        August 22, 2014, 12:38 am

        Yes, I believe he moonlights doing stand up acts at bachelor parties too.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:44 am

        “doing stand up acts at bachelor parties too.”

        Hmmm, I get the feeling from some of the stuff JeffB has said, he’s suffering from a case of Oldtimers disease.

      • Elliot
        August 21, 2014, 7:32 pm

        “On point the angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither fully embrace nor fully break from is precisely the sort of existential angst that Zionists writers of earlier generations critiqued in diaspora Jews. ”

        There was Israeli state violence in earlier generations?

      • JeffB
        August 21, 2014, 8:43 pm

        @Elliot

        There was Israeli state violence in earlier generations?

        No there was existential angst where Jews were neither one thing nor the other and unable to reconcile it. They were unable to effortless live the cultures of the societies they live in.

        Woody Allen’s Easter Scene is a good example of this in an American context:
        http://youtu.be/z8TSvMx2wPI

        Even as he tries to eat the easter ham and fit in he really can’t. Next to “real Americans” he feels like a fake American. This is a theme in diaspora literature 100 years ago as well. American Jews still weren’t assimilated enough to have this kind of angst but but you see the same themes in British, French and German literature from that late 19th early 20th century time period.

        That’s what I meant.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 22, 2014, 12:16 am

        jeff b. re that woody allen skit. families are often on their ‘good behavior’ when a daughter or sister brings home some stranger. i can’t recall the movie from start to finish but there’s a good chance that jewish family he was imagining (his own one presumes) might not have acted like that had she been in the room.

        as a matter of fact i recall some pretty strange undercurrents when i was invited to a jewish household/home not that long ago with some very weary family members. but after we got to be friends a little bit into the trip, the mom started preparing some of her special dishes and that’s when i knew i had passed the grade. but non jewish families, like my own for example, have some very raunchy lively dinner table conversations.

        but i get that this is or has been a ‘theme’ in jewish thinking and literature. the blind spot tho, is thinking this is unique or a somehow ‘jewish experience’ in terms of exclusivity. it isn’t, it’s not uncommon treatment for strangers or outsiders. hence the english idiom, don’t hang your dirty linen in public. but once you get to know a family well, or become one of the family, they are more likely to start arguing in front of you. that’s not jewish, that’s normal.

        and that grandmother in allen’s video, that is NOTHING compare to the ‘evil eye’ i got from the dad (jewish) at that gathering. nothing!

      • Elliot
        August 22, 2014, 12:22 am

        Jeff, you say we are still stuck in this גלותי nebishe “Jewish angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither embrace or fully break from”. I don’t see it.
        The more Easter ham that Jews eat, the more they stay just as Zionist as ever. Zionism – as Netanyahu never ceases to declare – is as much a Christian project as it is Jewish. Becoming less Jewish doesn’t diminish the Zionism.
        It’s all about privilege and power. The power to have one homeland here and a backup one over there, even if it means that the locals have to do without. Same with all the American Jews who keep vacation homes in Jerusalem pushing real estate prices beyond the reach of Israeli Jews. American Jews don’t know or understand or care about Israelis or Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:24 am

        Gee, and I thought that was a fictional movie, played for laughs. I had no idea what serious issues it dove down deep to the heart of.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 7:36 pm

        JeffyB, that was a marvel of stupidity, including the information that you like being snubbed by Israelis.

    • Mooser
      August 21, 2014, 7:45 pm

      ” lost in the verbiage of Lozowick is a barely concealed contempt for the Jews of the world.”

      What is so hysterical is how plainly JeffB’s response to your comment shows contempt for American Jews . And he freakin’ lives here.

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 7:49 pm

        What is so hysterical is how plainly JeffB’s response to your comment shows contempt for American Jews . And he freakin’ lives here.

        A confirmed self hater.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 7:58 pm

        Shingo, isn’t just amazing how American Jews “found a homeland” here? I mean, kicked all over the world, persecuted all over and then, suddenly, there it was, a “new homeland” Just like that! No reason for it, nothing we could learn from it, just sorta happened. so there’s absolutely no way we could compare the Jewish American experience with the Zionist Jewish Israeli experience and draw any conclusions, can’t be done.

        And everybody knows, as a mere 1 to 2% of the population, with no special protection as people or as a religion, no representatives in the corridors of power, all the Jews that came to America were quickly exterminated and never heard from again.

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 11:33 pm

        And everybody knows, as a mere 1 to 2% of the population, with no special protection as people or as a religion, no representatives in the corridors of power, all the Jews that came to America were quickly exterminated and never heard from again.

        Indeed Mooser, as we all know, you have to have some brave warriors willing to remain behind and suffer persecution to maintain the myth of persecution.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2014, 8:16 pm

        Just can’t understand how I found a home which isn’t a “Jewish State”. I mean, that’s non-negotiable!

      • just
        August 21, 2014, 8:28 pm

        Mazel Tov!

  34. Elliot
    August 21, 2014, 7:30 pm

    @JeffB

    “I’m assuming you are Christian”

    Danaa is Israeli.

    • Mooser
      August 21, 2014, 8:03 pm

      “I’m assuming you are Christian”

      Gosh, Zionists know everything, don’t they? And wow, the skill he showed by deconstructing Danaa’s text, it’s word usage, syntax, etc, and quickly determining she is Christian. I mean really, it was so obvious, but we couldn’t see it.

      • Philemon
        August 21, 2014, 8:30 pm

        JeffB: “…and most American Jews will agree that they are not fully at home as Jews in America.”

        Mooser, isn’t it spooky how Zionists just “know” these things?

      • Shingo
        August 21, 2014, 11:35 pm

        JeffB: “…and most American Jews will agree that they are not fully at home as Jews in America.”

        Which begs the question, why do so many Jews insist on living in America rather than Israel.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:35 am

        “…and most American Jews will agree that they are not fully at home as Jews in America.”

        Yes, and it’s a shame. Why if only they had thrown themselves into American life, instead of remaining isolated in religious communities, there’s no telling what they might have done. Careers in music, the arts, business administration, finance, medicine, law or politics were all possibilities, but alas, they never felt “at home” enough to do those things.
        In fact, I do believe several groups of Jews sued States for the right to form their own ghettos, and be ruled by Rabbis and intermediaries to the Gentile community. And they lost! Why if that doesn’t show you the anti-Semitism in America, I don’t know what does.

      • Shingo
        August 22, 2014, 12:43 am

        Why if only they had thrown themselves into American life, instead of remaining isolated in religious communities

        Now come on Mooser, had they done that, they would have faced pogroms, lynchings and Kafkaesque trials where their patriotism would have been maligned for putting the interests of a foreign state before the US.

      • JeffB
        August 22, 2014, 5:29 am

        @Shingo

        Which begs the question, why do so many Jews insist on living in America rather than Israel.

        Zionism arose out of Jewish culture because it fits Jewish culture and experience. Just as Judaism conflicts with Christianity in some areas the Zionist philosophy of state conflicts with the American philosophy. American Jews became Zionist after the period when Jews faced discrimination. As Zionism has integrated into American Judaism many of the themes in Zionism have become parts of Jewish culture. Cultures are complex and multi layered.

        American Jews are fundamentally American, they are happy here and they live well here. At the same time Jewish alienation is a genuine cultural issue. That doesn’t mean it is worth abandoning one’s home and culture and moving to a foreign country. Jewish women adore yoga, it is even more popular in Israel. Buddhist / Hindu religious themes about non-attachment and constructive reality are totally alien to Judaism but popular among Jews (as well as lots of other non-Jewish upper middle class). No one expects American Jews and Israelis to move to India just because they admire Indian exercise.

        Normal people have nuanced and contradictory relationships with things important in their lives. They are able to look at things in terms of positives and negatives. They can admire things about other people or societies without wanting to whole heartedly embrace them. And they can dislike things about other people or societies without having to demonize them in every respect.

        America has been good for Jews, Jews have been good Americans and the whole thing has worked out well. But other countries in other times have also been good for Jews and then things changed dramatically. The Yazidi were up until recently rather well accepted in the region as they posed no demographic or political threat. Then last year a prominent Islamic Sunni movement came along and decided genocide was appropriate and lately that’s been in the news. Jews have been through those sorts of cycles many many times.

        As an aside you are using the expression “beg the question” incorrectly. To beg the question means to assume the conclusion in the argument.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:40 am

        “Mooser, isn’t it spooky how Zionists just “know” these things?”

        Sometimes I do wonder if they really do know everything, but to question them would probably be antisemitic.

      • Shingo
        August 22, 2014, 1:37 am

        Sometimes I do wonder if they really do know everything, but to question them would probably be antisemitic.

        In your case, self hating.

      • seanmcbride
        August 21, 2014, 11:13 pm

        Mooser,

        Gosh, Zionists know everything, don’t they? And wow, the skill he showed by deconstructing Danaa’s text, it’s word usage, syntax, etc, and quickly determining she is Christian. I mean really, it was so obvious, but we couldn’t see it.

        JeffB also claimed that Lewis Libby was a Christian (a WASP, no less). One begins to espy a pattern of miscognition — a mental “tic,” perhaps.

      • Mooser
        August 22, 2014, 12:29 am

        “begins to espy a pattern of miscognition”

        Sean, it doesn’t seem likely. I mean how could a JeffB be wrong about anything, when he know so much about everything?

      • JeffB
        August 22, 2014, 4:59 am

        @Sean

        Since you seem to be obsessed with this. Yes, you were right. It appears Libby was Jewish. So there you go one of the key neocons directly responsible for Iraq was Jewish.

      • talknic
        August 22, 2014, 6:45 am

        @ JeffB “So there you go one of the key neocons directly responsible for Iraq was Jewish”

        Plus the majority of PNAC signatories

      • Danaa
        August 22, 2014, 1:25 am

        Mooser – I think it was the Star Trek references (much less Dr Who). Dead give-away of Christian-ness…..everyone knows that!

    • JeffB
      August 21, 2014, 8:55 pm

      @Danaaa

      Well then if you are Israeli this was just standard: שלילת הגולה ideology.

      • Danaa
        August 22, 2014, 1:21 am

        I know all about the “Galutim miskenim” syndrome. Practiced it myself. I remember all too well those American jewish tourists (who we figured to be all “rich”) showing up on “our” beaches, wearing Bermuda shorts, soon to take on lobster red hue. Couldn’t play rackets, or navigate a hasake, or know the right places where one could get a nice pork-in-a-pita sandwich. Even when they dumped the bermuda shorts, donned proper speedos and managed to get that tan business going, they would always reveal themselves by being too darn polite. It takes good israeli upbringing to know how to be uncouth just right without a shred of embarrassment.

        But then I had to figure things out, like there is a virtue in civilized conversation, and time not spent on the beach could be spent in libraries and on baseball courts and in comedy halls. Of course, speaking of un-cool – well, there’s always Florida (but no more on that). Also the American constitution is kind of nice – never knew such fun could be had talking about 1st to 4th amendments back in the Middle east (am still getting a bit hazy about those other amendments). Last I heard there was some serious law contributed by these hapless, homeless pale “exiles” once they took care of the local Cossacks and beat back the pogromists.

        JeffB – here’s something just for you – America IS the real zion, but the wanna-be zion is doing everything it can to ruin it – may be because they figured that a home is not a home unless it has “only” Jews (with a few assorted hanger-ons admitted). Actually, they are kind of jealous – no other way to explain the influx from the Holy land to the new jerusalems known as new York, Boston and LA (not gonna say notin’ about new jersey…or Florida).

        BTW, three “a”‘s is really too much, don’t you think? even the Finns don’t go that far…

      • JeffB
        August 22, 2014, 6:12 am

        @Danaa

        Of course, speaking of un-cool – well, there’s always Florida

        Me thinks you haven’t seen the right parts of Florida. Miami can go toe to two with the New York City or LA club scene. Even cities like Tampa have a lot of cool.

        Also the American constitution is kind of nice

        I think it is a work of genius. I’m constantly impressed when I look at other country’s government how well our constitution adverts the problems they have. I’m continuously shocked when countries are trying to come up with governments why they don’t look to the oldest functioning democracy and see what worked. For example America has a really good system of federalism, especially if you remove the later amendments as we gradually moved towards a national government. Which likely would have worked to relieve the tension between the various communities in Iraq. But we couldn’t get the Iraqis to go for a federal system.

        America IS the real zion,

        America is a Protestant country. The forms of Judaism that evolved in America had to become structurally Protestant to allow Jews to assimilate. The Catholicism that has evolved among Catholic believers is ideologically Protestant. There is a lot to admire about America, and a lot to like about it. But Zion cannot be Protestant.

        no other way to explain the influx from the Holy land to the new jerusalems known as new York, Boston and LA (not gonna say notin’ about new jersey…or Florida).

        There isn’t that much flow between Israel and America. But I’m not sure why you would find the flow surprising. America has moved politically closer to Israel. Europe has become less friendly and America more friendly. Financial ties have grown stronger as Israel has become more capitalist in its orientation, especially loosening your financing and banking laws. About 13 years ago I was an executive on the board of a company. I think I was the only Jew there and we were working to get acquired by CheckPoint. Those sorts of ties mean people move back and forth. Lots of Japanese Americans are either from Japan or move to Japan, there is flow there as well. Certainly the flow to and from Mexico is gigantic.

        That’s part of how America does business. We have an immigrant culture so moving here for business or moving away from here happens rather freely.

        but the wanna-be zion is doing everything it can to ruin it

        Don’t buy into the Mondowweiss obsession with Israel. The wanna-be Zion (Israel) has a GDP of $243b. The GDP of New Jersey and Florida (which you just dismissed with contempt) is $465b and $748b respectively. Israel couldn’t ruin America if it tried. Jews are not the center of the universe. The belief that what Jews do is of cosmic importance is a sick part of Christian anti-Semitism that Jews absorbed. That theology is part of what Zionism critiqued and aimed to reject. Unfortunately it failed since Israelis are as self obsessed if not more-so than their diaspora cousins.

        So, since you are Israeli, get a grip! Israel is a good friend to America. Americans put Israel 2nd only to Canada in terms of most trusted allies, ahead of the UK. Israel is a valuable strategic asset. But we’ve lost assets before, like the fall of Iran or the deteriorating relationship with Pakistan. If Israel tomorrow set up a giant blender and Rabin Square and made 10,000 Palestinians into milkshakes every day it wouldn’t ruin America or in the larger scheme of things matter very much. If tomorrow the Israelis decided to retreat to the 1967 borders and recognized a Palestinian state the biggest impact would be trying to prevent Iran or Al-Qaeda or whomever was really running the newly independent Palestinian state from flipping Jordan.

        What’s really doing damage to America is underinvestment in our human capital and infrastructure nothing with foreign policy at all. Jews are working hard to fight that, they are on the side of the angels.

  35. JeffB
    August 22, 2014, 4:58 am

    @Annie

    jeff b. re that woody allen skit. families are often on their ‘good behavior’ when a daughter or sister brings home some stranger. i can’t recall the movie from start to finish but there’s a good chance that jewish family he was imagining (his own one presumes) might not have acted like that had she been in the room.

    Absolutely agree. Everybody’s family is screwed up. And of course the grass always looks greener. That sort of stilted conversation Allen’s character (Alvy Singer) is admiring in the Annie’s family can be even more difficult as everyone works very hard to keep the conversation on boating and not talking about the obvious. Frankly given the alternative I rather like the openness.

    Any as far as I can tell Asian families in the USA seem to have this measuring up insecurity issues far worse than Jewish families do. In America while the specifics of integration are unique to each group I think the pattern is pretty uniform and analogous.

    as a matter of fact i recall some pretty strange undercurrents when i was invited to a jewish household/home not that long ago with some very weary family members. but after we got to be friends a little bit into the trip, the mom started preparing some of her special dishes and that’s when i knew i had passed the grade. but non jewish families, like my own for example, have some very raunchy lively dinner table conversations.

    My parents have never had a raunchy conversation with me, nor have I ever had one with my siblings. Which is kinda the opposite extreme on sex. It is still off limits. I always thought that was stupid. But funny enough my wife, who is really liberal, is rather puritanical around our daughter regarding any kind of conversation with a sexual theme (she’s 15 at this point). My daughter has responded to my wife’s discomfort by being puritanical around my wife. So at least daughter – mother looks like we are passing the no-sex talk on to the next generation. My daughter will talk pretty freely around me, though.

    OTOH the Woody Allen family is pretty close to what conversation was like with my family. Jewish families talk freely about disease which I’ve noticed other families won’t touch.

    but i get that this is or has been a ‘theme’ in jewish thinking and literature. the blind spot tho, is thinking this is unique or a somehow ‘jewish experience’ in terms of exclusivity. it isn’t, it’s not uncommon treatment for strangers or outsiders. hence the english idiom, don’t hang your dirty linen in public. but once you get to know a family well, or become one of the family, they are more likely to start arguing in front of you. that’s not jewish, that’s normal.

    Agree 100%. The specifics of what gets hidden and with whom differ a bit. But everyone tries to look good. The anxiety about being inauthentic it is Jewish. But the conversation not so much.

    and that grandmother in allen’s video, that is NOTHING compare to the ‘evil eye’ i got from the dad (jewish) at that gathering. nothing!

    Yep. Jews especially of Allen’s generation and older do not like intermarriage. I was engaged to a gentile right out of college. My parents seriously considered not coming to the wedding at all. It is much worse in that direction.

    I see with worse with Hindu immigrants. They want their kids to marry Indian.

    • Citizen
      August 22, 2014, 6:31 am

      I could tell stories; I will just say that when I was dating the Jewish woman who would later become my wife, I was met with a torrent of tailored ethnic slurs by her mother who threatened to dump “boiling hot chicken soup” on my “goyishekopf.” In her final days she wanted me to execute her will, not her only son.

Leave a Reply