UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as ‘triggering, terrifying’

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What rhymes with intifada and is reportedly offensive to Jews?

The answer, of course, is “Dintifada.”

Last Sunday, UC Berkeley student Sumayyah Din announced her candidacy for her campus’s student senate. By the next day, the Muslim-American sophomore was under attack for using an imaginary word that was deemed offensive by one of the campus’s pro-Israel groups.

Din had posted the following candidacy statement on her Facebook wall:

I am honored to have the opportunity to run for ASUC Senate as an independent candidate. I believe it is tremendously important for ALL students at Cal to have a voice in our student government and I want to represent my communities in this space. My vision encompasses a collaborative force on campus that utilizes our collective identities for an inclusive campus climate. I hope to move forward with the utmost transparency, compassion, and vigor. Vote the Independent Voice for an Independent Choice! #DIN4THEWIN #DINASTY #DINTIFADA #DOIT4THEDIN

At the end of her statement, she inserted four made-up hashtags, all of which were riffs on her surname—inserted as puns, near-rhymes, and alliteration. But one hashtag was singled out by the campus pro-Israel crowd as offensive: “#DINTIFADA.”

Bears for Israel, a new student group at UC Berkeley designed “to form a unified front against anti-Israel activity and crises on our campus,” published a screenshot of Din’s post and responded to the hashtag on its own Facebook wall:

On a campus that prides itself on the power of free speech, it is so disappointing to see that power being used in such a destructive, triggering way.

“Intifada”—uprising, resistance.

For many, this word seems innocent enough. But for the Jewish community, it immediately sparks memories of death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Last night, a UC Berkeley student announced her candidacy for ASUC Senate using the hashtag ‪#‎DINTIFADA. #DINTIFADA does not create an “inclusive campus climate”—it ruins it. #DINTIFADA does not “utilize collective identities”—it marginalizes a minority group. Jewish students have the right to feel safe at all times on this campus, and election season is no exception.

In the wake of the pasage of the UC system’s first anti-Semitism bill, it is critical for the student body, its leaders, and its administrators to recognize how damaging and terrifying rhetoric such as #DINTIFADA really is.

UC Berkeley is a place of learning, not of hatred. Its Senate candidates should promote dialogue between groups, not violence.

Bears for Israel is appalled by this candidate’s words. We have a responsibility to hold our elected officials and those running for office accountable, and we ask that Sumayyah Din publicly apologize for and denounce her offensive language.

This post was reproduced by Daniel Mael on the right-wing attack site, Truth Revolt. Mael, who is notorious for creating news reports based on out-of-context quotes from Twitter and Facebook posts of college students, claimed that Din was “making reference to the murder of innocent men, women and children as part of her campaign platform” and implied that the hashtag was anti-Semitic.

StandWithUs Facebook post results in calls for Din’s death

Other Israel advocacy groups shared the Bears for Israel Facebook post. Claremont Students for Israel, which is sponsored by the pro-Israel group CAMERA, called the hashtag “unacceptable beyond all recognition.” Hasbara Fellowships, which flies US college students to Israel to train them in Israeli PR, accused Din of “ irreverence for human life exhibited by bringing the Intifada to campus.”

Yet it was a StandWithUs Facebook post that elicited the most responses, garnering over 1,100 likes and 375 shares within eight hours.

How was it done? Simple: Instead of actually quoting Din or providing context, StandWithUs simply published a picture of the aftermath of a suicide bombing and then attached Din’s name to it, with a vague explanation of her alleged offense.

StandWithUs Facebook post

The rest was left to the readers’ imaginations. Consequently, the StandWithUs post led to comments that were far more offensive than anything Din had actually said:

Karma is coming for this ignorant brainwashed little girl, definitely not peaceful.

I would like to be able to comment on her page. This girl is a POS [piece of shit]

I thought Muslims were peaceful. [Response from another commenter:] Yup the dead ones !

These terrorists must be eradicated

SOMEONE SHOULD ELIMINATE HER FROM THE EARTH.

a frustated ,sexually repressed woman

It’s time to ship the islamic migrants back to their deserts!

She is a terrorist.

wanna bet she’s muslim

Obama promotes this kind of anti Semitism.

[I]ts all from the moslems going to the school and spewing their hate at which the stupid liberals feel sorry for the moslems. And since Moslems are allowed to lie, the libs eat it up and not doing there own research..

All Jewish benefactors should stop giving money to these schools.

Maybe the Mossad should send her a greeting card.

It seems to me that are immigration quotas should be looked at for others NOT just Hispanics

Sumayya Din? Sounds like a good American name. Her folks must have come over on the Mayflower then.

So can this dingo, Sumayya Din do the same in her country and not get penalized if not something worse?

Islamic oil money………………

These savages don’t qualify as human therefore they don’t deserve a trial, just a speedy execution.

time to fucking deport these shitbags

Among these many calls for her death or deportation were a couple of unanswered comments from people inquiring about what Din actually said.

“What was the play on the word? What was her slogan?”

 

NSFJ (“Not Safe for Jews”): Dintifada and J Street

To illustrate just how low the anti-Semitism bar is at Berkeley, we can take the following example.

Bears for Israel is part of the UC Berkeley Jewish Student Union, whose claimed purpose is “to unify Jewish student groups” and which “is committed to a pluralistic vision of Judaism.”

Yet the Jewish Student Union has twice turned down the campus’s J Street U chapter for admission on the grounds that the liberal Zionist organization was insufficiently pro-Israel.

In 2013, Jewish Student Union President Daphna Torbati explained that other Jews would find their safe space violated if J Street U were to be admitted:

For a lot of members … the [Jewish Student Union is] the only place where they can express their love for Israel because of such an anti-Israel campus climate … A lot of people have said that they want the [Jewish Student Union] to stay a place they feel comfortable saying they love Israel.”

Thus, for some Jewish students at Berkeley, a “safe space” for Jews is one that is devoid of words that rhyme with “intifada,” devoid of criticism of Israel, and devoid of liberal Zionist Jews.

The “Jewish intifada”

And what of Bears for Israel’s claims that “for the Jewish community, [intifada] immediately sparks memories of death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”—that it is a “destructive, triggering” word for Jews, and that it “promote[s] … violence”?

On March 10, 2013, the Hebrew edition of Haaretz quoted Likud party members in its headline as threatening an “intifadah neged Netanyahu akheri hakamah ha-memshalah.” That is, they were threatening an “intifada” against Netanyahu over the formation of a new coalition government.

The article did not bother defining “intifada” for its Hebrew readers, no doubt confident that they would understand the meaning and not freak out. However, the English version of the same Haaretz article did define “intifada” for its readers, but without the connotations expressed by Bears for Israel, Daniel Mael, and StandWithUs:

Party officials on Sunday threatened an “intifada”, or uprising, over what they call “Netanyahu’s failure to give out positions” to members of Likud and other formerly close coalition partners.

Haaretz English

The same article was reprinted in the Jewish Daily Forward—this time with a headline referring to a “Jewish intifada”:

“Jewish Intifada” Planned in Israel Coalition Feud

At no point was it suggested that these Likud members were calling for “death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Nor did the report claim that Netanyahu burst into tears or feared for his safety at the mention of the word “intifada” by his fellow Likudniks, despite being Jewish. There was no accusation of incitement to violence, and Netanyahu was never quoted as responding, “I feel unsafe.” And though Haaretz and the Forward’s primary audience is Jewish, neither publication offered a trigger warning before dropping the “i”-bomb.

It was clear in all three articles that the meaning of intifada conveyed not the spilling of Jewish blood, but a revolt against the establishment.

#Dintifada “ruins” the campus climate

In contrast, and quite amusingly, Bears for Israel complains that “#DINTIFADA does not create an ‘inclusive campus climate’—it ruins it.” Campus. Ruined. Forever.

I asked Sumayyah Din what she meant by the hashtag “#DINTIFADA”:

Breaking it down, my last name Din means faith, and intifada (literally) means “shaking off”, though it is popularly translated into English as uprising, resistance, and/or rebellion. It is often used as a term for popular resistance to oppression. When put together, the inspiration I draw from #dintifada is a representation of a faith-filled resistance; a compassionate and resilient means of survival. In relation to my role as a student, this translates into challenging institutions, thinking, and other potential obstructions to the highest standard of social justice.

Furthermore, the word intifada is a representation of the Palestinian struggle, a struggle I have and always will stand in solidarity with. The use of this word gives the Palestinian people hope and I find it extremely disturbing that anyone would delegitimize the reality Palestinians go through on a day to day basis by saying this word is triggering. This word is uplifting, it is beautiful, and it represents the struggle of all oppressed peoples.

Other uses of the term “intifada”

Indeed, when Iranians took to the streets to protest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s victory in the 2009 presidential election, many Western observers praised the movement as an “Iranian intifada.” One such observer was Israeli analyst Meir Javendanfar, who enjoys legitimacy within the Israeli establishment and is even listed in the Jewish National Fund speakers bureau. At the start of the Iranian “Green Movement” protests, Javendanfar wrote that

An Iranian-style intifada seems to be in the making … The protests now seem to carry the potential to turn into a full-scale civil disobedience campaign, not unlike the first intifada the Palestinians initiated against Israel in 1987.

In 1987, to Palestinians, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and the deteriorating political and economic situations there formed the nucleus of the political ideology that legitimized the first intifada.

Khamenei’s increasing attacks against the Iranian public … are creating the nucleus of an ideology that is legitimizing opposition, not just in cities, but throughout Iran.

Here, Javendanfar evoked the term “intifada” not to suggest “death, destruction,” and “the bloodiest scenes,” but rather to suggest “a full-scale civil disobedience campaign, not unlike the first intifada the Palestinians initiated against Israel.”

Another example: In Lebanon in 2005, a movement emerged protesting Syrian interference in Lebanese affairs. The West supported these protests, which the Bush administration dubbed the “Cedar Revolution.” Within Lebanon, however, it was known as Intifaadat al-Istiqlaal, the “Intifada of Independence.”

The Washington Post explained the naming discrepancy:

To speak of Lebanon’s “intifada” places this month’s events in the tradition of the Palestinians’ struggle against Israeli occupation. And it implies that Syria, a decaying Arab autocracy, and Israel, a favorite U.S. ally, have something in common as occupying powers … Given this history, the “Cedar Revolution” brand is more congenial to the Bush administration.

Nevertheless the Jerusalem Post in 2005 praised the Lebanese “civilian intifada” for having “done what years of civil war and internecine fighting failed to achieve. It brought the citizens of Lebanon together as Lebanese.”

That same year, another “Intifada of Independence” emerged in Western Sahara in protest of the continued Moroccan occupation. It was in fact the second Sahrawi intifada, the first one having begun in 1999.

There have been other uprisings that have come to be known as intifadas, such as the 1970 Sahrawi “Zemla Intifada” against Spanish rule and the 1965 Bahraini “March Intifada” against British colonialism.

Banning the word “intifada” as a form of cultural appropriation

Such examples illustrate the wide range of usage and context for the term intifada. All of these contexts are wiped out by Bears for Israel, Daniel Mael in Truth Revolt, and StandWithUs, which seek to lay exclusive claim to the term “intifada” and to redefine it as “dead Jews.”

They will accept only one meaning for the word—that which they imbue in it, with all their willful ignorance, their fear-mongering, and their racist and Islamophobic stereotypes. And they claim this right specifically as Jews, though the word was never their own.

Thus, by rejecting any other definition of the term, and by denying the word’s wide usage, they are appropriating the cultures of others and, by censorship, preventing others from using their own language.

This is the context in which we must read the claim that “intifada” is offensive to the “Jewish community”—in the same manner that J Street is offensive to this “Jewish community”—and that the made-up word Dintifada “ruins” the “campus climate,” that it “marginalizes a minority group,” and that it is “damaging and terrifying rhetoric.”

Thus, for the “safe[ty]” of Jewish students, the word initifada and anything that rhymes with it must be banned, “the student body, its leaders, and its administrators” must incorporate this viewpoint, and Sumayyah Din must “publicly apologize and denounce her” own positive values—not for the sake of all Jews, but for a preselected set of right-wing, Israel-apologist, Islamophobic, and race-baiting Jews.

Sumayyah Din’s campaign platform

Following up on Daniel Mael’s claim that Sumayyah Din promoted “the murder of innocent men, women and children as part of her campaign platform,” I asked Din if she had any plans to inflict violence on campus.

Haha, no. I can confidently say I have no plans to inflict any violence towards any groups on campus. I would never want to carry or condone any message of violence or hatred. In fact, my campaign is themed with a central dogma of love, solidarity, and unity.

In fact, Din’s campaign platform calls for a reduction of violence by enacting campus police reforms. As the Daily Californian reported,

[Din] has also been speaking to Councilmember Jesse Arreguin and others on the issue of police militarization. She noted the campus police department’s possession of military-grade weapons and said she would ultimately like to see money go instead to restorative justice training.

“These baby steps are definitely necessary,” Din said. “It’s an issue nationwide, but it’s an issue on campus as well.”

Din is also “adamantly focused on ensuring that my community’s voice will be heard in the ASUC space for next year and years to come.” She has already garnered the support of the Middle Eastern Muslim Sikh and South Asian Coalition (MEMSSA)—and though she is running as an independent, she is endorsing a slate of women of color candidates who are running under CalSERVE (Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education).

In light of the vicious attacks against her, has Din received support from fellow students and from faculty and the administration?

To be honest, I feel so blessed to have had an outpouring of love and support from family, fellow peers, and community members. However, I’m not surprised that I have not seen any support from faculty and administration; traditionally, they have constantly chosen to remain silent on issues that affect my community. But I am more than willing and hopeful in welcoming any support from them.

“Dialogue”? Pshaw!

A common retort by Israel advocates is that the actions of Israel critics curb “dialogue.” Bears for Israel claims that it “promotes open dialogue on campus,” and its president, Becca Berman, has criticized the campus SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) for allegedly “not engag[ing] in any kind of dialogue to address the issues that they are saying they wish to discuss on campus.”

However this call is often a disingenuous rhetorical device used to discredit any protest of Israeli actions as antithetical to “dialogue.” Underscoring the disingenuous nature of this rhetoric, Din told me that none of her critics—not even Bears for Israel, which is demanding an apology from her and suggesting that the school should take action against her—ever approached her before publicly leveling their ridiculous claims against her:

One of the many things that I find extremely disappointing about these attacks is that no one has directly contacted me about it at all. I would have actually loved to discuss this issue with the people that have been taking actions against me.

The right-wing “PC police”

Unfortunately this manufactured controversy over the word “intifada” is not new. In 2007, Debbie Almontaser was forced to resign as founding principal of the Khalil Gibran International Academy, an English–Arabic public school in Brooklyn, after explaining the meaning of the word “intifada” to a New York Post reporter who asked.

Her explanation, that it literally meant “shaking off” in Arabic, and that it did not have an inherently violent context, was considered insufficient for the New York Post, which subsequently accused Almontaser of “glorify[ing] Palestinian terror.” The Post article, which contained several factual errors, was later found by a federal appellate court to have quoted Almontaser “incorrectly and misleadingly.”

By then, however, the damage had been done. Islamophobic groups, led in part by the neocon Daniel Pipes (who also popularized the European “Muslim No-Go Zone” myth), capitalized on the hysteria, leading to Almontaser’s forced resignation. In 2010, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, siding with Almontaser, found that the NYC Department of Education

succumbed to the very bias that creation of the school was intended to dispel and a small segment of the public succeeded in imposing its prejudices on D.O.E. as an employer.

According to the New York Times,

The commission said that the department had discriminated against Ms. Almontaser, a Muslim of Yemeni descent, “on account of her race, religion and national origin.”

Today, right-wing attack sites such as Truth Revolt, Washington Free Beacon, Breitbart.com, Legal Insurrection, and the Daily Caller, scour social media posts searching for comments that can be twisted into something seemingly offensive to their conservative and Zionist sensibilities. Such was the case against Steven Salaita. More frequently now, the focus has been directed at college students of color.

Prior to going after Sumayyah Din, Daniel Mael led an attack against Khadija Lynch, an African-American Brandeis student who—at the height of the “Black Lives Matter” protests and the publicized killings of African Americans by police officers—had tweeted that she had no sympathy for two murdered police officers and that she “hate[d] this racist fucking country.” Lynch had also called for an American intifada, which Mael claimed was a call for “innocents [to be] murdered.”

The attack against Lynch led to death threats against her and her removal from the African and Afro-American Studies Department at Brandeis. Nevertheless Lynch explained that

Not having sympathy is not the same as rejoicing or saying that they deserved to die. I think all human life is valuable; I’m not a violent person; and I don’t condone violence.

As Lynch’s only crime was not expressing sympathy for murdered police officers whom she did not know—indeed, one Alan Dershowitz article on the “controversy” was headlined “A Brandeis Student Refuses to Show Sympathy for Assassinated Policemen,” as if sympathy were an obligation—one can safely assume that such a controversy would not have ensued had the same sentiments been tweeted by a random white person whose respect for police officers is not automatically called into question.

More recently, Mael has gone after a UC Davis student senator, Azka Fayyaz, who, in satirizing anti-BDS and Islamophobic alarmists, joked on her Facebook wall that the recent passage of a divestment resolution signaled the imposition of Hamas and Sharia law on campus. As Fayyaz explained,

I figured that everyone would be able to discern between satire and fact … In 2013 and 2014, the anti-divestment community said that Hamas supports our divestment resolution.

There is of course no interpretation of Sharia law that necessitates divestment from Caterpillar Inc., but that was of no concern to Mael, who capitalized on the words and ignored the meaning.

And among the most ridiculous manufactured controversies was a case last year in which the Washington Free Beacon used a picture posted on Facebook—stripped of its accompanying text—to accuse an Arab student at the University of Michigan of engaging in anti-Semitic acts with a pineapple.

Conclusion

Sumayyah Din is only the latest target of an ongoing campaign to attack students on the flimsiest rationales—but which exploit Islamophobic, xenophobic, anti-Arab, and anti-black fears. But Din herself won’t let the attacks keep her down. When I asked her about the backlash she has experienced over her candidacy, she replied:

I wouldn’t define the unfounded responses as of recently as “backlash.” Backlash carries a negative connotation in regards to my actions and candidacy. Rather I choose to view these responses as groundless defenses that have arisen due to a highly polarized campus climate that is rooted far beyond my candidacy in this year’s election.

Din has also issued a dignified response to the attacks in a letter to the school newspaper.

Din deserves apologies from Bears for Israel, Daniel Mael, and StandWithUs for their ridiculous smears—though such acts of decency are unlikely to materialize.

In that absence, we should offer our solidarity with Sumayyah Din by proudly tweeting out her hashtag, #DINTIFADA.

About Phan Nguyen

Phan Nguyen lives in New York and has a Twitter account: @Phan_N

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173 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    March 11, 2015, 1:31 pm

    Wow, if I had any doubts how well funded the Zionist Jewish groups are this leaves no doubt. But they are running scared. they can’t engage with good arguments so all they have left is to try and shut people up. They simply do not have the skills to mix it up in the marketplace of ideas.

    Want to make an Islamophobe’s head explode? Tell them that Israel has shariah law and then take cover.

    • Giles
      March 11, 2015, 2:44 pm

      I am still amazed at how such a bunch of deluded, dishonest, silly, unlikeable, and rude people have managed to accrue so much power in our society.

      • Veti
        May 29, 2015, 12:22 am

        Totally agree

    • JWalters
      March 11, 2015, 8:12 pm

      War is extremely profitable.

  2. Laurent Weppe
    March 11, 2015, 1:40 pm

    Mais quelle bande de fadas.

  3. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    March 11, 2015, 1:54 pm

    ”Jewish students have the right to feel safe at all times ”

    These fools really are beyond parody. So the use of a WORD makes them ‘feel unsafe’? WTF? Their self obsession and desire for victimhood knows no bounds.

    ” But for the Jewish community, it immediately sparks memories of death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

    What the…….? Firstly, very few American Jews have first hand memories of the intifadah. They may choose to ‘identify’ with people on another continent because they share a religion many of them don’t even practice, but it’s not like more than a tiny minority of them suffered as a result of it. Most of them would have been pretty young during the last intifadah, and not even born during the first, so how can they have ‘memories’ of it? Oh yes, I forgot. American Jews are a ‘traumatised’ community so the rest of us have to pussyfoot around them in case they might burst into tears, like that silly girl in the Norman Finkelstein video.

    The word ”Israel’ brings up connotations of violence, misery and ethnic cleansing for many Arab students. Should we ban it too, in the name of an ‘inclusive’ atmosphere?

  4. eljay
    March 11, 2015, 2:12 pm

    || MDM: The word ”Israel’ brings up connotations of violence, misery and ethnic cleansing for many Arab students. Should we ban it too, in the name of an ‘inclusive’ atmosphere? ||

    That would seem appropriate.

    Enter hophmeee and his inevitable accusations of anti-Semitism in 10…9…8…7…

  5. hophmi
    March 11, 2015, 2:29 pm

    It’s quite amazing that you managed to write this much about this story.

    Bears for Israel is being silly, as are others who make a big deal every time the word Intifada is used. Antisemitism on campus has Jews extra frightened right now, particularly in California. #Intidafa #Shmitifada

    • eGuard
      March 11, 2015, 4:05 pm

      Grumpi Hopmi this much about this story. Antisemitism on campus has Jews extra frightened

      Too much for you to understand, Grumpi? Phan Nguyen proves the opposite: the fear is invented. (oh and next time, do prove anti-Semitism instead of just mentioning it).

      • hophmi
        March 12, 2015, 8:40 am

        No one will ever be able to prove that to someone like you. Whatever. You’re the equivalent of a climate change denier.

      • Mooser
        March 13, 2015, 1:20 am

        “Whatever. You’re the equivalent of a climate change denier.”

        Uh, Hophmi, you are aware that climate change is not a good thing, right? You are saying Israel is like climate change, and shouldn’t be denied? OK, Hophmi!

      • RoHa
        March 13, 2015, 6:06 am

        “You’re the equivalent of a climate change denier. ”

        Ah! The joy of fashionable buzz-words!

        The term “climate change denier” was coined to smear sceptics of the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis with the odium that attaches to “Holocaust denier”. Seems to have worked for hophmi.

        Ironic term, since the people so smeared are the ones who affirm that the Earth’s climate has changed many times in the past, and will almost certainly carry on changing, and that this process is perfectly natural and normal and nothing to be ashamed of all all.

      • Philemon
        March 13, 2015, 9:36 pm

        No, no, Mooser and Roha, you’re behind the times. Nowadays, it’s “climate change hater.”

        Or well, it probably will be after everybody gets the memo…

      • talknic
        March 14, 2015, 6:31 am

        @ eGuard “(oh and next time, do prove anti-Semitism instead of just mentioning it)”

        @ hophmi “No one will ever be able to prove that to someone like you”

        You’re so right there Hophmi. As a matter of fact, without any evidence for Antisemitism no one’s gonna be able to prove it to anyone, except perhaps yourself and others like you who only need accusations as evidence. Not that they are, even if they are backed up by ……. more accusations.

    • jon s
      March 11, 2015, 5:15 pm

      Regarding Anti-Semitism in the bds campaign, a student leader in South Africa called for the expulsion of the Jewish students:

      http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/kwazulu-natal/outrage-over-anti-semitic-dut-call-1.1816540#.VQCvb9LkdcS

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 11, 2015, 5:20 pm

        So you had to go all the way to South Africa to find an ‘antisemitic’ comment eh?

        Meanwhile, in the Middle East’s only democracy, a Moldovan nite klub bouncer advocates the beheading of his own fellow citizens.

        You have your priorities, jons, and I have mine.

      • eljay
        March 11, 2015, 6:42 pm

        || jon seee: Regarding Anti-Semitism in the bds campaign, a student leader in South Africa called for the expulsion of the Jewish students: ||

        And the student leader was rightly and properly condemned for having made that call. Good.

        So, has Israel:
        – halted its on-going occupation and colonization of territory outside of its (Partition) borders?
        – withdrawn to within its (Partition) borders?
        – honoured its obligations under international law?
        – accepted responsibility and accountability for its (war) crimes?
        – agreed to enter into sincere negotiations for a just and mutually-beneficial peace?

        Didn’t think so.

      • Marnie
        March 12, 2015, 2:07 am

        So all it takes these days if for a Jew to feel “uncomfortable” by a made up word – “Dintifada”, to create chaos where there wasn’t any, bang the antisemitism drum, rally round the flag (not the stars and stripes, silly, the blue and white – this is America after all) and start with the slurs, slanders, death threats, etc., on Ms. Dim. The fear is funny, but when you stand up to a bully they usually piss themselves, unless they have the comfort and safety of numbers (like 10:1). “Bears for Israel” is even more funny but maybe they should call themselves Dogs and Snails and Puppy Dogs Tails for Israel – no? Sugar n’Spice n’Everything Nice for Israel? Sooo sensitive.

        JonS and Hoppy of course are right on time, just like clockwork, with the whine, what aboutery, antisemitism, blah, blah and blech.

      • eGuard
        March 12, 2015, 4:34 am

        jon s: Anti-Semitism in the bds campaign

        Which thread does this post belong to?

      • Cliff
        March 14, 2015, 9:39 am

        Jon s has to scour the web for something going on in South Africa that could be linked to a world-wide anti-Zionist antisemitic conspiracy.

        Yet, we can find plenty of examples of hatefulness, racism, etc. expressed by Zionist Jews in Israel and in America.

        Hell, even here.

        There is no Israel without destroying Palestine – which is what happened. There is no Israel without ethnic cleansing and apartheid and never-ending war – which is what is happening.

        But go ahead and focus on your bullshit conspiratorial paranoia about antisemitism.

    • Keith
      March 11, 2015, 5:50 pm

      HOPHMI- “Bears for Israel is being silly….”

      You consider the entire response to Din’s use of #DINTIFADA to be silly? That this orchestrated hysteria and intimidation is just a big joke? That the death threats and vilification on the Stand With Us Facebook page are funny? Silly? No big deal?

      Hophmi: “Antisemitism on campus has Jews extra frightened right now….”

      Oh, the Brown Shirts are cowering in fear? This is typical Zionist intimidation which you are shamelessly trying to misrepresent. Your comment is a perfect example of you defending the Zionist tribe, facts be damned. You are one sick puppy.

      • philadelphialawyer
        March 11, 2015, 10:41 pm

        It really is amazing.

        On the one hand, we see the classic minimization and marginalization technique. Despite the fact that numerous Zionist individuals and even organizations have joined in the racist, colonialist condemnation of this perfectly acceptable word, and that friggin’ DEATH THREATS have been issued over it, the whole thing is merely “silly.” So what’s the big deal?

        On the other hand, completely made-up out of whole cloth and totally unsubstantiated, full of you know what, barstool claims of “anti Semitism on campus” are so “frightening” that they must be kowtowed to, as they explain, and excuse, all.

        The evil that is actually done to thee by mine is “silly.” What I make up and claim that thou did to mine is “frightening.”

      • hophmi
        March 12, 2015, 4:07 pm

        “That this orchestrated hysteria and intimidation is just a big joke? That the death threats and vilification on the Stand With Us Facebook page are funny? Silly? No big deal?”

        Oh, please. Pro-Israel people have gotten plenty of death threats on their facebook pages over the years. So far, nobody has gotten killed on campus for BDS activism. So let’s stop with the BS argument that StandByUs is responsible for every yahoo with a social media account.

        “This is typical Zionist intimidation which you are shamelessly trying to misrepresent. Your comment is a perfect example of you defending the Zionist tribe, facts be damned. You are one sick puppy.”

        Blah, blah, blah. You’re projecting, as bigots are prone to do. This sort of thing is par for the course on campus, where triggers are all the rage.

      • philadelphialawyer
        March 12, 2015, 8:53 pm

        Your inconsistency is unbelievable.

        Once again, in a two paragraph post, in the same breath, practically, you manage to minimize actual, documented instances of outright bigotry and threats from your “side” and yet make up (“over the years” indeed!), and decry, allegedly similar instances directed at your “side.” And at the same time accuse others of “bigotry!” The arrogance, the chutzpah, of Zionist double speak is almost unfathomable.

        IN THIS CASE, we have clear death threats as a result of an orchestrated campaign of hate, misinformation, propaganda, lies and hysteria directed by Zionist organizations. That is hardly “silly.” Nor is it exactly surprising that “yahoos” would run with that all the way to death threats. IF, in some other case (again, “over the years”), Zionists have gotten death threats, then, in those instances, that is wrong as well (which nobody here would deny). And, that, of course, is even allowing for the false equivalence of the oppressor and the oppressed, which is highly debatable.

        (1) On the overall, your “side” is wrong in substance, as the oppressor group.

        (2) In this particular instance, your “side,” both the organized agitators and propagandizers, and the “yahoos” who respond to their lies with death threats, are wrong in substance.

        (3) You are wrong to deny (2), and its significance. (Of course, you are also wrong to deny (1) and its significance, but that is always true, rather than merely being true on this thread.)

        (4) You are wrong to cloud the waters with other, merely posited instances, that have nothing to do with this instance. And,

        (5) You are wrong to continue to insist in your odious course of conduct even after your attempts at distraction, distortion, false equivalence, marginalization and shilling for oppression have been exposed.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 10:15 pm

        Wow, young attractive high-achieving Palestinian or Arab American women drive the Ziobots right up the wall, don’t they.

      • DaBakr
        March 12, 2015, 11:39 pm

        yes. its ‘funny’ in the way many absurd and ridiculous things are ‘funny’. both the pro-Israel and anti-Zionist students on this one look ‘funny’ on this one.

        If the Zionists voted to change their name to Pyonists tomorrow-would MW disappear?

        but then you should be aware that left-wingers are commonly stereotyped as having very little relationship to anything resembling a sense of humour

      • philadelphialawyer
        March 13, 2015, 1:32 pm

        Yeah, sure. “This one” is just LOL!

        Ha, ha, ha!!!….those zany Zionists and their hilarious death threats!

        But, drat, the humorless “left wingers” just don’t get it!

    • Donald
      March 11, 2015, 9:43 pm

      The student who asked if another student could be fair since she was Jewish apparently merited a page long NYT story for her bigoted phrasing and she apologized. The woman in this story has people wishing she would die and she gets a very well written blog post. Let me know when the NYT does a page long story on the hatred found on the pro-Israel side. Clearly it exists, but for some reason isn’t considered important enough for the NYT to write about.

  6. lysias
    March 11, 2015, 3:57 pm

    Doesn’t דין (“din”) mean “law” in Hebrew? (Just like in Arabic: “din”, دين.)

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 11, 2015, 4:02 pm

      ”Din” means ‘faith’ in Arabic. Law is something like ”adal”, though I’m prepared to be corrected on that by any of the Arabic speakers here.

      • Teapot
        March 11, 2015, 5:26 pm

        I think in Arabic “din” can mean faith but it can also refer to religious laws. I often hear it in the context of “Islam as a way of life”. (But I believe Arab Christians use it too.)

      • Inanna
        March 11, 2015, 6:37 pm

        Adal (or 3adel) means justice. Law is ‘qanun’ – we get the English word ‘canon’ from it.

      • Walid
        March 12, 2015, 1:12 am

        Also means reckoning or judgement in the religious sense as in the first Sura of the Quran, the Fatiha, where it’s mentioned about “yom ad-din”:

        Ar-Rahman ar-Raheem Maaliki yom ad-din
        The Compassionate, the Merciful. Ruler on the Day of Reckoning.
        .
        Also as a verb as in “yu-din” used in judging one’s deeds by God that is referred to at times as the “dayan” or the ruler, a word also rooted in “din”.

      • Walid
        March 12, 2015, 1:27 am

        In Aramaic (via Google) that spawned both Hebrew and Arabic, din means judgement.

      • piotr
        March 13, 2015, 12:55 pm

        I think “canon” is directly from Latin. and in Latin, from Greek. Perhaps qanun has Latin/Greek origin (the Greek/Latin meaning was model/standard), Aramaic people were under Greek rule since Alexander and could adopt some political and legal terms.

      • yonah fredman
        March 13, 2015, 1:09 pm

        I can’t comment on the etymology of “canon”. But I can add that Ben Gurion used to refer to the “Holy Cannon”.

      • gamal
        March 13, 2015, 1:47 pm

        while I tend to Piotr on the etymology of Kanun,

        http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kanoon

        minor quibble Kanun is best known as osmanli kanun, or secular law

        http://www.cliohworld.net/onlread/5/07.pdf

        qanun is a musical instrument, as a young woman from somewhere termed “East” Jerusalem explains

        https://youtu.be/1mMT9cu0qF8

      • Walid
        March 13, 2015, 2:40 pm

        Qanun comes from the Greek. Same word, same spelling with 2 other definitions: one is the mini harp-looking musical instrument , and the other for a small brass receptacle having a diametere of about 40 cm and on 4 short legs 20cm off the floor with a brass cover that’s filled with hot coals to heat a room in winter. Qanun is also used to designate the 2 coldest calendar months of the year, Qanoun the First for December and Qanoun the Second for January.

      • Mooser
        March 13, 2015, 7:27 pm

        “I can’t comment on the etymology of “canon”. But I can add that Ben Gurion used to refer to the “Holy Cannon”.

        Scintillating, Yonah. Gosh, what a wit.

    • jon s
      March 11, 2015, 5:19 pm

      lysias, Yes, you’re correct. “Din” means law in Hebrew.

      • eGuard
        March 12, 2015, 5:33 am

        So “law” is what makes this Jewish community feel frightened.

    • Marnie
      March 12, 2015, 2:26 am

      I believe the word for law is “hok” or חוק

    • CigarGod
      March 12, 2015, 10:26 am

      Now, you all have me wondering if RL Stevenson was saying something extra by using: Gunga Din.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 5:58 pm

        “Now, you all have me wondering if RL Stevenson was saying something extra by using: Gunga Din.”

        If he had written it, I’m sure he would have. But I think it was Gene Parsons.

    • SQ Debris
      May 29, 2015, 1:39 pm

      Yes, as in Yesh (there is) Din (law). yesh-din.org is an Israeli organization worth watching. They track discriminatory laws and litigate for a semblance of human rights.

  7. just
    March 11, 2015, 5:38 pm

    #DINTIFADA!

    “They will accept only one meaning for the word—that which they imbue in it, with all their willful ignorance, their fear-mongering, and their racist and Islamophobic stereotypes. And they claim this right specifically as Jews, though the word was never their own.

    Thus, by rejecting any other definition of the term, and by denying the word’s wide usage, they are appropriating the cultures of others and, by censorship, preventing others from using their own language.”

    Oh, so true. So many other examples of this come to mind~ not only with the use/misuse of a word…

    Thank you for this #phantastic article, Phan!

  8. justicewillprevail
    March 11, 2015, 5:55 pm

    So a humorous play on words is deemed such an imaginary threat to these fragile souls that it must be responded to with actual real threats. What moral vacuum do these people inhabit, the humourless, spineless cowards who hide behind professional, funded groups determined to manufacture offence where there is none, in their continual effort to silence political debate? They clearly don’t learn anything at these colleges, least of all ethics or the capacity to conduct debate and live in a plural, multicultural environment.

  9. Inanna
    March 11, 2015, 6:38 pm

    Thanks Phan, another excellent analysis.

    • bryan
      March 12, 2015, 5:54 am

      Let me second that.

      I thought the whole reason young people went to university was to have their preconceptions and cosy certainties challenged on all matters – scientific, political, economic, social, religious – that absolutely no sacred cows existed in the academy.

      Incidentally the term “sacred cow” seems to perfectly fit the claims made with respect to the comfort zone of pro-Zionist students: “Something which cannot be tampered with, or criticized, for fear of public outcry. A person, institution, belief system, etc. which, for no reason other than the demands of established social etiquette or popular opinion, should be accorded respect or reverence, and not touched, handled or examined too closely.”

      Would we listen to calls for the banning of evolutionary theory because it makes believers in Intelligent Design feel uncomfortable (or vice versa)? The perfect riposte to the likes of StandWithus and Bears For Israel was that offered by GWB on that subject: “What do evolutionists have to fear? Are they so worried about competition and criticism that they must censor what bright students are allowed to hear? Let all sides present their evidence and students will decide for themselves! ” Perhaps pro-Zionists are not bright enough for that?

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 10:53 am

        “bryan” I hasten to assure you that the modern Zionist is not bound to outmoded traditions. As far as they are concerned there’s no difference between a lipsticked pig and a sacred cow. Either will do for their banquet.

      • talknic
        March 13, 2015, 6:40 am

        Did someone say “a lipsticked pig and a sacred cow. Either will do for their banquet”

        Only got lipstick for a pig … sorry

      • Taxi
        March 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

        Lol talknic – love the concept and production!

      • kma
        March 17, 2015, 10:25 pm

        bryan –
        good point! oh, and I hate to bring it up, but creationism was invented by Jews, right?
        so much to be terrified of…

        and of course, Phan Nguyen does it again – thorough and well-written journalism.

        now we know that “dialogue” means don’t say “intifada”, until the word is fully owned by the colonizer, like hummus.

  10. lonely rico
    March 11, 2015, 7:39 pm

    > Bears for Israel
    “Intifada”—uprising, resistance.
    For many, this word seems innocent enough.

    For many, this word seems inspirational
    the courageous resistance of a people to an ugly and seemingly endless criminal occupation, aimed at destroying them, their families, their history, their hope.

    But for the Jewish community, it immediately sparks memories of death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    Not only the Jewish community, all good people,
    appalled by ugly cruelty of the Zionist state
    maiming and murdering
    without pity those who stand in the way of their racist nightmare.
    Bravo Phan.

  11. Sulphurdunn
    March 11, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Perhaps this helps explain some things. It is nothing more than a tactical propaganda primer worthy of a psyops mission. The very idea that someone would train kids to parrot such things is repugnant. It reads like the stuff cults use to persuade susceptible fools. I have a hard time believing it’s legitimate.

    https://wikispooks.com/w/images/e/e7/Hasbara_Handbook.pdf

  12. pabelmont
    March 11, 2015, 8:25 pm

    These anti-DINs deserve to (have to) live in Israel. They are able to manufacture crisis where there is no problem, able to claim fear from no source whatever, see crisis under every rug, etc. and NEED ATTENTION! (That’s what this is about: ATTENTION: LOOK AT MEEEEEEEEEE!)

    If you want to see an intifada, what better than the revolt of the 47 senators!

  13. yonah fredman
    March 11, 2015, 8:48 pm

    Ms. Din herself gives two explanations for her usage of the word: 1. to denote an antiestablishment position: resistance to the status quo and 2. solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Certainly with this second reason she has made it clear she is not just using it generically, she is using it to express solidarity with the Palestinian cause and as such it is not an “innocent” word. It is a political word with specific connotations especially for those who are aware of the history of the first and second intifadas. (Usages by journalists are interesting, but not to the point here. If she had only said reason #1, I have come to shake things up, that would mean that journalistic usage would be the only consideration. But she has used the word to spark ethnic pride or ethnic identity and thus those at the receiving end of the intifada are also going to have associations with the word. Thus it is not an innocent word.)

    Should Jewish students feel attacked by the use of this word? No. Are they wrong to point out the bloodiness of the second intifadeh? No. They are allowed to give the history of the word. Should the school ban the use of the word? No. But neither should you get all huffy about the campaign to point out the history of the second intifadeh.

    • Donald
      March 11, 2015, 9:56 pm

      The history of both intifadas involve many more Palestinian civilians killed by Israel than the other way around, and in both cases Israel remained as their oppressive rulers. If it is just a question of history, then the atrocities of both sides should be discussed and the numbers given. That isn’t what this is about–it’s about people trying to claim they are being victimized by a word and in the process, glossing over which side suffered more and which side is the oppressed.

      And it’s also about racist contempt–the NYT dedicated a page long story to the bigoted phrasing of a student at UCLA and she apologized. I’m not expecting them to write a story about the outright hatred expressed in this story by the pro-Israel side. . This shouldn’t be a mere blog post. If the NYT wants to claim BDS is motivated by bigotry in some cases, then let them go to campuses and see just how much bigotry there might be on either side.

      • eljay
        March 12, 2015, 8:56 am

        || Donald @ March 11, 2015, 9:56 pm ||

        Well said, Donald. y.f. is intentionally downplaying not just the reaction, but the intent of the reaction as well.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 9:33 am

        This is odd–I typed what is below as a response to JeffB and now I can’t find his post. either it was removed or I’m temporarily blind.

        Okay, a few points. First, you said that bigotry among Jews is caused by anti-semitism, which might be possible, but when people say that some anti-semitism is caused by Israel’s behavior they are accused of anti-semitism themselves. So which is it? Can bigotry be caused in part by the bad behavior of others?

        Second, the fact is that many on the pro-Israel side don’t make a distinction between anti-semitism and criticism of Israel. They say they do, but they often just mean that no criticism of Israel should have any bite to it. For instance, the U.S. gov is linked quite strongly to Israel–most of Congress genuflect to them and yet you don’t want Americans to say any more about their crimes unless we first criticize Kazakhstan. It’s like saying that I can’t criticize Ferguson police unless I first criticize Kazakhstan. if Israel is just another country to Americans, then you’re right, but the reality is that our politicians have been trained to treat Israel as the 51st state.

        Finally, I suspect the Jews who show contempt forPalestinians have that contempt no matter what school they happen to be–they aren’t motivated to express it in public as much if the default assumption is that Israel’s human rights violations aren’t important. But cross that line and the mask comes off. There is probably some degree of bigotry in all of us. It may take something to bring it to the surface.

      • seafoid
        March 12, 2015, 11:21 am

        In a chingada framework there is the chingón who is responsible for the suffering of the chingada.

        And that’s Israel in this case.

        http://www.speakinglatino.com/verbo-chingar-the-most-important-word-in-mexico/

        ” But the quantity of meanings doesn’t stop the idea of aggression in all its degrees, from a simple inconvenience, sting, hurt, to rape, rip up and kill… The verb denotes violence, removed from yourself and penetrate inside another by force. And also hurt, rip, rape bodies, souls, objects, destroy.
        It is a cruel active masculine verb: itches, wound, rip, stains. And provokes a bitter, resentful satisfaction for the one who acts.
        The “chingado” is the passive, inert, and open, opposed to the one who does the act of “chinga” that is active, aggressive and closed. The “chingón” is the male, the one who opens. The “chingada” is the female, the pure passive, unarmed…”

      • CigarGod
        March 12, 2015, 11:25 am

        Then there is the Chingero, who plays/works both sides.

    • chocopie
      March 12, 2015, 1:01 am

      This is not a “campaign to point out the history of the second intifadeh.” Did you even read the article? This is a campaign to smear Din as an antisemite who is terrorizing Jewish students on campus. This is multiple Zionist groups working together, creating a huge internet campaign against a single person running for a campus leadership position, in order to intimidate anyone else from publicly identifying themselves in solidarity with Palestinians.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 10:58 am

        “This is odd–I typed what is below as a response to JeffB and now I can’t find his post. either it was removed or I’m temporarily blind.”

        Donald, “JeffB”s posts don’t always “stick”. It’s happened to me, too. I find myself replying to a post which disappears!

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 11:57 am

        Thanks mooser. That was a little confusing–I hadn’t seen that happening before that I can remember.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 3:07 pm

        Donald, on the “I-just-stopped-by-to-see-what-condition-the-Jewish -condotion-is-in” thread, Hophmi wrote several very enlightening paragraphs on the failings of Jews that convert, and I responded, and then Hophmi’s post had vanished. I felt foolish.

        But, thanks to your choice of Deity, Hophmi’s penultimate epistle on Jewish self-hate “The Phils will Fall Away” was not deleted, and will be preserved for posteriors. You know, if there’s a shortage of toilet paper.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 6:06 pm

        “on the “I-just-stopped-by-to-see-what-condition-the-Jewish -condotion-is-in” thread, Hophmi wrote several very enlightening paragraphs on the failings of Jews that convert, and I responded, and then Hophmi’s post had vanished.”

        That sounded sort of interesting. Too bad I missed it.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 10:20 pm

        Donald if you’ve seen “The Phils will Fall Away” you’ve seen it all. Hophmi journeys to the center of Phil Weiss’ mind, and doesn’t like what he finds.

    • oldgeezer
      March 12, 2015, 1:16 am

      Give your apologetics a rest yonah. You excuse the massacre of innocents women and children so it’s not a surprise that you apologize for defamation.

      They are not pointing out the history of the word at all. They are claiming fear and attacking an individual over the use of the word. To the point that she receives death threats.

      At what age did you divorce yourself from common sense and morality or was it a seamless transition due to brainwashing? I am trying to be kind by suggesting brainwashing. I concede it could be a true, yet simple, character flaw.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 3:33 pm

        “At what age did you divorce yourself from common sense and morality”

        That’s easy: the day he picked up a keyboard, and was able to deliver his judgements from the end of a wire, instead of face-to-face.

    • Felipe
      March 12, 2015, 2:06 am

      “Those at the receiving end of the intifadeh”. Nice way of putting it Yonah. Those poor israelis… having to withstand that irrational, barbaric, frenzy of violence that just overwhelmed the benevolent souls who enforced the benevolent occupation that brought so much joy to those ungrateful Palestinians…..

      Lest you forget history Yonah, the first intifadeh was a heroic display of militant, non-armed resistance against 30 plus years of brutal military occupation. It was mostly young people, spontaneously rising up against their overlords, sick and tired of living lives of oppression and despair. Rocks, slingshots and burning tires against the vast power of the Israeli military machine. “Break their bones”, ordered the so-called “peacemaker” Yitzhak Rabin. Those who dared to rise up and seek freedom where shot, beaten, imprisoned, tortured and killed by the thousands. What came after the first intifadeh?

      HAMAS.

      We all reap what we sow Yonah. The seeds of rage and desperation were sown long ago by the Irgun, the Lehi, the Hagganah, the Nakbah, Deir Yassin and Lidda. Even now, Israel keeps sowing those seeds through its ongoing ethnic cleansing and dispossession of what little remains of a land and a dignified future for Palestinians.

      Your hasbara is getting old and stale Yonah. Moreover, moral consistency seems to be in very short supply in your neck of the woods.

    • bryan
      March 12, 2015, 6:14 am

      Yonah – before we put the lexicon on trial (“as such it is not an “innocent” word”), remember that words only have any meaning when they are strung together. I defy you to offer me a single word which would upset me, or, I assume, any other reader of this post. I’m old-fashioned enough to prefer that four-letter words not be used in public discourse, but realistic enough to understand that some people adopt them either rhetorically or because of a limited vocabulary. I’d prefer that some things like paedophilia, slavery, occupation and ethic-cleansing did not exist but it is possibly more productive to oppose the activity, rather than to censor the word.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 12, 2015, 8:17 am

      as such it is not an “innocent” word

      what’s an innocent word? or a guilty word? i am not familiar with this phrasing used by bears for israel.

      you know what this reminds me of? poor little 17 year old ayelet pearl who didn’t think it was fair she had to encounter a quote by edward said on her AP test.

      Though she had just 40 minutes to write the required essay, Pearl froze when she encountered the Said text. “I didn’t know what to do because I wasn’t comfortable answering it,” she said. She decided to put a paragraph objecting to the quote’s inclusion at the top of her essay. “I find it really inappropriate to put a political question like that on a test,” she said she wrote.
      Using this quote in the AP exam “is very reflective of the widespread use of education and testing as a platform for anti-Israel propaganda,” she told the Forward.

      Read more: http://forward.com/articles/127972/high-school-students-object-to-ap-test-s-use-of/#ixzz3UAdkxSYX

      here’s the quote:

      “Exile is strangely compelling to think about but terrible to experience. It is the unhealable rift forced between a human being and its native place, between the self and its true home: its essential sadness can never be surmounted.”

      It is a political word with specific connotations especially for those who are aware of the history

      and here, you share something else with ayalet:

      the test’s description of the late Columbia University humanities professor as a “Palestinian American literary theorist and cultural critic” has led some pro-Israel students to object that the test has been politicized.
      “I was really startled to see that quote because both of the practice questions didn’t mention the writers’ nationalities,” said Ayelet Pearl, a senior at New York’s Bronx High School of Science. “For me including this one clearly had political implications.

      reading the nationality, she “froze”.

      what is the magic age these dear precious innocent children can be expected to endure these difficult challenges in life? of having to encounter history in these non-innocent words? when the very mention of “palestinian” upsets her. because, presumably “It is a political word with specific connotations especially for those who are aware of the history”.

      it occurs to me how encountering arabic on a street sign could upset these children. having to read “al quds” could be very traumatic for some of these students.

      Two nights later Pearl began an open Facebook protest group, called “Protest the 2010 AP English Literature and Composition Free Response Question.”
      As of press time the Facebook group had attracted 493 member…

      College Board spokeswoman Jennifer Topiel told the Forward, “We have heard no concerns about this exam question, which contains a quotation about exile and does not contain any political subject matter.”

      it was the identity of Said that thru the child off. not an “innocent” word. not an “innocent” identity.

      Josh Cohen:

      There is in this something like Blumenthal and Pearl’s right, as American Jews, as New York American Jews, as smart New York American Jews, not to be faced with anything—their words—politicizing. In the spirit of keeping it so—and I’m going to have to show her this, I’m realizing—Blumenthal told me point blank that she’d have preferred the quote to “remain completely out of context”: a wish for purity, I couldn’t express it better.

      Which does remind me of that parallel world, waiting for us when we’re ready, over there. Of the billboards, for example, enclosing Silwan’s “City of David” dig, which give a sort of panorama of an imminent totally-different-looking future exclusively populated by fit, golfing Ashkenazim, the rest, the Palestinians, written out—or rather, if you were born Jewish in the late 80s and early 90s in America, i.e., into a ready-made world, kept in but blessedly unidentified.

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/it-wasnt-edward-said-that-upset-the-students-it-was-the-very-word-palestinian#sthash.6hMBACvC.dpuf

      • just
        March 12, 2015, 11:27 am

        Great post, Annie. Thanks.

  14. oldgeezer
    March 12, 2015, 1:37 am

    If anyone wants what could either be a good laugh or an aggravating experience in reading pure spin then the UCLA bruins for Israel is a good place to start

    http://www.bruinsforisrael.com/myths-and-facts/

    Example:
    “The UN has ruled that the barrier is 100% legal on the green line”

    Yeah well it wasn’t the UN and the ruling noted that the fence didn’t follow the green line. It ecompassed non Israeli territory. Not surprisingly you can indeed build a barrier on your own territory provided you don’t violate fundamental human rights in doing so.

  15. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    March 12, 2015, 6:22 am

    ”But for the Jewish community, it immediately sparks memories of death, destruction, and some of the bloodiest scenes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

    So what they are saying is that members of the ”Jewish community” feel deeply involved with a conflict on the other side of the world, which few if any of them will have personal experience of. In other words, simply because they are Jews, they automatically feel connected with events in Israel.

    Does that only apply when the connection is with perceived victimhood? In other words, if someone suggested that all members of the on campus ”Jewish community” were somehow stained by Israeli atrocities, would that be OK? Or would the NYT be writing articles about the ”surge of antisemitism” if such a thing were suggested?

    • JeffB
      March 12, 2015, 8:42 am

      @Maximus Decimus Meridius

      Jews are “stained” by Israel in the same way that Americans are “stained” by Vietnam or the Frenchmen by Algeria. No one uses those terms towards other nations. When they start using those terms towards other people then it would be appropriate to use it about Jews.

      The reason they do use it is about Jews is because what they really mean is not that Jews are stained by Israel in the way that the Americans are stained by Vietnam. Rather what they mean is that Jews are stained by Israel in the way it used to be appropriate to think of them as stained by the crucifixion and isn’t it great that we can all go back to expressing our true feelings openly.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 10:03 am

        Thanks for missing the point, Yonah.

        The Zionist hoodlums are saying that Jews in California are ‘traumatised’ by events in Israel, simply because they are Jews, and therefore have to be protected from such hateful words as ‘intifadah’. In other words, it’s fine to simply say that American Jews are automatically linked with Israel, when the desired result is to pain those Jews as victims and thereby delegitimise criticism of Israel. However, the very same people would be squealing about ‘antisemitism’ if anyone were to suggest that American Jews should also feel guilt over Israeli war crimes, simply because they are Jews.

        Personally, I don’t think either is true. I don’t think Jews in California are ‘traumatised’ by the intifadah – unless they’ve been brainwashed to think they should be – but nor do I think they should be held accountable for Israel’s crime, simply because they are Jews. So my position is consistent. I doub the same could be said for the Zionist hoodlums above.

        Clear enough, Yonah?

  16. hophmi
    March 12, 2015, 9:51 am

    The bigger question is: does Phan oppose the concept of triggering in general or just when it applies to the Jewish community? Because clearly, there is a movement on campuses to give students warnings regarding materials that may “trigger” emotional responses. It’s pervasive enough that the AAUP condemned it last year. So I’d like to know Phan’s opinion on that, and whether he believes that triggers that affect a Jewish community are less important than triggers that affect other minority communities on campus.

    http://www.aaup.org/report/trigger-warnings

    • CigarGod
      March 12, 2015, 10:53 am

      Who is responsible, if an image, word, etc. Triggers an imaginary fear?

      • seafoid
        March 12, 2015, 11:01 am

        Zionists whining about feeling terrified when anti Occupation activists bring up the sickness of the occupation always remind me of this song

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6zZF_fwImI

        Come back when you’re confined to your home giving birth and complications arise because the police won’t let you travel on the roads to the hospital.

        Imagine how terrifying it is to be pregnant and Palestinian in the remoter parts of the West Bank, rather than in a university in the first world suffering hasbara fail.

      • just
        March 12, 2015, 11:30 am

        Perfect!

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 3:45 pm

        “Who is responsible, if an image, word, etc. Triggers an imaginary fear?”

        “CigarGod” how can you say “imaginery fear”?
        The evidence of this fear is all around us, ever since and from before the Holocaust. Because of this fear, Jews are afraid to organize as Jews for any objectives, let alone one so bold as planting a Jewish State in Palestine!
        And the way Jewish organizations are always reluctant to say they represent any but their own members, lest they subject other Jews to opprobrium?
        And the crippling fear which still prevents Jews from becoming engaged in the political and economic life of the countries they are in.
        And as far as Jews, in support of an objective, taking violent action, or even (Oy I hate to even say it, I’m so frightened) forming a Jewish Army? Heck we’re much too frightened to do that!
        Notice too, the unusual care and restraint with which even Ms. Din’s most vociferous detractors couch their disagreements. Obviously, people very afraid of the consequences of their speech.

      • hophmi
        March 12, 2015, 4:10 pm

        “an imaginary fear”

        An imaginary fear? Is that what it is when Jews are killed in the streets of Europe and swastikas are painted on Jewish frat houses? Did I imagine that?

        “Imagine how terrifying it is to be pregnant and Palestinian in the remoter parts of the West Bank, rather than in a university in the first world suffering hasbara fail.”

        Imagine how this is the United States, and not the West Bank, and you don’t get to shoot Jews in the West because you don’t like what other Jews are doing in the East.

      • CigarGod
        March 12, 2015, 6:00 pm

        Yeah, it is imaginary when it is discovered that Jews did similar words and drawings just to whip up hysteria…to their benefit..at least in their sick minds. Look it up.
        But, did you even read the article? Did you read any definitions of “Din”?
        By trying to support her tweet as being a trigger, you have one foot on the thinnest possible ice…and the other foot in the rabbit hole.
        You want credibility around here, man? Then stop defending every hysterical ninnie that comes down the pike.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 6:12 pm

        “Did I imagine that?”

        Did I imagine Zionists fearlessly colonizing Palestine, and Jews all over the world organizing to support or politic for the movement?
        Did I imagine the unafraid Jewish militarism culminating in todays’s fearless IDF?
        Did I imagine Jews, fearless in pursuit of Zionism, would jump right back into tangled and in many cases corrupt involvement in their country’s (USA, European, etc.) politics, in many cases countries which were persecuting them or in some way complicit, instead of being afraid to meddle in their country’s politics if it wasn’t “good for…?

        Nope, Zionism pretty much left all that fear behind.

    • Donald
      March 12, 2015, 12:07 pm

      I was originally opposed to trigger warnings altogether because I thought they infantilized people, but on reading a bit more I can see them as legit for someone who has suffered rape or some other kind of violence. Some people suffer from PTSD. But extending this to heated political issues is just a transparent attempt at bullying and censorship–a way to claim privilege. But if we were talking about a student who had been raped receiving a warning about graphic violence in an assigned movie or novel, then I think that would be appropriate.

      I just read your link–the similarity between what I wrote and what was at the link is coincidental or an example of great minds thinking alike. I think it would be silly to provide trigger warnings for works depicting racism, etc…Your link seems to oppose them altogether, but I still could see it for cases involving works that contain graphic violence.

      • CigarGod
        March 12, 2015, 6:10 pm

        Kipling! Damn!

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 6:16 pm

        “Kipling! Damn!”

        And of course, you knew that. Yup, I’ve had my share of those. L’esprit de l’escalier!

      • CigarGod
        March 12, 2015, 6:26 pm

        or…trepverter.

      • Mooser
        March 13, 2015, 7:31 pm

        “or…trepverter.”

        Hey, watch your French, CigarGod!

    • Annie Robbins
      March 12, 2015, 12:27 pm

      whether he believes that triggers that affect a Jewish community are less important than triggers that affect other minority communities on campus.

      hops, since this word (intifada) is, allegedly, so traumatic for some of the jewish students i was just wondering if they’d complained about it before. is there any history of the word being rejected on campuses.

      btw, have you heard of

      Crossing The Line: The Intifada Comes To Campus?

      http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-The-Line-Intifada-Campus/dp/B0034XJQNW

      Crossing the Line: The Intifada Comes to Campus, produced by acclaimed filmmaker Raphael Shore, explores the proliferation of anti-Israel and ant-Semitic incidents on North American college campuses. In particular, the film explores the rapid growth of such incidents following the launch of Operation Cast Lead by Israel’s military into Gaza in late December 2008 and January 2009. The documentary demonstrates the blurring of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic lines, showing how the War evoked deep anti-Jewish sentiments amongst college students and professors. The film explores the context of these hostilities, by demonstrating the financial ties between Middle Eastern Studies departments and Arab states; the often biased and Pro-Palestinian education received by students in college classes; and the historical connection between the Muslim Student Association and the Muslim Brotherhood. Interspersed with accounts from Jewish Students and campus professionals, the film offers a glimpse into the experiences of Jewish college students who are actively involved in the daily struggle of supporting the State of Israel and fighting against biased misinformation both in and out of the classroom. The film is Directed by Wayne Kopping, and distributed by Imaginations Productions. Running Time: 32-minutes

      maybe someone should tell them how offensive this word is to jewish students.

      the url is w w w campusintifada http://www.campusintifada.com/widget/LP_V_W.html

      isn’t that insensitive? traumatizing? or it’s ok to culturally appropriate the term for the benefit of zionism or israel?

      • Annie Robbins
        March 12, 2015, 12:36 pm

        oh this is amusing. this is blockquoted from google:

        Crossing the Line 2: The New Face of Anti-Semitisim on …
        http://www.campusintifada.com/
        Israel is under assault on North American college campuses today like never … that Israel’s supporters face, with this quick and easy ‘crash course’ on Israel.

        but when i clicked on the link the url has been changed. it automatically goes to “stepupforisrael” instead:
        http://ctl.stepupforisrael.com/

        hmm. there could be a branding problem here.

      • eljay
        March 12, 2015, 1:11 pm

        || Annie Robbins: oh this is amusing. ||

        Good catch, Annie.

        Zio-supremacism and hypocrisy: Soul-mates.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 3:13 pm

        I keep on telling them, those Ziobots: Before you post check your shoes! Gosh, don’t Zionists have an unerring instinct for finding a big steaming pile, and jumping in with both feet!

        Give ’em a divining rod, and I bet they could find long-disused septic-tanks for removal.

      • hophmi
        March 12, 2015, 4:18 pm

        “hops, since this word (intifada) is, allegedly, so traumatic for some of the jewish students i was just wondering if they’d complained about it before. is there any history of the word being rejected on campuses.”

        I have no idea. I do know that the concept is that students should be warned before encountering material that contains ideas that might upset them emotionally. So I assume someone was upset by the use of the word Intifada, which to many Jews could mean the murder of their family members, as it did particularly during the Second Intifada.

        I personally agree with the AAUP and think the whole idea is silly and that students need to learn to grow up, instead of being treated like small children. However, if we’re doing this for one group, we have to do it for everybody. So I’m asking a simple question: does Phan (or anyone else here) buy into this notion that students deserve to be forewarned before encountering material that deeply affects them emotionally, and if so, do they believe that Jews who may have lost family members and friends to the First and particularly the Second Intifada deserve the same right as everyone else to that kind of warning.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 6:14 pm

        “However, if we’re doing this for one group, we have to do it for everybody. ”

        No we don’t. We could single out people who have personally experienced violence who might want a warning if a novel or film contains scenes depicting violence. In other words, people who genuinely suffer from post traumatic stress disorder could request trigger warnings on material that they might encounter in a class. (I don’t know what happens next–do people who want this policy then request some sort of transcript be made? But I’ll let colleges figure that out if they want to go this route.)

        But there is no reason why people should have trigger warnings because they might have to read some pro-Zionist or anti-Zionist literature or be exposed to protests.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 13, 2015, 3:03 am

        i just heard of this whole trigger warning thing about a month ago. no, beyond what society already provides, i think it’s bs. can you imagine libraries sorted by trigger warnings? movies i’ve accepted. but if i go to a movie that looks violent in the previews then it’s up to me to anticipate violence and plug my ears and close my eyes accordingly. it’s not the directors job or the theatres job to stop a scene in the middle and say “violence coming up”.

        i’ve been on the internet a long time and it’s not too often i encounter really gruesome scenes without some kind of warning before i open a link. a college student should be able to read the word intifada without warning unless that person is already psychotic or something. and if a person is in that fragile a mental state then they should be in a hospital, not a college campus.

        all students should feel safe in their person and be protected from violent assaults on a campus. but that’s different that reading about a violent assault. what’s next, no discussing mike brown in the classroom because it’s too painful?

        so i noticed you completely skipped over the “campusintifada” reference. where’s the cry out from the zionist kids about the use of the word? a tad hypocritical – no?

  17. concernedhuman
    March 12, 2015, 10:10 am

    If just words scare them and promote violence, what should be the state of Palestinians living under occupation ?
    Who daily face green men carrying big guns.
    Who live under israeli military rule with out hopes and justice?
    Where children are arrested and tortured.?

  18. JeffB
    March 12, 2015, 10:25 am

    @Maximus

    Thanks for missing the point, Yonah.

    I’m not Yonah.

    The Zionist hoodlums are saying that Jews in California are ‘traumatised’ by events in Israel, simply because they are Jews,

    Well yes. Part of being in a nation is identifying with that nation. Many Americans were traumatized by 9/11, including tens of millions that had never been to New York. Part of what makes us human, is the ability to have societies. Those require group identity and a key part of group identity formation is sharing in collective experiences.

    and therefore have to be protected from such hateful words as ‘intifadah’. In other words, it’s fine to simply say that American Jews are automatically linked with Israel, when the desired result is to pain those Jews as victims and thereby delegitimise criticism of Israel. However, the very same people would be squealing about ‘antisemitism’ if anyone were to suggest that American Jews should also feel guilt over Israeli war crimes, simply because they are Jews.

    I said the opposite. Jews in America have chosen to identify with and institutionally support Israel. While not Israeli, they are cousins. As such they get some degree of collective credit for Israelis achievements and some degree of blame for Israel’s failings. In much the same way that I by being an American am tied to “the western powers” including those I’m not part of.

    Personally, I don’t think either is true.

    I understand. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the modern hard left is a disagreement with the core idea of nationalism. Some preaching an individualism (which ironically enough in this context most strongly emerged from 18th century Jewish thinkers) and for others a global collective essentially similar to the idea of the universality of the Pope though now most often the claim is directed at the UN (which IMHO makes a poor substitute). However the anti-colonial movement goes well beyond nationalism into outright ethnic racism believing not in nations not only as cultural entities but biological ones. Thus BDS denies that Palestinians can ever be Israeli because of their ethnicity. That’s a contradiction in your thinking you need to deal with. The ideology you are preaching contradicts the movement you belong to.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 12, 2015, 11:06 am

      ”I’m not Yonah. ”

      Sorry, must have been the incoherence in your post that made me confuse you two. And now you’ve gone and added to the confusion by not responding to the right post, so who can blame me?

      ”Part of being in a nation is identifying with that nation.”

      And American Jews, being in the nation of the US, should identify with that nation, surely, and not an Asian nation of indeterminate borders which most of them have never visited and would hate to live in?

      ”While not Israeli, they are cousins. ”

      I’ve never heard of the concept of being ‘cousins’ with a nation on another continent. Are they also ‘cousins’ of the 2O% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian? Does their suffering ‘traumatise’ these Californians too?

      ” In much the same way that I by being an American am tied to “the western powers” including those I’m not part of.”

      No, you’re not. What a silly thing to say. You can only be responsible for your own actions, not those of others, certainly not of other countries.

      ”I understand. ”

      I don’t think you do. The rest of your post is a stream of consciousness non sequiteur.

      • JeffB
        March 12, 2015, 11:26 am

        @Maximus Decimus Meridius

        And American Jews, being in the nation of the US, , should identify with that nation, surely, and not an Asian nation of indeterminate borders which most of them have never visited and would hate to live in?

        I think you mean state. You are confusing nation and state. A nation is a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory. By calling themselves Jews (i.e. Judaeans) they have mostly chosen to identify with the ancient state of Judaea and its modern successor Israel. As for “would hate to live” Israel is a pretty nice place to live. There are many advantages to both America and Israel. Same as say America vs. Brazil or America vs. Spain.

        I’ve never heard of the concept of being ‘cousins’ with a nation on another continent.

        You clearly from this post didn’t know what the word nation meant so that’s a bit of a problem.

        Are they also ‘cousins’ of the 2O% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian?

        Nope. They are part of the same state but not yet part of the same nation. That merger is progressing and hopefully will complete over the next 2 generations or so.

        JeffB: In much the same way that I by being an American am tied to “the western powers” including those I’m not part of.”

        No, you’re not. What a silly thing to say. You can only be responsible for your own actions, not those of others, certainly not of other countries.

        Which is inconsistent with the entire BDS paradigm. If individual are the only thing that exists then Palestinians can’t collectively suffer, they can only individually suffer their individual problems. Similarly Israelis can’t collectively induce that suffering. Individual Israelis may have harmed individual Palestinians. And then on top of that t becomes meaningless to even talk about Israelis and Palestinians because those words don’t mean anything.

        You really do need to think about your framework. You most certainly are contradicting yourself.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 12:30 pm

        ”I think you mean state. You are confusing nation and state ”

        No. I mean nation. Why is the United Nations called just that, and not the ‘United States’?

        ”y calling themselves Jews (i.e. Judaeans) they have mostly chosen to identify with the ancient state of Judaea and its modern successor Israel.”

        I’ll overlook the made-up historical nonsense – Judeaa was never a ‘state’ nor is Israel a ‘successor state’ to anything – but if American Jews CHOOSE to ‘identify with’ a minor Asian state, that is, as you say, their choice. Very few of them have any tangible connections with the place. Most would never live there and many have never even visited. So any ‘trauma’ they feel, or claim to feel, is through their own choice.

        ”As for “would hate to live” Israel is a pretty nice place to live.”

        Sounds like a parochial, hate infested kip to me. And ain’t it funny how all these US Jew’identify with’ Israel, yet choose to steer well clear of it? Certainly, few Jews with other options have chosen to take up residence in Israel.

        ”Which is inconsistent with the entire BDS paradigm. If individual are the only thing that exists then Palestinians can’t collectively suffer, they can only individually suffer their individual problems. Similarly Israelis can’t collectively induce that suffering.”

        You’re quite obsessed with BDS, which wasn’t even mentioned in this discussion until you did, repeatedly. That’s great!

        And your logic is faulty. Israelis, as a collective, vote for the governemnts which torment Palestinians, serve in the army which kills them, and live off the fruits of occupation. There are exceptions, but they will generally support BDS, just like genuinely anti-Apartheid white South Africans supported sanctions.

        Intersting to see you are so implacably opposed to all forms of boycott though. You must be thoroughly against the sanctions on Iran, not to mention the siege of Gaza, since you are obsessed with a form of boycott which would, even in its most extreme form, be far less harsh than either of the above.

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2015, 11:07 am

      “I’m not Yonah. “

      Oh no, of course not! You’re Charlie!

    • eljay
      March 12, 2015, 11:26 am

      || JeffBeee: … Jews in America have chosen to identify with and institutionally support Israel. While not Israeli, they are cousins. As such they get some degree of collective credit for Israelis achievements and some degree of blame for Israel’s failings. … ||

      JeffB: There is nothing anti-Semitic with blaming Jews for stuff that Jews institutionally support. … Not holding the Jews responsible for Jewish policy on the excuse that “well some Jews didn’t agree” is denying them agency.”

      Blaming “the Jews” for the actions of some Jews is indeed anti-Semitic. Non-Jews who lay that blame routinely and rightly get in trouble for it.

  19. JeffB
    March 12, 2015, 10:57 am

    @Donald

    This is odd–I typed what is below as a response to JeffB and now I can’t find his post. either it was removed or I’m temporarily blind.

    It appears it was removed.

    Okay, a few points. First, you said that bigotry among Jews is caused by anti-semitism, which might be possible,

    Did you mean against jews or among Jews? If you mean among Jews then I didn’t say that nor do I agree. The cause of bigotry among Jews is a complex topic and I think probably better handled on the basis of geography and social class. For example there is a recent surge in anti-Indian bigotry among Russian Jews (1st generation immigrants) in some cities in the Northeast which IMHO is coming mainly from the fact that both groups migrated at the same time and end up competing for the same housing and jobs. lf you meant against Jews then I’ll stand by it.

    but when people say that some anti-semitism is caused by Israel’s behavior they are accused of anti-semitism themselves. So which is it? Can bigotry be caused in part by the bad behavior of others?

    Sure. People can come to dislike Jews because of Israel in the same way that people can dislike blacks because of proximity to black crime. However American cultural racism is what encourages and cultivates the anti-black racism that emerges from these specific experiences. Without the underlying racism it would die out. So for example I don’t suspect the anger towards the Indian community you see among Russian Jews to be passed on to their children and knowing the children that appears to be the case. On the other hand while anti-black racism is thankfully decreasing rapidly I do think there are children being born today who will be anti-black racists. Anti-semitism / anti-judism creates the structure which converts upset over Israel’s actions into hatred of Jews that gets passed on.

    Second, the fact is that many on the pro-Israel side don’t make a distinction between anti-semitism and criticism of Israel. They say they do, but they often just mean that no criticism of Israel should have any bite to it. For instance, the U.S. gov is linked quite strongly to Israel .. if Israel is just another country to Americans, then you’re right, but the reality is that our politicians have been trained to treat Israel as the 51st state.

    That is objectively nonsense. The US government is linked quite weakly to Israel. China for example has somewhere $2t and $3.5t invested in the USA and has capital flows in the range $60b a month through the USA economy. That’s larger than Israel’s entire flow of funds to all countries combined and over an order of magnitude larger than their USA balances. Militarily we have tens of thousands of troops in Korea and a massive military base which drives our entire pacific naval strategy to support it. We fought our two largest non-civil wars with England and France to defend them against Germany.

    By any objective measure the USA’s relationship with Israel is nowhere in the top 10 and closer to around our 20th closest relationship. Nothing unique about that. However believing that Jews are of universal importance is one of the core aspects of anti-semitism. The very distorted belief that we have this close relationship is anti-semitism.

    If the Palestinians were launching rockets regularly at Alabama, California or North Dakota or any USA state there wouldn’t be Palestinians. Ask Al-Qaeda about how we react to bombings on USA soil. The USA is not close to treating Israel like a state.

    most of Congress genuflect to them

    Meaning what? All of congress agreed with the French government and not Chérif and Saïd Kouachi in the Charlie Hebdo incident. That doesn’t make our relationship with France uniquely close. The USA people and their congress doesn’t agree with Palestinian claims. Israel is a good client for arms sales. Nothing else is particularly close.

    It’s like saying that I can’t criticize Ferguson police unless I first criticize Kazakhstan.

    When criticism was leveled against Ferguson police the recommended solution was not the annihilation of Ferguson but rather relatively reforming the police department. BDS calls for the destruction of Israel not its reform. No one made the claim that Ferguson was forever illegitimate and thus needed to be destroyed because of Michael Brown they made the claim that Ferguson needed to reform their police department.

    Secondly. You are a citizen of the United States. The USA federal government frequently does involve itself when local police department get out of hand. You aren’t a citizen of Israel you have no ties to it. Those two situations are not the same for you.

    • Donald
      March 12, 2015, 12:27 pm

      This is just bad faith on your part, JeffB. We’ve just had weeks where the extreme devotion of American politicians to Israel has been on the front pages of the paper and comparing this to our trade volume with China is stupid. You’re not stupid. China’s human rights policies are beyond our control, but nobody pretends China is some human rights paragon. Israel could be pressured by the US, but our politicians prefer to give them support and money and claim we share similar values, which we do, but not necessarily in a good way.

      And there is clearly a reason why supporters of Israel will be biased against Palestinians–it’s the same reason for white racism in America. When you hurt a group of people or support an organization which hurts a group of people, you have to rationalize it by saying that the people you hurt deserved it. This is just basic psychology. We all know it’s true. It’s true in our daily lives if we hurt someone and we rationalize it by saying they had it coming. Israel exists as a Jewish state because it forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of the country and didn’t let them back in. For decades the storyline was that they left voluntarily at the behest of Arab leaders and intended to come back to pillage their Jewish neighbors. I’d heard that one myself and I actually heard it repeated by a Christian Zionist friend in real life a year or two ago.

      And “destroying Israel” is comparable to “destroying South Africa” back in the apartheid days. I’m not personally wedded to a 1ss or a 2ss. If the Palestinians will settle for a 2SS, it’ll be easier to achieve. If they want a 1SS, it has to be one guaranteeing equal rights for everyone or I’d be opposed. If equal rights is equivalent to destruction, then I suppose I also could favor Ferguson’s destruction.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 12:31 pm

        Incidentally, I clearly have too much time on my hands. If you pay any attention at all, you know the answers to yourarguments. I find some of your posts interesting and worth reading JeffB, but when you try to make moral arguments they are often weird, silly (putting it kindly) and pretty much the same. My responses will also always be the same.

      • JeffB
        March 12, 2015, 2:28 pm

        @Donald

        We’ve just had weeks where the extreme devotion of American politicians to Israel has been on the front pages of the paper

        No we haven’t. We’ve had weeks where a group of politicians who disagree with Obama’s policies on many issues also disagree with his policies on Iran. They are joined by a large group of Democrats who also disagree with Obama’s policy on Iran but at the same time don’t want to aggressively openly break with them. Those politicians who did want to openly break and belong to another party invited a speaker who happens to be the prime minister of a country whose nation also disagrees with president Obama’s in the same way that Egypt and Saudi Arabia do. He graciously agreed to appear to present those views and was warmly embraced by the opposition party. The President decided to pout and act like a sorority girl with a whisper campaign when his policies were disagreed with causing lots of drama among the drama queens. The testimony went off anyway.

        That’s what happened. Congress has pulled in testimony from people who disagree with presidents on matter of foreign policy many times. Congress has gone further and undercut USA presidents on their foreign policy opinions many times. When the Congress decided that the USA wouldn’t continue to support the death squads in El Salvador that does not demonstrate a uniquely close relationship between the USA congress and Latin American liberation theologians. When the congress overrode Reagan on South Africa that did not show a uniquely close relationship between congress and the ANC. And for the current president when congress opposed Obama’s policies on Honduras and undercut him that did not show a uniquely close relationship between the USA and Honduras nor the Partido Nacional de Honduras.

        Contrary to all the hysterics Obama’s policies get overruled all the time as do other presidents. You just follow this issue more closely and so buy into the propaganda that there is something unique about it.

        Israel could be pressured by the US

        First off, Israel is pressured by the USA. That’s why Netanyahu keeps going along with the charade of negotiations. That’s why the 2008-9 Gazan war stopped when it did and they didn’t do the damage they would do in later rounds. That’s why Area-C hasn’t been annexed. The USA can pressure anyone on anything including China. The fact that USA could do more is not unique to Israel.

        but our politicians prefer to give them support and money and claim we share similar values, which we do, but not necessarily in a good way

        As they do with most countries on the planet. We also make these declarations of common interests and shared culture.

        Japan: the United States is and always will be a Pacific nation. America’s security and prosperity is inseparable from the future of this region, and that’s why I’ve made it a priority to renew American leadership in the Asia Pacific. And the cornerstone of our strategy — and the foundation of the region’s security and economic progress — is our historic treaty alliances, including with Japan.

        Brazil: But today, I want to speak directly to the Brazilian people about how we can strengthen the friendship between our nations. I’ve come here to share some ideas because I want to speak of the values that we share, the hopes that we have in common, and the difference that we can make together.

        Pick any country.

        Israel exists as a Jewish state because it forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of the country and didn’t let them back in.

        I’m not sure about that. The Palestinian boycott caused the the Yishuv to have its own economy fairly early well before the expulsion. The 1936-9 war destroyed the emerging colonial relationship and thus the ties. I don’t know that you couldn’t very easily have a Jewish state with Palestinians playing little role economically but still geographically living in the state. Or a Jewish state with a classic colonialist structure could have emerged where you have economic integration but discrimination. Or for that matter the Palestinians could have been nationalized much more aggressively had there not been a huge surge of immigrants from Arab countries and today the descendants of Palestinians are Jews (or at least practice a Judaized form of Islam). I don’t think your “what-if” history is all that accurate. Let’s not forget that the Jews who founded Israel had close ties to countries where military Stalinism was the government, how to have an urban population suppress the political leanings of a rural population whose loyalty to the state is questionable would have been a problem many of their allies could have given them advice on. Israel ended up having to become more western in its outlook because it increasingly allied itself with the western powers against the Soviets. It had to do that because of ferocious antagonism partially driven by the Nabka. Remove the Nabka and many other things about the 1940s before and the 1950s after have to change which makes the rest of Israel’s development quite different.

        That comment btw is the sort of oversimplification that Israel supporters object to. It is just a one dimensional demonization that treats Israel totally differently than how other countries are treated. You cannot complain about racism while doing that. Israel is just another foreign country with two tribes who don’t get along well one of which is losing. Nothing special.

        And “destroying Israel” is comparable to “destroying South Africa” back in the apartheid days.

        No it isn’t. No one was suggesting the flooding of South Africa with a hostile population. That is much more comparable to what Rome did to Carthage not what the anti-Apartheid movement advocated for South Africa. BDS doesn’t explicitly call for the genocide of the Jews, but they most certainly do call for the annihilation of Israel.

        I’m not personally wedded to a 1ss or a 2ss. If the Palestinians will settle for a 2SS, it’ll be easier to achieve.

        That’s fine. The BDS movement however demands RoR to Israel proper. There are sensible ways to end this conflict and there were 2SS offers I would have accepted. There are also all sorts of 1SS that don’t require discrimination and at the same time allow the nation-state of Israel to thrive. But those are irrelevant when we are talking about the BDS movement. The BDS movement is annihilationist in its goals. The fact that some of its supporters, including yourself, might settle for less, doesn’t change what BDS institutionally supports. If Jewish immigration is illegitimate that is East Jerusalem is permanently illegitimate when what’s different about West Jerusalem? If the Palestinians in 1920 who tried to exterminate the Jewish population of Jaffa were acting correctly then why should the city those that escaped Jaffa and eventually settled in Tel Aviv be any different?

        The rhetoric of BDS is that Jews are permanently illegitimate. This has nothing to do with whether Israel does a bad a so-so or an excellent job of assimilation. You can see this with the Israeli Arabs whose economic status has exploded upwards in the last 2 generations and yet… they are grouped with the Gazans even though they by a large majorities (though unfortunately declining ones) reject that grouping and instead identify with Israel. For Herzl’s birthday an Israeli-Arab will be lighting one of the candles. She identifies with Herzl and considers those international figures like the Mondoweiss crowd who don’t think of her as fully Israeli as “racist assholes”. If BDS were interested in non-discrimination and not annihilation she wouldn’t be celebrated by the right and demeaned by the left.

        The anti-colonial movement believes in permanent racial possession of lands which is the opposite if equality.The blacks in South Africa recognized the Afrikaners as part of their country. The Palestinians didn’t and mostly still don’t. Were the left interested in equality they would be condemning not supporting this sort of talk.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 3:18 pm

        “@Donald We’ve had…/….sort of talk”

        TS, TL, DR. Besides, who knows if it’ll ‘stick’?

    • Mooser
      March 13, 2015, 12:26 am

      “It appears it was removed.”

      “JeffyB” there’s only one way to deal with those vanishing posts. Type harder, “JeffyB” Type more! Lot’s more.
      And always remember, you are a Zionist, and that confers omnipotence and omniscience! Use it well, “JeffyB”, use your powers wisely!

  20. JeffB
    March 12, 2015, 2:56 pm

    @Maximus Decimus

    ”I think you mean state. You are confusing nation and state ”

    No. I mean nation. Why is the United Nations called just that, and not the ‘United States’?

    Because it came from the League of Nations. The League of Nations was based upon the ideas outlined in Kant’s A Perpetual Peace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_Peace:_A_Philosophical_Sketch . Kant proposal was about how an agreement between nations could keep peace between states. He understood what the words meant and used them properly. You aren’t.

    ”y calling themselves Jews (i.e. Judaeans) they have mostly chosen to identify with the ancient state of Judaea and its modern successor Israel.”

    I’ll overlook the made-up historical nonsense – Judeaa was never a ‘state’

    I’m making up historical nonsense? You can go to Israel today and see relics all over the place from Judaea. There are tens of thousands of archeological relics and documents attesting to Judaea. You are escaping into total fantasy.

    Very few of them have any tangible connections with the place.

    Obviously not. They have big Israeli flags in their places of worship. They donate to Israeli causes. They have family there. They visit. They follow the news there. Most Chinese have very few tangible connections to one another the Chinese are still a people. Heck I don’t have many tangible connections to most people who live down the street from me. Nationality is about identification and common culture.

    Most would never live there and many have never even visited. So any ‘trauma’ they feel, or claim to feel, is through their own choice.

    Which is the same as many of the Americans most affected by 9/11 who had little ties to New York.

    Sounds like a parochial, hate infested kip to me. And ain’t it funny how all these US Jew’identify with’ Israel, yet choose to steer well clear of it?

    I don’t see any evidence for that. USA Jewish travel to Israel has been increasing steadily. Of the 3.5m visitors to Israel annually 28% are Jewish most of that from the United States. Given that the USA only has 6m Jews that’s far from steering clear of it. Do you think that America Jewish visitors to all other middle easter countries combined are anywhere near 750k?

    Certainly, few Jews with other options have chosen to take up residence in Israel.

    Israel has about 1/2 the world’s Jewish population. Millions of them do have other options.

    ”Which is inconsistent with the entire BDS paradigm. If individual are the only thing that exists then Palestinians can’t collectively suffer, they can only individually suffer their individual problems. Similarly Israelis can’t collectively induce that suffering.”

    And your logic is faulty. Israelis, as a collective, vote for the governemnts which torment Palestinians,

    Then you have collectives. You have to decide whether collectives exist or not. If collectives take collective action then Israelis / Jews can take collective action for or against Palestinians. If collectives don’t exist they can’t. This is your contradiction not mine. Read your posts above.

    Intersting to see you are so implacably opposed to all forms of boycott though. You must be thoroughly against the sanctions on Iran, not to mention the siege of Gaza, since you are obsessed with a form of boycott which would, even in its most extreme form, be far less harsh than either of the above.

    Why must I hold those views? I’m in favor of of harming Iran because Iran is an enemy of the United States. I’m in favor of Israel harming Gaza because Gaza is an enemy of Israel. As a member of the West I’m opposed to the West destroying Israel because among other reasons Israel is a friend of the West.

    As for BDS being less harsh than either of the above. That’s not all the case. Most BDSers support a ferocious blockade. Individuals differ. But they often advocate a total ban on travel and trade. They often seek a total ban on cultural interchange of almost any type. Something much closer to the sanctions regime imposed on North Korea. And they quite often quite openly seek complete economic collapse. That’s in a society whose advanced economy is absolutely necessary to maintain a food supply above 800k-1.4m people’s worth. Now they often don’t put 2 and 2 together and openly say they seek the deliberate and premeditated death by starvation of 90% of the population of Palestine. One could perhaps excuse them being thoughtless and stupid since they often don’t understand economics and there is a difference between rhetorical flights of fancy into genocidal rhetoric and an actual policy of genocide.

    That’s a level of sanctions well beyond what’s being done to Iran.

    That doesn’t mean it would work. South Africa is nothing like Israel, the situation of South Africa in the 1980s is nothing like Israel’s in the 2010s so it is hard to talk about BDS in any serious way. What it is successful at doing is creating ethnic tension in western countries, so far it has little to actually harm Israel getting back to the point of the post.

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 12, 2015, 6:19 pm

      ”I’m making up historical nonsense? You can go to Israel today and see relics all over the place from Judaea. There are tens of thousands of archeological relics and documents attesting to Judaea. You are escaping into total fantasy.”

      For someone so pedantic about the meaning of ‘state’ you’re making a bit of a fool of yourself if you want us to think that the existence of ” tens of thousands of archeological relics and documents attesting to Judaea” means that Judaea was a ‘state’. Obviously it was not. The concept didn’t even exist until a few hundred years ago.

      ”They have big Israeli flags in their places of worship. They donate to Israeli causes. They have family there. They visit. They follow the news there. ”

      So what? I follow the news from Israel. That doesn’t mean I have any tangible connectiosn with it. And some Jews CHOOSE to put flags or donate to ‘charities’. Some non Jews do the same. Some Jews don’t. These are choices people make. It’s not at all the same thing as stating that all American Jews have some innate connection to Israel.They do not.

      ”Most Chinese have very few tangible connections to one another the Chinese are still a people. ”

      Very poor comparison. The Chinese people speak Chinese – or their ancestors did – have a common origin in China and share – or their ancestors shared – a similar culture. Jews have none of this. The only thing they have in common is religion. They are no more a ‘people’ than Buddhists or Protestants are.

      ”Of the 3.5m visitors to Israel annually 28% are Jewish most of that from the United States.”

      They don’t stay long though, do they? Can’t blame them. Life in a prosperous liberal democracy has to be a lot more appealing than life in an autistic garrison state.

      ” If collectives take collective action then Israelis / Jews can take collective action for or against Palestinians.”

      What the hell? A Jew in New York can take collective action against people on the other side of the world, simply because he/she is a Jew? What a tribalist you are.

      ” I’m in favor of of harming Iran because Iran is an enemy of the United States. I’m in favor of Israel harming Gaza because Gaza is an enemy of Israel. ”

      And…. here we go. The millions of people affected by sanctions and siege become simply ‘Iran’ and ‘Gaza’, yet when even a tiny fraction of the same is discussed with regard to Israel, it becomes ‘collective punishment’. Again you prove that it’s impossible to argue for Israel withotu indulging in grotesque double standards.

      ”As a member of the West I’m opposed to the West destroying Israel because among other reasons Israel is a friend of the West”

      Well, I’m a ‘member of the West’ too – whatever that means – and Israel ain’t no friend of mine.

      ”As for BDS being less harsh than either of the above. That’s not all the case. Most BDSers support a ferocious blockade. Individuals differ. But they often advocate a total ban on travel and trade. They often seek a total ban on cultural interchange of almost any type. Something much closer to the sanctions regime imposed on North Korea. And they quite often quite openly seek complete economic collapse. That’s in a society whose advanced economy is absolutely necessary to maintain a food supply above 800k-1.4m people’s worth. Now they often don’t put 2 and 2 together and openly say they seek the deliberate and premeditated death by starvation of 90% of the population of Palestine. One could perhaps excuse them being thoughtless and stupid since they often don’t understand economics and there is a difference between rhetorical flights of fancy into genocidal rhetoric and an actual policy of genocide”

      You made that up.

      Every word of it.

      Must be a strange little mental world you live in.

      Just amazed you haven’t long since departed for the lalaland you profess such love for.

      Your bizarre meanderings would seem quite normal there.

    • RoHa
      March 13, 2015, 5:55 am

      “I’m in favour of harming Iran because Iran is an enemy of the United States ”

      You care about the US?

      It seems to me that the US has needlessly made itself an enemy of Iran. But be that as it may, harming Iran will not make things any better. The minimal course to follow is to not harm the enemy if the enemy is not harming you. (And Iran isn’t harming the U.S., unless it is doing so by helping to defeat ISIS.)
      The preferable course is to try to make your enemy into a friend.

      • JeffB
        March 13, 2015, 9:03 am

        @RoHa

        Iran funded and provided strategic depth for terrorist operations against the USA in Iraq for years. They have made our job in Afghanistan much more difficult. When this Iranian government first formed after the revolution one of their first acts was to attack a USA embassy violating arguably the single most important principle of international law stretching back thousands of years. They’ve threatened shipping of oil. our single biggest strategic objective repeatedly. Their proxies in places like Lebanon have also attacked American troops. As for helping defeat ISIS, Iran has done far more against the USA than ISIS has.

        As for making them are friend from not harming them. We tried befriending them after 9/11, that failed. After 8 years of not harming, and tremendously helping them in 2001 Obama came into office in 2009 with a strong pro-Iranian tilt. They didn’t reciprocate. So your theory of not harm was tried and failed.

      • seafoid
        March 13, 2015, 10:09 am

        Both the invasion of Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq were illegal under international law.
        The locals soon grew to hate their occupiers. Iran just helped the process along. Turkey shoot involving American turkeys.

        Your citing of the single most important element of international law is laughable given Bush 2’s respect for international law.

        Cheney never understood that the Shia were a majority in Iraq. He was too lazy and listened too much to a Zionist asshole

        http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2015/03/04/benjamin-netanyahu-in-2002-if-you-take-out-saddam-i-guarantee-it-will-have-enormous-positive-reverberations-on-the-region/

        “If you take out Saddam’s regime, I guarantee you that it will have enormous positive reverberations on the region… The task and the great opportunity and challenge is not
        merely to effect the ouster of the regime, but also to transform the region.”

      • RoHa
        March 14, 2015, 4:25 am

        I’m travelling, so I haven’t got the resources to check the details of the Iran/US relationship, but I’m sure others will correct any errors of memory.

        “When this Iranian government first formed after the revolution one of their first acts was to attack a USA embassy”

        Wasn’t that because the U.S. was trying to subvert the revolution?

        “They’ve threatened shipping of oil. our single biggest strategic objective repeatedly. ”

        Perhaps because the U.S. has threatened them with military attack and actively sanctioned them. The U.S. supported Saddam Hussein in his war against Iran. The U.S. supports Israel, which continuously threatens Iran. The U.S. shot down an Iranian airliner, and rewarded the commander responsible. A U.S. presidential candidate publicly sang “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran” without being condemned or repudiated by the U.S. establishment. The U.S. is trying to prevent the Iranians from developing their nuclear power system on the basis of accusations that even the U.S. intelligence services do not believe.

        “They have made our job in Afghanistan much more difficult.”

        Early on in the war they were providing assistance.

        “Their proxies in places like Lebanon have also attacked American troops.”

        And your proof that these organizations were acting as Iran’s proxies is …?

        “Obama came into office in 2009 with a strong pro-Iranian tilt. They didn’t reciprocate.”

        What practical steps did he take? I recall that he said something about offering an open hand rather than a clenched fist, but I also recall the U.S. did not unclench its fist, so it is hardly surprising that the Iranians did not respond.

        As I said before, it looks to me as though the U.S. has chosen enmity to Iran. The preferable course would be to keep trying to make friends.

      • CigarGod
        March 14, 2015, 9:51 am

        Excellent!
        Next time there is a similar post regarding usa/cuba relations…you only need to change a handful of words.

      • just
        March 14, 2015, 9:18 am

        Superlative! Thanks, RoHa.

        (safe travels)

    • just
      March 13, 2015, 10:23 am

      +1 seafoid!!

      JeffB- Iran is no enemy of the US.

      Relations must and will be normalized, despite your protestations.

  21. Donald
    March 12, 2015, 3:16 pm

    This was in response to JeffB, but the post looks like it is going up on its own, rather than as a reply to him.

    There is a word count escalation going on here and I would have to type twice as much to refute all the things in your post I think are wrong. So, no, I’m not going to do it. I’ll stick briefly to one issue–the Nakba. Israel is like most other settler colonial states, including the US. What is different is that it happened in the mid 20th century and the ones who expelled the natives were themselves oppressed (horrifically so) and so I for one can sympathize with the desire to have their own state. But it happened in the traditional Western way, by driving out the natives. And it’s absurd to talk about how Israel is singled out by its opponents, when its supporters in the US are the ones who singled it out for absurd, over the top praise and dishonest propaganda.

    • eljay
      March 12, 2015, 3:23 pm

      || Donald: … There is a word count escalation going on here … ||

      It seems to be part of the Zio-supremacist strategy: If you can’t convince them with your bullshit, try burying them with it.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 5:56 pm

        “If you can’t convince them with your bullshit, try burying them with it. ”

        Yep.

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2015, 3:55 pm

      “and so I for one can sympathize with the desire to have their own stat”

      Just as a point, it’s important to remember that the Zionists represented only themselves, Zionist organizations represented and operated in the interests of Zionism. At no time was any kind of process applied or consensus reached that Zionism represented the aspiration of the “Jewish people”. And never, not once, was it ever even considered that this “Jewish people” which appeared so conveniently for the Zionists should have a voice in or receive any consideration from Zionism. Even Jews who were in favor of Zionism were never even asked what the limits should be.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 4:54 pm

        Plus, what exactly is ‘their own state’?

        Would an American Jew not consider the US to be his/her ‘own state’ because people who are not Jewish also live there? Is the same also true for members of other ethnic groups who live in multi-ethnic states, which is what most states in the world are?

    • JeffB
      March 12, 2015, 4:02 pm

      @Donald

      What is different is that it happened in the mid 20th century

      That’s not even all that different.

      We had 2 years ago an ethnic cleansing a few years ago where the Bodos in India kicked out the Bengali-speaking Muslims some of whom had been their for centuries. I don’t see college campus protests about it.

      We’v had a million people displaced in the last few years from the countries that used to be part of the French Equatorial Africa. I don’t see any college protests about it.

      Burma has conducted ethnic cleansings.

      That’s all in the last decade. And that’s not including groups like ISIS or Iran/Shia groups whom the USA opposed. There is nothing unusual about Israel’s behavior even temporally. As we’ve talked about before, state formation is a messy business in the 20th and 21st century just as much as in the 16th, 12th, 8th, 3rd… Humans are born in blood, human societies are born in blood.

      And it’s absurd to talk about how Israel is singled out by its opponents, when its supporters in the US are the ones who singled it out for absurd, over the top praise and dishonest propaganda.

      What absurd over the top praise? The praise that Israel receives is because it objectively is a great country. The Jews came to the poverty stricken, malaria infesthed shithole that was Palestine, and in 100 years with constant opposition from the natives they’ve created a first world country there with a living standard on par with European countries. They came to revive the glory that was Judaea has instead in a century have far surpassed anything the Herodians could have dreamed of. They’ve solved the Jewish question that has tormented Europe for a millennia and built a home for virtually the entirety of Mizrahim.

      For decades Israel and Egypt (a country with a population of 80m) have been keeping pace with each other in terms of strength of military and size of the economy. Israel has lately broken away and the Israeli economy is approaching Iran’s. Israel’s military already exceeds Iran’s. Israel’s cultural output is approaching parity with Iran’s. All while Israel’s population is the size of Tehran’s.

      There is nothing absurd about the praise Israel gets. They are a wonderful country and a monument to accomplishment.

      But whether you agree or not… one can believe the Italian’s quality as lovers or their food is overstated without justifying anti-Italian hate campaigns. One can disagree with French chauvinism about the superiority of the food, wine, literature, language… without having protests. The desire to crush the sort of petty pride that Jews feel towards their country when everyone’s country gets the same sort of “over the top dishonest propaganda” doesn’t strike me as a natural response.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 5:49 pm

        ”The praise that Israel receives is because it objectively is a great country. The Jews came to the poverty stricken, malaria infesthed shithole that was Palestine, and in 100 years with constant opposition from the natives they’ve created a first world country there with a living standard on par with European countries. They came to revive the glory that was Judaea has instead in a century have far surpassed anything the Herodians could have dreamed of. ”

        The only possible reaction to this absurd little brain fart is to wonder why, if Israel is so ‘objectively great’ and ‘glorious’, Jeff B hasn’t packed his bags long ago.

      • Donald
        March 12, 2015, 5:56 pm

        I’d agree with a lot of that, in praise of Israel, but it is absurd to praise them for their values when the entire state is based on ethnic cleansing and they are still practicing a form of apartheid.

        Again, you know this and you know the answer to your whataboutery. You’re trying to distract attention from what Israel does to the Palestinians–all of your words are basically about that. Another reason I’m not replying in depth is that it just plays your game. It’d be like saying there was nothing wrong with late 18th century Virginia because look at all the great men they produced. Forget about that slavery stuff–slavery was common. I assume you do this to convince yourself–you can’t possibly think it’s going to convince anyone who didn’t want to dismiss Israel’s crimes and America’s complicity in them .

      • justicewillprevail
        March 12, 2015, 6:18 pm

        So you know nothing about the country that existed before the mass immigration of Europeans. But you have plenty of ignorant prejudice about it. Why am I not surprised, especially at the simplistic paean to an artificial state built on the razing of another, a country built on a military economy, with the massive help of the US taxpayer who have never been asked about their subsidies to this garrison state. Equal to Iran, eh? At least you have a sense of unintended humour.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 9:39 pm

        ” I assume you do this to convince yourself–you can’t possibly think it’s going to convince anyone”

        That really doesn’t matter. What JeffyB knows is that up till now, this type of rhetoric has always done the job.

        Pretty frightening, isn’t it?

      • talknic
        March 16, 2015, 1:02 am

        @ JeffB “We had 2 years ago an ethnic cleansing a few years ago where the Bodos in India kicked out the Bengali-speaking Muslims some of whom had been their for centuries … a million people displaced in the last few years from the countries that used to be part of the French Equatorial Africa … Burma has conducted ethnic cleansings … that’s not including groups like ISIS or Iran/Shia groups whom the USA opposed … There is nothing unusual about Israel’s behavior even temporally.”

        Uh huh. Nice company Israel keeps and a cute exercise unsuccessfully attempting to show many wrongs make a right. Bravo!

        “I don’t see college campus protests about it”

        Surely some in Israel?!? … Not even a lonely JeffB with a placard on a windswept street corner?!? … why not?

        ” As we’ve talked about before, state formation is a messy business in the 20th and 21st century just as much as in the 16th, 12th, 8th, 3rd… Humans are born in blood, human societies are born in blood”

        Israel was formed 67 years ago. Even as it was proclaimed as “an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947” there were Jewish forces in territories not proclaimed as Israel.

        More than half a century later Israel still has forces in territories the Israeli Government claimed were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        ” The praise that Israel receives is because it objectively is a great country.”

        The criticism isn’t because it’s a great country, it’s because it’s been occupying territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” for over half a century

        ” The Jews came to the poverty stricken, malaria infesthed shithole that was Palestine”
        Uh huh. Was that the land of milk and honey shithole https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Palestine%20a%20land%20flowing%20with%20milk%20and%20honey that some Jews had lived in prior to the Zionist Colonization program began in earnest circa 1897

        “and in 100 years with constant opposition from the natives they’ve created a first world country there with a living standard on par with European countries”

        Amazing! But completely irrelevant to Israel’s actual sovereign extent and its illegal actions in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        “They came to revive the glory that was Judaea”

        Judaea is in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        ” has instead in a century have far surpassed anything the Herodians could have dreamed of.”

        So have hundreds of other countries

        “They’ve solved the Jewish question that has tormented Europe for a millennia and built a home for virtually the entirety of Mizrahim.”

        Pity they’ve built a lot of it in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

        “For decades Israel and Egypt (a country with a population of 80m) have been keeping pace with each other in terms of strength of military and size of the economy. Israel has lately broken away and the Israeli economy is approaching Iran’s. Israel’s military already exceeds Iran’s. Israel’s cultural output is approaching parity with Iran’s. All while Israel’s population is the size of Tehran’s”

        Amazing! But, so what? It doesn’t alter the fact that for 67 years, Israel has had its military in territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” Had Israel kept to its borders, it’s highly likely it would only need half it’s military and would have saved more than half a century of military expenses incurred in illegally acquiring, attempting to keep and illegally settling in non-Israeli territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”

      • Philemon
        March 19, 2015, 9:18 pm

        Mooser: “What JeffyB knows is that up till now, this type of rhetoric has always done the job.
        “Pretty frightening, isn’t it?”

        Just my personal opinion, but I think you are giving him too much credit. He probably doesn’t know.

        JeffB seems to be a bit, shall we say, “selective” about which facts or non-facts make up his more or less conscious stream of thought.

        JeffB misquotes: “…the glory that was Judaea”? [sic]

        I only recall “the Glory that was Greece” not to mention “the Grandeur that was Rome.” And I’m pretty sure the guy who wrote those lines wasn’t a Zionist. Anyway, I thought somebody should stick up for him, since he can’t stick up for himself as he’s been dead for a while.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 9:05 pm

        On the “Who can save Israel” thread, “JeffyB” is applying his erudition to commenter “Hostage”. Hostage is awfully knowledgeable about this stuff, from study and if I am not mistaken, personal experience. “JeffyB”, well, not so much.

      • RoHa
        March 21, 2015, 1:37 pm

        Philemon, aside from the misquotation, I’m a bit puzzled about the concept of “the glory that was Judea”. I know about the Greeks and the Romans. I know about the art and architecture, the literature and theatre and music, the mathematics, science, medicine, engineering, and plumbing. I know about the ancient philosophers, their metaphysics, their epistemology, and their ethics. All of these are the foundations of our own Western arts, sciences, and ethics.

        But I can’t recall much from Judea. As far as I can tell, all Judea produced was a bit of religious literature and a religious impulse which stultified the minds and corrupted the souls of Europe.

        So what was that glory?

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2015, 6:29 pm

      “There is a word count escalation going on here”

      Donald, when the scribenzi furiouso comes over “JeffyB”, few can match his logorrhea.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 6:32 pm

        Not even Yonah?

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 6:47 pm

        I don’t think so, and I’m pretty sure that taken over a single thread, “JeffyB” leads the league in the number of words.

        In number of words written and then TLDR’ed by the greatest number of readers, I would say he stands alone, in fact, he’s usually out standing in his field, stepping in it a mile a minute, so who wants to follow him through it?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 6:57 pm

        In my first reply, I referred to jeffieb as ‘Yonah’ by accident.

        An easy mistake to make, given the verbosity and sheer head scratching incoherence of his – lengthy – post.

        Oh, and he’s OBSESSED with BDS, which is great. Probably has nightmares about it.

  22. Mooser
    March 12, 2015, 6:22 pm

    “The Jews came to the poverty stricken, malaria infesthed shithole that was Palestine,”

    Sort of like this?

    Besides, “JeffyB” if the places the Zionists came from where so much better, why were they so hot to leave?

    revive the glory that was Judea…”

    the Herodeans

    OK that’s it, this is an assault with a deadly dull weapon.

    There you go again, trying to slip me an overdose of the best medicine! Cut it out! Guess you must be a big fan of ‘sandal operas’, huh, “JeffyB”?

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius
      March 12, 2015, 6:28 pm

      All those dumb rag heads….. living in an environment for centuries and yet had no clue how to make it anything but a ‘shithole’, till those clever folks from Ukraine and Poland, obviously experts in managing desert climates, put things to rights.

      A bit like how none of those dullards in the region knew how to deep fry a chickpea until someone came from Lvov and kindly gave them the recipe for that well known Jewish delicacy, felafel.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 6:40 pm

        And I thought “great countries” knew where their borders are. Why doesn’t “JeffyB” benefit from living in a country with well-defined borders, at peace with its neighbors, or does “JeffyB” patrol the Northridge Hills every night until dawn, ready to repel foreign settlers?

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius
        March 12, 2015, 6:47 pm

        Not just a great country.

        OBJECTIVELY a great country.

        I mean, it’s so obvious that everyone is in awe of a country which lives off foreign hand outs, bombs its neighbours every few months and couldn’t survive a single day without stuffing a jackboot in the face of an occupied people.

        Why can’t you see that, Mooser? Everyone else can. Especially jeffie b. That’s why he made ‘aliyah’ as soon as he could, just to partake in all this gloriousness. Oh, wait….

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 9:44 pm

        “Why can’t you see that, Mooser?”

        I’ll be damned if I let anybody boss me around or abuse me because I’m Jewish.

      • Mooser
        March 13, 2015, 12:34 am

        Oh gosh, I’m sorry, MDM, what I meant was, that was my first objection, “Why I can’t see that” All I ever saw, the first thing I saw, was that the Zionists felt that my being Jewish gives them the right to boss me and push me around. And my family couldn’t afford the other kind of Zionism.

  23. JeffB
    March 12, 2015, 8:54 pm

    @Donald

    I’d agree with a lot of that, in praise of Israel, but it is absurd to praise them for their values when the entire state is based on ethnic cleansing and they are still practicing a form of apartheid.

    That’s exactly the sort of problem with your comments below. Their entirety of Israel or Israel’s values is not the Palestinians. For example Israelis have terrific family values the divorce rate among Israeli couples is about 1/2 the rate in the USA. They have terrific community values. I’ve lived in communities where everyone sees everyone as transient. Israelis really care for their neighbors. They have a very low Jew on Jew murder rate even compared most western countries and their crime rate is well below most western countries.

    Israel is not all about Palestinians.

    Again, you know this and you know the answer to your whataboutery. You’re trying to distract attention from what Israel does to the Palestinians

    No I’m asking you to have a sane balanced view. . Many societies have problems we don’t destroy them over those problems. Belarus has horrific alcoholism problem. I don’t want to end Belarus over that. israel like any country has thousands of aspects. On human rights it is better than average while being worse lately than most western countries. That’s it.

    I think the generation coming up is likely to be a lot more violent than their parents when it comes to the Palestinians and the denormalization game Palestinians are playing is dangerous for people worried about the human rights. I think Netanyahu is lousy on the Palestinian issue in that he is jerk to them but isn’t willing to make any dramatic moves to resolve the problems. I think Bennett would be far better in that he has the credibility to be generous. I also think that a hard left Hadash / Khenin government could be better if they had 10x the number of votes they do.

    . It’d be like saying there was nothing wrong with late 18th century Virginia because look at all the great men they produced.

    18th century Virginia was worse than Israel. Israel is not running a massive Palestinian farm to ship hundreds of thousands to die in whatever the the 21st century equivalent of the West would be. That being said, one can value Virginia while still deploring slavery. Slavery was an aspect of Virginia, slavery doesn’t exist today but Virginia still does.

    • Mooser
      March 12, 2015, 9:46 pm

      JeffyB, look at it this way: Everything is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds. Anybody can see that.

      • Mooser
        March 12, 2015, 10:27 pm

        “No I’m asking you to have a sane balanced view.”

        Oh please, “JeffyB” who do you think you are kidding. You are asking us to pay for it to the tune of billions, and a lot more besides.

        You think Israel is in the process of “normalization”? Good, let them pay for it.

    • oldgeezer
      March 12, 2015, 11:53 pm

      Israel may have some positive aspects but none of them redeem the nation for the half century of violations of international law, international humanitarian law, continuing theft of land and the many thousands of women and children not just murdered but massacred by it’s thuggish terrorist forces.

      That’s all the balance you deserve and get jeffie.

      We don’t talk about Hussein, Assad or even Putin in balanced terms. Nor Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia.

      You are defined by the pure evil of what you do. There is no redeeming that level of vile activities.

      ” I think Netanyahu is lousy on the Palestinian issue in that he is jerk to them ”

      is that an attempt for balance on your part? Tell it to the families of babies murdered. Ooops can’t. You murdered entire familes.

      “18th century Virginia was worse than Israel. ”

      Whoopie. It’s the 21st. Time to consign murderous, racist zionists to the dustbin of history. Frankly I think the dustbin has sufficient cause to object to being fouled.

      And Bennett? He was unhappy with the level of war crimes being committed. He will take the level of war crimes to new heights if elected. Scum of the earth and quite looney as well.

    • Donald
      March 13, 2015, 9:50 am

      Your last paragraph is very much to the point, unlike most of the rest. Virginia exists today, and without slavery. A lot of Virginians in 1861 were opposed to that– we don’t look kindly on them now and that is even with allowances for the time in which they lived.

      And divorce rates? I wonder if you realize how ridiculous you sound. You don’t seem to get this, but I don’t think Israel’s apartheid (which the U.S. supports in practice) means that everything about Israel is bad, but the fact that there are good things about the country doesn’t mean that we should pretend their crimes are tiny and that we should support them.

      I await another 1000 word essay about, say, how Israelis pamper their pets. I have a soft spot for that kind of thing, so you might want to try that next.

      • CigarGod
        March 13, 2015, 10:14 am

        Blondi was by all reports well treated by her owner…and she bore a litter of 5 happy, bouncing little pups. Thus, one can say her owner was mostly saintly…in all other regards.

      • Donald
        March 13, 2015, 11:14 am

        I’m hoping for cute cat YouTube videos.

        Several years ago someone here linked to an Israeli satirical TV show with a class of adorable four year old Israeli children dutifully repeating all the standard Israeli propaganda, sometimes with a bit of a twist. (I forget why, but somehow Norwegian salmon were anti-Semitic.) It was great and if I thought it necessary to point out that Israel has virtues, I’d point to that show as an example. it doesn’t cancel out war crimes and apartheid.

      • JeffB
        March 13, 2015, 11:18 am

        @Donald

        Your group supports the destruction of Israel not its reform. You skipped that part. I think you should consider that example a bit more and stop worrying about what people do or do not looking kindly upon. Virginia was destroyed in a horrific war, the people who supported the old system were mostly impoverished or dead by 1865. An alliance of freedman, carpetbaggers and scalawags supported by the radical republicans in the north came in with dreams of forever changing the society. Within 3 years there was an active terrorist movement (the first klan) which escalated and then required a military intervention to put down. While that intervention initially worked popular resistance grew and the reformist government of Virginia didn’t last a decade. Liberal colonialism is just as subject to popular resistance as the economic form.

        I don’t think Virginia is a good analogy for Israel but if you want to use it as an analogy I don’t see how the history of Virginia helps your case.

      • Donald
        March 13, 2015, 1:47 pm

        Sounds like you still believe the “Gone With the Wind”/”Birth of a Nation” version of what caused white racism during Reconstruction. It was all that carpetbagger corruption and rule by ignorant freemen–otherwise the South would have quickly become an interracial paradise. That was the view adopted by white America for nearly a century because it made reconciliation between white Northerners (who were also racist) and white Southerners easier. Okay, maybe you don’t think that, but the analogy works against a defense of Israel.

        In fact whites in the South had no intention of allowing blacks to have equal rights. If you are making a direct analogy between their attitudes and those of Israeli Jews, I don’t disagree. People usually have great trouble seeing the injustice of a system that benefits them. And yes, this would make a 1ss wth equal rights for all very difficult to achieve.

    • eljay
      March 13, 2015, 12:16 pm

      || JeffBeee: … one can value Virginia while still deploring slavery. Slavery was an aspect of Virginia, slavery doesn’t exist today but Virginia still does. ||

      Exactly. One can value Israel while deploring its intransigence, belligerence, occupation, colonialism, expansionism, oppression, torture, murder and “Jewish State” supremacism.

      All of these things are aspects – ugly, unjust and immoral aspects – of Israel. They do not have to exist for Israel to exist.

      • JeffB
        March 13, 2015, 2:45 pm

        @Eljay

        All of these things are aspects – ugly, unjust and immoral aspects – of Israel. They do not have to exist for Israel to exist.

        Of course not. There are plenty of ways to reform Israel to reduce the ugly aspects. The Israeli government is not perfect in its behaviors. There is a very wide spread between a less than perfect government and a society that needs to be annihilated. Every society has an impoerfect government not every society needs to be killed. Israel has a democracy and a track record of making compromises and demands so as to successfully integrating multiple ethnic groups into its nation. That includes the Israeli Arabs.

        The things you object to need to be worked through in a careful way for the merger to be successful. Having millions of people who hate Israel and who want to destroy the country in would require much greater levels of violence and immorality for Israel to continue to exist. Your solution is terrible. Your statement of the problem is partially correct.

        The on top of that you want a secular western democracy for a bunch of people about 80% of whom aren’t western and don’t want a western style democracy. Which further drives you from having a realistic solution.

        As an aside on the Rasmea Odeh thread you are asserting she wasn’t tried on the issue of lying on an immigration form. She was tried and that she lied was not a disputed fact at trial. She argued that the lie was the result of PTSD which the judge rejected. So she has been convicted.

      • eljay
        March 13, 2015, 6:29 pm

        || JeffBeee: … The Israeli government is not perfect in its behaviors. There is a very wide spread between a less than perfect government and a society that needs to be annihilated. … ||

        The Israeli government has been purposely criminal in its behaviour for almost 70 years, and it shows no intention of changing. Meanwhile, Palestinian society continues to be annihilated. This needs to stop.

        || As an aside on the Rasmea Odeh thread you are asserting she wasn’t tried on the issue of lying on an immigration form. ||

        Speaking of lying, you’re at it again. Nowhere did I say that Ms. Odeh was not tried on the issue of lying on an immigration form. What I did say is this: “She may indeed have lied. And if a court of law can prove it, she should be held accountable.”

    • justicewillprevail
      March 13, 2015, 12:34 pm

      Belarus, Burma. Virginia – yep, Jeffy will scour the globe and history just to prove to us how Israel is totally normal – slavery? pah, a historical blip. Genocide? a mere detail, lots of countries do it. ethnic cleansing? Yawn, everyone is at it, why it’s just as widespread and as unremarkable as alcoholism. Nothing to see here, move on.
      Jeffy is apparently keen to take on Terry Pratchett’s or Tolkein’s mantle as fantasy writer extraordinaire. A parallel universe where Israel is a normal, democratic country at peace with its neighbours and awards its citizens equal rights regardless of artificial bureaucratic categories of ‘ethnicity’ or religion. A country which hasn’t corrupted the democratic process in the US, or lobbied for US young men to go to a pointless war on their behalf.
      My, my, didn’t Judy Garland have a song about it? At least she is lyrical about it, unlike the tortuous prolix prose which is fly-tipped in industrial quantities on to the comments threads by Jeffy.

      • Philemon
        March 19, 2015, 9:57 pm

        Well, I do remember a joke about how “Onward Christian Soldiers” should have been the “Israeli National Anthem.” Hey, I didn’t make it up! And it was not a joke any Gentile would have made at the time.

    • talknic
      March 13, 2015, 2:28 pm

      JeffB March 12, 2015, 8:54 pm

      Wonderful. Now, about Israel illegally acquiring, illegally annexing, illegally settling in non-Israeli territory and illegally dispossessing non-Jews along the way …

    • talknic
      March 21, 2015, 12:54 pm

      @ JeffB “18th century Virginia was worse than Israel. Israel is not running a massive Palestinian farm to ship hundreds of thousands to die in whatever the the 21st century equivalent of the West would be. That being said, one can value Virginia while still deploring slavery. Slavery was an aspect of Virginia, slavery doesn’t exist today but Virginia still does”

      was worse” are the operative words JeffB. Israel is still occupying, illegally annexing and illegally settling non-Israeli territory and dispossessing its rightful inhabitants.

  24. a blah chick
    March 13, 2015, 11:28 am

    Donald, I believe that the satirical video you mentioned was done by Eretz Nehederet. It is hilarious. My favorite part was when one of kids says something about the Arabs and the teacher gently suggests the proper term is “demographic threat.” Some people there do indeed get it.

  25. Mooser
    March 13, 2015, 12:01 pm

    ” (I forget why, but somehow Norwegian salmon were anti-Semitic.) –

    Smoked salmon is anti-Semitic? In that case it’s razor, rope or revolver for me, goodbye cruel world! Lox Vobiscum, my son.

    • justicewillprevail
      March 13, 2015, 12:42 pm

      They’re Norwegian, don’t you know? That instantly qualifies them – Scandinavian free thinkers, and European to boot, how could they not be? Now, your North Atlantic salmon – they can be easily moved, as King Bibi himself boasted. Soon they will be settling in the West Bank with their own NA salmon-only rivers to navigate by. Other fish will be subject to delays at checkpoints, and may have to spawn by the side of the river.

      • Mooser
        March 13, 2015, 7:38 pm

        In that case, I’ll eat herring. Creamed or pickled.

      • justicewillprevail
        March 13, 2015, 8:31 pm

        Not Norwegian herring, though

    • piotr
      March 15, 2015, 4:26 pm

      Besides salmon, Norway also produces outrageous figurines of Hasbara Trolls with ugly but recognizably Semitic features (dark hair and skin, very exaggerate proboscis).
      http://woondu.com/troll-norwegian-symbol-from-fairy-tales/

      • RoHa
        March 16, 2015, 5:03 am

        Trolls are Jewish? I lived in Sweden and Denmark for several years and never realised that. It gives a new slant to the stories.

        (The ferocious, red faced, long nosed, blue eyed tengu goblins of Japan are obviously Vikings or Scotsmen who somehow wandered over there.)

  26. piotr
    March 13, 2015, 1:06 pm

    “As Alex Kane reported here at Mondoweiss, Kredo turned to Kenneth Marcus, the founder of the right-wing Brandeis Center driving the campaign to defund Middle East Studies departments across the country, to link the slicing of a pineapple to neo-Nazism. According to Marcus, the anti-Semitic French comedian Dieudonne “had associated the pineapple with Zionists and Holocaust denial.” Marcus went on to speculate that “the pineapple may be the closest one can get in a Michigan grocery store to a Sabra,” a fruit historically associated with early Israeli settler-colonists.”

    I really felt uneasy after reading it. You see, lately I am slicing Sabras every day, because they had a good sale on persimmons in a local Korean store and I got a box. And these persimmons are Israeli persimmons called “Sabra” — indeed, missing from the supermarkets here. So, number one, I lapsed in boycotting Israeli goods (I do it only with very good discounts, but…) Number two, my fruit salad preparation gets sinister explanation, rather than slicing a fruit reputed to repel the tigers I am slicing symbolic equivalents of Israeli settlers.

    • Mooser
      March 13, 2015, 4:01 pm

      Anti-Zionist metaphorical anthropophagy!
      Hophmi will be all over that.

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