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A response to Michael Douglas

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Michael Douglas, in his op-ed piece in last Sunday’s LA Times, “Finding Judaism, facing anti-Semitism”, tells a compelling story about his young son encountering an anti-Semite at a hotel pool in southern Europe who shouted insults at him because he was wearing a Star of David. While everyone can agree it’s important to stand up against anti-Semitism, it’s also important to reject false claims of anti-Semitism used as an ad hominem sword to protect Israel and the actions of its government from criticism.  Where real anti-Semitism is present, as in the despicable incident involving Michael’s young son, it needs to be named and shamed and hopefully soon eradicated.   Where it’s not, where it’s used as a tactic to protect Israel from valid criticism, we need to reject it and avoid the slippery slope that reduces claims of anti-Semitism to little more than political theatre.

Douglas goes down that slippery slope when he says,

A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel.  Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national policy decisions.

First, it’s not anti-Semitic to criticize Israel and its government for its policies or actions any more than it’s anti-Russian to criticize Putin’s government for its interference in the Ukraine.  Criticism of Israel doesn’t necessarily indicate an anti-Semitic motive or hatred of all Jews.  Certainly, some who criticize Israel are anti-Semites (David Duke comes to mind), but again, that doesn’t mean all criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism.  

Israel can’t be held immune to criticism simply because it is Israel and most of its citizens are Jewish.  Tarring all who criticize Israel with the anti-Semitic brush is its own form of bigotry, and placing any individual or country above criticism sets a dangerous precedent.

Second, Douglas says too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame all Jews for what are really internal national policy decisions.  It’s true the charge of apartheid within Israel’s pre-1967 borders is debatable since all Israeli citizens, both Jews and Palestinians, have civil rights, including the right to vote.  However, there are some 50 laws in Israel that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel in favor of Jews. 

The undeniable problem lies in Greater Israel, specifically in the Palestinian territories Israel captured and occupied in 1967.  There the apartheid charge has a great deal of validity.  In the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, there are 4.5 million Palestinian Arabs who have lived under Israeli military control and occupation without civil rights or the right to vote for almost half a century. At most these Palestinians have very limited voting rights within the truncated areas of the occupied territories.  They vote for local leaders who have virtually no control over Israel’s hegemony in the occupied territories.  They live under a harsh military occupation and have no say whatsoever in the national policy or leadership of the Greater Israel that totally controls their borders, their travel, their natural resources, in short, their entire lives.  Self-rule and voting rights for the Palestinians of the occupied territories  is little different than that of the Bantustans of apartheid South Africa.

Michael Douglas visits the City of David in occupied East Jerusalem in June, 2014.

In 2012, Stephen Robert, the former chancellor of Brown University and a Jewish-American and major life-long supporter of Israel, concluded, after a humanitarian aid trip to East Jerusalem and the West Bank, that “… Israel has created a system of apartheid on steroids.”  Depriving 4.5 million people of their most basic civil rights for half a century based on their ethnicity certainly looks like apartheid.  Moreover, under those circumstances, Palestinian resistance and hatred of Israel seems understandable. 

Third, Douglas criticizes those who label Israel’s actions as apartheid for interfering in what he sees as merely Israel’s “internal national policy decisions”.  In other words, whatever the Israeli government decides is above criticism because it’s really just making decisions involving internal matters of national policy.   Douglas is on shaky ground here.  Would he apply that standard to those who criticized the internal national policy decisions of the Rwandan government during the genocide of the Tutsi, of the Khmer Rouge government in Cambodia, or of the South African apartheid regime?

No country, including Israel can be held immune from valid criticism.  Douglas would do well to think about one looming fact: In this week’s election in Israel, the so-called “only democracy in the Middle East”, 35 percent of the population of Greater Israel, the non-Jewish population of the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, weren’t allowed to vote even though they’ve been under Israel control and occupation for nearly half a century. That’s 4.5 million people who have been waiting to for their freedom and basic human civil rights for now 48 years. They live, unfortunately, in what most Israelis see as Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem, the Eretz Yisrael of their Old Testament dreams.  Does Douglas really believe a 2000 year old claim based on the Old Testament should be allowed to trump the basic human rights of 4.5 million indigenous Palestinians?

Douglas and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, should be admired for having given back by being leaders in a wide variety of worthwhile progressive causes.  As a Jew, he should be concerned about stopping the scourge of anti-Semitism, as should we all, but as a Jewish progressive he should also be concerned about the current direction of Zionism, particularly the Zionism practiced by the hard-right Likud party and its now reelected leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.  The question he should ask is whether Israeli Zionism, as practiced today, is consistent with Jewish values, and American values. 

I would hope that Douglas would avoid the trap of equating Zionism with Judaism.  Zionism is a very modern and recent offshoot of Judaism, one of the world’s oldest and most noble religions.   Whether this offshoot, in its present form, is consistent with the values and precepts of Judaism is a question for Douglas to answer.  I would hope he would follow the example of Brown University Chancellor Stephen Robert and take his wife and son on an investigative journey to the occupied Palestinian territories, and then come to his own conclusions and give us a 2015 update.

About Gil Maguire

Gil Maguire is a retired civil rights attorney and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He lives in Oxnard. His blog, Irish Moses, is named in honor of his father, Robert F. Maguire, who was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in 2004 for “his heroic efforts that helped to rescue tens of thousands of Jews” during 1948-49 after the founding of the State of Israel.

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163 Responses

  1. just
    March 20, 2015, 11:36 am

    Thanks for taking this on, Gil. I read the op-ed earlier this week with dismay.

    Well dissected in toto.

    Your last paragraph is one for all people to ponder:

    “I would hope that Douglas would avoid the trap of equating Zionism with Judaism. Zionism is a very modern and recent offshoot of Judaism, one of the world’s oldest and most noble religions. Whether this offshoot, in its present form, is consistent with the values and precepts of Judaism is a question for Douglas to answer. I would hope he would follow the example of Brown University Chancellor Stephen Roberts’ and take his wife and son on an investigative journey to the occupied Palestinian territories, and then come to his own conclusions and give us a 2015 update.”

    One can hear from many travelers to the OPT that unless you see it/feel it/ visit it, you’d never believe it. Gideon Levy and others have said that very few Israelis even know a Palestinian, much less visit the OPT.

    Michael Douglas and his son should visit.

    (It’s so lovely that you honor your honorable father by following in his footsteps in your own way)

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 1:14 pm

      Hell, I’d like to visit – both sides of the wall. I just haven’t figured out how yet and I suspect I could be refused admittance and sent back home on the next day’s plane.

      I’d like to hear how others on MW manage to visit and see both sides of the Great Wall of Palestine.

      http://www.irishmoses.com

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 1:27 pm

        I visited both in what seems a lifetime ago, before the “great wall”. I would love to go to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gaza and the rest of Occupied Palestine. I would go via Jordan…

        I’ll give TA, etc. a miss for now.

      • Pippilin
        March 20, 2015, 3:18 pm

        I travelled to the West Bank in 2011 with a group called Global Exchange. There were 3 of us and a guide. Excellent experience.

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 1:43 pm

      My father was pretty disillusioned with Israel in his last years. He felt Israel had taken advantage of the US and was hurting US interests in the Middle East. Here’s a link that discusses him at greater length:

      https://savingisrael.wordpress.com/an-irish-

      http://irishmoses.com

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 1:57 pm

        “As the youngest son of the Irish Moses, I hope my blog and writings can contribute to the re-creation of a promised land for the Palestinians who have been exiled and prevented by Israeli Jews, for the past 63 years, from returning to a homeland of their own, as promised to them by the United Nations in 1947.

        Palestine is the Promised Land for Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. It is time that Promise is fulfilled for the Palestinians who, like the Jews, are deserving of their own Moses, be he or she Irish or other.”

        That is as good as it gets, Gil. I really appreciate you sharing this, and for your articles.

        Sadly, it is not uncommon for people to have become disillusioned and disappointed. I know people that worked for the Resistance (and their children), and some who fought in WWII to liberate the persecuted and survivors of the Holocaust~ all of them~ who are/were truly shaken and dismayed, too

        Some have died in profound disappointment.

    • Pippilin
      March 20, 2015, 2:35 pm

      I agree entirely that one cannot comprehend the situation in Israel/Palestine until one has been there.

      A lifelong supporter of Israel, I began to question that support in the 1980s when the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon were attacked with the encouragement of Ariel Sharon. That questioning then ceased for nearly 20 years when in 2005 I learned of Rachel Corrie’s death and the failure of both Israel and the US to say much about it. At the age of 64, my interest in the I/P situation was finally piqued. I read as much as I could (thanks to the Internet, not to the MSM).
      I couldn’t decide where the truth lay. Come April 2009, I stumbled across a Code Pink invitation to visit Gaza; it was time for me to learn the difference between hasbara and truth.
      I went to Gaza on a UNRWA-sponsored tour, along with about 70 others, including Medea Benjamin, Norman Finkelstein, Monia Mazigh, and Ann Wright.
      The visit changed my mind and my life within 2 days of being in Gaza (Operation Cast Lead, Dec-Feb 2008/2009, had occurred just 4 months prior) and the destruction was
      huge and visible. I heard Israeli gunboats taking potshots at Gaza fishermen. I met many residents of Gaza: kind, exceptionally hospitable, no obvious self-pity or bitterness, very well-educated, and the women in particular, very hard-working. In 2011 I built upon the Gaza experience by visiting the West Bank for almost 2 weeks. I believe in Palestine with all of my heart.
      Perhaps you need to go there to feel that.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 2:43 pm

        {{{{{Pippilin}}}}}

        Thank you for sharing that.

        If one cannot go, one should definitely meet and cultivate friendships with Palestinians…

        It’s not the same as immersing oneself in the land and among the people, but you’ll get the essence of Sumud nevertheless. Reading the many stories and encounters here at Mondoweiss never hurts, either. ;-)

      • bintbiba
        March 20, 2015, 4:10 pm

        So many thank you’ s Pippilin !
        You have spent a very meaningful journey of discovery within yourself involving the story of the Palestinians.

      • Dutch
        March 20, 2015, 7:56 pm

        Thanks, Pippilin.

    • Avalon
      August 27, 2015, 4:51 am

      Yes, nicely written and an elegant argument.

      The old chestnut that posits the view that Israel sees everything through the prism of the Holocaust might have some validity… but it’s getting to be a pretty wizened old chestnut.

      And in any case, particularly in relation to the Palestinian people, the dream-coat of colours that bounces through the prism depends upon which side of the wall you happen to be standing.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2015, 11:07 am

        hi avalon. welcome and thanks for commenting. i was just curious how you ran across this post from last march. i ask because in the last couple days it’s gotten thousands of hits and i wonder where they are coming from. thanks!

      • irishmoses
        August 27, 2015, 11:30 am

        Thanks Avalon.

        I’d forgotten all about this piece. As its author, I too would like to know where the “thousands of hits in the last few days” are coming from.

      • Avalon
        August 27, 2015, 10:14 pm

        Howdy Annie and irishmoses,

        it’s a pleasure.

        The link was posted on the Facebook of a friend of mine, Miranda Fontaine and I just happened to be strolling past.

        A flaneur in hyperspace with a curious mind.

        Cheers,

        Peter (Avalon)

  2. pabelmont
    March 20, 2015, 11:50 am

    “Second, Douglas says too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame all Jews for what are really internal national policy decisions.”

    Well, as to seeing Israel as an apartheid state, true. How, by the way, does Douglas see it?

    As to blaming all Jews for what Israel does, that’s trickier: not all Jews support Israel’s policies and practices. There are Jews who condemn the settlements and yet profess to love and honor and protect Israel. There are Jews who say Israel can do no wrong and others who say Israel can do wrong but cannot be blamed or punished for doing so.

    However, broadly speaking, Jews in the USA have made it appear (or permitted it to appear) that they support Israel and regard criticism of Israel (to say nothing of action against Israel) as antisemitic. And,l broadly speaking, it is these actions (or failures to act) which make it appear to many people that “all Jews” are guilty of whatever crimes Israel commits. Especially as Israel claims — sometimes with help from outside — that it is the national state of the Jewish people.

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 12:50 pm

      Not to mention its leader claims to represent all the world’s Jews.

      The problem with “blaming the Jews” is that it’s an all Jews claim which fails to take into account the millions of Jews who are unaware, or are confused, or are bored by the topic, or don’t want to get involved, or are critics of Israel. It’s the unqualified generalization that makes it anti-Semitic. Ironically, Douglas makes the same mistake, only in reverse.

  3. seafoid
    March 20, 2015, 12:00 pm

    Douglas and his basic instinct to defend the indefensible

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103772/quotes

    Catherine: Killing isn’t like smoking. You can stop.

    Except Israel can’t.

    Nick: What’s your new book about?
    Catherine: A Ziobot . He falls for the wrong ideologue.
    Nick: What happens to him?
    Catherine: She kills him.

    Gus: Everyone she plays with dies.
    Nick and the people of Gaza : I know what that’s like.

    • just
      March 20, 2015, 12:01 pm

      excellent, seafoid.

      Brings to mind “The War of the Roses”…and “Falling Down”, too.

      (yeah, I know it’s Hollywood and fiction, but the films were made for a reason, and Michael Douglas is a very prolific and gifted actor)

    • ckg
      March 20, 2015, 2:42 pm

      One of his most famous movie lines is, “That’s the one thing you have to remember about WASPs: They love animals and hate people.”

      • lysias
        March 20, 2015, 3:58 pm

        Gordon Gecko was originally supposed to be Jewish, but that line was about all that was left in the movie as it was made. That, and his saying he was a City College graduate.

        Wall Street does also have a decent Jew in it. The Hal Holbrook character, who was based on Oliver Stone’s father.

  4. lysias
    March 20, 2015, 12:03 pm

    The Star of David, in addition to being a symbol of Judaism, is also an official symbol of the State of Israel. Do we know for a fact that it was not because of the star’s second role that abuse was shouted at Douglas’s son?

    • just
      March 20, 2015, 12:12 pm

      Nope.

    • Kay24
      March 20, 2015, 12:39 pm

      Shutting down criticism of Israel would be hard, but they have come up with the brilliant plan of equating anti-semitism with that criticism. There is anti-semitism in many instances, but it has nothing to do with Israel as a nation. The fact that Netanyahu keeps insisting Israel be recognized as a Jewish state also helps them accuse those who criticize Israel’s many war crimes, and crimes against humanity, as anti-semitic. This is the only way they can make those who condemn these crimes be silent.

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 12:59 pm

      If it looks like a schmuck, and walks and talks like a schmuck, the only reasonable conclusion is that the guy is an antisemitic schmuck. I could come up with half a dozen alternative motives (he wasn’t wearing a swimming cap, he was running by the pool, he splashed the guy, etc.), but on its face it looks pretty clear cut. I’ll take Douglas at his word.

      • Dutch
        March 20, 2015, 8:37 pm

        @ irishmoses

        I don’t agree.

        For most people the Star of David symbolizes Israel, its occupation army, and its brutal behavior vis-a-vis the Palestinians – it’s the national symbol of the Gaza Killers. I can imagine that people get upset of others flashing such symbols.

        The fact that the antisemitism frame comes from a guy that sees no problem in visiting the City of David – showcase of ethnic cleansing – is telling.

      • irishmoses
        March 20, 2015, 9:04 pm

        Well, while I take your point, my inclination is to take Douglas’s version at face value until he proves otherwise unreliable. The fact that the victim was a pretty young kid adds support for my feelings about this. You got a problem with a young adolescent wearing a Star of David around his neck, you take it up with the parent not the kid. You pick on someone your own size.

        Douglas says he later had words with the perpetrator. If it was my kid, I would have had a lot more than words for that jerk. But then again, I’m Irish (American version).

        In any case, Douglas’s article strikes me as basically honest but misinformed, maybe because he is a newfound Jew unfamiliar with and unexposed to the different narratives. Because he and his wife have a pretty good record of supporting worthwhile progressive causes, I’ll give him a free pass on this one.

        My hope is that he will take a second look at the issue and maybe come around to the righteous side of this. Ah, but I’m such a sappy cockeyed optimist (more of the Irish).

        Speaking of Ireland and Irish, I hear air fares are cheap and the Euro is falling. I’m thinking of taking some time off this summer to go exercise my unlimited right of return to my ancient Irish homeland. I need some peace and quiet to write my shitty fiction and I gotta get away from CNN and all the other mindless tendencies of my nominal country. Somewhere where you can sit in a pub, have a pint or two, and some pleasant, half intelligent conversation. I’d probably rent a condo or apartment. Where would be a good place to go for this? Dublin, Cork? I love to sail so maybe a coastal town? All suggestions appreciated.

      • lysias
        March 20, 2015, 10:01 pm

        My mother’s home town of Dingle, County Kerry is a lovely place to go sailing from. But, at the wrong time of year, you could be faced with a dangerous storm. One of my cousins, who went out fishing from there, drowned in a storm. Riders From the Sea, 70 years later.

      • irishmoses
        March 20, 2015, 10:21 pm

        Dutch,
        That’s quite a link you provided at your last comment below. It’s far more than just the picture. It’s a review of a 2014 book about Palestinian-Jewish history in Palestine, Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron by Menachem Klein. I just ordered the Kindle version ($9.99). It talks about how close the Misrahi Jews were to the Palestinian Arabs. Klein has his own interesting history. Thanks for the tip!
        Irish Moses
        http://www.irishmoses.com

      • irishmoses
        March 20, 2015, 10:43 pm

        Lysias,
        Your comment re Dingle (below). Looks like a great place. Almost land-locked bay and really to the south-east of Ireland. I’d think warmer, good weather there. That right?

        Are you Irish?

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 7:42 am

        Thanks, Dutch.

        It’s a good piece about Menachem Klein’s important book “Lives in Common”. That’s true to what I know from others… before the catastrophe.

        I also appreciate that Ian Black explained that:

        “Lives in Common is a work of deeply humane scholarship. It has been criticised by some as an expression of nostalgia for an irretrievable past or wishful thinking about an unattainable future. Yet Klein is neither a hopeless romantic or an ivory tower academic. He helped draw up the Geneva initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace and, when Israel and the PLO were still negotiating, acted as an adviser to the Palestinian side – a remarkable example of open-minded commitment to a common good.”

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/on-the-middle-east/2015/mar/20/intertwined-histories-in-palestine-and-israel

      • Bumblebye
        March 21, 2015, 8:33 am

        Another bit of news re the Guardian – new ed won’t be Freedland!

        It’s to be Katharine Viner who co-wrote “My Name is Rachel Corrie”.

        http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/mar/20/guardian-appoints-katharine-viner-new-editor-in-chief

      • Bornajoo
        March 21, 2015, 9:06 am

        That’s great news Bumblebye. Thankfully they didn’t choose the horrid zionist Freedland! I hope she reigns him in. Maybe the guardian will regain some credibility

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 8:46 am

        It’s such great news, isn’t it Bumblebye?

        Hurrah for Katherine Viner!

        From your link: She is “the first woman to run the newspaper in its 194-year history.”

      • gamal
        March 21, 2015, 1:35 pm

        “Where would be a good place to go for this? Dublin, Cork? I love to sail so maybe a coastal town? All suggestions appreciated.”

        oh now you are just teasing, Cork of course West Cork, Glandore is full of sails, Castletownsend, Clonalkilty, Roscarbery, Glengariff, the real Baltimore invaded by white slaving Barbary Pirates
        http://www.baltimore.ie/heritage-history/the-sack-of-baltimore-1631.html

        be careful not to drink too little.

        http://www.glandorevillage.ie/Glandore-Village.html

        They say the ring of Kerry is nice but its not in Cork, so best avoided, the Beara Peninsular will have to do.

        There is Schull, of the infamous murder case, still on going after all these years.

        http://www.schull.ie/category/what-to-do/

        Looks like Ireland will win the the six nations, if England continue to allow France to slap them around, England need to win by 26 points but are now 7-15 behind, in the Rebel County joy is unconfined.

        So when are you coming, we cant wait and presume you will be doing the intelligent half of the conversation.

        http://www.anamcararetreat.com/

      • irishmoses
        March 21, 2015, 5:48 pm

        Gamal,

        Thanks for the wonderful links you provided about visiting West Cork. My wife and I are poring over the websites as I write this. We’re going there.

        I had to scratch my head about your “Six Nations” sporting reference. I couldn’t figure out the sport. The scores seemed way too high for soccer (football) and way to low for cricket. I googled and found it was rugby. http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/rugby-union/32004426

        My heartiest congratulations on Ireland’s victory. Sounds like an exciting and historical day.

      • gamal
        March 21, 2015, 9:35 pm

        Have a great trip man, Ireland is full of surprises

        https://youtu.be/5h2ioOwVus4

      • lysias
        March 23, 2015, 2:23 pm

        Fuchsia grows wild in Kerry, because of the relatively temperate climate (Gulf Stream).

  5. Giles
    March 20, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Michael Douglas is an entitled and privileged son of the ruling class and has been since birth. It speaks to the insanity of the Zionist culture that he views himself as a victim of society.

    • Keith
      March 20, 2015, 3:28 pm

      GILES- “It speaks to the insanity of the Zionist culture that he views himself as a victim of society.”

      Ah, but there is a method to the madness. No need to justify your power and privilege, nor feel pangs of guilt when you can claim victimhood and expect sympathy from the 99%! As for this unseemly, ongoing over-emphasis on negligible anti-Semitism, Norman Finkelstein had this response. In replying to a question about “What are your views on the state of Jews in Europe? Are they safe, and what do you think the future holds in store for them?” Norman replied: “In the face of so much ineffable suffering in the world today, I couldn’t care less about the “state of Jews in Europe”. Would any of these “suffering” Jews want to change places with a refugee from Gaza, or Africa or Syria or Afghanistan or Iraq? Enough with this solipsistic navel-gazing!”
      http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/03/18/norman-finkelstein-ama-highlight/

      • irishmoses
        March 20, 2015, 4:32 pm

        Norman is a treasure and a victim of this ghastly mess. Would that things turn around for this heroic figure, and that he finally receive the recognition and success he deserves.
        http://www.irishmoses.com/

      • Bornajoo
        March 20, 2015, 4:34 pm

        “Norman is a treasure and a victim of this ghastly mess. Would that things turn around for this heroic figure, and that he finally receives the recognition and success he deserves.”

        Could not agree more!

      • Bornajoo
        March 20, 2015, 8:21 pm

        “Norman is a treasure and a victim of this ghastly mess. Would that things turn around for this heroic figure, and that he finally receives the recognition and success he deserves.”

        Just saw Norman finkelstein on Russia today on Crosstalk with the horrid Gil Hoffman from the Jerusalem post. NF was superb as usual in dealing with a zionist hasbara robot spewing out gallons of the usual Zio-poop (great word Talknic). That despicable Hoffman idiot also repeatedly said that Netanyahu DID NOT renounce the 2 state solution. Yes that’s right. As NF pointed out, the whole world except Netanyahu and his supporters are suffering from a mass delusion. He never said it. You can’t make these people up. Unreal

      • Citizen
        March 21, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Imagine how fearful Mike Douglas is in his very expensive walled-in community home with private security attendant. Those Palestinians, they are so Chicken LIttle.

    • Citizen
      March 21, 2015, 2:14 pm

      Amen

  6. eljay
    March 20, 2015, 12:32 pm

    Mr. Douglas is clearly not aware of JeffBeee’s assertion that all Jews are responsible for the actions of some Jews. (This assertion has received the tacit approval of all but one of the Zio-supremacists who frequent this site.)

    Also, I’m puzzled by Mr. Douglas’ conflation of Jewish with (only) religion when we’re regularly told that Jewish:
    – is not a religion (that would be Judaism); and
    – is not just a religion, but also a tribe, an ethnicity, a culture, a people, a nation and a civilization.

    That said, I agree with the overall message of Mr. Douglas’ op-ed article.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2015, 3:01 pm

      “– is not just a religion, but also a tribe, an ethnicity, a culture, a people, a nation and a civilization.”

      Aren’t you forgetting something? Two things in fact, both of them important wherever people dine graciously, and appreciate a shiny linoleum.

      • eljay
        March 20, 2015, 10:50 pm

        || Mooser: Aren’t you forgetting something? Two things in fact, both of them important wherever people dine graciously, and appreciate a shiny linoleum. ||

        Right: A desert topping and a floor wax. I’ll try to remember them next time. :-)

  7. hophmi
    March 20, 2015, 12:40 pm

    ” Criticism of Israel doesn’t necessarily indicate an anti-Semitic motive or hatred of all Jews”

    Who said otherwise? Not Michael Douglas. It’s simple. Antisemitism is antisemitism, whether the antisemite claims Israeli policy as a motivator, or makes some other excuse.

    • eljay
      March 20, 2015, 1:24 pm

      || hophmeee: It’s simple. Antisemitism is antisemitism, whether the antisemite claims Israeli policy as a motivator … ||

      I agree that it should be simple: Anti-Semitism is anti-Semitism and criticism of Israeli policy is criticism of Israeli policy. So when will Zio-supremacists like you stop complicating things by conflating Israel with all Jews and legitimate criticism of Israeli policy with anti-Semitism?

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 5:17 pm

        If all anti-semitism adds up to is a shouted riposte when somebody wears a deliberately provocative symbol like the Israeli Star, symbol of a violent and expansionist regime and Jewish -supremacist intransigent country, it sure doesn’t seem so bad. Seems rather restrained, frankly.

    • seafoid
      March 20, 2015, 2:00 pm

      Criticism of Israel is not anti-Semitism, Hoppy. Hasbara is dead and it’s not our fault.

    • eGuard
      March 21, 2015, 10:23 am

      “the antisemite claims …” – Who said otherwise? Who said anything in this? Why change topic, hophmi?

      Douglas says hatred of Israel is a cause of anti-Semitism. Even worse, he says seeing Apartheid is “irrational and misplaced”. You are right in that someone like you better distract us from his non-thinking stupidness.

  8. RealityBites
    March 20, 2015, 12:54 pm

    Fair enough…except one little thing….Anti-Zionism is frequently used as a cover for Anti-Semitism. Wear a Kippah and walk through Muslim neighborhoods in Paris and watch what happens. Just because a person is Jewish doesn’t necessarily mean they are an Israeli or even supports Israels policies. However being visibly Jewish, invites anti-semetic attacks with the attacker accusing the victim as being a zionist.

    But suppose we just confine the argument to how Israel treats Palestinians? Well…how about an examination of the lack of democracy by both Hamas and the PLA? Or how about the Palestinian law which prohibits the sale of land to Jews upon pain of death? Or how about the PLA paying salaries to released murderers and terrorists? Or how about the fact that Hamas uses International aid intended for schools and hospitals to build tunnels into Israel in order to carry out terrorist attacks?

    If Israel is being criticized for Aparthied like policies, why are no Muslim countries being critizied for their Aparthied policies against non-muslims? For example…a non-muslim is forbidden to go to either Mecca or Medina in Saudi Arabia. Or to bring in religious material into Saudi Arabia. And if the tourist is known to be Jewish, they are denied a visa to enter the country.

    As for Michael Douglas, under Halacha (Judaic Law) he isn’t Jewish because his mother wasn’t Jewish and he never underwent a formal conversion. However to the Anti-Semite he and his child are Jewish enough to be verbally attacked for being Jewish. He and his children are Jewish enough to be murdered because they are “Jews”.

    Silence on matters of discrimination is approval. And the silence coming from the left in regards to Islamic intolerance has been deafening.

    Silence means you condone this behavior. It means you sympathize with attackers. Your silence on Antisemitic attacks and support for the attackers makes you just as guilty as the attackers. Silence means that you too are antisemitic and you approve of these actions.

    • James North
      March 20, 2015, 1:18 pm

      Shift change at Hasbara Central. They must be working overtime in the past few weeks.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 1:30 pm

        Seems as though you are correct, James

        I was waiting (and did not have to wait long) for someone to show up with:

        “As for Michael Douglas, under Halacha (Judaic Law) he isn’t Jewish because his mother wasn’t Jewish and he never underwent a formal conversion.”

        The incredible hubris, superiority, exclusivity, and judgmental nature of that is breathtaking.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 6:08 pm

        Did I miss something? Didn’t Israel make a world-wide proclamation setting forth the principle that only and exclusively those Jews who are actively engaged in the Zionist process should be held responsible for Zionism and its actions, and all others, even if bound by ties of sentiment or misconception to Israel, are to be assumed completely disinterested in the process, and hardly to be held responsible for it. The government of Israel has done that, surely.
        I mean, surely the government of Israel and Zionist organizations won’t just allow the awful suspicions and implications to go unchecked, will they? Surely, surely the Zionists have never promoted such anti-Semitic, dual-loyalty tropes as saying, for instance, that support of Israel or Zionism is in “Jewish DNA”, have they?

      • Giles
        March 20, 2015, 6:21 pm

        Mr. Douglas is entitled to “return” to Israel.

        As far as who is a Jew, the Zionists adopted the same standards that the Nazis employed.

        Apparently, the Zionists consider Hitler the chief rabbi.

      • yonah fredman
        March 20, 2015, 6:25 pm

        Mr. Douglas is not allowed to make aliya. He is not Jewish according to Halacha and would not be granted the right to move to Israel.

      • yonah fredman
        March 20, 2015, 6:35 pm

        if mister douglas had come from the former soviet union, then he would be allowed to make aliya, but immigrants from north america are not treated as leniently as the “Russian Jews”,

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 6:53 pm

        Katie, bar the door!

        ‘Man the checkpoints, lock and load!

        Ready, aim, fire!’

      • lysias
        March 20, 2015, 6:53 pm

        Mr. Douglas is not allowed to make aliya.

        To say nothing of his Vierteljude son, who has both a non-Jewish mother and two non-Jewish grandmothers.

      • Giles
        March 20, 2015, 7:37 pm

        Originally, the Law of Return was restricted to Jews only. A 1970 amendment, however, stated that, “The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law… are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew.”

        Sorry Yonah.

        Mr. Douglas absolutely has the right of “return”.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 10:23 pm

        “Mr. Douglas is not allowed to make aliya. He is not Jewish according to Halacha and would not be granted the right to move to Israel.”

        Mike Douglas approaches the entry-gate to Israel, the attendant smiles and says ‘Shalom Mr. Douglas, come right in!’ Yonah looks on, dumbfounded! ‘But, but’ he gasps.
        Mike Douglas hears him, turns around and brandishes an Academy Award and a fat wallet, saying, ‘Here’s your f–king Halacha, Yonah!’. The girl giggles lasciviously….

        “Not allowed to make aliyah” Yonah the immigration man.

    • eljay
      March 20, 2015, 1:28 pm

      || RealityBites: But suppose we just confine the argument to how Israel treats Palestinians? Well…how about an examination of the lack of democracy by both Hamas and the PLA? ||

      Another Zio-supremacist whips out the old “murderers exist, so it’s OK to rape” defence.

      || Silence on matters of discrimination is approval. … Silence means you condone this behavior. ||

      You’re right: Silence on Zio-supremacism and the supremacist “Jewish State” project – and all related (war) crimes over the past 70 years – is approval. It means you condone the behaviour.

      • Citizen
        March 21, 2015, 8:41 pm

        Always wonder why HAMAS is so stupid it hasn’t rejected its charter’s anti-semitism in public…. Should copy Bibi N in reverse. It’s so easy to play USA PC games, why don’t HAMAS wake up?

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 2:26 pm

      Please,

      The subject at hand is Israel and its conduct toward the Palestinians. It’s not about the sins of Saudi Arabia, or Hamas, or the PA, or Vladimir Putin. Everybody here rejects the various sins in your laundry list. The problem here is you don’t want to stay on topic; it’s too uncomfortable, too embarrassing for you. So you change the subject and launch into your typical defense of “Whataboutery”.

      You then end, with your normal ad hominem screed, that the author, me, and the rest of us here are all antisemites, Jew Haters because our silence on these other off-topic matters proves how malicious our motives are.

      Fair enough. Since you didn’t mention female genital mutilation in your piece, can we infer from your silence that you approve of it? Your silence on the matter of violence against African Americans must also permit us to infer you are a racist. I could go on and create an equally impressive laundry list condemning you for your silence on other topics but I prefer more civil, rational discourse.

      Just answer one simple question: What are you going to do about the 4.5 million Palestinians living under military occupation in the territories you have occupied since 1967? Do they get a country of their own on the 67 borders sometime soon? If not, when do they get the same civil rights and right to vote that Israeli citizens have? If you say no to that too, your remaining choices are pretty bleak. Extermination seems too extreme, how about ethnic cleansing? You could shove them all into Jordan, their “true homeland”. That probably won’t cut it in today’s world, so you’re left with your Greater Israel apartheid state. Good luck with that.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 2:34 pm

        Bravo!

        Thank you, irishmoses.

      • MHughes976
        March 20, 2015, 2:39 pm

        Silence, I think, is – as is often said – consent in the sense that if you are involved in a certain discourse and say nothing it is reasonable to infer that you agree with the general tenor of what is being said. This general idea played its part at Nuremberg, I believe. When my Head of Government says that the massacre in Tunis yesterday, which involved a British casualty, was shocking and says so without a voice to the contrary being raised through this kingdom’s length and breadth I think I have consented without actually saying a word. But the consensus of my society is at least vaguely pro-Zionist, so I think I should say something.

      • Bornajoo
        March 20, 2015, 3:24 pm

        Great response irishmoses!

        It’s predominantly zionists that are the real culprits who constantly conflate criticism of Israel with anti semitism as a pathetic defence of Israels indefensible actions

        We saw a perfect example of this on Question Time a few weeks ago when Jonathan Freedland used this very tactic to play to the predominantly Zionist audience in order to attack George Galloway. He (and other members of the audience) said that you can’t criticise israel like George Galloway does because it’s dangerous for Jews everywhere.

        What a great line of defence! But it’s slowly and surely losing its effectiveness. I personally believe that the very vast majority of these so called anti semitic attacks would disappear if israel finally does end the occupation and provides dignity and justice to the Palestinian people.

        Unfortunately the deeply programmed Zio-bots like Hophmi believe that it’s got nothing to do with Israels crimes against humanity. He believes that we’d all be here bashing Jews even if israel turned into a proper decent country (not that there’s much hope of that ever happening) . That’s because we’re all inherently anti semitic and we just can’t help ourselves. According to Hophmi people like me just won’t stop until we see israel completely destroyed. Because it’s nothing to do with Israels criminal actions against the Palestinians, it’s because of a virulent disease called anti semitism. Right Hophmi?

    • Atlantaiconoclast
      March 20, 2015, 3:06 pm

      Was there even one terrorist attack committed by Hamas this past summer, due to the tunnels? Zionists are such drama queens. Unbelievable gall. Over 2000 dead, and you are obsessing about tunnels that didn’t even hurt a single Israeli, except for perhaps the 3 or 4 who were killed by rocket attacks. The world is getting tired of this racist obsession with the suffering of only Jewish people.

    • Rob Roy
      March 20, 2015, 3:09 pm

      Dear RealityBites, You are right to point out intolerance in places other than Israel. However, the subject is Israel at the moment, not those other places. I would like to note that Arabs are Semites, too, so anti-Semitism can at them…note: Netanyahu and those who agree with him. In the meantime, have you ever been to Gaza? I suggest you go there as soon as possible. Questions:
      What would you do if you lived in a prison with no way out without permission from an occupier and every couple of years your families are decimated…in this last case 519 children are dead. How would you feel if your fishing waters shrank from 20 miles, to 12 miles, to 3 miles and if your boat went over the line you would be killed? How would you like your pay for work to be held up for months at someone’s discretion when the money belongs to you? How would you like to be allowed the fewest calories possible just to stay alive. How would you like your family’s 500 year old olive orchard to be ripped out of the ground and your captors take the land for their housing? How would you like someone else determining whether or not you get medicine, water, electricity? How would you like to be questioned, sometimes brutally, at checkpoints. In fact, how would you like to have to go through checkpoints at all just to get home or have them closed off altogether at some official’s whim? How would you like to always lose in court even when you are right? By the way, Hamas was democratically elected in an observed fair and open election in 2006; immediately Israel and the US went into crazy mode. Here’s some facts for you: Palestinians have never attacked Israel first though Israelis spread the news far and wide that Hamas, the “terrorists” rain bombs down on the innocent Israelis. Every single time the IDF has attacked first, with its fourth strongest military in the world (Israel attacks anyone anytime it want with no repercussions); also with every single cease fire, Israel has broken the peace. Bet you didn’t know that. Every couple years Israel “mows the lawn” to reduce Palestinian population taking special aim at children, the “little snakes.” Hey, have you read the latest documents released about the Six-Day War? Egypt, Jordan and Syria didn’t attack Israel. Israel attacked them! I always wondered how a war involving four countries could last just six days. Now I get it. I could write forever but will just suggest you read Henry Siegman, a German-born American Jew. He is a non-resident research professor at the Sir Joseph Hotung Middle East Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, a former Senior Fellow on the Middle East at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former National Director of the American Jewish Congress. He wrote, “Israel Provoked this War” and was recently interviewed for two days on Democracy Now! Most enlightening.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 3:59 pm

        Thanks, Rob Roy.

        I guess we’ll all wait for answers to your excellent questions together with you…

      • irishmoses
        March 20, 2015, 4:40 pm

        +1

      • Citizen
        March 21, 2015, 8:53 pm

        Imagine if Dick and Jane knew the factual truth you say? Americs’s 4th branch of government is a Goebbels dream.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2015, 3:12 pm

      “As for Michael Douglas, under Halacha (Judaic Law) he isn’t Jewish because his mother wasn’t Jewish and he never underwent a formal conversion.”

      Yeah, a lot of people used to get out of Nazi Holocaust concentration camps by explaining that to the commandant. “Zo, I see, the Reich only thought you are Jewish, but I zee, technically, you’re not. (Sigh) Ach! These little mistakes vill happen in a thousand-year Reich, you know. Okay, you’re free to go, sorry about the inconvenience” Rises, salutes and clicks heels, shouts “Achtung! Open the gates”

      • lysias
        March 20, 2015, 3:48 pm

        Under the Nuremberg Laws, Halbjuden inside Germany were only classified as Volljuden and ultimately sent to the extermination camps if they met certain additional criteria: they belonged to the Jewish religious community; they married a Jew; or they had sexual relations with a Jew after 1935. Otherwise, they were not classified as Volljuden, and, while they suffered discrimination and various legal disabilities, they only suffered from the same dangers to life and limb that other Germans did.

        In the occupied Eastern territories, on the other hand, Halbjuden were treated just as murderously as Volljuden.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 5:40 pm

        Gosh, really? Those little technicalities and “dictionary definitions” seem to mean an awful lot to some Zionists. And the Nazis ignored all that and had their own more-inclusive system?
        Well, what do you know.

    • Giles
      March 21, 2015, 10:01 am

      “He and his children are Jewish enough to be murdered because they are “Jews”.

      Michael Douglas and his children were killed for being Jews? I’m pretty sure that would have gotten some media coverage and I would have heard about it.

    • eGuard
      March 21, 2015, 10:28 am

      Anti-Zionism is frequently used as a cover for Anti-Semitism

      What does this have to do with the topic?

  9. Philip Munger
    March 20, 2015, 1:36 pm

    I recently took a nine-day vacation to visit my son in Northern California. I stayed a night in Yreka, before heading down California Highway 3 the next morning.

    I was approached as I left my motel room by a man, asking me for a ride to Fort Jones. He was a Karuk, a northern California tribe that has resided along the middle Klamath River for thousands of years. He had been visiting his daughter in Sacramento, had taken the train as far up the Sacramento valley as it goes, and had been hitchhiking since.

    Among the topics we discussed, I asked him how recently he felt he had been discriminated against. The most recent event was a few minutes before he approached me, when he was yelled at, having been called a “fucking redskin” by another person he had approached for a ride. He related three more pathetic episodes on the train and highway the previous day.

    “This stuff happens all the time,” he said plaintively, but with a deeply resonant dignity.

    He told me of his tribe’s decades-long struggle for Federal and other governmental recognition, and his struggles for his ancestral land.

    The ride I gave him seemed far too short, as we pulled up to his cousin’s small house in Fort Jones. I’m sure that if I had taken him all the way to San Francisco, he could have continued to relate one more story of abuse and discrimination per ten miles.

    I live in Alaska, where “this stuff happens all the time” to my friends. The last political campaign on which I worked intensively was the 2012 gubernatorial campaign on which a Jewish male, Ethan Berkowitz, headed the ticket, and my longtime friend, Diane Benson, a Tlingit, was in the second slot. They both could tell stories of slights, indignities and insults.

    But, unlike Diane, Ethan was not hauled off to a Federal school when he was a child, to have the Injun beat out of him. Don’t get me started on what this courageous American woman has been through! She can tell her own story quite well.

    Believe me, it does not start or end with a spoken insult over bling by the side of a swimming pool.

    • just
      March 20, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Thanks, Philip.

      That totally jibes with what I know about the subject of persistent racism and prejudice as expressed by too many people toward indigenous Americans.

    • seafoid
      March 20, 2015, 1:57 pm

      Great post, Philip

      Jews in America do not have much to whine about.
      Middle class white people don’t have either. Most whining is to protect privilege.

      Douglas would never swap places with an Indian Dalit from Tamil Nadu.

    • Philip Munger
      March 20, 2015, 2:16 pm

      Sorry – too late to edit. It was the 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 3:36 pm

        Speaking of AK:

        “JTA – Sarah Palin has not one but two posts on her Facebook page congratulating Benjamin Netanyahu on his reelection.

        …In each post Palin says Americans in the heartland “will sleep better knowing Bibi remains the voice of reason and strength in the beautiful nation of Israel.”

        Bibi elicits a lot of reactions in Israel and abroad. Sleep, though, has to be a new one.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.648056?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

        yee-ouch.

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 5:03 pm

        Phillip, I recently (while staying at a resort of the Quilliute Nation) picked up a book which you might find interesting: “Rez Life” by David Treuer. subtitled: “An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life” ISBN: 978-0-8021-2082-3.

      • Philip Munger
        March 20, 2015, 5:34 pm

        Mooser – I read some of his essays in “Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual,” and was impressed. I’ll put his new book on my list.

        He’s been criticized by Sherman Alexie for, uh, criticizing Sherman Alexie. My friend, Diane Benson, who is also a writer (playwright, poet, essayist and textbook contributor), raves about how accurate his critiques are. Another friend-colleague, Larry Merculieff, has high praises for David Treuer.

        https://youtu.be/O6cmKeRV3Z0

      • Mooser
        March 20, 2015, 5:42 pm

        “Rez Life” is very good. Plus, I very painlessly learned a great deal about the ‘reservation’ system and its history, (which I was pretty much in ignorance of) I can’t help wondering if Treuer might have crossed paths with Prof. Saliata? Seems like they might know of, if not know one another.

        Picked the book up while staying here, a great place.

      • just
        March 20, 2015, 6:06 pm

        Thanks for the gift of Larry Merculieff’s talk, Philip.

        If only… it’s so clearly something to aspire to.

      • Philip Munger
        March 21, 2015, 4:24 am

        Mooser – the last time I was in the Quileute-Forks area was August, 1974. Got into a bar-room fight between two groups of commercial fishermen. I was with the outsiders against the locals. It was a mess. And the fight was over Native American fishing rights. Long story.

      • Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 12:16 pm

        . “Long story.”

        Oh, I heard it. They still talk about it up there, although I think the story may be much embroidered by now, and will pass into legend. Did you really knock out three guys with one swing, and then go down to the dock and punch a hole in their boat? Wow! And come back to the bar, buy drinks for the entire town, and hold forth on the Bolt Treaty for four hours?

      • Philip Munger
        March 23, 2015, 4:45 am

        Mooser: Yes, the story has been embroidered over the years. And it was the first sockeye season post-Judge Boldt decision.

      • Mooser
        March 23, 2015, 7:13 pm

        “The Boldt decision”

        Sorry, I got mixed up, the Bolt Treaty was when I agreed to stop huffing amyl nitrate. Stuff can be bad for ya.

    • Giles
      March 21, 2015, 10:03 am

      No.

      Ethan was probably instead hauled off to Israel camp during his childhood summers to receive his indoctrination.

      • Philip Munger
        March 23, 2015, 4:30 am

        Perhaps.

        Ethan is still a liberal Zionist, but the day before I left on the vacation I wrote about above, I went by his campaign office – he is running for Anchorage mayor- and handed him a generous campaign contribution. When, in the near future, the mask of what Israel is can’t be hidden any longer, Ethan may be there with Phil Weiss and Max Blumenthal, albeit with less conviction and foresight.

  10. Taxi
    March 20, 2015, 1:38 pm

    I read his op ed when it came out but Mr. Douglas did not provide any proof whatsoever that it was an antisemetic attack – he presents only his ‘hunch’ – some would say: he presented a projection of his deep fear. Michael Douglas doesn’t tell us exactly what the stranger said to his son that brought him to tears or how the whole thing started. Michael says he had “words” with the rude stranger, but he does not share the words of that conversation with us, does not provide us with quotes, does not give us any name or description whatsoever of the alleged poolside aggressor. And we’re supposed to just believe his allegations just like that cuz he’s Michael Douglas and his son is wearing a star of David?

    There isn’t a single person on the planet who has not experienced being verbally attacked by a random stranger for no reason. It’s called the ‘hostile world we live in – and none of our dads wrote op-eds about it in the LA Times.

    • Mooser
      March 20, 2015, 3:23 pm

      If I am not mistaken, the Star of David is the symbol of the Israeli nation and military force. Can’t get past that. If Mr. Douglas’s son like’s his pretense of Jewish identification made in that way, by the displaying of graphic symbols like that, he can live with the consequences.
      So he strolls in flaunting a very offensive symbol, and he’s called out, and he got a sad? Awww. Why didn’t he beat the snot out of the kid, show him what people who display IDF symbols are made out of. But no, he gets a sad. C’mon kid, keep a stiff upper nose.
      Israel ain’t never gonna get no greater that way.

      • Taxi
        March 20, 2015, 3:58 pm

        But how do we know it was specifically the star of David that provoked the verbal assault? It’s the ONLY exhibit Michael Douglas provides. Maybe the alleged poolside offender is a regular cranky old bastard who’s known to even shout at old ladies in wheelchairs and kick puppies and kitties around? I mean: the only thing Michael has given us is the star of David. Nothing else. Sorry but I just don’t get how Michael Douglas arrived at his damning conclusion.

        I find the whole thing propagandistic and the timing of the release of this op=ed fishy-fingered.

        And just so you know, actually, I’ve seen many pagan hippies wearing the star of David – take a drive up Topanga Canyon (Los Angelesl) and you will lose count of how many star of David, peace-sign charms and marijuana leaf pendants are used for personal adornments.

      • Keith
        March 20, 2015, 4:53 pm

        TAXI- “I find the whole thing propagandistic and the timing of the release of this op=ed fishy-fingered.”

        I agree. Doesn’t it seem strange that this apparently isolated instance of a movie star’s privileged son being upset over verbal insults results in an op-ed in the LA Times decrying anti-Semitism? As you say, “fishy-fingered.”

      • tree
        March 21, 2015, 3:37 pm

        I agree. Doesn’t it seem strange that this apparently isolated instance of a movie star’s privileged son being upset over verbal insults results in an op-ed in the LA Times decrying anti-Semitism?

        Especially since the incident was alleged to have happened sometime last summer, not just recently.

      • Citizen
        March 21, 2015, 9:01 pm

        Can anybody be more of an asshole than Mikchael Douglas? Maybe his daddy, who told us all despite his great life in goy America, he has always despised the goys?

  11. just
    March 20, 2015, 2:37 pm

    “Israeli author and journalist Yehonatan Geffen attacked at his home, called ‘leftist traitor’

    Assailant tries to beat him before fleeing; Geffen has been vocal against the reelection of Netanyahu.

    Geffen’s manager Boaz Ben Zion said he “really hopes this is a one-time incident,” adding: “We don’t know yet why Yehonatan was attacked, and we hope the police catch the assailant.”

    Geffen posted on his Facebook page this week that March 17 – Election Day – should be declared “the Nakba Day of the Peace Camp.” Geffen also wrote following the reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “the people have elected again a person whose rule is based on scaring the people,” and called Netanyahu “a racist.” ”

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.648048?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    That seems distinctly anti- semitic and anti- democratic.

  12. Rob Roy
    March 20, 2015, 3:15 pm

    Mr. Maguire,
    Thank you for a great response. Please offer it to the NYT as a response to Mr. Douglas’ article. If they have any integrity at all, and care about balance, they will print it. I’m hopeful. Just this week they wrote a scathing putdown of Netanyahu and I nearly fell off my chair. Though they almost immediately took it down and replaced it with a new one, at least briefly they came through. And the week before, they actually spoke more truthfully about Iraq and the terrorism we’ve created there. Anyway, please send your article to them and see what happens. Thanks, again.

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 4:45 pm

      Rob Roy,
      Was the Douglas piece published in the NYT as well? I’ll submit it to them but they typically ignore me.
      Thanks for the tip and your wonderful responses.

      • Rob Roy
        March 23, 2015, 11:19 am

        Mr. Maguire,
        Sorry, I should have said the LA Times, not the NYT. I hope you submit it to them. They should jump at printing your insightful response. By the way, I’m going to the West Bank myself in October. I’d like to get into Gaza but suspect that would be difficult. Any suggestions?
        Sincerely,
        Rob Roy

      • irishmoses
        March 24, 2015, 1:28 pm

        I submitted the piece to the LAT last week and received a rejection on Monday morning.

        Can’t advise on I-P trips. Never been there.

  13. talknic
    March 20, 2015, 3:20 pm

    M Douglas is an actor, he has no other qualification that I know of that warrants publication of his ill formed opinion.

    —-
    It’s true the charge of apartheid within Israel’s pre-1967 borders is debatable since all Israeli citizens, both Jews and Palestinians, have civil rights, including the right to vote.

    This sentence shows us just how ingrained the Zionist narrative has become.

    A) The non-Jewish Israeli citizens dispossessed in 1948/49 and subsequently refused RoR have been effectively stripped of all civil rights by Israel.
    B) “Israel’s pre-1967 borders” are a nonsensical weasel words. Israel’s proclaimed and recognized borders have never been altered by any legal mechanism http://wp.me/pDB7k-Xk
    C) “both Jews and Palestinians” more nonsensical weasel words used to divert attention away from the apartheid policies of the JEWISH state. Israel was declared independent of Palestine. There are no Palestinians who’re citizens of Israel. It’s Jews and non-Jews.

    • irishmoses
      March 20, 2015, 4:48 pm

      Thanks for your always learned input talknic. There were several other parts of the Douglas piece I disagreed with but space and readers’ attention span is at a minimum.

      • talknic
        March 21, 2015, 9:01 am

        Ditto. It’s a pleasure to be a part of a thoughtfull and honest community

    • Dan
      March 20, 2015, 6:45 pm

      @talknic
      “M Douglas is an actor, he has no other qualification that I know of that warrants publication of his ill formed opinion. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/response-michael-douglas#comment-755653“.

      I would agree with that.

      Along the same lines, could you please tell us your qualifications with respect to International Law.
      If you want to see how someone who actually has some expertise on the subject analyzes legal matters I suggest you read the following – please take a look at section 4.4

      https://www.law.upenn.edu/live/files/1949-kent34upajintll1492012pdf

      • talknic
        March 21, 2015, 7:17 am

        “Along the same lines, could you please tell us your qualifications with respect to International Law.”

        I can read what is written.

        Andrew Kent omits and fabricates. His article conveniently forgets to mention one crucial fact. All civilians have a right to flee the violence of war and all civilians have a right to return to their homes simply because they’re civilians!

        “the Article concludes … that international law did not provide a right of return”

        UNGA res 194 tells us Andrew Kent is a f*(&ing idiot.

        11. Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible; http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/C758572B78D1CD0085256BCF0077E51A

        The UNGA res 194 definition of a refugee is here BTW

        Andrew Kent then goes on to spout the usual Hasbara nonsense “1. INTRODUCTION
        The two-year war which gave birth to Israel …”

        Strange. Israel was proclaimed independent effective 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time). “the state of Israel has been proclaimed as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, and that a provisional government has been charged to assume the rights and duties of government for preserving law and order within the boundaries of Israel, for defending the state against external aggression, and for discharging the obligations of Israel to the other nations of the world in accordance with international law. The Act of Independence will become effective at one minute after six o’clock on the evening of 14 May 1948, Washington time” http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

        There was no two year war of independence. The ’48/49 war was fought by the already independent State of Israel in and over non-Israeli territories the Israeli Government itself claimed on the 22nd May 1948 were “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine”. None of the UNSC resolutions on the Question of Palestine call for peace in Israel. They all call for “peace in Palestine”.

        “… also made refugees of approximately 600,000 to 760,000 Palestinian Arabs.”

        A) The UN gives a more exacting figure “.. refugees from Israel- controlled territory amount to approximately 711,000”

        B) Never the less, poor Andrew steps in ziopoop again. They were not all Palestinian Arabs, some 482,000 ( ” In addition to roughly 600,000 Jews, 350,000 Arabs resided in the Jewish state created by partition. Approximately 92,000 Arabs lived in Tiberias, Safed, Haifa and Bet Shean, and another 40,000 were Bedouin “) were, according to the Israeli Declaration of Statehood itself non-Jewish Israelis

        By the signing of the Armistice Agreements in 1949, there were only about 20% non-Jewish Israelis remaining in Israel. (150,000 or so)

        Simple maths tells us of the 711,000 non-Jewish refugees, approximately 332,000 non-Jewish Israelis were dispossessed from Israel by Israel and some 379,000 Palestinians were dispossessed from territories “outside the State of Israel” … “in Palestine” by Israel.

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 7:53 am

        Thanks, talknic!

        *kerpow*

      • Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 12:18 pm

        Dan, why are you doing this to yourself. Oh well, the brush and hose is over there. Please scrub all of it off your shoes before you go inside.

      • Dan
        March 25, 2015, 11:38 pm

        @talknic

        “I can read what is written”

        I guess we can all become lawyers now.
        No need for training, no need to understand precedents, prior judgments, terms of definition.
        That’s great – no need for law schools, for high fees, representation.
        I guess the next time you get into a legal dispute, you won’t need to hire a lawyer. You’ll just
        google some documents and quote out of context.

        The rest of your response does not address the points Kent makes with a counter, LEGAL argument.

      • Dan
        March 25, 2015, 11:59 pm

        “I can read what is written”.

        I suggest you read it again, because you haven’t read very carefully, particularly the section regarding 194

      • talknic
        March 30, 2015, 12:03 pm

        @ Dan “I guess we can all become lawyers now”

        If you can read what’s written you’re part way there Dan.

        “No need for training, no need to understand precedents, prior judgments, terms of definition. That’s great – no need for law schools, for high fees, representation”

        If you say so pal. I’d say reading what is actually written is a major prerequisite for all those things. Andrew Kent fabricates instead and is then shown to be wrong by what he quotes to prove his point. That’s a major fail anyway one looks at it

        “I guess the next time you get into a legal dispute, you won’t need to hire a lawyer. You’ll just google some documents and quote out of context

        Only an idiot is gonna take your advice there pal

        BTW Which documents have I quoted out of context … thx I’ll wait …

        “The rest of your response does not address the points Kent makes with a counter, LEGAL argument”

        The record shows otherwise

        Dan ” I suggest you read it again, because you haven’t read very carefully, particularly the section regarding 194″

        I read everything very carefully. He waffles on with what is best described as meaningless drivel. E.g., Despite the Arab states rejecting UNGA res 194. Well, golly. WOW! Interesting. But, so what? It was adopted anyway! The guy is writing for or is himself a simpleton!

        On his notions about “formally nonbinding U.N. General Assembly resolutions”. He must of course omit one of the most crucial pieces of information about UN resolutions in order to make his argument appear correct.

        The UN Charter is binding in its entirety on all UN Member states and by it’s very nature, all International Law is binding. The articles of Law and the UN Charter reaffirmed and/or emphasized or otherwise mentioned in any UN resolution are binding! In this way thru Chapter VI resolutions the UN reminds its members of their obligations to binding Law and the UN Charter. That’s the very essence of what Chapter VI resolutions are about!

        Israel has had hundreds of opportunities afforded to it to adhere to the Law and UN Charter thru hundreds of VI resolutions reaffirming and emphasizing binding Law and the UN Charter. The only thing protecting Israel from any consequences for it’s illegal activities is the US UNSC veto vote on Chapt VII resolutions. Although no Chapt VII action has been taken, Israel is still in breach of the Law and the UN Charter.

        He further compounds his nonsense by completely omitting the fact that UNGA res 194 called for the return of all refugees, Jewish and non-Jewish alike and that Israel encouraged Jewish refugees to take Israeli citizenship, forgoing their refugee status.

        He also omits the rather obvious fact that it is non-Jewish Israeli citizens who have right of return to Israel. Not Palestinians.

        Palestinians only have a right to return to Palestinian territory “outside the State of Israel” as it was at 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time)

        This is cute “By contrast, there is a much smaller amount of written, binding law governing non-international conflicts”

        “non-international conflicts”? The ceasefires, Armistice Agreements and two Peace treaties with Israel in the wars over what remained of Palestine after Israel was proclaimed, are all International Agreements!

        Is the guy for real?

      • catalan
        March 30, 2015, 12:54 pm

        “Israel encouraged Jewish refugees to take Israeli citizenship, forgoing their refugee status”. – Talknic
        Talknic, can you please cite the international agreement, convention or other document which stipulates that taking citizenship in the host country deprives refugees of their status?
        Does that mean that the millions of refugees from Sudan, Congo, Central Asia, etc who are now citizens of countries such as Canada and the U.S., are now deprived of their refugee status and/or their right to return to their home country and get back their property?
        Where is this rule codified?

      • oldgeezer
        March 30, 2015, 4:34 pm

        @catalan

        Article 1, Section C3 of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

        Israel is a signatory. Why do you think the GoI constantly whines about host countries not offering the Palestinians citizenship. They want the problems and responsibility lifted from their shoulders by others so as to enable their crimes without consequence.

        http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html

      • talknic
        March 31, 2015, 12:20 pm

        catalan
        ” can you please cite the international agreement, convention or other document which stipulates that taking citizenship in the host country deprives refugees of their status?”

        The UNHCR statute for one

        “Does that mean that the millions of refugees from Sudan, Congo, Central Asia, etc who are now citizens of countries such as Canada and the U.S., are now deprived of their refugee status”

        They’re no longer refugees. They have the rights and protection of a state, they’re no longer in need of a refuge, they have one!

        “and/or their right to return to their home country and get back their property”

        They can try to return if they wish, tho after having taken alternative citizenship it would be a matter of immigration. Property compensations are due. They have to be applied for of course

  14. JuliaNoel
    March 20, 2015, 5:59 pm

    I am so sick of this “anti-Semitic” nonsence. The only entity on our planet at this time is israel, by it’s persecution and war crimes against a true Semitic people, the indigenous Palestinian people. Language is dynamic and we do not speak Shakespear’s English. The old furphy of using “anti-Semitism ” to stifle debate about israel’s war crimes has really passed it’s use by date. As has the promised land nonsence. All land is promised and all humanity are chosen. To state otherwise is bigotry.

    • just
      March 21, 2015, 7:54 am

      true.

    • eljay
      March 21, 2015, 9:35 am

      || JuliaNoel: Language is dynamic and we do not speak Shakespear’s English. The old furphy of using “anti-Semitism ” to stifle debate about israel’s war crimes has really passed it’s use by date. ||

      And that’s why Zio-supremacists have switched to using the new furphy of “Jew hatred”. It’s more visceral.

      || All land is promised and all humanity are chosen. ||

      IMO, no land is promised and no-one is chosen. We humans should always strive for the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality. Problems happen when some humans (such as Zio-supremacists) choose to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality that they would not have others do unto them.

      • MRW
        March 21, 2015, 12:44 pm

        And that’s why Zio-supremacists have switched to using the new furphy of “Jew hatred”. It’s more visceral.

        At this stage in the public discourse in this country, tell me why “Jew hatred” is any worse than “Muslim hatred” or “Hispanic/Latino hatred” or “Black hatred?”

      • eljay
        March 21, 2015, 2:44 pm

        || MRW: At this stage in the public discourse in this country, tell me why “Jew hatred” is any worse than “Muslim hatred” or “Hispanic/Latino hatred” or “Black hatred?” ||

        I can’t tell you why (not an Eagles reference). IMO, all forms of hatred are unacceptable and should be condemned. I condemn them.

  15. seafoid
    March 20, 2015, 6:20 pm

    If Douglas’ mother was not chosen does it make him less jewish than Walter from the Big Lebowski? Does douglas roll on Shabbos ?

  16. just
    March 20, 2015, 7:26 pm

    My, my, my:

    “Congressman Steve King (R-Iowa) said he couldn’t understand how “Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second” and support the way President Barack Obama is dealing with Israel, in an interview with Boston Herald Radio Friday.

    “There were some 50 or so Democrats that decided they would boycott [Netanyahu’s] speech … I don’t understand how Jews in America can be Democrats first and Jewish second and support Israel along the line of just following their president,” King told Boston Herald Radio’s “Boston Herald Drive” program.

    The National Jewish Democratic Council condemned King’s statements. “I was shocked and horrified when I heard the remarks made by Rep. King today stating that we are ‘Jewish second,’ and implying that Democrats are anti-Semitic,” Greg Rosenbaum, chair of the NJDC Board of Directors said in a statement. “For anyone, let alone an elected official, to actively belittle the hundreds of thousands of American Jews who vote for Democratic candidates is beyond the pale.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/1.648069?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

    The same King who said this:

    “I don’t want to disparage anyone because of their race, their ethnicity, their name – whatever their religion their father might have been, I’ll just say this: When you think about the optics of a Barack Obama potentially getting elected President of the United States – I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world? What does it look like to the world of Islam? I will tell you that, if he is elected president, then the radical Islamists, the al-Qaida, the radical Islamists and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11.[53]”

    (wiki)

  17. echinococcus
    March 20, 2015, 8:45 pm

    “…shouted insults at him because he was wearing a Star of David”

    “Where real anti-Semitism is present, as in the despicable incident involving Michael’s young son…”

    From the data provided, there is no “antisemitism” and nothing “despicable” here. The star of David is very plainly a symbol of the State of Apartheid. Tough titties for those who want to use it exclusively as a religious symbol. That’s how it works for all trademarks when you neglect protecting them.

  18. CigarGod
    March 21, 2015, 9:12 am

    Hmmmm….I think someone left a trout in the tackle box. The youngest son is Dylan…born in 2000. We are supposed to believe a 14 year old boy went weeping to his father…and the father didn’t tell him to cowboy up, and take care of things, himself?

    • just
      March 21, 2015, 9:44 am

      iirc, this child has ‘special needs’ according to his father, and attends a school that addresses these needs.

      • CigarGod
        March 21, 2015, 10:01 am

        I hadn’t heard that. Makes a difference, of course. When I looked the wiki, i see an older son died tragically. Guess I don’t know enough to comment much more…except, I wouldnt hang something around the neck of a troubled boy…that has a chance of attracting flies.

  19. mariapalestina
    March 21, 2015, 9:59 am

    The Star of David is painted on every IDF tank, every IDF warplane, every IDF gunboat. To me it has become a symbol of occupation, of terrorism, of brutality. I would be embarrassed to wear it around my neck.

    • CigarGod
      March 21, 2015, 10:43 am

      …and also on every wall, fence, gate…and document.

    • Bornajoo
      March 21, 2015, 10:46 am

      “The Star of David is painted on every IDF tank, every IDF warplane, every IDF gunboat. To me it has become a symbol of occupation, of terrorism, of brutality. I would be embarrassed to wear it around my neck.”

      +1 Mariapalestina!

    • just
      March 21, 2015, 10:58 am

      huge props for that comment, mariapalestina!

      (ditto to Bornajoo and CG, too)

  20. eGuard
    March 21, 2015, 10:32 am

    This to by Michael Douglas: The third reason is simple demographics. Europe is now home to 25 million to 30 million Muslims … Europe’s new epidemic of anti-Semitism.

    So this is what he teaches his son: many Muslims is a cause of anti-Semitism. What a peanut-sized mind he has.

    • just
      March 21, 2015, 11:04 am

      The LAT has a correction up at the link:

      “FOR THE RECORD
      Anti-Semitism: A March 15 OpEd on anti-Semitism stated that there were 25 million to 30 million Muslims living in Europe. The total is more than 40 million.”

      I suppose that’ll automatically mean more “anti-semitism”… to some.

    • ritzl
      March 21, 2015, 11:15 am

      Zionism would appear to be to brains what steroids are to testicles.

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 11:18 am

        I am so stealing that, ritzl!

        rotflmao x 10!

      • MRW
        March 21, 2015, 12:26 pm

        +1. Me too.

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 1:48 pm

        speaking of Zionism, it seems that Shalev might have gotten the message about the oxymoron of “Liberal Zionist”

        “J Street convenes as liberal Jews reel from Netanyahu racism controversy

        ……The leftist lobby’s annual conference stands to gain – but may also lose – from the prime minister’s statements on Palestinian statehood and Israeli Arabs

        “For many of our students and for their parents, Netanyahu’s statements were like a wake-up call about him and Israeli politics,” said Sarah Turbow, director of J Street U, the student division of the leftist lobby, which is launching its annual conference Saturday night, at an extraordinarily pivotal time.

        Jeremy Ben-Ami, J Street’s president, acknowledges both the dangers and opportunities faced by the group. “There are a large number of people in the center of the community that were really turned off not just by the political shenanigans that surrounded this election, but who also share a deep disdain for the type of politics that is represented by Netanyahu and the right. And now they see that traditional and communal organizations are unable to criticize that – this will hurt those institutions and benefit J Street. I think these people will find a home in J Street,” he said.

        But there is also the danger that J Street will continue to bleed supporters on its left flank to anti-Zionist groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the BDS Movement – as it already has, to a certain degree, since last summer’s war in Gaza.

        “There is a left to J Street that is built on anger and not love,” said Ben-Ami. “There is a real fury at Netanyahu and his policies that is not fueled by a deep concern for the future of Israel, its character or its values. I see that emerging in the growing strength of JVP and BDS as well: there are people on the left of J Street who will be attracted to that, because their first emotion isn’t to the State of Israel or to the Jewish people.”

        About 3,000 people, including 1,000 students, are slated to participate in the conference, which will be held at the same Washington convention center in which AIPAC convened earlier this month, albeit with only a fifth of the pro-Israel lobby’s delegates. Ben-Ami says that over 70 Congress members are expected to attend the conference, though he thinks that number could grow in the wake of the recent brouhaha. The centerpiece of the conference, as far as news headlines are concerned, will undoubtedly be White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough’s address to the conference on Monday.

        Although McDonough is a lower ranking representative than Vice President Joe Biden, who addressed J Street last year, he is equal in standing to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who spoke at the AIPAC gathering. More significantly, perhaps, is the fact that McDonough will be faithfully conveying Obama’s exact views on the situation – albeit, one assumes, in softer and less confrontational terms. The president and J Street, at least, probably see eye to eye.

        Absent from the conference will be a representative of the Israeli embassy in Washington, which has not maintained contacts with J Street since the arrival of Ron Dermer as ambassador in October 2013. President Reuven Rivlin, meanwhile, will greet the delegates by video address, which is another telling sign of the times.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/.premium-1.648123

        (fyi: also absent, and steaming because he was not invited, is Alan Dershowitz)

        fwiw, I like “liberal Jews” much better than “liberal Zionists”… I like plain “liberals”, “humanists”, and “humanitarians” (the less wealthy ones, too) most of all.

  21. eGuard
    March 21, 2015, 11:42 am

    Gil Maguire: In 2012, Stephen Robert, the former chancellor of Brown University and a Jewish-American … concluded …

    Ascribing qualities to someone’s opinion for just being a Jew is anti-Semitic. If that opinion can not stand without that qualification, think about it.

    • irishmoses
      March 21, 2015, 5:22 pm

      Anti-Semitic is a little harsh eGuard. My motive for mentioning he was a Jew (“… the former chancellor of Brown University and a Jewish-American and major life-long supporter of Israel…”) was to show that some American Jews, who are life-long supporters of Israel, after having been to the West Bank, describe it as Apartheid on Steroids. Removing that would have detracted from my point. Read Roberts’ article. His Jewishness is a central point of what he’s writing about, the immoral actions of a group of fellow Jews (Israelis).

      If I was using “Jew” in a pejorative sense, e.g. “another Jewish banker”, it would have been anti-Semitic. Sometimes a cigar is Jewish…

      • CigarGod
        March 21, 2015, 5:29 pm

        Now that you bring it up…I guess I’ve never asked. But, my favorite cigars are made with Moroccan tobacco…which might make them Muslim.

      • just
        March 21, 2015, 5:36 pm

        lolol, CigarGod!

      • irishmoses
        March 21, 2015, 6:16 pm

        CigarGod, anyone that smokes cigars needs their head examined.

      • CigarGod
        March 21, 2015, 7:34 pm

        Howdy Irish,
        I do try to take the advice of our viilage elders…and in so doing, I have found the unexamined cigar not worth smoking.

      • Mooser
        March 21, 2015, 7:07 pm

        “CigarGod, anyone that smokes cigars needs their head examined.”

        Wait a minute. I thought the the head head-examiner himself smoked cigars. Which, he hastens to assure us, were sometimes just cigars.

      • Giles
        March 22, 2015, 9:16 am

        Irishmoses. You are actually falling into the trap of giving more weight and legitimacy to the opinion of a Jew over that of a non Jew.

      • irishmoses
        March 22, 2015, 10:59 am

        Giles,

        To liberal Zionists, the contrary actions and writings of a fellow liberal Zionist could very well carry more weight and legitimacy. That’s why I used Roberts as an example.

        I don’t attach more importance to his actions, article, and opinion because he’s a Jew. I do it because he is an accomplished individual, an active liberal Zionist, who investigated and changed his opinion. Remember, the topic at hand is about Jews, antisemitism, and criticism of Israeli policies and actions. If we were discussing baseball, it might be different.

      • Keith
        March 22, 2015, 4:48 pm

        IRISHMOSES- “If I was using “Jew” in a pejorative sense, e.g. “another Jewish banker”, it would have been anti-Semitic.”

        Which one of those words indicates Jew hatred? In the absurdly successful Zionist propaganda, any criticism or discussion of Jewish power and/or privilege and/or tribalism is labeled a trope and equated with anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism, of course, is continually associated with pogroms and the Holocaust. The end result of all of this is to discourage discussion of the political economy insofar as Jewish Zionists oppose the discussion. Too many folks are following the Zionist framing of this issue. To me, anti-Semitism means Jew hatred, a form of racism. Racism and prejudice are not the same thing. And prejudice may in fact comport with experienced reality. When one thinks of Jews, does one think about janitors, bus drivers and factory labor? Of course there are Jewish janitors, bus drivers and factory workers, however, Jews are disproportionately represented in the professions such as doctors, lawyers and, yes, bankers. Recognition of that fact hardly indicates Jew hatred. Likewise, discussing the ramifications of a de facto economic caste system in the political economy is hardly illegitimate, nor a cause for worry concerning a new Holocaust. The danger lies in the suppression of discussion of the power relationships within our society. In view of the very low level of US anti-Semitism, the term “anti-Semitic” is overused and much abused. Of course, Jewish Zionists love the term for obvious reasons, however, too many anti-Zionists are giving de facto aid and comfort to highly successful Zionist propagandists.

      • irishmoses
        March 22, 2015, 8:36 pm

        Nicely put Keith.

      • eGuard
        March 23, 2015, 12:56 pm

        If it is for what he wrote and what he life-long supported, then you should have written just that. Instead, you tied those opinions to him being a Jew. (And don’t forget no one can see that, unless one has the prejudice that every Jew by definition is life-long supporting Israel etc.).

  22. eGuard
    March 21, 2015, 11:52 am

    Let’s not overlook this muddy point. Douglas writes: what might have caused the man’s outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David. That’s a “might”. Then, after having talked to the the man who had yelled, Douglas does not explain, not at all, what made him conclude anti-Semitism.

    Another free, unverifiable accusation of anti-Semtism. To separate anti-Semitism from political gain charades like this one, I have the rule: if it is not proven, it is not anti-Semitism. Douglas, this is not anti-Semitism.

    • irishmoses
      March 21, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Compare your statement here (“I have a rule: if it is not proven, it is not anti-Semitism.”) with your accusation above that my use of the word “Jew”, is ipso facto anti-Semitic.

      Seems inconsistent.

      • eGuard
        March 22, 2015, 6:26 pm

        No. I concluded anti-semitism explicitly, with reasoning (you can read that). That is my point: you enter “is a Jew” as an argument.

    • irishmoses
      March 22, 2015, 8:56 pm

      Maybe I’m dense, but I really don’t follow you. Are you saying I made a deliberately anti-Semitic comment (ergo, I’m an anti-Semite)? Or are you saying that mentioning someone is Jewish is always ipso facto anti-Semitic?

      I don’t see how your accusation jibes with your supposed rule, “…if it is not proven, it is not anti-Semitism”. What if I said, “I have a wonderful Italian baker.” Would that be a statement of bias?
      If not, why would, “I go to a wonderful Jewish delicatessen.”?

      Who appointed you as the thought police?

      • eGuard
        March 26, 2015, 6:41 am

        Replied above, “If it is for what he wrote …”. In short: you ascribe him qualities because he is a Jew.

  23. tommy
    March 21, 2015, 11:56 am

    Thanks. Another rebuttal to Douglas should be made about turning the Star of David into a national symbol for the State of Israel, flipping the ethno-religious traditions of Jews into a national identity. A national identity consumed with advancing the power of the state, making victims of others who do not qualify as Israelis. A child proudly displaying a swastika would have been similarly scolded, and for the same reasons as Douglas’ son.

  24. JLWarner
    March 21, 2015, 3:44 pm

    Wait. Michael Douglas wrote, “A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national policy decisions.” I read that as Douglas recognizing the difference between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.

    Gil Maguire writes, “where it’s [anti-Semitism] used as a tactic to protect Israel from valid criticism, we need to reject it and avoid the slippery slope that reduces claims of anti-Semitism to little more than political theatre.” Douglas did not do that.

    • irishmoses
      March 21, 2015, 6:13 pm

      JLWarner,

      The man said clearly “A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel.” I can’t see how you managed to read that as meaning Douglas recognizes the difference between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.

  25. just
    March 21, 2015, 10:14 pm

    Speaking of Irish, a Maguire, and a great woman:

    “Northern Irish Nobel laureate MaGuire told to pay bond to enter Israel

    Nobel Prize laureate Mairead MaGuire barred from entering Israel after participating in 2010 Gaza flotilla, but sought to attend West Bank conference.

    An Interior Ministry response to Nobel Prize laureate Mairead MaGuire’s request to attend a conference in the West Bank was only sent on the day of the event itself, and included a clause that the peace activist would have to post a guarantee of 100,000 shekels ($25,000).

    MaGuire, 71, from Northern Ireland, said she was concerned she would not be allowed to enter the West Bank without coordinating her arrival with the Israeli authorities, because of a 2010 order that barred her from the country.

    She took part in the Turkish flotilla attempting to break the naval blockade on Gaza in 2010. She was arrested onboard the ship Rachel Corrie, which was brought to the Ashdod port. MaGuire was deported from Israel with the other activists and banned from Israel for 10 years.

    She became aware of the ban in September 2011, after she came to Israel with an international delegation of female Nobel Prize winners but was prevented from entering the country. The following month she requested that the ban be lifted, but said she never received a reply from then-Interior Minister Eli Yishai.

    ……..

    One of the main projects of the NGO – which deals with education, health and empowerment – involves promoting women’s involvement in health issues and making them agents for change.

    Baker requested that the 10-year ban be lifted or abbreviated, so MaGuire could participate in the conference. According to Baker, the Interior Ministry initially said MaGuire had to apply to the army, and subsequently questioned whether Baker had legal power of attorney to represent McGuire. “These were technical procedures designed to delay the request,” said Baker.

    In the ministry’s reply, signed by attorney Anat Fisher-Tsin (a member of the legal adviser’s staff), MaGuire’s entry to Israel was only approved under three conditions.

    The first was that her entry to Israel be for the sole purpose of attending the conference, and that she show a return airline ticket with a flight dated soon after the conference. The second was that she pledge to visit only Ramallah and not be present in the State of Israel for any longer than required.

    The third was that she deposit a bank guarantee of 100,000 shekels with the ministry, to ensure compliance with the first two terms. The ministry also stated that MaGuire’s travel ban to visit Israel would not be lifted.

    Because of the three conditions – but mainly because of the financial guarantee – MaGuire decided to forego participation in the conference and canceled her trip.

    Baker said McGuire had intended to visit Ramallah for humanitarian purposes only and that she supports nonviolence. “The Interior Ministry’s decision allowing Ms. MaGuire’s entrance into the country was given to us at the very hour she was to have delivered her speech at the conference,” said Baker. “It is clear to us that behind the approval of our request was fear of more international damage if she were refused entry again, only because of her desire to fulfill her vision of non-belligerence,” she added.

    The Population, Immigration and Border Authority said in response, “MaGuire came to Israel the first time in the framework of the protest flotilla from Turkey in 2010, and like all other participants, she was barred from Israel after the ban was clearly explained to her. Nevertheless, a number of months later, she landed at the airport without coordinating ahead of time and was denied entry. Now, she was permitted entry beyond the letter of the law, subject to guarantees to ensure that she would leave Israel on time and not break the law during her visit. We assume that in many other countries her entry would not be approved at all after previously having been deported.””

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.648144?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

  26. eGuard
    March 24, 2015, 8:38 pm

    He’s an actor. Why did he start writing his own texts?

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