Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott

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The Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) of Israel’s Shalom Hartman Institute has now sent two small cohorts of Muslim-American leaders to Israel/Palestine. MLI’s stated purpose is to shape the understanding of these cohorts with regards to Judaism and Zionism. This conflation of Judaism and Zionism is troubling, in addition to MLI’s overstating the religious and theological dimensions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. MLI decontextualises this human tragedy, which cannot be resolved without attention to human rights, land, political struggle, decolonisation and the need for equal rights between Israelis and Palestinians.

MLI’s approach also reduces the conflict to Jewish-Muslim relations without understanding the role of Christians. The assumption that all Palestinians are Muslims further marginalises the voices of Palestinian Christians, atheists and other segments of Palestinian society, diminishing the long and rich history of Palestinian Christians in their fight for freedom in Palestine. At the same time, American Christian Zionism has significantly bolstered unwavering US support for the Israeli occupation and has had a devastating impact on the lives of Palestinians.

The reality of the occupation

As a Quaker and a pacifist, and having grown up in the West Bank under Israeli occupation, I understand these dynamics intimately. For hope, I often turn to Jewish people of conscience in Israel and around the world, including those in Jewish Voice for Peace in the US, that have been partners in the global Palestinian solidarity movement.

However, the US Muslims in the MLI program are falling in step with the Israeli state’s conflation of Judaism and Zionism. Their neglect of the long and rich history of anti-Zionism among Jewish communities adds another layer to the Shalom Hartman Institute’s silencing of Palestinian voices.

MLI logo

MLI logo

Hartman is a Zionist Israeli institution that supports the status quo in Israel/Palestine while the Israeli state enacts a system of settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing, military occupation, and apartheid on the indigenous stateless Palestinian population. Hartman receives much of its funding from the right-wing and Islamophobic Russell Berrie Foundation, the same organisation that has supported the anti-Palestinian Daniel Pipes.

Hartman research fellows spoke openly in media sources in favour of Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip last summer while 2,200 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed. Their 2013 annual report discusses the organisation’s attempts to undermine Palestinian solidarity activism on college campuses. And their director has spoken openly about their commitment to undermining the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

Yet some MLI participants continue to support the programme vigorously with full knowledge of this reality. Moreover, it was disheartening to watch footage of my friend, who is a resident of Jerusalem, being assaulted by an MLI participant. He tried to film and interview them to understand why they were violating the Palestinian BDS call through MLI.

The latest strategy of some MLI participants has been to appropriate, misrepresent, and mislead the voices of their few Palestinian interlocutors. Yet one of these individuals, Mazin Qumsiyeh, has signed a petition calling for a boycott of MLI and has spoken unequivocally against the programme after his name was used in an attempt to legitimise it. When we raised this issue with MLI participant Haroon Moghul during our debate on al-Jazeera, Moghul asserted that Qumsiyeh, like other Palestinians, has no choice but to speak for boycott. For an American MLI participant to deny the political agency of a leader in the Palestinian Christian community, a former professor at Yale, and currently a professor at Bethlehem University and activist in the Palestinian nonviolent resistance movement, reeked of colonialism.

For an MLI individual to imply that Palestinians such as myself and Dr. Qumsiyeh, who support the boycott movement, are irrational and merely being intimidated by our community, and to dismiss our voices and political efficacy, was disappointing. Furthermore, MLI’s other Palestinian speaker, Mustafa Barghouti, informed me that once he became fully aware of the Shalom Hartman Institute’s role in the programme, it was clear to him, as he stated, that “MLI is a violation of the Palestinian civil society-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.”

MLI’s participants are outliers in the Muslim-American, Arab-American, and Palestinian-American communities (not to be conflated, since the majority of Arab-Americans are Christians) in their undermining of BDS. Muslim-American leaders such as Imam Khalid Latif (NYU), Hatem Bazian (UC Berkeley), and Sheikh Omar Suleiman speak openly about their opposition to MLI. Hundreds of individuals and institutions, including the US Palestinian Community Network, have signed the MLI boycott petition.

Israel is the largest recipient of US aid in the world and US taxpayers are therefore complicit in the oppression of Palestinians. That is why US citizens bear a particular responsibility to respect the Palestinian call for BDS to be applied to institutions that are linked to the Israeli occupation. Working with the Shalom Hartman Institute, an organisation that collaborates with the Israeli military, MLI participants not only fail to honour their moral responsibility, but they deepen their complicity in the subjugation of Palestinians.

The BDS call represents as close to a consensus as possible within Palestinian civil society, with leaders of agricultural associations, youth movements, women’s groups, the LGBT movement, trade associations, educators, Palestinian Christian and Muslim leaders, and many others endorsing a boycott of institutions complicit in Israeli apartheid and inspired by the anti-apartheid boycott movement from South Africa.

And while the South African boycott movement included both individuals and institutions, the Palestinian boycott call has strategically chosen to target only the latter. This includes the Shalom Hartman Institute. The Palestinian BDS National Committee has subsequently issued an official statement condemning MLI.

Haroon Moghul has attempted to justify MLI and their violation of the BDS movement, crossing the picket line that Palestinian civil society has been working tirelessly to maintain. The BDS call and its three principles – ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, equal rights for Palestinian citizens of Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees – comprise a nonviolent strategy towards liberation based on international human rights law. All three spheres of Israeli state power – economic, academic, and cultural – are interconnected. This is why the boycott addresses all three.

Attempts to exempt the academic realm places Israeli academic institutions outside of their political context and whitewashes their complicity in the occupation. These institutions receive Israeli state funds, are built on ethnically cleansed Palestinian ancestral lands, support the military, and are inextricably tied to the occupation.

During apartheid South Africa, the academic, cultural, and sports boycotts were particularly symbolic and powerful. When teams around the world would not play South African teams, the white apartheid regime was shaken.

Our form of boycott is a nonviolent protest, responding to the cry of an oppressed people, and refusing to proceed with business as normal with apartheid states like South Africa or Israel until their indigenous populations are granted equal rights. And this is precisely why one US professional academic association after another, such as the American Studies Association (with 5,000 members) and the Peace and Justice Studies Association (with an 87 percent vote in favour), have endorsed the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

An imperative for people of conscience

I am a firm believer in dialogue, interfaith activism, intellectual exchange, and engaging people with whom we disagree, whether Zionist or anti-Zionist, particularly at the individual level. It is also important for people of conscience to visit Israel/Palestine to bear witness to the suffering and injustices there and to stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

Yet visits to Israel/Palestine must be done with sensitivity to the Palestinian people languishing under military occupation. There are ethical ways to do this, such as with an Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation. This year, there were also a delegation of Black and Latino journalists, artists and community organisers from Dream Defenders, Ferguson, MO, Black Lives Matter and Black Youth Project 100 which traveled to Palestine in solidarity with those living under occupation, memorably producing a flashmob dance in support of BDS.

MLI participants were in Israel/Palestine at the same time, choosing to engage in an institutional partnership with Hartman, and accepting funding and resources from Hartman, in contravention of the Palestinian civil society call for BDS and in disregard for our self-determination as Palestinians. I hope that MLI will stop faithwashing Israeli apartheid, silencing our voices, and undermining our liberation struggle. As the South African anti-apartheid moral giant, Nelson Mandela, once stated, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”

This piece first appeared at al-Araby al-Jadeed under the title, Faithwashing: A reflection on the Muslim Leadership Institute.

About Sa'ed Atshan

Sa’ed Atshan is a professor at Swarthmore College.

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126 Responses

  1. hophmi
    April 8, 2015, 2:36 pm

    Ah yes, the BDS red lines. Exclude all Zionist perspectives, prohibit Muslims from seeing Israel for themselves, and defame those Muslims who refuse to have people like Sa’ed Atshan think for them. But the same people argue that Hillel should be wide open.

    “For hope, I often turn to Jewish people of conscience in Israel and around the world, including those in Jewish Voice for Peace in the US, that have been partners in the global Palestinian solidarity movement.”

    For hope, I turn to people who already agree with everything I say. Good approach for becoming a closed-minded fool.

    • eljay
      April 8, 2015, 3:36 pm

      || hophmeee: For hope, I turn to people who already agree with everything I say. Good approach for becoming a closed-minded fool. ||

      That explains Zio-supremacists.

      • Mooser
        April 9, 2015, 3:31 pm

        You know, eljay, I’d like to position Hophmi facing a screen, feed a film into his mouth and put a take-up reel […]. Plug in a sound system and charge admission. The human projector.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 9, 2015, 3:43 pm

        mooser, don’t push it.

    • Mooser
      April 8, 2015, 3:59 pm

      ” Good approach for becoming a closed-minded fool.”

      Hophmi, this would be a perfect time to tell us the names of the two “Muslim outreach” organizations on which you say you serve on the Boards of Directors. Anybody can see that, in addition to being the number-one diagnoser of Jewish self-hatred, you are also the Outreach King.
      C’mon Hophmi, show these guys what real outreach looks like.

      • hophmi
        April 9, 2015, 12:20 pm

        Mooser: Real outreach is not something people involved tend to talk about publicly, because Jews like me face harassment from people like you on the radical left and from Zionists on the radical right and Muslims involved in outreach face harassment from similarly radicalized people in their own communities, and if they live in the Middle East, they often face serious danger at home. Although there are exceptions, in my experience, the people who do real outreach are not the kinds of people who love to blow their own horns. And no Mooser, I am not the “outreach king.” There are many, many Jews and Muslims involved in outreach of some kind.

        Because you’re so interested in my personal life: My participation in Muslim-Jewish outreach is with Muslim communities in New York. I am on the board of a new organization called the Jewish-Muslim Volunteer Alliance, which does joint Jewish-Muslim volunteering and holds an annual Iftar dinner each year, and I also sit on the board of an institute within the American Jewish Committee that does Muslim-Jewish outreach, and has done work with Imam Khalid Latif of NYU, mentioned above. Many of the Muslims we work with tend to be people who came from South Asian families, but there are a significant number of Arab Muslims involved as well.

        I also have close friends involved with the Muslim-Jewish Conference, an international organization based in Europe that brings young Jews and Muslims from around the world together each year in Europe, often at great risk to the Muslims, who are often afraid to talk about it in their home countries, and the NYU Building Bridges program, which is a joint program between NYU Rabbi Yehuda Sarna and Imam Latif, who are the chaplains of their respective communities at NYU. Despite what you may read here, not all Muslims are on board with the idea of avoiding working with Jewish organizations, and not all Jewish organizations restrict their institutional work with Muslims to those who are “Arab Zionists” or some brand of disgruntled Muslim apostate. Perhaps you can simply get it through your heads that Jewish organizations like AJC and ADL are really much bigger than their position on Israel, and that there is a huge range of perspectives within the Jewish communal world on all of this stuff, rather than taking the myopic view that everyone thinks the same in the American Jewish community and Israel advocacy is somehow all they do because this is all that you’re interested in because this is the only thing you see on TV. It’s always funny how all of you criticize the MSM, and then fail to consider how you yourselves might be negatively affected by its proclivities.

        Some of my friends, who know some of the MLI participants, are horrified by the way people in the Muslim community and in the BDS movement have smeared them for political purposes. These are good people, who simply reject the idea that they should live their lives by the dictates of Palestinian NGO’s, radical Western activists, and other Muslim NGO’s who wish to segregate Muslims from most Jews, whether they sympathize with the Palestinians or not (and most do). As usual with this conflict, it seems impossible for people to criticize an idea without trashing the people who may disagree with them.

        Donald: “I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza. One can learn the various Israeli points of view without giving legitimacy to people who are comfortable applauding for war crimes.”

        I don’t think so, Donald. I don’t think anyone can fully appreciate the various Israeli points of view without actually visiting Israel and speaking to people there (because you might just learn why people who have to run to bomb shelters every five minutes might support military action against people who fire rockets at their countrymen), and regardless, I certainly don’t think that people deserve to be harassed and smeared if they choose to go. Perhaps you can think for a second and recognize the irony of saying that people shouldn’t affiliate with an organization that supported the bombing of Gaza when the BDS movement has repeatedly failed to condemn Palestinian terrorism. All you’re doing is guilt-by-association, and the truth is that your problem is with these guys visiting Israel at all, not with their visiting on the Hartman Institute’s dime.

        “If MSM is what one reads/watches then ALL they hear is the Israeli pov~ from Israelis, American Zionists, CUFIs, US politicians, newspeakers and editors.”

        Yeah, that’s a nice well-worn cop-out, but it’s nonsense; hearing government officials or American advocates is not a substitute for talking to actual Israelis just like hearing Iranian officials on TV is not a substitute for talking to Iranian people and listening to American officials on TV is not a substitute for talking to actual Americans. As I said, the same MSM focuses on Israel obsessively, which leads people here to think that large Jewish communal organization focus on Israel and nothing else, when the reality is that Israel advocacy is a small part of their work.

        Walid: The people in MLI are not “Arab Zionists.” The people you’re talking about are generally apostates, some of whom converted to Christianity and now work for Christian evangelical organizations as Pablo Christiani types. The people involved in MLI are Muslim leaders who are interested in seeing things for themselves in Israel. You’re just going to have to come to grips with the fact that not every Muslim, and this is particularly true for Muslims outside of the Middle East, practices the same brand of politics as you do. The way people like you are treating MLI participants is exactly the way you accuse the Jewish community of treating Jews who are either liberal Zionists or non-Zionists.

        Perhaps, Mooser, you can detail your outreach work for us now.

      • Walid
        April 9, 2015, 1:55 pm

        Hophmi, all the visits to Israel by American Arabs would not bring back one dead Gazans, give back a square meter of stolen Palestinian land or release an imprisoned Palestinian. So of what good to go to Israel to “talk about it” with an Israeli, none of which is not benefitting directly or indirectly from the occupation. BTW, I’m not even impressed by the likes of Gideon Levy or Uri Avnery since they have no problem with the fact that half the water they are personally consuming is stolen.

      • Mooser
        April 9, 2015, 3:49 pm

        See, Hophmi? I told you now was the perfect time to reveal the information, and you did! Good job, way to increase creds and gravitas! I feel like I should e-mail those organizations and tell them what a good out-reach job “Hophmi” is doing!

      • Mooser
        April 9, 2015, 5:59 pm

        “mooser, don’t push it.”

        Thanks. You’re right. Will do.

      • gamal
        April 9, 2015, 7:28 pm

        Also at the behest of Jewish and Arab friends we were instrumental in establishing Deir Yassin Remembered, with a man who I knew as Rabbi Paul Eisen, though I think he no longer uses a title and is reputedly an Anti-Semite.

        http://pauleisen.blogspot.ie/

      • Annie Robbins
        April 9, 2015, 8:04 pm

        . Although there are exceptions, in my experience, the people who do real outreach are not the kinds of people who love to blow their own horns.

        so i take it you don’t do real outreach. on account of you getting a kick out of blowing your own horn., albeit anonymously. but you’re still here blowing your own horn.

      • gamal
        April 9, 2015, 8:31 pm

        I should just like to point out that my entirely disconnected post below is the result of my failing to be sufficiently coherent and civil in a previous post, I can express the following politely,

        I was a founding apparatchik of the 3 faiths forum an employee of Sheikh Sir Dr MAZ Badawi and Sir Sigmund Sternberg,

        http://www.3ff.org.uk/

        I would like to assert that Hophmi’s notion of outreach is fundamentally incoherent, outreach by its very nature must be public and is a two way process that rarely involves screaming racist shit at one another, as can be found extensively in Hophmi’s archive, I met guy’s like “Arab lover” Rabbi David Goldberg, we didn’t agree but David, who avoided lying, unlike Zionists.

        Sorry to have inconvenienced the moderator, mores are hard to abide by, you are very generous.

        edit : oh and still there was a little edit, i shouldn’t be left out alone.

      • RoHa
        April 9, 2015, 8:34 pm

        Annie, here’s a nice bit of outreach for you.

        https://archive.today/bUarE

      • Annie Robbins
        April 9, 2015, 9:00 pm

        roha, someone sent me that earlier. it made me upset:

        http://www.timesofisrael.com/hoax-blogger-posts-vile-post/

        http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/josh-bornstein-times-of-israel-response

        the times of israel needs to have someone on staff monitoring what gets published prior to publication. this same thing happened 6 months ago.

      • gamal
        April 9, 2015, 8:52 pm

        sorry weed and whiskey caused me to forget link to David Goldberg

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jan/26/religion.uk1

      • Kris
        April 12, 2015, 12:42 am

        @hophmi: “people who have to run to bomb shelters every five minutes might support military action against people who fire rockets at their countrymen.”

        Hophmi, we already know that their incredible sense of entitlement and racism allows Zionist Jews to steal land from the Palestinians and to feel that slaughtering Palestinians is self defense.

        It would be helpful if you’d try to explain why you think that anyone should sympathize with these thieves and murderers.

    • justicewillprevail
      April 8, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Apparently you have trouble reading, and thus have completely misunderstood what is written directly above. Or you just insist on writing unadulterated rubbish about what BDS is to suit yourself. That is what I would call close-minded, Are you throwing a tantrum because Sa’ed won’t listen to such sages as yourself, the unacknowledged expert in misrepresenting BDS?

    • Donald
      April 8, 2015, 6:40 pm

      I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza. One can learn the various Israeli points of view without giving legitimacy to people who are comfortable applauding for war crimes.

      • just
        April 8, 2015, 7:04 pm

        I’m not entirely sure why anyone would want to go to Israel at all~ 95% of Israelis supported the Gaza massacre…some even thought it wasn’t enough of a massacre.

        If MSM is what one reads/watches then ALL they hear is the Israeli pov~ from Israelis, American Zionists, CUFIs, US politicians, newspeakers and editors.

      • yonah fredman
        April 8, 2015, 7:43 pm

        Donald- The Palestinians of Gaza want an end to the siege. Israel wants assurances that weapons are not imported into Gaza. Would you be in favor of trying to satisfy both these wishes?

      • Donald
        April 8, 2015, 7:55 pm

        Yonah–If the Palestinians had absolute assurance that Israel,would stop shooting fishermen and other innocent Gazans, and lift the blockade permanently, then maybe.

        I’m hesitant because of the basic unfairness–I don’t think Palestinian armed resistance has done much good ( if any) and it has done harm, both in killing Israeli civilians and in providing excuses for Israel to kill much larger numbers of Palestinians. But I can see why it would stick in the throats of Palestinians that someone asks them to disarm when their oppressors continue to receive weapons.

        Do I think Israelis have the right to live in peace? Yes, but not by keeping Gazans in prison.

      • Walid
        April 8, 2015, 11:34 pm

        “I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza. ” (Donald)

        You probably haven’t encountered the term “Arab-Zionists”. These include all those that are pro-normalization with Israel and those that are not averse to physically attacking other Arabs for the benefit of the Zionists like ganging up on Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen and so on. It was only last week that we read how President’s Abbas’ senior advisor was counselling him to approach the AL to bomb Gaza. You also have the Shoebats, the Waffa Sultans, the Bridget Gabriels that earn their living by siding with the Zionists and singing their praise. Not surprising to see a few Moslem American Arabs kissing Zionist asses by going on free trips to the occupied Palestinian lands.

      • just
        April 8, 2015, 11:43 pm

        Thanks, Walid.

      • JeffB
        April 9, 2015, 12:02 pm

        @Donald

        I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza.

        Because the Muslims who participated in MSI are trying to dialogue with Jewish groups in the Jewish mainstream. The Jewish mainstream both in the USA and Israel supported the bombing of Gaza.

        The USA can talk to Iranian dissidents all they want. But when the USA wants to influence Iranian policy they need to negotiate with people who supported Iranian backed terrorism against American troops, support the embassy takeover and support the Islamic revolution. To pick an even more extreme example when the USA was negotiating with North Korea they were negotiating with people who supported the central planning that led to the deaths of 3m people from famine.

        Negotiations are conducted with people who disagree with you about stuff. It is very easy to talk to dissidents. Negotiating with actual opponents means granting the obvious like recognition of them as the opposing power. USA Jews have mixed feelings about the Muslim bating of far right Christian Republicans. 30 years ago they didn’t mixed feelings but rather strongly backed minority rights for Muslims. Successful USA Muslim politicians are going to have to figure out how to represent their community’s opinions on Israel / Palestine without turning Jews into implacable enemies. To do that they need to dialogue with mainstream Jews.

      • Walid
        April 9, 2015, 1:59 pm

        “The Palestinians of Gaza want an end to the siege. Israel wants assurances that weapons are not imported into Gaza. Would you be in favor of trying to satisfy both these wishes?” (Yonah)

        Why is it that Americans and Israelis have a god-given right to bear arms and the Palestinians are not? You want Palestinians to remain unarmed, same with the Lebanese and same with other Arab countries that have limited arms. But not Israel; why is that?

      • RoHa
        April 9, 2015, 6:47 pm

        You say:

        “Successful USA Muslim politicians are going to have to figure out how to represent their community’s opinions on Israel / Palestine without turning Jews into implacable enemies.”

        But you also said:

        “The Jewish mainstream both in the USA and Israel supported the bombing of Gaza.”

        It sounds as though “the Jews” are already implacable enemies. (And evil, to boot.)

        Sucessful USA Muslim politicians are going to have to find ways of presenting their case to the American people in the teeth of American Jewish opposition. Given the level of control American Jews have over American media, this will be a tough job.

      • Donald
        April 9, 2015, 6:48 pm

        “Because the Muslims who participated in MSI are trying to dialogue with Jewish groups in the Jewish mainstream. The Jewish mainstream both in the USA and Israel supported the bombing of Gaza.”

        That’s actually a good point. Depressing, but maybe true. And I agree that to make peace people do have to talk to their opponents.

        So I’ll grant that. The problem is, of course, that in the US we constantly hear the Israeli POV and these dialog groups never seem to go anywhere. I would have supported this sort of thing much more ten years ago, but now I tend to think that unless dialogue is accompanied by real pressure on Israel by the US, the dialogue just gives cover to Israel. It enables people to pick out the “good Muslims”, the ones who are willing to “dialogue” and distinguish them from the bad Muslims (and others) who favor BDS. And nothing changes. It’s a fig leaf.

        Now if people could both do dialogue and work to change US policy so we stop arming Israel and protecting them in the UN, I’d be okay with dialogue. Yes, people should talk to each other, especially enemies.

        I’ll also reply to Hophmi here, though he may or may not see it. In the first place, if people want to visit Israel can’t they do it without the help of the Hartman Institute?

        But the more substantive point is this–anyone who follows the I/P conflict at all will have heard about rocket fire from Gaza and Israelis running to bomb shelters and the psychological harm done to Israeli children. Yes, people should know about this, but they already do. Hardly anyone hears about the much greater violence (in peacetime) that Israel inflicts on Gazans and people in the WB. Let me know when Obama mentions the shooting of Gazan fishermen with the same level of condemnation he gives to rocket fire. In fact, I don’t think the Obama people have ever condemned Israeli violence in anything like the terms that they use for Palestinian rocket fire.

      • catalan
        April 9, 2015, 8:44 pm

        Given the level of control American Jews have over American media, this will be a tough job. – RoHa
        That is true – whenever I don’t like a TV show I have a little word with the station owners. And at synagogue(I go every Friday of course!) we always discuss media content. My only dilemma is whether to spend my billions on my yacht or to engage in media control. Because I am Jewish, I prefer controlling others, even though for someone better having fun would be preferable.

      • JeffB
        April 9, 2015, 9:06 pm

        @Donald & RoHa

        I think you are both making the same error in your response. You are thinking of the MSI as being primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P. That’s not the aim. There is an understanding that American Jews and American Muslims are likely to be on the opposite sides of the I/P issue. The question is not trying to decide what to do about I/P. The question they are addressing is in light of the fact that American Jews and American Muslims are on opposite sides of this issue how do we prevent it from spilling over into the many other issues on which American Jews and American Muslims would normally have been on the same side?

        So RoHa even if I were to grant that American Jews are implacable enemies of the Gazans (I don’t happen to think that BTW) that doesn’t mean they need to be implacable enemies of American Muslims. And Donald, the goal of the dialogue is just one of understanding so that Muslims who are already opposed to Israel and in favor or pressuring Israel don’t cross Jewish red lines, and American Jews don’t cross American Muslim redlines.

        Let’s pick a specific example. Darrell Issa (himself an Arab) has pushed for a more tolerant position on Hezbollah arguing that USA rejection makes the USA unable to have an effectual relationship with Lebanon’s government. Now he’s been able to do that while retaining the support of the Jewish community because even while strongly affirming Hezbollah’s role in Lebanon and Hezbollah’s as a Lebanese resistance for against Israel he’s taken strong pro-Zionist positions like support for the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act. So for Issa the Lebanese people have the right to self-determination including Hezbollah as a political party, in the same way the Jewish people have right to self-determination and Israeli political parties. He’s been able to oppose AIPAC for 15 years, as a Muslim because he’s been highly sensitive to Jewish concerns, which requires Issa to understand Jewish concerns.

      • tree
        April 9, 2015, 10:56 pm

        You are thinking of the MSI as being primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P. That’s not the aim.

        Then why take them to Israel if the aim is not to dialogue about Israel? You are pulling arguments out your ass again. You really need to stop that. It can lead to a very bad case of hemorrhoids.

        And Darrell Issa is not a Muslim. His father was Eastern Orthodox Christian and his mother was a Mormon. So much for your stereotyping of all Arabs as Muslim. Hint: The majority of Arabs in the US are Christian. Maybe if you “dialogued” with a few of them you’d get that, instead of having to make up sh*t.

      • Walid
        April 9, 2015, 11:11 pm

        He’s (Darrell Issa)been able to oppose AIPAC for 15 years, as a Muslim because he’s been highly sensitive to Jewish concerns, which requires Issa to understand Jewish concerns.” (Jeff)

        Your man is a Christian; does it make him less sensitive to Jewish concerns?

      • RoHa
        April 10, 2015, 6:49 am

        “the goal of the dialogue is just one of understanding so that Muslims who are already opposed to Israel and in favor or pressuring Israel don’t cross Jewish red lines, and American Jews don’t cross American Muslim redlines. ”

        What is wrong with crossing red lines?

      • Mooser
        April 10, 2015, 12:02 pm

        “Because I am Jewish”

        You can expand to include the natural desire for self-determination of twenty million people, or you can contract into a poor old man pelted by rocks from hooligans.
        I don’t think those wild swings in weight are good for you.

      • JeffB
        April 10, 2015, 2:35 pm

        @RoHa

        What is wrong with crossing red lines?

        The problem with USA Muslims crossing USA Jewish redlines is that USA Muslims have dozens of issues other than I/P most of which USA Jews would either be normally supportive of or normally indifferent to that they are willing to shift on if they see themselves as being threatened. ADL for example has frequently supported Muslim minority rights, for the same reason in generations past they partnered with Catholics and Mormons for their religious minority rights. However in recent decades that support has narrowed as Islamic religious institutions “cross red lines” and become explicitly anti-Semitic (as American Jews see it).

        A good chunk of Mondoweiss is taken up by by the effects of the spillover from I/P to the broader USA Muslim / Jewish relationship. SJP freely crosses redlines and donors demand the administration act against them. MSA doesn’t and they don’t draw the same kind of heat.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2015, 2:41 pm

        shorter jeff,

        it’s anti semitic.

        jeff, try condensing your answers instead of couching them in a bunch of yada yada.

      • RoHa
        April 11, 2015, 11:58 pm

        If the red lines of American Jews are such that they exclude justice and humanity, decent people have no option but to cross them. If American Jews judge this to be anti-Semitic, then the judgement simply reveals their own moral corruption.

    • a blah chick
      April 8, 2015, 7:25 pm

      It’s hard to have a dialog with people who have their boot on your throat. Makes talking difficult.

    • Mooser
      April 8, 2015, 9:02 pm

      BTW, mentioning “The Phils will Fall Away” and Hophmi’s “Board of Directners of Muslim-outreach” positions sure produces a paucity of Hophmis.

      What a modest fellow.

    • JeffB
      April 10, 2015, 12:12 pm

      @tree

      Then why take them to Israel if the aim is not to dialogue about Israel?

      Because I/P is the point of tension between American Muslims and American Jews. It is what is undermining the ability to talk about hosts of other issues on which their might be more common ground and creating bad feelings on both sides. The goal is understanding regarding Israel. Being anti-Zionist without crossing over into anti-Semitism (as mainstream Jews see it) is walking a minefield. Learning where the clusters of mines are helps.

      Read the various posts by the MSI participants they talk quite openly about how without training I/P becomes the huge elephant in the room that neither side can talk about but that keeps naturally coming up.

      And Darrell Issa is not a Muslim.

      Didn’t know that. The context here was backing Hezbollah, an explicitly muslim organization. He still did it artfully, though obviously I should have picked a Muslim politician.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2015, 12:37 pm

        jeff, you’re sending mixed messages:

        You are thinking of the MSI as being primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P. That’s not the aim.

        Then why take them to Israel if the aim is not to dialogue about Israel?

        The goal is understanding regarding Israel….Read the various posts by the MSI participants they talk quite openly about how without training I/P becomes the huge elephant in the room that neither side can talk about but that keeps naturally coming up.

        so, according to you, i/p keeps coming up and is an elephant in the room, MSI is not “primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P”, but to “understand” israel. so they are trained to understand israel but not to dialogue about i/p.

        i think tree is correct in saying You are pulling arguments out your ass.

      • JeffB
        April 10, 2015, 3:04 pm

        @Annie

        S o, according to you, i/p keeps coming up and is an elephant in the room, MSI is not “primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P”, but to “understand” israel. so they are trained to understand israel but not to dialogue about i/p.

        Almost. They are trained about how to dialogue about I/P in a way that I/P doesn’t derail the more important issue.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2015, 5:56 pm

        They are trained about how to dialogue about I/P in a way that I/P doesn’t derail the more important issue.

        what’s, specifically, is the more important issue when dialoguing about I/P than the occupation, the decades long oppression of the palestinian people, and how to facilitate their equal rights?

    • oldgeezer
      April 14, 2015, 2:16 pm

      @hophmi
      “For hope, I turn to people who already agree with everything I say. Good approach for becoming a closed-minded fool. ”

      Best comment about Hillel to date. Four thumbs up as soon as I figure out how!

  2. just
    April 8, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Thank you for this welcome and necessary exposé, Sa’ed Atshan.

    It’s not unusual for for organizations to lure folks to their lair under false pretenses. Hartman and MLI is one more, and is a particularly dangerous one, imho.

    Poseurs for peace, love and understanding~ the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing, taking advantage of the Occupied and oppressed, and those eager and desperate to end the injustice.

    Boycott MLI!

    • Walid
      April 9, 2015, 12:30 am

      This is the second time around the block for inter-faith mumbo jumbo from the Hartman and MLI people. The other time was on Januarry 30th written up by a pro-Israel-tripper Sabih Khan to the joy of Mondo’s resident Zios; it was then that Mooser was happy to learn that hophmi was on 2 inter-faith boards:

      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/between-muslims-possible#comment-742749

      The whole faith washing thing is a sham.

      • Mooser
        April 9, 2015, 10:33 am

        Thanks, Walid, for linking to that. Ever heard of a guy who is on the Boards of Directors of two Muslim-outreach organizations, but can’t tell us his name, or the name of the organizations? Must be a ‘covert outreach’ thing.

      • Walid
        April 9, 2015, 11:13 pm

        Thanks for the name correction, Annie.

  3. Elliot
    April 8, 2015, 9:20 pm

    “Hartman receives much of its funding from the right-wing and Islamophobic Russell Berrie Foundation”
    Sa’ed, that’s a serious accusation and potentially helpful. Would you post your source for this (and other claims). Thanks.

    • just
      April 8, 2015, 10:49 pm

      “Angelica Berrie, Chair of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, is President of the Russell Berrie Foundation, which makes transformational gifts to seed innovative philanthropic ventures that express Russ Berrie’s entrepreneurial spirit.”

      http://hartman.org.il/About_Us_View.asp?Cat_Id=334&Cat_Type=About&Title_Cat_Name=Angelica%20Berrie
      ———-

      “REPORT: $42 Million From Seven Foundations Helped Fuel The Rise Of Islamophobia In America”

      http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2011/08/26/304306/islamophobia-network/
      ————

      ““Any action that put Israel in the normal light goes against everything the BDS movement is going for,” she said. “The people who go on the MLI trip can come back and criticize Israel. That’s fine. But their engagement in this trip goes against the whole goal of isolating Israel and forcing Israel to be held accountable for its war crimes.”

      No establishment Muslim group has come out against the trip. But New York University’s Imam Khalid Latif, one of the most prominent religious figures in the U.S., recently criticized the trip on Facebook.

      Latif linked to an article by the Electronic Intifada‘s Ali Abunimah, who detailed how the Russell Berrie Foundation, which funds Islamophobic activism in the U.S., also funds the Shalom Hartman Institute. Moghul told me that the foundation also funded the trip itself.”

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/fissures-american-community#sthash.RVtcDopr.dpuf

  4. jon s
    April 9, 2015, 1:07 am

    This is a good example of much of what’s wrong with the BDS campaign.

    I’ve had the privilege of participating in numerous seminars at the Hartman Institute, as well as their Purim megillah-reading. These days it’s unfortunately a rarity to find an institution with a Jewish-Orthodox orientation, like the Hartman Institute, which promotes pluralism , tolerance and democratic values.
    If I had to think of a list of academic institutes which should be boycotted, Hartman would be dead last.

    (Full disclosure: my school runs a program in partnership with the Hartman Institute.)

    • Donald
      April 9, 2015, 10:53 am

      You blamed Israel’s killing of children entirely on Hamas, JonS, so your endorsement of the Hartman institute leaves us in pretty much the same place we were before.

      • tree
        April 9, 2015, 2:48 pm

        You took the words out of my mouth, Donald.

        Besides its hard to get behind an organization founded by a man who called for genocide against the Palestinians. Not exactly what I would call promoting “pluralism , tolerance and democratic values”.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/02/urging-sharon-simply

      • Elliot
        April 9, 2015, 5:53 pm

        The article that Tree posted on the founder of the Hartman Institute (by Donald) is damning.

      • jon s
        April 10, 2015, 11:56 am

        Donald,
        First of all, for the record, I stand by what I wrote about Hamas bearing primary responsibility for the civilian casualties.
        Secondly, what does that have to do with my opinion on the Hartman Institute?
        Someone can be wrong on one topic and correct on another (unless you have a totalitarian mind-set).

        In the interview with the late Rabbi Hartman it’s pretty obvious that he’s saying “these are the views I’m hearing, this is what’s being said”, not that those were his views.
        In any case, what I wrote was not based on a line from an interview from 2002, but on my direct contact with the Hartman Institute in recent years.

        I agree with Prof. Sarna, quoted in tree’s link:

        “Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, described the Hartman Institute as “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism…”

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2015, 12:44 pm

        In the interview with the late Rabbi Hartman it’s pretty obvious that he’s saying “these are the views I’m hearing, this is what’s being said”, not that those were his views.

        that was the same argument made in defense of rudoren’s nyt article the other day. i’m curious what he said and how he said it. can you link to this interview please (sorry if someone else did, i don’t have time to check the thread), i’d like to judge this allegation of yours for myself.

      • Mooser
        April 10, 2015, 12:07 pm

        “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism…”

        “Jon s” if there is “a sea” of “what was often religious fanaticism” (Fritz! Be quiet! Easy, boy!) we need to know about it. Could you tell us, out of your own mouth, who on the Zionist side is at sea in “religious fanaticism”? If only so we can see how wonderful Hartman is, by contrast.

      • Donald
        April 10, 2015, 3:06 pm

        “First of all, for the record, I stand by what I wrote about Hamas bearing primary responsibility for the civilian casualties. Secondly, what does that have to do with my opinion on the Hartman Institute? Someone can be wrong on one topic and correct on another (unless you have a totalitarian mind-set). ”

        Your endorsement of the Hartman Institute bears little weight, because you are also the sort of person who thinks that the deliberate bombing of homes by Israel can be blamed on Hamas. This is like blaming Hamas suicide bombing on Israel. It’s contemptible.

        I’ve noticed over the years that whatever one thinks of liberal Zionism, there seem to be two types of liberal Zionist–one admits Israel’s war crimes and the other manages to find ways to blame the Palestinians for nearly everything Israel does. It matters very little in the end if you say you oppose settlements and you are willing to have “dialogue”, if in the end you justify nearly every act of Israeli violence as self defense. It’s just a way of making yourself feel good. It’s a technique that probably works well in the American context, where most liberals would hear the word “dialogue” and think that something meaningful is happening and get warm fuzzy feelings about it, but if you represent the liberal side of the Israeli spectrum, it just means Israel needs to be pressured from the outside or nothing is going to change.

  5. Mooser
    April 9, 2015, 10:36 am

    Well, “jon s”, you’ve done it. I’m speechless.

    “promotes pluralism , tolerance and democratic values”

    Okay, there’s a good shot of the best medicine!

    “These days it’s unfortunately a rarity to find an institution with a Jewish-Orthodox orientation, like the Hartman Institute, which promotes pluralism , tolerance and democratic values.”

    In that case, “Jon s” would you mind giving us the names of those “institution(s) with a Jewish-Orthodox orientation” which don’t “promote pluralism , tolerance and democratic values”?

    You know so we can compare how awful those other “Orthodox-Jewish institutions” are in comparison with the “pluralism , tolerance and democratic values” of Hartman. In the interests of honest dialogue and full disclosure of course, or do you normally make a practice of slagging on competing Jewish institutions? Doesn’t seem very good for the TU, “Jon s”!

  6. hophmi
    April 9, 2015, 1:51 pm

    I’m sorry, I just have to note that no fewer than three times here, in the space of 20 comments, Mooser harps on this point about my affiliation with Jewish-Muslim dialogue groups:

    “Mooser April 8, 2015, 3:59 pm
    ” Good approach for becoming a closed-minded fool.”

    Hophmi, this would be a perfect time to tell us the names of the two “Muslim outreach” organizations on which you say you serve on the Boards of Directors. Anybody can see that, in addition to being the number-one diagnoser of Jewish self-hatred, you are also the Outreach King.
    C’mon Hophmi, show these guys what real outreach looks like.”

    “Mooser April 8, 2015, 9:02 pm
    BTW, mentioning “The Phils will Fall Away” and Hophmi’s “Board of Directners of Muslim-outreach” positions sure produces a paucity of Hophmis.

    What a modest fellow.”

    “Mooser April 9, 2015, 10:33 am
    Thanks, Walid, for linking to that. Ever heard of a guy who is on the Boards of Directors of two Muslim-outreach organizations, but can’t tell us his name, or the name of the organizations? Must be a ‘covert outreach’ thing.”

    So in the span of about 30 hours, three separate comments, none substantive, all personal attacks on me that violate the comment rules and are meant to harass me and have me reveal personal details about my life, were put through by the moderator. I think there’s something wrong with the moderator who allows this cyberbullying to go on, and with the person who feels the needs to obsessively harass me like this.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 9, 2015, 2:59 pm

      hops, when you offer the information on the blog (in the past as someone linked to) about your participation on the board of interfaith organizations and tout your own horn for that participation it’s a little disingenuous to then think only you can reference this information and from your own point of view. i could understand how it might seem unfair if someone knew who you were offline tried to out you, researched you to expose this information about you online, but that didn’t happen.

      what mooser said “Must be a ‘covert outreach’ thing.” is not what i would consider a personal attack nor harassment. it’s merely a matter of fact. by definition every person who comments here anonymously engages in covert outreach, vs non covertly. and contrary to your claims of victimhood (which you have made on this thread, not only about yourself but claims of muslims being victimized in their communities for their participation in interfaith groups)…the same could be said for those advocating for palestinian freedom who are sometimes targeted by zionist thugs.

      in fact, there’s a very public campaign to smear all pro palestinian activism on american campuses as anti semitic! this is a vast broad brush claim of racism against an entire movement.

      so please, nothing like that is happening to you here. you can’t dish it out and then scream foul when the information you provide is used against your argument. sorry. of course, you could challenge my opinion but we’re not hosting a debate about moderation rules on the thread. take it off line if you feel persecuted against here, send adam or phil and email and see what they say.

    • jon s
      April 11, 2015, 2:32 am

      Annie,
      You’re welcome.
      Maybe they think that there’s an advantage in trying to see the situation on the ground with their own eyes, meeting people representing different viewpoints, and that increasing their understanding of the conflict over here will contribute to their efforts to improve Jewish-Muslim relations in North America.
      My main point is that the Hartman Institute, which is committed to promoting pluralism and democratic values, is a very poor choice as a target to boycott. Unless, of course, the boycotters are not interested in promoting any kind of mutual respect and understanding.

      For more information:
      http://hartman.org.il/

      • Annie Robbins
        April 11, 2015, 11:19 am

        Maybe they think that there’s an advantage in trying to see the situation on the ground with their own eyes

        Or maybe they think that there’s an advantage in creating a deep crevasse within the american muslim (as well as arab christian) community and by choosing to hold seminars in Israel, knowing it requires disrespecting the Palestinian call for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

        If they were truly interested in merely promoting mutual respect and understanding in the Jewish-Muslim relations in North America, i’m sure they could find a way to do it without requiring members of the american arab community to disrespect that call.

        Unless, of course, the the Hartman Institute is not primarily interested in promoting mutual respect and understanding. Improving Jewish-Muslim relations in North America at the expense of Muslim relations in North America, is rather transparent.

        another point john, wrt ‘seeing things from their own eyes’ you must be aware by now if the situation were reversed and an interfaith group of american palestinian christian or muslim led group was planning on leading a trip for american religious leaders to see things “from their own eyes” like for example the christ on a checkpoint conference, the government of israel would be up in arms about it, many of the people would be harassed at the border (or turned away which has been done to members of interfaith groups) and it would be all over the press in the US.

        just saying.

        the idea this is primarily about “Improving Jewish-Muslim relations in North America” sounds like a crock of sh*t. more like improving zionist-muslim relations. or is there jewish anti or non zionists participation?

        there’s a conflation here of judaism w/zionism. inevitably that will be to the detriment (at the expense) of judaism and jews.

      • Mooser
        April 11, 2015, 11:32 am

        Or maybe they think that there’s an advantage in creating a deep crevasse…/… for a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott of Israel.

        Bingo, Annie!

      • Annie Robbins
        April 11, 2015, 12:01 pm

        D’oh!

      • hophmi
        April 13, 2015, 11:45 am

        “Or maybe they think that there’s an advantage in creating a deep crevasse within the american muslim (as well as arab christian) community”

        You mean, you’re not for creating crevasses in American minority communities to advance a political aim? Just what are you doing with the American Jewish community?

        “If they were truly interested in merely promoting mutual respect and understanding in the Jewish-Muslim relations in North America, i’m sure they could find a way to do it without requiring members of the american arab community to disrespect that call.”

        I see. So I guess Muslims interested in promoting mutual respect and understanding with the Jewish community could find a way to do it without requiring members of the American Jewish community to boycott other Jews.

        And by the way, who is requiring anybody in the American Arab community to disrespect anything? Nobody put a gun to the head of the people in MLI and forced them to go.

        “Unless, of course, the the Hartman Institute is not primarily interested in promoting mutual respect and understanding. Improving Jewish-Muslim relations in North America at the expense of Muslim relations in North America, is rather transparent.”

        Is it? How so? Israel is an important thing for Jews. Hartman offers a chance for Muslim American leaders to experience it. Again, no one is holding a gun to their heads here, except maybe people like you, who threaten to smear them if they don’t toe the BDS line. It seems as though the only people messing with Jewish-Muslim relations are people in the BDS movement, who oppose such dialogue unless it endorses BDS.

        “more like improving zionist-muslim relations. or is there jewish anti or non zionists participation?”

        Are anti-Zionists (a small minority of the Jewish community) now permitted to go on Hartman Institute trips? And do they wish to go?

        “there’s a conflation here of judaism w/zionism”

        LOL. And you’re conflating Islam with BDS by suggesting that Muslims and Arabs should not violate its picket line.

        Again, no one forced these guys to go.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 13, 2015, 1:03 pm

        You mean, you’re not for creating crevasses in American minority communities to advance a political aim?

        n-n-n-n-no. i don’t make that claim. i’d sorta like nothing better than dividing the zionists from the non zionists.

        I guess Muslims interested in promoting mutual respect and understanding with the Jewish community could find a way to do it without requiring members of the American Jewish community to boycott other Jews.

        it’s not a requirement. but frankly, i’m not sure how mutual respect and understanding can happen between an oppressor and the oppressed. they’ve been dialoguing for decades haven’t they, while settlements, lawn mowing, slaughters, imprisonment and bulldozed homes continue.

        Hartman offers a chance for Muslim American leaders to experience it.

        a chance to experience zionism? israel? uh huh. you mean like normalizing the occupation?

        Are anti-Zionists (a small minority of the Jewish community) now permitted to go on Hartman Institute trips? And do they wish to go?

        i guess that would be a ‘no’ since all you did was rephrase my question.

        And you’re conflating Islam with BDS by suggesting that Muslims and Arabs should not violate its picket line.

        no i’m not. if this was about judaism and islam you could do it right here in the US. it’s political, it’s about normalizing zionism, that’s why it’s taking place in israel. it’s a ruse.

        no one forced these guys to go.

        i never said they did — and no one is forcing american jews to boycott israel either. i look on the bright side, you’ve lot a tiny handful of american muslims heading off to israel for the zionist experience, and bds is having a pied piper effect across campuses all over the US, including american jewish youth. i’m not really worried about this program because i don’t see it catching on – unlike bds.

        let’s just call it what it is hops, faithwashing. later.

      • hophmi
        April 15, 2015, 9:47 am

        “n-n-n-n-no. i don’t make that claim. i’d sorta like nothing better than dividing the zionists from the non zionists.”

        Oh, come on. Stop dissembling. Half the dialogue here is about dividing the Jewish community into “Jews of conscience,” and everyone else.

        “it’s not a requirement. but frankly, i’m not sure how mutual respect and understanding can happen between an oppressor and the oppressed. they’ve been dialoguing for decades haven’t they, while settlements, lawn mowing, slaughters, imprisonment and bulldozed homes continue.”

        So now Israel is oppressing all Muslims?

        “a chance to experience zionism? israel? uh huh. you mean like normalizing the occupation?”

        “let’s just call it what it is hops, faithwashing.”

        How is it “normalizing the occupation” to visit Israel? I’m fascinated with these facile slogans that pass for arguments here. If I visit East Los Angeles, do I “normalize poverty?” If I visit a police station, do I “normalize” police brutality? If I visit India, do I “normalize” caste discrimination? If I visit Iraq, do I “normalize” ISIS?

        Same with the attachment of the word “washing” to everything. Especially by people who apologize for terrorism and do not apologize for antisemitism.

        “no i’m not. if this was about judaism and islam you could do it right here in the US. it’s political, it’s about normalizing zionism, that’s why it’s taking place in israel. it’s a ruse.”

        It is? How so? A ruse for what? Are MLI members a day old? Are they unaware of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Do they live under rocks? Are their staff incapable of researching the Hartman Institute? Yes, it’s an e-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-e ruse. Bring MLI members to Jerusalem. Show them Jews are not people with horns. They’ll automatically become Likudnik Zionist. You know what a ruse is? Telling people you’re for human rights and justice and then refusing to condemn Palestinian terrorism against Israeli civilians. That’s a ruse.

        “i look on the bright side, you’ve got a tiny handful of american muslims heading off to israel for the zionist experience, and bds is having a pied piper effect across campuses all over the US, including american jewish youth. ”

        Pied piper. That’s a great way to describe it. Children following an evil idea that leads to their eventual death. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pied_Piper_of_Hamelin

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2015, 2:02 pm

        “Pied piper. That’s a great way to describe it. Children following an evil idea that leads to their eventual death”

        But Hophmi, just a few comments ago you said Phil Weiss was a “gentleman”? So what happened? There’s no pleasing you.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 19, 2015, 10:50 pm

        Children following an evil idea that leads to their eventual death.

        hmm, your own link stated, in the opening sentence> “disappearance or death”.

        iow, nobody knows, they just didn’t ever see them again. symbolically i’m sure it felt like their death to the bereaved. but there’s nothing in the legend confirming any of the children died.

        and clearly we view the legend differently, from your link:

        disappearance or death of a great number of kids from the town of Hamelin (Hameln), Lower Saxony, Germany, in the Middle Ages. The earliest references describe a piper, dressed in multicolored (“pied”) clothing, leading the kids away from the town never to return. In the 16th century the story was expanded into a full narrative, in which the piper is a rat-catcher hired by the town to lure rats away with his magic pipe. When the citizens refuse to pay for this service, he retaliates by turning his power that he put in his instrument on their children, leading them away as he had the rats.

        and that’s the story. they hired the man to lure the rats (the evil) from their town. there’s no statement in the story claiming the piper was evil. he did what he was hired to do and they refused to pay him (taking something for granted, not paying up, being immoral, theft) and so, the piper, in turn, took from them that which they valued the most — their children.

        it’s a lesson.

        Rats!
        They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
        And bit the babies in the cradles,
        And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
        And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,
        Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
        Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,
        And even spoiled the women’s chats,
        By drowning their speaking
        With shrieking and squeaking
        In fifty different sharps and flats.

        http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/hameln.html#browning

        He advanced to the council-table:
        And, “Please your honors,” said he, “I’m able,
        By means of a secret charm, to draw
        All creatures living beneath the sun,
        That creep, or swim, or fly, or run,
        After me so as you never saw!
        And I chiefly use my charm
        On creatures that do people harm,
        The mole, and toad, and newt, and viper;
        And people call me the Pied Piper.”
        (And here they noticed round his neck
        A scarf of red and yellow stripe,
        To match with his coat of selfsame cheque;
        And at the scarf’s end hung a pipe;
        And his fingers, they noticed, were ever straying
        As if impatient to be playing
        Upon this pipe, as low it dangled
        Over his vesture, so old-fangled.)
        “Yet,” said he “poor piper as I am,
        In Tartary I freed the Cham,
        Last June, from his huge swarms of gnats;
        I eased in Asia the Nizam
        Of a monstrous brood of vampire-bats:
        And, as for what your brain bewilders,
        If I can rid your town of rats
        Will you give me a thousand guilders?”
        “One? fifty thousand!” — was the exclamation
        Of the astonished Mayor and Corporation.

        and then after he emptied the town of the rats:

        With a, “First, if you please, my thousand guilders!”

        A thousand guilders! The Mayor looked blue;
        So did the Corporation, too.
        For council dinners made rare havoc
        With Claret, Moselle, Vin-de-Grave, Hock;
        And half the money would replenish
        Their cellar’s biggest butt with Rhenish.
        To pay this sum to a wandering fellow
        With a gypsy coat of red and yellow!
        “Beside,” quoth the Mayor, with a knowing wink,
        “Our business was done at the river’s brink;
        We saw with our eyes the vermin sink,
        And what’s dead can’t come to life, I think.
        So, friend, we’re not the folks to shrink
        From the duty of giving you something for drink,
        And a matter of money to put in your poke;
        But, as for the guilders, what we spoke
        Of them, as you very well know, was in joke.
        Beside, our losses have made us thrifty:
        A thousand guilders! Come, take fifty!”

        so who are you calling evil? he even asked politely. and at the end you can read the lesson of the pied piper:

        And I must not omit to say
        That in Transylvania there’s a tribe
        Of alien people that ascribe
        The outlandish ways and dress
        On which their neighbors lay such stress,
        To their fathers and mothers having risen
        Out of some subterraneous prison
        Into which they were trepanned
        Long time ago in a mighty band
        Out of Hamelin town in Brunswick land,
        But how or why, they don’t understand.

        So, Willy, let you and me be wipers
        Of scores out with all men — especially pipers;
        And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,
        If we’ve promised them aught, let us keep our promise.

        the town’s people were wrong, and their children left never to return.

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2015, 1:23 pm

        Okay, I don’t want to be negative, but I am non-plussed! Of course, a lot of people might say I don’t add anything, but of all the subjects I never thought I would see discussed at Mondo, a full explication of the Pied-Piper Legend is one I never even bothered to never think I would see discussed.

        Well, that must be Hophmi’s new song: “Only Mad Jews and Gentleman go out in the Noon-Day Sun”

      • eljay
        April 20, 2015, 1:49 pm

        || hophmi: Pied piper. That’s a great way to describe it. Children following an evil idea that leads to their eventual death. ||

        It sounds just like Zio-supremacism: An evil idea that leads Jewish people away from their homelands around the world to a oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” in Palestine in which they perpetually face their eventual death.

    • oldgeezer
      April 20, 2015, 12:37 am

      @hophmi
      “I’m sorry, ”

      No you’re not.

      You raised your involvement in order to grant yourself some sort of credibility. Understandable given that you lack any.

      Pied Piper? Really hops?

      You totally missed the moral story behind the pied piper tale?

      Why am I not surprised.

      • Mooser
        April 20, 2015, 1:27 pm

        “You totally missed the moral story behind the pied piper tale?”

        Or he’s never seen the Grateful Dead tours.

  7. Mooser
    April 9, 2015, 3:24 pm

    “take it off line if you feel persecuted against here, send adam or phil and email and see what they say.”

    Please, Hophmi, go easy on me! I’m not sure if quoting somebody’s own words, from this very site’s archive is a capital offense, but maybe I can plead it down to a third-strike felony.

    Okay, Hophmi, you got me, I freaked about going to jail. But really, this is just more of your false modesty. I know you are proud of “The Phil’s will Fall Away”. The heartfelt lyricism combined with such astute analysis is something you should be proud to present at the Hartman Institute Board Meetings!

    • jon s
      April 11, 2015, 4:32 pm

      Annie,
      In Israel there’s a rising tide of racism , xenophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, especially (though not exclusively) among the Orthodox Jews.
      Now, there’s an institute like Hartman, which struggles against those tendencies, an institute described as “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism…”
      And what’s your reaction ?: “boycott it!”
      As I said, a good example of what’s wrong with “a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott”.

      • Mooser
        April 11, 2015, 6:40 pm

        “In Israel there’s a rising tide of racism , xenophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, especially (though not exclusively) among the Orthodox Jews.”

        Well, then “Jon s” it looks like you have your work cut out for you, trying to do something about it.
        Or is is a better idea to go to Muslims and say ‘You just have to accept that this is normal for Jews, and you better accept it, or else?
        Better get normalized, Muslims!’

        Oh, BTW, “Jon s” would you please name some of the individuals or organizations contributing to “a rising tide of racism , xenophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, especially (though not exclusively) among the Orthodox Jews.” Like to know who you think they are. Or are they just some amorphous, un-named set of things that Hartman is better than?

      • Donald
        April 11, 2015, 10:23 pm

        If the Hartman people supported the bombing of Gaza, boycott them. I would never dream of boycotting a group like B’Tselem, which has done its best to investigate the crimes of all sides.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:46 pm

        Sorry, very sorry, last one, I promise!:

        “Mooser is a clown.”

        I’m gonna get caught, just you wait and see!Why is everybody always picking on me?”

    • hophmi
      April 13, 2015, 12:07 pm

      “what mooser said “Must be a ‘covert outreach’ thing.” is not what i would consider a personal attack nor harassment.”

      Then you don’t understand the meaning of the term, or you purposely do not read things in context. Mooser is a clown. I ignore him 95% of the time. Where I have drawn the line in the past is his serial attempts to try to get me to divulge details about my personal life, and he is not the first to do it here. And yes, after a while, even I get tired of his constant and obsessive needling, which you lovingly enable by putting through I don’t how many comments regarding my participation in Jewish-Muslim interfaith work.

      Phil agrees with me, by the way, that I put up with a lot of nonsense here; I’ve written him a number of times, and he’s always been a gentleman. I think he’s repulsed by a good deal of the commentary here.

      “in fact, there’s a very public campaign to smear all pro palestinian activism on american campuses as anti semitic! ”

      That’s nice. It has nothing to do with me. I would never say that all pro-Palestinian activism on American campuses is antisemitic.

      “so please, nothing like that is happening to you here. you can’t dish it out and then scream foul when the information you provide is used against your argument.”

      OK, Annie. It’s just a coincidence that you have maybe three Zionists who post here regularly, and that, in clear violation of the commenting rules, you allow through dozens and dozens of non-substantive comments that do little but attack us in personal terms. It doesn’t surprise me that you have blinders on, and it doesn’t really bother me very much; I’ve spent enough time around radical activists to know that many of them are very, very angry people, especially when they are Westerners. Feeling perpetually disenfranchised and feeling like no one in society ever listens to you can make you really upset, just as it does most two-year-olds. Phil, by the way, is not in that group.

      So, with all due respect, don’t lecture me about “taking it.” I’ve been here a long time and I’ve taken it better than anyone here does. As I’ve said many times, if I wanted to take it easy, I’d go somewhere where everyone already agrees with me, like most people here have done.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 14, 2015, 12:56 pm

        shorter hops “lecture lecture lecture ..but don’t lecture me!”

        hops, as long as team israel is slinging around large daily doses of accusations of hatred and accusations of anti semitism (and i don’t hear you complaining those passing moderation, or even acknowledging it) you’re just gonna have to learn how to put up w/ the pushback. quit whining!

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:01 pm

        “I’ve been here a long time and I’ve taken it better than anyone here does.”

        Annie and Phil, you unlock Hophmi’s shackles, and let him leave the basement, and go where he won’t have to “take it”.
        Imagine, kidnapping a Zionist and forcing him to look at your website for years. It’s unconscionable.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:03 pm

        “Feeling perpetually disenfranchised and feeling like no one in society ever listens to you can make you really upset, just as it does most two-year-olds.”

        So, Annie, where can I put the “take-up reel”? Anyway, I think I know where to put the cork.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:07 pm

        “I’ve written him a number of times, and he’s always been a gentleman. I think he’s repulsed by a good deal of the commentary here”

        Wouldn’t surprise me at all! You keep working on him, Hophmi.

        Don’t forget to detail Annie’s fault’s, too. You’ll persuade Phil, I know it!

        Hophmi, old pal, you forget one thing! Everything I know about you, every quote I quote, comes from this blog and nowhere else. As long as I do that, I can always reassure myself that you are some kind of performance. If I knew who you are (G-d forbid!) I would lose that privilege, and I’m not sure I could face that.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:23 pm

        “I’ve written him a number of times, and he’s always been a gentleman”

        There goes my coffee! No doubt you sent him an engraved presentation copy of “The Phils will Fall Away” on custom hand-laid vellum.
        I bet he loved it, Hoph. Sure it’s a bit panegyric, a tad hagiographic, but flattery will get you everywhere.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 2:41 pm

        “I’ve written him a number of times, and he’s always been a gentleman.”

        No doubt you told Phil, as “gentleman” to “gentleman” that Annie “is a real piece of work”? Do you know how many times you have used that phrase about her?

        Hophmi, pro-tip on commenting: before you reference a Shakespeare quote from Hamlet, find out what it means, and how the entire passage goes:

        “What a piece of work is a man! How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty! In form and moving how express and admirable! In action how like an Angel! in apprehension how like a god! The beauty of the world! The paragon of animals! And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 3:30 pm

        “Phil agrees with me, by the way, that I put up with a lot of nonsense here. I’ve written him a number of times, and he’s always been a gentleman. I think he’s repulsed by a good deal of the commentary here”

        “Feeling perpetually disenfranchised and feeling like no one in society ever listens to you can make you really upset, just as it does most two-year-olds. Phil, by the way, is not in that group.”

        Okay, Annie, maybe I’d better explain this before we both get in a lot of trouble.
        When the balebatim come down on a balegoola (and a Litvak to boot) like me, I expect I’ll lose.
        But I think Hophmi is saying that he and Phil communicate, well, on a deeper level, one you don’t have access to. So take care. Doesn’t matter what happens to me, but you’ve put in a lot of work here, and I would hate to see the demands of tribal unity cause you any problems. But still, it’s hard for me to think Hophmi is that much a male chauvinist, that he would use that tactic.

      • hophmi
        April 15, 2015, 9:51 am

        “you’re just gonna have to learn how to put up w/ the pushback. quit whining!”

        I put up with it just fine, as one little guy against the swarm here. As long as you’re a moderator, you should be following the commenting rules. You do know about the commenting rules, right? But you don’t, and that’s unfortunate, and very typical. How many of Mooser’s non-substantive comments have you put up today? Just curious. I see he’s been posting them in bunches. I bet you put through every one as soon as they appear.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2015, 11:28 am

        ” I bet you put through every one as soon as they appear.”

        Oh, it’s much worse than that, Hophmi! Actually, I write very few comments, but Mondo pays a bunch of out-of-work SNL writers from the very worst of the 80’s under my name!

        But now that you and Phil are Gentleman friends, maybe you can get them to stop! After, of course, you cure Phil, and stop him from following the Pied Piper of anti-zionism to the very death!

        “I put up with it just fine, as one little guy against the swarm here.”

        Hophmi, now that you are in back-channel communication with Phil Weiss, and he has told you, and you us, that he agrees with you about the awful commentors here, I guess it’s all up for us. Will you spare Annie?

  8. just
    April 9, 2015, 4:15 pm

    O/T, via Max B @ https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/586258704682606593

    A Houston Area High School Teacher Gave His Students a Lesson Full of Anti-Muslim Propaganda

    …The document appears to be culled from various online sources that offer a number of subjective, inaccurate and—not to mince words—deeply offensive opinions of the religion. From a pure educational standpoint, it’s downright bizarre: What teacher can get away with estimating the number of anything as “between 190-300 million”? That is, to put it mildly, quite a broad range.

    Other parts of the document teach other curious (read: wrongheaded) lessons, as noted by the Council For American-Islamic Relations. The teacher’s pamphlet stated, ”…even though generally Islamic followers will say that they ‘believe’ in Jesus and respect Him and the Bible, in fact, neither is really true.”; “Muhammad posed as a prophet … Both Jesus and Paul warned that after they were gone many false prophets would come. Muhammad is simply one of them.”

    …We can laugh about the absurdity of some of the “lessons” the teacher included in his document, but they’re not really funny: Telling teenagers that “[Muslims believe] All governments—except Islam—should be overthrown” and that “…even though generally Islamic followers will say that the ‘believe’ in Jesus and respect Him and the Bible, in fact, neither is really true” is not just inaccurate, it’s essentially calling on Christian students who don’t want their government overthrown and their holy books disrespected to carry out a jihad of their own.

    Still, the school district has taken measures to soft-pedal the reaction to the unnamed teacher’s lesson. For one, they’ve protected his identity. For another, their statement about it makes very bland references to being “disappointed to learn one teacher made independent changes to a lesson plan, resulting in information being given that didn’t follow subject matter, or state and local curriculum plans,” as though spreading hateful misinformation to students at a public high school is the equivalent to teaching a shortcut to solving a proof in geometry class. ”

    http://www.texasmonthly.com/daily-post/houston-area-high-school-teacher-gave-his-students-lesson-full-anti-muslim-propaganda

  9. hophmi
    April 10, 2015, 12:15 am

    “so i take it you don’t do real outreach. on account of you getting a kick out of blowing your own horn., albeit anonymously. but you’re still here blowing your own horn.”

    You really are a piece of work. You allow Mooser to harass and bully me, and then you do things like this. Just wow. I don’t think I know many people who act with this level of bad faith.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 10, 2015, 1:11 am

      does that mean you won’t be addressing the inconsistencies in your comment? you can’t have it both ways that’s all.

      you tell us all your bonafides in the outreach to lead up to supporting accusations about: horrified by the way people in the Muslim community and in the BDS movement have smeared them for political purposes.

      but none the less, you were tooting your own horn while claiming “real” outreach people didn’t do that. and your melodramatic claims (“horrified”) one assumes you have access to because of your engagement.

      here’s another comment you made the other day

      This is not a blog that favors dialogue about Israel and Palestine unless it’s with people who already agree with the BDS perspective. That’s a major problem with the BDS movement – it eschews dialogue with anyone who does not already agree as unhelpful, and that basically forecloses any relationship with the vast majority of the worldwide Jewish community. And so, instead of interfaith dialogue, we have a dialogue of the deaf. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/between-muslims-possible#comment-742749

      it’s my recollection that the jewish interfaith people backed out of the interfaith dialogue with the presbyterian church after they divested from companies profiting off the occupation, not the other way around. i think they refused to attend some big yearly convention or something. and then at the top of this thread you said Ah yes, the BDS red lines. Exclude all Zionist perspectives – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/04/faithwashing-leadership-institute/comment-page-1#comment-760261

      but wasn’t it ruet who developed the “red lines” on acceptable speech and dialogue? no discussion of apartheid, no discussion of the non violent resistance of bds? (which led to hillel’s red lines) so how can you complain about “basically forecloses any relationship with people you do not agree with”, while the red lines already set up for interfaith dialogue or campus outreach, include a pre- acceptance of a zionist state?

      just seems odd. and when you talk about “horrified” what about people in the sjp community and in the BDS movement on campuses have been smeared as anti semites – by the organized hasbrats? – and purely for political purposes? you don’t find that horrifying?

      i don’t know hops it just rings hollow coming from you especially. and while i appreciate the theatrics (“Just wow..”etc etc), i’d rather you just respond to the questions.

      • hophmi
        April 15, 2015, 9:59 am

        “it’s my recollection that the jewish interfaith people backed out of the interfaith dialogue with the presbyterian church after they divested from companies profiting off the occupation, not the other way around.”

        “The Jewish interfaith people”? I don’t know who they are. I know that I haven’t backed out of any interfaith conversation because of the choice of some institution to endorse BDS. And I also know that most Muslim organizations will not participate in dialogue with Jewish organizations that don’t already endorse BDS. Of course, if you had a clue, you’d know that these conversations are not always based around large institutions.

        “but wasn’t it ruet who developed the “red lines” on acceptable speech and dialogue? no discussion of apartheid, no discussion of the non violent resistance of bds?”

        You mean Reut? I’m sorry, does Reut speak for all Zionist Jews, now?

        “about people in the sjp community and in the BDS movement on campuses have been smeared as anti semites – by the organized hasbrats? – and purely for political purposes? you don’t find that horrifying?”

        Depends on the situation. As someone who has fought against that particular tendency in my own community, yes, it’s sometimes horrifying, in the same way smearing everyone who criticizes Islamic extremism as Islamophobic is horrifying, in the same way that smearing people who favor “Happy Holidays” as anti-Christian is much more horrifying. Often, however, it’s completely justified. I can’t help it if there are a lot of people in the BDS movement who don’t understand why accusing Jews of using financial and political power to undermine the United States (as opposed to simply arguing that a certain policy is wrongheaded without impugning the motives of the proponents) is antisemitic. That these sentiments are oft-repeated by BDS activists, or Jewish activists in the BDS movement, does not make them any less hateful.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2015, 2:09 pm

        Hey, Hophmi, pssst, over here, I want to talk to you privately. Man-to-moose, if you will.
        Listen dude, you said Annie is “Some piece of work”? Look, I can’t tell you how to comment, but I know that if told my wife (which I do, frequently) that she “a real piece of heaven come to earth to make my life a paradise”, I risk losing some teeth before I get to the “h” in “heaven”. Jus’ sayin’, man, but you can do as you please. You know how to handle dis staff, here, that’s for sure!

    • Walid
      April 10, 2015, 1:24 am

      Hophmi, speaking of outreach, you’d enjoy the great Arabic/Hebrew countertenor Emile Zrihan. The Zionists yanked the Jews out of Morocco but they could never yank Morocco out of the Jews.
      Emile Zrihan with the Andalusian Orchestra of Israel:

    • Mooser
      April 10, 2015, 11:32 am

      ” I don’t think I know many people who act with this level of bad faith.”

      So, which one is the real Hophmi? The guy you tell us about, who does all that outreach, or the Hophmi we know and love here at Mondoweiss, whom we know by his archive?

      • Annie Robbins
        April 10, 2015, 12:53 pm

        hops does a very convincing ad hominem without ever addressing the argument. it’s a great divert.

      • seafoid
        April 10, 2015, 1:00 pm

        The only Muslims I can see Hoppy reaching out to are people like Walid Shoebat.

      • Mooser
        April 10, 2015, 2:48 pm

        “hops does a very convincing ad hominem without ever addressing the argument.”

        After seeing Hophmi in outreach to another person who identifies as Jewish ,(the Phalling Phil) why would I think his outreach to people with whom he might be even less familiar or less in sympathy with would be any different?

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2015, 10:25 pm

        Out-reach, of a sort, in England:

        http://azvsas.blogspot.com/

    • seafoid
      April 10, 2015, 1:07 pm

      Hoppy

      Say someone claimed to do regular work at a feminist club and then spent most of his time online posting the most misogynistic crap- that would be very like your shtick.

  10. PaulEisen
    April 10, 2015, 7:09 am

    “with a man who I knew as Rabbi Paul Eisen, though I think he no longer uses a title and is reputedly an Anti-Semite”

    Gamal, when did I ever use such a title?

    • Mooser
      April 10, 2015, 3:57 pm

      “Gamal, when did I ever use such a title?”

      Well, sometimes the title “rabbi” is informally bestowed on a man who people feel is wise or righteous. Perhaps that is what happened?

      • Walid
        April 10, 2015, 4:12 pm

        Jesus was referred to as ‘rabbi” by a few of his deciples.

      • gamal
        April 10, 2015, 4:55 pm

        I must have the wrong the person, sorry, i linked to a site and you know my memory is not 100%, but you must know if you were involved with DYR, my appologies if i have seized the wrong end of the stick it may well have been Dr. B who referred to you as such, are there two P. Eisens?

      • gamal
        April 10, 2015, 5:39 pm

        Dear Mr. Eisen,

        I swear i remember drafting letters with my wife, we ran Dr. MAZ Badawi’s office, to you as a Rabbi, the truth is that almost all the Jews we dealt with were Rabbi’s, I seem to be an unreliable narrator of my own experience, obviously you would know, I cant tell you how concrete this misconception is in my mind, are you sure? could you have forgotten that you were once a Rabbi like I have that i used to be an Arab.

      • gamal
        April 10, 2015, 7:44 pm
      • Mooser
        April 11, 2015, 11:39 am

        “I see I must be in error”

        Well, there’s no maximum-age restriction on starting Rabbinical studies, as far as I know. If he starts now, he could be a fully-ordained and certified Rabbi within a few years.
        It is not necessary to belong to FFA (Future Frummers of America) or ROTC (Rabbi Ordination Training Course)in school, although many people who feel they are destined for the Rabinate do go that early-entrance route.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 3:04 pm

        “Jesus was referred to as ‘rabbi” by a few of his deciples.”

        I once thought my wife had started calling me “Rabbi” because I was wise and righteous, if un-ordained. Turns out I was wrong, she was calling me “rabbit”, because I was timorous and ate a lot of lettuce.
        I bet Jesus didn’t have to put up with stuff like that.

  11. shalom
    April 10, 2015, 3:18 pm

    There is no way to do open dialogue when you close the door or pre-unqualify people and institutions that are trying to make a positive difference. Shalom Hartman is not some right wing fanatic Palestinian hate institution. It’s not fair to throw mud on the efforts of Rabbi David Hartman and so many others who work every day to promote understanding. If they or I happen to believe that BDS is not a positive path to Palestinian-Israeli peace we may be wrong in your terms but not wrong in our intent. I do not believe BDS will bring peace. I do not believe BDS will stop the killing. I do not believe BDS with end the occupation. I do believe that BDS will create a backlash with millions of dollars spent on Israeli and Jewish resistance that will in its own way go on for years with each side further undermining their relationship with the other. Dialogue must overcome anti-normalization and everything else that stands in the way of bringing two peoples together….

    • Annie Robbins
      April 10, 2015, 5:12 pm

      There is no way to do open dialogue when you close the door or pre-unqualify people and institutions that are trying to make a positive difference.

      do you think hillel is making a mistake by not engaging w/jpv and people like “The Jewish establishment has banned these four valiant Jews. Why?” – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/establishment-banned-valiant#sthash.uLZ7jaHX.dpuf

      I do not believe BDS will bring peace. I do not believe BDS will stop the killing. I do not believe BDS with end the occupation.

      after decades of occupation do you have any evidence “dialogue” has been effective in ending the occupation? if it was you, your family, or people of your ethnicity suffering through no rights, no vote over the military junta ruling over it, if your children were hauled out of bed to have their photos taken at the whim of the people oppressing you, and sometimes hauled off to jail with no charges filed under administrative detention, while “dialogue” was going on for DECADES would you promote jews engage in feel good talks hosted by your jailers while they were bulldozing your home?

      just curious. if 2000 of your people were slaughtered last summer by their jailers would you be interested in discussing how your leaders were responsible for your oppression and the death of your children? how about your mother?

      leaders in the oppressor society have drawn red lines around what is acceptable speech. what right does the oppressor society have in determining what can and cannot be discussed and who can and cannot be allowed into the tent of discussion?

      everyone has a right to refuse dialogue if they do not think it will serve their lives. but it’s hypocritical to place blame and guilt on people who refuse to engage you or advocate non engagement when the people and groups you support do the very same thing – shunning people who do not agree with your way of thinking.

      you should learn about what normalization is and why people reject it.

      • Mooser
        April 10, 2015, 6:00 pm

        “Dialogue must overcome anti-normalization”

        So you’ve pretty much got the end, the result, of the dialogue, all taped out, huh, “Shalom”? “Dialogue must overcome anti-normalization”

        Okay, dialogue, with a predetermined end, in the interest of one party, yup, that’s some real dialogue there.

      • JeffB
        April 13, 2015, 9:13 am

        @Annie

        The Jews have a 1900 year history of successfully using dialogue in those situations. So yes not only would they promote it, they did promote and did make use of it. In virtually every society including the USA, that dialogue was effective. And often the “oppression” didn’t last just decades but centuries.

        do you think hillel is making a mistake by not engaging w/jpv

        Hillel does engage with JVP. What they won’t do is pretend that JVP is an actual Jewish group, rather than an anti-Jewish group. The same way your church may be willing to dialogue with Catholics who deny the incarnation (like the Sobrino movement in El Salvador) while at the same time considering them outside the church.

        Religions have to draw lines between minority positions and outright excommunicatable offenses (or in Judaism offenses worth of Chērem).

      • shalom
        April 14, 2015, 2:45 pm

        Annie, I don’t work for Hillel or any Jewish group per se. I have a small non profit; ICMEP, the Interfaith Community for Middle East Peace that has promoted interfaith relations here in the Philadelphia area through facilitated Interfaith Conversations, I made my first trip to Israel/Palestine in 2001 with Leah Green who is Founder/Director of the Compassionate Listening Project, was lay leader of the Reconstuctionist journey in 2002 and partnered with Leah again in 2008 to put together and bring an interfaith delegation to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron,and Ramallah as well as Al Aroub Refugee Camp and some other very interesting and important places. I understand why people are angry enough to fight after 50 years of oppressive occupation. But I have made friends with a variety of Israelis and Palestinians who are involved in dialogue and while my personal beliefs do not always correspond with theirs we have cooperated and I’ve brought people such as Gershon Baskin to Philadelphia, got him positive coverage in the Jewish Exponent and an hour on Marti-Moss-Coane’s Radio Times NPR show, brought Rabbi Menachem Froman and Sheikh Ghassan Manasra to the State Department and to Capital Hill and continue to do what we can to promote peace including keeping track of Mondoweiss and 972 as well as Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post and the Electronic Intifada and many other sources.

      • Mooser
        April 14, 2015, 9:00 pm

        Annie, perhaps “Shalom” knows what he is talking about. After all, he in the faith-washing business himself, so he probably knows the ins and outs.

      • Mooser
        April 15, 2015, 1:08 am

        “Religions have to draw lines between minority positions and outright excommunicatable(sic) offenses (or in Judaism offenses worth of Chērem).”

        You can always count on Zionists to maintain there are too many Jews, and the weak reeds and waverers need to be expunged. And after all it’s only fair, since Nazis always released all secular or reform Jews, and sent them home from the camps with a generous parting gift. And apparently there is way to many of us, and it’s time to strart getting choosy!

    • Mooser
      April 10, 2015, 6:04 pm

      “I do not believe BDS will bring peace. I do not believe BDS will stop the killing. I do not believe BDS with end the occupation.”

      So I guess you’ve got a high opinion of Israel, Shalom. You say they will go on killing and occupying, no matter how much disapproval or economic disadvantage they bring to themselves? Are you saying the Israelis do it (killing, occupying) because they like to do those things?

    • jon s
      April 12, 2015, 4:20 am

      Shalom, good comment, well put.

      One correction: Rabbi David Hartman passed away in 2013. The present president of the Hartman Institute is his son, Rabbi Donniel Hartman.

      • Mooser
        April 12, 2015, 10:56 am

        “Shalom, good comment, well put.”

        So you are joining “Shalom” (ROTFL) in declaring that no amount of economic pressure, or political or moral disapproval will stop the Israelis from doing their ‘favorite things’, killing and occupying?

        Or is there some advantage, some benefit from the occupation which Israelis would be loath to give up? What is that benefit, “Jon s”?

        And your propensity, for slagging, for talking trash, about ,other Jews when your favorite is criticized has been duly noted.
        Thanks, “Jon s” I knew we could depend on you for ‘tribal unity’.

  12. just
    April 12, 2015, 9:29 am

    Look, this is not a religion thing, so Hartman and MLI need to get it through their non-profit heads and their coffers of tax- exempt money. It’s another ‘industry’~ it sounds nice, but it does nothing concrete to deal with the 8,000 lb. gorilla in the room.

    It’s the OCCUPATION, and Israel’s complete flouting of law that is the problem.

    Does anyone really think that talking about religion is going to make a difference in the face of such heinous and illegal behavior as exhibited by Israel?

    • Mooser
      April 12, 2015, 11:05 am

      Just, what choice do we have about going along with Hartman? “Jon s” who ought to know (he’s such a mayven, an expert) says all the other Jews are worse! “Jon s”: “In Israel there’s a rising tide of racism , xenophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, especially (though not exclusively) among the Orthodox Jews.”

      and

      “These days it’s unfortunately a rarity to find an institution with a Jewish-Orthodox orientation, like the Hartman Institute, which promotes pluralism , tolerance and democratic values.”

      “Jon s” tells us that if we don’t make nice with Hartman, we will have to deal with those awful people, and Hartman isn’t as bad! Patsh zich in tuchis und schrei “hooray”!!!

  13. JeffB
    April 13, 2015, 9:11 am

    Annie

    what’s, specifically, is the more important issue when dialoguing about I/P than the occupation, the decades long oppression of the palestinian people, and how to facilitate their equal rights?

    American Muslims aren’t discussing that with American Jews. hey are on opposite sides of the issue and neither side has the authority to negotiate on behalf of the Israelis or Palestinians. What they are discussing would be how to avoid that issue influencing other issues. For example in a college group preventing I/P disagreements from turning into campus ethnic tension with all the downsides for both groups. In a primary school context how to handle minority religion issues like the Christmas pageant or the teacher frequently making statements the parents would consider outright idolatrous. In a local government context how to work together on issues like discriminatory zoning.

    The goal is not to resolve the I/P issue anymore than the goal is to fix the hurricane on Jupiter’s surface. The goal is the thousands of other issues on which American Muslims and American Jews have no intrinsic disagreements and can work together.

  14. Mooser
    April 14, 2015, 11:14 am

    “The goal is not to resolve the I/P issue anymore than the goal is to fix the hurricane on Jupiter’s surface. The goal is the thousands of other issues on which American Muslims and American Jews have no intrinsic disagreements and can work together.”

    Thank you for admitting that, “JeffyB”. I knew you could be honest if you tried.
    Certainly, let’s get together on things over which we have “no intrinsic disagreements, “and can work together”.
    And as you finally admit, “JeffyB”, “the goal is not to resolve the I/P issue”.
    Thanks for your honesty.

  15. Mooser
    April 17, 2015, 2:55 pm

    “The Muslim Leadership Initiative (MLI) of Israel’s Shalom Hartman Institute has now sent two small cohorts of Muslim-American leaders to Israel/Palestine”

    Like Birthright, but with no sex and no right? (No rights for them, anyway) And you know, Birthright hasn’t been working out so well lately either!

    In any case, vive la difference!

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