Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir

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This summer some in the Palestinian solidarity community have been involved in a debate over Alison Weir of If Americans Knew following Jewish Voice for Peace’s decision to not work with her and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation’s decision to ask her organization to leave its coalition due to violation of its anti-racism principles. Several readers have asked why we haven’t covered it and the simple answer is that we have devoted our time and resources to other important news stories which we have viewed as a greater priority, the Iran deal and increase in settler violence to name a few. However, we understand that this site plays a role in the Palestine solidarity movement as a place to reflect and debate, not only on the news of the day but on the movement itself. For that reason we are publishing the following three submissions we received on the division within the movement.

Why Some of Alison Weir’s Work is Antisemitic and Why It Matters

By Jennifer Hitchcock

The recent decisions by Jewish Voice for Peace and the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to end their association with Alison Weir and If Americans Knew has reignited a debate within segments of the Palestinian solidarity movement as to whether expressions of antisemitism and other forms of racism should be tolerated within the movement for Palestinian rights.

Even though both organizations tried to deal with Weir quietly and behind-the-scenes, she chose to publicize their actions, thus compelling both organizations to release statements explaining their decisions. Both organizations also carefully avoided labeling Weir herself as antisemitic.

However, I argue that a significant amount of her work does suggest antisemitism and that, along with her troubling associations and choices of interview platforms, this is a problem.

Some of her supporters online have argued that it is “a waste of time” or a “distraction” to deal with such matters at best—and a “Zionist plot” at worst. Some have questioned the intentions and commitment of JVP and US Campaign to the Palestinian cause. Some well-meaning people who have signed onto a letter in defense of Weir may be unaware of her entire body of work and affiliations or misinformed about the reasons for the actions by JVP and US Campaign.

Those who support these recent decisions to disassociate with her have argued that such actions, though regrettable, are necessary to stay consistent with the anti-racist principles of the movement.

While there are some legitimate points of debate regarding this issue, including where to draw the line for bigoted speech and actions and how to most appropriately address such instances, anti-racist principles need to be applied consistently and universally for the sake of the BDS movement’s ethical coherence and potential for continued growth and success.

A Few Bad Apples

The vast majority of BDS and Palestinian solidarity activists are not antisemitic, and many activists are understandably tired of being constantly charged with antisemitism simply for criticizing Israel or supporting BDS. But anyone who had done significant activist work in the Palestinian solidarity movement would have to admit that the movement does occasionally draw a few unsavory characters here and there, including people who come out of the woodwork online, to defend figures like Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir, Greta Berlin, and now Alison Weir.

Many of these people and their supporters don’t seem primarily focused on Palestinian rights and universal anti-racist principles as much as they are on demonizing Israel and Jews. In some cases, they also support “US interests” and can’t seem to see any relation between the settler-colonialism and racism of Israel and the history of the US.

The rare presence of a few of these types does not mean that antisemitism a big problem in the movement or in general. And antisemitism is not as much of a problem in the cause for Palestinian rights as Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism, which are clearly much worse in regard to continued Western and US support for Israeli oppression of Palestinians. And fears of antisemitism are often unfounded and overblown.

However, there is such a thing as real antisemitism out there, and the Palestinian-led BDS movement has a unique antisemitism problem.

It’s not that there is a significant presence of antisemitism within the movement, but that the movement frequently has to deal this charge in a way that has not been the case for other similar anti-colonial and civil rights movements of the past. White apartheid-supporting Afrikaners, American Segregationists, and other colonial and civil-rights-denying Europeans did not enjoy the same level of international sympathy and support for nearly as long as the Israeli regime has.

While sympathy for Jews in Europe and the US has decreased in recent decades as Jewish weakness and persecution has been replaced by Jewish acceptance, success, and influence—and as knowledge of the reality of Israeli oppression of Palestinians becomes more widespread—sympathy for Jews and sensitivity to antisemitism still remains generally strong. The history of antisemitism and Jewish persecution, mainly in Europe, also inspired the Zionist project to begin with and continues to undergird most international support for Israel today.

For BDS to be successful, Palestinian solidarity activists must effectively acknowledge and address the history of antisemitism and sympathy for Zionism—a settler-colonial enterprise that also closely mirrors US history. False charges of antisemitism against BDS may be tiring, but their ability to stifle discussion reveals how effective fears of antisemitism are at maintaining support for Zionism and Israeli colonialism.

The Case Against Weir

So was there any legitimate evidence that Weir has espoused or welcomed racist or antisemitic ideas? The US Campaign includes a well-documented list of the evidence upon which it based its decision, so it seems that there is something to the claims against her, despite the vocal protests of her and her supporters who argue that she has been unfairly accused in a “McCarthyist” manner simply through guilt-by-association.

For example, her 2009 article in CounterPunch, “Israeli Organ Harvesting,” which was cited by the US Campaign, focuses on a handful of claims that Israel was harvesting organs from Palestinians in custody. She connects these accounts to other Jewish and Israeli instances of possible illegal organ harvesting and trafficking to infer that there is a pattern of Jews harvesting organs. She then addresses “charges” that this is a “new version of the old anti-Semitic ‘blood libel’” by including an extended discussion of a controversial book in which the author claims that “there were at least a few, possibly many, real incidents” of medieval Jewish ritual uses of the blood of Christian children. Weir clearly makes a point to selectively paint this as an Israeli and Jewish problem, ignoring the fact that organ harvesting is a widespread problem around the world, not just in Israel or Jewish communities.

To emphasize how problematic and antisemitic this narrative is, an analogy may be helpful. Imagine if someone had written a story about an alleged recent rash of sexual assaults by black men against white women in the US. The author ignores cases of sexual assault outside of the African-American community and portrays rape and sexual assault as primarily an African-American problem against white women. And, further, the author includes “evidence” that such assaults were a real, valid concern in the South back when frequent lynchings of black men for these claims were a common form of racial terrorism. Notice a problem?

Given the history of this trope’s use in racial terror against African-Americans—including its role in more recently inspiring terrorist Dylan Roof—would we be willing to overlook the racism in such an article? The history of false rape charges leading to whites lynching blacks parallels how the false charges of blood libel led to the deaths of many Jews in Europe.

This article is just one example of many that point to a larger pattern in Weir’s work. In her follow-up pieces on her blog, in which she stands by the validity of the article, along with many of her other writings and speeches, Weir has a tendency to focus on demonizing Israelis and Jews, rather than framing Zionism in terms of other settler-colonial projects throughout history as most Palestinian solidarity activists do. She is careful to usually say “Zionists” instead of “Jews,” and she also occasionally inserts half-hearted and obligatory disclaimers here and there asserting that she is against antisemitism and that not all Jews support Israeli policies, but a pattern begins to emerge when one looks at her body of work.

Not all of her work and associations suggest antisemitism. In fact, much of her work is completely legitimate and useful, but enough of her work is problematic that it rightfully warrants attention. Notice how I haven’t even brought up any of her associations or discussed most of the other examples presented to justify these decisions.

While it is understandable that someone working for Palestinian rights would develop hostility toward Israel and its advocates, activists must be careful to avoid tolerating, adopting, or repeating classical antisemitic tropes and conspiracy theories, lest they end up doing more harm than good to the movement.

There are plenty of very real and credibly well-documented hardships and patterns of discrimination faced by Palestinians that activists can focus on without invoking antisemitic rhetoric: ethnic cleansing, land confiscation, settlement construction, home demolitions, curfews, checkpoints, regular night raids, administrative detention (including of children), torture, the siege and deadly assaults on Gaza, and myriad other forms of collective punishment and denial of human rights.

Why Does Any of this Matter and How Should It Be Addressed?

Alison Weir and her advocates have now launched an aggressive campaign on her behalf that includes some harsh counterattacks against JVP and the US Campaign. Some of her supporters have even claimed that JVP is run by ADL-style Zionists and that Josh Ruebner of the US Campaign is a “Zionist agent.” Such attacks are unfortunate. These Jewish allies have been essential parts of the movement. JVP activists have been indispensable at helping to get most divestment initiatives passed in universities, religious organizations, and other institutions across the US. These Jewish allies are not secret Zionists working to undermine the movement. They are essential partners that have fully endorsed the BDS Call and who consciously use their privileged position as Jews in the US to help shield the BDS movement from charges of antisemitism. Jewish BDS activists are also disproportionately represented in the movement.

Jewish feelings and “sensibilities” are not more important than the rights and feelings of Palestinians. But these activists are not people who are overly sensitive to criticism of Israel. Most of them are harsh critics of Zionism and Israel themselves. Thus, it seems unethical, unwise, and ignorant for Weir’s supporters to blow them off so easily and try to tarnish their intentions and dedication to the movement. The vast majority of Palestinian solidarity and BDS activists recognize this.

While antisemitic or racist speech and actions should not be ignored, condoned, or promoted, neither should someone be shunned simply for making a couple of questionable statements, especially when taken out of context. If someone makes an honest mistake or words a statement poorly out of haste or ignorance, then they should certainly not be written off. But people should also be willing and open to listen, apologize, and try to change their behavior to align more with anti-racist values when someone points it out to them.

Perhaps this all could have ended quietly if Weir had respectfully listened to the years of complaints from other activists and made more of an attempt to adjust the way she frames her statements and her choice of interview platforms. If she had, she probably would have been given the benefit of the doubt. But Alison Weir has remained defiant, and her and many of her supporters don’t seem to want to even entertain the notion that publicly associating with openly racist and antisemitic people like Clayton Douglas or publishing assertions about the possible “truth” and “evidence” behind the classically antisemitic blood libel charge might possibly be hurtful to Jewish activists and understandably perceived as antisemitic to most of the world.

The Steven Salaita case at UIUC is a good example of why it is wrong to take a couple of tweets out of context to try to paint someone as anti-Semitic whose body of work clearly demonstrates otherwise. Context is required. That is why JVP and the US campaign looked at context and multiple examples over time to make and justify their decisions, and why Ali Abunimah and Bekah Wolf did their research before calling out Greta Berlin. It is fine to discuss and debate these decisions, but it is more counterproductive and a waste of time to continue supporting individuals who have repeatedly demonstrated an affinity for racist or antisemitic speech than it is to call out such people whose presence will hurt the movement.

While reading Weir’s defense of her position and counter-attack of JVP, one is struck by how much she focuses on herself and how little she focuses on the stated goals of Palestinian activists and leaders. White allies need to be willing to defer to the goals and desired strategies of the BNC and other Palestinian activists rather than focusing primarily on their own agendas and reputations. Palestinians don’t need white saviors. They need white allies who will support rather than undermine the movement.

Not only is universally abiding by an anti-racist platform what Palestinian BDS activists have asked for repeatedly, but it is also more morally and ethically consistent for a nonviolent social justice movement—and ultimately much smarter in the court of public opinion, as most Palestinians are well aware.

Activists can and should debate when and how to most effectively address such instances. It is also legitimate to expect thorough research of the context and content of questionable behavior before taking action. It is, however, unfortunate but necessary to deal with these people to prevent them from tarnishing the credibility of the movement as a whole.

Jennifer Hitchcock has participated in Palestinian solidarity activism in the Washington D.C. area and is currently pursuing a PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Discourse Studies at Old Dominion University, working on a dissertation analyzing BDS discourse. She also produced and directed the 2011 documentary, Dreams Deferred: The Struggle for Peace and Justice in Israel and Palestine.

Learning Lessons

By Susan Landau

This posting is inspired by concern regarding the impact of three recent events on our movement for justice in Palestine: the process which led to the decision by the steering committee and board of Jewish Voice for Peace to sever all ties with If Americans Knew and its Executive Director, Allison Weir, which was then communicated in an internal email to local JVP chapters and also to If Americans Knew; the decision by the US Campaign to End the Occupation to expel If Americans Knew from its coalition; and the action of an ally in our movement, Allison Weir, who took her defense to the public domain, presumably feeling under attack with no other recourse.

(In the interests of full disclosure, I am a longtime member of the US Campaign to End the Occupation and a current member of Jewish Voice for Peace.  Over many years, I have used research and information made available from If Americans Knew in educating others and myself about Palestine.)

I bring to activism a healthy regard for personal relationships, interpersonal and group dynamics, and communication. Life is a series of experiences from which we learn and grow as individuals, with detours and missteps as part of this non-linear process.  So too it is with activism and organizational life.  The synergy in building a movement for social change inspires comradery, creativity, and action emanating from the highest level of being human.  Political connections provide support, meaning, purpose, and fuel solidarity and collaborative work for a better world.

I’m convinced that an appreciation of the impact of one’s words and actions has relevance and applicability beyond my psychotherapy office.  People with different perspectives can build understanding by responsibly speaking and listening with compassion, without blame or judgment. This process helps families, friendships, and couples navigate difficult terrain.  The template is readily transferable to our political groups.

How do we respond when a person or group within our movement does or says something that is seen as irresponsible and damaging to our collective work? All movements walk the fine line of building broad coalitions around shared demands without abandoning the visions of social justice that extend beyond those demands. There is no magic bullet for how to build a movement for justice in Israel-Palestine and promote our universal core values.

As activists, public shaming is a time honored and effective toolkit of choice employed against our external enemies: war criminals, racist cops, greedy corporate bosses, and other unsavory characters. What culture do we create when we use similar tactics on each other?  Is there another way?

Palestine solidarity work is guided by a vision that Jews and Palestinians can eventually live together in Palestine, implement the Right of Return, and create a stable society with justice, equality, and peace. It doesn’t bode well for this outcome when groups doing solidarity work can’t get along

Just as some couples that enter therapy cannot resolve their differences, organizational splits may sometimes be inevitable.   The process of engagement around differences is the heart of the matter here. Individuals as well as organizations have core values, boundaries that define who they are, that cannot be negotiated or violated. The cost paid when people or groups dig their heels in, alternating between criticism and defensive posturing is far reaching and outlives the conflict itself.

We are all familiar with accepted ground rules for taking personal responsibility in difficult conversations.  When individuals or groups create safe spaces for honest engagement, everyone emerges with a deeper understanding of each other’s position, how things got to where they are, what can be changed, and what cannot.   The integrity of all parties is intact.  When splits occur, they are clean.  Hopefully, everyone learns and moves forward with good will and minimal baggage.

Of course solidarity groups should conscientiously and vigilantly monitor and oppose anti-Semitism, Islamaphobia, and racism. That organizations must respond to these oppressive thought structures is unambiguous; how we go about doing this is less clear.

Differences within our movement exist; we stifle them to our peril.

In an attempt to build and protect the integrity of our movement for justice in Palestine, galvanize our collective political power without compromising core values, and to learn from recent events, consider:

By what standards do we judge other solidarity activists?

What criteria do we set for messaging, actions, and collaboration, as well as for how we treat each other?

What are the parameters of engagement with people who don’t share our worldview?

How do recent splits impact the movement in general, and specifically allies who continue to work with IAK?

How do we make our Palestine solidarity activism and our communication nonviolent?

These are real questions.  The urgency to reach, teach, and preach beyond the choir is now.

Let’s really talk to each other.

Lest we implode.

Susan Landau is a practicing psychotherapist who offers workshops on “Difficult Conversations” to both faith-based and secular groups as part of her commitment to educate, organize, and advocate as a non-Zionist Jew for a justice in Palestine-Israel.

Why I think JVP and the US Campaign are making a mistake regarding Alison Weir

By Russ Greenleaf

On June 15, 2015, the national office of Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) publicly accused Alison Weir of endorsing anti-Semitism. On July 16, 2015, the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (USCEIO) publicly repeated the same accusation. The accusations by JVP and USCEIO are very similar, so for convenience I will refer them together as “JVP’s accusations.”

JVP’s accusations against Weir echo previous accusations made in two articles by Spencer Sunshine, titled, “Campus Profile – Alison Weir: If Americans Knew” (2014) and “Drawing Lines against Racism and Fascism” (March 5, 2015). Sunshine wrote those articles for the left think tank Political Research Associates (PRA).

Sunshine said the goal of his articles was to explain why “Far Right actors should not be allowed to participate in progressive circles, [and to] suggest criteria regarding where the line should be drawn in defining which politics are problematic enough to take action against.”

His articles are a major attack against Alison Weir, in which he classifies her as a right-winger who should be excluded from progressive circles. His 2014 article contains many of the same accusations JVP is making against Weir, including:

  • She has addressed right-wing audiences.
  • She was interviewed four times on Clayton Douglas’s radio show “The Free American.”
  • She was interviewed once by “The American Free Press” radio show.

Sunshine’s article also recycles several Zionist propaganda attacks against Weir, including one by CAMERA. He says Weir’s focus on “the so-called Israel lobby in the United States” is evidence of her anti-Semitism. He condemns Weir for saying,“Israel’s core identity is based on ethnic and religious discrimination.” He says that statement is evidence of Weir’s anti-Semitism. (By Sunshine’s criteria, JVP would be anti-Semitic.)

JVP’s accusations against Weir seem identical to one of the accusations in Sunshine’s article: that because Weir has given interviews to right-wing radio shows, it means she is a right-wing anti-Semite who should be excluded from progressive circles. Both Sunshine and JVP have looked for reasons to exclude her, and both have decided that guilt by association is a good-enough reason. (In this case, association means being interviewed by a radio show.)

If JVP wants to say that people should only speak to progressive audiences, it has a right to say so.

But unless JVP has hard evidence that Weir has made anti-Semitic statements, it should not join Sunshine and others in accusing her of anti-Semitism, explicitly or by innuendo. I think JVP should not participate in what is clearly a long-running campaign in progressive circles to accuse Weir of anti-Semitism in order to delegitimize her and undermine her effectiveness as a Palestine solidarity activist. (This dovetails with a similar campaign in Zionist circles.)

JVP should be willing to live and let live.

Weir is educating broad audiences which JVP will not reach (including right-of-center audiences that are not racist or extremist.) I have never seen any anti-Semitism in Weir’s talks, writings, or interviews – including the ones that JVP cited as evidence against her. Close inspection of JVP’s evidence reveals no anti-Semitism by Weir.

JVP’s evidence consists of the fact that Weir was interviewed by two right-wing radio shows that air racist views. JVP says that during those interviews it has “not seen evidence that she has disavowed, debated, or challenged the thinking of any of these outlets,” and she “has consistently chosen to stay silent when given the opportunity to challenge bigotry.”

But when one actually listens to the Clayton Douglas interview of Weir that JVP cites as evidence, it is clear that she is speaking up to challenge bigotry. She can be heard cautioning Douglas to not make sweeping negative statements about Jews. She can be heard challenging bigotry and promoting tolerance multiple times throughout the interview.

What is left of JVP’s argument is guilt by association, based on the fact that Weir allowed herself to be interviewed at all. Those interviews are a small fraction of all the interviews Weir has given. The vast majority of her interviews have been given to progressive or mainstream audiences. Weir does not vet the media outlets that ask for interviews. Her stated policy is to talk to anyone who will listen, and to challenge racism when she hears it. That appears to be exactly what she has done.

In reality, Weir marched in the civil rights movement and continues to speak out against racism and anti-Semitism today. JVP and USCEIO have not offered any credible evidence that she has made (or endorsed) anti-Semitic statements. They seem to be repeating false accusations from a Zionist propaganda article.

I think it hurts the Palestinian cause when JVP tries to undermine the efforts of a sister Palestine solidarity activist just because her message and approach are not the same as those of JVP.

JVP and USCEIO are doing to Weir the same thing that J Street did to JVP regarding BDS: spending time and effort to delegitimize and oppose a sister group that is doing something that will help end the occupation. It’s fine to say you don’t share their approach. But it’s not OK to go out of your way to delegitimize them and obstruct their efforts to end the occupation.

JVP and USCEIO should stop, and should make peace with Alison Weir. Their divisive attacks are harming the Palestine solidarity movement and harming the reputations of JVP and USCEIO.

I have signed the petition asking JVP and USCEIO to stop these divisive attacks.

Russ Greenleaf is a Jewish peace activist and writer in Louisville, Kentucky. He started the Louisville Chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace and is currently a member of Jewish Voice for Peace of Kentucky.

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Adam Horowitz is Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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1,250 Responses

  1. notatall
    August 15, 2015, 7:39 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Alison Weir were to say, I went on Clay Douglas’s show because I wanted to reach his audience with my antizionist message, but I now see that in remaining silent in the face of his w-s and a-s views I was turning my back on black Americans and others deserving of support. Not likely. Wouldn’t it also be nice if JVP were to say, We have held back from opposing Zionism wholeheartedly and without reservation for fear of alienating liberals who, although they may differ with this or that Israeli policy, are not willing to break with the notion of the Jewish state. In an effort to deflect criticism, we have accused others of “racism,” in some cases taking advantage of their mistakes to do so, a tactic we admit is dishonorable. Also not likely.

    • W.Jones
      August 15, 2015, 8:33 pm

      Wouldn’t it be nice if Alison Weir were to say, I went on Clay Douglas’s show because I wanted to reach his audience with my antizionist message, but I now see that in remaining silent in the face of his w-s and a-s views I was turning my back on black Americans and others deserving of support.

      Do you think that if this was the only real point of division, as alleged, then perhaps she actually might have admitted this, particularly in private?

      She wrote on her website about this particular problem:
      “I apologize if there were cases where I should have done better.”

      That is, maybe if someone said, “Look, couldn’t you have responded better to some questions?”, she might actually privately agree about that too and apologize, since that would be similar to her general apology above.

      However, JVP’s and ETO statement went beyond just that issue, which has become the main grounds used against her. Instead they demanded that she never appear on those programs at all, a not unreasonable request in itself of course, but tough grounds for total censure. And she for her part believes that she needs to take her message of Mideast human rights to all audiences.

    • tree
      August 16, 2015, 6:49 pm

      but I now see that in remaining silent in the face of his w-s and a-s views I was turning my back on black Americans and others deserving of support.

      But she didn’t remain silent. She may not have countered his racist comments sufficiently, or in the manner that you or others find acceptable but she did counter him. And she already apologized for this, as W Jones has pointed out.

    • tree
      August 16, 2015, 7:01 pm

      I notice that one of the strongest commentaries on this subject has not yet, as far as I know, been posted here. It was written by NYU Law student Amith Gupta, and was posted on Louis Proyect’s website, for which Proyect has been mercilessly hounded by the Marxist purity squad at JSF, just to show how idiotic the witch hunt has become.

      http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/

      Its a very long statement but well worth a read. I think he makes so many important points.

      He starts off, after a few personal comments about why he decided to distribute his piece. with a short outline of his points and relevant materials, all of which he elaborates on later in the piece. Here is that outline:

      1) Disclaimer: I do not have any formal or organizational affiliation with Alison Weir or her organization, If Americans Knew.

      2) My personal experience with the smear campaign against Weir.

      3) JVP’s entire accusation against Weir is based on guilt by association and could easily apply to some of the most prominent voices in the movement for Palestine solidarity, including Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, Dilip Hiro, Ilan Pappe, Jennifer Loewenstein, Ray McGovern, Joseph Massad, Norman Finkelstein, Glenn Greenwald, Pete McCloskey, Philip Weiss, Richard Falk, John Mearsheimer, Lenni Brenner, and Rachel Corrie’s parents.

      a. Alison Weir has not endorsed nor agreed with the racist views expressed by those with whom she has been associated

      b. It is unwise to expect Weir or anyone else to completely ignore the communities that are vulnerable to such racism (see below).

      4) Inaccurate and hypocritical accusations of ethnic chauvinism

      a. Losing Balance: While JVP alleges that IAK downplays the value of Palestinian voices, it is JVP which is constructed on seeing Jewish voices as “particularly legitimate” according to the JVP website.

      b. If Americans Knew and Alison Weir have been principled and expansive in working with Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinian/Arab-Americans, including the Al-Awda Right to Return Coalition and the Beit Sahour-based International Middle East Media Center; both organizations are run and staffed by Palestinians and Palestinian-Americans. The organization has publicly and explicitly supported the full Palestinian-led call for BDS since at least 2006.

      c. JVP has not been principled in working with Palestinians, Arabs, Muslims, and Palestinian/Arab-Americans, barring its chapters from working with groups of any ethnicity that take overtly anti-Zionist slogans and politically vetting those Middle Easterners and Muslims with whom they work. It also took JVP ten years to endorse the full BDS call.

      d. JVP ‘s statement appears to suggest that Jews alone can define anti-Semitism, despite knowing that such accusations can implicate racism and violence against Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian communities. This is a form of ethnic chauvinism.

      e. JVP’s statement suggests that all Jews are somehow personally or familially connected to Israel, a restatement of Zionism

      f. JVP’s statement suggests that American imperialism and warfare benefits Americans as a whole, undermining the American anti-war movement and contradicting prior stances that JVP has taken

      5) JVP has taken at least 4 different positions on Zionism, implying a lack of any principle regarding racism and colonialism against Palestine in particular and the Middle East as a whole.

      a. Open-Ended: JVP’s guidelines state a refusal to state their beliefs in terms of the word “Zionism”

      b. Restricted: JVP’s guidelines state that their chapters are banned from working with organizations that use “anti-Zionist demands or slogans”, presumably including Al-Awda and the International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network

      c. Pro-Zionist: JVP interprets Jews, as a group, to be connected to the Middle East, which is Zionism (see above).

      d. Anti-Zionist when condemning anti-Semitism: JVP has recirculated letters that explicitly argue that Zionism is a form of racism in the context of disavowing a British-Israeli author for his apparently anti-Jewish statements. The statement against this man is included in their statement against Weir. The implication is that condemning Zionism as a form of racism is acceptable, provided the condemnation is made while disavowing someone for anti-Semitism.

      e. JVP’s statements imply a lack of principled positions regarding racism against Palestinians, Arabs, and Muslims, while taking a staunch position against perceived racism toward the Jewish community. This is a racist double-standard.

      6) Racism, Colonialism, and Identity Politics

      a. Optics & the White Gaze: JVP and IAK are both “identitarian” groups that have sought to navigate the maze of racism in the United States.

      b. The racist and colonial roots of anti-Semitism allegations against Palestine solidarity organizers per se.

      c. While neither group has navigated perfectly, JVP’s position in particular is highly problematic and warrants serious criticism.

      7) JVP has taken an inconsistent position on engagement with “the Right” and those who are in danger of being misled and exploited by xenophobic, right-wing racism.

      a. My personal experiences with right-wing racism as a person of color and the son of immigrants.

      b. The roots of “the right” and the dangers of ignoring their misguided flock.

      c. JVP has not opposed engagement with right-wing elements of the Jewish or Israeli communities.

      8) Other Resources that I consider informative.

      a. Noam Chomsky on accusations of anti-Semitism within left-wing and anti-racist movements.

      b. Joseph Massad: “Sartre, European Intellectuals, and Zionism”

      c. Philip Weiss: “Conservatives for Palestine”

      d. Norman Finkelstein on ADL anti-Semitism survey and what qualifies as anti-Semitism

      e. Louis Proyect: “The Anti-Semitism Canard”

      f. Lenni Brenner, “The Demographics of American Jews”

      g. Jacobin Magazine: Checkered History of Palestine and the Left

      9) Addendum: Spencer Sunshine’s PRA attack on Alison Weir and “Campus Anti-Semitism”

      a. The original report

      b. The attack on Weir

      Again, if you’d like to read it in full, see here:

      http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/

      All the points above are fleshed out later in the piece.

      And I’d like to commend Louis Proyect for keeping it up on his website despite the rather nasty pressure on him to remove it from those whom Hostage aptly described as “ankle-biters”.

  2. Linda J
    August 15, 2015, 7:50 pm

    My heroines (commenters who clarified my thinking) were MTorres, Eva, idaaudeh and Annie. All brave and mainly women.

    The solidarity leadership I know — both locally (in my case) and internationally — have failed us by not recognizing this witch hunt and putting a stop to it.

    On Mondoweiss, I made a small comment that was not included, but my thoughts were amplified many times by the above mentioned and so many others.

    The danger is grave if we allow this kind of witch hunt to prevail.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 15, 2015, 8:07 pm

      I made a small comment that was not included,

      it was included linda, there are just so many comments here it’s hard to find. i clicked on your name and found it in your archives. here it is: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity#comment-790206

      thank you.

      [edit: as a reminder to readers – to follow the comments of any individual in this conversation (now over 500 comments) click on their name which will direct you to their archives, then scroll til you find this thread.]

      • Linda J
        August 15, 2015, 8:27 pm

        thank YOU, Annie. i have optimism because of what has transpired in this thread. your work is invaluable.

    • mtorres
      August 15, 2015, 11:51 pm

      Thanks, Linda J. Mtorres is also a woman. I’m in Spokane.

      Heartening to see how this roundtable has slowly clarified the issue, and to see that the organizations hurt most badly are the two responsible for this unconscionable attack on Weir.

      It’s not good to lose much of the work of either organization, but given they’ve shown where their first loyalty is, they are no longer useful in the movement. Being so deeply un-trustworthy on this issue causes all of us to question where else they’ve misled, obfuscated, or hidden information.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 16, 2015, 3:29 am

        mtorres: “Heartening to see how this roundtable has slowly clarified the issue, and to see that the organizations hurt most badly are the two responsible for this unconscionable attack on Weir.”

        I agree that reputations of JVP and EtO have been hurt, but people shouldn’t think this was a victimless crime. As I wrote earlier, the JVP allegations have already gone up on the Wikipedia page for If Americans Knew, where they’ll always remain. And every time Weir goes to a town and the hosting organization wants to make use of a library meeting room, the local Jewish community organization will quote these allegations to the town officials in their attempts to block her appearance (just as they did in my town).

        And we can only imagine what it must feel like to Weir personally, to be insulted publicly by such silly, insolent fools as Spencer Sunshine, Emma Rosenthal, Jennifer Hitchcock, and that gang of crotchety ultra-ethnicists who hang out at Jews Sans Frontieres.

      • Preston Enright
        August 16, 2015, 5:48 pm

        This issue is being clarified, mtorres; but in different ways for different people.
        As I look further into it, I’m realizing that if JVP and the US Campaign wanted to,
        they could write a letter critical of Weir and her allies such as Atzmon and Blankfort (who routinely attempt to hurt activists and organizations) that would get 10,000 signatures.
        Such a letter could also clarify where their political analysis differs, such as on the issue of the Israel lobby. Weir applauds Blankfort as he exploits those differences to smear Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Amy Goodman, Stephen Zunes and others as “gatekeepers,” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB2lDJJr3lE). But I think many people in the movement recognize that label as a slander, and see the importance of placing the Israel lobby’s relative power in the context of the American empire.
        http://ww4report.com/node/4356
        “The Walt & Mearsheimer (and Weir’s and Blankfort’s) thesis is profoundly flawed. The notion of a client state seizing control of the military and foreign policy apparatus of an empire has no remote analogue in human history.” – Bill Weinberg

      • MRW
        August 18, 2015, 3:43 pm

        @Preston Enright August 16, 2015, 5:48 pm, writes:

        they could write a letter critical of Weir and her allies such as Atzmon and Blankfort (who routinely attempt to hurt activists and organizations

        and then you link to a youtoobie to prove your point. It doesn’t.

        This is laughable:

        “The Walt & Mearsheimer (and Weir’s and Blankfort’s) thesis is profoundly flawed. The notion of a client state seizing control of the military and foreign policy apparatus of an empire has no remote analogue in human history.” – Bill Weinberg

        As the video shown in MW’s recent article (Iraq) and Israel’s public behavior (not to mention its ambassador) over the Iran Deal show, this quisling client state is doing precisely what Weinberg claims has “no remote analogue in human history.” They’re doing it right now, sweetpea. And seeking to undermine US status in the world and destroy her from within. (Weinberg’s ww4report is all ‘huff and puff and blow your house down’. He’s not in Mario Menéndez or Al Giordano’s league, IMHO, who actually report from the area.)

  3. Rusty Pipes
    August 15, 2015, 9:36 pm

    We do not need to speculate about “zionist infiltrators” in JVP’s leadership to assume that they are as susceptible to “concerned” friends, family and former classmates as Phil Weiss was to Richard Witty. Certainly there have been dossiers circulated, in whole or in snippets, about every major critic of Israel. No doubt every appearance by Weir and every post at IAK has been subjected to a fine tooth comb to find quotes by her or others to scrape out of context to add to the dossier. One expects that whisper campaigns based on email and links to such a dossier has followed Weir to every appearance, if not been handed out as a Stand With Us flyer to protest her lectures.

    Further, anyone who has been active as a critic of Israel for half as long as Weir would know that no matter how available an informative speaker is to lecture to an audience, write op-eds or give interviews to media, the offers have been sparse — especially from the mainstream media. It’s not as though the MSM STOPPED calling Weir after she gave her first interview to a rightwing source. The MSM doesn’t even have the guts to call Jimmy Carter until he admits that he has cancer. Indeed, Weir feels so strongly about Americans NOT getting this information from other sources, that she has a policy about giving interviews to ANYONE who asks her.

    Alison is an educator. She believes that, when given accurate information, minds can be changed — even anyone within hearing range of the broadcast of a rightwing talkshow host. She’s not trying to recruit groups to join a coalition, she’s not trying to convince the Klan to march in your parade. She’s trying to educate individual Americans, many of whom vote, some of whom even tell their legislators what they think about issues.

    The belief that people can change is a very liberal idea. The belief that hatred and bias is not a state of being to which a person is irredeemably doomed (one is “a racist”), is a liberal idea. The belief that ignorance can be fought with facts is a liberal idea.

    Alison also works with and gets information from many people and sources — some of whom are or used to be part of The Establishment — former ambassadors, congresspeople, intelligence officials. Working in The Establishment gives these people a lot of experience and expertise about government and foreign affairs. Even so, functioning in The Establishment requires a degree of compromise. For Weir’s critics on the left, relying on these establishment figures and their varied analyses about Israel taints her as being blind to America’s imperial sins when she argues for the interests of America rather than Israel.

    Frankly, there’s been plenty of room on this site for debate between supporters of Chomsky, those of Mearsheimer and Walt and a host of opinions in between. Weir’s positions on the Israel Lobby are not out of the range of acceptable debate here.

    The choice of JVP’s leadership to try to exclude Weir from their events and ETO’s membership may gain them some short-term advantage as they seek access to inter-Jewish spaces on campus and in local communities. Establishment Jewish organizations may have threatened to exclude them if they do not sever ties with “irredeemable anti-Semites” like Weir. But JVP’s leadership has seriously underestimated the price that this choice has cost the organization’s reputation with other groups involved in Palestinian rights — including the American BDS movement (not to mention the many, many JVP members who disagree with the leadership’s decision).

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2015, 2:09 am

      thank you rusty for your wisdom. i’d especially like to recognize your last sentence in its entirety and urge people to review it.

      also, it’s not just jvp members disagreeing (i am a member and consider jvp as a conscious, well meaning/conscience, amazingly efficient activist organization), it’s also some of the chapter heads i’ve spoken with candidly. i strongly hope/urge for resolution that unifies our movement.

      as susan landau wrote (above main article must/crucial read)

      Differences within our movement exist; we stifle them to our peril.

      our own peril. we need to galvanize and grow stronger as a movement.

      god speed.

      [even as an atheist i do pray at dire times, just in case she’s listening]

      • bintbiba
        August 16, 2015, 6:09 am

        @annie

        …….”god speed.

        [even as an atheist i do pray at dire times, just in case she’s listening]”

        We all have a need for prayer even we non-believers….. There is still so much that is ‘beyond our ken’ that our minds cannot yet comprehend at this stage in human evolution . So ‘ pray ‘ we do when we have no other choice in face of the most imponderable of conditions .

        [Help.!!..anyone..!!. RoHa , Talknic, annie, Bornajoo …..I’ve mangled my thoughts hopelessly and need someone to make sense of what I’m trying to say ]

        Annie,
        Thank you …..,a heartfelt Thank you for your heroic work and thoughtful input on this thread.
        Much appreciated !

      • Bornajoo
        August 16, 2015, 6:16 am

        “Help.!!..anyone..!!. RoHa , Talknic, annie, Bornajoo …..I’ve mangled my thoughts hopelessly and need someone to make sense of what I’m trying to say”

        No help required Bintbiba. You said it passionately and well!

        Thank you and ditto!

      • RoHa
        August 16, 2015, 7:09 am

        Quite clear . Bintbiba.

        Annie, Krishna listens to all prayers, even if they are not directed to him. You would think the other Gods would object to this ungentlemanly behaviour, but I see no recognisable sign of it on this mortal plane.

    • tree
      August 16, 2015, 2:36 am

      Great comment, Rusty!

    • ritzl
      August 16, 2015, 2:57 am

      Excellent Rusty! Well said. Tied it all together with context.

    • bintbiba
      August 16, 2015, 5:54 am

      @Rusty Pipes

      Your comment is a keeper to read over again and reflect on and ponder .
      Brilliant , wise , straightforward !.
      Thank you !

    • Boomer
      August 16, 2015, 9:28 am

      Mr. Pipes, I’ll add my word of appreciation to that of the others here. I don’t know Weir, or everything she has ever said, or the context in which she said it, but I know that what you say makes good sense.

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2015, 12:34 pm

      “We do not need to speculate about “zionist infiltrators” in JVP’s leadership to assume that they are as susceptible to “concerned” friends, family and former classmates as Phil Weiss was to Richard Witty.”

      Yup, when Phil got too tired of Witty, he 86’ed Witty from Mondoweiss, and never let him back in.
      Looks to me like Phil made, as any man would, some allowance for friendship, but set a limit, and stuck to it.

  4. HHM
    August 16, 2015, 1:31 am

    How strange. I have a bit of time to catch up on the nearly 600 comments but can only see three or four. Is it my computer or has the discussion moved to another page?

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2015, 1:38 am

      hhm, at the left base of the page click “older comments” (which is sort of ironic/ funny framing when you follow the conversation there).

      • Henry Norr
        August 16, 2015, 1:49 am

        Annie, what’s the record for most comments ever on an MW post?

        As others have said, thanks for your heroic management of the (first) 600 on this one….

      • Taxi
        August 16, 2015, 1:56 am

        I remember several threads of over a 1000 from the old days – epic stuff.

        Before MW re-configured its censorship rules (no discussions of 9/11, reference to Blankfort/Atzmon, etc), 400+ comments were the average norm. More bloggers were around in those days.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 16, 2015, 4:31 am

        i don’t know what the record is henry. in the old days back then i do recall my 2010 article “the trap” ( http://mondoweiss.net/2010/05/the-trap ) had garnered the most traffic/comments ever for any post. but very shortly thereafter was the mavi marmara massacre and we had the live feed and blog which adam hosted. understandably that topped the trap. since then i have not been keeping track. there’s just too much to do here to keep score. i find out on dec 31 what our totals are every year (which i think are around 1m a month) but i don’t think it is measured in comment totals. a lot of our high traffic comes from articles going viral and international

      • HHM
        August 16, 2015, 11:18 am

        Thank you, Annie, I will try that. Ha ha, I keep looking for the “like” button next to comments…

  5. Pixel
    August 16, 2015, 3:56 am

    Phil, Annie, Henry…

    Phil, I hope that you’ll seriously reconsider having Henry review Alison’s book here.

    If Phil is willing to do that, then, Annie, I hope you’ll still be on board.

    If there’s a green light, Henry, I hope you’ll still be up for writing the review, even if you still wouldn’t be able to get to it for a while.

    • pianoteacher
      August 16, 2015, 10:25 am

      Yes, Pixel, a review on Alison’s book, Against Our Better Judgment, is long overdue here. I don’t understand why Henry was not allowed to write one a long time ago. Maybe I missed something.

  6. Vikram
    August 16, 2015, 4:36 am

    I am a member of JVP. I am not Jewish. I was brought up a Catholic in Ireland but I am now not a follower of any religion but rather a respecter of all.

    When I read in the last few months about the JVP attack on Alison Weir, I was horrified and very disappointed. The case presented against her just does not stand up to scrutiny. I was horrified because smearing truth-telling about what Jews have done in Palestine in a major part of the pro-Israel strategy. It is the action of people who have no conscience or integrity.

    The racism of the Israeli state has huge majority support in Israel itself. Jewish organisations throughout the US, Europe, Canada , Australia etc mostly support Israel irrespective of what forms of extreme repression they use against Palestinians. They are therefor complicit in the litany of daily crimes committed by Israeli forces and settlers.

    What I have just said would be considered anti-Semitism by many people in the US and the West generally. In France and Canada criticism of Israel crimes is itself a crime. The truth is turned on its head, lies are truth and truth is lies.

    When I was 16 years old, I clearly remember hearing on the radio of the Israeli victory in the 6 Day War. I was thrilled and I cycled to the shop to get the newspaper to read all about it. I was a fervent supporter of Israel because I thought justice was on the side of the Jews. I had read a lot about the Holocaust and enormous suffering they had endured. As I followed the progress of the conflict over the years, I became convinced that the Israelis had nothing but contempt for the Palestinians and for Arabs in general. The 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was the turning point for me. I had realised by then that they were not interested in justice and peace but in dominating the area. It has got worse and worse since then as it became clear that the Israel were not interested in withdrawing from the occupied territories and reaching a settlement with the Palestinians. What appalled me even more was to realise that US was not acting as an honest broker but as Israel’s lawyer. I could not understand how the Jews, who were 2% of the US population, could exert such power over US foreign policy and over the media. The people of the US were not being told the truth about what was going on in Israel.

    I have now started reading Alison Weir’s book and I can see that some US Jews may be embarrassed by revelations contained therein about the use and abuse of power. The point has been made that some Jews in the diaspora, who support the cause of the Palestinians, may have a residual attachment to the state of Israel and that, whilst they want to end the occupation, they want to protect Israel. I am beginning to think that this may be true for JVP.

    However, my interest is for peace and justice for the Palestinians and for me that means some sort of settlement for the rights of all the people ethnically cleansed from Palestine. Either a right of return or some other form of settlement that they agree to.

    • Kathleen
      August 16, 2015, 5:24 pm

      Thanks

    • Preston Enright
      August 16, 2015, 10:06 pm

      Hi Vikram,
      Regarding your last comment about, “either a right of return or some other form of settlement that they agree to” – here’s a related part of the JVP mission statement:
      “The plight of Palestinian refugees needs to be resolved equitably and in a manner that promotes peace and is consistent with international law. Within the framework of an equitable
      agreement, the refugees should have a role in determining their future, whether pursuing return, resettlement, or financial compensation. Israel should recognize its share of responsibility for the ongoing refugee crisis and for its resolution. ”
      https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/mission/

      It’s from a few years ago, but being from Ireland, you might find this piece on British imperialism interesting.
      http://fpif.org/divide_and_conquer_as_imperial_rules/
      “It is no surprise that the Israelis should be using the tactic of “divide and conquer,” the cornerstone policy of an empire that dominated virtually every continent on the globe save South America. The Jewish population of British-controlled Palestine was, after all, victim to exactly the same kind of ethnic manipulation that the Sharon government is presently attempting in Northern Iraq.
      Following the absorption of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, the British set about shoring up their rule by the tried and true strategy of pitting ethnic group against ethnic group, tribe against tribe, and religion against religion. When British Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour issued his famous 1917 Declaration guaranteeing a “homeland” for the Jewish people in Palestine, he was less concerned with righting a two thousand year old wrong than creating divisions that would serve growing British interests in the Middle East.
      Sir Ronald Storrs, the first Governor of Jerusalem, certainly had no illusions about what a “Jewish homeland” in Palestine meant for the British Empire: “It will form for England,” he said, “a little loyal Jewish Ulster in a sea of potentially hostile Arabism.”
      Storrs’ analogy was no accident. Ireland was where the English invented the tactic of divide and conquer, and where the devastating effectiveness of using foreign settlers to drive a wedge between the colonial rulers and the colonized made it a template for worldwide imperial rule.”

  7. Citizen
    August 16, 2015, 9:54 am

    Here’s a review of Ms Weir’s book–Not hard to see why there’s not many other reviews out there:
    Review of Alison Weir’s “Against Our Better Judgement: How the U.S. was used to create Israel” http://rinf.com/alt-news/reviews/review-alison-weirs-better-judgement-u-s-used-create-israel/ @rinf_community

    Here’s an extremely brief review:
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20919295-against-our-better-judgment

    Ms. Weir, on the origin of her own motivation to bring information to the general US public: http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014/04/alison-weir-findings-from-the-new-book-against-our-better-judgement/

    • Mooser
      August 17, 2015, 11:25 am

      “Remember that a significant number of Israeli Jews will also need to be persuaded that Palestinians mean them no harm and will live side by side in equality, justice, and peace, in the case of either a two-state or especially a one-state solution.”

      Let ’em leave if they don’t like it.

  8. jhitchcock
    August 16, 2015, 10:53 am

    (One more essential point I forgot to include in my last comment):

    This division in the movement is unfortunate. We shouldn’t be divided. The Palestinians need all the foot soldiers and allies they can get. Let’s please try to work things out for the good of the movement. Please join us in this antiracist struggle.

    Allies need to stay focused on the core Palestinian rights and goals from the BDS Call endorsed by all segments of the Palestinian population, along with previous clear statements regarding strategy and antiracist principles: http://www.bdsmovement.net/bdsintro

    1. Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967 and dismantling the Wall;
    2. Recognizing the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel to full equality; and
    3. Respecting, protecting and promoting the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

    Palestinian BDS leaders have stated on multiple occasions that their cause is part of the global struggle against all forms of racism, colonialism, and oppression: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/struggle-palestinian-rights-incompatible-any-form-racism-or-bigotry-statement

    The BNC on antiracism and antisemitism: http://www.bdsmovement.net/2010/bnc-responds-to-french-prime-minister-bds-promotes-justice-and-universal-rights-645

    And they have also made it clear that individuals espousing overt antisemitism are not welcome in the movement: http://mondoweiss.net/2012/03/palestinian-and-palestine-solidarity-activists-issue-critique-and-condemnation-of-gilad-atzmon

    Everyone is welcome to be part of the movement, but let’s just agree to try not to be racist or antisemitic, especially in our very public statements and writings. And don’t seek out audiences that cause more harm than good or jeopardize our alliances with others in the transnational struggle against all forms of racism and colonialism.

    You can criticize all the same odious Zionist settler-colonial policies and practices, but just don’t do it in an antisemitic or racist way. And if another activist compassionately tells you that you are saying or doing something that doesn’t fit with the Palestinians’ universal antiracist, anti-colonialist program, then please try to listen and make adjustments.

    Don’t deny the Nakba or the Holocaust. Don’t support ethnic cleansing. Don’t be racist, Islamophobic, or antisemitic. And don’t deny the Palestinians’ right to return: (https://electronicintifada.net/sites/electronicintifada.net/files/artman2/1/issuepaper30.pdf).

    Read Omar Barghouti if you aren’t sure how to avoid antisemitism. His book, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions: The Global Struggle for Palestinian Rights, is a great handbook, and it is not antisemitic.

    Remember that a significant number of Israeli Jews will also need to be persuaded that Palestinians mean them no harm and will live side by side in equality, justice, and peace, in the case of either a two-state or especially a one-state solution.

    The Israeli government and its US sponsor hold most of the power in this very one-sided situation, and they will not give it up easily. Activists need to also understand Zionism, its history, and how it has been motivated by the fear of centuries of antisemitic persecution. Israelis need to be persuaded to give up a lot of their power to restore full Palestinian human rights and abide by international law. And the US needs to be persuaded to stop sponsoring and supporting Israel’s racist and discriminatory apartheid policies. Successful persuasion requires awareness of and attention to audience’s values, beliefs, and fears, as has been the case for all successful rights-based social movement, including the US Civil Rights Movement and the South African anti-Apartheid struggle.

    Just as the Civil Rights Movement successfully persuaded a majority of Americans that ending discrimination and restoring equality to African Americans was necessary if the US was to come closer to living up to its own stated constitutional protections of equal rights, Israelis need to be persuaded to live up to the equal rights enshrined in their declaration of Independence: “It will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”

    We should all be in this together: white, black, old, young, Atheists, Muslims, Christians, and Jews.

    Please join us in the fight for justice. Please join this antiracist struggle.

    Justice will prevail.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2015, 12:31 pm

      (One more essential point I forgot to include in my last comment):

      This division in the movement is unfortunate. We shouldn’t be divided. The Palestinians need all the foot soldiers and allies they can get. Let’s please try to work things out for the good of the movement.

      how refreshing jennifer. especially after your last last last last last last and last comments expressing just the opposite. it’s nice to see you’ve finally come around. super congrats, thank you and welcome to the fold.

    • mariapalestina
      August 16, 2015, 12:44 pm

      OMG Jennifer, I read your post with some degree of hope that you may finally have gotten it. Then I came to this, and I realize you haven’t gotten it at all.

      “Everyone is welcome to be part of the movement, but let’s just agree to try not to be racist or antisemitic, especially in our very public statements and writings. And don’t seek out audiences that cause more harm than good or jeopardize our alliances with others in the transnational struggle against all forms of racism and colonialism.”

      I give up.

      • MHughes976
        August 16, 2015, 1:15 pm

        I don’t think that it is supporters of the Palestinian cause who need to make an effort not to be racist. The Palestinians are deprived of their rights because of their race and ancestry. If we object to this kind and manner of deprivation as plainly immoral then we are committed to oppose the playing of the same trick against Jews. Opposition to all the works of anti-Semitism is in our logical DNA.
        Many, many efforts will of course be made to split Jewish from non-Jewish pro-Palestinians. Our noble Jewish friends would by themselves be an in-house heretical group to be slowly worn down by peer pressure. We non-Jewish non–Zionists would by ourselves be much more conveniently assailed and overwhelmed by accusations that we are junior Hitlers.

    • Sibiriak
      August 16, 2015, 1:05 pm

      jhitchcock:

      You can criticize all the same odious Zionist settler-colonial policies and practices, but just don’t do it in an antisemitic or racist way. And if another activist compassionately tells you that you are saying or doing something that doesn’t fit with the Palestinians’ universal antiracist, anti-colonialist program, then please try to listen and make adjustments.

      Don’t deny the Nakba or the Holocaust. Don’t support ethnic cleansing. Don’t be racist, Islamophobic, or antisemitic. And don’t deny the Palestinians’ right to return: (link to electronicintifada.net).

      Read Omar Barghouti if you aren’t sure how to avoid antisemitism. ETC.

      ———————-

      Yes, mother.

    • Preston Enright
      August 16, 2015, 4:20 pm

      Hi Jennifer,
      Omar Barghouti’s book is a good one.
      Also, I’m glad you linked to that critique of Atzmon from Palestinian activists.
      In addition to his bigotry, Atzmon’s entire schtick is basically an effort to discredit various people and organizations of the Palestine solidarity movement. Jews are his favorite target, but he goes after Arabs like Barghouti as well. http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/omar-barghouti-on-white-people.html
      It was when Palestinian activists wrote the letter disavowing Atzmon’s racism that Weir wrote her pieces to defend him, saying, “I feel I need to briefly take time out to provide information about the Gilad Atzmon controversy, since I feel the attacks on him are enormously unfair.”
      She asserts that the thoroughly-considered critique of Atzmon is “unfair,” but has no issue with Atzmon’s hit-pieces on Omar Barghouti, Noam Chomsky, Max Blumenthal, Ali Abunimah, Jeff Halper, BDS, JVP, Mondoweiss, the Jewish left, among others.
      Weir herself spent an hour hosting a program on the “Washington Times Radio Network” attempting a “gotcha” interview with Chomsky. As “luck” would have it, Jeff Blankfort called in to join in on the Chomsky-bashing effort. The entire “interview” is just a disgraceful mess.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_LygPVxY8A
      More recently, Weir applauds Blankfort’s attempt to slander Chomsky, Phyllis Bennis, Amy Goodman, Stephen Zunes, and someone from JVP (Michelle, last name ?) as “gatekeepers” during this conference, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB2lDJJr3lE
      To understand what the alleged “gatekeepers” feel about the Israel lobby, Zunes has a good overview here, https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-israel-lobby-how-powerful-is-it-really-by-stephen-zunes/, and a follow-up piece here, http://www.commondreams.org/views/2007/12/23/israel-lobby-revisited

      As I look into what Weir and her allies have been doing to try to discredit activists and organizations like JVP, I’m amazed JVP didn’t break from her years ago.
      And now, after all the charges she and her allies have thrown at others, she holds herself up as a victim of “McCarthy-like” tactics. wow.
      Maybe someday she’ll reflect on her own tactics, or on the neo-Nazi tactics (literally)
      of Gilad Atzmon, but I doubt it.
      http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2011/12/atzmon-caught-using-bnp-material-to.html

      • eGuard
        August 24, 2015, 4:42 am

        Preston Enright Weir wrote her pieces to defend him [Atzmon]

        Well, JVP and US Campaign combed six years of Weir’s activity (possibly more), but did not include this in their arguments.

    • echinococcus
      August 16, 2015, 4:29 pm

      Ending its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967

      What a totally despicable thing to say! You are giving away the entire reason for which that JVP was started.
      To give away the Palestinians’ most essential rights, their land and their sovereignty over it, as if it they were yours.

      The theft of Palestinians lands and sovereignty over it is dated much earlier than 1967.

      The year in which it won some kind of official recognition by colonial powers was 1947. That never received any approval by the Palestinian people or any representative, independent body of it in the absence of blackmail and violence. Never.

      At best, JVP exists to ensure the implementing of an illegitimate partition plan and make partition a done deal in the minds of the public, including the Palestinian one.

      Let’s see what the Palestinian people will decide at the end. Under a US-Zionist-NATO imposition they may be entirely in the hands of the PA Quislings but things change. One day it could well be a clear demand for Palestine as a single state and things could have changed enough to implement it by hook or by crook.

      Meanwhile, JVP has discredited itself to the point of not being a reliable ally, even for actions including some “liberal” Zionists.

    • Kathleen
      August 16, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Would be great to read a co written piece by Barghouti and Finkelstein on this JVP VS Allison Weir debacle. Respect them both so much

      • W.Jones
        August 17, 2015, 12:18 am

        Kathleen.

        Norman Finkelstein was included in the profiles list of troublesome activsts next to Weir and Jeff Blanfort in 2007-2011. (See: http://www.researchforprogress.us/campcon/index.html)

        This was years before the JVP fight with Weir came up, but notice that the profile made against Weir includes the accusation of her being on Douglas’ program, which has now become the centerpiece against her.

        One could conclude that there has long been a subtle campaign aimed at those three activists and that has been inserted into an anti-Isampohobic, antiracist framework.

    • Dutch
      August 16, 2015, 6:56 pm

      [Don’t be racist, Islamophobic, or antisemitic.]

      Or zionist.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

      taxi: “GatekeeperGate”

      Deserves repeating.

    • W.Jones
      August 21, 2015, 3:21 am

      Taxi,

      […] The point I have made to Weir’s opponents was that if someone writes on the IP Conflict long enough you can find some offensive things someplace in their writing. Ellis has plenty of offensive things on the MW blog against Christianity, but that is not enough reason for US CEIO to ban Phil. The JSF blog has said offensive things about Judaism even though they are a leading force in the fight to ban Weir for posting Roger Tucker’s article. If you go through Chomsky’s writings or most other longterm writers on the conflict, you can find some offensive statements. That was the point of what I said to you.

      […]

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2015, 1:26 pm

        w.jones, this is not the place to clarify, carry on discussions regarding clarifications, technicalities or moderation decisions/policies of other blogs comment sections. we have enough to do here. i won’t be editing anymore of those kinds of comments, i will be deleting them.

      • W.Jones
        August 23, 2015, 12:15 am

        OK. Thank you, Annie for the editing above.

  9. lyn117
    August 16, 2015, 12:37 pm

    I honestly think Allison Weir has some latent or subconscious anti-semitism that she doesn’t recognize, but consciously attempts to eschew by being fair. It perhaps manifests in a proclivity towards investigation of sordid deeds by Jews. But then her dedication to fairness takes over. Of course I don’t know what’s in her real heart.

    Yes, the article on organ harvesting veered off to alleged medieval Jewish practices when it could equally well have veered off towards organ harvesting world-wide. The latent anti-semitism at work? On the other hand, suppression of any investigation into sordid deeds by Jews, the suppression of news showing Israel in a bad light, is also a primary focus of Allison Weir’s work. Well, anti-semites and pro-Palestinian justice people have some overlapping beliefs there, it’s just that the anti-semites keep focusing on things that have been debunked, conspiracies, Jews causing all the world’s problems, and so forth.

    Appearing on the racist radio show is troubling, as is any defense she made of the talk show host. I don’t know if that defense was taken out of context, and I don’t if she was thinking something around those thoughts that didn’t make it out. The list of charges on the USC site is long, but largely against the radio host.

    I do find the JVP claim to be working in the “The Jewish tradition of justice” a little off-putting. I’m not versed in Jewish law, history or traditional practices, but, I mean, the U.S. also has a tradition of justice: just read the bill of rights. And also a history of slavery, Guatanamo, racism, wars and genocide. Of which there are also plenty of in the old testament, which I think is also part of the Jewish tradition.

    For the record, I’ve given both JVP and the USC donations, and will continue to do so. I think Allison Weir should do some honest self-criticism and self-awareness (and apologies), and maybe JVP some soul-searching.

    • Parity
      August 16, 2015, 1:02 pm

      I wish JVP, ETO, and Alison could all get together and try to mend the rift. Alison, in particular, I think needs an apology for the way her herem was handled.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 16, 2015, 1:54 pm

      lyn117: No, we don’t know and cannot know what is hidden in another’s heart. But a person should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Allison Weir has NOT been proven guilty. So on what basis can we ask her to engage in self-criticism or apologies? Bear in mind that we are not in Maoist China.

      Maybe there is something in your speculations about anti-Semitism in AW’s subconscious. The subconscious works by means of free association and is not constrained by logic. Therefore, anyone who like AW constantly focuses on evil done by Jews can be expected to develop an “anti-Semitic” subconscious (even if they are themselves Jewish!). So long as the conscious mind kicks in and provides the necessary logical corrections to the subconscious reactions we have no grounds for complaint.

      Any anti-Semitism that may exist in AW’s subconscious or heart (or any other mind or body part) will be weakened by the solidarity of Jewish colleagues who stand with her against the grossly unfair treatment that she has received.

      • Citizen
        August 16, 2015, 4:33 pm

        What about the anti-Goyism that may exist in some Jewish participants in the solidarity movement? It’s a family grooming affair, eh? How many violent Israeli settlers come from Brooklyn? BTW, this whole attempt to paint Weir as a closet anti-semite reminds me of 1984:
        Goldstein Conspiracy in 1984: http://www.orwelltoday.com/goldstein.shtml

    • eGuard
      August 24, 2015, 4:50 am

      Lyn117: I honestly think Allison Weir has some latent or subconscious anti-semitism – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity/comment-page-2#comment-792079

      See, why having to prove anything? We better go by the lyn detector.

  10. Parity
    August 16, 2015, 12:48 pm

    I’ve looked at the Free American website, which has changed over a period of time, but the main issue of Clay Douglas, the owner, is not white supremacy (racial), as far as I can tell, but being controlled, which he applies to a number of issues, including government mandates for vaccinating children. He does believe that Jews have too much control over banks, the media, etc., and in that respect he amplifies long-standing ideas of what is considered anti-Semitic. I think Zionist control is something to be explored and debated, not dismissed out of hand, and that you can believe that Zionists exert too much control over our government and media without having an irrational hatred of Jews as a collective, which is how I would define anti-Semitism. Douglas does care about the Palestinians and even had Ali Abunimah listed for an August 3 interview about the West Bank toddler who was burned in his home, and alongside the announcement was a link to the Electronic Intifada’s account of the incident. Abunimah must have refused to be interviewed or asked that the interview be withdrawn, because nothing comes up when you press the link. Still, I’m wondering whether Abunimah missed a good opportunity to educate the truck drivers who might have been listening to the radio broadcast.

    I’m sorry about the way Alison’s ouster was handled by both JVP (to which I belong) and ETO (to which many of the organizations I work with belong). I know that Alison asked to meet with JVP but was instead directed to JVP’s lawyer. ETO said she had until August 3 to respond to their charges, but they jumped the gun and ousted her before that date.

    My guess is that JVP and ETO have concerns that Alison’s message will increase the hatred of Jews. If so, JVP and ETO should have been honest and to the point. Instead, they have come up with a high-sounding framework that wants to position the I-P movement into a movement that brings down all the oppressive power structures in our country. That sounds like a task for every generation.

    A more focused goal, which would more quickly end the suffering of the Palestinians, would be to educate as many people as possible about the plight of the Palestinians and what we need to do to help them. Education needs to includes facts about the Zionists’ role in our government and media, something Alison does well.

    • Citizen
      August 16, 2015, 4:52 pm

      I think some folks in JVP didn’t like how Weir traced the current state of the Palestinians all the way back to Zionist behind-the-scenes- activity with Balfour & Wilson’s phony baloney excuse for sending in the doughboys after he had run on a ticket not to get US into war.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 17, 2015, 2:08 pm

      Citizen: I agree that subconscious or even conscious ‘anti-Goyism’ may well underlie attacks like those on Weir. It goes along with the extreme wariness and suspicion of Gentiles, the readiness to detect anti-Semitism on the flimsiest grounds.

  11. Mooser
    August 16, 2015, 1:27 pm

    Not smart move by JVP. They have just set the stage for a battle over just what their own (JVP and Tzedek) relationship to Zionism is. I’ve just been reading some of their stuff; mission statements, blogs, and that’s a fight they don’t want to have, if it can’t be fought on their terms, and now it can’t. But they set themselves up for it.

    • Citizen
      August 16, 2015, 4:56 pm

      @ Mooser
      I agree. Remember when the UN resolved that Zionism was racism? That vanished; how many know that story? Now, JVP says everybody decent has to operate within the parameter of universal anti-racism, yet JVP does not exclude Zionists from its membership, nor does it hesitate to present itself in front of clear Zionist audiences. Are white goy supremacists the only ones tagged as verboten audience?

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 10:16 am

        Citizen, I have to keep asking myself: “When I go to the JVP website, and read their mission statement, why does JVP always mention “Israeli security and self-determination” FIRST.

        And JVP calls them “Israelis”? I don’t think their own government gives them that honorific. I thought the Israeli government knows them as “Jews”.

        If JVP wants to head down that road, they shouldn’t try to give Weir directions.
        I’m flabbergasted. Years ago, I pushed the theory on Mondo (God forgive me) that American Jews and the “Jewish community” simply aren’t capable of doing much of anything about Zionism, not as the community is presently constituted. I thought we have been pretty effectively check-mated in that department. I thought I was being a smart-ass when I said that.

      • MRW
        August 18, 2015, 4:42 pm

        @Mooser and Citizen: ✔✔✔

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 17, 2015, 1:35 pm

      Mooser wrote: ” Years ago, I pushed the theory on Mondo (God forgive me) that American Jews and the “Jewish community” simply aren’t capable of doing much of anything about Zionism, not as the community is presently constituted.”

      Funny, but that’s exactly what Gilad Atzmon argued in his conversation with Phil from 2011 (Jennifer Hitchcock, shut your eyes) —
      http://mondoweiss.net/2011/06/i-found-my-identity-down-on-highway-61

      His argument was that the “Jewish left” is an oxymoron — one can be either a universalist or tribal, but one cannot be both. What was your argument?

      • W.Jones
        August 17, 2015, 1:53 pm

        Peace T. Justice,

        Atzmon claims that Neturei Kartei is fine because it’s religious. My argument against Atzmon is that JVP has a rabbinical council and thus it’s legitimate. Furthermore, I buy into JVP’s argument that they are effective in disproving that one’s religious background requires one to give support to militaristic policies in the Levant.

        The downside that Atzmon is pointing to is that if your organization happens to be identified and arranged around the conquering nation’s group, then there is a risk that you could have a bias in favor of them. JVP for example said that the reason it delayed recognizing BDS until this January was because it was toxic in its community.

        So the risk is that Alison Weir’s emphasis in targeting the lobbying efforts acted as the real impetus behind JVP’s attacks on her, even though JVP declares that it is against the lobbying that goes on in favor of the Occupation.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 2:59 pm

        “What was your argument?”

        I think I made that clear in the comment: “I thought I was a smart-ass”

        Now I’m not so sure. Maybe I was serious.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 17, 2015, 4:52 pm

        W.Jones wrote: “Atzmon claims that Neturei Kartei is fine because it’s religious. … “

        I agree with all of your analysis except the part about JVP being a religious organization. Atzmon meant religious in the sense of feeling a responsibility to something beyond just tribal self-interest. But for most people choosing to self-identify as “Jewish,” we’ve been in the era of the so-called “secular Jew” for quite a few generations now — where the tribal component of Jewish identity (the “peoplehood” part) has expanded to take the place of the missing (or shrunken) religious component. (Do you really think JVP asks prospective members theological questions? I think probably bloodlines are enough.)

        And finally, when the tribal has expanded far enough, when it has so metastasized that “what’s good for the Jews” has swamped all the competing components of self-identity — then you’ve got Zionism.

        (I know this sounds awfully glib. Of course there’s a lot more to be said. And I don’t mean to imply that everyone doesn’t have some tribal components to their self-identity. But maybe some other time.)

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 17, 2015, 5:22 pm

        W.Jones: And there’s no doubt in my mind that what triggered JVP’s attack on Weir was her emphasis on the lobby in this country. And what’s even worse, she focused particularly on the media! (Remember that it was her media analyses that first brought attention to If Americans Knew.) Just talking about AIPAC, the ADL, etc. already brings us dangerously close to questions of dual loyalty. But promoting one’s own interests is one thing — sure it’s selfish but everyone does that. But to discuss how the media is being used as a tool, that’s really incendiary stuff because it implies a readiness to keep Americans in the dark — to lie to them — in order to promote one’s own goals. That’s not nice.

        (What first brought me to this whole field was the realization, back in 2001, that the media was witholding the motivation of the 9/11 bombers from the American public. It was known, there was no debate about it, but we were just flatly denied the opportunity to talk about it. That struck me as a huge injustice.)

      • MRW
        August 18, 2015, 4:53 pm

        W.Jones,

        The downside that Atzmon is pointing to is that if your organization happens to be identified and arranged around the conquering nation’s group, then there is a risk that you could have a bias in favor of them. JVP for example said that the reason it delayed recognizing BDS until this January was because it was toxic in its community.

        Brilliant point, and it matches this by PeaceThroughJustice:

        What first brought me to this whole field was the realization, back in 2001, that the media was witholding the motivation of the 9/11 bombers from the American public. It was known, there was no debate about it, but we were just flatly denied the opportunity to talk about it. That struck me as a huge injustice.

        In fact, PeaceThroughJustice’s entire post August 17, 2015, 5:22 pm is on the mark. Many forget that the press, the media, is supposed to be the Fourth Estate (after the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial “estates”) and it’s charter is to report on the three other estates to inform the people . . . who are hard at work going to work sometimes with two or three jobs, attending Little Leagues, and feeding their families, so they have no time to do the digging the Fourth estate is charged with doing. The Fourth Estate’s job isn’t to protect a client state, or their de facto representatives in the US.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 4:56 pm

        ” (Do you really think JVP asks prospective members theological questions?”

        Whoa! Please tell me that JVP never requires an applicant to reveal their current religious preference, but merely asks if the person wishes to disclose it once they are a member.
        I sure hope I am right about that.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 5:05 pm

        there’s an option to not disclose. but yes they ask.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 12:56 pm

        ” but yes they ask.”

        Thanks for telling me. They really shouldn’t. Are they counting?

      • tree
        August 23, 2015, 4:25 pm

        His argument was that the “Jewish left” is an oxymoron — one can be either a universalist or tribal, but one cannot be both.

        Just to clarify a bit to those who may not be familiar with Atzmon’s argument, he isn’t saying that a Jewish person who identifies as a leftist is an oxymoron.

        He is saying that a Jewish person who identifies as part of the “Jewish left” or as a “Jewish Marxist” is using a contradiction in terms, just as a person who called themselves a member of the “white left”, or a “white Marxist”, or a member “Christian left”, or a “Christian Marxist” would be. As far as ethnicity or religion goes, they are both superfluous to being a leftist or a Merxist, who normally do not classify people according to their race or religion.

      • Sibiriak
        August 23, 2015, 10:11 pm

        W.Jones: The downside that Atzmon is pointing to is that if your organization happens to be identified and arranged around the conquering nation’s group , then there is a risk that you could have a bias in favor of them. (emphasis added)
        ————————–

        But then, what does that say about IF AMERICANS KNEW which is generally characterized as a nationalist-patriotic group identified with the U.S. (national group), i.e. identified with the world’s hegemonic imperialist power? Surely, there is a risk that they are biased toward that imperialist power, and might have a tendency to blame the moral failings of that power on foreign influences?

      • Sibiriak
        August 24, 2015, 12:07 am

        tree: Just to clarify a bit to those who may not be familiar with Atzmon’s argument, he isn’t saying that a Jewish person who identifies as a leftist is an oxymoron.

        —————-
        Well, it depends on how you define “a Jewish person.” Atzmon states very clearly in “The Wandering Who?” that neither a religious Jew nor a secular Jew–i.e. a person who identifies with some form of Jewishness –can truly be a univeralist-humanist.

        According to Atzmon, a secular Jew may adopt some universalist-humanist rhetoric but can never escape a “tribalism” supposedly inherent in any form of secular Jewishness.

        Atzmon (p.55):

        “it is this duality of tribalism and universalism which is at the very heart of collective secular Jewish identity. This duality has never been properly resolved. Instead of redeeming the Jews it imposes a certain level of dishonesty.
        —————
        …[secular Jewish identity] aims at integrating the opposing categories of tribalism and universalism. But this can never be achieved.”

        According to Atzmon, only Jews completely shorn of all Jewishness can be authentic universalists. They must cease to have any Jewish identity and become persons who just “happen to be of Jewish origin” [p.16 ]

        I disagree with Atzmon’s anti-Jewish ideology. He erroneously conflates Zionist Jewish secular identity with all possible forms of Jewish secular identity. I would provide many more quotes to substantiate that assertion, but my understanding is discussion of Atzmon’s views are not welcome at MW, so I will leave it at that.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 24, 2015, 12:54 am

        my understanding is discussion of Atzmon’s views are not welcome at MW,

        discussion of atzmon’s views are not welcome at atzmon’s site either.

      • Sibiriak
        August 24, 2015, 1:14 am

        @Annie Robbins: To clarify, when I wrote “discussion of Atzmon’s views are not welcome at MW” I didn’t intend that as a criticism.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 24, 2015, 6:19 pm

        that’s ok. i’m used to people repeating over and over how we don’t host atzmon conversations here (which tend to go on forever) and everyone will just have to get used to me repeating we’re not doing anything atzmon wouldn’t do himself. there’s no ‘discussion’ about his views at his site either.

      • W.Jones
        August 24, 2015, 2:53 am

        Hello, Sibiriak:

        You asked:

        But then, what does that say about IF AMERICANS KNEW which is generally characterized as a nationalist-patriotic group identified with the U.S. (national group), i.e. identified with the world’s hegemonic imperialist power? Surely, there is a risk that they are biased toward that imperialist power, and might have a tendency to blame the moral failings of that power on foreign influences?

        The short answer I think is that what you are saying has a grain of truth. Just as JVP could have a bias, so could an American group or a Christian group or a Palestinian group. If Alison Weir were openly championing clearly imperialistic goals and slogans, then naturally her championing of that position would reflect the bias that you are talking about. However, I think it’s only a “risk”, as you put it, so I wouldn’t presume it, just as six months ago I wouldn’t have presumed that JVP would have banned all cooperation with Weir on the pretenses that they did.On the same account, Weir’s critics shouldn’t presume that Weir is imperialist just because her group supports American interests. Even JVP’s FAQ says that the “true US interest” is against the Occupation.

        I don’t see having an “American” organization as the same thing as having, say, a “Christian” organization or a “Ukrainian-American” one. The reason is that an American group is really tied together by citizenship, rather than, say, religion. The Socialists in Europe divided up on national lines and fought eachother in WWI, but the anarchists and pacifists probably had national organizations too without fighting in WWI. So dividing along national lines doesn’t necessitate international conflict and can just be a nonsectarian delineation.

      • tree
        August 24, 2015, 12:13 pm

        I think you are misinterpreting Atzmon, Sibiriak, but in the interest of abiding by the desires of this website, and also in the interest of not forcing annie to moderate an off topic discussion, I’ll leave it at that.

        Specifically on-topic I’d like to post a video of Alison Weir talking at Binghamton University in May 2015 so people can judge for themselves what Alison is like.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4cNrbo15ME

        And I’d like to juxtapose that with this speech from Rabbi Alissa Wisse at a Friends of Sabeel Conference in April of 2015.

        http://palestiniantalmud.com/2015/06/09/rabbi-alissa-wise-at-friends-of-sabeel-na-conference/

        I don’t think Wisse had even a clue as to how condescending she was or how bigoted her speech was. But, especially since she was addressing the Friends of Sabeel, which is a group in support of a Christian Palestinian organization(Sabeel) that is facing the desecration and burning of Churches, as well as the violent oppression of Palestinian Christians and Muslims in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, her suggestion that Christians should contemplate “Christian hegemony” by

        “doing the hard work of examining the legacy and current realities of anti-Semitism – and Islamophobia – in Christian communities, and Christian dominance in our culture.

        For example, this could look like doing study groups about the legacy of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in Christianity.

        It could look like workshopping ways Christian dominance manifests in our media, educational systems, and pop culture, for example, reflecting on questions such as:

        – Have you ever been given a school vacation or paid holiday related to Christmas or Easter when school vacations or paid Holidays for Ramadan or the Jewish High Holidays were not observed?

        – Are public institutions you use, such as offices, buildings, banks, parking meters, the post office, libraries, and stores, open on Fridays and Saturdays but closed on Sundays?

        – Is the calendar year you observe calculated from the year designated as the birth of Christ?

        – Have you ever seen a public institution in your community, such as a school, hospital, or city hall, decorated with Christian symbols (such as Christmas trees, wreaths, portraits or sculptures of Jesus, nativity scenes, “Commandment” displays, or crosses)?

        I mean, really, there are people being physically and psychologically crushed in Israel/Palestine by “Jewish hegemony” and she thinks that a day off on Sunday is important enough to suggest to a group of Palestinian solidarity activists as something they should “workshop” about? Cluelessly condescending and insulting.

        And then she ends her speech thusly:

        May we be part of the transformation of a painful history of Christian anti-Semitism and of Jewish trauma by working together to realize justice, equality and freedom, not just for Israelis and Palestinians, but for all people.

        My work alongside Christians is an important challenge to those dangerous and disempowering messages I learned growing up. I no longer believe Jews are inevitably alone in the world, but in fact quite the opposite. I now see just how much we are there for each other.

        “Christian anti-semitism” and “Jewish trauma”. No mention of Jewish antigoyism, even though it is the overriding problem confronting Palestinians for the last 100 years or so. She also calls the “learning” she got in Jewish day school as “dangerous and disempowering messages”, rather than the appropriate term for such lessons, which would be Jewish bigotry.

        At that Jewish Day School, education about the Nazi Holocaust was a centerpiece of our learning. In High School, I visited Auschwitz, Majdonek and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps with my Jewish youth movement. We were told stories of how the Christian world was complicit in Nazism and their crimes.

        I was looking over an old Mondo post from 2012 I think and in it I mentioned that many Jews were taught exactly what Wisse admits she was taught. Of course at the time I was accused of making this up. I missed the comment that made that accusation at the time, and so did not respond. Funny how in looking back at 2012 that accusation came up right after I had just read Wisse’s description of her Jewish day school experience.

        I certainly don’t think Wisse should be banned or put in herem for her unacknowledged religious bigotry in that speech but I’m noticing more and more that quite a few anti-semitic accusations are really founded in unacknowledged Jewish racism and bigotry. Wisse seems completely oblivious of her own bigotry,

      • Bornajoo
        August 24, 2015, 6:47 pm

        Tree.
        Many thanks for posting the two links. The Alison Weir one didn’t show up (that could just be on my pc) but I found it on YouTube. I couldn’t agree more with your comment about Alison Weir. I’ve seen lots of videos of her speaking and read lots of stuff she’s written. I’ve never once ever detected any sign of bigotry and she has always come across as balanced and reasonable.

        So it’s strange that after having those experiences for several years that all of a sudden there is a witch hunt against her which had led to jvp and others from publicly stating that they refuse to continue to work with her. She’s been branded as a bigot and white supremacist. I read through every allegation made against her and I read her response. I saw the videos, read the transcripts and the counterpunch article. My conclusion is that those who have made these allegations are completely wrong. I refuse to go along with their conclusions. I refuse to jump on that bandwagon.

        And yes, when you read through the transcript of the speech by Alissa Wise I absolutely agree that it was a condescending and bigoted speech. I actually really liked Atzmon’s critique of her speech. I think he was spot on too.

        Your juxtaposition of the two speeches illustrate your point really well.

        So if forced to make a choice, I’m with Alison Weir all the way.

    • W.Jones
      August 31, 2015, 6:20 am

      Mooser,
      The biggest risk I see to JVP and US CEIO is the “Why Now?” question. The things that JVP and US CEIO objected to basically go back to the PRA’s open report against her and Finkelstein from 2007-2011. She hasn’t been on Douglas’ radio station for four years. So did JVP and CEIO just randomly and almost simultaneously raise this issue independent of each other years later? Or is the real reason her current book tour on the lobby, but they don’t want to explain what the problem is with it?

      JVP’s and CEIO’s biggest strength may be their organizational weight. Weir is in some ways a “one-woman campaign”, in that sense like Finkelstein, or Phil would have been without his co-editors. But JVP and CEIO are major organizations whose memberships together cover an enormous portion of the Solidarity organizations.

      • echinococcus
        August 31, 2015, 11:08 am

        Jones,

        JVP’s and CEIO’s biggest strength may be their organizational weight. Weir is in some ways a “one-woman campaign”, in that sense like Finkelstein, or Phil would have been without his co-editors. But JVP and CEIO are major organizations whose memberships together cover an enormous portion of the Solidarity organizations.

        Very well said, and it brings us to the next conclusion:
        Most of the remarkable successes by the “Solidarity Movement” that are being autocelebrated all around aren’t worth much because they are at the mercy of Pro-Zionists ready to use any ridiculous pretext to attack and destroy those who really mean business, or on a whim fold down their whole operation in a way to paralyze work for a long period of time.
        Most of the so-called Solidarity Movement is too unreliable for health.
        Up to us to draw conclusions about how to act now.

      • W.Jones
        August 31, 2015, 4:35 pm

        Echinococcus,

        The US Campaign’s convention will be in Atlanta this September 25:
        http://www.endtheoccupation.org/section.php?id=494

        It could be a chance for activists to talk with each other about their ideas on the ban. It may be a rare chance for CEIO members to have an open voice in their organization about this.

  12. idaaudeh
    August 16, 2015, 2:55 pm

    Jhitchcock writes:
    But who is honestly more important to the future long-term success of the BDS movement and the cause of Palestinian rights at this point? JVP or Weir? Sorry to put it so bluntly. We won’t forget all of your hard work over the years, Ms. Weir. And we’ll still use your great maps and studies on media bias.

    But be honest, at least at this point in time, how many mainstream US churches or other organizations would have passed divestment resolutions without JVP activists holding their hands and assuring them that it was okay and not antisemitic to divest?”

    So this is about turf, then. And maintaining (Jewish) privilege in the Palestinian rights movement. As far as I can tell, I am the only Palestinian in this roundtable, so let me tell you something, Jennifer: It is very, very important to Palestinians and to our ability to reach Americans to have the voice of the Alison Weirs in this country, because it is a clear voice. There is no conflict of interests, there is no undisclosed privilege that we need to be concerned about. I can’t say that about JVP. If you take it as a given that anyone taking a position on BDS requires the permission of Jews to do so (to be told that it isn’t — that word again — anti-semitic), then I have to assume that there is something about that that sits well with you. That assumption is so presumptuous, so reactionary, so outrageous — and as clear a statement of the perks that come with implicit privilege — I don’t know where to begin to respond. I would think that any movement that wants to involve ordinary people and wants to get them invested in the foreign policy of their government, which has had such disastrous consequences in the world — anyone who wants to do that has to empower them and give them an independent voice. I don’t think they should need a Jewish seal of approval to voice their opinions on divestment. Alison’s work contributes to that independence. The assumption that we need to know how Jews stand on issues in order to know what is permissible would be laughable if it weren’t unfortunately the norm. J Street ads support the Iran deal because it is “good for Israel.” Perhaps JVP should include, as part of its public education work, some education about the need to remove Israel from consideration when we talk about US foreign policy matters, like the pros and cons of supporting a deal with Iran.

    Your statements about Weir are condescending (how big of you to use her maps), and you do everything but call her a racist. And that is shameful and uncalled for.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2015, 3:26 pm

      As far as I can tell, I am the only Palestinian in this roundtable

      i wanted to welcome you again to mondoweiss idaaudeh, and inform you of 2 misconceptions. you are not the only palestinian here and jennifer has called Alison a racist, numerous times in this conversation* (assuming one uses the same definition as i do of anti semitism as being synonymous with racism/bigotry, as it pertains to jewish people ).

      * this is the second page of the comments for this thread. the first page can be accessed at the base of the page on the left hand side.

      • idaaudeh
        August 16, 2015, 3:32 pm

        Thanks for your kind notes, Annie (and for what you are doing to make this discussion possible) (and for the corrections).

    • Citizen
      August 16, 2015, 5:22 pm

      @ idaaudeh
      Jennifer’s argument rests on the assumption that US foreign policy regarding Israel cannot be debated effectively without the Jewish 2% that is part of USA’s demography. That’s been true, but that is Weir’s point, isn’t it? Weir just wants to bring facts to the other 98% of Americans, so they can accomplish informed consent.

    • Kathleen
      August 16, 2015, 5:33 pm

      By the way Methodist and Episcopal Churches were way out in front of JVP on the divestment boycott issue. Think that description of “hand holding” by JVP is a myth being fueled.

      • MRW
        August 18, 2015, 5:01 pm

        Didn’t the Methodist and Episcopal Churches write a letter to Congress in October 2011 about the issue? Or was it the Presbyterians? I thought they were organized long before JVP took hold.

      • Kathleen
        August 18, 2015, 10:14 pm

        I believe there was movement in both of those congregations even as far back as 2000

    • Kathleen
      August 16, 2015, 5:35 pm

      Go Ida.
      “So this is about turf, then. And maintaining (Jewish) privilege in the Palestinian rights movement. As far as I can tell, I am the only Palestinian in this roundtable, so let me tell you something, Jennifer: It is very, very important to Palestinians and to our ability to reach Americans to have the voice of the Alison Weirs in this country, because it is a clear voice. There is no conflict of interests, there is no undisclosed privilege that we need to be concerned about. I can’t say that about JVP. If you take it as a given that anyone taking a position on BDS requires the permission of Jews to do so (to be told that it isn’t — that word again — anti-semitic), then I have to assume that there is something about that that sits well with you. That assumption is so presumptuous, so reactionary, so outrageous — and as clear a statement of the perks that come with implicit privilege — I don’t know where to begin to respond. I would think that any movement that wants to involve ordinary people and wants to get them invested in the foreign policy of their government, which has had such disastrous consequences in the world — anyone who wants to do that has to empower them and give them an independent voice. I don’t think they should need a Jewish seal of approval to voice their opinions on divestment. Alison’s work contributes to that independence. The assumption that we need to know how Jews stand on issues in order to know what is permissible would be laughable if it weren’t unfortunately the norm. “-

  13. alfa
    August 16, 2015, 3:04 pm

    Those who cannot recognize the value of Alison speaking to Douglas’s audience perhaps lack real knowledge of how latently racist the population remains . In my rural agricultural environment racism and bigotry in varying degrees is engrained in the culture(borninamerica) just as Zionism is embedded in Jewish culture. Because xenophobia is a cultural glue, it’s going to take many more generations for it to lose it’s appeal. Some members of these cultures continue to realize the evil and begin to free themselves it, but most only deny it. — Douglas’s audience is comprised of many people who will respond positively, maybe even learn more about their unrealized bigotry in the process, just as I imagine Zionist are learning. This is the audience Alison was attempting to inform, which I believe she handled very well. If other’s can engage middle America better, do it, lead, instead of obstructing other’s efforts, there is a long fight ahead. I’m inspired by unity and size of the movement reflected in these discussions, it’s growing.

  14. Kris
    August 16, 2015, 3:04 pm

    @Parity:

    He does believe that Jews have too much control over banks, the media, etc., and in that respect he amplifies long-standing ideas of what is considered anti-Semitic. I think Zionist control is something to be explored and debated, not dismissed out of hand, and that you can believe that Zionists exert too much control over our government and media without having an irrational hatred of Jews as a collective, which is how I would define anti-Semitism.

    The more I try to understand this debate about Weir’s supposed “antisemitism,” the more confused and sad I feel. Many Mondoweiss articles have demonstrated that Zionist Jews, a tiny minority of the U.S. population, do have a disproportionate influence on our government and media. How is it “antisemitic” to acknowledge a demonstrated truth?

    Annie and the other moderators spend a lot of time weeding out antisemitic comments; obviously, they have a working definition they use to identify antisemitism. Moderators–Please share your working definition, with examples!!!!! A good place to put this information would be at the end of the “Comments Policy,” at the top of every page.

    I have spent a lot of time googling and reading, trying to understand what “antisemitism” is, and, really, “antisemitism” seems to be criticizing Israel or noticing that Zionist Jews have disproportionate influence in the government and media. Obviously, though, that’s not what the editors of mondoweiss think, as evidenced by the articles I’ve read here.

    Andrew Levine, on Counterpunch http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/14/aipac-headed-for-defeat-but-thats-not-why-its-bad-for-the-jews/ says:

    In time, though, for reasons largely unrelated to anything Zionists did, classical anti-Semitism disappeared. The anti-Semitic chapter in human history sputtered out of control in the 1930s and 40s and then, having run its course and with the Axis powers defeated, withered away.

    Sensing a need to return their movement to its original mission, if only to keep the Zionist project alive, could Zionists, of the Netanyahu-AIPAC variety now be trying to revive it?

    It certainly seems that way. If this is not their intent, the best that can be said in their behalf is that they know not what they do. Their antics are not just unseemly; they are dangerous as well.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 16, 2015, 4:27 pm

      hi kris, i define anti semitism as synonymous with bigotry and racism, as it pertains to jewish people. personally i think it would make more sense just to stick to those words (bigotry and racism). i think those words work well for islamophobia too with the exception that islamophobia is directed specifically at a religion and not specific to ‘a people’ per se. the term islamophobia has a different connotation in another way in that the word (as opposed to the way it’s used) doesn’t always signal racism, but paranoia or phobia (2 words that are not always a result of racism and can also be the result of mental disease like schizophrenia).

      anyway, i frequently use the terms racism and bigotry rather than anti semitism as i did in this title here: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/semitic-israel-lobby . i do that because i think it’s important to remind people, or to have people be mindful of what they are really saying when they display hatred towards jews or accuse other people of hatred towards jews.

      in the thread of this article i used an example of one of jennifer’s accusations to explain why i thought her accusation didn’t stick. you can find that by clicking on my name and placing “iraq” in the search. but briefly i’ll try to explain it again. in the scenario jennifer thought was bigoted i asked her to replace the israeli soldier for an american soldier. i asked her imagine if alison or another anti war activist/presenter might have been that harsh with an american soldier in the audience. i thought it would be acceptable to perceive alison’s response as possibly rude, abrupt, unfair or uncalled for. but under that same circumstance with iraqis in the room vs palestinians and an american soldier instead of idf could alison’s actions be considered racist? no. no one would accuse someone of racism for confronting an american general and calling him a war monger for example. code pink would be roundly condemned as racist. and i don’t think it passes the smell test in jennifer’s accusation for the same reason. being rude to a jewish person is not anti semitism per se unless the insult is ethnic specific. alison and the soldier had different views during an ideological/political conversation. she was the presenter and he was (she thought) taking up too much of the space as an audience member using his platform to undermine her messaging. iow, she was in competition with him i would imagine for the attention of the audience. there was nothing particularly racist about it at all. jennifer uses anti semitism as if it’s a replacement for ‘offending or hurting someone’s feelings’ who happens to be jewish. this is the same way the accusers of obama used the term in my article i just linked to called ‘It’s not bigoted to call out the Israel lobby over Iran Deal’.

      it’s also the exact MO stand with us uses on campuses and teaches pro israel students to use in their anti divestment arguments. ‘this hurts my feelings’. well guess what? life is full of elections and opposing sides of issues and it’s very very common to feel hurt when your side is losing. that’s just life, it’s not an indication of being a victim of racism or bigotry. but students on campuses are being trained to privilege jewish hurt feelings by being more sensitive to them or deferring to them. and that’s not fair play. especially when you’ve got school administrations backing up those ‘hurt’ students to protect their ‘sensitivities’ in a fair fight.

      in that article tablet put forward the idea using certain terms like ‘money’ or ‘foreign interest’ triggered some past accusations of jews and therefore those terms should not be used when referencing zionist power or influence or something. which is completely absurd because over the course of history every group of people have had members who have been falsely accused of , murderer, child abuse, rape, liars, thieves you name it. and every group has had members who have perpetrated these crimes too, including jews. so if we held those standards for every ethnic group (lists of things we can’t say about any member of a group because of past false accusations of any member of the same group) no one would be able to say anything about anyone for fear of being called a racist.

      this doesn’t mean stereotypes don’t exist because they do. but when money is used to buy votes in congress, when referencing that whether it be the health care industry, the NRA, or the israel lobby, people should be able to use the word “money”. look at the cory booker ad in the nyt in the article on the front page today. beoteach doesn’t get a free pass where he can explicitly dangle this money (“jewish donors”) all over the nyt but we reference it as jewish power or manipulation and we’re racist. that’s absurd.

      it creates an imbalance and privileges jewish people in terms of the power of playing the victim card. that’s why i think it’s important to use the term bigorty. because it’s clear and stark. just like it’s clear and stark when someone says they are afraid when they see a black man walk down the street they are going to killed by him and therefore it’s justified to pre empt this by shooting him. every step of the way requires a fundamentally racist thought from the fear to the killing. if you walk into a store and identify the shop keeper as a jewish person and assume you’re going to get ripped off, you’re a bigot straight up. i had a person tell me once you shouldn’t sig a lease with a jewish landlord because you’d get the bad end of the deal. my jaw literally dropped. i just told her she was out of her mind. anyway, i could go on and on.

    • Preston Enright
      August 16, 2015, 4:42 pm

      Hi Kris,
      This pamphlet might be helpful, “The Past Didn’t Go Anywhere: Making Resistance to anti-Semitism a Part of All of Our Movements.”
      http://www.buildingequality.us/prejudice/antisemitism/rosenblum/the-past.pdf
      “For people who have committed themselves to fundamental social change, the situation we’re stuck in with antisemitism is like a bad joke. From one side, progressive and radical activists and scholars are being attacked by organized campaigns to brand us antisemites. In particular, it’s virtually impossible to speak out critically about Israel without being charged with antisemitism.
      At the same time, we face real currents of unchallenged anti-Jewish oppression in our movements and the world. This endangers Jews, corrupts our political
      integrity, and sabotages our ability to create the effective resistance our times demand.” – April Rosenblum

      • tree
        August 16, 2015, 5:49 pm

        Annie, great statement but I have to disagree with your presentation of the facts in the case of Alison and the Israeli soldier here:

        alison and the soldier had different views during an ideological/political conversation. she was the presenter and he was (she thought) taking up too much of the space as an audience member using his platform to undermine her messaging. iow, she was in competition with him i would imagine for the attention of the audience.

        According to Alison’s description of the event, there was a lengthy Q and A session at the end of the event, which included some challenging questions from those that disagreed with the film, and at a certain point late in the evening the student organizers of the event tried to wrap it up by announcing that there would be just one more question. The last question was asked and Alison responded, putting the final response on an upbeat note. It was only AFTER that last question was asked and answered that the Israeli soldier stood up and shouted that the film( which was not Alison’s work, she simply narrated it) was all lies.

        In effect, the Israeli soldier did exactly what the Irvine 11 did when they interrupted Michael Oren’s speech and were arrested and tried in court for disrupting the event to make their point.

        Of course, the results here were totally different. He was not arrested, nor escorted from the room. Alison, after asking him what he thought was untrue about the film, and getting an evasion instead of an answer, ended the event, that should have already been ended if not for the man’s outburst.

        Here is some of her thinking on the incident:

        Suddenly, a man in the audience stood up and shouted out that he was an Israeli solider and that everything had been “lies.” There was considerable shouting back and forth, and when it finally quieted, I said to him that I fervently disagreed and asked him to name any inaccuracies. He apparently couldn’t, so he instead began to go into a long discourse of some sort; it was difficult to hear in all the commotion. This type of behavior is typical. I’ve rarely been to an event about Palestine in which some Israelis or Israel partisans have not demanded everyone’s attention and time far beyond that allotted to anyone else.

        While this IDF soldier was trying to claim victim-hood for Israelis, yet again, the irony of the situation struck me. Here was a man who was an Israeli soldier – the one that you see at every checkpoint demanding ID’s from old women and young students; deciding who may pass and who may not; yelling at people who respond too slowly; flirting with female soldiers while people wait in line in the sun to be waved through; who point machine guns at crowds going to pray, work, school, and who bark orders at old, stumbling men; who smash rifle butts into nonviolent protestors; who regularly, as some soldiers have described the Israeli military’s actions, “starve, humiliate, and dominate an entire population” … here he was, a member of the Israeli occupying force, trying to demand the victim’s right to speak, even as real victims had been willing to forego their questions when time forced the event to end. It seemed to me that either all the students should be allowed to ask their questions without discrimination, including the many Palestinian and Arab students who rarely have a voice, or no one; and since the student organizer had called the event to an end, I ended it.

        http://alisonweir.org/journal/2008/10/2/in-response-to-a-bloggers-criticism-of-a-film-i-helped-on-a.html

        What Alison was objecting to was not his taking time away from her but that he was usurping time that should have gone equally to everyone, including Palestinians and others in the audience who had observed the rules of the Q and A. By officially closing the event at that point she actually opened up the way for the Palestinian students to have a say in discussion with the Israeli soldier, instead of it being just a back and forth between her and him. Her response was in actually exactly the way an adept solidarity activist should have handled the situation.

        I know you are agreed in any case that she was not anti-semitic in her response, but I tend to think that getting particulars of the event are also important. I hope you don’t mind my nit-pick of your comment that I otherwise applaud .

      • Annie Robbins
        August 16, 2015, 11:09 pm

        thank you for your edification of the event tree. however, in my own defense, jennifer used phil’s description of the event as her grounds for evidence of anti semitism. therefore, i used phil’s description as the framework for possible scenarios. hence, in using this as an example to answer kris’s question, i used phil’s description as a hypothetical situation. that is why i used terms like “i would imagine”. using phil’s description alone i said “would be acceptable to perceive alison’s response as possibly rude, abrupt, unfair or uncalled for” as a hypothetical outside range of perception. because phil didn’t use any of those descriptors.

        so clearly an argument could be made, given phil’s perception of the event … iow, my working example was based on jennifer’s perception of phil’s description.

        btw, in my original commentary about this, i clarified August 14, 2015, 9:58 pm:

        i see the 2 approaches and how one, if relayed how phil relayed it, was more effective. but i don’t see it as evidence of anti semitism. i recall w/norm finkelstein called out that girl in the audience in the film. it reminded me of that kind of reaction from a speaker. clearly harsh, but not a sign of anti semitism.

        iow, i was using phil’s recollection as a working draft. phil’s recollections here: http://mondoweiss.net/2008/09/the-gandhi-of-the-middle-east-will-likely-be-an-arab-rising-from-an-american-institution (OT, not to toot my own horn to much but when i open this 2008 link 2 days ago the formatting was like poetry, a nightmare. this is because we’ve changed servers since then a couple times so it was hardly readable. i reformatted it thinking it might be called into ‘evidence’ and getting lots of hits. which of course made comments stack up for an hour at least. anyway, i’d urge everyone to read it..this is the only basis of the event i was speculating on, and it was all speculation on my part. i never read anything else on it because this was the ‘evidence’ jennifer used.)

        initially i said to jennifer

        while phil expressed disappointment at the way she intervened when the israeli soldier was speaking and tho he had expressed he wished she had more nuance, i’m still not understanding how this translates into racism….i would appreciate it if you would go back to that first link and copy paste the segment of phil’s article that made you feel this way so i can better understand your perspective.

        her response was:

        her approach vs. that of the Palestinian and Arab students who tried to engage with the Israeli soldier.

        iow, referencing this event as an example of perceived anti semitism (by jennifer) was all based on the perceptions available based on phil’s descriptions (he did not mention anti semitism) and i tried to present the hypothetical options based on that description. it was used as a ‘test case’.

        anyway, thank you for adding alison’s description of the event which sheds even more light on the event. but since jennifer based her charges of anti semitism on phil’s description, that becomes the benchmark in which i was critiquing the event and i was using my example as an example to anserr kris’s question. not the real event!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 16, 2015, 11:27 pm

        but i do see what you mean “in competition with him i would imagine for the attention of the audience” was confined as an option of possible “scenarios” (a word i did use originally) and i should have qualified that w/alternative options and more often in my long comment.

      • W.Jones
        August 16, 2015, 6:50 pm

        Dear Preston,

        You have just recommended us a pamphlet from a program run in cooperation with Political Research Associates, who wrote a report against Weir some time ago.

        Would you please be able to clear up some things in that pamphlet?

        It says:

        Even in the U.S. , where Jews have had 200 years of exceptional physical safety, (anti-Semitism is) a background hum: be it rumors placing Jews or Israelis behind 9/11, the hit film that restaged the “Passion plays” which sparked annual Easter massacres of Jews in medieval Europe, or theories arising amid growing public disenchantment with the Iraq war that it was fought for Jewish or Israeli interests.

        Can you please say how was “The Passion” film itself anti-Semitic, even though there were medieval massacres?

        Have you ever heard about this event mentioned in the pamphlet:

        – In WW2, as armed Jewish resisters fought back against the Nazis and Eastern Europeans resisted the German occupation, significant numbers of gentile fighters acted out anti-Jewish oppression at the Jews fighting beside them – refusing to team up in battle, even murdering Jews as they sought hiding places in their vicinity.

        I am not aware of Tito or the Poles doing this, but did they?

      • tree
        August 16, 2015, 7:33 pm

        At the same time, we face real currents of unchallenged anti-Jewish oppression in our movements

        Really? Oppression? Where? Are we now trying to say that Alison Weir or even Gilad Atzmon for that matter is oppressing Jews? There’s some minor racism directed at whites from the movement too but it would be equally ridiculous to call it “oppression”.

      • Kris
        August 16, 2015, 10:50 pm

        Thanks, Preston Enright, I followed your link, read the whole pamphlet, and learned:

        It was “antisemitic” for Adbusters magazine to point out that 50% of the neocons surrounding President Bush and pushing for war in the Middle East were Jewish. Mondoweiss ran an excellent article about the Adbusters article, here: http://mondoweiss.net/2011/11/adbusters-seeks-right-of-reply-to-nyts-smear-of-anti-semitism-and-fails-to-get-it

        It was “antisemitic” to remember Israel’s well-documented record of false-flag attacks, and Israel’s unprovoked attack on the U.S.S. Liberty, when Netanyahu announced that Israel was benefitting from the aftermath of 9/11. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W6LdB24-wU

        It is “antisemitic” to notice that Zionism is a racist ideology.

        Rosenblum says that Jews require special consideration because they are always the targets of scapegoating. Scapegoating (from the verb “to scapegoat”) is the practice of singling out any party for unmerited negative treatment or blame as a scapegoat.

        Maybe, a long time ago. But this is not what is happening today. There really are powerful, wealthy Zionist Jews who are instrumental in enabling Israel’s crimes, and the majority of American Jews really do continue to support Israel no matter what Israel does, despite their otherwise progressive attitudes.

        These American Jews are not in danger of physical violence or discrimination of any kind. They are in danger of being embarrassed and ashamed and forced to understand what is being done in their name, just so that Jews can have a back-up country. It is absurd, and they should feel ashamed and embarrassed, just as southern whites deserved to become ashamed and embarrassed about the way they had tolerated and promoted the abuse of black people for so long.

        Probably it is “antisemitic” to notice that Israel is a place where the majority of Jewish citizens have developed a special aptitude for cruelty, as evidenced by relentless ethnic cleansing and periodic mass slaughters for more than 70 years, as well as by such pointless sadism as preventing young people from pursuing their educations. http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/persistence-triumphs-tyranny

      • Preston Enright
        August 16, 2015, 11:12 pm

        Hi W.,
        To your first question regarding how some can see Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion”
        as being anti-Semitic – I found a few articles that argue that.
        https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2004/03/pass-m05.html
        “Gibson’s film is disgustingly brutal, perhaps unlike any other widely distributed film before it. For two hours, virtually non-stop, a man is beaten, punched, spit upon, whipped, scourged, tortured and finally nailed to a cross. All the bloody, horrifying details are lovingly filmed. The Passion of the Christ is also profoundly anti-Semitic in its imagery and narrative thrust. The entire frenzied, violent work is oddly unaffecting.”

        To the second topic you bring up, I hadn’t heard of Jewish resistance fighters facing oppression from others, and I don’t know what her source is. You may want to try dropping Ms. Rosenblum a line about that.

        The organization that posted this pamphlet, Political Research Associates, does some really important work. For instance, from several years ago, there’s this article that raises legitimate concerns regarding the narratives that David Icke is disseminating on a large scale.
        http://www.publiceye.org/Icke/IckeBackgrounder.htm
        “On the face of it, few people would credit a retired soccer player who rants about a world takeover by blood-drinking lizards from outer space as being much of a threat to democracy. And as a general rule, they would probably be right.
        David Icke, however, is an exception to that rule. “

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 10:18 am

        did icke rant about a world takeover by blood-drinking lizards from outer space? or is that snark?

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2015, 4:53 am

        @W. Jones.

        Here we face the question I keep raising. Are we to suppress the truth if someone declares it is anti-Semitic?

        A pretty good case can be (and has been) made that the invasion of Iraq was for Israel’s benefit. Are we not allowed to at least argue the case?

        If the Gospels are true (not that I believe they are) then the film The Passion is also true. And if it is true, it is anti-Roman as well as anti-Semitic. Where are the complaints about that?

        (When making films such as Ben Hur and Spartacus, the directors cast British actors to play the Romans. This made it clear that the Romans (decent, sensible, level-headed chaps, regardless of whether their preference was for snails or oysters) were the good guys, and thus the ones with the other accents were the dodgy, unreliable, excitable types who needed the firm hand of Rome to keep them in line.)

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2015, 5:13 am

        Sorry. “And if it true” should be “And if it is not true”.

        Incidentally, in all my reading about WW2, I have never heard of Jewish resistance fighters being attacked by other resistance fighters. Lots of strange things happened, but that one sounds either like an exaggeration of a squabble between a couple of guys or simply made up.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 10:25 am

        “thank you for your edification of the event tree.”

        Yes, “tree’s” iteration (or informally, “reiteration”, although some people say there’s no such word and “iteration” is all you need) provided clarification. Which resulted in our edification.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 10:38 am

        well maybe i said it wrong but what i meant was (thank you for) adding even more information so i may more fully understand (become educated about) the events as they occurred that evening from a different perspective. iteration is not the word i would use to convey what i was thanking her for.

      • W.Jones
        August 17, 2015, 10:31 am

        RoHa,

        Back in the first century there were lots of dissident Jewish sects, like the Essenes, John the Baptist’s followers, and the Nazarene Christians. It’s only natural that they conflicted with the establishment of their day, and in turn suffered repression. John the Baptist got killed by Herod according to the famous 1st century Jewish writer Josephus.

        Consequently, it is hard for me to understand how simply portraying those sects’ narratives of their conflict and repression is inherently anti-Semitic. Wouldn’t that be a bit like saying that a movie portraying Open Hillel’s or JVP’s story of ther own conflicts with more powerful organizations is anti-Semitic, or for that matter that a movie about Left wing organizations’ repression under McCarthyism is anti-American?

        Anyway, in the Passion, the Romans are also “bad guys”, not just Herod and the religious leaders.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 11:47 am

        “well maybe i said it wrong”

        Nah, you were going to say it right, but you made a typo, a finger slipped, and the auto-correct or Spel-chek took over…. happens all the time.
        But it gave me a chance to say “iteration” and that’s one of my favorite words. Try saying ” a succinct iteration”. Makes you feel good, donnit?

        Besides, anybody can make a mistake when there’s an earthquake going on.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 2:15 pm

        let’s get one thing straight! an iteration is a repetition, not a very different version of an event. isn’t it? maybe i’m wrong. i can’t be bothered with consulting a dictionary at the moment. perhaps you can elucidate for me since you seem to have nothing better to do! but it was definitely succinct. i think we can always count on tree for that.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 3:08 pm

        “perhaps you can elucidate for me”

        “Elucidate”? Annie, the ineluctable fact is, that’s not even a word. I can’t play if you cheat. You have to use real words.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 7:30 pm

        elucidate is a word mooser. it means to make something clear or lucid. are you pulling my leg? lol you must know that word.

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2015, 3:41 pm

        W. Jones,

        And, of course, the People’s Front of Judea, the Judean People’s Front …

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE

        (Rather like the situation we face here.)

        And yes, definitely some nasty anti-Romanism there.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 16, 2015, 4:51 pm

      Zionism was invented as a solution to anti-Semitism. It was marketed to Jews as a way for them to escape from anti-Semitism. It was also marketed to anti-Semites as a way for them to rid themselves of Jews. Either way it was and is parasitical upon anti-Semitism.

      After 1945 anti-Semitism did not wither away completely but it was greatly weakened, especially in the West. As even its memory recedes into a distant past, it can no longer serve as host for the Zionist parasite. In order to perpetuate itself Zionism has to revive and foster anti-Semitism. When Zionists accuse their opponents of anti-Semitism this is not merely an attempt to discredit and stigmatize them. It is an attempt to TURN them into anti-Semites, to conjure anti-Semitism back into existence. Zionism is the main source of anti-Semitism in today’s world.

      Zionists are not against anti-Semitism. They view it as necessary and useful in preserving and reviving Jewish “national consciousness” and impelling Jews to settle in Israel.

      Zionism and anti-Semitism are so tightly and inextricably linked that they can only be fought together.

      • Citizen
        August 16, 2015, 5:45 pm

        “Zionism and anti-Semitism are so tightly and inextricably linked that they can only be fought together. ”

        As in the Transfer Agreement, was a win-win for Zionist and Himmler. Or the Zionists in USA working to prevent Jews fleeing Europe to come to USA, not Israel. I don’t think Jennifer, the juvenile working to defame Weir in another article here, understands this. She omits Zionist ethnic/racial supremacists from her list of forbidden forums.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 16, 2015, 10:08 pm

        Zionists are not against anti-Semitism. They view it as necessary and useful in preserving and reviving Jewish “national consciousness” and impelling Jews to settle in Israel.

        this is a gross over generalization which requires the listener to believe every zionist is a strategizer vs being a cog in a wheel. some people act and believe in effect of brainwashing, manipulation, or personal detrimental experience. they are not all active as conscious perpetrators in the process.

        not all racists are racist because they chose it. they learned to be that way. someone taught them.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 16, 2015, 11:26 pm

        Kris wrote:“How useful is a discussion in which the major term remains undefined?”?

        Obviously incredibly useful to some, if it’s gotten you so frightened to use your own mind.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 16, 2015, 9:03 pm

      Kris wrote: “Annie and the other moderators spend a lot of time weeding out antisemitic comments; obviously, they have a working definition they use to identify antisemitism. Moderators–Please share your working definition, with examples!!!!!

      Kris, why is it so important for you to hear a definition of this dubious concept “antisemitism”? As Annie pointed out, we’ve already got plenty of words in our vocabulary to describe our failings as human beings — prejudice, racism, bigotry, fear of a minority, envy, anger. Why assume there’s some further mystical concept needed to understand the world? Don’t give someone else control of the categories through which you view the world. That would be “gatekeeping” at its most pernicious level.

      • Kris
        August 16, 2015, 11:14 pm

        PeaceThroughJustice, I have been trying to understand what “antisemitism” is because this discussion, and so many other discussions on mondoweiss, involve claims of antisemitism.

        How useful is a discussion in which the major term remains undefined?

      • Ellen
        August 17, 2015, 12:18 am

        @Kris, ask the student of Rhetoric about this expression “Anti Semitic.” She spent a lot of time on this subject from her first article on.

        What does it mean where does it come from? What does it have to do with those of the Jewish faith/culture who live and are from all over the world?

        Does she really believe that all Jews everywhere are Semites?

        Or could it be that Zionists (even those who have as much to do with Semitic background as I do to Eskimo culture) cling to this for self identification for the Zionist mythology and cause?

        Hey, we all need our myths to justify ourselves.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        August 17, 2015, 6:07 pm

        Annie — Yes, I was being schematic and talking about the ‘strategizers’ not the ‘cogs.’ Most of the people who support Israel don’t have a clue what they are really supporting. All they know is the current version of Zionist propaganda.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 7:49 pm

        thank you stephen.

  15. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 16, 2015, 4:36 pm

    When will this scourge of antisemitism be wiped out?!

    “Jewish Labour MP hits out at Jeremy Corbyn’s record on antisemitism”
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/14/jewish-labour-mp-jeremy-corbyn-antisemitism-record-ivan-lewis

    Note the phrase, “record on antisemitism”. What does that mean? Kinda like “record of antisemitism”? No, actually, it turns out that the charge — surprise, surprise — is once again “associating” with antisemites. Poor rabbi Alissa Wise at JVP is having all her suspicions of gentiles confirmed once again! They’ll talk with anyone!

    (Let’s see if the if the Tony Greenstein/JSF crowd have anything to say. They’ve always hated Corbyn’s ally George Galloway.)

    • straightline
      August 16, 2015, 5:43 pm

      Well at least Yasmin is hitting back!

      ttp://www.independent.co.uk/voices/fling-mud-if-you-must-but-dont-call-jeremy-corbyn-an-antisemite-10458261.html

      Liz Kendall said at a meeting organised by Corbyn that Ed Miliband and Labour should not have recognised the Palestinian state – a Zionist position. This is one reason why I think Kendall should categorically not lead the Labour Party. Like Tony Blair, she defends the indefensible.

      I seriously hope that this does not become the focus of the debate over Corbyn.

    • Citizen
      August 16, 2015, 5:48 pm

      Yes, the Zionist community in England is painting Corbyn as an anti-semite, same as they’ve done to Galloway. England, US, Canada–all hotbeds of Zionists fighting out in the open to retain their inquisition parameters. Australia too.

  16. Parity
    August 16, 2015, 4:57 pm

    Rabbi Alissa Wise, of the JVP Rabinnical Council, gave a talk about anti-Semitism at a conference in Vancouver, Canada, in which she tried to differentiate between criticism, reflecting anti-Semitism, and anti-Semitism itself. Here is one of the topics for which she tried to give a distinction:

    – A clear criticism: “In this issue, as in so many, the corporate media provide one-dimensional, sensationalized coverage, usually biased toward whatever side the US government is backing – when they cover it at all.”

    – A way to say this same idea in a way that reflects anti-semitic sentiment, even unwittingly would be to say: “The media, controlled by Zionists, never talks about the plight of Palestinians.”

    – A way that anti-Semitic organizations or people say the same idea: “Zionist control of the media is part of a vast web of Zionist power over banks and world governments in their conspiracy to rule over humanity.”

    You can read the whole speech here: http://palestiniantalmud.com/2015/06/09/rabbi-alissa-wise-at-friends-of-sabeel-na-conference/

    I will say that Clay Douglas’s worldview is in the third category, so by this definition he is anti-Semitic. However, he doesn’t appear to me to hate Jews or want to harm them.

    You can read the entire August 25, 2010, interview on Clay Douglas’ radio show here: http://ifamericansknewalisonweir.com/tag/free-american/

    • irishmoses
      August 16, 2015, 6:01 pm

      Parity,
      Thanks for the response and the link. I haven’t read that speech yet but here’s some preliminary questions:
      Assuming antisemitism is an expressed irrational prejudice or bias toward Jews,
      1. Why would a facially valid criticism directed toward Zionists, or Israeli Jews, or members of the Likud party (all subsets of Jews) be ipso facto antisemitic?
      2. If I were to say, “Three quarters of the members of the Happytown school board who are also members of the Beth Shalom Synagogue, are acting to favor Jewish students over non-Jewish students”, would that be an antisemitic criticism?

      I think your first example appears antisemitic because it refers to Zionists as an unlimited class and attributes the criticism to all Zionists. However, if the statement was properly limited, it could be phrased in a non-antisemitic way and still include the term Zionist. e.g. “X, Y, and Z, all committed Zionists, and all owners of major media organizations, appear to be limiting coverage of the Palestinian issue on their networks to favor an Israeli-centric view of the current crisis.”

      I see the same problem in your second example which is also facially antisemitic. But I also think it could be modified to be non-antisemitic and still include the term Zionist. Obviously, such a statement would have to include strong factual evidence leading to a valid conclusion.

      My point is that the mere use of a term often used by antisemites (Zionist), in a critical way that may harken to some historical antisemitic meme (or is it trope?), is not necessarily or ipso facto antisemitic assuming it sufficiently limited and contains strong factual evidence leading to a logically valid conclusion.

      The overly-aggressive use of the term antisemitism as a sword to forestall even valid criticism of Zionism or Israel is unfairly forcing many to tiptoe around topics that should be discussed thoroughly and openly.

      I look forward to your thoughts and questions Parity, in the interest of achieving greater clarity in this vitally important topic.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 17, 2015, 11:58 am

      Parity, thanks for the link to the JVP rabbi’s talk. That’s the talk Atzmon dissected, and it is indeed quite a remarkable event. We have a rabbi flying out to a group of Christian pastors (undoubtedly on their dime) to lecture them (in the tones of a schoolteacher confronting small children) on the theory that “antisemitism” is a disease that gentiles catch. (That’s what her strange tri-partite organization is all about: here’s the healthy patient, here he is with the first symptoms, and then here it has taken over his mind.) This is the standard Jewish understanding of the concept — that unlike all other human behavior antisemitism is not a response to experiences of the world. Instead it is a disease which is caught (or is already latent) and works from the inside out. The model happens to have the corollary that antisemitism has NOTHING to do with perceptions of Jewish behavior.

      An alternative model (and the one that we apply to all the rest of human behavior) is that people are always responding to what they see going on around them. Maybe not always rationally — maybe clouded by fear, or anger, or envy, or all our other weaknesses, maybe cruelly — but they start out responding to what they see happening around them, not to something trapped inside them.

      I’ll stop here for now, since I’m guessing this is already more than many people are prepared to accept. But consider the implications of the Alissa Wise model for a movement like the anti-zionist struggle. Because if there really is a disease that renders gentile brains untrustworthy, then all we can do is sit back and wait for the Rabbi Wise’s of this world to save us. And they haven’t been working very fast.

    • unverified__5ilf90kd
      August 17, 2015, 9:33 pm

      You quote Alissa Wise of JVP on her analysis of antisemitism.
      http://palestiniantalmud.com/2015/06/09/rabbi-alissa-wise-at-friends-of-sabeel-na-conference/
      In this article she says “anti-Semitism manifests institutionally, like the quotas at US universities that were in place until the 1970s.”
      But this is an incomplete picture – in fact, the Jewish portion of Harvard’s entering class dropped from nearly 30 percent in 1925 to 15 percent the following year (still very high compared to the demographic) and remained roughly static until the period of the WW2 when it started to rise again. In 1946, Jewish enrollment at Harvard was already at 6 times parity and has steadily increased to nearly 12 times parity in 2014 for both Yale and Harvard. Today Jews are at least 25% of the student body at Harvard, Yale and Columbia according to Hillel.
      These old time quotas applied to the Jews before WW2, are now being used against Asians who apply to Ivy League Schools. The percentage of college-age Asian-Americans attending Harvard peaked around 1993, and has since dropped by over 50 percent, a decline somewhat larger than the fall in Jewish enrollment which followed the imposition of secret quotas in 1925. Even while Asian-American academic achievement trends were rising dramatically, the relative enrollment of Asians at Harvard was plummeting, dropping by over half during the last twenty years, with a range of similar declines also occurring at Yale, Cornell, and most other Ivy League universities. Columbia, in the heart of heavily Asian New York City, showed the steepest decline of all. In fact, altogether 4 percent of college-age American Jews are currently enrolled in the Ivy League, compared to just 1 percent of Asians and about 0.1 percent of whites of Christian background.
      This implies that Jewish enrollment at Ivy League schools is roughly 600 percent greater relative to Asians than should be expected under a strictly meritocratic admissions system. At Harvard in 2014 that is an amazing 12 times parity for Jewish students.
      CALTECH the school which admits students based on the strictest, most objective academic standards has by a very wide margin the lowest Jewish enrollment 5.5% for any elite university. I got a lot of my information in this detailed statistical analysis by Ron Unz and in books that he quotes.
      http://www.unzcloud.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/jewishenrollment-large.jpg

      Top 25 Schools by Percentage of Jewish Students (Hillel 2014)
      The following are the top 25 schools with the largest percentage of Jewish students to the total undergraduate student population.
      JTS List College: 200 Jewish Students, 100%
      Yeshiva University: 3080 Jewish Students, 96%
      American Jewish University: 110 Jewish Students, 92%
      Brandeis University: 1750 Jewish Students, 50%
      Muhlenberg College: 750 Jewish Students, 35%
      University of Hartford: 1,500 Jewish Students, 33%
      Barnard College: 770 Jewish Students, 33%
      Sarah Lawrence College: 400 Jewish Students, 33%
      Tulane University: 2250 Jewish Students, 32%
      Columbia University: 3,000 Jewish Students, 30%
      Emory University: 2,100 Jewish Students, 30%
      Goucher College: 450 Jewish Students, 30%
      George Washington University: 3,000 Jewish Students, 29%
      Oberlin College: 850 Jewish Students, 29%
      New York University: 6,000 Jewish Students, 28%
      Boston University: 4,500 Jewish Students, 28%
      Yale University: 1,500 Jewish Students, 27%
      CUNY, Brooklyn College: 3,500 Jewish Students, 27%
      University at Albany: 3,500 Jewish Students, 27%
      Queens College: 4,012 Jewish Students, 26%
      University of Pennsylvania: 2,500 Jewish Students, 25%
      Harvard University: 1,675 Jewish Students, 25%
      Washington University: 1,500 Jewish Students, 25%
      Tufts University: 1,250 Jewish Students, 25%
      Wesleyan University: 680 Jewish Students, 25%

  17. Parity
    August 16, 2015, 6:27 pm

    Those examples were not mine. They were given by Rabbi Alissa Wise, as indicated in my comment. Sorry that wasn’t clear. The question I would ask is, if you have a worldview that Jews have long considered to be anti-Semitic, but you don’t hate or harm Jews, are you anti-Semitic? The second question would be, is Alison’s willingness to be interviewed on a show where the interviewer has this worldview but doesn’t seem hateful amplifying hate? Third question: is she required to attack his worldview at every turn?

    I agree that the charge of anti-Semitism is often used to silence discussion on topics that should be freely discussed.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 16, 2015, 7:45 pm

      If you resolve to avoid all views that “Jews have long considered to be anti-Semitic” (any Jews? most Jews? how long?) then you are opening the door to complete arbitrariness and granting Jews an unlimited right to censor you.

      I don’t think hating or harming Jews is essential to being an anti-Semite. The essential thing is believing that Jews are engaged in an organized effort to harm, dominate, and eventually enslave Gentiles and attributing a wide range of social problems to that effort. You can believe that without hating Jews. You may just be sad that Jews are driven to behave that way. I don’t know about Clay Douglas, but I have watched videos of David Duke and he seems to be a civilized, charming, and reasonable man who would never hurt a fly.

      • Parity
        August 16, 2015, 7:57 pm

        Stephen,

        You have answered my first question. What about the next two questions from my post?
        The second question would be, is Alison’s willingness to be interviewed on a show where the interviewer has this worldview but doesn’t seem hateful amplifying hate? Third question: is she required to attack his worldview at every turn? – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity#sthash.wp4853Dl.dpuf
        Perhaps the 2nd question should be: If the interviewer is anti-Semitic, does appearing on the show in order to talk about the Palestinians and Zionism amplify the interviewer’s worldview?

      • irishmoses
        August 16, 2015, 8:55 pm

        Good points Stephen.

        I think antisemitism should be defined by some universal standard that applies to all forms of racism which would avoid the current problems associated with antisemitism being a moving target subject to all sorts of ambiguous standards and definitions. This is particularly important since the charge of antisemitism is frequently used offensively to stifle debate and intimidate open and free discussion of issues involving Zionism and Israel.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 10:31 am

        “The essential thing is believing that Jews are engaged in an organized effort”

        You wouldn’t call Zionism “an organized effort”? And, exactly who do you think is engaged in it?

      • echinococcus
        August 18, 2015, 4:47 pm

        Stephen,

        What you describe cannot by any measure be attributed to any kind of racist discrimination.
        It generally goes under “conspiracy theories” as the latest term when such opinions happen to be repressed as being contrary to the dominant thinking, and they generally are part of fascist propaganda when they coincide with it.
        Of course it can be characterized as group discrimination if and when anyone theorizes that such conspiracies are caused by birth characteristics of the entire group accused of engaging in such conspiracies.
        I’ll go back to my definition that corresponds to the usual working definition of racism.
        What you wrote helped me confirm a tendency to totally dismiss the use of “antisemitism” as a concept. One either is racist or not. It always is against some people and not others –that is not special to “antisemitism”.

      • irishmoses
        August 18, 2015, 10:11 pm

        Spot on, Echino. No group is entitled to their own special, unique definition of racism. Racism is a generic term that transcends race, ethnicity, culture, and religion. Racism against blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, et al, is still racism, pure and simple.

    • irishmoses
      August 16, 2015, 8:44 pm

      I realize the examples were Wise’s. That doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t engage with me and respond to the questions I posed. They weren’t intended as a criticism of you.

      As to your questions:
      1. If I have a worldview some Jews may consider antisemitic whether it actually is antisemitic is not determined by Jewish opinion but by some universal standard of what constitutes irrational prejudice or racism. It’s hard to answer this in the absence of facts.
      2. I don’t think appearing on a program of somebody who is perceived to be a racist necessarily amplifies racism or hate. It depends on what the interviewee is saying or advocating and how she or he responds to questions or statements of the interviewer.
      3. If her purpose being on the program is to espouse her own views, she may not want to attack the interviewer’s worldview. She certainly shouldn’t agree with it if it is clearly racist, but she shouldn’t necessarily need to mount a full scale attack on the interviewer’s beliefs or statements if she really feels espousing her views is more important and more effective.

      Your turn.

      • Parity
        August 17, 2015, 1:05 am

        It’s awfully late, so I can’t formulate an answer to your three points. Tomorrow we will probably be starting with a clean slate. I basically agree with you. I tried to answer your earlier post by hitting the Reply button right after that post so that you could see what I was referring to.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        August 17, 2015, 5:51 pm

        Parity — I think Alison is doing good work wherever she speaks.

        Irishmoses — I take your point that in some ways it would be good to have a universal standard applicable to all forms of racism, but racist ideologies are diverse. There is not just a single racism that is targeted uniformly against different groups. A racist who targets both blacks and Jews typically has very different perceptions of the two groups: blacks are stupid and primitive, while Jews are clever but evil. So there is a case for using special terms to refer to specific varieties of racism.

        Mooser — I used a long sentence to define anti-Semitism. You took the first few words and responded to them while ignoring the rest.

      • irishmoses
        August 18, 2015, 4:00 pm

        Stephen,
        I take your point on differing definitions. My problem is that antisemitism seems to have a very broad and amorphous definition that can and is often used in hard to define ways. For instance, saying something is antisemitic because it seems eerily similar to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion (a recent jhitchcock ploy). How does one respond to that? There’s lots of other examples of this technique which I suppose is a sort of guilt by association or guilt by analogy ploy. This and other techniques/ploys are what make defending yourself from charges of antisemitism so difficult. Hence my search for the perfect/simple definition.

      • echinococcus
        August 18, 2015, 4:34 pm

        Irish Moses,
        Good questions. I have been asking the same questions, too.
        The way I see it, racism as commonly defined is out of bounds in civilized company. Meaning that wholesale discrimination based on a person’s birth characteristics remains reprehensible. In this case, we are talking about the fact of the person’s being born to one or more nominally Jewish parents. Or one’s accent. On the other hand, Jewish religion, Jewish “culture” (as if there were any specifically such culture), Jewish nationalism, tribalism, etc. etc. are all fair game, being neither inborn nor permanent.
        Conclusion: all the accusations against Weir, Atzmon, Berlin etc. are so much nonsense.
        Conclusion II: before one of the professional antisemitism hunters start slinging muck, it’s always a good idea to ask specifically against what that “antisemitism” is directed.

      • Sibiriak
        August 19, 2015, 1:15 am

        echinococcus: On the other hand, Jewish religion, Jewish “culture” (as if there were any specifically such culture), Jewish nationalism, tribalism, etc. etc. are all fair game, being neither inborn nor permanent

        ———————————-

        But then again Islam, Islamic culture, African-American culture, Latino culture, gay culture, etc. are all fair game. And yet, religious/cultural critiques and polemics can embody “Orientalism”, bigotry, racism, false stereotyping, false essentialism etc. The devil is in the details. “Being inborn or permanent” is not always a deciding factor.

        I conclude: the issue is quite a bit more complex than you suggest.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 2:46 am

        thanks Sibiriak. this constant denigration from certain characters of jewish culture per se stinks. it’s not all “fair game” in my book. not at all.

      • echinococcus
        August 19, 2015, 4:06 am

        PS – Annie
        “Culture”? What is exactly specifically Jewish culture? Without intending to start any argument about its existence, may I inquire what is supposed to make any culture, anyhow defined, immune to critique and criticism?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 3:57 pm

        there’s always wiki if you want to know what culture means. it’s a bunch of stuff people have in common do with eachother. they do not all individually have to partake in an action or belief to have something be part of their culture. for example, th blues is part of american culture. it doesn’t mean every american has to listen to blues for that to be true. same with bluegrass music. and bluegrass wouldn’t have had to originate here to be part of american culture. it’s a big word encompasing lots of things. and of course it’s fair game for criticism — like someone could say rap is part of american culture that has fostered misogyny. it doesn’t mean all rap is misogynistic or it’s necessarily racist to say that (although it could be in the way it is addressed).

        so let’s look at your words:

        “Jewish “culture” (as if there were any specifically such culture)

        you want to have a debate on whether jewish culture exists? take it somewhere else. i’m not interested in it. your quote marks around the word culture are denigrating in itself.

        passover is part of jewish culture for heavens sakes. it doesn’t have to be roundly celebrated by everyone. there’s such a thing as yiddish culture or tradition, that’s part of jewish culture. it doesn’t have to include all jewish people.

        go get a friggin dictionary for heavens sake. we’re not here to host a conversation about denigrating a whole bunch of people because you want to have it. and what’s this:

        Without intending to start any argument about its existence

        oh no, that wouldn’t be part of your messaging in writing as if there were any specifically such culture. that’s it , it’s my call. write phil and adam if you disagree. and your “Sibiriak and Annie: stick to the point” stuff – that’s going unpublished – bummer!

  18. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 16, 2015, 6:30 pm

    OMG! Jennifer’s doing research on a new dossier!

    jhitchcock August 16, 2015, 2:46 pm

    Well said, Phil.

    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/ushers-crisis-israel#comment-151389

    All you “America-Firsters,” “patriots,” and “lobby-watchers,” be on your best behavior (particularly if you’re white).

  19. mariapalestina
    August 16, 2015, 7:33 pm

    This dialogue has been so important to me, and I sincerely thank all who have participated. Alison and I have been friends for 13 years, since the day in 2002 when I was in Palestine and she called from San Francisco to ask how I was as a result of being attacked, beaten and robbed by Jewish settlers from Itamar near Nablus a few days earlier. Since then we have been friends and fellow activists in California, in Washington and in Palestine. We travelled to Palestine together (with Hedy Epstein and Greta Berlin) and spent several weeks all around the West Bank. Since the recent events where she was told she was to be shunned by JVP, cast out of End the Occupation, and condemned by Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign and the Rachel Corrie Foundation, I have stood by her because I felt she was being unfairly treated. I wasn’t able to articulate quite why I was so sure, but the wonderful comments I have read here have made it so very clear to me.

    Alison and I have spent many many hours together, and talked endlessly. Alison and I were together in Ramallah, in Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, Nazareth, in the refugee camp in Jenin with Juliano Mer Khamis. Never once did she make any comment to me that could be construed as racist. Hedy Epstein is Alison’s good friend. I mean, would Hedy be her friend if Alison were an antisemite?

    Thanks again to all who have put into words what I already know to be true. Alison is passionate about Palestine. About peace. She is not a racist.

    • W.Jones
      August 16, 2015, 8:30 pm

      Maria,

      Can you or anyone give some insight into the Corrie Foundation’s declaration against Weir?
      http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/blog/2015/08/14/prioritizing-anti-racism-august-13-2015

      The ETO Statement expelled Weir in part for appearing on the American Free Press, but actually Rachael Corrie’s parents had appeared on that program themselves:
      http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/Corrie.html

      Do you think Rachel Corrie would support expelling Alison? Do a Google Image search for Rachel Corrie gun. Corrie’s opponents were able to find some old incriminating photos of her and post them all over the net. It’s not surprising that Weir’s opponents were able to find a 6 year old Clay Douglas interview to point to.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 12:22 am

        i googled Rachel Corrie gun.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 12:32 am

        i don’t feel good about asking what would rachel say. it’s too soon and she’s too precious to us. i don’t think she should be used as a tool in a fight. ask what jesus would say 2000 years later if you want. but leave rachel out of this. it’s too emotional for me, i am not over her sacrifice.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 17, 2015, 2:49 am

        W.Jones wrote: “Can you or anyone give some insight into the Corrie Foundation’s declaration against Weir?”

        That is very disappointing. All I can do is look at the chronology of events:

        Of all the allegations in the JVP dossier on Weir, the most recent refers to an event in 2011. Then four years go by. Then JVP sends out the dossier to their 50 chapters on May 20, 2015. On July 16, 2015, End the Occupation issues their condemnation of Weir. On Aug. 13, 2015 the Rachel Corrie Foundation issues their condemnation of Weir. Perhaps these events are related?

      • W.Jones
        August 17, 2015, 9:10 am

        OK, Annie.

      • unverified__5ilf90kd
        August 17, 2015, 9:25 am

        Yes – the Rachel Corrie foundation is speaking out against Alison Weir in support of USCEIO. It may be some partisan in the foundation or some propaganda that has influenced the foundation deceptively. This is typical of the current campaign of innuendo and guilt by association. So ironic that the parents had also appeared on the program themselves. I have noticed in my reading that there has been an incitement of many organizations to speak up against Alison Weir in support of USCEIO. Again, the problem is merely the definition of antisemitism which is not rigorously upheld even by our own site. A definition that is allowed passively to meander into the realms of magical thinking, innuendo and irrational thought processes.
        Antisemitism is prejudice against, hatred of, or discrimination against Jews as an ethnic, religious, or racial group. Antisemitism is widely considered to be a form of racism.

    • irishmoses
      August 16, 2015, 8:47 pm

      Thanks Mariapalestina.

      Are you Palestinian?

      • mariapalestina
        August 17, 2015, 12:46 am

        Palestinian only in my heart. Born in England pre WW2, emigrated to Canada in 1953. Lived in California since 1961.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 3:34 pm

        “Lived in California since 1961.”

        Where you see the folks you dig? Maybe even kiss a Sunset pig? California, you’re coming home.

  20. notatall
    August 16, 2015, 8:27 pm

    Contrary to what several people have said, Alison did not challenge Clay Douglas, even weakly, on anything that mattered to him. The transcript I read (http://ifamericansknewalisonweir.com/) showed her not merely remaining silent but actually joining him, at one point bringing up Solzhenitsyn, who characterized the Bolshevik Revolution as an “alien” plot to kill 60 million white Christian Russians, without any prompting from him. I have said repeatedly that I do not object to her appearing on his show; I object to her failure to challenge him. I ask again, what would we think of someone who went on a zionist show and joined the host in denouncing nazis and holocaust deniers and said nothing about Palestine? In answer to Eva and others, antisemitism is not about hating Jews; if that is all it were, there would be no need for a special term, any more than there is a special term for hating Mexicans or Chinese. It is a philosophy of history, that exaggerates the role of Jews in shaping the world. One of its hallmarks is a willingness to sidestep other examples of injustice, for instance white supremacy, that are not directly connected to Jews, or ignore them in search of allies in the fight against zionism. Atlantaiconoclast, who saw nothing racially objectionable in the cops’ behavior in Ferguson, and who offered a qualified defense of David Duke, is an example, and so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir. The enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend, and the only path to victory is to side with the downtrodden everywhere.

    • notatall
      August 16, 2015, 8:53 pm

      In my last comment, instead of saying “so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir,” I should have said those who give him a pass because he supports them on Weir are making a mistake.

    • tree
      August 17, 2015, 2:23 am

      Alison did not challenge Clay Douglas, even weakly, on anything that mattered to him.

      Ignoring for the moment that you are linking to a hit site connected to the Political Research Associates and Spencer Sunshine, its obvious to me that your bias is getting in the way of your analysis. These may be weak challenges in your opinion but they exist throughout the interview. From the transcript:

      AW:Now I write about it and I’m trying to tell others about it. I don’t, by the way, however, when I write about this or speak about it, I never say “the CIA” does this, I never say “the Jews” do this. What it is are specific individuals within these groups that are doing these things.

      ….

      AW:Let me just correct you. Don’t say “The Jews”. It may sound to people that you are saying every Jewish-American did this, which, as you’ve just said is not true.

      …..

      CD:…How the Zionists, which is only a faction of the Jews, you know… I mean, Alison, I’ve been attacked, and I’ve been talking to, you know, supposed Christians, supposed Christians in Christian Identity, because I thought Christian Identity wasn’t getting a fair shake in Homeland Security, they were trying to put ‘em down, but… They were as evil as the Jews they were pointing the finger at. They wanted to go out and kill everybody else, you know….

      ….

      AW: Well, there’s so much that… Labels that are… The problem with labels of course is often that they mean different things to different people. So “communist” to some people means an ideology that sounded benign, that sounded in some ways like Christianity. Jesus preached that we should do unto others as we would like them to do unto us, that we should share our worldly goods with others, with those in need, etcetera. Let’s think what Jesus did teach us, how we should treat our fellow human beings. So to some people, communist means a very benign philosophy where you’re helping other people, you’re sharing your worldly goods, etcetera. That’s what it means to some people. To other people, it means what Stalin implemented and Lenin before him and what we saw under Mao, which was extreme cruelty, despotism in which people have no freedom, in which worldly goods certainly were not shared–even close to it. Party leaders had a very disproportionate amount of them and the rest of the people didn’t. There were purges in which people were killed; people that dissented were sent, in the case of the Soviet Union, to Siberia to gulags that were horrific institutions.
      [28:29]
      So again, if you say “communist,” to two people, if you had one of those little balloons over their heads like in cartoons, you would have very different images to different people, and that’s the problem. If you say “Zionist” to you and to me, we know that represents a thematic political ideology. Other people, it would be a question mark, “What does that even mean?” Some people would think, “Oh that means a synonym for all Jews,” which is incorrect. So again, labels–it’s usually better–I don’t like to use labels anymore because so often people either don’t know what it means or they think it means something different than the use you’re using for it. And that’s what’s gone on here. I think it is, as you’re emphasizing, it’s very important for people to look into the background of these different movements, of these different events that have happened to previous decades, including World War Two, including World War One. It’s very important that we look into these things.

      …..

      AW:I don’t know–is that true? I can’t… You know, sometimes we all hear things and we pass them on, and sometimes the things that we hear and pass on are true, and sometimes it turns out to be one of these urban myths that many of us have believed and told others and then it turns out somebody looks into it and it’s not true.

      ….

      AW: And yet as you’ve said, before Zionism, before political Zionism, Jews, Christians and Muslims lived in Palestine for centuries, without armed conflict, without conflict, all practicing their religions. Christians and Jews lived throughout Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco… They lived throughout what’s… Jewish, Christian and Muslim human beings all living, without wiping one another out… So what we are seeing here is the result of a political, a very fanatic political ideology, that divided people against one another, that was a type of colonialism, and the violence that we’ve now seen for decades.

      CD: You know, the next article I come out with that you’ll be getting, is about the whole Christian Identity movement. Nothing wrong with the Christian Identity movement as a sect–I can buy into the fact that some of my relatives might have crossed the Caucus Mountains, tried to escape from slavery in the Middle East and became called Caucasians. I can buy into that. But when you get all these people that say, “Well, we need to kill all the blacks, we need to kill all the Jews”–no, no, that’s… how do you fight evil, how do you fight evil, if you become as evil as the people that you’re opposing? And that’s what’s happened in this so-called Patriot movement, in the Christian Identity movement, and I told them flat out, I said, “Man you’d better hope we don’t get into a war, because if we do, you know, you’re the first one I’m gonna shoot.”
      [59:15]

      AW: [laughs] It’s, uh… [laughs] That would maybe make them think twice. Yeah, I think becoming what you’re opposing is what often happens and is deeply wrong. You know, I think what we’re… This kind of break down, instead of being, “We’re all human beings, we’re all…,” those of us born in the United States who are all American citizens… You know, I think there are other human beings deserving of security, of dignity, etcetera, is what we’re about. And what we’re opposing is when that does not happen. When Israel treats Christians and Muslims differently than they treat Jewish Israelis. That’s what we’re opposing and I think it’s very important to uphold the principles that motivated, I feel, that motivated the founders of the United States. Those are the founding principles of this country, and those are the ones that we need to continue to promote, to make sure that we don’t lose those principles.

      end of excerpts which challenged what Clay Douglas said. Could they have possibly been stronger, and made more often, certainly. She admitted such a possibility herself and apologized. But to say that she never challenged what he said is false. So why are you making false accusations?

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 17, 2015, 3:08 am

        And notatall, in addition to what tree wrote, I couldn’t find anything about an “alien plot to kill 60 million white Christian Russians.” Did you just add that in yourself?

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 6:01 pm

        Thanks, Susie!

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 19, 2015, 8:49 am

        Thanks to You, Mooser!: for all the whole-body (not just “belly”) Laughs you offer. You show why we call em “WISE-cracks”: more Wisdom than I can call into a whole page.

        And, “tree,” Thanks for this and All,
        Susie

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 12:19 pm

        On this thread they shall be referred to as Weis-cracks.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 20, 2015, 1:03 am

        Irishmoses, wonderful: “Weis-cracks!” Thanks for all your Wit and Weisdom, and might even be Weissdom,,,

    • tree
      August 17, 2015, 2:36 am

      Atlantaiconoclast, who saw nothing racially objectionable in the cops’ behavior in Ferguson, and who offered a qualified defense of David Duke, is an example, and so are all those who failed to correct him because he supports them about Weir.

      I failed to “correct” him/her (or you) in that exchange because it was off topic and I didn’t want to sidetrack the discussion from an important topic. So bring me up on the charges with the purity police. I suspect the fact that no one else made a comment was either due to similar reasoning or because they didn’t even notice it in this humongous thread. You really would be better off as an activist if you would actually ask and listen to people rather than just assuming what their motives are. Helping the downtrodden does not need to involve treading on other people with the same goal because you think you know their minds aren’t pure enough. In fact its actually quite counterproductive.

      • notatall
        August 17, 2015, 6:36 am

        Tree, How about this:

        CD: Do you feel that there’s a danger about what’s happening to the Palestinians right now happening to Americans? Is that a possibility? I mean, what happened in Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution–Communism–they murdered 60 million white Christian Russians…

        AW: Yeah, I think the number of Russians that were killed and imprisoned has been very unknown to most of us. You know, I am one of those. I have just looked into this occasionally, peripherally, because you stumble across this when you start to look into the history of Israel and the history of Zionism, you stumble across these other episodes of significance that were similarly covered up. I think it’s significant that, I’m trying to think of, there’s a Russian writer.

        CD: Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

        AW: That’s right, Solzhenitsyn.

        CD: Gulag Archipelago. And he points out that the people that ran the concentration camps, the detention centers or whatever you want to call them, in Russia, most of them were Jewish, most of them. And he also says that the Russian people referred to Communism as “Judaism for the Masses.”

        AW: Well the thing about Solzhenitsyn that’s interesting is that he was a Nobel Prize winner, you know, very, very significant literary figure.

        Is the transcript forged? Would you call her comments opposition, even weak? As for the responses to Atlantaiconoclast, it is a big mistake to be so eager to oppose racial oppression on the Jordan that we ignore it on the Mississippi. I specifically asked if other people agreed with his defense of the Ferguson cops, and no one responded. Maybe, as you suggested, no one noticed.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 9:49 am

        my hunch is that had it been a normal thread moving along at a more normal the pace as most of our threads move along you would have gotten a bite. for me, it was the back handed insult at the way you ask.

        How many others who defend her agree with what he wrote here? I would just like to know who I am dealing with.

        i specifically chose not to respond to you because of the way in which you inquired. plus, there were other conversations going on. really big earthquake right now in the bay area. i’ll be back.

        edit, ok, i am back. anyway, you should have taken the opportunity to confront atlanta right there on the spot and challenged him/her. instead, you injected yourself into a very fasted paced conversation and challenged everyone there to listen and respond to you in a rude and insulting way. you were ignored, for good reason. that’s my hunch. you can infer anything you want from that. but you didn’t choose to confront atlanta now did you? why not? instead, you confronted us. pff!

      • W.Jones
        August 17, 2015, 9:01 am

        Tree,

        You realize that this is basically the logic used against Weir? Weir didn’t object enough and other thread users here didn’t object at all about the Ferguson comment, so we all condone or “fail to challenge” whatever racist comments were made.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 10:02 am

        Annie, Are you Okay ? ? I Hope you are, and that everyone else is, tooI I know there may be Aftershocks. We’re all thinking of you, hoping you’re all right in every way,

        That goes for wonderful henry Norr, too, and for All!

        Please stay safe,
        Susie

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 10:44 am

        speaking of henry, i wonder where the epicenter of the quake was. he’s over in the east bay.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 10:51 am

        “really big earthquake right now in the bay area. i’ll be back.”
        (Rumble, rumble, crash, boom)
        “edit, ok, i am back. anyway, you should have taken the opportunity….”

        Nothing, not even seismic cataclysms, can impede the Mondo Moderators for very long! Wow, talk about imperturbabilityness!
        That woman is “as cool as some cucumbers” as Anatole, Aunt Dahalia’s Chef used to say.

      • just
        August 17, 2015, 10:53 am

        Annie:

        “A short sharp earthquake rattled the San Francisco Bay Area, but there are no reports of injuries.

        The U.S. Geological Survey said the 4.0 magnitude quake struck Monday morning and was centered just north of Piedmont, near Berkeley. It was felt in downtown San Francisco, along the Peninsula and in the East Bay. The quake struck on the Hayward Fault at a depth of about 3.4 miles, according to the USGS.

        The shallow quake at 6:49 a.m. was a sharp jolt, followed by a couple of gentle rolls. It was not immediately known if the quake caused damage. …”

        http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/short-sharp-earthquake-hits-san-francisco-bay-area-33132189

        Hope everyone is ok.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 11:05 am

        Oh, dear: it was a “4.” centered in Piedmont–near Henry.
        And earthquake measurements can be tricky–depending on the kind + length of shake–so the damage can be bigger than the number implies. Each successive number means double the movement, but some quakes are sharp shakes and some rolling.
        But I’m hoping Henry’s fine and that he’s just busy helping others–as he always is!

        Edit: Sorry, just: I hadn’t seen your great Comment. (I’m still working on aborrowed laptop that freezes.)

        And, just, I missed you here, too, + am sorry that your time away wasn’t a holiday. Hope you’re well!

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 11:12 am

        *** Just heard from Henry: he’s Fine–and, sure enough, was helping others, as always!

      • just
        August 17, 2015, 11:22 am

        You’re so kind, Susie. I’m ok ;)

        Thanks for everything, including the update re Henry!

        (Just an aside, my computer gear keeps freezing and more. ugh)

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 11:52 am

        thank you susie and just and mooser and everyone for your concern. just, are you here in the bay area? for me, the whole house started rocking back and forth sort of a rolling. and it seemed to go on for at least a full 10 seconds. it feels like maybe a giant is trying to get his hands under your foundation to pick up your house and then loses his balance a little as the house is being dislodged. and then, he changes his mind – sets it down and everything is completely still almost like it never happened. and while it’s going on i listen and hope i don’t hear anything fall and break (that has happened before) and hope it ends soon. and as soon as it’s over i hope some bridge somewhere didn’t break or an overpass didn’t collapse.

        but i think it’s good because all the little quakes take the pressure off what could be a very big quake someday where all of california gets separated from the mainland. and then we’d have two extra long coastlines here on the west. can you imagine beach front properties in nevada and arizona???

        anyway, i am fine. thanks to everyone for your concern. but as a native californian i am a little used quakes although you don’t ever really get used to them completely. nothing i’ve ever experienced here felt as strong as the quake in seattle a decade or so ago. that was very scary. i hope no one got hurt today. i’m sure it felt much much bigger in berkeley.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 11:41 am

        “60 million white Christian Russians…”

        Uh, if I’m not mistaken, didn’t the term “White Russian” mean something different then. I believe there were ‘white Russians’ (anti-Bolshevik) and Red Russians (Bolsheviks).

      • just
        August 17, 2015, 12:14 pm

        “just, are you here in the bay area?”

        No, not right now, or I would have already had a cuppa or three with you, Annie!

        I have been through earthquakes in Japan (many whoppers there), CA, and up and down the other coast, though. One can never get used to them. The sheer power that this earth and its elements are capable of never fails to humble me. (Neither does Mother Nature’s sheer wonder and beauty!) If only mankind could and would get their act together…

        And yes, Mooser, Annie is “cool as some cucumbers”~ she keeps it and us and MW all together admirably well.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 12:22 pm

        Thanks, just: Glad you’re hanging in there :*) .
        And Sorry about your computer woes: knowing that you’ve been dealing–uncomplainingly!–with that nuisance makes me even more grateful for all your Work here.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 12:54 pm

        Thanks, Annie: Yes to All, + that’s why you’re brave. I was born in California and happened to be near both the ’70 and ’89 quakes (the second in a basement corner of the Stanford Quad where lots of stuff fell off the ceilings and walls, + was closed for repairs a long time afterward).

        So I sympathize with wot you went through today: bc you never can tell if a tremblor ‘ll suddenly turn violent. And, yes:: you’re “Cool” in all ways!
        Thanks for Everything, Annie.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 1:00 pm

        Mooser! I’d wanted to chime in with Wodehouse to something else you said, but feared that it was too much levity on a topic like the vendetta against Weir. So I will when I can find the place. Thanks!: we all need more of Wooster’s world.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 1:33 pm

        tree, another aspect of the lack of ferguson response is mondoweiss regular commenters already had that conversation and fight. in fact i specifically recall having a big fight about it in that thread (the football player whose tweet got lots of attention that i wrote about) with sean, sean was all about defending the cop and first i gave him a piece of my mind and he just kept at it, completely dominating the conversation (in my mind) to the point i had to tell him to stfu practically. so asking a question like that just goes to show notatall knows nothing about the regulars here. it’s like asking me what i think of atzmon. i already said that like 1000 times so the last thing i need is some upstart grilling me on it. i’ve tweeted hundreds of tweets w/the ferguson hashtag so having someone even imply that i would side with the cops is an insult. i’d rather swat it away like a fly than take the time to haul into either of them at the moment. it’s completely tone deaf and insulting.

        what’s next? ‘so what do you guys think of martin luther king huh? huh? huh? i wanna know who i’m dealing with here! now, answer me or you’re a bigot and not concerned with helping the downtrodden. where’s YOUR bonafides, cuz i sure as hell got mine.’

        and then the next day it comes back w/the same, how come you never answered me? it proves my point see? bwaaahhh.

        and how much does that intimidate me? notatall.

      • Mooser
        August 17, 2015, 1:44 pm

        “feared that it was too much levity on a topic”

        Well, somebody once said “levity is the soul of wit” but I’ve always said people who live in Wodehouses shouldn’t play with matches.
        Nor should one throw Perelman before swine.

        Tell ’em Maybelle!

      • RoHa
        August 17, 2015, 2:14 pm

        Mooser, I know two versions of White Russian.

        One is 2 parts vodka, 1 part Kahlua, 1 part heavy cream.
        The other is 1 part vodka, 1 part Kahlua, 2 parts milk.

        Serve in a chilled glass.

      • tree
        August 17, 2015, 3:34 pm

        tree, another aspect of the lack of ferguson response is mondoweiss regular commenters already had that conversation and fight.

        Yes, of course, annie. Sorry. I didn’t mean to imply, but probably did nevertheless, that there was only one possible reason for people not responding to notatall. Poorly expressed thought on my part.

        To notatall, about the passage you linked, yes, she could have handled that better, but it sounds like she was responding to communism doing those things, not Jews per se, although that was probably more his intent. Lots and lots of people did die in Soviet Russia in purges and such. Again, she could have responded better, but it seems from your question that you are acknowledging that your statement that she didn’t challenge him at all was incorrect. Is that what you are saying? And if so, do you think you query yourself and ask why did it take me spelling out the passages from your own link for you to acknowledge this?

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 17, 2015, 5:26 pm

        Hey, Mooser: If ONLY I’d a voice like Maybelle’s, rather than a “pip.” And I don’t know about brevity or levity or soul or wit, but I do know Twit: I make Bertie Wooster [“Wuss”?] look like a Fearless Sage, positively Jeeves-like. —–
        Though the joy of Wooster is how intrepid he is amid “fearsome” trials, and how wondrous a poet–as You of course know.

        And Thanks for the image of a burning “Wode house”: I’m far from my books right now, but you conjured up Bertie and the fire bell, and Brinkley (?) burning up Bertie’s banjo-lele (?).

  21. Ellen
    August 16, 2015, 11:51 pm

    @tree

    Because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies. As Jews, we can make the distinction between real anti-Semitism and the cynical manipulation of that issue to shield Israel from legitimate criticism.

    I remember that now purged statement very well. That, for other reasons is why I never could support JVP. Exclusive, Zionist, and not about peace .

    Exclusivity, control and usurping the public discussion into a narrow framework around ideas of perceived, past and enduring “Anti Semitism,” a revolting expression that has nothing to do with Judeophobia or fear/hatred of Jews. (After all, this expression created by a Judeophobe and adopted and clung to by Zionists, is an anti Jewish expression in itself to the core. I will not use it.)

    JVP and their friends have really little interest in the plight of the Palestinian people, and a great interest in protecting the Zionist project — a constructed state for those who identify with the Jewish religion. And to shield the public image of the Jewish community. An organization that identifies itself as Jewish only for for Peace, after all. (What does this peace mean ?)

    That what’s her name — the Rhetoric Student — spent all her efforts on discussion of “evidence ” for Weir’s”Anti Semitism” says it all regarding JVP. It is not about Justice for the Palestinian people. It is about their definition of the “Jewish Voice…..”

    JVP (with it’s banal and innoculous self description) is also not about painful truth or justice. If it were, it would be strong, confidence and not threatened by perceptions of Judeophobia by the uttering or appearances of an Allison Weir years ago, regardless of what one may think of her work.

    Instead, in their weakness and like thugs, they now attempt to destroy the woman and her work. Hey, it interferes with their “voice.”

    I cannot add to this fascinating thread, which I have read over the past two days.

    • pianoteacher
      August 17, 2015, 8:46 pm

      Ellen,
      While I agree with you that certain members of the JVP Executive have acted disgracefully as Gatekeepers for the Zionist state in their attempt to silence Alison Weir, I really don’t think that you can level that charge against the rank and file – you know, the regular members of JVP who are out there doing BDS actions, and all the donkey work required to help the Palestinian people. Furthermore, many of those regular members have voiced their objection to their executive, and both members and even whole chapters are pulling out of the organisation. They are voicing their resentment at being controlled from the top to their executive loud and clear. In fact, if it were not for those few JVP dissidents, who leaked the secret email in the first place, none of this would have ever gone public. Certainly Alison herself had no idea what was going on behind the scenes, until she was made aware of the leaked information.
      Also, you can see for yourself how many JVP members have signed the Open Letter to stop divisive attacks against Alison.

  22. Preston Enright
    August 17, 2015, 12:29 am

    Hi Kris,
    Thanks for the links to the Kalle Lasn letters to the New York Times. I’m a reader of Adbusters. Glad you read the pamphlet. Like you, I disagree with aspects of it; but still found it to be an important counterpoint to endless waves of anti-Semitism I see being disseminated. I imagine, although you didn’t mention them, there were probably some things in that pamphlet that you learned or agreed with. Or maybe not.
    Maybe you think concerns around anti-Semitism should be entirely dismissed, or ignored. That’s your prerogative, but I think there are more than a few ideas that people who are genuinely interested in the topic could pull from Rosenblum’s piece.
    I learned that “anti-Semitism’s job is to make the ruling classes invisible.” For instance, there’s the missing analysis of capitalism that often goes on, and then there’s also the way a focus on Jews conceals the Christian hegemony we live in. http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/challenging-christian-hegemony-in-the-united-states

    There’s also that segment on “How Could Jews Be Oppressed?” that makes some good points. Rosenblum also discusses some important history, like how McCarthy targeted the Jewish left, and how anti-Semitism often manifests when social movements are growing.

    In addition to learning from the pamphlet, there were parts of the pamphlet that simply reflected some reactionary politics I’ve seen going on first-hand. For instance, I’ve seen a usually progressive person absorb a lot of unchallenged anti-Semitic political theorizing, and the next thing I knew this person was posting support for an advocate for the Oath Keepers militia, who openly embraces David Duke, and gives lectures where he talks about “the fuc*ing Jews.”
    http://splcenter.org/blog/2015/01/27/onetime-antiwar-environmental-protester-veers-into-the-seamy-world-of-anti-semitism-2/#.VMf77CNmsUo.facebook
    It was a transformation that I wouldn’t have believed possible if I didn’t watch it transpire. So, this passage from the pamphlet resonated with me: “Inside our movements, overlooking attacks on Jews will lure us into alliances with Far Right movements and visions. We will lose effectiveness at challenging the global systems we’re up against, as our perceptions of new social developments are clouded by misjudgments of who are our allies and enemies. New activists, and people on the edges of our movements, will be allowed to hold onto wrong analyses of who has power in this world and where problems stem from. “

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 17, 2015, 10:22 am

      Preston Enright wrote: “I’ve seen a usually progressive person absorb a lot of unchallenged anti-Semitic political theorizing, and the next thing I knew this person was posting support for an advocate for the Oath Keepers militia, who openly embraces David Duke, and gives lectures where he talks about “the fuc*ing Jews.””

      That must have been a harrowing experience for you, Preston . I’m sorry you had to watch that.

      BTW, I’ve heard that when that happens hair begins to grow out of their faces and they begin to howl. Is that true?

    • W.Jones
      August 17, 2015, 10:57 am

      That activist is Kevin O’Keefe. Wikipedia says he is half Palestinian.

      If Alison Weir were Kevin O’Keefe, there were be a much better case against her. But she is not.

      • mariapalestina
        August 17, 2015, 12:35 pm

        I think you are referring to Ken O’Keefe (not Kevin)

        As for Ken being part Palestinian, I think perhaps he’s claiming Palestinian citizenship on the basis of the Palestinian passport given to him when our Free Gaza Movement boats reached Gaza 7 years ago. Ken was a passenger on FREE GAZA, as I was, and all of us on board both boats were issued Palestinian passports during our stay in Gaza.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 1:11 pm

      I’ve seen a usually progressive person absorb a lot of unchallenged anti-Semitic political theorizing, and the next thing I knew…

      is that why you think o’keefe became bigot? because he absorbed a lot of bigoted political theorizing? might it have had something to do with a repetition of atrocities he witnessed? although it’s been awhile i recall watching some of the videos he recorded. he witness a lot. whereas i don’t know when or how much political theorizing he absorbed. perhaps you’re attributing his ‘turn’ to the wrong source.

  23. Parity
    August 17, 2015, 12:52 am

    Irishmoses,
    I did not answer your questions, because I thought you had misunderstood me. I was not arguing that all three examples were examples of anti-Semitism. All three examples were given by a JVP rabbi. The first was of criticism, which the rabbi thought was OK. The second was an example that reflected anti-Semitism, but wasn’t anti-Semitism, according to the rabbi. The third was an example of real anti-Semitism, according to the rabbi. I neither agreed nor disagreed with these examples so did not feel the need to answer your questions. However, I think you offered good ideas for making statements not seem anti-Semitic.

    • irishmoses
      August 17, 2015, 1:06 am

      Parity,
      I wasn’t offering suggestion on how to make statements not seem antisemitic, I was trying to show how the use of a term, like Zionist, in a statement is not necessarily proof that all statements in which that term is used are ipso facto antisemitic. There’s a big difference between the two and I thought I’d made that clear.

  24. Preston Enright
    August 17, 2015, 1:23 am

    Hi tree,
    The pamphlet covered some instances of attacks on Jews.
    I live in Denver, some people may be familiar with the assassination of the liberal radio host Alan Berg by a white nationalist group called “The Order.”
    Also, that attack on the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City resonated since I was a member of the Jewish Community Center in Omaha (I’m not Jewish, but the J.C.C. was a place that welcomed my broke, single mom with a couple of kids who wanted a place to swim).
    Rosenblum could write an entire additional pamphlet on the anti-Semitism going on in Colorado Springs at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation has some troubling stories about what’s going on there among the Christian crusaders.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-a7AYQblig

    Atzmon’s recent piece in “Veterans Today” was pretty awful. He goes so far as to suggest that Rabbi Alisa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace deserved to be “lynched. . . on the spot.”
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2015/07/01/362917/ His violent ideations, delivered in a publication like “Veterans Today: A Journal of the Clandestine Community,” are repulsive, and Weir should reconsider her staunch support of him.
    Here is the perfectly reasonable talk by Rabbi Wise that so enraged Atzmon. It’s entitled, “There for Each Other: On Anti-Semitism, Christian Privilege and Palestine Solidarity.”
    http://palestiniantalmud.com/2015/06/09/rabbi-alissa-wise-at-friends-of-sabeel-na-conference/

    • Fritz
      August 17, 2015, 11:48 am

      Preston enright writes: “Atzmon’s recent piece in “Veterans Today” was pretty awful. He goes so far as to suggest that Rabbi Alisa Wise of Jewish Voice for Peace deserved to be “lynched. . . on the spot.””

      I don’t want to defend the author of this piece (Atzmon), but I’d like to show that Preston enright frames the author’s idea falsely, when saying he suggests lynching. The full (sarcastic) sentence is:

      “But there is something that must be said about the Christians at Friends of Sabeel. The fact that they tolerated this infuriating Jewish exceptionalist speech for 90 minutes and didn’t lynch the Rabbi on the spot proves that the Christianity may well be what it claims to be – tolerant and forgiving.”

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 12:51 pm

      i’ve read some of weinstein’s reports in the past. he’s an impressive person. i’m also familiar with the evangelical nature of air force in colorado springs. i read about it during the iraq war. that stuff should be expunged from the military, there’s no excuse for it – ever. do you think this reflects a general trend in the U.S. military or do you think colorado springs is an exception? or perhaps i should say exceptional. Do you have a similar concern about religious bigots in the idf?

      i read your link yesterday on the ‘christian domination’ (that’s from memory, it might not be a correct quote) of the nation. i just thought i’d mention that this is not my experience. as a non christian living in the bay area i’m not feeling inundated or imposed upon by christians, at all. i don’t have any sort of weird feeling about our holidays rituals being timed around the birth of christ. it’s mostly a shopping holiday — one i try to ignore. but i can’t say it puts that much of a dent in my reality in terms of religious messaging. it’s all the traffic and shopping i find offensive.

      anyway, i think it somewhat reeks of obsession, as does the constant warnings about anti semitism. the 1984 murder of berg, execution or assassination or whatever one calls it , sounds horrific. but a murder 30 years ago of a controversial public person who incites over the airwaves is not very reflective of some common trend in the country. if someone killed michael savage for example (albeit one is right, the other left, but both inciters with public platforms), even if they said it was because he was jewish, i think most people would assume it had something to do with the things he said, the way he says them and with his mega phone and (privileged) access. although nothing justifies murdering anyone in cold blood, i don’t think it serves anyone to use berg’s killing as an example or a reason to handwring about bigotry in america (which is rampant), it seems rather outlier if you ask me.

      • Preston Enright
        August 17, 2015, 8:44 pm

        Hi Annie,
        Yes, as with the U.S. Air Force, I am concerned about religious bigots in the IDF.
        I’m also concerned about religious bigots in the Indonesian military. Indonesia, the most-populous Muslim country in the world, has carried out two of the most brutal invasions and occupations of the contemporary period – that of East Timor (which killed a quarter million people), and that of West Papua, which has killed half a million people and is on-going.
        https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/58592
        What I wouldn’t do is attribute Indonesia’s crimes to some inherent flaws of “Muslimness;” as with theorizing about “Jewishness,” that would be a bigoted misdirection.
        There are reactionaries who do attempt to make Islam (or Judaism) the issue, and who provide cover for Western imperialism, militarism and corporatism. The style of the Islamophobic website I link to below should be familiar to those who have reviewed material that cultivates Judeophobia.
        http://www.barenakedislam.com/2013/07/21/whats-wrong-with-australias-decision-to-send-muslim-illegal-alien-boat-people-to-papua-new-guinea-warning-graphic-images/

        It’s interesting how Judeophobia and Islamophobia (and other bigotries) mirror each other.
        http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/islamophobia-antisemitism-and-the-demonized-other/
        “There are right-wing websites and blogs warning that if President Barack Obama is re-elected, hordes of scheming fanatic Muslims plan to impose Sharia law and turn America into a totalitarian socialist/Nazi theocratic state. Other websites and blogs warn that Obama is a tool of perfidious Jewish agents, a conspiracy theory that takes right-wing, left-wing and incomprehensible forms, although the neo-Nazi version is predictably the most elaborate.” – Chip Berlet

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 11:29 am

        It’s interesting how Judeophobia and Islamophobia (and other bigotries) mirror each other.

        totally, i couldn’t agree more. that’s something we’ve discussed in comments her on numerous occasions.

        of course i am well aware religious bigots are dangerous in whatever military they are in. the reason i bought up the idf is it’s on topic in our conversation. we don’t really cover events in indonesia so much here as were focused on ending the occupation of palestine. therefore, i am not really up on all the oppression happening all over the world but i have picked my next focus once palestine is free which is the rohingya.

        furthermore i don’t think it’s necessary to address all the injustice in the world when discussing what drives the occupation. we sometimes call that whataboutery here. it’s also a tactic commonly used by pro israel hasbaraists when defending the atrocities of the occupation, like ‘but so many are dying in syria’.

        there’s a great comment by danaa in this thread i highly recommend on this topic — about an elephant. gotta go. there are comments backed up since last night still uncleared. not sure when i’ll be able to get around to checking out your links…thanks!

      • Preston Enright
        August 17, 2015, 9:10 pm

        Hi Annie,
        I’m not a Christian either; still, I found the topic of Christian hegemony to be worth considering, especially when there are so many efforts to persuade Americans that either the Jews or the Muslims are plotting to take over the world. It’s a concept I picked up from Paul Kivel in his book, “Living in the Shadow of the Cross.”
        http://christianhegemony.org/what-is-christian-hegemony

        I’d agree that the killing of Berg is not reflective of a trend; but, someone had asked me for examples of attacks on Jews, and I’d be remiss not to mention one that took place here where I live. As April Rosenblum mentions in her piece, it is anti-Arab racism that is definitely the more pressing issue; but, I also agree with her when she says anti-Jewish narratives “endanger Jews, corrupt our political integrity, and sabotage our ability to
        create the effective resistance our times demand.”

        For a more recent example of how hatred of Jews can be part of a lethal mix, maybe I should’ve cited Dylann Roof: “In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are White, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like niggers, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because people would be able to see plainly what is going on.”
        http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/20/1395040/-Dylann-Roof-If-we-could-turn-every-jew-blue-for-24-hours-I-think-there-would-be-a-mass-awakening#

        And, speaking of Michael Savage:
        “Though racism, sexism and immigrant bashing have long thrived on American radio, one had to go back to the days of Father Coughlin and Gerald L.K. Smith in the 1930s to find mainstream broadcasters railing against the Jewishness of their political enemies.
        But no longer. Welcome to the Savage Nation, the radio show hosted by Michael Savage.
        Well-known for his bigotry against non-whites, immigrants, women, gay men and lesbians (see Extra!, 3-4/03), Savage is virtually the only national talk jock targeting progressive Jews with ugly ethnic slurs and stereotypes.”
        http://fair.org/extra-online-articles/savage-anti-semitism/

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 12:14 pm

        I found the topic of Christian hegemony to be worth considering, especially when there are so many efforts to persuade Americans that either the Jews or the Muslims are plotting to take over the world.

        ok, fight the crazies perpetuating bigoted myths by focusing on christians domination. not sure how helpful that is but i guess it might be worth considering. however, religious domination is not really my primary focus because i don’t really believe the israel/palestine conflict is religion based (although A LOT of people try to argue it is). i believe it is colonization straight up cloaked in a lot of jewish self determination excusatory mumbo jumbo as a means to an end. it’s ethnic cleansing and should be halted immediately. there’s no excuse for it.

        I also agree with her when she says anti-Jewish narratives “endanger Jews, corrupt our political integrity, and sabotage our ability to create the effective resistance our times demand.”

        i get that it’s just not my primary focus. racism kills, i know that. i also think prioritizing bigotry focused on jews can sabotage our ability to end the occupation of palestine because the primary victims of racism in that region is that of the oppressed, not the oppressor. the oppressor (the israeli government and their jewish supporters here in the US) will always be looking out for themselves so i think the primary focus of advocacy for palestinian rights should be palestinians and effective ways to divest from the occupation plus exposing people to what’s being done in our (americas) name with our money (crimes against palestinians). and doing it ethically and consciously of course. but i understand how people other than myself (like you or the person who wrote that book) might be more prone to focus on conspiracies and crimes against jews (in all activists communities not just i/p) as an effective way to end the occupation. i just don’t think that’s the most effective use of my time.

        As April Rosenblum mentions in her piece, it is anti-Arab racism that is definitely the more pressing issue

        well that’s interesting. because you’d wouldn’t get that by reading a LOT of the comment section here. we have a few regular commenters who invariably focus on and talk more about anti semitism (such as yourself and jennifer for example).

        anyway, thanks for the heads up.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 3:15 pm

        “For a more recent example of how hatred of Jews can be part of a lethal mix, maybe I should’ve cited Dylann Roof: “In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity….”

        Preston Enwright, do my eyes deceive me, or are you advising us to listen to Dylann Roof? You want me to take advice on antisemitism from Dylann Roof?

        Somehow that is not an appealing idea. Can you tell me why it should be a good place to go for advice?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 7:43 pm

        something tells me roof is not going to be joining any palestine solidarity groups anytime soon. i happen to think he’s an outlier — but that’s just me.

      • Preston Enright
        August 18, 2015, 9:41 pm

        No Mooser, I wasn’t suggesting you turn to Dylann Roof for “advice,” I was using Dylann’s words as, “a more recent example of how hatred of Jews can be part of a lethal mix.”
        Not sure how I could make that more clear.

        Hi Annie, yes, we agree about Israel’s policies being about colonization.
        I cited another occupation because it relates to Western imperialism, which has also been discussed at points in this thread, and it’s something that a focus (like Weir’s) on “U.S. national interests” doesn’t address or consciously avoids.
        It also relates to Weir and Blankfort’s emphasis on the Israel lobby, which also deflects from Western imperialism. I often bring up the actions of U.S. client states, and its own history of slavery and genocide; not to “make excuses” or engage in “whataboutery,” but so U.S. citizens are aware that the state terror of Israel, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, the Philippines and others are connected to long-standing policies of the West and the corporate and military interests it serves. “If Americans knew” that, I think that would be helpful. For more on that, I’d recommend the work of the person that Weir and friends try to discredit, Noam Chomsky. In this classic debate, Chomsky dismantles Richard Perle.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7Ug6UaTodU

        For decades of my activism, anti-Semitism hasn’t been a concern. I bring it up in this thread because the topic is JVP and ETO’s decision to distance themselves from Weir because they feel she didn’t challenge the bigotry of Clay Douglas, and had brought up the “blood libel”, and so forth. My feeling is that JVP and ETO could’ve brought up Weir’s staunch support of Atzmon.
        Anti-Semitism isn’t their focus either, but I think the letter signed by Abunimah, Barghouti, Hijab put their concern about it well,
        https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/palestinian-writers-activists-disavow-racism-anti-semitism-gilad-atzmon
        As did the letter signed by Blumenthal, Sylvia Posadas, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and so many others, http://threewayfight.blogspot.com/p/atzmon-critique_09.html

        The emphasis of this particular thread notwithstanding, my focus has been criticizing U.S. and Israeli policies, and challenging Islamophobia – spending countless hours on Facebook and message boards, writing several letters to editors and Amazon reviews, making calls into right-wing & progressive radio shows, marching, and so forth. I’ve distributed hundreds of copies of DVDs like “Peace, Propaganda and the Promised Land”, and copies of “The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs.” As with most activists on these topics, I’ve seen and received false charges of anti-Semitism. I’ve been called a nazi, and have received messages from “supporters of Israel” saying that they hope I die in a fire. Several years ago when I was working for a radio program that aired a Chomsky lecture on the Middle East – I was absolutely inundated with angry calls and got a quick lesson as to why there would be security at his Middle East talks.
        But, as I mentioned, I had the experience of seeing a usually progressive person here in Denver start posting the material of a militia-advocating, David Duke-supporting, Jew-hater – and I decided I needed to put some attention into the material that was influencing him. While the material has been a disturbing realm to explore, it was something I needed to learn about and speak out against.

        I think Naomi Klein makes a good point in this article from several years ago, how people concerned about the Palestinians should counter anti-Semitism,
        http://inthesetimes.com/issue/26/13/feature2.shtml
        “It’s easy for social justice activists to tell themselves that since Jews already have such powerful defenders in Washington and Jerusalem, anti-Semitism is one battle they don’t need to fight. This is a deadly error. It is precisely because anti-Semitism is used by the likes of Sharon that the fight against it must be reclaimed.
        When anti-Semitism is no longer treated as Jewish business, to be taken care of by Israel and the Zionist lobby, Sharon will be robbed of his most effective weapon in the indefensible and increasingly brutal occupation. And as an extra bonus, whenever hatred of Jews diminishes, the likes of Jean-Marie Le Pen shrink right down with it.”

        And, as another historical example of anti-Jewish oppression, I recently learned that the Jewish left was targeted by the Argentinian military during its “dirty war.”
        http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/29209-the-terror-bombing-the-prosecutor-the-spy-and-mossad
        “Jaime Stiuso entered what was known for decades as the Secretaría de Inteligencia de Estado, or SIDE, in 1972 at the age of 18. When the “dirty war” began in 1976, SIDE became an arm of the Argentine military dictatorship, deployed against domestic leftist enemies. Thousands were killed, and thousands more disappeared during the war, which targeted Jewish intellectuals based on an anti-Semitic theory prevalent in the Argentine military and intelligence services.”
        (brings to mind the crap Atzmon and others write in, “Veterans Today: A Journal of the Clandestine Community”, and the sort of narratives radio hosts like Jeff Rense circulate, https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2015/04/28/used-canard-salesman).

    • echinococcus
      August 17, 2015, 1:00 pm

      Preston-Enright,
      Thank you for the link.
      It seems that you have never been exposed to Zionist propaganda.
      What that looks like is exactly like every single word of your Rabbi’s speech. That this is the “liberal” variety of Zionist propaganda makes no difference for those facing the business end of Zionism.
      It is entirely calculated to present all Palestinian rights and claims as abolished and legitimate the Zionist squatters’ and warmongers’ illegal presence on the land and, more importantly, try to save their hide by staking a new claim. While a small proportion of JVP activities coincide with tactical objectives that help Palestinians, the net balance of this propaganda is definitely negative.
      So, Atzmon comes across as an eminently reasonable person. As for his “suggesting that the Rabbi deserved to be lynched”, you’re full of propaganda.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 2:08 pm

        echin, not approving of rabbi wise’s messaging is one thing, but whatever merits you think your argument might is not enough to thrust atzmon’s messaging in that article into a “reasonable” category in my book. i’m too busy to open that link again, really i can’t be bothered. but i opened it the other day and he’s just vile. seriously. i can’t read stuff like that. i couldn’t make it through the article. it’s was grotesque.

      • irishmoses
        August 18, 2015, 3:42 pm

        Annie,
        I’m really astounded by your reaction to Atzmon’s piece. While he clearly has an in-your-face style of argument, and sometimes his analogies are a bit OOT, his analysis is usually thought-provoking and well worth reading. I thought his analysis of the rabbi’s speech was mostly spot-on.

        In any case, I understand your unwillingness to engage due to time constraints. This thread has exhausted me. I can’t imagine its effect on you.

        Thanks again for your efforts and patience.

      • Bornajoo
        August 18, 2015, 6:47 pm

        “I thought his analysis of the rabbi’s speech was mostly spot-on.”

        I agree with you Irishmoses

      • echinococcus
        August 17, 2015, 4:14 pm

        Annie, reasonableness depends on each person’s own reason –to me it all sounds logical and/or compatible with known facts. It may scandalize some; no doubt it antagonizes most. Still, the more I look into it, and I’ve been at it since the early 60s, the more it checks.
        I’d say let’s revisit when you find anything that can directly reflect group discrimination against people for their biological origins (his and my own biological origins), please present it for people like me to consider. Haven’t seen any such thing until now, no matter the reactions.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 7:46 pm

        sorry, i don’t think i’ll be revisiting that page, i just can’t take that kind of messaging. too crude or something. i could read someone else critique on her speech. for one thing what she said (as i recall) i didn’t think was clear criticism of the i/p conflict at all because she doesn’t mention it once. second, i don’t think it’s necessary when discussing the msm’s coverage of an issue, to place caveats such as “as they do with all circumstance” and in that regard it’s unnecessary to say that when discussing the US governments relationship to israel. 3rd, i don’t agree the msm publishes slanted towards what our government supports. i think it is more likely the msm publishes what lobbiest push. that would go for the nra and most issues. 4. i think it’s irresponsible writing about gun control sans any mention of the nra, therefor a clear criticism of the medias coverage of i/p would responsibly mention the lobby. so, i didn’t think her criticism was a good example of a non anti semitic statement of clear criticism.

        but i don’t have to shred her into little pieces to do that. he’s not a nice man. he’s a loose cannon. that’s my opinion and i’m sticking with it.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 1:07 pm

        ” is not enough to thrust atzmon’s messaging in that article into a “reasonable” category in my book. -“

        Atzmon strikes me as an inside-out Israeli. A mirror-image Zionist. Problem is, taking the methods and level of Zionist discourse to talk about anything is dumb, whether you are for it or against it.

      • W.Jones
        September 7, 2015, 8:30 pm

        Mooser,

        Welcome to the self-destructive world of divisive “Discourse” polemics and expulsions, in which self-identified “Zionists” are Zionists, and self-identified “Anti-Zionists” are Zionists, “Zionists”, “anti-Semites”, or anti-Semites.

  25. hellsbells
    August 17, 2015, 5:44 am

    I should have known my comments would be removed. How dare I name and shame a group of women that use McCarthyism as their model for Palestinian solidarity. They have antisemites under the bed. How dare I, a gay man with 1/16 Aboriginal, 1/4 Swiss, 1/8 Irish and who knows what else, whose grand uncle helped so many Jews get to Australia during WWII, dare object to being labelled a white supremacist, bigot, right wing, normaliser… RIGHT WING, ME! OMG I’m too left for the socialist alliance! They aren’t gatekeepers, they are loony tunes.

    It is like the garbage thrown at Greta Berlin claiming antisemitism when one of her husbands was Jewish and her best friend is Jewish, in fact several of them are.

    You lot will believe anything about anyone said by people that know none of us. In the years that these antisemite chasing McCarthyists have been trolling the internet looking for signs of antisemitism, we have been traveling the world actually meeting each other.

    I’m so antisemitic my best Jewish girlfriend sent me to Palestine and Jordan for 6 months. Even though when she arrived in Israel she was deported despite going there for her aunt funeral. And reported to Interpol and Homeland Security as a suspected terrorist.

    Alison is guilty of saying yes too often. That is all! She doesn’t deserve to be burned over it.

    This is all one big insult to people in Palestine!!! These people are crying in pain, literally on your shoulder if you bothered to make there effort to go there and talk to them about their life under the mafia occupation. And you want to rip their friends down as well because ‘antisemitism’, a totally garbage claim that we simply do not respect this dialogue on and other baseless claims being leveled at us…

    It really does make one feel antisemitic to know all/many/some (you decide) of the Jewish members that claim to care about Palestinians really just care about being precious of Jewish identity. I can’t imagine what a conversation with my Muslim mates would look like if they became as precious when we talk about ISIS. Or Hamas for that matter.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 10:00 am

      hi hells bells, the thread is on it’s second page now. the comment you suspect is gone might be on the first page accessed at the base of this page on the left “older comments”. the easiest way to check might be to click on your name and check your archives.

      • Danaa
        August 17, 2015, 4:03 pm

        Annie, just as an aside – when the comment is on the first page, you can no longer get to it directly – clicking the link that would otherwise bring up the specific discussion now just gives this second page. It’s a fluke in the software I suspect. May be one that’s not been discovered so far because there was no other thread that had to go to a second page since the new website went up.

        May be you could try it and see whether I’m right?

        If so, it makes the first page effectively closed for further discussion or replies since it’s too time consuming to scroll through the entire thread. In any case, i doubt that’s intentional.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 6:36 pm

        no i doubt it’s intentional.as far as i know this is the first time we’ve had over 500 comments on a thread since we changed the formatting last summer so i don’t know how that’s set up. i did notice i wasn’t able to go to the exact comment. but one could use a few words from an old comment and do a search of the page that way. sorry, you could ask adam. just not sure how to fix this or if he knows. if you see a comment in the 100 thread, copy a phrase from it and do a page search w/command F. good luck.

      • hellsbells
        August 18, 2015, 4:40 am

        Thanks for that information Annie. I thought for a minute the comments on gatekeeping had been gatekeepered. Not exactly what you would want me to be thinking. ;)

        If only we could manage this many comments when on the topic of the teargas attack on the disabled school south of Bethlehem. B ut that is just too ‘minor’ to ever be reported by anyone including the Palestinian media.

        We might then have a chance at solving the issues if people focused on what matters.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 11:10 am

        If only we could manage this many comments when on the topic of the teargas attack on the disabled school south of Bethlehem. But that is just too ‘minor’ to ever be reported by anyone including the Palestinian media.

        please write about it and send it into submissions (see about page)!!! also, check kate’s list for lots of articles we do not get around to covering w/single articles. nothing is too minor for us. i wrote schools being skunk sprayed last november, it got around 30 thousand hits as i recall. read here:

        http://mondoweiss.net/2014/11/videos-jerusalem-skunk

        I thought for a minute the comments on gatekeeping had been gatekeepered. Not exactly what you would want me to be thinking. ;)

        not a problem, we get accused of stuff all the time here (like being zionists) — it’s normal.

        We might then have a chance at solving the issues if people focused on what matters.

        i highly recommend danaa’s comment on this page about the elephants.

  26. notatall
    August 17, 2015, 11:04 am

    Annie and others,

    I regret that you found my tone offensive. I do not think of myself as more “anti-racist” than thou, and I am sorry if I came across that way. I have been surprised that the comments on this thread have been running about 10 to 1 against me; I think a few years ago most people would have sided with JVP and the CEO notwithstanding their soft Zionism. It is progress that many people here are no longer intimidated by the fear of being called antisemitic. Now, I fear, we face the opposite problem: many people do not take seriously the danger that antisemitism (real, not imagined) can pose, not to Jews, who are pretty well protected, but to the movement—and in particular the extent to which it opens the door to white supremacists, at a time when the struggle of black people appears to be on the increase and the establishment of links between Palestine and Ferguson is a real possibility (a development that could be of great importance).

    I think part of my difficulty lies in that Alison Weir (and apparently others here) accept the framework of “national interests,” and I do not. I oppose Zionism not because it is a betrayal of my interests as an American (whatever they are) but because it is wrong. I can live with that difference, knowing that I am in the minority, but it must be admitted that the appeal to “national interests” tends to be attractive to rightwingers and patriots (including antisemites and white supremacists), and that therefore it allows them to gain entry to and a hearing in a movement that they hope to use for their own purposes. Just as Alison had her reasons for appearing on Clay Douglas’s show, he had his reasons for inviting her. Frankly, I don’t believe he cares a rap for the Palestinians, and the same is true of James Dean (Veterans Today) and of Atlantaiconoclast. One cannot support the Palestinians while opposing the struggle of black Americans.

    I suspect that Alison (and many here) know that, but they seem to have forgotten it for the moment in the need to gain an audience and oppose the opportunist and self-righteous maneuvers of the liberal Zionists at JVP. I wish they wouldn’t forget it, and I don’t think I should be in trouble for pointing out a danger.

    The quote about the alien plot to kill 60 million white Christian Russians was on Douglas’s site, freemerican.com, (attributed to Solzhenitsyn) right under the Confederate flag, followed by Douglas’s comment that “they still hate us–especially whites.” I just checked and it has been removed, but there is plenty more of the same.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 2:46 pm

      notatall. i just saw your comment. i’ll get right back to you with my response. i am not sure i would have written some comments i wrote recently had i seen this earlier. sorry for being a hammer. i’ll be back.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 6:23 pm

      i’m really not clear where you come up with this idea anyone here besides maybe atlanta is “opposing the struggle of black americans” or why you think weir is. a lot of your logic makes sense, it’s just that it seems like you’re making conclusions based on weak evidence. like suggesting atlanta somehow represents us or a majority opinion here.

      the problem i have with these charges against weir, which all seem like valid complaints and i can recognize how they might be upsetting, is that they are old charges. this leads me to believe there is something else propelling this we’ve not been informed of. perhaps connected to her book. yet i didn’t see that in the complaint (which i did not scrutinize or memorize). the timing seems odd.

      and when you bring up ferguson, is it because now that there is an alliance developed this is important to do now where it wasn’t when this radio show took place.

      yes, i know there is a lot of concern for anti semitism because people tell us this all the time. i got that message. sorry i can’t be more accommodating to your fears. but if i were jewish i would be much more concerned about things like this: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/pittsburgh-holocaust-ambassador/

      and the false accusations of anti semitism on american campuses is really very damaging. it leads to resentment which then leads to anti semitism. not good.

      • notatall
        August 18, 2015, 5:35 am

        The abolitionists opposed slavery because it was evil, and were willing to break up the country over it. Others, including Lincoln, also thought slavery wrong, but opposed it mainly on the grounds that it restricted the rights of free Americans, and they limited their activities to what the Constitution allowed (until the War forced them to adopt more radical measures). Hard to say who made the greater contribution; Lincoln (with characteristic humility) admitted that without Garrison he could not have accomplished what he did. At their best the two approaches complement each other, but it is necessary to drive out some of the people in the “national interests” camp.

    • W.Jones
      August 18, 2015, 1:08 am

      Dear Notatall,

      You wrote: ” have been surprised that the comments on this thread have been running about 10 to 1 against me; I think a few years ago most people would have sided with JVP and the CEO notwithstanding their soft Zionism.”

      The issue is not really siding with their overall positions. CEO is probably one of the most popular groups, if not the main one. The issue is banning any work with a major activist for a handful of appearances on programs that other activists had. That was not something that happened “a few years ago”, even though Weir’s questionable radio appearance was in 2010. Don’t we get a statute of limitations for past failures to “sufficiently challenge” intolerance? This blacklisting is the new phenomenon, not people being somehow inherently anti-JVP, which we are not.

      You wrote: “I think part of my difficulty lies in that Alison Weir (and apparently others here) accept the framework of “national interests,” and I do not.” Please notice however that JVP’s faq considers it a “core principle” required for its members to accept that the occupation is against America’s “interests”. http://www.jvp-pdx.org/faq.html

      May I ask what makes you think that James Dean doesn’t care about Palestinians? For all I know you could be right, but I am skeptical: Just because someone is not a Palestinian or left wing doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have human feelings against a major instance in the world today of oppression.

      FWIW, it’s nice to see Douglas removed that quote. Most of the anti-semite propagandists like Douglas seem off in the brains.

    • jayn0t
      August 18, 2015, 1:51 am

      “One cannot support the Palestinians while opposing the struggle of black Americans”

      Even on the face of it, this statement is clearly false. One could support the struggle of the Palestinians without giving a tinker’s cuss about black Americans. But the statement means more than it says. It is part of the attempt, led by Jewish Voice for Peace, to ensure the Palestinian solidarity movement stays within the confines of the politically-correct left, which they know how to keep under control, and completely ineffective.

      • notatall
        August 18, 2015, 1:17 pm

        False. I have repeatedly—see the archives—denounced the liberal Zionist gatekeepers who would restrict the movement to limits acceptable to them: two states, 1967 borders, narrow BDS, oppose the “occupation” etc. instead of working for a fully liberated Palestine, one state, democratic and secular, from the River to the Sea, with the right of return for all exiles. My drawing attention to the presence of white supremacists and antisemites in the movement comes from my concern that fascists—I do not mean conventional rightwingers—are fishing for recruits. I realize that few people here regard them as anything more than cranks with no potential; I disagree. For evidence that I am not mad, I point to the rise of those currents in Europe, partly in response to the general social decay and partly in response to the arrogance of the Zionists.

  27. M.
    August 17, 2015, 2:44 pm

    It is nice to see a discussion of the racism of both JVP and Allison Weir/IAK. Weir is quite obviously a racist (and “anti-semite”), but it is extremely unsettling that the Rabbi of JVP can just outright censor a (at least ostensibly) Pro-Palestinian voice, without even a single essay/piece of journalism that would open up a discussion of the racist implications/limitations of Weir/IAK. Instead, possibly because JVP is guilty of a very similar racism and would be just as vulnerable as Weir to that discussion, the JVP Rabbi moved to foreclose it. IMHO, both groups are cut way, way too much slack. “But, but, they are making sacrifices, and exposing injustice, and helping to divest…” Sure, but why can’t we criticize their racism and their pro-colonial pro-imperial limitations?

    And what kind of a group would censor Weir without censoring the all-Jewish JVP? Obviously USCEO is irrelevant.

    And why aren’t there any Palestinians or People of Color in this Mondoweiss roundtable?

    On Weir: Even the name, “If Americans Knew,” is racist. She obviously means white Christians by Americans. And can she not be bothered to familiarize herself with the ideas of Edward Said? Her entire organization consists of white male ex-state department/intelligence operatives. She is only advocating a colonization of Palestine without Jewish nationalism.

    On JVP: Yes there is a need to de-Zionize Judaism and Jewish Nationalism. No, that is not what JVP is doing. It would be great if we could engage in a discussion of the limits and possibilities of an anti-Zionist Jewish nationalism. (Since despite this “head rabbi,” JVP is nationalist in nature much more than religious). But JVP’s mission seems to be to inhibit discussions like these. Like Weir, despite their deep and sincere concern for Palestinian human rights, at the end of the day neither JVP nor IAK (or USCEO for that matter) is an anti-colonial movement.

    • RoHa
      August 17, 2015, 3:11 pm

      You are just kidding, aren’t you? You call Weir a racist, and yet use the phrase “People of Colour” and say that “Amercans” means “white Americans”.

      I try very hard to avoid cod psychology, but, if you are serious, even I cannot help suspecting a predilection for finding racism even where there is none.

      And to claim that she advocates a colonisation of Palestine is ludicrous.

    • just
      August 17, 2015, 3:21 pm

      wow.

      “On Weir: Even the name, “If Americans Knew,” is racist. She obviously means white Christians by Americans. And can she not be bothered to familiarize herself with the ideas of Edward Said? Her entire organization consists of white male ex-state department/intelligence operatives. She is only advocating a colonization of Palestine without Jewish nationalism.”

      Cite your sources, please. I’m calling bs.

      You may want to check this out:

      http://alisonweir.org/journal/2014/4/8/edward-said.html

      “And why aren’t there any Palestinians or People of Color in this Mondoweiss roundtable?”

      You’re new here, eh? There are Palestinians here. I don’t have your xray internet vision, so I’m not gonna bother with your bizarre “People of Color” allegation.

      Perhaps some other more patient person here can be bothered to dissect this very first post of yours.

      • M.
        August 17, 2015, 5:22 pm

        I just think Americans know.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 8:11 pm

        just, as i recall i saw that same ‘logic’/accusation on ella rosenthall’s blog post we were directed to. that the name “if america knew” was in itself racist. i thought to myself this has got to be some strange kind of logic i have yet to intercept. as if the word americans meant white or something. then she used the spelling amerika, and explained that meant something else, i can’t recall. the whole thing read like some overwrought undergrad senior thesis.

        it’s been so long since i was in school, maybe i’ve lost some brain cells. or maybe she’s british and they think differently over there.

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 17, 2015, 8:34 pm

        Annie wrote: “read like some overwrought undergrad senior thesis.”

        So I take it you’re not going to be taking her up on her offer —

        “Emma Live! contact emma to speak or perform for your organization or event”
        https://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/

        (BTW it’s Emma Rosenthal.)

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 8:36 pm

        lol, no don’t plan on contacting her. but you can all read it and figure out the limits of my attention span. maybe i’ll go check it out again and see if i fair better this time. ;)

    • Abu Malia
      August 17, 2015, 4:47 pm

      @ M “It is nice to see a discussion of the racism of both JVP and Allison Weir/IAK. Weir is quite obviously a racist (and “anti-semite”),”
      You’re full of shit and your attempt of balance notwithstanding quite possibly projecting your own bias on AW.

      But first let me commend MW on finally, albeit belatedly shining some light on this matter – although i wish Adam and Phil would state where they stand on this matter. Also, much respect and gratitude to the indefatigable annie.

      As a black man who is neither a US national nor a citizen of the US and with a overtly Islamic sounding name, i can tell you my identity in contemporary America represents what i would call a layered risk and liability. It is the reason i quickly cover up my black cell phone on the passenger seat (lest it be mistaken for a loaded Ruger) as the officer who pulled me over walks towards me, shooting hand resting on his/her holster. I have lost both employment and business opportunities solely because of my name . I am telling you this to establish my “minority hood” bona fides and to let you know that my racism detection capabilities are next to none – it is nothing less than a survival instinct. AW is no racist nor is she anti-semite.

      You assert that AW is “quite obviously a racist and A. semite” based on what evidence for it is not quite so obvious to me? I have followed AW for a number of years and yet to detect a scintilla of racial animosity towards minorities – i have nothing but respect and admiration for the lady. If you’re going to open your big mouth and accuse her of racism it behooves you to present some evidence other wise you’re offensive on multiple levels – one of them being phuckin’ with our intelligence.

      Furthermore, you state the name “IAK” itself is racist. Is it the new OG Kush strain you’re smoking for you’re “obviously” out of your silly mind? The name is provocative and apt but racist? how? The questions is, is it racist or anti semitic if it is true? Fact is, if your Americans who are by and large misinformed knew the scope and depth of Zionist political machinations in the US they’d be (rightly) pissed. AW, IMO, is attacking the soft underbelly of Zionist power by informing Americans – free Washington, the plan goes and you free Palestine. JVP and other J-groups are primarily, it seems, working to preserve Jewish privilege – even the pro-Palestinian activism they engage in is (correctly) for the benefit of Israel.

      If you’re going accuse AW of racism, show some evidence. And, how the hell do you know she is not familiar with Edward Said’s writings and ideas. As to why there aren’t any Palestinians and people of color participating in the round table, I believe annie has answered that question some where in the commentary.

      “If Americans Knew,” is racist. She obviously means white Christians by Americans.” and you know this based on what evidence? listen, I am very familiar with racist coded words and dog whistles, but i heard or seen none from AW and her org. Is this you JH?

      • M.
        August 17, 2015, 8:46 pm

        I admit that to call her anti-semitic and racist was a pro-Zionist critique, but IAK and her Council for the National Interest just seem like a random collection of neoliberals, chosen more for their military, intelligence, foreign service, and corporate experience than their history of activism or journalism. Her documentation of Israel’s abuses are extremely powerful, but to redirect to these technocrats seems like a bait and switch.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 12:36 pm

        chosen more for their military, intelligence, foreign service, and corporate experience than their history of activism or journalism.

        i think the argument could be made that people with military, intelligence, foreign service, and corporate experience have had a lot of experience and inside access to information a person such as myself might not have. also, isn’t it true that journalists frequently seek out people with these kinds of experiences when investigating a story? and therefore, as a journalist, wouldn’t it be normal for alison to use contacts such as these?

        now, lets look at how the other side operates. when i read a story from an msm source and they are quoting people to advocate for say … against the iran deal. notice how they quote people with military, intelligence, foreign service, and corporate experience? notice how lobbies and advisors court people like that? along with ex and current politicians? they find that to be an effective form of action as an end to a means.

        of course one could take the position that anyone who has a military, intelligence, foreign service, or corporate background should be avoided at all costs, but it seems like that would hamper ones efforts. and since most people agree that as an american project (our support for israel that is — granted there are those possibly yourself for all i know who believe this is just some ethnic thing that has nothing to do whatsoever with american imperialism and all those sorts of people are totally irrelevant in which case just don’t bother reading this comment!) the entangles all sorts of american interests (including corporate and military etc etc ) that people from that background therefore have something to add to the conversation. or not.

      • M.
        August 19, 2015, 12:01 am

        @Annie,
        I am not arguing that these people have no contribution or no place in the discussion. That seems a bit of a straw man. I don’t see what is wrong with a little critical distance, or opening up the discussion. There is something in between outright censorship, and a refusal to critique at all, because the critique is abused by Zionists. Although the JVP censorship move was in bad faith, and counterproductive, I do believe there is room for an anti-Zionist critique. (Even if my own critique may not have been so anti-Zionist). AW is an extremely well-respected figure in the movement. Her information and dedication anything but weak. But, personally speaking, I am wary of this group. I know that her primary mission is a response to the extreme censorship of Palestinian politics from the media, mainstream and non mainstream. At the same time, part of me thinks that she should also have a corresponding organization entitled, “Many Americans Know, and They Still Don’t Care.” And that such an organization would add an element that is missing, and push her IAK further towards its stated goals. Despite the extreme media censorship and all the daily Zionist propaganda, the assertion that “Americans don’t know,” is one thing that just doesn’t sit well with me. … Although I will say that regardless, this thread has convinced me that her new book is a must read.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 12:28 am

        the assertion that “Americans don’t know,” is one thing that just doesn’t sit well with me.

        you should write her and send her your idea “she should also have a corresponding organization entitled, “Many Americans Know, and They Still Don’t Care.” “

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 1:35 am

        M,
        Read Weir’s book, including the last 60 percent which is all end notes and references (the best part IMHO). Then you will discover what I did, that this American really didn’t know all he should know about the truly astounding impact of Zionism in the US and its government and politics.

        Read the book, check the many references, then decide. I look forward to hearing your reaction and judgment.

  28. Danaa
    August 17, 2015, 5:11 pm

    having looked through some of the more recent comments, as well as some older ones (and impressed with the quality of many) it became very noticeable that the conversation came to revolve around the usual canard of ‘anti-semitism” – what it is, may be, would have been, was once, can never be except for, etc. etc. ad nauseum. Needless to say, most of us here see straight through the pilpul (and unfortunately, when it comes to the so-called “anti-semitism” accusation, pilpul is all we can engage in, even the best of us, the word itself being loaded and used as a weapon of mass distraction). Doesn’t matter, we still get sucked in, because the weapon used against people who try to do some good in this world (Carter, Berlin, Weir, Sheehan, McWright, Finkelstein, O’Keefe, and many more named and unknown) is irressistable. Even though we know it’s a false flag operation, a cover for either gatekeeping or redirection or outright subversion, it is still difficult to ignore and move on. And so the conversation continues, sometimes insightful – as when it touches on larger issues of racism and ethnocentricity among humans, sometimes circuitous, but always belabored and intellectual/spiritual fatigue inducing.

    As some have said, notice what we are not talking about – the real, truly gigantic elephant in the room – the one smiting any campaign to actually help real Palestinians, should such campaign display the slightest chance of success. As the comfortable and privileged speak with great certainty about matters they claim to be of import (such as “anti-semitism”vs “white supremacism” vs “jewish entitlement to be the voice of authority on whatever the cudgel-de-jour to is”), as they behold their own activism to be a paragon of virtue, actual, real palestinians in Gaza are locked in a ghetto by “those other jews” (known as Israelis) there to be deprived of sustenance, liberty and often life. They do the dying as we all do the talking about “things that are important to the activist Jews of America”. Later, as more of them will have suffered, and more will have died, and much more land and water taken from the west bank, Jennifer Hitchcok will do more “BDS activism on campus” and continue to argue about the many meanings of anti-semitism and what it all mean in the context of whether or not this or that figure should be ostracized from the “movement”.

    Back to the giant elephant now (or is it a shark?) – the Lobby the name of which can barely be spoken because, after all, it’s a lobby just like “any other lobby”. The question I want to ask the elephant is how to make it go away for a while, long enough for the US to at least uphold palestinian statehood in the UN – as a start. An extremely modest start. So modest that there can be no conceivable reason it was not taken other than that darn elephant. Which of course, is an elephant like any other elephant, and we should really be talking about how bad the ivory trade is for humanity, and of course, all elephants. We are, you see, allowed to speak of the shrinking habitat of elephants (due to rampant “anti-semitism”), but not of putting elephants to pasture, as that would be – yes, you guessed it – anti-semitic.

    Alas, this one elephant, which we are told, is really a member of an endangered species, keeps stinking up the joint, to put it politely. Yet, we cannot admit to having gotten a whiff of the unsavory scent, as that would be – yes! – “anti-semitic”! practically a conspiracy. Fancy that! denying the elephant its right to natural bodily functions, and perhaps even caught in the act of sniffing, a gesture of distaste, or god forbid, pulling out a kerchief.

    But, you see? the elephant is really an innocent creature, having wandered into our rooms where debates about “peace” are raging, probably by mistake. If some of us have problems with maintaining a straight face about all that sweet smell of “peace’ and actually suggest moving the elephant to a more suitable enclosure along with other members of its species (there to graze with NRA, Big Pharma and little Monsanto), we are told emphatically – no! for one thing, the elephant is not really all that big, for another, it does not smell any worse than any other pachyderm. Besides, who said there was an elephant in the room in the first place? a bunch of white, old guys who see conspiracies everywhere? after all, it’s the fault of the Empire that the elephant (that is not there and does not smell) even wandered in (if it did, which it didn’t), chased out of its ever-shrinking habitat, by raving brutes (yes, those white old guys many from the southern hunting horde) wielding their spears with tips dipped into that anti-semitic poison brew. What next? are they going to hunt the poor elephant down and kill it with an arrow like poor Cecil the lion?

    So, many of us – having realized that we may not be old, white or guy enough, and really don’t much care for hunting any creature large or small, we leave the room to get a little fresh air. We, outside the room of “peace’ that smells a bit, speak amongst ourselves about how nice it would be to get that elephant to more appropriate place – a nice zoo, if not a circus. Because no, releasing it back into the wild would not be such a good thing – too late for that, it might stomp on the wrong creatures, or it might get lost or worse.

    Later, we may retire to a bar (frequented by oh so white, of so old, oh so not jewish enough) where, after a couple of beers, we may discuss the true nature of reality – is it the empire or the emperor that had no cloths?

    In the meantime, another Palestinian was shot in the back, a baby burnt, kids arrested, village raised, water denied.

    • unverified__5ilf90kd
      August 17, 2015, 7:06 pm

      Well done – you understand it all. The real “dog whistles” are the irrational accusations of antisemitism, designed to silence the innocent because of their activism.

    • mtorres
      August 17, 2015, 7:23 pm

      Can we PLEASE listen to what Danaa said? (Danaa August 17, 2015, 5:11 pm
      “…having looked through some of the more recent comments, as well as some older ones … it became very noticeable that the conversation came to revolve around the usual canard of ‘anti-semitism”)

      Why are we so easily distracted when it comes to Palestine? Repeating from my first post here at the beginning: there is a reason they focused on “anti-semitism”. It’s the one thing guaranteed to stop us all in our tracks and spend endless hours navel-gazing and beating our breasts.

      Another such attempt was the call for “dialogue” in the early 90’s, when it was becoming clear the movement for Palestinian freedom and equal rights was growing. All of a sudden, the disruption and re-direction was “dialogue”, which stopped most of the work for a couple of years and marginalized all of us who were not Jewish or Muslim or Arab, before folks began to understand that stopping the work was the reason for the disruption, not dialogue.

      Again, I say, this is NOT about racism, and it never was. It’s what she exposed in her book. Shouldn’t we all be talking about that, about its implications, what it means to all of us and particularly to Palestine, how to acknowledge it, how share the information, how to get around it, how to stop it?

      Also, again (since my first post is lost in the dusty archives here), it’s a slippery slope. No sane person wants to see a repeat of the 1930s and 40s, so we avoid talking about things that might generate a similar anger again. And yet the things being done by Israel in the name of Jews everywhere are exactly the things that generate deep anger and contempt against nations that do such things and against people who are perceived to support them. It is those actions, that state in its current configuration, that must end, not the work of people exposing them.

      As to the two organizations at the bottom of this, I’m beginning to suspect that each has been damaged badly by their own actions. Isn’t it indicative of their arrogance and blind focus on “anti-semitism” that no one in those two groups even considered that their refusal to deal with their own racism could come back to devastate them? But my fear is, they will be like the Phoenix and rise from the ashes. They still have a lot of money and a lot of people who believe their hypocritical rants, and they have phony self-righteousness working for them.

    • just
      August 17, 2015, 7:48 pm

      Thank you for that superlative comment, Danaa.

      You’re a gem.

    • straightline
      August 17, 2015, 8:00 pm

      Hear, f***ing, hear, Danaa!

    • Mary T
      August 17, 2015, 8:58 pm

      I’m in awe. Masterful.

    • Kathleen
      August 17, 2015, 11:31 pm

      “In the meantime, another Palestinian was shot in the back, a baby burnt, kids arrested, village raised, water denied” Indeed. And from my vantage Allison Weir’s efforts to keep track, share, inform etc benefits by educating the public!

    • Bornajoo
      August 18, 2015, 8:15 am

      “Later, we may retire to a bar (frequented by oh so white, of so old, oh so not jewish enough) where, after a couple of beers, we may discuss the true nature of reality – is it the empire or the emperor that had no cloths?

      In the meantime, another Palestinian was shot in the back, a baby burnt, kids arrested, village raised, water denied.”

      Outstanding comment Danaa!

    • Annie Robbins
      August 18, 2015, 10:45 am

      We, outside the room of “peace’ that smells a bit, speak amongst ourselves about how nice it would be to get that elephant to more appropriate place – a nice zoo, if not a circus. Because no, releasing it back into the wild would not be such a good thing – too late for that, it might stomp on the wrong creatures, or it might get lost or worse.

      the macabre humor is very much appreciated danaa. you’re a treasure.

    • irishmoses
      August 18, 2015, 9:53 pm

      Great post Danaa.

      “Back to the giant elephant now (or is it a shark?) – the Lobby the name of which can barely be spoken because, after all, it’s a lobby just like “any other lobby”. The question I want to ask the elephant is how to make it go away for a while, long enough for the US to at least uphold palestinian statehood in the UN – as a start.”

      And mtorres as well:

      “Again, I say, this is NOT about racism, and it never was. It’s what she exposed in her book. Shouldn’t we all be talking about that, about its implications, what it means to all of us and particularly to Palestine, how to acknowledge it, how share the information, how to get around it, how to stop it?”

      I think there are some critical distinctions to be made in the present “antisemism” kerfuffle (I’ve addressed these distinctions in earlier posts so I apologize for repeating myself). The oh-so-well organized and heavy handed, indeed savage attack on Alison Weir (as well as Finkelstein, Atzmon, et al) is not about either the “Lobby” or “antisemitism”. The attacks on all three came from our side of the fence, the so-called pro-Palestinian side, not from “the Lobby” or dark side. The “antisemitism” charge is not meant to be accurate, it is meant to defame, to label, to diminish to such an extent that banishment or herem is seen as the only logical choice by the target audience who have little time or inclination to sort through the complicated factual inadequacies of the claims.

      The real question is why, what motivates those behind these highly organized, heavy-handed herem campaigns which, after all, are relatively rare. I think the answer is that there are really two factions in the pro-Palestinian movement, the Liberal Zionist faction (“LZF”) and the Palestinian Justice faction (“PJF”), (both my terms). In my view, the overarching goal of the LZF is damage control, curtailing the extremes of Likud Zionism which they see as threatening to Jews. They want a limited, truncated, 2 state solution that takes the I-P conflict and all its bad publicity off the table. Thus, to them, it’s less about justice for the Palestinians, and mostly about damage control, ending all the bad publicity this continuing and accelerating conflict is causing.

      I think there is plenty of evidence of a LZF, as seen in their reluctance to buy into BDS, their acceptance of ill-defined security concerns, and their acquiescence to the “reality” of needing to allow all the major settlement blocks to remain in place for any reasonable 2 state solution to be possible. Their rejection of anything but a token Palestinian right of return is another indication or where their hearts lie. The LZF will pay lip service to Palestinian justice, but in the end they are more than willing to end up with a compromise solution with the Greater Israel crowd that preserves all the large settlements, keeps Gaza as a separate enclave, while conceding very little to the Palestinians for their long-promised state of their own. The real challenge for the LZF is getting the Likud Greater Israel Zionists to accept enough of a compromise that won’t smell so bad that the rest of the world rejects it.

      The other faction, the PJF or Palestinian Justice Faction, is the rest of us. Our focus is on achieving justice for the Palestinians within a solution that is fair to both sides and provides security to all. While this faction is Palestinian-centered, it also recognizes the need for some modest level of fair compromise in terms of land swaps, right of return or fair compensation, etc.

      This brings us to the issue of Weir, Atzmon, Finkelstein, et al. These heretics pose a serious threat to the Liberal Zionist Faction because they are going off the reservation and raising issues (and bad publicity) outside the limited bounds of getting some sort of truncated 2 state solution. Each has exposed new, embarrassing areas of inquiry that are creating unnecessary bad publicity unrelated or indirectly related to the I-P conflict. In Weir’s case, she and her book have opened wide a door into serious analysis of the history of Zionist influence in the US and all the tawdry associated behavior she has uncovered and carefully documented. That Pandora’s Box needs to be kept closed at all costs, as must the Atzmon, Finkelstein, and et al boxes of inquiry. The sins of these heretics have little or nothing to do with the alleged antisemitism of the heretics, but everything to do with the threat their areas of inquiry pose to Jews writ large (in the LZF’s muddled view of the world). It’s about bad publicity and how that might undermine the reputation of Jews and their ability to influence events, and, it’s about damage control.

      The punishment for heresy, for heretics, is herem, public humiliation and banishment. This serves three purposes: It defines those straying from the cause as undesirables, as heretics. It isolates them and their work from wider society, making them unpublishable, even unspeakable. Finally, it sets a public example for any others who may be tempted to stray into the dark world of Zionist heresies.

      I think what surprises most of us is that these savage attacks are coming from the so-called pro-Palestinian side of the I-P debate, our side. Hopefully, understanding that there is a powerful, irredentist faction within our side may provide some clarity. That faction (the Liberal Zionist Faction) has very truncated goals, set and zealously defended by those who want to limit the debate to finding a palliative 2 state solution and nothing more. And then there is the rest of us who seek justice for the Palestinians and believe we need to open up all the boxes and see what’s really happened here.

      It’s within this side of the I-P movement that the real debate, the real battle is raging. Do we want to jam a cork in the bottle, or get a really just solution for the Palestinians? Is this about damage control and ending bad publicity, or is it about obtaining a truly fair solution for both sides and, at long last, real justice for the Palestinians?

      In the words of the old Pogo comic strip, we have found the enemy and it is us. To win this battle, we’ll need to defang and depower the witch burners among us. Naming and shaming seems a good place to start.

      • Kris
        August 18, 2015, 10:40 pm

        Thank you, irishmoses and Danaa, excellent comments.

      • just
        August 18, 2015, 11:10 pm

        Thanks for your great comments, irishmoses and mtorres!

      • Danaa
        August 19, 2015, 3:38 am

        irishmoses – great analysis.

        Except that I think it’s gotten worse – the zio-libs, having figured out we are on to them, have been surrepticiously moving into the more “progressive”, BDS/one-state-supporting groups. After all, JVP and USC do claim to support a “one state”, or at least are disclaiming being wedded to the ephemeral “two states”. And in so doing they put pressure (a great deal, I suspect) on the palestinian movement leaders like Bargoutti and Abunimah to endorse their view of “who is and who isn’t a closet anti-semite” (notice how the “anti-semites” now have to be fished out of closets!). This is really a subversion from within, or a kind of COINTEPRO, if you want. The whole sad spectacle of anonymous denounciations from JVP and USC can’t possibly be of any benefit whatsoever for Palestinians, so by a process of elimination, we can figure out who or what the intended beneficiaries are.

        Also, for some reason I keep thinking of the Chinese cultural revolution. May be there’s something to be learnt from both tactics and execution – with special attention to the end-goal – which was to squash any true independent thought, especially among its best and brightest and most idealistic. In the process, China that was set to start emerging out of its earlier revolution to a more pragmatic state, sank back into a ditch for many years, traumatizing two generations in the process. While the battles of zionism cannot be directly compared with the tribulations of Chinese communism, aspects of control exercised from both above and below bear some comparison. Just a thought here, as all human movements tend to havetheir Kafkaesque sides, which they can sink into or rise above.

        I guess what I am trying to say is that what happened here with JVP is a canary song in the mines. A harbinger of the battle lines moving from the more-or-less-left (where zionism is losing the liberals) to the left-of-the-left (there to capture some progressive flesh). In many ways I expected that. Unfortunately, I expect even more pressure on Palestinians who are in the forefront of the battle, especially as clearly the new “anti-semite’ fishing campaign is not having much success with most of us here.

        Eternal vigilance, I says. And do keep analyzing (muttering as she trepsies off to the zoo to watch peculiar pachyderm customs – and get tips from the lions).

        And let us remember that the idea is that in the end, we’ll have no idea of who really is on which side. You know, the Empire of Chaos.

      • irishmoses
        August 20, 2015, 1:34 am

        Great insight into the abyss of imposing discipline on the narrative. Your Bolshevik inquisition and purges and Great Leap analogies really show the depths or heights of these exercises. The crap we see here is the stuff of rank amateurs but still scary.

        I’d like to be able to diagram the chain of command but it gets real fuzzy above the level of Bargoutti, Abunimah, and Blumenthal. who I suspect are convinced by an upper tier that purges of the loose-lipped are necessary if the movement is to survive. But, that’s not the real motivation. I’ve taken a sheltered, ill-informed stab at what I surmise it is but who knows. The layers of onion skin peel back revealing only more onion and more stinging tears. And, as you point out, none of us really know who our friends and enemies really are.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 19, 2015, 8:11 pm

        danaa, i am really really sorry your two comments were stuck in moderation for sooo long. that was totally unintentional on my part. they ended up slipping way down the pipe and i just intercepted them. pleeease forgive me.

      • Danaa
        August 19, 2015, 11:26 pm

        Annie, and there I was imagining all kind of nefarious scenarios, or heaven forbid – possible fatigue on your or someone else’s part. The thought that you might actually be human – the outrage!

        Anyways, no problem here. Just glad my replies saw the light of day. Wouldn’t want people to think I cut and run, not when the target of 1000 comments is well in sight.

  29. tokyobk
    August 17, 2015, 10:11 pm

    Danaa,

    O’Keefe? If you don’t see him as an anti-semite then you simply don’t believe any statement about Jews can be anti-semitism ever, or that anyone no matter how much they generalize and essentials the Jews can ever be an anti-semite. You can also find him chumming with David Duke if you wish to google.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Yo_AihE5s

    He posts a rebuttal and maybe thats enough for you but in this case, he belongs no where near any of the others you mentioned, intellectually as well.

    And I would also say, this thread has over 800 comments.

    Threads that are affirmative of Jewish non-Zionism get about 5 comments if that. A fair number of the people who comment regularly here -only- comment about Jews.

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 17, 2015, 10:21 pm

      “Threads that are affirmative of Jewish non-Zionism get about 5 comments if that.”

      Maybe because people see zionism as a jewish-caused problem. Jewish non-zionism hasn’t been a great success. After a while, people give up.

      (BTW, thnks for the video. I didn’t realize that O’Keefe didn’t actually say “F*ck’n Jews” like posters here have claimed. I should have know that they were lying.)

      • tokyobk
        August 17, 2015, 10:45 pm

        I guess you have no problem with what O’Keefe says or the way he says it. But if that’s the case, you are probably not going to call anything antisemitism ever and that is vital info for weighing your statements on the subject.

        And by the way, either you or I need our ears cleaned because in his description of his childhood (very Michael Oren type landscape he paints there where people really do hate the Jews, go figure?) he says it. The worst insult you could imagine. And he also says there must be a grain of truth. Perhaps you agree?

        Further to my statement on Jewish non-zionism threads. A story on direct action to help Palestinians, an essay on Palestinian culture, a roundtable between several Palestinians (complete absent Jewish power themes) is probably not going to generate the volume and intensity of comments here. Only the lurking power of the Jews can do that, frankly. And that is a reflection of the tastes of this comment section.

      • Sibiriak
        August 18, 2015, 12:41 am

        PeaceThroughJustice: I didn’t realize that O’Keefe didn’t actually say “F*ck’n Jews” like posters here have claimed.
        ————————

        In fact, he referred to the expression “f*ck’n Jew” as the worst insult there was when he was growing up, and that looking back he realized that the expression embodied some truth, that it represented some generalized awareness of the [highly negative] Jewish impact on human history. In short, bigotry toward Jews is justified.

    • W.Jones
      August 17, 2015, 10:36 pm

      Toky,

      I know what you mean. If Weir were Ken, Weir’s opponents would have a better case.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 10:48 pm

        yeah, no doubt that’s why he was initially inserted into the conversation. and icke. and whoever else. let’s make it all about the unsavories.

      • tokyobk
        August 17, 2015, 10:52 pm

        W.Jones.

        I actually did not comment on this even though I do comment often on the theme here. Because I just don’t know enough about her or her work.

        What I respond to is when people (re)contextualize, mitigate, parse, deny, rationalize, justify, -every- bigoted expression towards Jews to the point where its clear nothing was is or can ever be anti-semitism. That is just an attempt to mitigate outrageous Zionist claims, not to deal with history.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 11:27 pm

        to the point where its clear nothing was is or can ever be anti-semitism.

        what a bunch of BS

      • tokyobk
        August 17, 2015, 11:43 pm

        Annie; “what a bunch of BS”

        I actually can’t remember a claim of anti-semitism that you didn’t reject outright as BS. Or, if not reject, start to see the claim itself as implying that calling out bigotry towards Jews is simultaneously denying bigotry towards Gentiles. You have done that before as well as add the argument that we don’t even need a word for anti-Jewish bigotry and to have one is more bigotry against everyone else! Since O’Keefe is not defensible you have gone with that. I missed the part where he slandered Americans! How Jewish supremacist of me!

      • Sibiriak
        August 18, 2015, 12:58 am

        W.Jones: If Weir were Ken, Weir’s opponents would have a better case.
        ——————-

        I agree–it’s completely wrong to equate Weir with O’Keefe when it comes to antisemitism.

        But that’s exactly what Danaa does:

        the weapon [the” canard of ‘anti-semitism'”] used against people who try to do some good in this world (Carter, Berlin, Weir, Sheehan, McWright, Finkelstein, O’Keefe […])

        Carter, Weir, Finkelstein et al. in the same category as O’Keefe? What a travesty. Hell, why not add Clay Douglas to the list as well.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 9:50 am

        tokyobk, jennifer already grilled me on this question and i provided 2 recent links/examples for her from the last week. it’s in this thread (first pages of comments access at the base of the page). one was a common sort of ‘that’s racist’ remark to someone who made a derogatory remark against all jews. she tried to justify it i was nah, that was bs (paraphrasing) the other was to a conversation about how i thought those congressional lists of alleged dual citizens- congressmembers were bigoted because the only distinguishing feature about them was all jewish names. i don’t let people post those lists here. it’s really demeaning even have to explain this to you. perhaps you have radar that only picks up what fits your theory.

        furthermore, a lot of what i consider bigoted doesn’t make it into the comment section because either myself or one of the other mods trashes them.

        ok, besides those two recent examples i will tell you what i don’t like and i have lots of fights with sean about in the past. saying zionism and judaism is the same thing. i don’t want to get into it, but i don’t like attacks on religions vs the way people interpret them. and i think when people make blanket statements like this, they should use a lot of qualifiers or else it verges into ‘jews are inherently like this because it is inherent in judaism’. and i am not good at arguing against these sorts of arguments because i don’t understand the religion, or any religions for that matter. but i have more faith in people than that. so that would be my biggest beef and where i draw the line. and there’s a record of that in my archives but i’m not interested in digging it up for anyone. but i definitely have things that bother me and phil and adam know this because i have sent in comments and gotten people banned on the spot for comments i simply will not tolerate for the purpose of ‘defending palestine’. plus, it can completely disrupt my flow to the point where i cry and have to walk around the block. it happens, not frequently (rarely) , but it happens. some really sad horrific stuff i’ve read, nothing i would repeat.

        is simultaneously denying bigotry towards Gentiles.

        hmm, i could be mistaken but i think this conversation is the first time i ever even insinuated that. so tagging that on to your insult as if it’s some regular argument i make is disingenuous.

        i use the same benchmark for judging bigorty towards jews as i would bigotry towards any other group of people. if you have a problem with that i am sorry. that’s just who i am.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 10:51 am

        Does anybody remember what Americans used to say about Russians, Russia and Russian people during the Cold War? Anybody remember what Americans, individually and in the media, used to say about the Chinese when they were Commies?
        Remember that? Was there anything good about them? Did the Russian or Chinese have any redeeming qualities at that time? Not that I remember, they were accused of everything, individually and collectively

        Well, that’s the playing field we Jews elected to play on when we decided Jewish was a nationality. Deal with it, “bk”. We chose it.

      • Danaa
        August 18, 2015, 5:38 pm

        W.Jones, just so you know: the Ken insertion was not without forethought (or malice? ouch!). Lo and behold – did I catch a mouse or not? and it roars too!

        If only Weir were weirder!

        If only Walt and Meirsheimer were not so professorial!

        If only Gilad did not play jazz!

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 11:12 pm

      tokyobk, your criticism seems ethnic specific. not in defense of o’keefe, because i won’t defend him. but what crossed your mind when he said there were parallels between jewish people, and the american people because of the supremacism?

      ‘i look back on it now and realize it was the ultimate insult and there must be some truth in it (paraphrasing) – jewish impact on human history –didn’t imagine the level of insanity and indoctrination —jewish people — and i actually see massive parallels between the jewish people and the american people. as far as i am concerned, and i know there are differences, ..but the major likenesses between the 2 of them is supremacism. at the end of the day it’s supremacism. plain and simple. and the real issue for me is that there is a tiny majority, whoever they are, and they’re running the world.

      so i’m just curious why you only mentioned anti semitism. does his dig on americans running the world (albeit a tiny majority of the supremacists) not bother you? you don’t find that bigoted. only the part about jews. it’s ok to call americans supremacist but not jews or not jewish americans… or.. what? am i not supposed to be insulted by this, only jewish people? how does that work. please explain. you can bash gentiles til the cows come home but if you mention jews that’s harem. not a word of condemnation for what he said about your nationality. and clearly it’s acceptable to talk about white supremacy (even jimmy carter is one of those in acceptable company https://emmarosenthal.wordpress.com/emmas-room-a-blog-of-essays-images-and-ideas/ ) but jewish supremacy is verboten. this is getting really interesting for me navigating thru this stuff. i’m getting a real education on the pc so to speak.

      • tokyobk
        August 17, 2015, 11:28 pm

        Um, I mentioned anti-semitism because Danaa included him among people who were (and I agree) unfairly accused of it. O’keefe, however has been – fairly- accused of it.

        The eleven minute take included his statements, and also included his absolutely stupid generalization about Americans.

        In general though I am less offended by dumb statements about nationalities than about groups of people so I would be more offended by someone bashing Muslims than Pakistanis so no its not the same for me, and the rant is about Jews with Americans as an aside.

        So, in a thread about antisemitism I mentioned anti-semitism.

        Annie, you will always find a way to make any claim anti-semitism disappear (or be just as bad as or what about what about what about? because you think every mention of it is in the service of Israel.

        I’ll remember to talk about Tibet and Syria next time I criticize Israel, okay?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 17, 2015, 11:51 pm

        I would be more offended by someone bashing Muslims than Pakistanis so no its not the same for me

        uh huh.

        So, in a thread about antisemitism I mentioned anti-semitism.

        uh huh, and in threads not about anti semitism you talk about anti semitism too. you’re a fairly reliable ‘talk about antisemitism’ kinda guy — as your archives suggest. anyway, good of you to acknowledge why the thread is less about palestine.

        The eleven minute take included his statements, and also included his absolutely stupid generalization about Americans.

        stupid? that’s all you got? pff.

        less offended by dumb statements

        so like accusations against americans as being supremacists are dumb, but when they’re said about jews they are bigoted. ok, that makes sense /not.

        you will always find a way to make any claim anti-semitism disappear ….because you think every mention of it is in the service of Israel.

        triple yawn. my archive do not bear that out.

      • tokyobk
        August 18, 2015, 12:04 am

        “so like accusations against americans as being supremacists are dumb, but when they’re said about jews they are bigoted. ok, that makes sense /not.”

        Both are dumb and bigoted by definition.

        But, yes again I think generalizing about Jews and Muslims is more offensive than about Israelis and Pakistanis. I guess you disagree.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 12:32 am

        I guess you disagree.

        not chomping on your diversion tactic does not denote either agreement or disagreement, it merely means not chomping.

        happy segue tokyobk.

      • W.Jones
        August 18, 2015, 12:33 am

        Toky,

        You wrote: “Annie, you will always find a way to make any claim anti-semitism disappear (or be just as bad as or what about what about what about? because you think every mention of it is in the service of Israel. -”

        What are you talking about? Do you know that Annie regularly censors clearly anti-Semitic posts from the Comments section. There is even a policy statement at MW against it. The rule says that people are not supposed to get on here and simply pillory Jewish culture. It is required that people engage in a respectful discussion and make only fully reasonable commentaries about it, if any.

        Here’s a proof. Make an unambiguously offensive statement pillorying the whole people. Something like that definitely won’t pass muster, Toky. There is no need to pillory Annie, either.

    • Mooser
      August 18, 2015, 10:40 am

      “A fair number of the people who comment regularly here -only- comment about Jews.”

      And gee, “tokyobk” what made you turn up?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 10:50 am

        tokyobk is setting rhetorical traps for bigots to fall into, as usual. prove you aren’t one or you are!

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 10:59 am

        “tokyobk is setting rhetorical traps for bigots to fall into, as usual. prove you aren’t one or you are!”

        I thought traps (shudder, horrible) were supposed to be camouflaged, not set off with floodlights and ringing alarms. He’ll never get enough peltz for a coat that way.

    • Danaa
      August 18, 2015, 5:20 pm

      tokyobk – the inclusion of O’Keefe was a present, left outside on the threshold, just in case a passer-by would want to pick it up. Lo and behold, you did – and then some!

      And while turning it over and examining this undesired object of derision, you gave us all a master class – through 8 or more comments (who’s counting?) – on how to divert a point [or a conversation} and score a few shots on the fly.

      As a faithful student of yours, let me just ask one question

      1. how did you get from here (here being my musings on elephants and such) to there? (there being the almost-all-inclusive “anti-semitism” club)?

      2. If I were to use my study-notes (which I assembled from your class) and share them with a select group of palestinians, waiting, as we speak, in the sweltering summer heat of a checkpoint mozying along through the cattle turnsteels, do you think they would learn a thing or two on how not to be {“anti-semitic”} and would it help quench their thirst for a drop of of that “happiness, liberty and justice for all” bucket list?

    • Danaa
      August 18, 2015, 6:05 pm

      So, Tokyobk

      Since O’keefe falls afoul of the purity standards do you think we could get you, who are no doubt pure, to go hugg an olive tree? if you did, do you think those “other Jews” (also known as israelis) would hesitate just a little longer before sending in the buldozers?

      And if we had, you, a purely-un-bigot go up against the Lobby with your purity-department-approved slingshot at hand, do you think we could get the US to not veto a Palestinian state in the UN?

      because, you know, if you were to show me how greater purity is all it would take to save just one more olive tree from the hatchet, much less one more child’s life, I would be all for purity. Heck – I would use my study notes (painstakingly collated from your lectures) to go and preach the word!

      PS sorry for making two points when I promised to make just one! unpure me!

      • just
        August 18, 2015, 11:15 pm

        You are so awesome, Danaa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here again.

        “Lo and behold – did I catch a mouse or not? and it roars too!

        If only Weir were weirder!

        If only Walt and Meirsheimer were not so professorial!

        If only Gilad did not play jazz!”

        That post made me choke on my tea!

  30. tokyobk
    August 17, 2015, 10:32 pm

    …meaning there are some people drawn to this because its the Jews and the distracting pilpul is from all sides.

    For a certain type of Jew-hobbiest the interesting part of this is precisely the Weir-JVP controversy because the hit they are after is the power dynamic of the Jews invading, manipulating, distracting, consciously or hive-mind, covering for Jews everywhere, even the Israel they claim to fight.

    Take action that away and boooooring. Back to 5 comments.

    Palestine?

    • Annie Robbins
      August 17, 2015, 10:51 pm

      perhaps you could link to some of these 5 comment threads please. thanks. the more current the better.

      Palestine?

      no doubt many people are wondering the same thing. note how this controversy is distracting the focus from where it should be. but that should please you tokyobk, since anti semitism is your favorite topic.

      • tokyobk
        August 17, 2015, 11:02 pm

        To answer your quesiton;

        Marc Ellis. He can get more comments if he touches on the right type of power story. As I said, an affirmative non-Zionism has almost no interest here.

        You know what other stories get less hits here than stories about Jewish Power? Stories about Palestinians.

        Please me? You’re wrong about my motives and interests.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 12:42 am

        please you? what does that mean? after 2 months and change of a battle between 3 large palestinian activists groups where literally thousands of comments have been made on listserves, FB pages and blogs during which time MW has been silent, we finally post something about it and get dozens of new commenters who never post here over an extremely divisive event in the not so solidarity movement and you chose this time to swoop in and make a point about the number of comments. serious ? of course there’s going to be a lot of comments.

        look on the bright side, it’s nothing about american supremacy, something you could care less about (let’s talk pakistan!)

        As I said, an affirmative non-Zionism has almost no interest here.

        so that would be a no, you can’t even link to these articles proving your point. bye, toodles and see ya round the bend —

      • tree
        August 18, 2015, 7:44 am

        You know what other stories get less hits here than stories about Jewish Power? Stories about Palestinians.

        You’re being stupid here, TBK, and you are not a stupid guy.First off, hits are not comments. One can avidly read a story and not have any comment to make. That would be the equivalent of a hit. You can likewise make a comment and not even have bothered to read the story; you are just responding to something someone said in the comment section, kind of like what you did here:

        Actually, I swooped in to make a comment about including O’Keefe on a list of people who have been accused -unfairly- of being antisemites.
        ….

        About Weir and JVP I have said nothing because I have no idea about the situation.

        So you didn’t read the article itself, otherwise you would have had a least some idea about the situation. Apparently you must have had special alert set to warn you if the name of Ken O’Keefe showed up, which would explain how you could also read the comment section and still “have no idea about the {Weir/JVP} situation”.

        You made several comments, first in response to one comment and then as part of a back and forth. Of course none of your comments had anything to do with the subject of the “roundtable”. You want us to believe that the number of comments under an article is in direct correlation to the interest in the article itself when you’ve just proven the opposite by your own actions?

        You know one column that I always start off reading but have seldom if ever commented on? The Today in Palestine compendium that Kate posts. Sometimes I don’t(can’t) finish reading it all because for the most part its all so depressing that I have to stop reading after two or three instances of the horrible crap Palestinians have to put up with. And I don’t comment because how many times can one say “Oh my God that’s terrible!”.

        But you are trying to pretend that a low number of comments means that few people have read it. Its not that simple; you showed that in your comment above, so stop with this attempt to imply that people here are more interested in discussing Jews than in Palestinians and their oppression. I promise you if a large majority of Jews would stop either oppressing Palestinians or making excuses for other Jews who are oppressing Palestinians, interest in talking about Jews would disappear overnight.

        If it makes you feel any better, yes, I agree, Ken O’Keefe is a bigot and so is Clay Douglas.

        But the main problem in Israel/Palestine, which we as Americans are subsidizing, is not the random O’Keefe’s and Douglas’. Its bigotry on the part of a large majority of Jews, in both Israel and here in the US. And frankly that’s where the emphasis should be in correcting the problem and improving the lives of Palestinians.

        If Ken O’Keefe suddenly became the epitome of universal acceptance of all of his fellow human beings, unfortunately it wouldn’t do even the single smallest thing for Palestinians. Even if the same thing happened to all the non-Jewish bigots in the world, it wouldn’t address the Palestinians’ problems one iota, because what is tormenting them is Jewish bigotry. And yet we are expected to care more about possible anti-semitism towards the oppressors in this case rather than the widespread and structural bigotry of the oppressors towards Palestinians. That is, as they say, seriously f**ked up.

      • Bornajoo
        August 18, 2015, 8:03 am

        “I promise you if a large majority of Jews would stop either oppressing Palestinians or making excuses for other Jews who are oppressing Palestinians, interest in talking about Jews would disappear overnight.”

        I said that Hophmi a few months ago and he replied that he didn’t believe me and that people like me will not stop until I see israel completely destroyed!

        “… it wouldn’t address the Palestinians’ problems one iota, because what is tormenting them is Jewish bigotry. And yet we are expected to care more about possible anti-semitism towards the oppressors in this case rather than the widespread and structural bigotry of the oppressors towards Palestinians. That is, as they say, seriously f**ked up.”

        Brilliantly stated Tree! That’s it exactly and precisely. +100!

        Thanks for your excellent comment

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 10:42 am

        “As I said, an affirmative non-Zionism has almost no interest here.”

        “An affirmative non-Zionism”? ROTFLMSJAO!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 10:48 am

        i don’t really know what that term means mooser. i was sort of trying to squirm around it thinking everyone but myself would surely know.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 11:06 am

        “i don’t really know what that term means mooser.”

        Oh, Annie, I guess it’s pretty much like knowing what ‘diddy-wah-diddy’ means. If you don’t know by now don’t mess with it!

      • Danaa
        August 18, 2015, 6:13 pm

        tree the awesome! if only I could get you to be my “straight-“man”, I know it would be an unbeatable act! might even help save a [olive] tree or two….

  31. tokyobk
    August 18, 2015, 12:52 am

    You said the long thread on anti-semtism should “please” me since I “like” to comment on it. It doesn’t. I would like nothing more than to not comment on it (I think we may agree here). But, I don’t take my commenting on it to be a problem. I actually don’t know of any other non or anti-Zionist (I consider myself the first) who does, so it ends up being people inclined to exaggerate who do so, and that also bothers me. And btw if indeed you take anti Jewish bigotry seriously that makes me happy. Happy to be wrong. I see the same pattern here however as always with you: Its not antisemitism or if it is its not worse than anything else and further even to mention it is to contribute to devaluing other forms of bigotry.

    As for linking articles, yes I m not going to do your search for you since its so easy.

    1) Hit search
    2) write Marc Ellis
    3) Look at number of comments
    4) often 3, 4 or 5 comments.

    If he writes about Jewish power he can get more. But my point was the above.

    My original point was that its easy to say that Jews and antisemitism is a diversion, and I agree it is, but its harder to acknowledge that for some/many here that is the very topic of interest.

    • bintbiba
      August 18, 2015, 9:02 am

      @ tree at 7 :44 am

      I just saw your excellent comment, Tree …

      “……Even if the same thing happened to all the non-Jewish bigots in the world, it wouldn’t address the Palestinians’ problems one iota, because what is tormenting them is Jewish bigotry. And yet we are expected to care more about possible anti-semitism towards the oppressors in this case rather than the widespread and structural bigotry of the oppressors towards Palestinians. ….”

      A great summary of a difficult and complicated mess that you have elucidated so perfectly !
      Your comments are ‘keepers.’…..as far as I’m concerned.
      Thank you !

      And your commentary about the “Today in Palestine” is spot on… I have the same problem .Very hard to go through to the end !

      • ritzl
        August 18, 2015, 10:33 am

        Yes, bintbiba, Bornajoo, and tree. Yes!

        Ditto on the “Today in Palestine” comment(er) effect.

        I would add that the articles about Palestinians and Palestinian efforts to pull themselves out of the crap that Israel continually heaps on them – they’re (your, bintbiba) efforts to simply live ordinary, self-fulfilling lives in spite of Israeli/Zionist efforts to destroy those futures – are uplifting and get many more comments.

        Mohammed Assaf, Gaza Writes Back, Rafeef Ziadah, Palfest, Emad Burnat, Alaa Radwan (@AlaaRadwan7; “Simplicity is what I’m looking for.”; http://mondoweiss.net/2014/12/learned-living-through), etc. are all remarkable examples of that resilience and uplift. All are real-life embodiments and effectors of Theodore Parker’s/MLK’s “moral arc.”*

        Annie does a great job of presenting that incomprehensively (to me anyway) positive Palestinian life force here. It balances the helplessness one gets while reading Kate’s litanies of oppression.

        Peace. Justice. Life!

        —-
        * Oh heck, while I’m at it… Theodore Parker:

        “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”[59] ()https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Parker

        And maybe to bring it ever so slightly back on topic, Alison Weir is one of the “arc benders” as well.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 19, 2015, 11:28 am

      I suppose “affirmative non-Zionism” refers to positive forms of Jewish identity that are independent of Zionism and provide alternatives to it for those who still hanker after some form of Jewish identity. Mondoweiss has in fact featured material of this kind — in particular, on the Judeo-Spanish heritage — although that is not the main purpose of the site.

    • W.Jones
      August 31, 2015, 6:39 am

      Toky,

      Who were you addressing this to:

      And btw if indeed you take anti Jewish bigotry seriously that makes me happy. Happy to be wrong. I see the same pattern here however as always with you: Its not antisemitism or if it is its not worse than anything else and further even to mention it is to contribute to devaluing other forms of bigotry.

      Did you mean Annie? Because it’s her job to block anti-Semitic comments from posters. So you may not see the time that she puts in blocking those comments.

      Also, what is your point about Ellis? Maybe some writers like myself to an extent just got lulled by his writings, which were almost daily over several years? I like Ellis though and find his writing interesting.

      Regards.

  32. tokyobk
    August 18, 2015, 1:01 am

    Actually, I swooped in to make a comment about including O’Keefe on a list of people who have been accused -unfairly- of being antisemites.

    I included a video showing why I think he has been -fairly- accused. But, then you pointed out it was acting like anti-semitism was the chosen bigotry because I did not also point out that he made bigoted remarks about Americans.

    About Weir and JVP I have said nothing because I have no idea about the situation.

    • echinococcus
      August 18, 2015, 1:16 am

      What is insulting to many people’s intelligence is the probably intentional, artfully maintained ambiguity by JVP, other Zionists and a number of other posters, on a point that doesn’t tolerate any ambiguity. Why the repeated refusal to respond?
      Once more, when you are throwing around the word antisemitism, Jew-hatred, etc., which “Jew” do you mean, i.e. do you mean group discrimination based on what necessarily comes with birth (i.e. the fact of having been born to a “Jewish”-heritage family, or “to a Jewish woman”), which obviously would be “bigoted” as you say, i.e. racist? Or do you mean religion, some cultural trait (no such thing about Jews in general anyway), or tribal behaviors, or anything else that is acquired and is fully kosher and open to any criticism?
      Or just any and all, in a big mixed pot? Simple question for simple yes-or-no answers, so we’ll know how when and if to take seriously your alarms.

      • tokyobk
        August 18, 2015, 3:13 am

        I have no idea of the JVP – Weir situation. I haven’t followed it as I mentioned. I did not comment on this thread until Daana included O’Keefe on a list of people accused (unfairly) of being an anti-Semite because he is clearly not like the others mentioned who have always avoided saying inflammatory things about Jews as a group.

        Where is the yes or no question?

        All religions, cultures, nations and tribes are open to criticism. Being a fierce critic of any of those categories does not make one a bigot.

        “Jew” has been since the Enlightenment a Venn diagram; culture, religion and heritage have all made one considered a Jew at different times in different places.. Jews and non-Jews both use this floating meanings as well as both philo and anti semites.

        Obviously someone who doesn’t like ethnic Jews simply because they are Jews is a bigot. A person who ascribes all Jews (in every category essential qualities is also imo a bigot. A person who is a strong critic of the Jewish religion or culture may or may not be a bigot. I consider myself a critic of Jewish culture and religion in fact, and not an anti-semite.

        The problem with “tribal behaviors” is that its slippery towards essentialism. What does that mean? I think people should be careful in all cases whether dealing with Jews or any other group. Often this is a mask for bigotry (since it leans into essentializing) but certainly not always.

        I don’t believe any criticism of Israel or Zionism is inherently anti-semitic. I agree with many critics of Israel that to insinuate natural Jewish allegiance to Zionism to be itself anti-semitism.

        I think threes another useful category, which I call a Jew-Hobbyist. A Jew Hobbyist is interested in Jewish power as much as any Jewish Nationalist. I don’t automatically assume this person is a racial bigot, as many or perhaps most would help their Jewish neighbor as soon as any other or associate in a friendly way with Jews. However, the Jew Hobbyist will find the Jewish power element in any story and did so long before Israel. It seems to me a good deal of Jew Hobbyists gravitate to comments sections on I/P.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 10:37 am

        ” It seems to me a good deal of Jew Hobbyists gravitate to comments sections on I/P.”

        Wow, “tokyobk” I didn’t know about the “Jew Hobbyists” here! I am going to start posting my Jewish History Action Figures, and other Jewish memorabilia here.

        Do you think I should try to sell the entire collection, or piece it out?

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 12:55 pm

        “I consider myself a critic of Jewish culture and religion in fact, and not an anti-semite.”

        So tell us, “tokyobk”, what is “Jewish culture”? I mean, by you being such a big critic, you must know exatly what it is. So ‘splain it to me, “tokyobk”

        Some people might say the notion that there is such a thing as “Jewish culture” which can be critiqued is in itself a little too silly to be considered antisemitism.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 1:21 pm

        I think threes another useful category, which I call a Jew-Hobbyist. “A Jew Hobbyist is interested in Jewish power as much as any Jewish Nationalist. I don’t automatically assume this person is a racial bigot, as many or perhaps most would help their Jewish neighbor as soon as any other or associate in a friendly way with Jews. However, the Jew Hobbyist will find the Jewish power element in any story and did so long before Israel. It seems to me a good deal of Jew Hobbyists gravitate to comments sections on I/P.”

        Awful, isn’t it, the pitfalls we Jews have to negotiate?
        “tokyobk” you should write some kind of a manual for young Jews starting out in life, a sort of “What Every Bar Mitzvah Boy Should Know.” And we haven’t even started talking about, well, the girls and the g…I mean, boys.

      • Keith
        August 18, 2015, 6:07 pm

        TOKYOBK- “However, the Jew Hobbyist will find the Jewish power element in any story and did so long before Israel.”

        I wasn’t going to comment on this thread again, however, I find your historical ignorance appalling. You are a historian? You have a problem with empirical data? Jewish power in the US literally exploded after the six day war in 1967 due to a variety of factors. In fact, it was only after World War II that Zionism became a significant force in organized Jewish life. Not to say that Jews didn’t have influence, but the type of Jewish power we are discussing on Mondoweiss is a relatively recent phenomenon. In other words, prior to the formation of Israel there were no American “Jew Hobbyists,” your disparaging label for those concerned with power relations in our current political economy. Also, prior to the six day war, there was little emphasis on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism. The current emphasis which you seem obsessed with is a manufactured awareness emphasized by Jewish elites to promote the tribal solidarity which serves their interests so well.

        No doubt you can conjure up some pre-World War II European “Jew Hobbyists” to satisfy your longing for evidence of eternal and irrational anti-Semitism. And since there is so little actual anti-Semitism currently in the US you resort to overemphasizing the statements of those of marginal influence, such as Ken O’keefe, who I was previously unaware of. You need to be more concerned with the impact of neoliberal globalization than with inconsequential anti-Semitism. Unless, of course, you imagine yourself one of those who will be favored by the emerging political economy. Ideological victimhood confers privileges?

      • echinococcus
        August 18, 2015, 8:45 pm

        All right, as soon as accusations of “antisemitism” is shown to amount to “non-racist antisemitism” we get new goalposts with “Jew-hobbyism” and the well-known accusation of “conspiracy theories”, courtesy of the nine-elevener Zionist character assassins, is now elevated to the dignity of Blood Libel And Jew-Hobbyism” (in lieu of or additional to Antisemitism?)
        You play with that in your corner. I don’t think most people have time to waste with your endless witch hunt.

      • Danaa
        August 19, 2015, 3:17 am

        Keith, this thread is hard to resist, isn’t it? your previous comment I liked too – and agreed with, largely – though alas, it’s gotten too difficult to dig things out of the first 500 comments page.

        Indeed, since the mixture of holocaust, anti-semitism (the “irrational” version), faux-biblical historicism (with a dash of histrionics), zionism and (hidden under the carpet) privilege, works so well, why cast any of the ingredients aside?

        You should look in some time (if you haven’t, which I doubt, since you seem to look far and wide) on the Chicago School of Economic, where gave us such great neo-liberalism couched with the respectable sounding “new classical economics”. Worked great for some people….

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 19, 2015, 1:06 pm

        tokyBK: “I think there’s another useful category, which I call a Jew-Hobbyist.”

        In fact I was just saying to Shmully the other day over sherry at the club, as the shadows were lengthening outside and we were settling into our comfortable chairs to once again take up the cherished old topic from where we had left off, I said to him, “Shmully old chap, I do believe I’ve found it!” …

      • Keith
        August 19, 2015, 9:16 pm

        DANAA- “Keith, this thread is hard to resist, isn’t it?”

        Yes, and it upsets me that we have spent so much time discussing anti-Semitism when actual anti-Semitism is so insignificant. I felt compelled to respond to Tokyobk because of his ongoing willful ignorance concerning the history of Zionism and Israel. This guy is supposed to be a “scholar” (Phil’s words) with a PhD in history, yet he appears to have made little or no effort to gather any facts. He simply makes things up to satisfy his conclusions, preferring strawmen and straw scenarios to factual reality. Perhaps too much truth will upset the social harmony he enjoys at his Jewish society.

        As for JVP (Jewish Voice of Power?), this little hit piece on Weir was additional proof (If any was needed) that their main concern is utilizing inferred anti-Semitism to insinuate themselves as the arbiters of acceptable discourse in the BDS movement, the plight of the Palestinians subsumed under the power seeking activities of Jewish tribalists. They are like a wrecking ball smashing cooperative efforts which don’t adhere to their agenda. What have they accomplished other than creating chaos and disharmony? Like I said at the start, it is all about power.

    • bintbiba
      August 18, 2015, 11:26 am

      @ ritzl at 10:33am

      * Oh heck, while I’m at it… Theodore Parker:

      “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.
      And maybe to bring it ever so slightly back on topic, Alison Weir is one of the “arc benders” as well. ”

      Beautiful , thanks for that ,ritzl !

    • PeaceThroughJustice
      August 18, 2015, 11:30 am

      TokyoBK: “The Jew Hobbyist will find the Jewish power element in any story and did so long before Israel. It seems to me a good deal of Jew Hobbyists gravitate to comments sections on I/P.”

      You’re just grasping the fact that the whole point of this blog is the discussion of Jewish power? Don’t you remember Phil’s family anecdote about pushing for war in Iraq? He repeats it often. People here insist on talking about how big it is and what’s it being used for and what techniques it uses because they know that there would be no I/P conflict if it were not for Jewish power here in the U.S. That’s why we “hobbyists” talk about it. Because it has been abused for so long. Why are you pretending not to know this?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 18, 2015, 12:47 pm

        maybe tokyobk doesn’t recognize the jewish power trying to take down the iran deal. you could dangle netanyahu in front of him til the cows come home and he’d be saying ‘what power’??? dozens of congresspeople traipsing off to israel on there summer break? ‘what power?’. boteach’s big add threatening persuading booker in the nyt, heck i don’t see no power. a virtual blind man.

    • Mooser
      August 18, 2015, 11:39 am

      “What is insulting to many people’s intelligence is the probably intentional, artfully maintained ambiguity by JVP, other Zionists and a number of other posters, on a point that doesn’t tolerate any ambiguity. Why the repeated refusal to respond?”

      Why the ambiguity? Well, unfortunately, I can think of one very bad reason.
      What if the people who join Tzedek start asking ‘why the ambiguity’? And pointing out as you do, that the subject doesn’t admit of much ambiguity?
      That is, what if the people who join Tzedek try to lead it towards its only possible non-ambiguous position?
      Better muddy the hell out of the water, instead. Much better than facing that.

      • echinococcus
        August 19, 2015, 4:40 am

        Something in that, Mooser. Scratching head.

  33. mcohen.
    August 18, 2015, 8:34 am

    the other day an “anonymous” accused me of being an anti-semite on a MOA post….what the hell it made me smile…ex yeshiva boy being called an anti semite,…….

    i am so sorry uncle albert

    but it is indeed bullsh.t

    what are you playing with phil…..your marbles….trying to find a new definition of anti-semite so you can safely criticise israeli,s but not offend the other 6 million odd jews

    it is impossible to seperate anti-semitism from judaism…they are two sides of the same coin.a counter balance…….yes my friend judaism evolves through this very process,a neccessary process,whatever the consequences,however tragic,judaism must be continually refined so it can evolve and set a spiritual standard

    the great sifting out of the profane…..the vanities……the excess

    are the prophets anti semites or are they the hand of G-d

    do you criticise the jews in israel out of love for G-d or is it hatred of the other

    thats it right there …….alison weir

    • Mooser
      August 18, 2015, 11:18 am

      “mcohen” I simply don’t understand you. Why would you, with your lyin’ eyes wide open, give the Moderator the chance to do this to you?

      • mcohen.
        August 18, 2015, 4:23 pm

        mooser

        lying eyes……..good words almost comforting

        mooser i was one of a few jews in a roman catholic boarding school from ages 6-12 …..i know exactly the difference between constructive criticism and jew hatred……..l know the difference between ignorance and wilful hatred…….the Moderator should take note……..the catholics refused to make a room available for my bar mitzvah lessons so i had them in the rabbi,s car in a parking lot,because the jew priest was not allowed into the building

        you want to point a finger,make sure you washed your hands.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 10:20 am

        “mooser i was one of a few jews in a roman catholic boarding school from ages 6-12 …..i”

        My brother! You and I is pals from now on! “McCohen” look in my archives, and you will see the story of the summer I was supposed to go to a YMHA summer camp, but my dumb parents enrolled me at a freakin’ YMCA camp!

        I can still sing “There is a bomb (all hit table) in Gilad to make the Atzmon whole”

        And McCohen, you got off easy. This was an all boys camp. You’re complaining about being stuck in with a bunch of Catholic girls? I wouldn’t! Watch out, butter, here comes the hot knife! Ever seen one that’s customized, girls? C’mon Virginia, don’t make me wait!

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 8:29 pm

        Speaking of the notorious antisemite jazz player, Gilad Atzmon, the rogue has a new article up today analyzing the plight of the newly discovered antisemitic prospective head of the Labor Party, one Jeremy Corbyn.

        Despite the article’s obvious antisemitic undertones and subtext, I found it well worthy reading.

        https://platosguns.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/jeremy-corbyn-and-the-jews-gilad-atzmonveterans-today/

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 10:32 am

        .“the catholics refused to make a room available for my bar mitzvah lessons so i had them in the rabbi,s car in a parking lot,”

        In the back seat of his trusty ’57 Chevy? That’s how it is, “McCohen”, we’re always ‘running against the wind!’

      • PeaceThroughJustice
        August 19, 2015, 1:35 pm

        mcohen: “yes my friend judaism evolves through this very process,a neccessary process,whatever the consequences,however tragic,judaism must be continually refined so it can evolve and set a spiritual standard.”

        Well I’m happy to see your time in the Catholic boarding school doesn’t seem to have set back your theological studies.

        BTW, I haven’t read the book yet so if you could give me the short version — this whole process of tragic refinement, what happens in the end? Is there anything I should be worried about?

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2015, 11:21 pm

        “— this whole process of tragic refinement, what happens in the end? Is there anything I should be worried about?”

        Maybe not you, I wouldn’t know, but I’m worried. Last time they needed to refine us, they went messing with our privates. They give us any more “refinement”, and Jewish continuity will be a moot point!

  34. Stephen Shenfield
    August 18, 2015, 9:09 am

    The parallel with anti-Americanism is a productive one. As a Brit I am susceptible to this form of bigotry but have tried to overcome it.

    Both Jews and Americans are enmeshed in oppressive power structures — Zionism and US imperialism, respectively. Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are mainly reactions to those power structures (before Zionism anti-Semitism had a different character, but that is the present reality). While natural and understandable, these reactions are bigoted in focusing on Jews or Americans as individuals and assigning them negative traits as the essence of their identity. The focus should be on the power structures and those most responsible for maintaining them. If I despise a person as shallow and selfish on the sole grounds that he or she is an American that is bigotry. And whatever horrors US imperialism may be perpetrating in the world, if I derive satisfaction from the suffering of the naively patriotic young kids who get mutilated and killed in its service then that is bigotry (not to mention sadism).

    That said, the most effective way of dealing with anti-Americanism or anti-Semitism is to target the sources of these phenomena — US imperialism and Zionism. Reducing anti-Semitism should not be a primary motive for anti-Zionist activity by Jews, but it is a positive side effect. Let me recount an incident that brought this home to me.

    I was involved for a time in the International Jewish Peace Union, founded by the late Maxim Ghilan. I was one of the speakers at an event held by their New York group. Afterward I was approached by a man who quizzes me as follows: Did I really mean the things I had said about Israel? Yes. And are you Jewish? Yes. He pauses and then asks me the same two questions again. Another long pause. Evidently I embodied a new phenomenon for him. Then in an apologetic tone he says that he has been an anti-Semite but now he sees he was wrong.

    Perhaps our marathon on anti-Semitism (or whatever you want to call it) is helpful in clearing the air, but it is a distraction from the task of fighting Zionism. The fight against Zionism is in itself — automatically — a fight against its evil twin.

    • RoHa
      August 18, 2015, 9:37 am

      “Anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism are mainly reactions to those power structures ”

      I suspect (solely, I admit, on extrapolation from my own reactions) that at least some anti-Semitism stems from irritation at hearing Jews moan about it all the time.

      • Stephen Shenfield
        August 18, 2015, 12:07 pm

        RoHa: That I can understand. Even some Jews get irritated at hearing other Jews moan about it. But you are under no obligation to listen. Try to change the subject or if that fails walk away.

      • irishmoses
        August 18, 2015, 4:57 pm

        Stephen,
        Let me add to Roha’s comment. What is truly objectionable is the use of the term, antisemitism, as a means of stifling debate or sullying the reputation of undeserving opponents. So it’s not just the “poor me” attitude, it’s also the crying wolf aspect. The sum of both tends to diminish the impact of the term where it properly should be used.

      • RoHa
        August 18, 2015, 12:27 pm

        Stop reading MW?

        I’m not talking about private conversations. I’m talking about the constant moaning in public fora, in news media, in films and TV shows, and so forth.

        I’d have to cut myself off from the world to get away from it.

      • Mooser
        August 18, 2015, 12:28 pm

        Oh, some moaning isn’t so irritating.

      • MRW
        August 18, 2015, 5:08 pm

        Stephen, you can’t change the channel when it’s on all the channels.

  35. unverified__5ilf90kd
    August 18, 2015, 5:30 pm

    “Oh, some moaning isn’t so irritating.”

    Mooser – that is like something Trump would say.

    • Mooser
      August 19, 2015, 10:36 am

      “Mooser – that is like something Trump would say.”

      Maybe, but not like Lambert, Hendricks and Ross.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 19, 2015, 11:38 am

      Irishmoses: I agree 150%

      RoHa: You don’t have to leave the planet. You can go to China.

      The exchange on moaning reminds me of the joke about the Jewish train passenger who annoys those around him by constantly moaning about how thirsty he is. Eventually someone brings him a glass of water. He drinks and settles down. Everyone heaves a sigh of relief. Then he starts up again: “Oy veh, how thirsty I was!”

  36. mariapalestina
    August 18, 2015, 9:15 pm

    How can I not love Hedy Epstein? 91 years old and losing none of her feistiness, refusing to be bullied into joining the voices raised against Alison Weir (as she refused to be bullied by voices against Greta Berlin.)

    “Hedy Epstein, a holocaust survivor and dedicated activist for Palestine, has helped arrange a book talk for Alison Weir at the St. Louis Public Library, on Saturday, November 7 at 2 pm.”

    Don’t know how many of you have met Hedy, or heard her speak. I am blessed to have spent many weeks in her company, travelling to and around Palestine, and when she speaks in the Los Angeles area she usually stays with me. A few years ago, when Hedy, Greta, Alison and I were together in France, we rented a car and drove to Rivesaltes Concentration Camp in the Pyrenees, so that Hedy could seek out the site in Vichy France where her mother had written the last letter Hedy ever received from her, in August 1942. (She had told us she’d visited all the other camps where her parents had been interned, and wanted so much to go to Rivesaltes.) We found the camp, abandoned and ignored. We even located Barracks 21 where Hedy’s mother had been held until all 2251 Jews, including 110 children, were loaded on trains – the overgrown tracks are still there – and sent off to Auschwitz. (Hedy’s father was in a different camp in the same area. He was also sent to Auschwitz.)

    The three of us stayed outside and watched as this tiny woman stood for around 10 minutes in this cavernous brick building, one of a few still partially standing, holding that last letter from her mother, clearly overcome by emotion. Finally as she turned away, her skirt was caught by the thorns of some wild flowering plants inside the building, and she gave us a tearful smile and said: “See, they don’t want me to leave.”

    Hedy was an only child. She spent the war years in England and afterwards worked for the Americans as an interpreter at Nuremberg. It is unconscionable to me that some fellow activists for Palestine are shunning her now because, it seems, they disapprove of some of the company she keeps.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 18, 2015, 11:56 pm

      Finally as she turned away, her skirt was caught by the thorns of some wild flowering plants inside the building, and she gave us a tearful smile and said: “See, they don’t want me to leave.”

      wow, what a potent memory. the image i can just imagine it. thank you for taking us there mariapalestinia. it sounds like an incredible experience going there with her. what an amazing lady.

      • just
        August 19, 2015, 12:26 am

        Totally agree, Annie.

        Many sincere thanks for sharing that, mariapalestina.

        You keep wonderful company. Thank you for your steadfast devotion.

    • Bornajoo
      August 19, 2015, 3:32 am

      “It is unconscionable to me that some fellow activists for Palestine are shunning her now because, it seems, they disapprove of some of the company she keeps.”

      Thanks for sharing that incredible story Mariapalestina

      Unfortunately it appears that nobody, whoever they are, will be spared by the “Purity Brigade” (term borrowed from Tree) if your name makes it onto their list

      As I’ve been reading into this issue which has taken me to quite a few different places I’m also learning from some of the same people, that I must be a right wing, white supremacist fascist because I regularly read Counterpunch. Oh well, who am I to argue? I think I’ll just make a cuppa and wait for them to take me away and burn me at the stake

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 12:08 pm

        What a wonderful (yet horrifying) story that gives us insight into the essence of Alison Weir framed in the context of the holocaust. And now we are to believe these 4 brave women are antisemites or at least people who associate with known antisemites?

        “Herem the heretics” demands the madding crowd. “We’re hungry, we need to be fed, so feed us some of our own.”

        What a revolting, disgusting spectacle this has become.

        Mariapalestina, if I were a Palestinian I would adopt you as one of my own.

  37. Stephen Shenfield
    August 19, 2015, 11:49 am

    This debate has now dropped to the bottom slot in its column on the home page. Soon it will disappear from view. Before long it will be closed to new comments. With what result? The preponderance of opinion seems to be in favor of Allison Weir. Perhaps Phil and Adam will display a concluding statement in her support?

    • irishmoses
      August 19, 2015, 12:29 pm

      Don’t forget that if you click on “Notify me of followup comments by email” after you have first posted a reply on a thread, you will continue to get all comments sent to you even though the thread itself may have disappeared from the MW homepage. This function also allows you to review thread comments as they are made without having it search through the entire thread looking for new comments. It’s an invaluable tool which also allows you to reply to a comment even when the reply button has disappeared on the thread page. I don’t know what I’d do without it.

      • Pixel
        August 19, 2015, 2:23 pm

        Thanks, IM.

        Didn’t know that.

      • Bornajoo
        August 19, 2015, 6:31 pm

        “It’s an invaluable tool which also allows you to reply to a comment even when the reply button has disappeared on the thread page. I don’t know what I’d do without it.”

        True IM. It usually is for me but I still can’t find your comment where you divide up the 2 pro Palestinian groups into your own terminologies. That was an interesting comment but I can’t find it right now

        So IM, do you think we might be living through and experiencing the “Great Schism”? Is this the point where the two groups say farewell and go their separate ways? Is any reconciliation possible?

        Strange how this has happened just as things were finally going well and some good progress was being made. And what would be the exact thing the Zionists would want right now to stop the momentum? Well a split in the opposition of course. Nothing like a good bit of division and infighting, very similar to what happened between Fatah and Hamas and I wonder how that all started? That’s worked wonders for them too

        Coincidental? Maybe. But I’m a very cynical chap by nature

        On another thread, Jennifer Hitchcock suggested that Alison Weir might be a zionist agent. I seriously doubt that. However if there are any zionist agents at work here then they are far more likely to be coming from the side that initiated this smear campaign in the first place. That makes MUCH more sense. To me anyway

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 7:30 pm

        Bornajoo,
        1. Go to my last comment (this one) and click on the highlighted Irish Moses at the top left. That will take you to my comments in this thread and others. Scroll down until you find the one you are looking for (it starts with Danaa). You can read it there or click on the link to see it within this thread.

        2. As to the Great Schism, if I’m right about the different goals between the two factions (Liberal Zionist and Palestinian Justice), there wouldn’t seem to be a lot of commonality to build on. Rather than seeking Kumbaya, I would prefer we spent some time hashing out the specific goals of our Palestinian Justice Faction. i.e. What represents true justice for the Palestinians? What compromises are acceptable, what are not? That sort of thing. In other words, let’s first start with a definition of who we are and what we stand for and then leave it to the Liberal Zionist Faction to decide whether who we are is acceptable to them. I suspect there are a lot of JVP members who lean more toward our side than the other. I’d like to see a group formed that represents our Palestinian Justice Faction.

        3. I agree with you that this schism may be a ploy to divide and weaken us. Still, there seem to be some pretty significant differences among us. Doctrinal purity (Danaa’s reference to the squabbles of the Bolsheviks is spot on) seems to be the goal with damage control being the subtext. All Danaa left out was the ice pick solution. Nonetheless, divide and conquer has a long and ignoble history, starting with the wonderful Brits who used it to great effect during the glorious days of the empire including some of the less-glorious efforts in Ireland and Palestine. The chaos we see now in the Levant seems to be the apex of divide and conquer as practiced by Israel. In fact, it’s part of Israeli defense doctrine. Look up Yinon Plan for details. Here’s a brilliant analysis by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski: http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014/07/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

        4. Alison Weir, a Zionist agent? Bingo, that explains everything. We were looking for love in all the wrong places. What a steel trap mind that Jennifer has.

      • Bornajoo
        August 20, 2015, 5:07 pm

        “Here’s a brilliant analysis by Dr. Stephen Sniegoski”

        http://mycatbirdseat.com/2014/07/the-unfolding-of-yinons-zionist-plan-for-the-middle-east-the-crisis-in-iraq-and-the-centrality-of-the-national-interest-of-israel/

        Yes it certainly is! Many thanks IM! Sorry for the late reply but working is a real nuisance!

        You made another great comment. I agree with your analysis and suggestions:

        “I would prefer we spent some time hashing out the specific goals of our Palestinian Justice Faction. i.e. What represents true justice for the Palestinians? What compromises are acceptable, what are not? That sort of thing. In other words, let’s first start with a definition of who we are and what we stand for and then leave it to the Liberal Zionist Faction to decide whether who we are is acceptable to them. I suspect there are a lot of JVP members who lean more toward our side than the other. I’d like to see a group formed that represents our Palestinian Justice Faction.” +1!

        And another terrific comment by Danaa too. This has been an enlightening thread. Have to say another huge THANK YOU to Annie (and any other moderators) for keeping this going. Really grateful

    • Annie Robbins
      August 19, 2015, 5:31 pm

      stephen, sometimes stories are published at such a pace in a category (all stories are separated by categories on the front page when they are originally published) that they drop off the same day they are published.if you click on the category (which we attempt to make logically) you can find them listed in the order they were published.

      this article is listed under “activism” (the categories are listed at the top of every page, click on them) in the order in which it was originally publisehd by DATE. here is the activism thread:

      http://mondoweiss.net/activism

      this story is the 3rd one down.

  38. Mooser
    August 19, 2015, 12:47 pm

    I can’t take much more of this discussion. I’ve been wrong about everything, and to top it off, I found out “elucidate” is a word!
    In fact, the thread got me so upset, I took several sleeping pills before I was elucidated enough to fall asleep.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 19, 2015, 2:17 pm

      LOL! elucidated sounds like getting drunk doesn’t it?

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 5:22 pm

        “LOL! elucidated sounds like getting drunk doesn’t it?”

        I have my doubts about “segue”, too. And it doesn’t sound like anything! I was going to say that segue is “insidious”, but now I’m not sure if that is a word. I guess it’s going to be one of those days! Oh well. Sorry.

    • eGuard
      August 19, 2015, 4:34 pm

      Mooser, back in time when it was about Gilad Atzmon, you were crisp and clear, all over internet.

      But now wrt Weir you retrack into semi-detachment? semi-cynicism? semi-judgement? Please explain your joke.

      • Mooser
        August 20, 2015, 11:47 pm

        “Mooser, back in time when it was about Gilad Atzmon, you were crisp and clear, all over internet.”

        I know, but since then I seem to have slipped into some sort of pathetic senescence. I’ll end up a slippered pantaloon, just you wait.

        “Please explain your joke.”

        Joke’s on me. Expected, hoped for more from JVP. They ought to know that they can’t expect other people to have a better understanding of Jews than we have of ourselves .And with Tzedek starting up, a particularly bad time to do this.

  39. Parity
    August 19, 2015, 1:14 pm

    Stephen Shenfield,

    I want to thank you in particular for helping me understand what anti-Semitism is, but I would like to ask you another question. Do you think Clay Douglas is a white supremacist? As far as I can see, his issue is more about control than about race. His reason for being attracted to a worldview that blames Jews for many of our problems seems to me to arise from not wanting to be controlled. Please look at his website and let me know what you think (www.freeamerican.com). I am just tried to retrieve the Spencer Sunshine article that discussed Clay Douglas and white supremacy, but I can’t get it anymore. It seems to me that if someone is really concerned about anti-Semitism and Jew hatred when classical anti-Semitism no longer exists might prefer to couch conspiracy theorists as white supremacists rather than as anti-Semites. Basically, depicting Clay Douglas as a white supremacist is important to the logic that is being presented by JVP and the Campaign that you have to keep the movement strictly focused on human rights and the power structure that supports racism and human rights abuses. The irony is that Clay Douglas is very much focused on the power structure–he just has a different version of it. I don’t think his view that Jews have too much control translates into wanting to harm them. It translates into wanting to find ways to set up independent banking systems, Liberty Villages, etc. Please comment before we end this discussion. Thanks.

    • W.Jones
      August 19, 2015, 1:38 pm

      Parity,

      If you comb through Douglas’ website enough, you can find a full cornucopia of nonsensical statements against “the Jews” as a whole group, and I am not going to repeat the trash here unless you force it to be an issue.

      Trying to defend all of Douglas’ views would be worse than shooting yourself in the foot, and even Weir told him in one of the interviews that she had different views on racism than he did. The only issue is whether progressive groups should ban Weir for failing to oppose his racism strongly enough, or whether JVP and ETO are wrong to do so.

    • Stephen Shenfield
      August 19, 2015, 2:06 pm

      I am sorry but I don’t have time to make a full assessment of Clay Douglas. I have just looked briefly at his site and very quickly noted several signs of classical anti-Semitism. The clearest of these signs is his promotion and quoting of the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a classic of anti-Semitic literature. It purports to be a record of a meeting of rabbis at night in a cemetery in Prague to consider the strategy of the Jewish World Conspiracy, but was actually written by the tsarist secret police (Okhrana).

      We cannot tell from a public website what his intentions toward Jews are. His priority is to convince people that Jews want to harm THEM.

      I was not able to determine whether he is a white supremacist. I would expect so because these things usually go together. It requires further investigation.

      It is true that there are a highly disproportionate number of Jews among big bankers in this country. This was also the case in Weimar Germany and in Russia in the 1990s, where people spoke of the “rule of the seven bankers” all but one of whom was Jewish by origin. I would question how much it matters to the American people at large. What difference would it make if all the big bankers were Gentiles? Do Jewish and Gentile bankers have different views on economic issues or behave in different ways? I don’t think so. Both Jewish and Gentile bankers base their views and policies on the neoliberal dogma of the Chicago School — not the Talmud.

      • yonah fredman
        August 19, 2015, 3:30 pm

        Stephen- How many big bankers are there in this country? What assets or loans or actions must a banker undertake in order to be categorized as a big banker? How many of the big bankers are Jews? This statement that there is a highly disproportionate number of Jews among the big bankers in this country should be backed up by facts. Otherwise it is not a fact, but a supposition.

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 3:57 pm

        Given a choice, I’d prefer a good old-fashioned Jewish banker to one of those newbie Chicago School neo-lib dogs. I also have an affinity for Jewish philosophers, Jewish delis, but not so much Jewish shrinks (other than the first one that invented it all). How about a Jewish strong safety? Nah.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 5:29 pm

        “This was also the case in Weimar Germany”

        A short-lived, tumultuous phase in Germany’s history between the wars.

      • Mooser
        August 19, 2015, 5:35 pm

        ” I also have an affinity for Jewish philosophers, Jewish delis,….”

        Consider carefully; a Deli with no Ham, no Ham (or any other meat) with Swiss (or Cheddar or Jack or Provolone) no Sausage. No Italian Sausage-and-Peppers….and a lot of other things, too.

      • irishmoses
        August 19, 2015, 8:21 pm

        What, what?
        You say I’ve been missing, deprived by limiting my culinary ventures to Jewish delis? How can that be? Tomorrow, I shall venture into the rarified world of the Eye-talian deli. What’s this sausage stuff? And ham, ham? Is that like Spam (a true delicacy)?

        Thank you Mr. Mooser, but I must warn you that your comment and suggestion reveals a certain lack of loyalty, perhaps disloyalty, perhaps (horrors!) heresy. I suggest you lie low for awhile (like the cows do) and hope “they” haven’t noticed.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 12:22 am

        “a certain lack of loyalty, perhaps disloyalty, perhaps (horrors!) heresy. -“

        No! No! There was no evil intent!
        I was young and didn’t know what I was doing when I put that first bit of bacon between my baby-teeth, defiling the lips with which I had recently lisped my first childish brochas. Sure, at first it was just two strips with a short stack at the local pancake house, but little did I know the depths of depravity and degeneration I would sink to. Soon I was eating sausage, but only the little ‘breakfast’ kind, I told myself, “I can get along on a fix in the morning, and I’m good…” Oh, that’s what I told myself, but if I was a fish, I’d be called a ‘Treifophagus‘ And I also found out a clambake isn’t some kind of hillbilly anthropophagy. (Everybody pronounces it “clembake” back on Longuyland)
        Anyway, once I got ahold of one of those Italian sausage-and-peppers sandwiches, with a side of spaghetti and white clam sauce, I knew I was hooked. Before I knew it, I was scarfing up Littlenecks and Cherrystones at Neptune’s Grotto with my Dad. No wonder I turned out a Treifaholic.

      • RoHa
        August 21, 2015, 4:35 am

        “And I also found out a clambake isn’t some kind of hillbilly anthropophagy. ”

        Cannibalism is kosher?

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 11:18 am
      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 2:03 pm

        “Cannibalism is kosher?”

        You are what you eat.

  40. Parity
    August 19, 2015, 4:07 pm

    Thanks to all for your good insights.

  41. eGuard
    August 19, 2015, 4:28 pm

    What a smear. What a despicable campaign. Flimsy arguments. Guilt by association. And JVP nor US Campaign did notice they were misguided.

    This person talked with Arabs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Isra%C3%ABl_de_Haan

  42. eGuard
    August 19, 2015, 6:12 pm

    All together, again it is the Jewish organisation who wants to say who is allowed to talk. On behalf of Palestinians.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 19, 2015, 7:46 pm

      eto is not a jewish org. they have agency too.

      • eGuard
        August 19, 2015, 9:18 pm

        “eto”? Is not in the three original posts. It only hits by ” rhETOric”. But hey, annie, you diverted again. My Q is: why should a jewish org judge on such nill fact? By now, I add that the mixture of “anti-Semitism” and “racism” is another sign of sloppy reasoning. And, more importantly: disgusting smearing. Disgusting. I’m not surprised that even “liberal Zionist Beinart” loving Mondoweiss has not chosen side.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2015, 7:32 am

        sorry, i meant end the occupation, or US campaign to end the israeli occupation. and i wasn’t diverting, i was making the point that this action is not being taken solely by jewish people.

      • eGuard
        August 20, 2015, 8:04 pm

        annie: action … not being taken solely by jewish people.

        No, not solely. As in: “It’s not only Schumer opposing the Iran deal. Cory Booker might do too (and you know: he’s black!)”

  43. mariapalestina
    August 19, 2015, 8:21 pm

    @mcohen
    “the catholics refused to make a room available for my bar mitzvah lessons …”

    Gee, mcohen, does that include me? All of the world’s Catholics, or just the ones at your racist school? I guess I have to start being a bit more sensitive to generalizations like that made about my tribe.

    • irishmoses
      August 20, 2015, 1:42 am

      Mariapalestina, As a former member in good standing of the True Church, I too take offense at this attack on my once and former faith/tribe.

  44. Danaa
    August 20, 2015, 12:25 am

    On a different direction – First a quote from tree (up-thread, maybe the 4th comment):

    tree August 16, 2015, 10:03 pm

    interesting side note: In Amith Gupta’s piece he cites this passage from the JVP FAQs section to compare their own questionable identity politics with Weir’s

    Q: Why are you a Jewish group? Can’t you just be a peace group?

    “A: … “Because we are Jews, we have a particular legitimacy in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies. As Jews, we can make the distinction between real anti-Semitism and the cynical manipulation of that issue to shield Israel from legitimate criticism.

    This later disappeared from JVP site, but I assume the sentiment expressed in the Answer still stands, and we see it in fact reflected in many of jhitchcok’s answers.

    My comment: I seriously question the special “legitimacy [as Jews] in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies” I question that principally because I believe American jews understand very little about Israel in general and Israeli Jews in particular. In fact, I would go further and say that American Jews (can’t speak for the English variant but suspect it’s similar) are uniquely ill-suited to either understand Israel, or Israelis, or be successful in countering israel’s actions. Just because there is a tenuous connection running through the thread “Jewish” does not mean the two groups – Israelis and Jews outside – have not parted company, and are in fact on fast diverging trajectories.

    For one thing – think about this: the vast majority of American jews cannot speak Hebrew or understand it when spoken or read in it or, indeed, comprehend the dynamics of a language that has a vocabulary that’s 20 times smaller than English. Neither are most israelis (who do not hail from anglo background) speak English or read it with any great comfort or fluency. They can use it as tourists, or get an easy joke, or follow a simple script but that’s about it. I know that because I was there. And all you who have studied Spanish in school know exactly how helpful it was for carrying on an in depth conversation in that language. The separation of language goes deep – it means that American jews do not read the haaretz in hebrew or the Israeli facebook posts or follow the daily racuous bpolitical back and forth. They know little of what is of concern to actual israelis, be it thier own rapidly increasing inequality or the endemic corruption that screams every day from the headlines. They know little about the gigantic gap, actually a canyon, between the religious – who are taking over, and the seculars. Or the equally deep separation between ashkenazi and mizrahi descendants. They don’t know how torn apart israel is along different constituencies – and that’s before we even bring Arabs into the mix.

    Yet, knowing nothing they propose “solutions”, profess to speak to Palestinians about “anti-semitism” (which means zilch in an Israeli context), and strive to limit terms of discourse in the US. I realize many JVP’ers are no doubt thinking/hoping that Gideon levy/Amira hass/Uri Avnery/and another 20 or so are somehow representative of a group that’s greater than 20-30,000 max in the entire country (OK, I am assuming many of the disaffected along these lines moved out of israel, thinning the numbers further). They – the well-meaning jews of America and groups like JVP – know not a tiny bit more than any other non-Jewish American. In fact, the latter may know more, because they sometimes take pains to learn more.

    Therefore, I have maintained for some time now, that -groups that profess to speak – as Jews – to thereby garner “legitimacy”, are in fact unqualified to take the lead role in the struggle FOR Palestinian rights. The palestinians who are over there, not over here. The Palestinians who have to deal with israelis as they are, not as we imagine them to be. IMO, the key ingredient missing in the jewish peace goulash is humility. The kind of humility that accepts one’s role as an outsider to the conflict, something that just about every non-Jewish American does. The absence of humility means that people ascribe success to actions that produce some noise in the US for example, but do next to nothing to get Israel to move one iota in a more humane direction. All these discussions about BDS – outside and within the Green lines – the two vs one state, the so-called “anti-semitism” – it’s all just white noise to the Israelis.

    What the movement really needs are people who are more thoughtful, less arrogant and truly interested in helping the plight of palestinians, or for that matter the plight of an America that lost control of its foreign policy (ie, its empire – you hear that, keith?). people who are jewish and not, Arab and not, white and not, even ex-israelis here and there. People who are perhaps a bit less doe-eyed about “peace” and more inclined for affecting actual, real change on the ground. There are obviously many such people on these boards. I think we should perhaps archive this great discussion precipitated by the banishing of Weir, and start thinking more pro-actively and perhaps productively. For myself, I says, young/old, white/not-white, guy/not guy, sort-of-left/sort-of-right, should all be welcome if they agree on some basic goals and are willing to contribute productively, even if they disagree on all kind of other issues . I don’t mind it if I have to make common cause with, say, yonah, even if we disagree on much, as long as we agree on what the central goal is – not to save the jews, who obviously need no saving at this point, but to save the Palestinians, who obviously do.

    How’s that?

    • just
      August 20, 2015, 1:24 am

      “How’s that?”

      It’s stunning.

      “I seriously question the special “legitimacy [as Jews] in voicing an alternative view of American and Israeli actions and policies” I question that principally because I believe American jews understand very little about Israel in general and Israeli Jews in particular.”

      That makes great sense to me! Then you go further and explain it so well. Never, ever have I read such a descriptive and informational piece about Israeli demographics and complexities.

      The content of your last two paragraphs literally brought tears to my eyes. Your suggestions and proposals are precisely what is needed.

      Thank you. I really value your ideas and your comments, Danaa.

      I also happen to be a big fan of your sense of humor. ;-)

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2015, 8:02 am

        Is there some way Danaa could be made President of the U.S.? Or at least Sec. Of State?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2015, 9:25 am

        no. i think she was born in israel. maybe sec of state. what are the rules on that?

      • just
        August 20, 2015, 9:22 am

        +1, RoHa!

      • just
        August 20, 2015, 9:36 am

        iirc, Kissinger and Albright were both naturalized US citizens.

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2015, 10:11 am

        “no. i think she was born in israel.”

        Pity. But we all make mistakes. I suppose it’s a bit late to fix that.

    • irishmoses
      August 20, 2015, 2:02 am

      Your comment made me realize how really uninformed I am. I think the main effort, at least for me, is to attempt to expose what really happened in this country and how we lost control of our own Middle East foreign policy. The current Iran deal debate or disturbance lays out the problem very clearly. If the American public could be made aware of what has happened, I suspect the ship of state could make a pretty rapid turn, which is pretty much what Obama was saying in his speech, which of course was antisemitic in its implications.

      Getting America refocused is a lot to ask but accomplishing that could do wonders for the Palestinians.

    • bintbiba
      August 20, 2015, 3:57 am

      WOW, triple WOW !!
      Danaa,

      Breathtaking !!

      !’m so overawed by your comments and personality….I have no words—

      ‘stunning’ is the closest I can think of that could be apt. ( to quote ‘Just’ and Bornajoo )
      Please don’t ever go away again.

      • bintbiba
        August 20, 2015, 10:27 am

        RoHa August 20, 2015, 8:02 am

        “Is there some way Danaa could be made President of the U.S.? Or at least Sec. Of State?”

        If only , RoHa !!!…. but does such a decent ,intelligent, integrity-endowed , talented , humble individual as Danaa ever get to become an acceptable politician ? Won’t lie , won’t dissemble , won’t promise , won’t prevaricate , …….shall I go on ?….. …….

    • Boomer
      August 20, 2015, 6:14 am

      Danaa,

      Thanks for your informed and insightful comment, which you conclude by emphasizing what should be the central goal, something that too often gets lost here (and in American discourse generally):

      “– not to save the jews, who obviously need no saving at this point, but to save the Palestinians, who obviously do.”

      Ten years ago an interesting plan to help Palestinians was published by the RAND Corporation. It was called “The Arc.” http://friendsofthearc.org By then I had become discouraged about prospects for constructive change, but this seemed like something that most Americans and others outside Israel could support, and many people in Israel could support too. Regardless of whether there was to be one state or two, it would be helpful. The plan received a little publicity, in the NY Times and elsewhere.

      It would be a “win-win” for all residents of the region. It could be financed with a fraction of what the U.S. gives to Israel. Using some of what we give Israel for this purpose would not really be hurting Jewish Israelis, because they would benefit too. (Actually, they would benefit more from peace and prosperity in the region than from some additional fighter jets.)

      I understood that some right-wing Israelis would not like to give anything to Palestinians, nor would they want to concede that Palestinians had a right to remain where they are. But I thought that the US would welcome such a plan, and the UN too. Together with like-minded people in the region, something like the Arc seemed desirable and doable.

      But Israel started another “war.” (I put it in quotes because the disproportion in power between Israel and its neighbors makes the word “war” inappropriate.) Bush, then Obama, defended Israel’s “right to defend itself,” and used America’s veto at the UN to preclude action on behalf of the Palestinians. The “Arc” proposal was quickly forgotten.

      I still find it hard to believe that our politicians behave as they do. I still think that there is a silent majority of Americans who would welcome any constructive steps to help the Palestinians, and to reduce American complicity in their oppression.

      • Boomer
        August 20, 2015, 9:53 am

        PS re helping the Palestinians (and everyone else in the process)

        As I mentioned, the Rand Corporation’s “Arc” proposal was quickly forgotten when headlines of fresh carnage took the media’s attention. I recall Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice being asked, on one of the Sunday news talk shows, why the U.S. didn’t call for a cease fire to end the killing. She said that it would be “premature” to end before the “fundamental problem” was addressed. As if the “fundamental problem” were an insufficient number of Palestinians and their supporters having been killed. As if the “fundamental problem” were not the long-standing, on-going dispossession and oppression of the native inhabitants of the region. The Orwellian language outraged me then, and still. Rice, and Bush, claimed to lead a “Transformational Diplomacy” for the region. How ironic.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Condoleezza_Rice

      • irishmoses
        August 20, 2015, 10:48 am

        I looked over the Rand ARC proposal several years ago. It was an amazing project. It had to cost a lot to create it. It’s probably still available on the Rand website.

      • Boomer
        August 20, 2015, 12:51 pm

        irishmoses (at 10:48 a.m.), yes, the original Rand proposal is still online:
        http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9119/index1.html

        There is also a separate site dedicated to the “ARC” plan:
        http://friendsofthearc.org

        The Arc plan was developed and presented in the context of a “two state solution” but I think its elements could also be applied in the context of a “one state” solution, which I know that many people associated with this site advocate. I don’t express a preference about one state vs. two because I don’t know what would be best, and because I don’t live there.

        Presumably, even in a one state solution, there would be Palestinian areas, unless Israel’s ethnic cleansing continues. I don’t see anything that will impede Israel’s policy, so long as the U.S. defends Israel against all international pressure for a more equitable solution.

        To me, it seems only fair that the U.S. stop protecting Israel against international sanctions, and only fair that we provide substantial aid to the Palestinians in the region. I also think that–having helped to deprive them of their homes and their homeland–we should allow those Palestinians who wish to come to the U.S. to do so.

    • diasp0ra
      August 20, 2015, 7:03 am

      Thank you for the great comment.

      The thing about the “special legitimacy of Jewish groups” is that they are Jewish. There are people who are nuanced and informed that know better, such as yourself, but people in general, the average joe..people are lazy. We like shortcuts, cognitive or otherwise.

      The chance of someone sitting down and listening to you give an hour long presentation about the history of Zionism and the Palestinian cause and why it isn’t antisemitic (yes sadly we still need to use disclaimers) is much slimmer, and less convincing to some than a Jew simply holding someones hand and saying, “hey, it’s ok, this is ok”.

      Some liberal Zionist organizations consider themselves gatekeepers, and even JVP has disappointed me in criticizing and trying to dictate how Palestinians should react to their own oppression as they sit comfortably 2 continents away.

      The sad truth is, that these groups help. There are a lot of people that would never believe pro-Palestinian is not antisemitic unless it came from the mouth of somebody Jewish. I disagree so much with their policies, their stances, and indeed as you pointed out, their arrogance. How every discussion turns into a discussion on antisemitism, as if it is they that are under occupation and facing an existential threat and not us.

      I hate to keep bringing up the South African example, but Mandela’s autobiography is fresh on my mind. He had to, as you suggested, join forces with groups he did not like at all, and disagreed with completely politically, but they needed to form a strong front against a common enemy.

      However, similar to your comment, I am constantly amazed by the lack of information outside commenters on the “conflict” are. This really showed through during the last massacre in Gaza, where old disproven myths were thrown around like candy.

      I am weary of the whole “foreign expert” thing. Similar to how JVP act, they tend to exert more legitimacy and talk over actual Palestinians. It seems that Palestinians are the only ones not allowed to have experts, we are instantly dismissed as biased, whereas Israeli ones are welcomed on all MSM.

    • MRW
      August 20, 2015, 7:22 am

      @Danaa, I agree, and JVP’s Weir action falls under this.( I, unlike annie, was repulsed by JVP’s Rabbi Alissa Wise’s hauteur and comments in Vancouver, her condescending victim crap, as reported by Gilad Atzmon.)

      Therefore, I have maintained for some time now, that -groups that profess to speak – as Jews – to thereby garner “legitimacy”, are in fact unqualified to take the lead role in the struggle FOR Palestinian rights.

      In addition, Danaa, too bad Americans aren’t able to read honest translations of what Israelis say about Americans, Jewish or otherwise, on websites and FB, etc. (I have an Israeli acquaintance who regales me every 12 months or so. Sabras are frank when you ask them to be, and I like frank.)

      There was a Twitter site: “Shit My Father Says” that was entertaining and became highly successful. There should be one: “Shit Israelis Say.” Since, as you note, Hebrew has 1/20 the vocabulary of English, the language as directly translated doesn’t have the capacity for certain nuances of thought. Therefore, certain levels of thinking are not possible in the national behavior nor its thought patterns. it’s functionally medieval, and vulgar (commonplace, lacking refinement). No wonder they’re drawn towards Spartanism.

      The Freiers’* Club (aka the Congressional coterie) who make the pilgrimage to Tel Aviv for their annual summer Israeli suppositories would be hoisted on their own petards with the revelation of what Israelis really think of Americans, Jewish or otherwise.
      —————————
      * For newbies here, Freier is the Israeli word for “sucker.” So it’s not a typo, it’s not Friars’ Club.

      • RoHa
        August 20, 2015, 7:45 am

        This why everyone should speak English.

    • Susie Kneedler
      August 20, 2015, 9:33 am

      Danaa, Yes, sensational, Thanks! Thanks for your vision–and for honoring humble good will, especially for helping to free the ever-generous people of Palestine.

      Thanks for pointing the way: our efforts need to be as welcoming, good-hearted, charitable, as the Palestinian people themselves—-knowing our own fallibility, and letting our friends of Palestine lead the way.

      Thanks, Danaa, for This and All.

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 2:13 pm

        “This why everyone should speak English.”

        RoHa, the real question is How should they speak English? As you know an Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him, the moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him! One common language, I’m afraid we’ll never get.
        Why can’t the English learn to set a good example to people whose
        English is painful to your ears? The Scotch and the Irish leave you close to tears. There even are places where English completely disappears. In America, they haven’t used it for years!
        Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak? Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek. In France every Frenchman knows his language fro “A” to “Zed”
        (The French never care what they do, actually, as long as they pronounce in properly.)
        Arabians learn Arabian with the speed of summer lightning, and Hebrews learn it backwards, (which is absolutely frightening.)
        But use proper English and you’re regarded as a freak.

      • Susie Kneedler
        August 23, 2015, 11:14 am

        About “an Englishman’s way of speaking absolutely classifies him: the moment he talks he makes some other Englishman despise him!”

        Oy, Mooser!, Thanks for ‘Enry ‘Iggins (“My Fair Lady’s”) and reminding us–always with a different allusion, yay–how snobbery is prejudice.

  45. Stephen Shenfield
    August 20, 2015, 11:10 am

    I too greatly appreciate Danaa and have learned a lot from her insights. But I would question her assertion that Jews in the US and other countries outside Israel are outsiders to the conflict.

    First, every Jew is a potential Israeli under the Law of Return. At any time he or she can become a direct participant in the conflict. World Jewry is a sort of strategic reserve of human resources for Israel.

    Second, Israel remains deeply dependent on the political, financial and other support it receives from the majority of Jews in other countries — support provided both directly and through their influence on governments.

    So I would argue that Jews outside Israel ARE participants in the conflict. Ignorant and deluded, to be sure, but participants.

    So making a noise in the US is worthwhile insofar as it helps to make the participation of American Jews in the conflict less effective and brings us closer to the goal of cutting Israel’s lifeline. We hope that will have a sobering effect on Israelis. We are not trying to communicate or reason with them — we have given up on that. We are trying to influence them by putting them in a fix. Whether it will work I don’t know. You tell us, Danaa. You can judge better than us.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 20, 2015, 11:21 am

      every Jew is a potential Israeli under the Law of Return. At any time he or she can become a direct participant in the conflict. World Jewry is a sort of strategic reserve of human resources for Israel…..So I would argue that Jews outside Israel ARE participants in the conflict.

      stephen, you’re argument is fundamentally flawed. people can’t be defined or judged by who or what they could potentially be. like every human jews first and foremost are individuals and have individual choice. because israel and an israel supporter or a jew or a christian or anyone believes “World Jewry is a sort of strategic reserve of human resources for Israel” an individual jewish person cannot be defined as a sort of strategic reserve of human resource for Israel or expected to be. they are not human vessels that can be considered useful tools for the state of israel.

      if any individual jewish american can be considered a participant in the conflict simply by virtue of being a jew than any and every american can be considered a participant simply by virtue of being an american because our government supports israel.

      your thinking is wrong headed and the implications of this kind of thinking is dangerous in my opinion.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 20, 2015, 11:34 am

      every white person is a potential privileged citizen of a white supremacist state. At any time he or she can become a direct participant in that supremacy. white people are a sort of strategic reserve of human resources for a supremacist state…..So I would argue that white people everywhere ARE participants in white supremacy. Ignorant and deluded, to be sure, but participants.

      no chance for opting out eh?

    • eljay
      August 20, 2015, 11:39 am

      || Stephen Shenfield: … I would question her assertion that Jews in the US and other countries outside Israel are outsiders to the conflict. First, every Jew is a potential Israeli under the Law of Return. At any time he or she can become a direct participant in the conflict. … So I would argue that Jews outside Israel ARE participants in the conflict. … ||

      That sounds far too much like JeffB’s assertion that all Jews (even non- and anti-Zionist Jews) are responsible for the actions of some Jews. I disagreed with his assertion and I disagree with yours.

      • W.Jones
        August 20, 2015, 3:48 pm

        Annie,

        I understand that to “participate” in something is not the same to be “responsible” for something, because there is an issue of neglect causing responsibility.

        Anyway, I don’t think that the distinction really matters here. If you take a collectivist mindset, you can imagine things like Nation X “collectively” participates in the wars that it engages in. Ellis has said at times that the people participate in the Conflict, with his collective phraseology. (http://mondoweiss.net/2013/09/should-jews-break-bread-on-yom-kippur)

        Personally I agree with Eljay that I am inclined to be against using collectivist ways of phrasing responsibility like “the Jews” or “the Americans” did or are responsible for X.

        Of course, it feels like one thing for Stephen, Ellis, or I to say in repentance that our peoples did X, and quite a different thing for a Nazi to say that our peoples did X, because the Nazis take an oppressive approach to dealing with crime.

    • W.Jones
      August 20, 2015, 1:41 pm

      Stephen,

      Marc Ellis shares your view, and you can find this way of thinking in the Tanakh, where “the people” are collectively responsible for their community’s actions. It’s a similar way of saying that Americans collectively are responsible for the invasion of Iraq or the Vietnam War.

      Personally though when writing or talking I prefer to go with Annie’s view of distinguishing between Jews and Americans on one hand, and the political forces that act in their name and with their support on the other. Here is an exception: Sometimes I do say “the Israelis” to refer to what Israeli society does because it sounds more politically correct than repeating “the Zionists” like Ali Abunimah does. “The Zionists” may actually be the precise term for describing Israeli militarists, but M.J. Rosenberg had at least a few months’ period of focusing on his blog on how Ali A. is anti-Semitic because of the way Ali uses “the Zionists” to refer to Israeli supporters of control over Palestinians. The alternative to saying “The Israelis” would be to throw around the term “Zionists” like Ali A. does, but it seems that this is the kind of thing that puts up a red flag for Weir’s harshest critics like J.Hitchcock.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 20, 2015, 2:14 pm

        for me, and i could be nitpicking here, but taking collectively responsibility is a little different than being a participant – which implies an active participant. as an example, think of a child being born in israel a month ago. was that infant a participant in the burning murder of Ali Dawabsheh?

        on the other hand can the living child’s father say, speaking for his son or daughter, we all take collective responsibility for that child’s death? one could conceive of the act of taking responsibility as a “participation” but does it mean the collective participated in the crime? only in the most broad sense that would sweep in any person whose country has funded israel thereby being responsible for the conflict.

  46. Stephen Shenfield
    August 20, 2015, 2:53 pm

    I must have been careless with my wording, because I don’t believe in “collective responsibility” (I would have thought that was clear from my previous posts). Of course individuals make choices. But some individuals find themselves in a structural position where all the pressures to which they are subject make it very easy and quick for them to become participants in the conflict. I view those individuals as standing on the edge of the conflict. Others are well outside the conflict — they too may become participants, but only through a strong effort of the will.

    This was not my main point and had I realized how it would be misunderstood I would have omitted it. My main point was to say that very many Jews outside Israel are active participants in the conflict on the side of Israel in all sorts of ways — by making regular and often generous financial donations to Zionist agencies, by engaging in political activity on behalf of Israel, by serving Israeli intelligence as spies or sayanim, etc. Many of these Jews in fact do more for Israel than most Israelis. They certainly should not be bracketed as being somehow outside the conflict, as Danaa seemed to do.

    • W.Jones
      August 20, 2015, 4:05 pm

      Stephen,

      I know what you mean. Back when the Israelis made the prisoner trade with Shalit and Hamas, the Wall Street Journal ran an article, maybe an Op-Ed, that was extremely critical of that decision. And Sheldon Alderson runs a major pro-Netanyahu Israeli newspaper. There are times when their American Cousins are much more warlike than the Israelis themselves, to the point where Jeff Halper said that he wished they would leave the Israelis alone.

  47. Naren
    August 20, 2015, 3:05 pm

    Incredible thread. I am very grateful that it is still going and hopefully this comment will be published. I have no idea how the moderator has achieved this (Annie Robbins right?)

    My first comment but I am a regular reader

    It’s taken ages to get through it all. Some super comments from Tree, Danaa, Irish Moses, Citizen, PeaceThroughJustice, Annie Robbins and many others I have failed to mention

    I’m in the UK. I’ve followed and read Alison Weir for many years. In my opinion she has done amazing tireless work backed up by an excellent and extremely factual website. I also read Counterpunch, Antiwar, ICH, and many other so called alternative news sites

    I am relieved that the very, very vast majority comments here support Alison Weir. She deserves that support. It’s distinctly different with a couple of sites based in the UK

    However there are those that are trying to smear a number of truth tellers with the charge of white supremacism and anti Semitism. Some other commenters have mentioned this and I am specifically talking about the positions taken by Jewssansfrontieres, Tony Greenstein and Elise Hendrick to name a few. All these three blog sites are firmly in line with the JVP position as well as the comments made on this thread by Jennifer Hitchcock. And it’s been a merciless attack

    For example, this is from a recent JSF article:

    The back story to the controversy mostly in the US between Palestine solidarity activists who believe the movement must be anti-racist across the board and those who believe that the movement should be so broad as to accommodate racists has become a little complex now but it began with Jewish Voices for Peace writing privately to a fairly high profile antisemite, Alison Weir, stating their disapproval of her approach and her associations
    http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/scottish-psc-reaffirms-is-commitment-to.html

    So all those years of hard work by Alison are suddenly reduced to being named as a defacto “fairly high profile anti semite”. I think some mediaeval witches got a fairer trial

    We have the same tone and similar content from all three about Counterpunch. Tony Greenstein refers to Counterpunch as “Cockburn’s Coven – Where Fascists and White Supremacists Seek to Entice the Left”
    http://azvsas.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/counterpunch-time-for-socialists-anti.html

    Elise Hendrix wrote an article called “Counterpunch or Suckerpunch” where she claims to have forensically analysed all the articles published on Counterpunch which apparently show that the vast majority are actually articles written by right wing white supremacists.
    https://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/post/2015/07/19/counterpunch-or-suckerpunch/

    Counterpunch gets a clobbering on JSF too.

    So what has happened – quite recently – to Alison Weir, has also quite recently happened (all around the same time) to many others who are being accused of being racist right wing white supremacists. Is it a coincidence that most of “the accused” openly discuss The Lobby of having too much influence on American foreign policy. Is that an anti semitic position? Is there a connection there?

    I personally find the idea of JVP asserting that they, as Jews, should somehow own and dominate this discussion because, as Jews they are better placed to discern the difference between real and fake anti Semitism, quite disturbing. It seems to me that they are far more interested in preserving the image and welfare of Israel rather than doing anything really meaningful to help the Palestinian people. Alison Weir is being smeared because while trying to get her message across, in any way that she can, to whoever will listen, supposedly didn’t do enough to defend against anti Semitism. In other words, she has her priorities all wrong. Instead of focussing on the Palestinian cause, she should really only be on alert for any trace of anti Semitism and the penalty for not spotting it and denouncing it in the time honoured fashion is excommunication!! Nothing else she has ever done counts. In fact it means less than zero. She failed the anti Semitism test so she immediately becomes a white supremacist and “high profile anti semite”. The purity police have spoken

    How convenient for those actual criminals killing and torturing the Palestinians, they can sit back and watch the various factions of the opposition attack each other. But it’s a one way attack. This is all coming from one direction.

    I know that Tony Greenstein has commented on Mondoweiss in the past and so far he has not commented here on this thread. I’m not sure if the JSF people have ever commented here

    This is a huge discussion. I’m very grateful to for opening this up. However I believe that it needs to be expanded and continued and thrashed out. If there was ever a “war of ideas” this is it. I am totally unconvinced by Jennifer Hitchcock, JSF, Hendrick, Greenstein and others. I won’t be reading their stuff again unless they revise their position and stop behaving like a bunch of “ankle biters” as someone here called them

    • mariapalestina
      August 20, 2015, 6:11 pm

      This is my belief too.. that it needs to be expanded and continued and thrashed out. Nearly a thousand comments that I fear will be buried and forgotten, unseen by legions of people who have accepted without question the judgement of JVP (and 3 other pro-Palestinian groups that have followed in line) that Alison Weir doesn’t measure up to its standards.

      Alison has been a tireless and fearless advocate for justice in Palestine for many years. She speaks to any group, large or small, that will give her a platform. Her main focus has been to open American eyes to the truth about what she and we know is actually happening in Israel/Palestine. She gives us facts, numbers, dates, statistics, graphs… data not available anywhere else in such detail. She reports on the bias in U.S. mainstream media, the degree to which occasional Israeli victims are over-reported, while daily killing of Palestinians is more or less ignored. Even baby Ali, burned alive by illegal Jewish settlers (so far not apprehended) got almost no press coverage here. Alison wants Americans to know the truth. And she wants people to understand the power of that elephant Danaa described so eloquently. The one we dare not mention lest we be accused of antisemitism.

      I worry that what we have all learned and shared here will in the end not help allow Alison the freedom to continue her important work. I worry that JVP will prove to have been successful in destroying her ability to continue being effective. And that would be a great miscarriage of justice.

      • just
        August 20, 2015, 7:17 pm

        Thank you and welcome to MW, Naren.

        “Nearly a thousand comments that I fear will be buried and forgotten”

        Perish the thought, mariapalestina. There’s always the archive, and all of us that have been privileged to participate can access it. Beyond that, we are all armed with a deeper understanding of the issue and can fan out and use our understanding to inform others.

        “I worry that what we have all learned and shared here will in the end not help allow Alison the freedom to continue her important work”.

        It won’t help her if we keep it to ourselves. We can all be the wind beneath her wings /behind her back. I don’t fear their power of defamation politics. We have plenty of power, too~ the truth is powerful, and standing in solidarity with Palestinians for their freedom and rights is the most important thing of all. She’s one wonderful pioneer, and I am proud to remain in sincere support of her fine work.

        You never know~ JVP may have a change of position… ;-)

      • ritzl
        August 20, 2015, 8:07 pm

        Welcome, Naren. Well said!

        And brilliant response, just!

        It won’t help her if we keep it to ourselves. We can all be the wind beneath her wings /behind her back. I don’t fear their power of defamation politics. We have plenty of power, too~ the truth is powerful, and standing in solidarity with Palestinians for their freedom and rights is the most important thing of all. She’s one wonderful pioneer, and I am proud to remain in sincere support of her fine work. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/08/roundtable-palestinian-solidarity#comment-791851

        The Solution.

    • Bornajoo
      August 20, 2015, 6:26 pm

      Welcome to MW Naren. I’m in the UK too.
      You make some excellent points and I’m not sure if you have had a chance to read another amazing comment by Danaa on the “1000 black activists..” article further up on this page. Jennifer Hitchcock gets a well deserved hammering but there is a similarity in the points you are both making

      I know the sites you are referring to (JSF and Tony greenstein) and I did read the Hendrick Counterpunch article on the Tony greenstein site

      I’m finding it all a bit confusing to be honest. Until a couple of months ago I was reading all those blogs and MW and they all appeared to be in harmony with each other. Suddenly the Alison Weir issue comes along and then the stuff about Counterpunch and I find myself sitting there thinking “Oh no! I must be some sort of closet white supremacist because I have never detected anything like that in Alison Weir or most of the counterpunch contributers. Help!”

      There is something very ‘off’ about all of this, especially the timing and I agree with you that it’s a discussion that does need to be fully thrashed out

      Tony greenstein is a very smart and intelligent chap. He does comment here from time to time. It would be great if he makes an appearance to give his views on why he thinks so many people here, almost everyone, supports the Alison Weir position and not the position he has taken and to confirm that therefore the Palestinian people are better off without the likes of us. In their view, Weir is now damaged goods, a poison chalice and that now goes for anyone who continues to associate with her, including Hedy Epstein!

      I think Annie also made a similar point to you about the Lobby on the other thread too

  48. jhitchcock
    August 20, 2015, 9:38 pm

    Hey guys, I missed you all the past couple of days. Did you miss me? ☺

    We are almost up to 1000 comments!

    In the midst of trying to catch up on my other reading and research, I thought I’d pop back in to offer some responses, though I am sorry I won’t be able to respond to all the thoughtful comments that have been made in the past few days.

    Just for the record, I have never known Phil to discuss the lobby in an antisemitic way. Maybe he could give Weir lessons. Anti-Zionist Jews have been part of the diaspora since the idea of Zionism began, and I don’t see anything antisemitic about anti-Zionism: http://home2.btconnect.com/tipiglen/statement.html http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/before-mondoweiss-jewish-anti-nationalism-in-the-wake-of-the-holocaust

    And, again, I also believe that the vast majority of claims of antisemitism against Israel critics and Palestinian solidarity activists are also unfounded. Even Beinart has recently called out false charges: http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.671930

    I also completely understand that many activists are jaded by these unfounded charges and are therefore resistant to any charges of antisemitism. I understand the position of most of you, even if I disagree with you on other points.

    I also don’t think Ali Abunimah’s use of “Zionists” instead of “Israelis” suggests antisemitism. (“Israelis,” after all, would also include Palestinian citizens and anti-Zionists, so in this case “Zionists” is more accurate). However, I also don’t think you can simply replace “Jew” with “Zionist” and then go on a classically antisemitic, Protocols-based rant against “Zionists” without still being antisemitic. It is like the white supremacists’ favorite conspiracy about ZOG. When they say “Zionist” it usually is just a stand-in for “Jew.” I have never heard Abunimah discuss “Zionists” using classical, medieval, or Protocols-based tropes. To me, that is the difference between Abunimah and the vast majority of Palestinian solidarity activists vs. Weir. Abunimah’s criticisms of Israel can be very harsh, but that does not make them inherently antisemitic.

    But I see some of Weir’s criticisms (but not all of them; as I have said, most of her work and statements do not suggest antisemitism and are commendable) as painting Israel and Jews/Zionists in a more uniquely sinister way than the vast majority of Palestinians and Palestinian solidarity activists do. Her focus on certain topics more often suggests nefarious conspiracies, and she often paints herself as a great revealer of evil, hidden, harmful secrets about Israel and Zionists, which to me is much more suggestive of antisemitism—and thus, in my opinion, not the best way for Palestinian solidarity activists to make our case.

    As I have said, these days, EVERYONE talks about the lobby. Even liberal Zionist Peter Beinart publicly discusses the influence of the lobby. Mondoweiss discusses the lobby a lot. Walt and Mearshimer, Abunimah, Judis, etc., etc.—everyone, including JVP and ETO. The lobby is not a big secret, as I have argued.

    It is not the fact that Weir discusses the lobby, as many people do, but it is HOW she sometimes discusses the lobby (at least in the beginning of her book, which is the only part I have had time to read)—as a uniquely secretive, sinister, conspiratorial entity with exaggerated powers—that is where her critiques of the lobby differ from most other anti-Zionist Palestinian solidarity activists and writers.

    (Phil, Abunimah, W/M, and others also don’t try to validate the medieval blood libel or give interviews to white supremacists in which they appear to condone many of the problematic views presented).

    In my experience with Palestinians—both from when I was in the West Bank making my documentary and in talking with Palestinians in the US—of the dozens of Palestinians I have met and talked with, I have never met a Palestinian who sounded antisemitic to me.

    I guess I am more sensitive to antisemitism than most non-Jews because I happen to have studied the history and discourse of antisemitism. I partly wrote this piece in the first place because I felt like it shouldn’t be left to only Jewish activists to have to call out antisemitic discourse (which Palestinian BDS leaders have also done multiple times in the past, though, I believe, for different reasons than Danaa suggests).

    I would compare it to any other minority group that has been the target of bigotry past or present: just as African Americans are more sensitive to anti-black racism than most whites, Muslims more sensitive to Islamophobia, etc., so are most Jews more sensitive to antisemitism.

    And just as Islamophobia, anti-black racism, etc. all have unique characteristics and tropes associated with them in addition to all being a generalized form of bigotry, so does antisemitism (which has been around for much longer, so it has accumulated more tropes from different eras).

    While I think we can ignore and fight against most unfounded charges of antisemitism from Israel’s advocates, I think it is less wise to ignore claims from Jewish Palestinian solidarity activists and anti-Zionist Jews. They might be onto something there.

    You may not believe me, but I have actually spent a lot more time and energy speaking out against Islamophobia and anti-black racism over the past few years than antisemitism. As I have said, these forms of bigotry are much worse in the US, partly because they are much more common, but also because (unlike with antisemitism at this point in time) they have power structures to back them up and institutionalize them. Clearly Islamophobia (and Orientalism generally) is a big problem when it comes to the issue of justice for Palestinians, and this needs to be overcome.

    I see antisemitism in this case as a problem for the messaging of the movement for Palestinian rights, though I also think it is consistent with antiracist principles to also oppose antisemitism—and I don’t think it is necessary or ethical to promote antisemitism in order to fight for justice for Palestinians.

    *One further question for the group re: Weir: How do you all explain why Weir’s book, Against Our Better Judgment, is so highly correlated with clearly antisemitic texts on Amazon’s “Customers Who Bought” section—whereas other critiques of the lobby, like Walt and Mearshimer’s The Israel Lobby and Judis’s book are not? (You can try this yourself). Why do you think there is such a difference there? Her choice of interview platforms? Something about the way she discusses the lobby that is different from others? Or some other explanations?

    I am honestly asking for you guys’ opinion on this last question. I have given up trying to persuade you all to see it my way long ago. I tried, but I had to admit defeat on the second or third day. You all are a tough crowd and have certainly kept me on my toes. ☺

    We really are on the same team, though. Maybe we are just playing different positions. (And I promise to not make anymore ageist jokes or generalizations—sorry again).

    I am interested in your thoughts on this, though, because most of you clearly are very intelligent, well read, and have thought about this a lot, and I have honestly benefited from your input.

    One thing I have learned is that years of false and manipulative charges of antisemitism against Palestinians and their supporters have served to weaken the concept even more than I realized. (I agree with Finkelstein on this).

    • mariapalestina
      August 21, 2015, 2:28 am

      Wow! What can I say, Jennifer? Or should I say where should I begin? I think I’ll leave it to others here who are far more articulate in responding to things like: “Maybe he (Phil) could give Weir lessons (in how to discuss the Lobby in a not-antisemitic way.”)

      For some reason this latest piece of yours made me think of Archie Bunker. I was Norman Lear’s assistant for several years (and later a writer on one of his other TV shows) so I’m pretty familiar with Archie. Perhaps I’m dating myself here. I’m old and white, but not male. But I digress..

      When I worked for Norman all of the early fan mail would come to my desk, and I quickly learned that people usually see what they want to see. We got a lot of letters with American flag stickers on the envelopes, and I knew those writers would love Archie because they saw themselves in Archie, and loved him for validating them. Then there were the other kind of letters from people who understood exactly what Archie Bunker was. He was a bigot. Always funny, often lovable, but definitely a bigot.

      It’s clear you see Alison Weir as a bigot. I know her very very well. And I know she is not a bigot.

    • Taxi
      August 21, 2015, 2:30 am

      Lady,

      I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people here when I say: just STFU already.

      You’re repeating your loser argument again and again and nobody is buying it. I wouldn’t count the 1000+ comments here as a victory for you and your despicable side. I see that as your argument being trampled on by 1000+ human feet.

      You are an untrustworthy and condescending tribalist of the boring variety. Most posters here are by far better informed than you are. You haven’t a chance in hell in converting or influencing anybody here with your ridiculously transparent hasbara.

      Enough insulting our intelligence with your flaccid repetitions, madam Zion. Enough wasting our time – we have important work to do.

      https://platosguns.wordpress.com/2015/08/19/what-now-einstein/

      • W.Jones
        August 21, 2015, 3:09 am

        Taxi,

        Somehow Mondoweiss is usually able to avoid having long extended thread arguments between intense pro-Israelis and supporters of Palestinian rights. I’ve ended up in these elsewhere on forums online. The pro-Israelis can go on for weeks or years, and it generally follows the rules of the Primer “How to Defend Israel and Win”. You know- “Why are you singling out Israel?”, etc. , and some of them end their posts with some brief personal “snarky” comment. After a few years of going one on one like this, it can break you down – me anyway.

        In some cases, one side makes irrational arguments but is very intense and dedicated to “staying in the fight” and getting the last word. It’s really as if the good points that you have made have not really affected their outlook, even after a week of trying. And it is just hard to understand. I mean, is there some mental issue where they don’t consider actually what people are saying, are not reasonable, and are totally dedicated to “winning” the argument in terms of overwhelming you with comments and repeating themselves so that it is supposed to force its way into you, or what? It reminds me a bit of idolatry or getting stuck into an intense ideology.

        On Mondoweiss, typically someone like Hophmi makes a rash, brief comment, gets a pile up, and then after a few exchanges leaves. The closest thing we had to what I am talking about was Richard Witty.

        With Jennifer, I want to remain respectful, and she did say that she withdraws her comment about Counterpunch. But the exchanges still remind me a little bit of those conversations I have seen.

      • Taxi
        August 21, 2015, 4:26 am

        W.Jones,

        So many words that say sweet eff all.

        Accusing the majority of the suffering Palestinians of antisemitism is really beyond the pale and shows you off as being a covert zionist with zero sympathy and understanding of the victim and their right to rage against the oppressor’s mass murder of their children.

        I’m reading your forays into the Palestine movement as one of gatekeeping for zionism and not as one for helping end the 70+ occupation. I really don’t respect anything you have to say about Palestine – articulate and prolific as you might be, I’m suspicious of people like you who talk from both sides of their mouth.

        But we can talk some more about your hypocrisy, bigotry and sly agenda AFTER you’ve answered annie’s little request here: August 21, 2015, 3:27 am.

        … Which I know you wont.

    • W.Jones
      August 21, 2015, 2:44 am

      I see some of Weir’s criticisms (but not all of them; as I have said, most of her work and statements do not suggest antisemitism and are commendable) as painting Israel and Jews/Zionists in a more uniquely sinister way than the vast majority of Palestinians

      I think that the ADL rated the Palestinians as the most anti-Semitic people on earth in their recent global survey. They rated about 90% or higher on the anti-Semitism scale of the ADL. I mean, have you read the Hamas charter or seen the cartoons?

      Since Weir has been very careful to avoid talking in generalizations about the Jewish people, I think that it’s a pretty unrealistic argument to claim that she is somehow more anti-Semitic than what’s common among Palestinians when she criticizes the Israelis.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2015, 3:27 am

        I think that it’s a pretty unrealistic argument to claim that she is somehow more anti-Semitic than what’s common among Palestinians when she criticizes the Israelis.

        would you care to rephrase that (before i eat your head off)?

      • Taxi
        August 21, 2015, 3:50 am

        Still counting antisemites for Jesus, W.Jones?

        Man you are some confused hypocrite.

      • W.Jones
        August 21, 2015, 4:52 am

        To clarify, the Palestinians are not actually anti-Semitic, nor is Alison Weir.

        But even if we were going to use the excessively sensitive detection method of anti-Semitism that J.Hitchcock promotes, then Weir would still be less anti-Semitic than Palestinians. Mondoweiss has an article here about how Palestinian children regularly talk about their mistreatment by “the Jews”. But Weir doesn’t even write against the Jews.

        CAMERA and MEMRI make it their specialties to pick out intolerant statements by Palestinians (a population of maybe 7 million), and anyone is free to check their archives. But the things that J.H. and ETO have put forward are about the worst that they can prove against her.

        So even if you accept J.H.’s extremely heightened sensitivity test where any indications of any potential anti-Semitism are full proof, what she is still saying is still not rational.

        This was a kind of devil’s advocate argument I was making. The ADL survey was extremely flawed, but it relied on the kind of anti-Semitism detector that J.H. relies on, searching out any potential possible indications of possible indirect anti-Semitism. And even if you use that kind of low standard, Weir is still “less anti-Semitic.”

      • W.Jones
        August 21, 2015, 5:22 am

        Annie,

        What I am saying is that even if you accept JH’s incorrect premises about how to sniff out potential indirect anti-semitism, her conclusions about Weir still do not make sense.

        We are talking about a situation where the nonsensical does not make sense even within the world of the nonsensical. What do you do when that happens?

        (╯°□°)╯ ︵ ┻━┻

        ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

      • Mooser
        August 21, 2015, 11:08 am

        “I think that it’s a pretty unrealistic argument to claim that she is somehow more anti-Semitic than what’s common among Palestinians when she criticizes the Israelis.”

        Uh-oh, that sentence needs fixin’:

        I think that it’s a pretty unrealistic argument to claim that she is somehow more anti-Semitic than what’s common among many (I think that’s fair) Jews.

        There you go, now you’ve got something which might serve.

    • just
      August 21, 2015, 8:31 am

      “It is not the fact that Weir discusses the lobby, as many people do, but it is HOW she sometimes discusses the lobby (at least in the beginning of her book, which is the only part I have had time to read)—as a uniquely secretive, sinister, conspiratorial entity with exaggerated powers—that is where her critiques of the lobby differ from most other anti-Zionist Palestinian solidarity activists and writers. ”

      You admit you have NOT read the book and yet you make wild, unfounded and defamatory accusations and statements about Alison Weir! How in the heck did you matriculate and graduate so far? With Cliff notes? With reading other folks’ reviews of books? Have you met Alison? Have you heard her speak and engaged in a Q & A?

      Jeeze, you have some chutzpah! Your brand of rhetoric is all too familiar.

  49. jhitchcock
    August 20, 2015, 9:58 pm

    Oh, and I almost forgot: thanks again, Annie, for all your hard work!

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2015, 1:48 am

      you’re welcome jennifer. here’s that rapper i told you about.

      • jhitchcock
        August 21, 2015, 10:05 am

        Thanks for the Lowkey video, Annie. He’s awesome and says it all! (And even though we have disagreed, I am sincerely thankful for your hard work moderating, Annie, but I think you know that).

        A couple of last points I want to emphasize because I think they have been misunderstood. One, I am NOT Jewish. I am more conscious of anti-Jewish stereotypes than most other non-Jews because I happen to have studied antisemitic discourse. In my experience, most American non-Jews are ignorant of many antisemitic stereotypes because, despite the ADL’s constant focus on it, real antisemitism has not been a significant problem in the US for many years. Most antisemitic stereotypes I have heard from other activists (which is NOT common) are, I think, repeated out of ignorance rather than real Jew-hatred.

        Two, surely there are some Palestinians who have developed antisemitic attitudes as a result of their horrific and ongoing oppression at the hands of the Jewish state, especially when their only encounters with Jews are with Jewish military and police brutality, Jewish prison guards, Jewish bombs, etc.–daily oppression and humiliation at the hands of Jews with little positive contact with Jews. I can understand that. Like some others have mentioned, I would also compare this more with anti-Americanism (as a result of our occupations and military actions around the world) than with real, classical antisemitism (though this kind of resentment can also incorporate classical and Protocols-based tropes and conspiracy theories too–like in the Hamas charter–just as anti-Americanism also incorporates conspiracy theories). I have even talked with a couple of Palestinian Hamas members, and have heard and read interviews with Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders that do not sound antisemitic at all to me. Palestinians are a people living under military occupation and oppressive Zionist policies. And like other oppressed people around the world, it is completely understandable that some of them would develop resentment against their oppressors. In my opinion, most Palestinians are NOT antisemitic.

        The dozens of Palestinians I know, none of whom I have heard express antisemitic attitudes, are mostly Americans or West Bank residents and activists. And most of these Palestinians also have many Jewish activist friends (so they know that not all Jews support oppressive Zionist policies).

        I think white non-Jewish allies of Palestinians do need to be especially conscious of our words, though, because we are the ones called to sometimes justify our focus on the issue of Palestinian oppression. As you all know, there are many legitimate reasons to focus on this topic and join the Palestinian call for solidarity. White allies shouldn’t be in this fight for the wrong reasons, though, and we should try not to let awareness of the horrific oppression faced by Palestinians make us too resentful in a way that becomes counterproductive to the cause of justice. (And I’m NOT saying this is necessarily the case for Weir).

        And I am not trying to argue that Weir is antisemitic in her heart. I don’t claim to know what is in someone’s heart or head. I am not trying to be the thought police. No one here is. I have argued that some of her work sometimes SOUNDS antisemitic (especially the organ harvesting article and the beginning of her book) based on they WAY she discusses things–her topic choices, arguments, and language use (along with her tacitly condoning silence in certain interviews). She may very well not be antisemitic in her heart. But she could at least try harder not to sound antisemitic.

        I have said it before, but I’ll say it one last time: The main issue, for me, is that as activists in a position to publicly represent the Palestinian cause, I think we should take care to be aware of antisemitic stereotypes and language and try to avoid publicly expressing them–to stay morally consistent with Palestinians’ stated antiracist principles and avoid tarnishing the credibility of the movement as a whole–and, by extension, the credibility of Palestinians.

        I don’t think there’s much more I can say on this, and commenting here, though a real learning experience and even enjoyable at times, has taken up more time than I have to spare. I have said more than enough about antisemitism, so now I will go back to my work and focusing on speaking out against anti-black racism, Islamophobia, and Zionist discrimination against Palestinians.

        Best to you all.

      • W.Jones
        August 23, 2015, 9:06 pm

        Hello, Jennifer.

        Your thesis on discourse appears to be that a human rights discourse, like opposition to Israeli politics, that has some similarities to racist discourse, like that in the 1950’s US, shows that both discourses are racist at some important level.

        The problem with this thinking is that it also tars people who are not actually racist or saying actual racist things. Take for example the discourse on bad neighborhoods and crime and drugs. Complaints about those things can be part of a discourse against African Americans. But just because someone makes lengthy complaints about those things doesn’t mean that the complainer is racist. If you ban the person, you may have just banned someone who in fact is genuinely concerned about crime and drugs and wants to solve the problem through constructive and positive means.

        Were we talking about an everyday environment removed from human rights advocacy, your thesis would be fine and progressive. The problem is that in a context where you say that anti-Semitism is not actually a major problem, like modern America in general, compared to Islamophobia or brutality against Palestinians, your thesis is being used to ban and expel leading human rights activists who have said things that only could indirectly resemble a different, racist discourse. That’s a huge problem and it essentially handcuffs and locks down human rights activists because at some point in making hundreds of statements and interviews, it’s inevitable that they will make several comments or decisions that indirectly could be seen as resembling a different, racist discourse. And then people whose main focus is detecting these potential indirect ties to a different discourse may choose to demand expulsion and banning of leading human rights activists instead of taking the understanding attitude that Susan Landau proposed above.

        It’s a huge problem.

    • Taxi
      August 21, 2015, 2:42 am

      “Oh, and I almost forgot: thanks again, Annie, for all your hard work!”

      You “almost forgot”??? Gimme a break will ya?!

      You didn’t come back to specifically “thank” annie. You came back here because you’re a ziocain zombie looking to excuse the wanton crimes of your so-called tribe.

      Your insincerity towards the ‘other’ is revolting.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2015, 3:10 am

        this ones for you taxi

      • Taxi
        August 21, 2015, 3:27 am

        Lol annie – thanks for the wild pick!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 21, 2015, 3:45 am

        umar bin hassan from the last poets. really old but omg.

  50. Mooser
    August 20, 2015, 11:07 pm

    It seems to me that a view which might have occurred to JVP is that we Jews can’t expect anybody else to have an understanding of the Jews, Jewish history and the Jewish religion (and what it all adds up to in relation to Zionism) which is any more complete, any better informed, any more unprejudiced, any less self-serving, any more consistent and any more truthful than our own understanding of ourselves.

    • W.Jones
      August 21, 2015, 5:02 am

      Mooser,
      It sounds like you do not agree with JVP’s and ETO’s banning of Weir?

  51. b.grand
    August 20, 2015, 11:41 pm

    Something I don’t think has been mentioned (although there’s been bizarre criticism of the name “If Americans Knew”) is that while Palestine/Israel may have been Alison’s motivation for study, as well as the focus of her work, the ramifications of the Israel Lobby are far broader than the “treatment” of Palestinians. Their opposition to the Iran deal has brought this out in the open – http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/17/the-us-israeli-conflict-is-finally-visible-for-all-to-see/

    Netanyahu and the Israel Lobby pressed for war in Iraq, and together with neocons like Nuland their policy has reached as far as Ukraine, via Syria. It is this exposure of the Lobby’s influence here in the US that has set Weir and the other “untouchables” apart from the class of human rights advocates like USCEIO.

    The problem for (some at) JVP is that when you trace the Lobby to it’s roots, and then reveal that Israel is founded on ethnic cleansing, it calls into question the legitimacy of the Jewish State in the Levant.

    • Taxi
      August 21, 2015, 2:34 am

      Aaah, you’re touching on the very bones of the zionist problem, b.grand: the global reach of zionist warmongering and the premeditated mass murder of civilians of several nationalities.

      There will be accountability for this one day.

  52. b.grand
    August 21, 2015, 5:02 am

    There’s been some discussion as to whether –
    a) Jews have “special legitimacy” in matters concerning Israel. and
    b) American Jews are complicit in Israeli policy

    While there have been assertions that “many” American Jews have little concern with Israel, and dire warnings about suggesting collective culpability, in fact MW has addressed this question quite bluntly. In 2007, Philip Weiss gave a resounding endorsement to the analysis of James Petras.

    “Petras has just about nailed it. The crazy rightwingers are actually speaking in the name of progressive Jews. These rightwingers aren’t fringies. They are supported. ….. Which is to say that neoconservatism has been licensed by the larger Jewish community, because secretly or unconsciously that community feels that these guys are standing up for Israel. ”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2007/12/james-petras-ha

    In his article, “American Jews on War and Peace: What Do the Polls Tell Us and Not Tell Us?”, Petras compares the polled opinions of American Jews in general with those of the leaders of AIPAC, etc., and finds convergence at self-identification with Israel. In his detailed and revealing article he states,

    “This probably explains the unwillingness of progressive Jews to criticize the principal reactionary Jewish leaders and their mass organizations, even worse to attack and slander any critics of the pro-Israel power configuration. Progressive Jews have subordinated their progressive opinions to their loyalty and identity with Israel. ”
    http://petras.lahaine.org/?p=1723

    This concern for and identification with Israel is apparent. With very few exceptions, even Jews who are appalled by Israeli policy defend its “right to exist” — as a Jewish, i.e. racist, state.

    Due to this blatant conflict of interest, I submit that American (or any other) Jews are actually less qualified arbiters, and certainly not impartial agents of American policy. AIPAC has managed to thread the legal loopholes to avoid being registered as an agent of a foreign government, but that is what it is. And I suspect, to a lesser extent, so is JVP.

  53. Aloe
    August 21, 2015, 11:53 am

    I am thankful for this thread. At first, I was, embarrassingly, and a little surprisingly, a little convinced by JVPs arguments. This despite my general disagreement with JVP’s approach, and their empty and under-informed “anti-racist” principles that seem to me to approach blackwashing, and which are all too familiar in the Liberal Zionist para-lobby.

    But this thread (along with some other pieces linked to in this thread) has done an amazing job completely desiccating JVP’s hit job against Alison Weir, and in the process, kind of exposing JVP’s own racism as something similar to the white supremacist radio shows they are so concerned about.

    I will be personally reevaluating my own distrust of Alison Weir, and reading her work. Despite the fact that I don’t know anyone in JVP, or any anti-Zionist Jews who find her to be anti-Semitic, and that I know many, many, who hold her in high, high regard, I admit I have always suspected a hint of anti-semitism, racism, and imperialism in her work, and because of that, I have personally prioritized reading the work of other activists. This thread has certainly made me reevaluate that suspicion, and add her work to my priorities list. She is a favorite punching bang of overt Zionists; that never made me think her work was worth reading. But now that the covert Zionists have piled on, and in the process risked completely exposing themselves, I will be reading her work.

    … At some point we need to de-Zionize the discussion of anti-semitism, and reclaim the concept from these hatemongers. We always say that anti-Zionists aren’t anti-semitic… but, dare I say, and I say this carefully, very carefully… maybe pure non-anti-semitism is a ridiculous , absurd, and completely misguided goal. When many anti-racist activists speak about racism, they talk first about acknowledging the depth and intricacies of racism, and acknowledge that even the most devoted anti-racist can have latent racism. To be anti-racist, people who benefit from white privilege must first acknowledge that they are racist. That all white people start from a racist state, because racism is not just a matter of overt propaganda that can be logically deconstructed, but also invades our deep subconscious. And even the overt propaganda can take a lifetime to completely understand. And, of course, non-white people can still internalize racist structures and attitudes, can still have conditional access to some forms of white privilege, and say unintentionally racist things. The discussion of what is and what is not racist can legitimately go on forever.

    Along those lines, Maybe we should stop saying, “I’m not an anti-semite,” and start saying, yes, I’m committed to anti-semitism, but I don’t claim to be completely devoid of anti-semitism. “We are all anti-semites.” Ok, not exactly that, that was a bit of a joke.

    But, more importantly to anti-Zionists, the discussion of anti-semitism is most often totally and utterly irrelevant. Palestinians face an extreme violence every day, and it is not a matter of historical discussion or prophylactics, it is an urgent situation which needs our attention yesterday. And within that context the discussion of anti-semitism is too often abstract and indulgent.

    To go further along those lines, the discussion of anti-semitism is too often completely dissociated from all anti-racist principles. To talk about racism is to talk about white privilege in the context of structural racial oppression. Zionism, among other things, is a system of structural racial oppression. Jews have white privilege. With Zionism, Jewish privilege is white privilege.

    It is not necessarily racist or bigoted to criticize whites for being whites. To generalize the oppressor and call attention to the dominant race, which attempts to make itself invisible and unmarked (using words like “colorblind” or “post-racial”) is not racist or bigoted. That argument approaches the reverse racism charge.

    And this is the problem with anti-semitism in the context of Zionism. To be anti-semitic is not always to be racist. Just like to be anti-American or anti-White is not always racist. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it isn’t. We don’t always know when it is and when it isn’t. That is just too complicated. And, also, no one cares if a child whose parents have just been killed by the IDF in Gaza says something negative about Jews as a whole. In some contexts it really is okay.

    Sometimes I am surprised to see how strong my own latent Zionism can still be, despite my (not always best) efforts. And certainly, after this thread, I see a lot of latent Zionism in my distrust of Alison Weir.

    While I will be reading her work now, I question the human rights approach (which is of course also the approach of JVP). There is very often a covert racism and imperialism to human rights. In some ways it’s obvious that Weir is going further than anyone else… but still… this national interest stuff has got some real issues. The blood libel thing was unnecessary. It doesn’t matter if a Jewish historian corroborates it. Jewish white privilege is inconsistent, so I think the concern is not entirely unfounded. Similarly, with JVP, sometimes I think JVP is worse than the KKK, but then sometimes I see how dedicated and real some members are, how valuable their work is…

    • Annie Robbins
      August 21, 2015, 12:55 pm

      wow aloe, that’s a lot of food for thought. thanks for your comment.

      and sorry for interrupting but …

      alert: Mondoweiss in the process of switching servers today so we will be suspending publishing after 2 pm Eastern time. This will be at least for the rest of the day and maybe for the weekend. This will also mean no comments after 2 pm.

      so hold that thought!

  54. PeaceThroughJustice
    August 22, 2015, 9:21 pm

    On the subject of “Antisemitism Studies”–

    For anyone who has access to Al Jazeera English (in Canada, Europe, or with a VPN connection here in the US), there’s a fascinating interview with the late Professor Robert S Wistrich, described as “the foremost expert on anti-Semitism.” It’s a one-hour episode of “Head to Head” in front of the Oxford Union conducted by Mehdi Hasan.

    You’ll get a glimpse into the warped mind of a man who very probably wrote one of the textbooks that our-guest-who-won’t-go-away probably shed tears over.

    ANTI-SEMITISM AND ISLAMOPHOBIA: OLD FEARS, NEW THREATS?
    30 Apr 2015
    http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/headtohead/2015/04/anti-semitism-islamophobia-fears-threats-150401072138777.html

    • Sibiriak
      August 23, 2015, 8:01 am

      PeaceThroughJustice: one-hour episode of “Head to Head” in front of the Oxford Union conducted by Mehdi Hasan
      ———————–

      Thanks for the link. I haven’t listened to the whole thing, but damn, Mehdi Hasan is sharp.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 23, 2015, 10:40 am

        i watched it last night. yes the host is very sharp. my friend rawan (yaghi) is in the front row, looking beautiful as ever.

        Sibiriak, you should definitely watch the last part, the scholar gets trapped in his own racism and double standards.

    • tree
      August 23, 2015, 4:40 pm

      Thanks PTJ. Hasan is a superb interviewer. Did his homework and conducted a sharp but fair interview. Oh how I wish we had an American interviewer who could do even half as well as Hasan does, on any subject and with any interviewee.

      Here’s another link to the “Head to Head” interview with WIstrich from Youtube

    • Kay24
      August 23, 2015, 9:14 pm

      Thank you for the link PTJ and Tree. I look forward to watching this debate. I am a great admire of Mehdi Hasan, and yes, I do wish we had the same caliber of interviewers as Hasan, who seems to fear no one, and has been bold and sharp to ask the questions we all wish we could.
      Unfortunately our media personalities were born without a spine.

  55. W.Jones
    August 23, 2015, 5:17 pm

    The underlying issue behind the JVP-Weir Affair seems to be her new book tour. That explains the timing better than something 5 years ago, and the “tail wags dog” portrayal of Weir constitutes the second half of JVP’s letter against her.

    In my view, the overall environment of US foreign policy is some kind of domination, as has been true with with most superpowers in history. The domination can take the form of either direct intervention and occupation or it can take place through spheres of influence. Numerous factors can affect what form it will take. In the Cold War, ideological alignments were a factor (like in the Contra conflict), but so can lobbies, as in the role of the notable Florida-based Cuban-American lobby in determining our Cuba policy even when Presidents were inclined to improve relations with Cuba.

    Certainly AIPAC and its direct allies are very powerful, as shown by the controversy over the Iran deal. Further, lobbies play a huge, outsized role in US politics, like in the issue of the tobacco industry. Is it really fair to say that US policies on tobacco are guided more by “US national interests” than by tobacco? Is it overall more to the advantage of US capitalism if the US continues to rely on wasteful gas cars, or is it more important to the car companies and to their lobbies? Arguably the latter. The way US politics works based on financial interests, lobbies play a crucial role.

    Consequently, my conclusion is that capitalism may set the parameters, but the lobby is a key leader within those parameters. Further, I don’t see any US interest in the Israeli Occupation or discriminatory Israeli laws on Israeli Palestinian citizens, even if the Israeli military were a strategic asset. So it is hard to understand why the US would take enormous blows like having to withdraw from UNICEF for the Israelis to continue their Occupation.

    The focus of Alison Weir on the Lobby’s key role is an important one, and resembles the importance Phil gives it here on this website sometimes daily.

    The only two times I know of an open debate between Palestinian rights activists who focus on the importance of the lobby and those who oppose them in doing so are Chomsky’s debate with Omar Baddar and Blankfort’s debate with Stephen Zunes.

    (1) JVP advisor Chomsky’s debate with the Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Baddar is here:

    JVP’s advisor Chomsky endorsed the writings of Stephen Zunes a few times on the topic, and I think that one endorsement was during the debate above. However, Chomsky and Baddar seem to have softer attitudes about their own sides of the debate than Blankfort and Zunes do.

    (2) Zunes’ debate with Blankfort is here:
    http://www.radio4all.net/index.php/program/12876

    At 26:00 – Zunes said that rather than the Israeli lobby explaining cross party unanimous support for Israeli militarism, the problem is that the left like Move On is driven by “anti-Arab racism” and that explains why it doesn’t challenge the pro-Israeli line.
    Personally, I find it doubtful that the Left is actually driven by anti-Arab racism when it thinks about the Mideast. I think that the actual reason for the PEP phenomenon on the left that Zunes talks about is the pro-Israeli sentimentality by the PEPs, not anti-Arab racism in particular.

    Blankfort points out in the debate that Tom Harkin was on a Palestinian HR Campaign board of directors. AIPAC came to his office one day, his employees were told to leave, and after that Harkin changed his position. The ADL spent 8 million dollars against Blankfort in a suit and lost because they could not find anything against him. Blankfort said that he is nowhere as important as a congressperson, implying that even more money must be spent getting to them.

    As for the left, Blankort pointed out that Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun magazine was going to picket the Rainbow grocery in California if the grocery instituted a humanitarian boycott, thus defeating the boycott. (See: http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/20434/rainbow-workers-soundly-defeat-israeli-goods-boycott wherein “Lerner spoke to about 40 Rainbow workers”)

    Zunes concluded the interview by admitting that even he (Zunes) gets threatening phone calls for supporting Palestinian human rights. Zunes also said that prioritizing the lobby’s importance was not anti-Semitic, although he said that someone could mistakenly make anti-Semitic conclusions from it.

    Blankfort said during the debate that the radio episode was historic because it is one of the few times that he can get someone on the left to debate the issue. He has said elsewhere that he cannot get people like Chomsky, Beinin, or Bennis to debate him on the issue.

    So I understand how people can have different views on the question. That’s why I cannot comprehend how JVP made Alison’s position of emphasizing the lobby like Phil and Blankfort do the second main basis for banning all work with her.

    • W.Jones
      August 23, 2015, 5:34 pm

      Blankfort’s point in bringing up Lerner’s opposition to the Rainbow grocery BDS motion was to show that the drive on the left is not really due to anti-Arab racism but to taking a PEP position. The grocery turned down the Boycott after hearing from Lerner, and Lerner is not driven by anti-Arab racism in particular. Lerner told people to “buy more Israeli products” at the store according to the article above.

  56. mcohen.
    August 23, 2015, 7:28 pm

    mariap… says

    mariapalestina August 19, 2015, 8:21 pm @mcohen “the catholics refused to make a room available for my bar mitzvah lessons …” Gee, mcohen, does that include me? All of the world’s Catholics, or just the ones at your racist school? I guess I have to start being a bit more sensitive to generalizations like that made about my tribe.

    I have avidly,avidly read your glowing endorsement of Alison weir and note that you are a close friend

    so what are you saying that …that the catholic church has no history of anti Semitism or it has but you are an exception to the rule

    “generalizations about my tribe”….who are you kidding…is Alison weir catholic…is she one of your tribe

    maria…my post about the catholic boarding school…a marist brothers,always gets two reactions…..those that condemn the church and those like yourself who come up with

    “generalizations”

    • Annie Robbins
      August 23, 2015, 11:31 pm

      “the catholics refused to make a room available for my bar mitzvah lessons …”

      do synagogues make room for catechism classes? maybe someone was pulling your leg mccohen. and why would you have to take classes in a car? don’t people have living rooms for things like that? how did this affront your 12 year old senses? let us count the ways. bwaaaahhhh!!!!

      • mcohen.
        August 24, 2015, 1:48 am

        annie….says

        “and why would you have to take classes in a car?”

        come come squeaky wheel….why would i make these things up. […]

      • straightline
        August 24, 2015, 4:22 am

        I have the following story on very good authority. It concerns a Jewish visitor to a university belonging to a branch of the Christian religion that was strictly anti-alcohol. No liquor was allowed on campus – period! A Jewish visitor persuaded the authorities to allow him and his fellow Jews to celebrate Passover in a large room used for Christian services on campus – because after all we are all “people of the book”. Needless to say he did not disclose the nature of his celebrations, and the adherents to that form of Christianity would never have guessed it. He took some pride in the fact that he had managed to “pull the wool over their eyes”. Both my story and that of mcohen are isolated stories and need to be treated in that way – no generalizations!

      • Mooser
        August 24, 2015, 11:02 am

        . “and why would you have to take classes in a car?”

        Gosh, “McCohen” must have been so disappointed when they wouldn’t let him drive right after his Bar Mitzvah! And after he recited all the stop-sign rules for his Hoftorah, too!

        McCohen, let me tell you, every Jewish kid I knew (and myself) felt exactly the same! It was very hard to wait for Driver’s Ed. and a permit. We used fantasize about running away to states in the Mid-west where you could drive at sixteen.

        “don’t people have living rooms for things like that?”

        Probably, but are they as comfortable as the big back seat in a Mercedes?

      • W.Jones
        August 26, 2015, 2:31 am

        Can I ask if the boarding school thing was before or after 1970? Because the Catholics liberalized a lot since then.

        Personally, I sympathize with you, but think that the worst thing about going to a Catholic school before 1970 would not be taking lessons in a car. The worst thing would be going to a Catholic school before 1970, if you know what I mean.

  57. mcohen.
    August 25, 2015, 3:48 am

    has this link been posted here

    http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=45

    or this one

    http://alisonweir.org/journal/2008/10/2/in-response-to-a-bloggers-criticism-of-a-film-i-helped-on-a.html

    hey phil ,if you had a bad feeling back then why give her another chance ..has she changed or have you

    all these comments in her favour…..but if you read the link above of end the occupation there is no doubt she is contro…money versial

    to think that i have wasted my time reading all this rubbish…what a waste of space and time

    • tree
      August 25, 2015, 2:44 pm

      mcohen, your first link goes to an empty search page, but yes, the eto charges against Weir have been posted and discussed here and your second link has also been posted here and discussed. A large portion of the discussion here has been refuting the eto charges. If you’d like a quick summary of the refutations, rather than reading the whole thread, try this link:

      http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/

      to think that i have wasted my time reading all this rubbish…what a waste of space and time .

      Bullshit. You just proved that you haven’t read this thread by asking if things that were already posted here had been posted. You’ve managed to be both obtuse and transparent at the same time. Congrats on your dubious achievement.

  58. eGuard
    August 25, 2015, 5:40 pm

    Not for the first time I strongly suggest that accusations of anti-Semitism published on Mondoweiss must be based on facts – or else the comment is moderated to the bin. This could be a comment-rule. Would clean up this site greatly.

    I want to extend this rule to MW postings.

    • Kris
      August 25, 2015, 11:23 pm

      Wonderful idea, eGuard. It would be so helpful if claims of “antisemitism” had to be specific.

      As it is now, no one except the commenter making the charge knows what “antisemitic” is referring to.

      It’s the same as if child A tells the babysitter that child B “isn’t being nice.”

      “Isn’t being nice”???? What does that mean? It might mean that B didn’t invite A to his birthday party. It might mean that B ate the last two cookies. It might mean that B hid the Lego piece that A needs. It might mean that B cut in front of A in line and got the last piece of plain cheese pizza.

      Being specific would help the discussion a lot.

  59. Mooser
    August 26, 2015, 12:03 am

    “Being specific would help the discussion a lot.”

    Well then let me offer this; for the purposes of this discussion, it seems to me the best definition of antisemitism might be:

    “Antisemitism is fundamentally a political analysis that explains social and political pathologies as effects of some essential Jewish attributes.”

    Of course, the fact that the Zionists (among others) have spent the last 75 years ‘essentializing’, and ‘attributizing’ Jews so the sentence could read ‘Zionism is fundamentally a political analysis that explains social and political potentialities as effects of some essential Jewish attributes’ keeps me from getting to goddam indignant about it when I see it.

    • W.Jones
      August 26, 2015, 12:34 am

      Hello, Mooser.

      That seems a bit broad though. Is religion an essential attribute? If so, could one explain certain longstanding social problems in medieval Muslim or Christian societies as at least partly an effect of certain religious ideas without being discriminatory against those religions?

      Doesn’t racism in its narrowest sense mean intolerance directed at an entire group based on false notions about the group’s different inherent biological qualities?

      • Mooser
        August 26, 2015, 11:46 am

        ” false notions about the group’s different inherent biological qualities?”

        Yup, that’s us, we are the inheritor of “different inherent biological qualities”. I just wish people would accept us in spite of it!

      • Mooser
        August 26, 2015, 11:54 am

        “If so, could one explain certain longstanding social problems in medieval Muslim or Christian societies”

        Well, you’ve got it exactly, W. Jones. by assigning essential attributes to posited groups, you can explain anything! Now, go forth and make good use of that fact! You were made for the job!

    • Sibiriak
      August 26, 2015, 1:02 pm

      @Mooser That definition of antisemitism caught my attention when I read it at Jews sans frontieres.

      I’d simplify further: antisemitism = anti-Jewishness , whether that Jewishness is defined biologically, racially, ethnically, religiously , culturally, ideologically, spiritually, or any combination thereof.

      That definition requires that there be some notion of essential “Jewishess” attributed to most or all Jews, and that it must be considered inherently bad.

      N.B. that leaves open the possibility that antisemtism (anti-Jewishness), like anti-Arab, anti-Black, anti- whatever-group ideology, could be valid, i.e. it’s validity can’t be ruled out a priori.

      The problem with antisemitic ideologies is not that they couldn’t be true, it’s that they are NOT true. They falsely create an essential “Jewishness” and falsely attribute pernicious qualities to that “Jewishness”.

      The problem, for example with anti-Jewish “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” type conspiracy theories–that “the Jews” are conspiring to dominate the world by undermining Gentile morality, controlling the media, controlling the world’s financial system, manipulating nations into global wars etc.–the problem with those theories is not that they couldn’t possibly be true, it is that they simply are not true, and they are used to justify all sorts of unjustifiable, malicious actions.

      N.B. also that this notion of antisemitism (anti-Jewishness) leaves open the possibility of legitimate criticism of various aspects of Jewish culture(s), religious ideas, etc., so long as those criticisms are logical, factual and are not fused into an overgeneralizing ideology that essentializes and demonizes Jews as a group.

  60. notatall
    August 26, 2015, 11:29 am

    I agree with Mooser. It is a mistake to define antisemitism as “racism against Jews.” Apart from the problem with the term “racism”—what is a race?—if it were simply a matter of disliking Jews or attributing to them certain innate characteristics there would be no need for a special term, any more than there is a special term for dislike of Mexicans or Baptists or whatever. Antisemitism is a philosophy of history, as Mooser says, a political analysis.

    • Mooser
      August 26, 2015, 12:01 pm

      “Antisemitism is a philosophy of history, as Mooser says, a political analysis.”

      Oh, you’d be surprised by the tid-bits a large palmate-antlered ungulate can pick up reading JSF
      But I think for the purposes of this discussion that’s a pretty good definition.

      And as I said, I might get indignant about it, and be at pains to expose it when it appears if we weren’t so goddam busy essentializing and attributizing ourselves in the service of Zionism, among other things.

    • W.Jones
      August 26, 2015, 1:42 pm

      Notatall,

      That would mean that someone who hates all Jews, but doesn’t care about making it a “philosophy of history” is not anti-Semitic.

      But Merriam Webster defines anti-Semitism as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.”

      Maybe the impetus for the term’s creation was not that it’s necessarily different from discriminating against another whole group, but because whoever created the term had a special focus on it. (The Eskimos, I’ve heard, have 50 words for ice, proving that if you have a special focus on something, you can create different terms closely related to it.)

      If someone needs to express the idea of an “anti-Semitic political analysis”, they can just use that three word phrase.

      • echinococcus
        August 26, 2015, 2:17 pm

        Jones,

        I don’t think that either Ms Merriam or Mr Webster have any say about why one shouldn’t discriminate against religion or religions.
        It is not innate.
        Many consider it the worst thing that ever happened to humans.
        If criticism of religion is antisemitism, I’ll very gladly be antisemitic limitedly to religion (or, as they euphemistically call much of it, “culture”.)

      • Sibiriak
        August 26, 2015, 2:27 pm

        W.Jones : …Merriam Webster defines anti-Semitism as “hostility toward or discrimination against Jews as a religious, ethnic, or racial group.”

        ————————-

        That seems like a perfectly workable definition, pretty much the same as my “antisemitism = anti-Jewishness”. Crucially, that definition does not limit antisemitism to discrimination nor does it insist that antisemitism be limited to a focus on inborn or permanent qualites, as echinococcus has insisted.,

        While it’s true that Mooser’s definition fails as an all-encompassing formula, as you have shown, it does have the benefit of highlighting the most important and predominant kind of antisemitism which has played such a large historical role and which is very much at issue in this particular discussion.

      • Mooser
        August 26, 2015, 3:13 pm

        “it does have the benefit of highlighting the most important and predominant kind of antisemitism which has played such a large historical role and which is very much at issue in this particular discussion.”

        Thank you, “Sibiriak”. That’s all I claim for it.

        But don’t forget to note the second paragraph, the proviso, if you will.

      • W.Jones
        August 26, 2015, 3:32 pm

        Sibiriak and Echinococcus,

        The reason I used Merriam Webster was to debunk that it refers to some “political analysis” of history.

        Merriam Webster’s definition has the downside of throwing in religion, because people can be hostile to religions without being racially prejudiced. And the root word “-Semitism” specifically points to an ethnicity, rather than a religion. So I think that it’s wrong to see anti-Semitism as an inherent part in opposition to a religion. After all, the Bolsheviks were opposed to all the religions and religious communities in the Russian empire, but were they really anti-Semitic?

        That’s why I say that the best definition should be a narrow one that refers to discrimination that is directed against a people as an ethnic or racial group, not as something else like “political analysis” or religion, because that just makes things too broad and as Mooser pointed out, people can get accused of it when they actually aren’t discriminatory against any people or nationality but are only making religious criticisms.

      • echinococcus
        August 27, 2015, 10:13 am

        Jones,
        Thanks for the appropriate wording.

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2015, 6:20 pm

        ” and as Mooser pointed out,”

        Wrong. Not at all what I was pointing out.

        I was pointing out that in the post WW2 period, we Jews have essentialized and attributized ourselves( in the service of Zionism and all-rightnikness, mostly) enough that we’ve got a big enough problem to sort out for ourselves, in that department.

    • echinococcus
      August 26, 2015, 2:34 pm

      Notatall,

      Agreed, racism is racism and does not deserve a special word. Your thinking is, however, running in circles. If the “philosophy of history” is based on a racist postulate –that the Jews, because born Jewish, have been behaving as this or that, then it’s plain racism and goes to the trashcan. If it is based on theories of conscious, organized behavior by a politically motivated group, well then it has to be proved wrong, defending it is legitimate and yelling “antisemitism” is as worthless as the animal noises of “conspiracy theory” in the US of our days.

      • Sibiriak
        August 26, 2015, 3:23 pm

        echinococcus: …, racism is racism and does not deserve a special word
        ————————-

        Antisemitism, though, is not limited to racism (narrowly defined), as explained above. Neither, for example, are anti-Arab ideologies (cf. Orientalist accounts of “the Arab mind” and Arab culture).

        ————————
        If it is based on theories of conscious, organized behavior by a politically motivated group, well then it has to be proved wrong…

        Agreed. And if these theories have been proved wrong, again and again, it’s perfectly valid to label them antisemitic.

        The same applies to anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, or anti-whatever-group, cultural/political theories. When proved to be wrong, when proved to rely on logical or factual fallacies, overgeneralization, essentialization, demonization, etc., they can rightly be vilified.

      • echinococcus
        August 27, 2015, 10:10 am

        Sibiriak,

        Some theories labeled “antisemitic” were obviously, revoltingly wrong when they came out –but right now they are being enacted in full pomp and with the backing of the Zionist machine and of a majority of the people who profess to be congenitally Jewish.

        This is why so-called conspiracy theories cannot ever be dismissed out of hand by just attaching discredited labels to them. Some are or may be perfectly valid.

  61. mariapalestina
    August 26, 2015, 1:57 pm

    I try never to use that word, preferring “Judeophobia” regardless of what Merriam Webster says.

  62. eGuard
    August 26, 2015, 6:29 pm

    OK, Mondoweis. Time’s up. Enough comments to make up your mind. What is it for MW?

    • eGuard
      August 27, 2015, 5:35 am

      MW can start with publishing the motivation for picking these three pieces. Were these the best available? Or was Jennifer Hitchcock’s added to indirectly discredit the JVP position (it really looks that way, but why state so this indirect way?)

      Hithcock’s reasoning is laughable: She is careful to usually say “Zionists” instead of “Jews” See: If I replace “Zionists” with “Jews”, her piece is anti-Semitic. Proof!

      And: … so it seems that there is something to the claims against her, despite the vocal protests. What is this? US Campaign said it, so it’s true? Conclusion by decibels? Why does Hitchcock not build a reasoning herself? Not a single one in her whole piece.

      Next: For example, her 2009 article Well, this is the only example provided that keeps being mentioned. Because it’s the “best” (I’d say: only) example? It is from 2009, and the jury is still out on whether it is anti-Semitic. But just mentioning it is enough as proof, for Hitchcock.

      Hitchcock then states: This [2009] article is just one example of many that point to a larger pattern in Weir’s work. Quite simple: no you have not shown a ‘pattern’, and no there there is no pattern.

      Also: Not all of her work and associations suggest antisemitism. Wow, let’s thank Hitchcock for this respite! A kind person, to include this statement (after all her factfree smearing). By the way, did she write “suggest”? Does she admit the ‘anti-Semitic’ issues are suggestions only? Then I ask: who does the suggesting, and who is taking the bite?

      Hitchcock does exactly what is the problem with this McCarthy attack: no facts, smearing & reasoning only. What a level.

      Instead, I suggest reading Amith Gupta http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2/ (it was available before this MW post. Why not included here?).

      • Annie Robbins
        August 27, 2015, 11:04 am

        eguard, there are 2 pages of comments for this post. scroll to the base for access to the first page. in the comments i have explained (a few times as i recall) these 3 articles were published because they were the (only) 3 submissions sent to mondoweiss. the gupta link was already posted i think more than once in comments.

    • Bornajoo
      August 27, 2015, 11:37 am

      “OK, Mondoweis. Time’s up. Enough comments to make up your mind. What is it for MW?” (EGuard)

      Actually I think that’s a question that quite a few people here would like some clarification about

      I don’t want to put anyone on the spot but I suppose the question is; now that jvp, eto, Barghouti, abunimah, Blumenthal et al have come out very firmly against any further association with Alison Weir and IAK, is it now inevitable that Mondoweiss will have to adopt the same position?

      • echinococcus
        August 27, 2015, 12:23 pm

        Is it a good idea to push anyone into the Zionist-friendly camp? Where is the burning need for everyone to declare for a side? Is this likely to help on the Palestinian battlefield? What nonsense.

      • eGuard
        August 27, 2015, 2:14 pm

        Can you give the Barghouti and Abunimah links? Could be interesting. I know Jews Sans Frontieres also ran with JVP’s witchhunt, but the Levi9999 rants and character attacks are more of the JVP-approach.

      • Bornajoo
        August 27, 2015, 6:57 pm

        EGuard
        I got the information about Barghouti from a friend who emailed me an article from a site which I don’t really know which states:
        “The people I know and trust in the Palestine solidarity movement all say “good riddance” to Weir, including the most prominent leaders. Omar Barghouti, on a webinar hosted by JVP this week, commented directly on the controversy: “As a movement that is inclusive and anti-racist, we cannot tolerate any form of anti-Jewish racism. We need to unify the movement based on anti-racist principles. Groups that cannot respect anti-racist principles have no place in this movement.”
        http://www.allthatsleftcollective.com/blog/2015/7/29/good-riddance-to-white-supremacists

        However, since your request I’ve been looking for the original source and I can’t find it. Therefore I may have to retract that information because I have no idea if it’s genuine. My fault for relying on second hand information

        Blumenthal and Abunimah made their position clear on Twitter. Here’s one link:
        https://mobile.twitter.com/maxblumenthal/status/621861878789206018

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2015, 4:29 pm

        BornaJew,

        I heard that Barghouti mentioned it in a JVP webinar, but does anyone have a link to that?
        https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/webinars/
        The July 23 webinar is not online.
        If you saw it, could you carefully recount what he said on this?

        You better not tell them what your username is (I had to censor it), or you risk getting drummed out with a full marching band, based on the way things are going. See the Urban Dictionary definitions if you don’t know what I mean.

      • Bornajoo
        August 27, 2015, 5:53 pm

        W.Jones
        You are the only person who has ever mentioned my username, twice now. I have no idea what connotation it holds for you (which is why you changed the joo to jew). Let me explain. I used to drive a cab, one of the zillions of things I’ve done to make ends meet. At one point I worked for a cab company in North West London in an affluent area called St John’s Wood. One of my regular jobs was to pick up a wealthy Jewish chap and drive him to a liberal progressive synagogue in that area. I used to have to wait for him to finish his whatevers and drop him back home. While I waited outside that synagogue I used to watch the other members turn up in their very nice cars (Yes these Jews drive to the synagogue!) and a number of them had personalised number plates with “joo 1”, “joo 2” “joo 3”. That’s how they referred to themselves and that’s where I got the idea from. Maybe it means something else on the USA. I have no idea

        I’m happy to be drummed out of anywhere I’m not welcome. That’s the story of my life

      • Mooser
        August 27, 2015, 4:58 pm

        , “is it now inevitable that Mondoweiss will have to adopt the same position?”

        Et tu Bornajoo? See the “about” page, now with extra-large type.

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2015, 6:45 pm

        Bonajew,

        OK. Here in the US I saw it in the context of a put down used to misportray Palestinian activists’ view of Jews.

      • Bornajoo
        August 27, 2015, 8:25 pm

        Didn’t know that W.Jones
        But if you search you will find a few pro israel sites using it too (joo tube, joomag)

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2015, 7:29 pm

        BJ,

        Reading that statement by Barghouti again, it looks like at best an allusion to supporting JVP’s decision. It’s ridiculous that the “Left Collective” says that this was Barghouti “commenting directly” about Weir, since he never names her in the Collective’s quote.

        A lot of this Weir Affair is simply Weird.

      • Bornajoo
        August 28, 2015, 5:08 am

        Here is the link to the page on the jvp website regarding that particular webinar. It’s the last one of four. All the other links to the first three work, but for some reason the link to that particular webinar with Omar Barghouti is not working or has been disabled!
        https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/webinars/

      • W.Jones
        August 27, 2015, 7:45 pm

        On receiving your note, I dedicate this to you and Alison, B.A.J.

        Cheers, old boy.

      • just
        August 27, 2015, 10:45 pm

        “I’m happy to be drummed out of anywhere I’m not welcome. That’s the story of my life”

        Perish the very thought, Bornajoo! You’ve taught me so much that I am so grateful for.

        Heaven help us if honest and erudite voices are ever silenced here! You’re always welcome in my home and in my heart. I’ll be walking in solidarity with you.

      • eGuard
        August 28, 2015, 8:51 am

        re Bornajoo citing: “The people I [Barghouti] know and trust in the Palestine solidarity movement all say “good riddance” to Weir, including the most prominent leaders. Omar Barghouti, on a webinar hosted by JVP this week, commented directly on the controversy: “As a movement that is inclusive and anti-racist

        So the in the first part Barghouti was blindly following others, without own judgement. The second part, webinar, is generic and not a comment at all on Weir. In other words, Omar Barghouti did not judge and you should not count him in the “Weir is anti-Semitic” camp.

        And you say Ali Abunimah only tweeted about this, that does not count as an argued stand.

        Another two names that do not convince. The list of anti-Weir voices is being made up of non-arguing people (we can include Jennifer Hitchock). Sort of voting.

        Guilt by association, guilty for associating.

      • Bornajoo
        August 28, 2015, 2:23 pm

        “And you say Ali Abunimah only tweeted about this, that does not count as an argued stand.”

        Really? Okay EGuard, whatever you say because in a parallel universe when you tweet your support for someone else’s position you are also making your position clear regardless of what you mean by “argued stand”

        With regards to Barghouti I was sent information which I assumed was correct. However when I tried to view the original source, that particular link is not working or has been purposely disabled on the jvp website. I’ve written to jvp asking for an explanation

        I hope that clarifies the situation

    • Annie Robbins
      August 27, 2015, 5:29 pm

      OK, Mondoweis. Time’s up.

      lol, you sound like the camp counselor eguard. i have to ask, are we going to be turning into a pumpkin at midnight? or are you threatening to pull out all your funding? leave us for good? or what?

      it might be prudent for all those speculating what mondoweiss might do, to consider that not taking a position is a position. since mondoweiss has, thus far, not taken a position, that may be their position.

      • eGuard
        August 28, 2015, 8:54 am

        annie: pull out all your funding?

        How come you think about funding in this topic? Does that actually relate to the MW judgement & opinion on whether Weir is anti-Semitic? Tell!

      • Annie Robbins
        August 28, 2015, 11:50 am

        no, it actually relates to the implication of the way you addressed us wrt “times up” implying there’s some deadline you could enforce. therefore, i thought of the possible retributions you might have up your sleeve. first i considered the least probable, that you had some magic power to reach into the web, flick your magic wand, and poof — like cinderella our time would be up and poof, the carriage would turn into a pumkin. then i thought of other possible retributions you could take and i thought oh my, he could withhold something like funds (this being a tried and true way in which people either punish or reward people who do things they want, think parents, israel lobby, bosses at work wrt bonuses etc), then i thought — oh my, maybe he is threatening to leave us for good if we do not snap to it and take his orders immediately.

        like i said, you sound like a camp counselor. and it might interest you to know that whatever followed the part i copy pasted, i didn’t even address. you know why? because it’s totally irrelevant. the very idea mondoweiss has any sort of responsibility to you or anyone to make public statements, take sides or positions, or address what you or anyone else wants us to address, is an illusion. we write about what we want to write about.

        and if this is “times up” .. then what hoot is the difference between now and when it wasn’t, according to you, up? what’s time got to do with something you have no control over whatsoever?

        bye.

      • eGuard
        August 28, 2015, 8:38 pm

        re part 1: duh. A lot of blahblah. You know you did introduce the money-buys-position thing.

        re part 2: you’re trying to catch me on the “deadline” thing (something about a youth camp experience or so). That conveniently evades the answer to: what is the MW position in this? That it takes so much time to get an answer pulled out published (I even had to ask for it) does not make it irrelevant.

  63. mtorres
    August 27, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Apologies if this is a double-post. had a glitch just as I Posted, so here it is, just in case:

    Such a disappointment that this very valuable roundtable discussion is now devolving into naval gazing, hair-splitting examination of “anti-semitism” vs “racism”.

    This is such a common pattern – in almost 35 years of doing Palestine solidarity work, I can’t tell you how many times the focus has slipped off of Palestine and what we can do about it, to “we have to spend more time talking about sensitivities, definitions, hurt feelings, you-must-understand”, “Jews and Arabs/Muslims must dialogue”, “just what IS anti-semitism?” and on and on. ANYTHING to stop working to end the suffering in Palestine and help bring justice there.

    I don’t care what you call it: “anti-semitism” or “racism”. Can we stop this absurd diddling and get back to work!!!!!!! There’s so much to do. We have to build or re-build bridges within our own movement, we have to keep the communication lines open to Palestinians working in Palestine, get back to educating our own communities about the issue and so much more.

    But enough already, PLEASE, with definitions of words.

    • bintbiba
      August 27, 2015, 8:43 pm

      I agree , mtorres !
      Enough already .

      People are dying !

    • Pixel
      August 29, 2015, 11:54 pm

      This discussion has taken many twists and turns.

      Some sections of the roadway have been smooth, others have led in new directions, and still others have opened new vistas, and new paths forward. There’s been plenty of slow-downs in work zones. Investing in quality infrastructure is critical.

      Granted, there have also been a lot of bumps, some potholes, a couple of detours and a few dead ends. I think a couple folks may even have been swallowed by a sinkhole that suddenly opened beneath them. Hopefully, they were able to climb back out. There are always certainly lots of people here willing to lend a hand. And that’s not to mention the stellar guidance of the Head of Transportation, here, Annie!!

      Many of us started together from the very the beginning. Some of us followed straight through, others of us circled back around, even a time or two, trying to get our bearings and/or see new things we may have missed the first time around. Others started in the middle. Some weren’t sure why we were there or where we were going. Occasionally, people were walking, biking, hitching, sometime ridesharing, and I could swear I saw an Uber.

      While a few folks have been trying – sometimes accidently, sometimes intentionally – to reroute traffic or jam things up, they did not at any point wholly succeed. I mean, good grief, there’s over 1,000 comments here, which is slightly more than fast and furious ( and funny) Dersh Lolitagate thread.

      Overall, I’d say the journey has been a valuable one. It’s true that if things stop and stay stopped, nothing happens, people and vehicles benefit from regular maintenance, readjustments, rest, and even a good wash and wax.

      Sometimes, things break down and major repairs are necessary. Occasionally, we find that we’ve lost an important piece along the way that’s worn out, fallen off, or that we mistakenly or inadvertently tossed away.

      We can’t always go 100 miles an hour, non-stop. If we do, our gears or engines may sieze, or we get a Charlie Horse ( leg cramp) that’s disabling. If any of that happens, well, that’s the end of that – or something has to be replaced, which always takes more $$ and more lost time.

      Alternatively, if we take care of things, if we take are of ourselves and each other, we may get 200,000 miles out of these babies. By that time, we may even be able to traded in/traded up to bionic limbs, wingsuits, an S P85D, and eventually, the hyperloop and beyond, which will move us further faster.

      I wish we didn’t have to take this journey in the first place. I wish the need for it would have ended yesterday, or sooner. But I think there’s still a very long haul ahead.

      I’ve learned a LOT in this discussion that has energized me to greater thought, action, funding, etc. Moreover I found a woman that I didn’t even know had been dumped by the side of the road, a mover-and-shaker, left out in the elements. But she never stopped, stalled, or rusted. She keeps navigating ahead, leading the way down her path, in her way — and it matters.

      This discussion has been frustrating, irritating and, even angering, but the end result is that AW has now has gained huge numbers of fellow travelers who will and will assist her / help carry her and her work forward, as we each do with our own work.

      This inhuman challenge of this journey continues, renewed, refreshed, and enervated.

      • mariapalestina
        August 30, 2015, 12:26 am

        “I’ve learned a LOT in this discussion that has energized me to greater thought, action, funding, etc. Moreover I found a woman that I didn’t even know had been dumped by the side of the road, a mover-and-shaker, left out in the elements.”

        Thank you, Pixel. I have been so grateful that this issue was finally addressed here. No doubt many were surprised at the overwhelming support for Alison. I feared she would end up being trashed more severely than she had already by JVP and the groups & individuals that climbed on the bandwagon. Until this piece appeared, I feared Alison’s career could be destroyed, which would be a great loss to the Palestinians and the movement. Alison has long provided a service available nowhere else. Her research is impeccable and her facts are beyond criticism. Nobody has even suggested otherwise. Yet a group which fails to address the racism within its membership and definitely within its leadership had the temerity to accuse Alison of racism.

        JVP is also an important voice, and I have many friends who are members. But as a result of what I have learned from comments & links posted here I now look differently at JVP, and at Rachel Corrie Foundation, Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign & The U.S. Campaign to end the Israeli Occupation. I have less respect now for a few individuals who were quick to slur Alison. I hope there might be some who’ll be big enough to admit they were mistaken.

        The saddest thing is the polarization that resulted from this attempt at character assassination of a remarkable woman, a powerful activist, a good friend to Palestine (and to me) My unbending support of her has cost me a few friends.

        “But she never stopped, stalled, or rusted. She keeps navigating ahead, leading the way down her path, in her way — and it matters.”

  64. Mooser
    August 27, 2015, 9:48 pm

    “About Mondoweiss
    Mondoweiss is an independent website devoted to informing readers about developments in Israel/Palestine and related US foreign policy.
    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/about-mondoweiss#sthash.NAvs4so8.dpuf

    Independent, self-supporting, got nobody they rely on, got no shoulder they can cry on. That’s living, they’re on their own- goin’ it alone!

  65. Rusty Pipes
    August 28, 2015, 1:17 pm

    I have to say that I am disturbed by the extremely unprofessional way that Josh Ruebner has handled this affair. In late July, less than a week before an important briefing for Congress, he made a series of three public posts on his personal facebook page related to ETO’s decision on Alison Weir. While he said that ETO’s statements were not accusing Weir of being an anti-Semite, his subsequent posts slurred her as such. He proceded to block several people who disagreed with him from commenting on the discussion, calling them haters. He got snippy with others who disagreed, by claiming he really didn’t have time to engage with them because he had an important briefing to prepare. I am also disgusted by the comments by some activists whose work I had respected calling loudly for purges of the movement. Fortunately, Ruebner has managed to avoid the topic on his personal page since then. I keep getting messages from ETO about their upcoming conference (which look increasingly desperate, offering discounts). I wonder how registration is going.

    • W.Jones
      August 28, 2015, 2:03 pm

      Rusty,

      Did you think about going to the conference and talking about Weir? Overall, the US Campaign is a good organization.

      What is the proper abbreviation for the US Campaign? Aren’t abbreviations usually made of the initials in an organization’s title? I don’t know why Atzmon calls it the EOIO, since there is no O before the I in their title.

  66. sparrow
    August 28, 2015, 3:16 pm

    This doesn’t appear to have been included yet in this voluminous string. Before someone judges Alison they should see her and listen to what she has to say:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-UwcVP_k2Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4cNrbo15ME
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DWwWKTKIdg
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0hhIj0-k2w
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2ZQAnN89lg

    • Pixel
      August 29, 2015, 11:58 pm

      Thank, you, Sparrow.

      ps. Love your screen name.

      (Listening to birds, stopping to smell the flowers, and taking the time to appreciating beauty and small kindnesses in Life, is important along this wearying path.)

  67. W.Jones
    August 30, 2015, 3:24 am

    About two weeks have passed since this article was posted on Mondoweiss, and it is still going. Allow me to post for this Roundtable a Round Up of the most important discussions on the topic.

    2013: US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation (CEIO) Adopts Anti-Racism Principles
    Counterpunch: Free Palestine Movement makes a critique and CEIO responds
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/23/racism-and-the-movement-to-end-the-israeli-occupation/
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/08/23/an-official-rejoinder-to-paul-larudee/

    May-August 2015: JVP bans cooperation with Weir and CEIO expels her
    JVP Statement
    https://jewishvoiceforpeace.org/jewish-voice-for-peace-statement-on-our-relationship-with-alison-weir/
    CEIO Statement
    http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4510
    CEIO Steering Committee member’s explanation
    http://afsc.org/friends/palestine-activism-anti-racist-framework
    Scottish PSC supports the expulsion
    http://www.scottishpsc.org.uk/25-info/about-spsc/what-we-stand-for/1712-letter-from-spsc-to-us-campaign-to-end-the-israeli-occupation
    Corrie Foundation, SEAMAC, and PSC-Seattle support the expulsion
    http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/blog/2015/08/14/prioritizing-anti-racism-august-13-2015
    AUHPR supports the expulsion
    http://auphr.org/index.php/news/5418-the-movement-for-justice-for-palestinians-is-rooted-in-human-rights-justice-and-equality
    Free Palestine Movement resigns from CEIO in protest
    http://freepalestinemovement.org/2015/07/22/free-palestine-movement-resignation-from-the-u-s-campaign-to-end-the-israeli-occupation/#comment-4220

    Weir Responds
    “Please Help Us Overcome the Accusations”, Weir’s defends herself
    http://ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#five
    Weir’s radio interview, in which she asks why exaggerations and misrepresentations are used in the accusations
    http://whtt.org/the-adl-style-attack-by-jvp-against-pro-palestinian-activist-alison-weir-and-iak-results-in-expulsion/

    Solidarity Activists Discuss
    JSF makes five posts in July-August against Weir and Counterpunch, before and after the expulsion
    http://jewssansfrontieres.blogspot.com/
    Petition with about 2000 signatures defending Weir
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oyHWpfZtMvDez5XThztcbRMbgzQqMnCibkVk4Rjh3Hw/viewform
    Mondoweiss Roundtable with J.Hitchcock, S.Landau, R.Greenleaf, and about 1000 comments, a very large majority of which favor Weir (you are reading this entry.)
    A.Gupta critiques JVP and its banning of Weir
    http://louisproyect.org/2015/06/25/the-jewish-voice-for-peace-attack-on-alison-weir-jvp-loses-its-balance-2
    JVP member A.Kisch’s “Response to JVP regarding their excommunication of Alison Weir”
    https://thewallwillfall.wordpress.com/2015/07/20/response-to-jvp-regarding-their-excommunication-of-alison-weir-if-americans-knew-org/
    “Open Letter to JVP” on Democratic Underground
    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1021227
    Anonymous JVP Member writes a “dissident view” of the expulsion (“Ned Rosenberg isn’t his real name. Being a dissident voice within JVP is proven to be a dangerous adventure.”)
    http://uprootedpalestinians.blogspot.com/2015/06/jvp-and-alison-weir-dissident-view-ned.html
    Media With a Conscience, “Open Letter” to CEIO
    http://www.mwcnews.net/focus/letters-to-editors/53865-alison-weir-affair.html
    H.Norr on VOMENA radio “on the Accusations against Alison Weir”
    http://vomena.org/blog/2015/08/vomena-august-5-2015/

    Ripples: the Counterpunch Controversy
    E.Hendick: “CounterPunch or Suckerpunch?” (following Counterpunch writer L.Proyect’s posting of A.Gupta’s critique)
    http://meldungen-aus-dem-exil.noblogs.org/post/2015/07/19/counterpunch-or-suckerpunch
    L.Proyect, “In Defense of Counterpunch” (countering Hendrick’s tally of leftwing vs. rightwing Counterpunch articles)
    http://louisproyect.org/2015/07/24/in-defense-of-counterpunch/#respond

  68. jhitchcock
    September 2, 2015, 10:39 pm

    Nice summary with links, W. Jones.

    Max Blumenthal also tweeted on the issue today because apparently IAK sent out an email to its list about Max:

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/639160033301921793

    https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/639163049786671104

    And a couple of others can be found there too.

    And then there is this Ali Abunimah tweet from a few weeks ago after the ETO decision that I only recently came across: https://twitter.com/AliAbunimah/status/623171531783467009

    Just thought you guys might be interested.

    Take care!

  69. Taxi
    September 3, 2015, 8:54 am

    Jewish Anti-Goyism and the Entrenched Divisions in the Palestine Movement:

    https://platosguns.wordpress.com/2015/09/03/jewish-anti-goyism-and-the-entrenched-divisions-in-the-palestine-movement/#more-9339

    Well someone had to start writing about it!

  70. Henry Norr
    September 26, 2015, 8:03 am

    For anyone still following this thread and interested in reading more about the issues it raises, Alison Weir last night posted a comprehensive, and therefore lengthy, rebuttal to the US Campaign’s dossier of allegations against her. In my opinion she did a masterful job. It’s at iakn.us/1R76Lt1

    From Alison Weir’s comment about it on If Americans Knew’s Facebook page:

    We apologize that we didn’t do this sooner, but we prioritized our many projects to bring justice and peace to Palestine by giving the facts to the American public over the Campaign’s accusations.

    We hope that anyone who is as tired of the subject as we are will feel free to skip this statement and continue on with the urgent work before us.

    • eGuard
      September 26, 2015, 9:05 am

      Thanks, worth reading. The non-facebook is at http://www.ifamericansknew.org/about_us/accusations.html#fifteen

      It confirms that it is a smear campaign by JVP and Campaign. Importantly, Alison Wier points out that JVP and Campaign exclude the topics Right of Return and Apartheid from their policy.

      It also further proves that the accusations of Weir being “anti-Semitic” are even thinner that we learned before. What a shame.

      It is the unbased accusations of anti-Semitism that lie at the heart of this train wreck. A practice common at Mondoweiss allows too. And then, Weir writes: (it has recently come out that even Mondoweiss refused to publish a review [of Weirs book “Against Our Better Judgement”] by a contributor).

    • Susie Kneedler
      September 26, 2015, 9:08 am

      Thanks, Henry, for letting us know and for All your great work. I’ve been reading the eloquent Response for the hour since you posted the link and now begin to re-read. I’m sickened that it’s even “necessary” and heartsick that I’ve not done more to help, yet uplifted by Alison Weir’s continuing humanity.

      And THANK YOU to Alison Weir for your leadership and conscience. I can only wish that I’d ever done one smidge of the good you do for justice throughout Palestine and Israel for All every day and for many years.

    • Susie Kneedler
      September 26, 2015, 9:34 am

      I’d like to add how moved I am by this–amongst all else–“After dealing with other more pressing projects, as well as personal concerns, I’m now taking the time to respond in detail for those who in good faith would like to hear our reply.”

      Alison Weir’s call to “hear,” to listen “in good faith,” is what I try to remember always, and wish I could do as well as she and If Americans Knew—-and the many Writers (including Commenters, as well as Founders) here at Mondoweiss.

      To Alison, I’m concerned to hear that you’ve had “personal concerns,” and fervently hope that All is Well for You–as well and as good as the work you do.

    • W.Jones
      September 26, 2015, 5:50 pm

      Thanks, Henry.

      Weir writes: “Saying the word “Palestinian” itself was even considered controversial.” She is right. I am not sure that the Campaign leaders who work at NGOs realize fully how strong the social pressure is. I myself sometimes have avoided using the word “Palestinian”, even on Mondoweiss.

      She writes: “If Americans Knew and I myself have been listed alongside several leading pro-justice organizations on their top ten “anti-Israel” organizations and individuals.”
      Henry, if you were an opponent of If Americans Knew, what do you think that the most effective ways would be to shut it down? Maybe do some muckraking from statements it made five years ago?

      CEIO’s position is that if Weir makes retractions, then she could reapply for membership. She seemed to be willing to make a retraction about her quoting of Tucker here: “Perhaps, in retrospect, I could have cut out the offending quote from the article and just posted excerpts from it rather than its entirety, but I felt that the article contributed an interesting viewpoint to the debate.” She also seemed to make retractions about her statements to Douglas, which seems it would meet CEIO’s other criteria.

      Weir mentions: “we’re told that it recently excluded the Global March to Jerusalem; again without any process.” It would be helpful to know more about this.

      She also mentioned a powerful incident:

      After I returned from my first trip to Palestine, I went with a small group to a progressive event in San Francisco called “Silent Voices Speak.” This event addressed virtually all types of oppression except that of Palestinians, even though the series took place during a particularly brutal period of Israeli violence.

      When I and the others tried to peacefully and legally hand out flyers about Palestine, the “progressive” organizers called the police and had me taken away in handcuffs. In other words, at “Silent Voices Speak,” my voice on Palestine was silenced.

      • Paul Larudee
        September 28, 2015, 1:41 pm

        With regard to the Global March to Jerusalem – North America, the US Campaign claims that it was not expelled but rather removed because they do not consider it a “viable organization”. They have a point. We are little more than a list serve right now, having given up our bank account , and we did not renew our domain name. This applies only to the North American entity only, not the GMJ itself, based in the UK, which was never part of the USC.

        However, two questions arise about the USC decision to remove GMJ-NA. First, when did they do this? Evidence suggests that when the Free Palestine Movement was removed at its own request in protest of the IAK expulsion, the GMJ-NA and the International Solidarity Movement – Northern California were also removed at the same time for no other reason than that I am a contact for all three groups. It therefore appears that the removal of GMJ-NA was motivated by retaliation for the FPM action rather than a general housecleaning of organizations that are not viable. ISM-NorCal was reinstated, but not GMJ-NA.

        The other question concerns the regularity and equality of standards and procedures by which the USC “cleans” its membership list of non-viable organizations. Are other members judged by the same standards? Are there no other members whose status is similar to that of the GMJ-NA? When and how does the USC weed them out?

        The actions of the USC in this instance are similar in kind to those used against If Americans Knew, in that USC principles were applied arbitrarily, so that voices that USC considers to be unwelcome are ejected on the pretext of principle, while the same principle is not applied to other members that are considered to be more welcome. These are the actions of a manipulative autocracy rather than a grassroots democracy. It is Animal Farm.

      • W.Jones
        September 28, 2015, 2:59 pm

        Paul,

        You write: “We are little more than a list serve right now, having given up our bank account , and we did not renew our domain name.”

        Based on the list of members in good standing of the US CEIO, a member need not have its own bank account or website.
        http://www.endtheoccupation.org/article.php?id=4393
        So if you are a self-identified organization of people working together on the issue, you are viable. You could ask them what makes GMJ-NA nonviable in their eyes and whether every CEIO member organization meets those criteria.

        Remember, CEIO announces a very broad umbrella: “More than 400 groups and organizations- local, state, regional, and national- have signed on to the Campaign Call to Action”.
        That will naturally include groups that do not even have bank accounts or websites, or even listserves

      • Paul Larudee
        September 28, 2015, 5:09 pm

        You’re quite right, but I can’t imagine that we would prevail, or even demonstrate USC hypocrisy any more than has already been the case. Furthermore, the membership had already achieved consensus to resign in protest, like the Free Palestine Movement and the Louisville Committee for Peace in the Middle East.

      • W.Jones
        September 28, 2015, 8:01 pm

        Paul,

        It is relevant because it shows that the problem is not Weir as an isolated case, but an ongoing practice. Gaza is probably going to get bombed again, and again. That’s a huge problem that it takes every ounce of unity to address. Why are they banning groups working to stop it, using these kinds of justifications?

    • Annie Robbins
      September 26, 2015, 9:21 pm

      thanks so much for posting this henry. it’s very long. i read about 3/4 of it and then skipped a bit and read the base. i appreciated alison giving her impressions briefly of the origins of the relationship between jvp and IAK. all in all, as i’ve expressed before in this long 2 page thread, i’m not happy about this effort of jvp’s and end the occupation. rather than elaborate more i’ll say i found Marianne Torres’s sentiment at the base of the response as most closely resembling what i’ve come to feel about this complaint. so thanks marianne. and thanks to everyone who’s put in so much effort dissecting this incident. truly an unfortunate event.

      • mtorres
        September 27, 2015, 12:33 pm

        Thanks, Annie. That comment is the first version of what became my comment on Mondoweiss back at the beginning. Just for clarification, the letter I got from USCEIO came from a staff member who is also a personal friend. She expressed consternation that my name was “still” on the early letter calling for an end to the attacks. Not a specific request that I remove my name, but a clear inference that I should.

        It was followed by another long note from her that did not address the content of my first response, but rather was filled with insulting rhetorical “questions”. She didn’t address any of the content of my second reply to her, either. It was sad and sorry process and a disturbing example of the organization’s inability to actually defend their appalling actions.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 27, 2015, 1:38 pm

        that’s really sad marianne, especially with a personal friend. i feel really fortunate i didn’t have to endure any pressure from anyone, my colleagues included. but the internal pressure (in my own head) was difficult for me. there didn’t seem to be clarity in why this was coming down, although there was an effort to present it clearly — as if it was clear cut and black and white. and it just failed that test in my assessment. it felt too overloaded with baggage that wasn’t reflected in the complaint itself. but i still believe there are really good people in all these groups. when leaders make choices that effect and speak for everyone and people are task with choosing a side (and silence is also an implied side), it can cause a lot of turmoil. whereas some people seem to revel in it, and i don’t understand that.

        there was a lot of intent behind this. and for what end? so many people feel alienated when we should be united.

      • irishmoses
        September 27, 2015, 3:22 pm

        I too was frustrated by this very long discussion which seemed counterproductive and draining energy from the main issue, Palestinian freedom. But Marianne’s comment turned a light switch: This conversation and thread is very valuable because it highlights the widening schism between the liberal Zionists holding on desperately by their fingernails and the rest of us who are anti-Zionist and see it as an issue involving Palestinian freedom and self-determination in a state side-by-side with a truly democratic Israel.

        The liberal Zionist faction can’t abide any diversions from their goal of a very minimalistic Palestinian state and a maximized Israel state. Thus, BDS, RoR, Weir, Atzmon, and other heremites are threats to the simplicity and minimal nature of their goal which is to take the heat off Israel by the getting the Palestine issue off the table with as little impact on Israel as possible. Their cause isn’t Palestinian freedom, it’s preservation of as much of the status quo in Israel and the occupied territories as possible. They really don’t want to discuss issues like right of return, illegality of all the settlements, division of Jerusalem, return to the Green Line borders, status of external refugees, etc. because they don’t want any of that. Again, their goal is to get the Palestinian issue off the table with as little disruption as possible.

        Most of the time this gaping schism is invisible and buried in Kumbaya, make nice talk. but occasionally, the liberal Zionist powers that be strike out to silence someone who has deviated from the minimalist goals as did Weir and others before her.

        Wishing and trying to pull the “movement” back together just postpones the inevitable. The schism is there and for good reason. Pretending to be part of some solidarity movement that is so fundamentally flawed and fractured just weakens the cause for Palestinian freedom.

        Time to face up to the reality. The Allison Weir kerfluffle is a much-needed slap in the face. We need to embrace the reality of the schism and quit pandering to the liberal Zionist powers that be that are really undermining the cause of Palestinian freedom.

      • just
        September 27, 2015, 1:48 pm

        “It was sad and sorry process and a disturbing example of the organization’s inability to actually defend their appalling actions.”

        &

        “there was a lot of intent behind this. and for what end? so many people feel alienated when we should be united.”

        Well said. Thanks, mtorres and Annie.

      • MHughes976
        September 27, 2015, 5:37 pm

        If we are to discuss the Alison Weir question further I think we need a new leading article, this thread being so long and convoluted.
        Meanwhile, I see the strength of the argument made by Gil (IM) about differences in objectives re Palestine but I sort of sense something else which may lie deeper, ie a difference of opinion about what is considered anti-Semitic and of how far we should go in reassuring those who are intensely suspicious of all anti-Zionist sentiments.

      • echinococcus
        September 27, 2015, 5:57 pm

        Hughes,

        Of course there is something deeper, and it is in full light and official: on one side we have acceptance of Zionists within the organization, refusal to break the tribal ties (as one used to call it, fraternizing with the enemy), not mentioning leaving the reins of a Palestine solidarity organization in Zionist hands.
        More important even is what lies behind it: what’s vital in the BDS movement is that there are two movements, one favored by the Zionists and only targeting post-1967 settlements and the other favored by the anti-Zionists targetting all of the Zionist entity. It’s all a question of their ability to use the very BDS movement to legitimize the essential part of Zionist invasion.

      • just
        September 27, 2015, 8:34 pm

        @ irishmoses
        September 27, 2015, 3:22 pm

        Thanks for that really great and insightful comment.

        “Time to face up to the reality. The Allison Weir kerfluffle is a much-needed slap in the face. We need to embrace the reality of the schism and quit pandering to the liberal Zionist powers that be that are really undermining the cause of Palestinian freedom.”

        Yessirreee.

    • Kris
      September 26, 2015, 10:15 pm

      Thank you for sharing this link, Henry Norr. This rebuttal is very long, detailed, and valuable.

      From Jack Dresser’s CounterPunch article, which is included in this rebuttal:

      Alison’s politically incorrect policy has been to disseminate salient facts to anyone, anywhere to achieve the broadest possible reach among American citizens, without political discrimination. The expelling organizations undoubtedly fear that the knowledge will feed anti-Semitism. Maybe it will, but the appropriate remedy would be a collective demand by the Jewish diaspora to end the Zionist project, make reparations to its victims, and establish a democratic state, not to withhold information from people who might use it to make Jewish Americans uncomfortable.

      From the statement by Marianne Torres, a longtime pro-Palestinian activist who was pressured by The US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation to remove her name from the open letter in support of Allison Weir:

      One of the most puzzling aspects of JVP’s and Campaign’s justification of this attack on Alison is their statement that she has “legitimized” racism by appearing on certain shows (Joseph said exactly that on FB posts), yet the organizations refuse to see the contradiction and hypocrisy when they work with Zionist groups, thereby giving “legitimacy” to the racism of Zionism – remembering that across the globe, Zionism is recognized as racism. It IS, on its face, racism.

      No, Alison didn’t respond to every single statement or pick up on every nuance. Do you know of anyone who has ever been able to do that? She’s not a goddess. She’s not even perfect.

      I believe the real reason for the attack against Alison is that she exposed Jewish power in the US, the rather stunning power that resulted in the establishment of Israel as a Jewish state. She was certainly not the first to do that — it’s been written about for years (long before Atzmon), including extensively in the Daily Forward for decades — but she put it into easily readable form available to the public and substantiated and confirmed it with solid research and references. This is not allowed. It is “beyond thinkable thought,” as Chomsky says.

      The Jewish community speaks with pride about its presence and influence in many areas, as would any oppressed or formerly oppressed group. That in itself is not a bad thing, but to destroy a movement because someone outside that community said the very same thing, is evil. The hypocrisy and contradictions in this attack are almost beyond comprehension.

      I also believe concern about that revelation is why Chomsky and Bennis, so good on nearly everything else, refuse to recognize the power of the Lobby in the face of all evidence to the contrary. They, and certainly we, are all concerned about a real rise in anti-Jewish racism.

      It’s a very slippery slope, isn’t it? No sane person wants to see a repeat of the 1930s and 40s, so we avoid talking about things that might generate a similar anger again. And yet the things being done by Israel in the name of Jews everywhere are exactly the things that generate deep anger and contempt against nations that do such things and against people who are perceived to support them. It is those actions, that state in its current configuration, that must end, not the work of people exposing them.

      As long as that state insists that it is the state for all Jews, and that it speaks for all Jews, all Jews get tarred with the ugliness, even my Jewish husband who has been in the struggle for Palestinian freedom longer than I have — almost 35 years.

      For Jewish groups, or Jewish-led groups, to split the movement (one simply cannot deny that is what has happened, and what was surely expected to happen) is so transparent and completely unacceptable that there is almost nothing more to say on it.

      I wish mondoweiss would publish an article focusing Weir’s rebuttal. This topic is obviously very important to many mondoweiss readers, as evidenced by the huge number of comments. The question seems to be whether rights for Palestinians are as important as avoiding hurt feelings in the U.S. Jewish community or offending the powerful Jewish lobby.

  71. a4tech
    September 26, 2015, 9:54 am

    It is extremely amusing to me that the majority of the comments here are totally in-support of Alison Weir and at the same time, reject JVP’s allegations and also Jennifer Hitchcock’s rather sensible input in the matter. I agree 100% with everything Jennifer said, and I’m sure in due time everyone else will as well.

    As a Muslim, even I can sense the latent anti-semitism in Allison’s so called campaign for justice for Palestinians, however subtle it may be. Not surprisingly, similar sentiment is shared by most of the prominent activists in the cause, such as Ali Abunimah, Max Blumenthal, Nora Friedman etc.

    Those who are saying whatever the allegations on Alison Weir are does not discredit her work are straight-up wrong. The pursuit of justice for any cause is a privilege reserved for the best of us, not some charity drive that leads to “beggars can’t be choosers” mentality.

    • Taxi
      September 26, 2015, 10:58 am

      “As a Muslim, even I can sense the latent anti-semitism in Allison’s so called campaign for justice for Palestinians, however subtle it may be.”

      Oh well I guess that makes you much smarter than the rest of us dumb-heads, right? What a pathetic snob! And why on earth should your ‘moslemness’ matter to the accuracy of your analysis? For every ‘moslem’ who supports JVP’s stand against Alison, I can show you 100.000 moslems who are against!!! Ali Abunimah?! Mister establishment himself, Mister PC? Don’t make me laugh at you and your sycophantica towards Blumenthal and that Nora!

      Who the eff do you think you’re kidding – swanning in here all la-deeh-dah moslemy and telling us that YOUR understanding and detections of racism are stronger than ours?! Only a GATEKEEPING liberal zionist does that!

      What a charlatan loser! Offensive tool!

      But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt – just tell me EXACTLY which part of Alison’s writings or behaviors indicate this ‘subtle’ racism you refer to? Myself and others have been asking for this simple qualitative evidence from your side and we’ve gotten the sound of crickets with every request.

      I doubt that you’ve read Alison’s book, seen her lectures or read her immense link that the good Henry Norr has just provided us with – and yet you’ve got the gall to assume superiority of analysis.

      And your mentor, your bff in all this is Jennifer Hitchcock? Lol – yeah some smart and individuated “moslem” you are.

      • just
        September 26, 2015, 11:14 am

        Bravo, Taxi!

        “But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt – just tell me EXACTLY which part of Alison’s writings or behaviors indicate this ‘subtle’ racism you refer to? Myself and others have been asking for this simple qualitative evidence from your side and we’ve gotten the sound of crickets with every request.”

        Their silence is positively deafening.

        ~ and~

        Great ending, too:

        “And your mentor, your bff in all this is Jennifer Hitchcock? Lol – yeah some smart and individuated “moslem” you are.”

      • MHughes976
        September 26, 2015, 2:37 pm

        Alison Weir clearly thinks that there is a large potential body of support in the United States for the Palestinian cause if only the sheer horror of the situation were known. As far as I can see she does not exclude Jewish people from the group she hopes to win over, so I see no prejudice against people who are Jewish.

    • just
      September 26, 2015, 11:06 am

      “I agree 100% with everything Jennifer said, and I’m sure in due time everyone else will as well.”

      You’re dead wrong, a4tech . (So glad that you are amused/not).

      Many thanks to Henry Norr for the ‘heads- up’ and link to Alison’s rebuttal~ it’s masterful and well- sourced, indeed.

      Shame on those that have tried to smear her and her great work.

    • a4tech
      September 26, 2015, 11:34 am

      I respect both of your admiration of Ms. Weir and her campaign, but I don’t think I can add any further arguments that those already put forward by JVP and their associates, Ms. Hitchcock’s and the general staff at Electronic Intifada.

      To shed light on Israel’s action and motivations in Palestine is not some super-justice super-risky revolutionary cause. It’s been going on non-stop from the moment Zionism took hold in that place. It was from the start a international law and human rights issue, with Jews and Arabs as placeholders for the global audience.

      Ms. Weir however tries to reinvent the wheel and pose this issue as a nationalistic cause for true Americans who loves justice bs, and Israel as un-American (i.e. Jews are taking y’all for a ride). What she fails to see is that in essence, America and Israel are very much related and share the same roots as political entities. Thus, she shouldn’t be framing her campaigns as America vs Israel vs Palestinians, but on universal human rights and rule of law. This however is easier said than done and Alison’s inability to do so is not all surprising. After all, pursuit of justice is a cause that naturally attract many, but only a few truly dedicated in the cause succeed.

      • Kris
        September 26, 2015, 10:43 pm

        @a4tech: “Ms. Weir however tries to reinvent the wheel and pose this issue as a nationalistic cause for true Americans who loves justice bs, and Israel as un-American (i.e. Jews are taking y’all for a ride).”

        Allison Weir just published a well-researched book, Against Our Better Judgment: The Hidden History of How the U.S. Was Used to Create Israel http://www.amazon.com/Against-Our-Better-Judgment-History/dp/149591092X/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1443321051&sr=1-5&keywords=alison+weir that demonstrates how powerful Zionist organizations successfully pushed U.S. leaders into supporting the creation of Israel despite the advice of their top diplomatic and military experts.

        Given how poorly this has worked out for the U.S., there are lots of people who will be upset to realize that instead of wasting our money on Israel and wars for Israel in the Middle East, we could have been preventing climate change, rebuilding our infrastructure, educating and housing our citizens, and generally helping to improve the world for everyone.

        I don’t see how the U.S. and Israel are “very much related and share the same roots as political entities,” except that both were based on genocide and colonization. The difference, of course, is that Israel committed, and continues to commit, its crimes after international law had prohibited them.

    • Kris
      September 26, 2015, 11:59 am

      @a4tech: “As a Muslim, even I can sense the latent anti-semitism in Allison’s so called campaign for justice for Palestinians, however subtle it may be.”

      Uh, huh. Please try doing more than “sensing” and provide some real information, if you have it, which I doubt. As a Christian, even I can sense overt b.s.