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‘I cannot support Israel as long as Netanyahu is in office’– many American Jews are saying

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As readers know, I am focused on the coming American Jewish break with Israel. A community that has prospered because of equal rights and the separation of church and state here cannot continue to support the nullification of those very same ideals there. (Roger Cohen in the New York Times sees the same split coming.)

The spontaneous speech by a New York art gallery owner (video below) is compelling evidence for the trend.

Let me set the scene. On Thursday night, the New Israel Fund held an event at the Ronald Feldman gallery in Soho featuring photographs of the conflict, including the destruction of Gaza, and comments by Haaretz’s US editor Chemi Shalev, who said that Israeli society had turned its back on the world’s good opinion during the Gaza war of 2014.

At the end of the presentation, host Ronald Feldman, who had given his commercial space over to an exhibit that is not going to make him any money, was invited to speak, and he did so with real feeling.

The speech was off the cuff. Feldman began by saying how devoted his mother was to Israel– and he inherited that devotion. He has supported Israel “no matter what”. He was at the White House when the Oslo accords were signed in 1993. But now he is perplexed.

Now I look at Israel and I don’t know what it is. I can’t figure out what Israel is. So seeing this show, Israel becomes so much more complex, and so different from what I thought. And not a good thought. I still support it wholly and completely, but don’t agree with many of the things that are going on there. I hope it can hold on to its value.

Feldman segued to President Obama’s relationship to Israel. Before Obama ran for his second term, Feldman said, he was among a group of concerned Jews who met with the president at a New York restaurant to discuss his policy on Israel. No one ate anything for hours, Feldman said, as the president answered their questions. (I believe Feldman might be talking about this meeting on the Upper East Side in January 2012.)

[Obama] stood and he answered any questions you had. And he started out like this: “I know who you are.” Everybody was like Huh! What? He said, “I know what you stand for. I know you support Israel. But I also know that you love and support the United States. I know that you love America. And I know what interests you. These are your main interests: your interests are that you want fairness and you want equality.”

And everyone sat there and said, Finally someone non-Jewish who is in political office, very high up, understands who we are and where our hearts are at.

And Haaretz is that. And I’m sure that everyone else in Israel whether they’re on the right or the left have the same kind of thoughts. But it’s not quite exactly the same.

At this point Feldman explained the way that Israel is alienating some of these big American Jews.

What I’m seeing and what I’m hearing from many of my Jewish friends across the country: they’re very upset with Israel. They’re very angry, they don’t quite understand it. When you see this show, you will understand that there are two sides to this story, not the one side we hear normally….

Feldman said that the dark side of Israel is in this show– meaning, its treatment of Palestinians– and that American leaders must engage that truth.

Without healing those sides, which many American presidents have tried– hopeful presidents including Hillary have tried, no one can get through, no one can make this happen… We want Israel to live on, we want it to have a long life.

Then Feldman explained when the break occurred between Israel and American Jews: when Israel “stood against the president.” During the Iran deal, “a wealthy Jewish individual,” pictured in the next room (meaning Sheldon Adelson), arranged for Netanyahu to speak to Congress against the president’s plans– “the first time that was done that way with an Israeli”–

And it broke a code we had between us. The code was: Israel do or die, no matter what we support Israel and we want it to live, we give it everything we have, everything we can if they’re in trouble, and we ask our legislators to help Israel.

All of a sudden Israel was politicized, right against left, in signing the treaty.

His Jewish friends are now angry at Israel under Netanyahu:

And I have spoken to many friends again across the country, who say, I’m not sure I’m ever going to now, as long as he’s in office [meaning Netanyahu], support this country. That is a really terrible thing  to be hearing, because it’s not what we want and not what we need and not what the future should bring. It’s like an alarm bell.

Feldman tried to resolve these feelings by citing Haaretz’s work and Chemi Shalev, who he hopes will run for office back in Israel, and redeem the place.

A few comments. Feldman is a romantic about Israel; and it’s amazing how long it’s taken for him to wake up to even a tiny portion of the oppression of Palestinians. He supports Democratic candidates; but you can appreciate that there is little that separates him from a neoconservative when it comes to policy. He’s perplexed by Israel; he can’t accept how rightwing it is. But as Shalev indicated in his own remarks, Netanyahu represents the broad center of Israeli Jewish society. That society is reactionary and Jewish, and it must change fundamentally in order for there to be peace. Feldman’s feelings of disillusion in his mother’s dream are sure to continue a long slide down, and the divorce will ultimately entail American Jews diming out the Israel lobby as a dual loyalty operation. Feldman’s speech is very similar to Senator Chuck Schumer’s speech last year saying that the Iran deal raised sensitive questions of dual loyalty inside the Jewish community.

About Philip Weiss

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

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52 Responses

  1. ahadhaadam
    January 30, 2016, 3:07 pm

    It sounds like you created a thesis and then you to force all evidence to confirm to your prejudice.

    I don’t see any break coming any time soon. There are disagreements as there have always been and Israel is a more contentious issue these days, but at the end of the day, it is part of the identity of those secular Jews and without Israel, they simply have no identity, which is what the goal of Zionism was all along: to provide an identity to “secular Jews” as an ethno-nationalism, where Judaism is secondary and a belief in God is optional.

    • Krauss
      January 30, 2016, 3:52 pm

      Even though I am an anti-Zionist, I largely agree with your thesis. This whole “coming break” isn’t coming.

      It’s another episode of shoot-and-cry Zionism; we’ve seen this movie countless times.

      When the chips are down, all these “liberal” Zionists line up behind Apartheid. If Netanyahu would lose the next election and a Labour leader would take over, soften the rhetoric but continue the fundamental project, all these shoot-and-cry Zionists would stop their bleating and attack anyone who dares to criticise Jewish apartheid as “anti-Semitic” and so on.

      I’m tired of seeing these delusional posts from Phil. He does them as therapy, because he himself does not want to believe just how firmly Zionist the Jewish community(at least his generation) truly is. He does not want to accept that so many of them are total hypocrites on the issue of race and nationalism, that they are only holding their positions in the U.S. because it benefits them as a minority community but that Israel is what exposes their true political leanings.

      We were supposed to see I/P become an election issue this primary as well. Didn’t happen, as many of us warned. I repeat: if white Apartheid had even 10% of the support that Jewish apartheid has today in the media/donor class, Mandela would have been assassinated a long time ago and Afrikaaners would still be in power today.

      It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jewish apartheid has much wider support than white Apartheid ever managed to have, and that Jewish support for Apartheid is almost unbreakable in comparison. Phil may not like that, but that’s the reality.

      • RoHa
        January 30, 2016, 5:27 pm

        That should be:

        “If Netanyahu loses the next election and a Labour leader takes over, …”

      • echinococcus
        January 30, 2016, 6:06 pm

        Krauss,

        Well said. I agree on every point but there is a corollary, too: focusing on the tribe in the hope to chip away at the support for Zionism is a huge waste of time and energy that would be better used in the general population. It’s the Americans that have to know, not just the few chosen.

      • talknic
        January 30, 2016, 7:18 pm

        @ Krauss “It’s becoming increasingly clear that Jewish apartheid has much wider support than white Apartheid ever managed to have, and that Jewish support for Apartheid is almost unbreakable in comparison. Phil may not like that, but that’s the reality”

        Most Jews don’t even know it is apartheid. Nor, thanks to a controlled MSM, do many non-Jews

      • niass2
        January 31, 2016, 4:05 am

        why do we call them Liberal Zionists most of them are not kind or generous at all, its a false term.

      • Nevada Ned
        January 31, 2016, 11:53 am

        Krauss:

        You don’t think that American Jews will ever break with Israel.
        Krauss, you should read Norman Finkelstein’s 2012 book, Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish romance with Israel is coming to an end.
        Finkelstein documents his case very convincingly, quoting American Zionists who are very very worried.

        You don’t have to agree with Finkelstein on every issue, but I think he’s right about this issue.

      • eljay
        January 31, 2016, 7:01 pm

        || niass2: why do we call them Liberal Zionists most of them are not kind or generous at all … ||

        “Liberal Zionist” is just another term for a Zio-supremacist who wants a “kinder, gentler” religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

        Although he’ll tell you that ethnic cleansing is “currently not necessary”, he won’t tell you that it’s never necessary. But the dirty work makes him squeamish, so he prefers to “hold his nose” while his hardier co-collectivists take care of it.

        When all is said and done, however, he’s prepared to “primarily celebrate”.

  2. Keith
    January 30, 2016, 4:43 pm

    PHIL- (Feldman quote)- “I still support it wholly and completely, but don’t agree with many of the things that are going on there.”

    Why does he support Israel wholly and completely? Does this sound like a split with Israel or discontent with Netanyahu? In the video Feldman says that God gave the land to the Jews. Is this your idea of liberalism? Feldman is a Zionist to the core and is not going to change.

    OBAMA QUOTE (to Jews)- “I know you support Israel. But I also know that you love and support the United States.”

    Yes, Zionist Jews are loyal supporters of empire as well. How could they not be, what with Israel’s dependence upon imperial support?

    Let me add that what Zionist Jews like Feldman would like to see is a corporate run Jewish State of Israel that replaces obvious apartheid with comfortable legal fictions like South Africa where transnational capital and white businessmen continue to rule behind a Black veneer.

    • Les
      January 31, 2016, 11:37 am

      If God could give the Pilgrims the land of the American Indians, justifying their extermination, why couldn’t God have the same deal with Jews to take Palestinian land and extermiate those who resist?

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2016, 12:27 pm

        “If God could give…/…those who resist?”

        Now wait a minute! Shouldn’t there be some statutory limit or ‘cap’ on how many times and in how many places the same verses can be used?

      • MHughes976
        January 31, 2016, 3:31 pm

        That, Les, is a really good question. It may also be asked of all claims to a Eminent Domain based on any consideration, such as the general advancement of civilisation.

      • gamal
        January 31, 2016, 4:41 pm

        “That, Les, is a really good question. It may also be asked of all claims to a Eminent Domain”Hughes interrogating

        “If God could give the Pilgrims the land of the American Indians, justifying their extermination” Les

        ” Eminent Domain”

        by “Eminent Domain” you mean Manifest Destiny or when my property is seized via eminent domain i can expect that it will be by an extra-national entity that will kill my children, rape us and imprison me, or you just trying to normalize theft, abuse and slaughter as

        ” the general advancement of civilization.” ?

        they dont buy it? at market rate? i can challenge them in court? because they are the local legitimate government? how is settler colonization in any way analogous to “Eminent Domain”?

        is the ” advancement of civilization” often cited in Eminent Domain cases?

        whose civilization and at whose expense?

        you have no right to others property, no matter how far out, evovled and amazing you think yourself, nor does a state, its a basic legal, Christian and Humanistic principle. Gandhi, who doesnt love Gandhi, advised you to get a civilization before using its mere existence as a cover for pillage and war, Eminent Domain!

        its grim watching an imperial mindset take hold in the west, reforming Islam, drawing new lines in the sand, containing China, philanthropizing in Africa.

        South east Asia in the 60’s and 70’s now south west Asia, no protest this time its normal, just a bad neighbourhood.

        I am of course pretending that you said what you are pretending not to say, because its more fun this way.

      • talknic
        January 31, 2016, 6:33 pm

        @ Les “If God could give the Pilgrims the land of the American Indians, justifying their extermination, why couldn’t God have the same deal with Jews to take Palestinian land and extermiate those who resist?”

        The pilgrims no longer exist, they are no longer colonizing, all the legal inhabitants of the USA have a right to vote. Israel is still colonizing non-Israeli territories, most of the legal inhabitants of the territories Israel has illegally acquired by war do not have the right to vote in Israel

      • Kris
        January 31, 2016, 6:55 pm

        @Les: “If God could give the Pilgrims the land of the American Indians, justifying their extermination, why couldn’t God have the same deal with Jews to take Palestinian land and extermiate those who resist?

        “If,” Les? God has had similar deals throughout history with a variety of hateful groups, including, but not limited to, the Pilgrims, the Zionist Jews, the Nazis, the Army of God, the Lord’s Resistance Army, the Catholic Church (remember the Crusades!), the Conquistadors, various missionary groups, etc.

        I used to think that people who claimed that God was okaying their horrible crimes were mocking God, but now that God wants me to take over the house that I covet in Victoria, B.C., even if it involves killing the present inhabitants, I realize that the situation is “nuanced” and “complicated.”

      • amigo
        February 1, 2016, 7:16 am

        Kris Hi, OT but I have been having problems with the cache link to Haaretz It was working fine for a few months..Their subscribe option is now appearing on the cached view.Maybe Haaretz got smart .You are probably more familiar with such matters than I. Any help would be appreciated.

      • Kris
        February 1, 2016, 1:43 pm

        Hi, amigo. I have been running into the same problem. What I have been doing is just scrolling the haaretz article slowly and reading in the small area that I can see below the Subscribe box which covers the center of the screen.

        Another thing that works much of the time is to close the haaretz window, then open a new window and do a google search for the key words in the title of the article I want to read. The search will offer me the haaretz story, and when I click on the link, I usually, but not always, can read the article without its being covered up by the Subscribe window.

        I hope that anyone who has found better ways of reading articles behind paywalls will share them with us.

      • eljay
        February 1, 2016, 2:11 pm

        || Kris: … I hope that anyone who has found better ways of reading articles behind paywalls will share them with us. ||

        Does Haaretz not allow free subscriptions anymore? I signed up a couple or so years ago for free and still have access to content on the site.

      • Kris
        February 1, 2016, 3:59 pm

        Ejay, according to this http://www.haaretz.com/news/1.580708 , registered users can see six premium articles on haaretz per month. To see more than that, you have to buy a subscription. Subscriptions are cheap, so maybe it is worth it to buy one.

        I just found this way to access haaretz articles for free; I haven’t tried it yet:
        http://uncommonprogrammer.blogspot.com/2013/05/haaretz-cracked-goodbye-paywall-its-now.html

      • amigo
        February 1, 2016, 8:46 pm

        “I just found this way to access haaretz articles for free; I haven’t tried it yet: – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/when-netanyahu-worked-against-obama-he-broke-the-code-of-blind-american-jewish-support-says-a-jewish-leader/#comment-160934” Kris

        thanks for the link Kris.I tried it but as your average libzio might say, “It is complicated.”

        Open that link and there is a discussion that includes comments from people who have successfully used it and others who experienced problems.I still was unable to succeed but I am pretty low tech when it comes to cutting and pasting javascript and such.You might better understand.

        Thanks for your help in any event.

      • eljay
        February 1, 2016, 9:02 pm

        || Kris: Ejay, according to this link to haaretz.com , registered users can see six premium articles on haaretz per month. To see more than that, you have to buy a subscription. … ||

        Ah, okay, I wasn’t aware of that. Carry on! :-)

  3. Shmuel
    January 30, 2016, 5:38 pm

    But Feldman’s real problem with Netanyahu is that he supported Republicans?

  4. JWalters
    January 30, 2016, 6:07 pm

    “So seeing this show, Israel becomes so much more complex, and so different from what I thought. … When you see this show, you will understand that there are two sides to this story, not the one side we hear normally.” – Ronald Feldman

    Thank you Ronald Feldman for starting to speak up about this, in word and deed.

    The “complexity” you experience comes from the fact that the story America normally hears is a cover story, and the true story is finally coming out. Yes, there was a horrible Holocaust. But that has been used cynically by war profiteers to fan the flames of continuing war. I recommend the article by Jewish psychologist Avigail Abarbanel, It’s time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped.
    http://mondoweiss.net/2015/07/american-recognize-duped

    More on the nature of this duping is told in Why Israel has silenced the 1948 story of Nazareth’s survival
    http://mondoweiss.net/2016/01/silenced-nazareths-survival

    Further covered up parts of the historical story are online at “War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror”.

    Con artists TYPICALLY create deep emotional attachments in their victims as part of their scam. Sometimes victims even have a hard time giving up the scam after the truth is revealed to them.

    I envision Avigail Abarbanel hosting a massive online therapy program for people duped by these war criminals. Jews could provide a good example for the world, a lamp, by divesting themselves from the criminals in their midst and putting Justice above tribalism.

  5. lonely rico
    January 30, 2016, 8:16 pm

    >Ronald Feldman

    Israel becomes so much more complex, and so different from what I thought. And not a good thought. I still support it wholly and completely, but don’t agree with many of the things that are going on there.
    I hope it can hold on to its value.

    Uh ? What value is that Mr. Feldman ?

    The value of the ethnic cleansing (nakba) of the Palestinians ?
    The value of murder, rape, and violence accompanying the foundation of the Zionist state in 1948 ?
    The kibbutzim farming on the stolen land of the Palestinians ?.
    The trees planted on the destroyed villages of the Palestinians ?
    The ongoing destruction of a whole society ?

    Israel has not changed since its foundation,
    ever a racist state,
    founded on the cruel destruction of the indigenous people,
    who had been living for generations in peace; Muslim, Christian & Jew.

    The mask slips with Netanyahu and the current crop of ugly pols in Israel,
    vying each with the other to outdo proclamations of their appalling racist inhumanity.

  6. joemowrey
    January 30, 2016, 8:46 pm

    Oh, and they could support the racist Zionist state if someone else was in power there? That’s real comforting.

  7. Kris
    January 30, 2016, 9:16 pm

    Ronald Feldman: “Now I look at Israel and I don’t know what it is. I can’t figure out what Israel is. So seeing this show, Israel becomes so much more complex, and so different from what I thought. And not a good thought. I still support it wholly and completely, but don’t agree with many of the things that are going on there. I hope it can hold on to its value.

    This style of rhetoric is oddly familiar. Does Mr. Feldman comment on mondoweiss under the name “yonah fredman”?

  8. Kay24
    January 30, 2016, 9:39 pm

    American Jews should realize that Israel is simply using their staunch support to perpetrate a slow genocide of occupied people, and to take over their lands, water, and all resources.
    Israel does not care about the US or even respect our President. It has manipulated our congress to dance to zio tunes. This is reality. American Jews should stop being in denial and face it, Israel will use us, and abuse us, take what it can from us, and no amount of hasbara should convince them otherwise.

  9. Qualtrough
    January 30, 2016, 10:56 pm

    “Now I look at Israel and I don’t know what it is. I can’t figure out what Israel is. So seeing this show, Israel becomes so much more complex, and so different from what I thought. And not a good thought. I still support it wholly and completely, but don’t agree with many of the things that are going on there. I hope it can hold on to its value.”

    The Godwin rule was created to prevent very apt Israel-Nazi Germany comparisons, so I will pay no attention to it and go on to say that I am sure that during the era of the Third Reich many Germans undoubtedly had the exact same feeling as this man as they slowly realized that Germany had become so ‘much more complex, and so different from what I thought.’ And just like this man, despite that realization they “still [ed] support it wholly and completely.” Right up to the end.

  10. yourstruly
    January 31, 2016, 2:05 am

    Elderly Jewish Zionists aren’t going to change. At best most are dual-loyalists. With millennials and subsequent generations, Zionism’s hold on America becomes progressively weaker. It is up to our youth, then, to educate Americans on the racist nature of Israel and for an end to the special relationship. Members of anti-Zionist/pro-Palestinian organizations such as Jewish Voices for Peace know this. Their membership is growing. Their effort merits the support of anti-Zionists of all religious persuasions.

    • Sibiriak
      January 31, 2016, 5:24 am

      yourstruly: Elderly Jewish Zionists aren’t going to change.
      ——————–

      Where’s rugal b to cry “ageism!” ?

      • Mooser
        January 31, 2016, 12:10 pm

        “Where’s rugal b to cry “ageism!” ?”

        If we are lucky, we will never find out. I’m sure not going to ask.

  11. echinococcus
    January 31, 2016, 2:55 am

    yourstruly,

    I don’t know if you live in the States or not. Doesn’t sound like you do. It’s the elderly that have not been completely indoctrinated from birth on. Many of them grew up anti-Zionist and a lot do not even consider themselves Jewish if they don’t have religion. Some of those who do nevertheless remember with sympathy the Bund and the anti-Zionist organizations. Others grew up with proletarian internationalism as an ideal. All this is far from being a significant minority, of course, but there they are.
    The young, on the other hand, have been indoctrinated by a Brave-New-World-type machine. There was a religious (but entirely Zionism-produced) revival. They haven’t even heard of internationalism. They just accept as natural a concept of biological Jewishness. Even the most clear-eyed, like our host, keep tribal ties.
    JVP, that you seem to admire, works mainly for the goal of character assassination of real anti-Zionists who do something serious, like inform the entire American public in order to sway our foreign policy instead of burying it all in pointless intra-tribal bitching. It is not anti-Zionist and keeps complex family, financial and other ties with the enemy. Even its avowed main goal, when you look at it, is often that of fighting some imagined “antisemitism”. Essentially, whatever positive results may be produced seem to be a reluctant by-product, or within the bounds of the “Liberal” Zionist BDS of “settlements” only. Of course, I’d like to be informed otherwise.

    • Philip Weiss
      January 31, 2016, 10:17 am

      I agree with yourstruly, echinococcus, because the ones who remember the Bund are over 75. Bernie remembers the Bund, I bet, at 74. But Bernie is very politically literate, obviously.
      The gentleman at the art gallery is probably 70 or a bit older. That means that in 67 he was in his 20s. That was when his political consciousness was formed.
      I agree with yourstruly that young Jews are going to save the US Jewish community from this madness; and that the matter is consequential because US foreign policy won’t change without that community changing.
      Though obviously the young Jewish community is influenced by Black Lives Matter and many other broader progressive trends.

      • echinococcus
        January 31, 2016, 11:29 am

        I suppose we haven’t been in contact with the same reality at all. I am not 75 yet but I grew up breathing WWII, as did all my friends; what formed our political consciousness was not the experience at 20 but our parents’ fights, heard from very early on. As for Sanders, as a kibbutzer and a Zionist he’s obviously not likely to be counted among the opponents. That what you see reflects the majority in the US is a given.
        What I was wondering about was the likelihood of young people still identifying as Jewish (and that has become just “natural” in the last 50 years or so) of breaking tribal loyalty. Now either the extremely well-oiled, well-financed Zionist indoctrination machine, with its dictatorship over public school teaching, Jewish-only schools, community thought-police, Saturday schools, summer camps has an effect and we have to lower our expectation of free thinkers, or it is largely ineffective –perhaps there is a way of measuring this.

        The highly unlikely “saving” of the “US Jewish community” from this madness, as you correctly call it, remains essentially marginal to US policy: the likelihood of movement there is still much smaller than from the general population –whose information and education should be the first objective. Besides, it’s not that “community” that has any influence on policy but money and organized Zionism, totally refractory to becoming suicidal. Only very massive public opinion pressure, to the point of being irresistible even by money can do that. That means a movement much deeper and more general than the huge antiwar mobilization of 2001. Not something you can do with a Jewish community.

      • Philip Weiss
        February 1, 2016, 10:49 am

        Bernie Sanders is a leading candidate for president. He is no longer a marginal figure in US public life. When you rate him as a Zionist and a kibbutzer, you have plenty of historical evidence for that; and yet he is on the left of the US discourse and he is subject to the winds of change. Many people held refractory positions on gay questions a generation ago; those people’s positions have changed.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 1, 2016, 12:13 pm

        Now either the extremely well-oiled, well-financed Zionist indoctrination machine, with its dictatorship over public school teaching, Jewish-only schools, community thought-police, Saturday schools, summer camps has an effect and we have to lower our expectation of free thinkers, or it is largely ineffective

        this either/or scenario you’ve come up with is not realistic. while “the extremely well-oiled, well-financed Zionist indoctrination machine, with its dictatorship over public school teaching, Jewish-only schools, community thought-police, Saturday schools, summer camps has an effect” on some people, for others, it is largely ineffective.

        but either way, “breaking tribal loyalty” as you put it, doesn’t (in the least) necessarily (at all) imply not “identifying as Jewish”.

      • yonah fredman
        February 1, 2016, 12:59 pm

        a person who lives on a kibbutz is called a kibbutznik. a person who tells you where to move your bishop while watching your chess game is a kibbitzer. I have never heard the term kibbutzer before.

      • Mooser
        February 1, 2016, 1:50 pm

        “I have never heard the term kibbutzer before.”

        You’ll get used to it.
        Yiddish is a very flexible language, and so is English.

      • echinococcus
        February 2, 2016, 8:34 am

        Thanks, Phil and Annie, for the discussion. While your objections are certainly very reasonable, it looks as if we still lack measurable evidence.
        One thing though, Annie: “identifying as Jewish” is logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal.

      • Sibiriak
        February 2, 2016, 9:12 am

        echinococcus: identifying as Jewish” is logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal.

        —————-

        No. Not unless you arbitrarily define “tribal” as any kind of group identity, or if you define Jewishness as inherently tribal.

        A person can identify as Jewish and have any number of other identities simultaneously, without putting the Jewish identity above all the others in some kind of “tribal” way. That’s certainly logically possible; whether that occurs in reality in any particular instance is an empirical question.

      • Annie Robbins
        February 2, 2016, 9:17 am

        “identifying as Jewish” is logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal.

        while that might be true, it doesn’t contradict my point. i wrote ““breaking tribal loyalty” as you put it, doesn’t (in the least) necessarily (at all) imply not “identifying as Jewish”.”

        there are lots of ways to “break tribal loyalty” and self identify as jewish. ei: while some jews might consider marrying a non jew as “breaking tribal loyalty” lots of self identified jews do it. and while not supporting israel might be considered “breaking tribal loyalty” lots of self identified jews do it. “breaking tribal loyalty” is subjective anyway. for many being an anti zionist is “breaking tribal loyalty”, but there are lots of self identifying jewish anti zionists.

        you made an either or statement that was patently false by associating “young people still identifying as Jewish” with tribal loyalty, non free thinkers, and “well-oiled, well-financed Zionist indoctrination” and “dictatorship over public school teaching, Jewish-only schools, community thought-police” etc. and i just don’t see that as the case at all. there are a lot of jewish people self identifying as such who are definitely creative free independent thinkers and non zionist. and not subject to some tribal jewish group think where they stick together.

      • echinococcus
        February 2, 2016, 10:55 am

        Annie, you’re mostly right at that. Thank you for the reminder. I was too lazy in committing two sins, viz. 1. confusing people and logical categories and 2. not defining / assuming there is a consensus about anything at all.

        In fact, tribalism is essentially the fact of kinship across an extended network of not necessarily biological relationships. Continuing to consider as one’s brother the enemy, in what is very much a war to the death, does not look good at all. Your observation that this does not necessarily entail (in my words) intelligence with the enemy is correct, albeit largely theoretical.

        The other point is that of the huge difference between ethnic identity felt among people who share common languages or cultures like, say, Yiddish-speakers or Ladinos or Mizrahi, and the fake-superordinate fake-category of “Jewish” that only and exclusively describes a religion with no other point of contact. Calling oneself that fake category does give one insight into the probability of their considering the Zionists as the enemy, or not (possibly also to the person’s critical thinking habits.)

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2016, 11:28 am

        “One thing though… “identifying as Jewish” is logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal.”

        This is awful. I am such a total screw-up, I’m hopeless. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit this but it would be better for everyone if I did.
        So I’ll just out and say it: I thought my Judaism was between me and G-d!
        I actually thought that, when it is actually “logically synonymous, if not co-extensive, with being tribal”.
        I never get it right, and the way I fool myself is pathetic.

      • eljay
        February 2, 2016, 11:39 am

        || Mooser: … I’m ashamed to admit this but it would be better for everyone if I did. So I’ll just out and say it: I thought my Judaism was between me and G-d! … ||

        Don’t worry, Mooser. A soothing chat with MaxNarr, Steve Grover, Mayhem, et Zio-al. will get you and your priorities sorted out in no time. ;-)

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2016, 11:55 am

        “A person can identify as Jewish and have any number of other identities simultaneously”

        For instance, Jewish and Mooselem

      • Mooser
        February 2, 2016, 2:29 pm

        “A soothing chat with MaxNarr, Steve Grover, Mayhem, et Zio-al.”

        Yuppers, “eljay”, a nice soothing chat, like the guys in your avatar (and related story) are having.

  12. niass2
    January 31, 2016, 3:52 am

    Ok, so Netanyahu goes and then what. Or he gives the Palestinians some half baked thing. No. I think its Justice Jews like me want for Palestinians. Its going to be quite a while after that that anyone around this household supports this far off foreign nation state. I am jewish, my kid is adopted Vietnamese, its unlikely he’s going to celebrate more than Chanukah, and that’s cause he wants presents. Were not showing him the religion, and even if we did it would have nothing to do with Israel or supporting it. As far as I know we are Europeans so support for an apartheid nation in the middle east is something we do not and will not support. I don’t care if it exists, if it restores Justice and land, but Netanyahu s just a man, and a man is just a man. Its a good rhetorical question, but Netanyahu is just one of many scumbags, and no I don’t support it and probably never will. Why would I, they’re a bunch of self righteous jerks as far as I can tell. They want to impose this question on me as if I care about them, since we share some weird ethno-religious bond. If I was Danish or swedish would I support beating up refugees? Probably not. The elderly don’t exist for very long. I’m 47, I assume vast numbers of people 50 and younger feel this way or are too wound up in this strange fantasy to get it, yet. They will, soon. After Clinton’s indictment next week things will change.

  13. Kay24
    January 31, 2016, 4:51 am

    So adamant are the zionists that they keep the status quo and steal Palestinians lands, they are now insulting the French and their initiative to push for peace. It is time France and the rest of the world faced reality and simply recognized the State of Palestine formally. Let the zionists face the consequences of rejecting yet another opportunity for peace.

    “Israel is doubling down on its criticism of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius’ initiative to convene an international committee to kick start an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
    According to a senior official in Jerusalem Saturday, “Israel wonders if France will also propose an international peace committee with ISIS, an organization that sows and distributes terror in France.”
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that he welcomes the French initiative and as he was speaking at a summit of African countries in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, called on his African counterparts to support the move as well. – Haaretz

  14. Les
    January 31, 2016, 11:30 am

    To RoHa’s comment

    “If Netanyahu loses the next election and a Labour leader takes over, …”

    Labor would call not for an end to ethnic cleansing of Palestinians but, instead, for slowing its pace as well as less frequent lawn mowing of Gazans, for the unwanted attention the pace and the frequency cause.

    • RoHa
      January 31, 2016, 2:21 pm

      That was Krauss’s comment. I was just helping him with the grammar of conditionals.

  15. pabelmont
    February 1, 2016, 10:08 am

    What I don’t like, in what I’ve heard so far about “the break”, is that those who express disillusionment with Israel (or with Netanyahu) are pulling away from I/P instead of re-discovering a (Jewish or human) commitment to decency and concern for human rights, etc., and trying (even in a small way) to make things better.

    What I hear is, “I wash my hands of it. I’ve been disappointed, my lib-Zionism has been shown to be unconnected to reality, so to Hell with it all.”

    • Mooser
      February 1, 2016, 11:23 am

      “I wash my hands of it. I’ve been disappointed, my lib-Zionism has been shown to be unconnected to reality, so to Hell with it all.”

      Yes, and thank you, “pabelmont”! I though I was the only one who even sensed that.
      Everybody is abdicating responsibility for Zionism (not blame, or fault), that is, the idea that Zionism will respond.
      And people can do this in counter-intuitive ways, for instance, those who profess a fanatic support for Zionist expansion usually disclaim responsibility for it. (God’s promise…He’s responsible)

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