Dennis Ross tells American Jews, ‘We need to be advocates for Israel’ — and not for Palestinians

US Politics
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Longtime peace processor Dennis Ross has denied the charge that he was “Israel’s lawyer” in the White House, but the other night at Central Synagogue in New York he dropped all pretense to fairness. In what was billed by the rabbi as an “off the record intimate conversation with a thousand of your friends,” Ross identified himself as a Zionist and attacked the trend inside the Jewish community to stand up for Palestinians.

“Plenty of others have been advocates for the Palestinians. We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel,” he said to an outburst of applause from more than 500 people gathered in the historic landmark temple.

And lest anyone think he was an honest broker in the peace process, Ross also said, “In Arabic, the word for yes is na’am and the word for no is la. And when it comes to peace proposals, the Palestinians have used the word la only.”

Ross spoke with former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Rabbi Angela Buchdahl at an event titled “Israel at a Crossroads.”

The former White House aide who has been mentioned as a possible secretary of state under Hillary Clinton issued his declarations of Zionism and Jewish advocacy during a discussion of restrictions on prayer at the western wall in Jerusalem. Ross said that American Jews must insist that it is “unacceptable” that the Israeli government bars access to some Jews. “On the issue of religious pluralism… we as Jews in this country have an obligation [to explain] we are too small a people to be exclusionary,” he said. “We shouldn’t be silent.”

But other Israeli policies should not be questioned:

It becomes more complicated when you start talking about the peace issue. Because we don’t live there, we don’t bear the consequences of the decision, and some– many Israelis will react negatively to the idea that you really can’t tell us what we should be dealing with what is required for our future…

And while Ross said that American Jews ought to have a more vigorous debate of Israeli policies, many have gone too far in criticism of Israel.

There are some in the Jewish community who basically want to look at the Palestinians and think that the Palestinians really are the ones who have been forthcoming, it’s only Israel that’s holding back. It’s not true. I don’t need to cite chapter and verse. In Arabic, the words for yes is na’am and the word for no is la. And when it comes to peace proposals, the Palestinians have used the word la only. And so when we raise questions about what Israel needs to do it shouldn’t be seen as if somehow we’re advocates for the Palestinians. Plenty of others are advocates for the Palestinians. We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel.

Ross seemed to slam Jews who have called for a single state in Israel and Palestine; and in doing so he extolled Zionism.

Now being an advocate for Israel is not saying, that if you stay on the same path “you become a binational state, that’s a good thing!” Being an advocate for Israel is saying, “you know what, take the steps you need to take to assure you’re going from a binational state.” Not because we think the Palestinians have been responsible– because they haven’t been– but because the essence of Zionism is… you shape your destiny, you don’t let others do it.

Despite serving in the Clinton and Obama administrations as a negotiator in the peace process, Ross has always been seen as an advocate for Israel. In fact, that advocacy has helped him to keep high position, because he has had the approval of the powerful Israel lobby; Abraham Foxman of the Anti Defamation League once said that Ross is “the closest thing you’ll find to a melitz yosher [advocate in Hebrew], as far as Israel is concerned.”

Ross was put on the defensive by a 2005 article in the Washington Post by fellow negotiator Aaron David Miller that began:

For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.

The line was widely read as a criticism of Ross’s work during the Camp David negotiations of 2000; and last fall Ross addressed the charge when he published a book called Doomed to Succeed, the US-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama, which argues for an enduring and close friendship between the countriesRoss wrote:

“The criticism of Clinton in many quarters was that he tilted too much toward Israel, that he was, in the words of my former deputy, Aaron David Miller, too much ‘Israel’s lawyer.'”

Ross’s statement was inaccurate; Miller mentioned “the Clinton administration” only once in his article. Its target was Miller himself and Dennis Ross.

Also in that book, Ross waited till a footnote on page 224 to say that he is Jewish. There was no such hesitancy when he came to a Jewish audience in New York the other night. Nope; it’s “we need” to do this and that, and we Jews have an “obligation” to do thus and such.

Ross –who has chaired the Jewish People Policy Institute in Jerusalem– was brought into the Obama administration in 2009 as a Middle East adviser at the behest of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton because Obama needed to mend fences in the Jewish community. During his two years in the administration, Ross argued to Obama that Arab states didn’t really care that much about Palestinians, so ending the conflict wouldn’t improve the U.S. image in the region that much. (Ehud Barak argued pretty much the opposite the other night).

At the Central Synagogue, Ross said that Hillary Clinton has always understood better than Obama how to deal with the Israelis.

“Hillary’s instincts are much closer to her husband’s than to Obama’s… I think she understand Israel’s predicament, she understands the region it’s in… she doesn’t feel that she knows better than Israel…”

Clinton would air her disagreements with Israel “in private,” he said, and it’s “a whole lot easier for Israel” to take steps toward peace if it knows the U.S. is on its side.

Donald Trump has embraced a stance of “belligerent isolationism” and “no entanglements,” Ross said, then praised Hillary Clinton’s sense of realpolitik. The former secretary of state understands that we must be engaged in the Middle East at a time of “terrible turmoil,” which is likely to continue for the next 10 to 20 years, and sometimes that means using force.

Obama has failed to send the message that the U.S. is willing to use force, Ross said. The Russians “have a tiny fraction of our military force, but they have used their force to change the balance of power. We are not perceived as willing to use force in the same way.” Clinton would change that perception, he said:

“I think Hillary also understands that the power is the currency still internationally. We might want global norms to define the way things are, but since global norms aren’t respected, there have to be consequences when they’re not, and in the Middle East power is what defines the realities.”

P.S. The Central Synagogue has objected to us that the event was off the record. The invitation to the event did not say so, and when a synagogue brings in a foreign leader to attack the president’s foreign policy in front of 500 cheering people— with no demurral from the rabbi sitting at his side, after everyone in the synagogue has stood to sing the national anthem of that foreign country (yes, along with the Star-Spangled Banner)– other Americans have a right to know about it.

About Philip Weiss

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

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89 Responses

  1. Atlantaiconoclast
    June 17, 2016, 1:44 pm

    Another anti Gentilist Jewish supremacist. Call it what it is people. But just to be clear, this doesn’t mean I think most Jews are anti Gentile. Got it?

    • hophmi
      June 18, 2016, 8:24 am

      You may disagree with Ross, but I don’t see how you conclude from this that he’s “anti-Gentile”. That term is an ethnic slur.

      • MHughes976
        June 18, 2016, 9:32 am

        ‘Anti-gentile’ would suggest prejudice against non-Jews. I can’t really make sense of the para. mentioning ‘the essence of Zionism’ – ‘you shape your destiny, you don’t let others do it’ but it sounds quite close to ‘you don’t care about anyone else or anyone else’s opinion’, which (unless the omitted words change the tone a bit) does seem prejudiced rather than rational.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2016, 10:51 am

        “That term is an ethnic slur.”

        I’m glad we got that cleared up, except I never heard anybody else say “Gentile” was an “ethnic slur”.
        I thought it was more of a neutral descriptor. Oh well, if it hurts their feelings, I’ll stop using it. Thanks, “Hophmi”

      • Talkback
        June 18, 2016, 11:48 am

        Hopmhi: “You may disagree with Ross, but I don’t see how you conclude from this that he’s “anti-Gentile”.”

        Cause he would have said the same about any other Gentile population living under Jewish oppression: Don’t side with the occupied, if they aren’t Jews.

        “That term is an ethnic slur.”

        Rofl. What kind of slur is your inflationary used term “antisemitism”, when people simply “disagree”, Hophmi?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 18, 2016, 1:41 pm

        hops: I don’t see how you conclude from this that he’s “anti-Gentile”.

        ok, let’s take this passage as an example:

        “…We as Jews in this country have an obligation [to explain] we are too small a people to be exclusionary,”

        when he says this he only means jews shouldn’t be exclusionary in relation to other jews. but ross, as a representative of the state department, doesn’t seem to have a problem with jews being exclusionary towards non jews under the same principle.

        when he says “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel” he doesn’t appear to grasp that as a representative of the state department his job (during negotiations) is to be an advocate of what’s best for america, our policy, and what’s best for peace or resolution. to be inclusive not exclusive with respect to all people. but for ross, it isn’t all people he’s concerned with.

        so as a reader — when he says “we are too small a people to be exclusionary” i don’t think he has a problem with excluding me. in the absence of balance, or advocacy for what’s fair to all people in principle, it’s not difficult to assess he is “anti” towards those who he does not afford the same principle. sure, one could say by advocating for non exclusionary practices towards fellow jews doesn’t necessarily mean he’s against non jews, but if a gov official was advocating non exclusion for everyone except jews, wouldn’t you assess this to be bigoted against jews? wouldn’t you feel you were being excluded?

        it’s the principle, it amounts to a special concern for jews only — which is what zionism does — in practice. given his bias, he should not be representing our government as anything other than a representative for jewish people. in any kind of policy decisions or negotiations, as long as ross is participating, there should be another US government official representing non jews — and for good measure a few more representing all americans.

        Clinton would air her disagreements with Israel “in private,” he said, and it’s “a whole lot easier for Israel” to take steps toward peace if it knows the U.S. is on its side.

        yes, and it would be a whole lot easier for palestinians to take those steps if they knew the US was on their side too, but as an intermediator, the US should not take sides. it’s beyond hypocritical to hold a position that says the oppressed and the oppressor can only find resolution by direct negotiations knowing the deck is stacked against the oppressed — and then stack the deck even more by backing the oppressor. seriously, if the US government stacked the decks (with billions offering a military quantitative edge) towards israel’s opponents and against israel interests, you’d be the first to scream anti semitism. and you have the nerve to lecture others on “ethnic slur”.

      • echinococcus
        June 18, 2016, 1:55 pm

        Mooser,

        Even better.
        it’s not “Gentile” but “anti-Gentile” that our very own Hophmi is calling an “ethnic slur”.
        So “anti-Gentile” is an ethnicity.

        He’s very logical this time, though, our Hophmi: he knows that “Jewish” is not an ethnicity no matter how ardently he desires it, he knows he can’t just come out and say “Ashkenazi Zionist racist solidarity” out loud under pain of being shot down by his Zionist boss.
        The only thing common to Zionists that would make them an ethnicity is the hate of the outsider, but saying it is a crime: If you so stubbornly insist in not giving me a pretext by using racial insults, I’ll make the pretext.

      • yonah fredman
        June 19, 2016, 2:07 am

        I think the term anti Gentile is overused here in mw comments and this is one instance. Instead of accusing ross of poor judgement and even bad citizenship, the bias that he allegedly has against nonJews is tossed in. if ross was unprofessional or unwise or even a bad american that does not mean that he is anti gentile and people here are confusing their terms. but those who are here to indict him, figure why not fill the indictment with another term, so as to impress ourselves with the fact that terms like antisemitism can be counterbalanced with a term like anti gentilism. it is gamesmanship and semantics, rather than serious analysis.

        in fact to solve israel palestine will require a leap of many sorts and it is easy to tell oneself, oh if only they weren’t so anti gentile they would be capable of all the leaps, as if the only thing holding Israel back from burying zionism and dancing on its grave is some kind of cessation of bigotry, and that’s poppycock.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 19, 2016, 11:11 am

        to solve israel palestine will require a leap of many sorts and it is easy to tell oneself, oh if only they weren’t so anti gentile they would be capable of all the leaps, as if the only thing holding Israel back from burying zionism and dancing on its grave is some kind of cessation of bigotry, and that’s poppycock.

        on principle, do you also think it’s “poppycock” to claim supporters of BDS do it out of hatred or anti semitism? does it require a leap of many sorts to tell oneself, oh if only they weren’t so anti semitic as if the only thing holding palestine back is some kind of cessation of jew hatred?

        just wondering, because this seems to be a general hasbara theme directed at palestinians and advocates for a non violent approach to equal rights for palestinians. so is it total poppycock — or do you think it has any merit at all.

      • Mooser
        June 19, 2016, 2:25 pm

        “Yonah Fredman” word search “%hater”

        Word search: %semitism

        “Hophmi” word search: “%hater”

        Word search: “%semitism”

      • MRW
        June 20, 2016, 3:39 am

        Annie,

        Read this Colonel Lang anecdote about Dennis Ross: And the scales fell from his eyes …
        http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2016/06/httpswwwwashingtonpostcomopinionswhy-us-diplomacy-cant-fix-the-middle-east2016060374622fba-0e21-11e6-bfa1-4efa856c.html

        Ross has no business being within 10 miles of the State Dept. representing America…and us. Not only because he doesn’t represent us–which he does not–but because he doesn’t have the basic chops to be an effective State Department foreign service officer as Lang story details. Lang, it should be remembered, was Military Liaison between the US and Israel for what? Ten years? His assessment is not merely anecdotal; it’s informed.

      • Shmuel
        June 20, 2016, 4:26 am

        Read this Colonel Lang anecdote about Dennis Ross: And the scales fell from his eyes …

        “Arab psychology”?

      • gamal
        June 20, 2016, 4:50 am

        “It is a feature of Arab culture that there is little belief in “win-win” solutions and a great belief that all of life is a “zero sum game.” In general it is thought that there are winners and there are losers. Full stop the Brits would say. In general Arabs believe that parties to a conflict negotiate to achieve as painless and as graceful a surrender by the weaker party as possible. The normal Arab assumption is that a request to talk is simply a signal of acceptance of defeat. In the context of CD II, it is clear that Arafat and many other Arabs thought Palestinian persistence had finally achieved its goal and that the Americans and Israelis were about to surrender to Palestinian demands regarding East Jerusalem, etc.”

        i would urge caution when reading tracts like the above remember stupidity is catching.

        is belief in “win-win” now the sine qua non of civilization?

        is it impossible for Americans to study Arab history wherein such “features” of the culture feature not at all?

        at least America is now post racist, at least we can cleave to that.

      • MRW
        June 20, 2016, 1:18 pm

        Gamal and, I asssume, Shmuel,

        For the record, Colonel Lang speaks, reads, and write Arabic. Taught it at West Point where he created all instructional programs in the Arabic Language and Middle East Studies 40 years ago for the US Military. He lived in North Yemen and Saudi Arabia for eight years. (He has seemed particularly sympathetic to the Yemenis in Saudi Arabia’s latest attacks on them, and has written fondly of the tribes and military personnel he lived among.)

        Jeremy Schall used Lang as a major source in his book Dirty Wars. Scahill’s partial description of him here is more colorful:

        Colonel Walter Patrick Lang spent much of his military career in dark ops. Early in his army service, he helped coordinate the operation that led to the capture and killing of Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1967. He was a member of the Studies and Observation Group, SOG, which ran the targeted killing campaign for the United States during the Vietnam War, and eventually became the head of the secret Defense Intelligence Agency global human intelligence program. He was posted in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and other hot spots around the globe. Lang also started the Arabic-language program at the West Point Military Academy. Throughout his career, he watched closely as the United States created this new special ops capability. The principal role of the “vanilla” Special Forces, like the Green Berets, was “training and leading indigenous forces, usually irregular forces against either regular forces or guerrilla forces. That’s what they do, so they’re attuned to foreigners. They seek to find people who are empathic, who work well with foreigners. Who like to sit around and eat with their right hand out of a common bowl bits of stringy old goat. And listen to somebody’s gramma talk about the baloney, fictional ancestry of the tribe. They like to do that.” Lang likened Green Berets to “armed anthropologists.” JSOC, he said, was envisioned as “a counterterrorist commando outfit modeled on the British SAS [Special Air Service]. And the SAS does not do ‘let’s get happy with the natives’ stuff. They don’t do that. They’re commandos, they kill the natives. These people are not very well educated about the larger picture of the effect that [their operations] have on the position of the United States in the world.” [MRW: Lang means JSOC, Joint Special Operations Command, which Scahill then discusses at some length.]

        Scahill, Jeremy (2013-04-23). Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield (pp. 49-50). Nation Books. Kindle Edition.

        (For those of you old enough to remember the hit TV show The A-Team, the cigar-chomping team leader played by George Peppard was based on Pat Lang. Lang ran MACVSOG for two years.)

        “Stupidity,” Gamal, is not one of Lang’s strong suits.

      • Shmuel
        June 20, 2016, 1:23 pm

        MRW,

        With all due respect to Col. Lang, he would do well to leave “the Arab mind” talk to the likes of Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer.

      • MRW
        June 20, 2016, 1:53 pm

        Shmuel,

        With all due respect to Col. Lang, he would do well to leave “the Arab mind” talk to the likes of Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer.

        Uhh. He was trying to convince Ross that he wasn’t operating with both barrels. As Lang’s other comments have shown, he doesn’t have much respect for Ross’s representation of the United States, nor his ability to recognize US national interests.

        As Powell’s Chief of Staff Lawrence Wilkerson has said a few times on The Real News Network, you didn’t get to be a US Military officer before 2000 without an advanced university education. (Let’s put aside the ‘Perfumed Princes’, Generals etc. who decided to play the political/civilian game instead and transgressed their military role for their material benefit.) I’m partial to military men who speak plainly, know what they are talking about because they’ve lived it, and remain realists. And that includes the Israeli high command. Say what you will about Meir Dagan, who scorned Americans, and everything about us. But he represented his country and its interests well. And he did it plainly and realistically.

      • gamal
        June 20, 2016, 1:59 pm

        “Colonel Lang speaks, reads, and write Arabic. Taught it at West Point where he created all instructional programs in the Arabic Language and Middle East Studies 40 years ago for the US Military. He lived in North Yemen and Saudi Arabia for eight years. (He has seemed particularly sympathetic to the Yemenis in Saudi Arabia’s latest attacks on them, and has written fondly of the tribes and military personnel he lived among.)”

        well yes fair enough but how would you defend

        “It is a feature of Arab culture that there is little belief in “win-win” solutions and a great belief that all of life is a “zero sum game.” In general it is thought that there are winners and there are losers. Full stop the Brits would say. In general Arabs believe that parties to a conflict negotiate to achieve as painless and as graceful a surrender by the weaker party as possible.”

        I say Hudaybiya is quite well known among some readers of Arabic how does this express these features of Arab culture so clearly discerned by the Colonel, why wiki even has something on it so you don’t even need Arabic to luxuriate in the eminent Colonels idiocy, what a good sport he is, he clearly has little respect for his audience and why should he?

        Yes the Arabs no history of negotiation, compromise, politics or treaties its their culcha init, zero sum.

        that assertion doesn’t strike you as a bit odd?

      • Mooser
        June 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

        “Stupidity,” Gamal, is not one of Lang’s strong suits.”

        You mean he sued the pants off the producers of “The A-Team” and won a huge judgement for libel and slander? Smart guy.

      • MRW
        June 20, 2016, 3:00 pm

        Gamal,

        Maybe you should go over there and counter him. maybe it was inartfully said from your POV, but in all Lang’s short posts over the years, I’ve found him to be particularly sympathetic to Arabic culture except when he criticizes Saudi Arabia devastating Yemen. He is forever correcting people’s Islamophobia. I didn’t read it the way you did. I gotta get to the airport!!!
        http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

        And he not gracious about how the Israelis treat the Palestinians.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        June 20, 2016, 5:58 pm

        I think you meant it is a slur against Jews to use the term “anti Gentile.” Well if someone is as smart as Ross is, then I find it hard to believe that he is not familiar with the facts surrounding this conflict. For him to advocate for Israel at the expense of Palestinians therefore, is clearly anti Gentile to me. I don’t know how else to interpret it. It’s not like he is some ignorant Christian Zionist who is not self hating but has a little too much zeal for an ethnocentric state called Israel.

      • Mooser
        June 20, 2016, 6:24 pm

        “Maybe you should go over there and counter him.”

        Col. Lang? I pity the fool who tries that!

      • echinococcus
        June 21, 2016, 1:12 am

        Reb Fredman and his delirium, again.
        So “anti-Gentile” is overused? OK, it shouldn’t be used.
        It should just be called what it is, unvarnished racism.
        The war criminal Ross is a rabid racist: he is a Zionist. Case closed.
        Just call him that: a racist.

      • MRW
        June 21, 2016, 7:36 am

        @Mooser,

        Col. Lang? I pity the fool who tries that!

        No shit. :-)

    • Steve6644
      June 18, 2016, 12:25 pm

      Being an advocate for humanity would be good. At least I think it would.

      • hophmi
        June 18, 2016, 7:40 pm

        Annie, you’re defending bigotry again.

        You seem super duper sensitive to say that Ross is excluding you. He’s not even talking about you. But I guess for you it’s “anti-Gentile” when Jews talk about the Jewish community.

        But I can understand it. You’re extremely callous when it comes to Jews.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2016, 8:20 pm

        “… But I can understand it. You’re extremely callous when it comes to Jews.”

        I been trying to tell you “Hophmi”, there are going to be social consequences for Zionism. Lack of tenderness might be one.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 18, 2016, 8:43 pm

        hops, spewing ad hominem assertions does not an argument make. insults are not arguments. try harder.

        #Fail

        You seem super duper sensitive to say that Ross is excluding you.

        try reading what he said again, in context. the people he was referencing wrt not being “exclusionary” — were solely jewish. he’s not advocating people be inclusive of others.

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2016, 9:05 pm

        “hops, spewing ad hominem assertions does not an argument make. insults are not arguments. try harder. “

        Gee, that’s harsh, “Annie”. Don’t you see, “Hophmi” gets weary, spewing the same tattered drek. And when he gets weary…

      • Annie Robbins
        June 19, 2016, 1:25 am

        t…..ness? surely you jest.

      • Mooser
        June 19, 2016, 2:49 am

        “surely you jest.”

        Yup, I jest. I’m jest joking. But it was worth it to see Cindy Lauper sing that song to Obama.

      • hophmi
        June 19, 2016, 7:47 am

        You mean ad hominem assertions like “anti-gentile”?

      • Annie Robbins
        June 19, 2016, 10:55 am

        exactly hops. if i was to say to you, as a counter argument, ‘you don’t get it because you’re anti gentile’, that would be an ad hominem attack on you — similar to your counter argument (“You’re extremely callous when it comes to Jews”) . whereas when i claimed — “if the US government stacked the decks (with billions offering a military quantitative edge) towards israel’s opponents and against israel interests, you’d be the first to scream anti semitism.” — this is not an ad hominem argument because it presents an analogy w/a claim and to counter that claim you could simply argue why you would not object if the US government stacked the decks (with billions offering a military quantitative edge) towards israel’s opponents and against israel interests and why you, personally, would not consider that anti semitic.

        and this is just an allegation, with no argument: “I guess for you it’s “anti-Gentile” when Jews talk about the Jewish community.”

        plus, you’ve ignored the thrust of my argument.

        one could say by advocating for non exclusionary practices towards fellow jews doesn’t necessarily mean he’s against non jews, but if a gov official was advocating non exclusion for everyone except jews, wouldn’t you assess this to be bigoted against jews? wouldn’t you feel you were being excluded?

        it’s because he’s a government official advocating something that on it’s face may sound somewhat reasonable until you realize his application of the principle is only referencing religious pluralism within the jewish community. iow, he’s not saying ‘we have an obligation not to exclude others’.

        and when he says (as a jew to jews): “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians — We need to be advocates for Israel” he’s blatantly revealing a bias that an american diplomat, and a representative of the state department, and a former director of policy planning, should not even be having, much less publicly revealing.

        an ad hominem attack doesn’t offer an argument — only the insult — ‘you’re wrong because you’re racist’ ‘you’re wrong because you’re callous’ ‘you’re wrong because you defend bigotry’ without actual addressing anything in the (my)argument or any demonstration of me “defending” bigotry — it’s merely an accusation.

        as an aside, “anti gentile” is not a term i use unless quoting others or discussing the term itself, because i don’t like the term “gentile” for non jews.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 19, 2016, 11:39 am

        p.s. — i didn’t accuse ross of being anti or against non jews. hops said he didn’t see how one could conclude ross was “anti-Gentile” from the passages presented in this article. i gave a series of examples, flipped the argument, and then asked how he might feel if the situation were reversed. without addressing any of those scenarios or answering any of the questions — hops accused me of defending bigotry.

        my intent was to explain how one could conclude ross was “anti-Gentile” based on the same standards we’re continually hearing from team israel to accuse us of anti semitism. and i find it quite amusing yonah thinks the term “anti Gentile” is overused in the comments here when it’s not even used 1/10 as much as accusations of anti semitism.

    • JWalters
      June 20, 2016, 2:29 am

      I met a man who seemed mild mannered, bookish, with wire-rimmed glasses. He turned out to be a sociopathic thief. He stole and sold his new housemate’s new, expensive pickup truck.

      Dennis Ross is the mild mannered mask on a fierce bigotry. The only way to ignore the injustices and suffering caused by the Zionist project, as Ross religiously does, is to believe their victims don’t matter. That is the view of a supremacist, whether a white supremacist, a Christian supremacist, or a Jewish supremacist. They harbor an inherently criminal attitude toward others.

      • hophmi
        June 20, 2016, 4:08 pm

        Here’s what you wrote:

        “when he says this he only means jews shouldn’t be exclusionary in relation to other jews. but ross, as a representative of the state department, doesn’t seem to have a problem with jews being exclusionary towards non jews under the same principle.”

        First of all, he’s not currently a representative of the State Department. Second of all, he’s talking to a synagogue audience. Third of all, he’s addressing intra-Jewish issues. None of this makes him anti-gentile, and your conclusion that he “doesn’t seem to have a problem with jews being exclusionary towards non jews under the same principle” is the editorial nonsense that you added.

        “when he says “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel” he doesn’t appear to grasp that as a representative of the state department his job (during negotiations) is to be an advocate of what’s best for america, our policy, and what’s best for peace or resolution. to be inclusive not exclusive with respect to all people. but for ross, it isn’t all people he’s concerned with.”

        That’s right, and believe it or not, most Americans believe that it’s in America’s best interest to favor the region’s only stable democracy, rather than its many unstable dictatorships. And that’s the clear implication. Antisemites have always purposely read the position of those who favor a strong US-Israel relationship as caring more about Israel than about the United States. That’s garden-variety antisemitism, whether you care to admit it or not.

        “so as a reader — when he says “we are too small a people to be exclusionary” i don’t think he has a problem with excluding me.”

        Well, he wasn’t talking to you or about you, so I’m not sure how you draw this conclusion.

        ” in the absence of balance, or advocacy for what’s fair to all people in principle, it’s not difficult to assess he is “anti” towards those who he does not afford the same principle.”

        Again, there’s no evidence that he’s talking about the same thing that you’re talking about here.

        ” sure, one could say by advocating for non exclusionary practices towards fellow jews doesn’t necessarily mean he’s against non jews,”

        No, one couldn’t “say” it. That’s the only fair reading of what he said. Any other one is paranoid nonsense.

        “but if a gov official was advocating non exclusion for everyone except jews, wouldn’t you assess this to be bigoted against jews? wouldn’t you feel you were being excluded?”

        As Norman Finkelstein once said, this is like asking if Grandma were a baby buggy, would she have wheels? It makes no sense in context.

        “it’s the principle, it amounts to a special concern for jews only —”

        Again. This is a lecture at Central Synagogue. The implication of your paranoia that when Dennis Ross speaks to Jewish audiences, he’s “excluding” you is that Jews should just not speak to Jewish audiences, or if they do, they should speak only in universalistic language that makes you feel comfortable.

        “which is what zionism does — in practice.”

        In a state in the Middle East, a region where every other state has a weaker record on minority rights.

        “given his bias, he should not be representing our government as anything other than a representative for jewish people. in any kind of policy decisions or negotiations, as long as ross is participating, there should be another US government official representing non jews — and for good measure a few more representing all americans.”

        This is so hateful – the idea that because Ross identifies as a Jew, he can’t represent the United States, and that the United States needs someone to represent “non-Jewish” interests – my G-d, Annie, can’t you see how bigoted that kind of statement is? As if supporting Israel were Jewish and not supporting it were “non-Jewish.”

        “Clinton would air her disagreements with Israel “in private,” he said, and it’s “a whole lot easier for Israel” to take steps toward peace if it knows the U.S. is on its side.”

        So I guess that if Clinton becomes President, there will need to be another President to represent the “non-Jews,” right? Or does this not apply since Clinton isn’t Jewish?

        “yes, and it would be a whole lot easier for palestinians to take those steps if they knew the US was on their side too, but as an intermediator, the US should not take sides.”

        I don’t know whether it would or it wouldn’t be, but there are lots of countries on the side of the Palestinians.

        “it’s beyond hypocritical to hold a position that says the oppressed and the oppressor can only find resolution by direct negotiations knowing the deck is stacked against the oppressed”

        Is it stacked against the oppressed? Most countries seem to support the Palestinians.

        ” — and then stack the deck even more by backing the oppressor. seriously, if the US government stacked the decks (with billions offering a military quantitative edge) towards israel’s opponents and against israel interests, you’d be the first to scream anti semitism.”

        Actually, I’d just say that’s really bad policy on the US’s part.

        ” and you have the nerve to lecture others on “ethnic slur”.”

        You’ve proved many times over that you’re a bigot, and you did so again here, suggesting that Jewish members of the State Department need non-Jewish counterparts to represent the American interest.

        Disgusting, Annie. Just disgusting.

        – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/american-advocates-palestinians/#comments

      • Annie Robbins
        June 20, 2016, 5:11 pm

        suggesting that Jewish members of the State Department need non-Jewish counterparts to represent the American interest.

        Disgusting, Annie. Just disgusting.

        ross is not a generic stand in for “Jewish members of the State Department” — he’s one person. one person who’s repeatedly been assessed as being “israel’s lawyer” in his capacity as an advisor. he doesn’t act in the interest of all americans, he acts in the interest of zionist jews. he represents organized jewish interests, therefor, imho, he should not be anywhere near the negotiating process because there is already one party representing zionist jews — the israelis! as a mediator — which allegedly is the US position — we should not be representing one side. so heavens yes, if he’s acting in any official capacity for the state department on behalf of israelis, then the state department should also have advisors acting on behalf of palestinian interest (or non jewish interests — hopefully a position filled by a palestinian /shock of shocks) in the interest of balance. and as well there should be people not acting in the interest of either israel or palestine and strictly in the interest of what’s best for our country.

        my preference would be we would simply not utilize advisors with a long long record of FAILURE wrt negotiations. how long has ross been in and out of these advisory positions and what exactly does he have to show for it? or do we as americans have to show for it?

        wrt my comments relating to as long as ross is participating

        your penchant for bloviation; twisting anything anyone says about a person who is jewish as “suggesting” it applies to all other jewish people — on whatever whim you feel like to make your ad hominem point — is noted. it’s also classic hysterics and bigotry. nice try #Fail.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 20, 2016, 5:22 pm

        as a representative of the state department….

        First of all, he’s not currently a representative of the State Department.

        oh really, maybe he should change his twitter handle. ambassadors tend to be considered representatives for life. at least their title affords them that honor. why not ask: @AmbDennisRoss

      • Annie Robbins
        June 20, 2016, 5:36 pm

        This is a lecture at Central Synagogue. The implication of your paranoia that when Dennis Ross speaks to Jewish audiences, he’s “excluding” you is that Jews should just not speak to Jewish audiences, or if they do, they should speak only in universalistic language that makes you feel comfortable.

        as an american diplomat he should not give any kind of political advice or direction to american jews that he would not give to any american. i don’t care where he is. the idea that he would advise american jews differently — simply because they are jewish — is not appropriate for an american diplomat.

        as an advisor to our government in american negotiation, to blatantly advise any american to support one side over the other is the height of stupidity. i don’t care where he is. and try telling a palestinian american it is “paranoid” to think he’s excluding them when he says “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel” —

        i think your head is shoved so far up your tush you can’t think straight.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        June 20, 2016, 6:03 pm

        exactly! This is what I have been trying to get others here to see for a long time. You can’t be as smart and involved in the issue as Ross have been, advocating against the legitimate interests of non Jews in Palestine, and not be anti – non Jewish or anti Gentile, whatever you want to call it.

      • eljay
        June 20, 2016, 6:38 pm

        || hophmi: … believe it or not, most Americans believe that it’s in America’s best interest to favor the region’s only stable democracy, rather than its many unstable dictatorships. … ||

        Most Americans – who happen also to believe in “god” and angels – have been deceived, indoctrinated and/or intimidated into believing and/or accepting that:
        – the Holocaust justifies the existence of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” (it does not);
        – people who choose to be Jewish are entitled – and even owed – a “Jewish State” of their own (they’re not);
        – Palestine is the “ancient/historic homeland” of all people who choose to be Jewish (it isn’t);
        – Israel isn’t a supremacist state (it is);
        – Israel is a law-abiding nation (it’s not); and
        – Israel honours its obligations under international law (it has not and it refuses to).

        There’s no valid reason to believe that favouring an openly and unapologetically oppressive, colonialist, expansionist, belligerent, intransigent, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state in the Middle East is in America’s best interest.

  2. Atlantaiconoclast
    June 17, 2016, 1:53 pm

    “Donald Trump has embraced a stance of “belligerent isolationism” and “no entanglements,” Ross said, in praising Hillary Clinton’s sense of realpolitik. The former secretary of state understands that we must be engaged in the Middle East at a time of “terrible turmoil,” which is likely to continue for the next 10 to 20 years, and sometimes that means using force.

    Obama has failed to send the message that the U.S. is willing to use force, Ross said. The Russians “have a tiny fraction of our military force, but they have used their force to change the balance of power. We are not perceived as willing to use force in the same way.” Clinton would change that perception, he said:

    “I think Hillary also understands that the power is the currency still internationally. We might want global norms to define the way things are, but since global norms aren’t respected, there have to be consequences when they’re not, and in the middle east power is what defines the realities.”’

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2016/06/american-advocates-palestinians/#comment-843355

    Translation: Obama has not done enough to destabilize Syria, break it up, move on to Iran, and fulfill the goals of the Oded Yinon plan. Russia has done too much to keep Syria from falling apart and from being taken over by savages.

    • DavidDaoud
      June 18, 2016, 1:40 pm

      Absolutely excellent understanding of the situation.
      The idea of Dennis Ross as Secretary of State under Hitlery is truly frightening to many of us, but certainly not to Israel.

  3. a blah chick
    June 17, 2016, 3:32 pm

    “It becomes more complicated when you start talking about the peace issue. Because we don’t live there, we don’t bear the consequences of the decision, and some– many [Palestinians] will react negatively to the idea that you really can’t tell us what we should be dealing with what is required for our future…”

    All I did was change one word and now it makes sense!

  4. Steve Macklevore
    June 17, 2016, 4:41 pm

    I don’t actually blame Dennis Ross for being a traitor.

    But I do blame successive U.S Administrations for employing him when it’s been clear for years that his only loyalty is to the state of Israel.

  5. Kay24
    June 17, 2016, 5:16 pm

    It is unbelievable that they can make statements like this, and expect the world to trust the US, and expect it to be an honest broker when it comes to any type of negotiations between the Palestinians and their occupier. Our money, weapons, and loyalty always goes to Israel ( an undeserving nation) and these Israel- firsters who have with AIPAC backing, made sure that
    zionists have embedded themselves in every sector in this country. This man has done this country a disservice by allowing zionists to influence our policies, making it a very poisonous situation to be in.

  6. Mooser
    June 17, 2016, 5:34 pm

    “PS The Central Synagogue has objected to us that the event was off the record.”

    Do, uh, they have the slightest understanding of what that implies? In a Synagogue?

    Wow, it’s very easy to see what’s in charge in the Jewish/Zionist relationship. Throw the Synagogue’s integrity right into the breach for Zionism. Reflexively.

    • Philip Weiss
      June 18, 2016, 8:13 am

      Mooser, can you elaborate on this point? What the role of a synagogue ought to be? Can it host political discussions?

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2016, 10:41 am

        “Mooser, can you elaborate on this point?”

        Do you think a synagogue would ever say a Jewish religious function or service or recipe was “off the record”? No, they would explain and translate, and put honey all over it and post it on the web. We have nothing to be ashamed of.
        But for Zionism, it’s “off the record.” Take it or leave it. Really, really stupid.
        Can they host political discussions? They can host anything they aren’t ashamed to make public.

      • Philip Weiss
        June 18, 2016, 11:01 am

        Thank you. Sorry to make you do catechisms. Rabbi in question is Angela Buchdahl and she is leading an Israel trip soon…

      • Mooser
        June 18, 2016, 11:19 am

        ” Sorry to make you do catechisms.”

        In Lox vobiscum, my son! As I once told a penitent who confessed to insulting a deaf person: “Go they way, and sign no more”

  7. sulai
    June 17, 2016, 6:50 pm

    How is it that neither mondoweiss nor 972mag is covering the announcement by Moshe Yaalon that he will be running for office and also his harsh criticism of Netanyahu and Likud? Considering the details you usually cover, how has this been seemingly ignored?? Is this not further proof of the rift within Israel?

    • Kay24
      June 17, 2016, 7:37 pm

      I have been following a bit of this on Haaretz. I guess MDW has so much going on, it must be hard to chose exactly what to write about. How about a section with a condensed format of the news as it is reported MDW? It will keep us updated as to what is happening. Phil?

      • sulai
        June 17, 2016, 7:44 pm

        “The state of Israel and citizens of Israel see a leadership today that’s ceased to function,” Yaalon told a stunned audience that repeatedly interrupted him with applause. “We see a leadership that hides behind gatekeepers and worries about the survival of the regime rather than the welfare of the nation. A leadership that practices a tactic of ‘scare and rule,’ that divides us rather than uniting us, that divides Jews from Arabs and left from right, that attacks the Supreme Court and undermines the rule of law.”
        Yaalon is a former career soldier who served as chief of Central Command in charge of the West Bank, as chief of military intelligence during the Second Intifada, and as chief of staff of the Israeli military.

        “From his knowledge as a former intelligence chief, top military commander and until recently defense minister, he said, “I can say that at this moment and for the foreseeable future there is no existential threat to the state of Israel. So Israel’s leadership should stop frightening the population as though we face an existential threat. It’s a cynical attempt to exploit the citizenry.”

        “This doesn’t mean that we should rest on our laurels,” he continued. “We still face threats. We need a strong, high quality military.” However, he said, Israel also needs confidence and strong relationships in the international community, especially with the United States.

        “If there’s anything that keeps me awake at night,” Yaalon said, “it’s the divisions in Israeli society, the undermining of our values, the attacks on our soldiers. Likud members that I meet with tell me there’s a longing for change.”

        Read more: http://forward.com/news/342843/fired-defense-chief-moshe-yaalon-announces-surprise-bid-to-oust-benjamin-ne/#ixzz4BsmNMkt4

      • Annie Robbins
        June 18, 2016, 2:06 am

        served as chief of Central Command in charge of the West Bank, as chief of military intelligence during the Second Intifada

        not impressed. likely a war criminal complicit in torture, assassinations etc.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 18, 2016, 1:10 am

      Considering the details you usually cover

      we don’t usually cover the details of israeli intra party politics (but sometimes, like close to an election >>> http://mondoweiss.net/2013/01/bennetts-zealotry-american/ ).

      me, i don’t think it’s that interesting and here’s why. ya’alon has been a long time likud member, an ally of netanyahu and another elite israeli rightwing hack/power player. i would have been more impressed had he criticized netanyahu before he got dumped as his defense minister. i think he’s criticizing netanyahu because he’s pissed (re lieberman) and he wants to launch off political career jiu jitsu, but right now there is no scheduled election coming up, not unless netanyahu’s coalition falls apart, which it may.

      ya’alon says there is no existential threat now, but did he say iran was no threat when he was defense minister? why? why now? cuz netanyahu did what he did, cozied up to who he needed to to stay in power. did ya’alon make any speeches about improving relations with palestinians when he was defense minister? fat chance of that. has he advocated for a resolution — 2 or one state with any plan people can get behind. so what if he was elected? what would he do differently than anyone before him to end the occupation. i just don’t find it interesting (now) and think it’s red meat for the masses to get their tongues rolling. boring — but that’s just me.

      kay, if you’re interested in compiling a condensed format section of daily news or whatever, like kate does or any other kind of version, write phil and adam directly. phil doesn’t always read the comments. i think it’s a great idea tho.

      • a blah chick
        June 18, 2016, 6:48 am

        Let’s recall that Ya’alon was also the one to propose those segregated buses and originally said he wasn’t going after the Duma killers.

      • Donald
        June 18, 2016, 9:29 am

        I don’t know much about Yaalon and maybe he is a cynical jerk or even a war criminal, but if so, it is all the more significant that someone like that is taking this position. It doesn’t mean he can be trusted, but it does show that people in the Israeli mainstream are scared of where things are heading. Even if he is a total cynic he realizes that what he is saying now may well resonate with some Israelis.

        If there is going to be change there it’s going to involve Israeli equivalents to DeClerk ( I probably misspelled the name).

      • oldgeezer
        June 18, 2016, 11:17 am

        Let’s also keep in mind the broan grin on his face when he tweeted a picture of himself holding a handwritten sign saying the threat of peace is off the table. Israel was in lawn mowing slaughtering women and children.

        Unless he has totally reformed and lost some of his inhumanity he is just another callous racist who has conflicts with his fellow travellers. None of which will aid the innocents targetted by Israel.

  8. farhad
    June 17, 2016, 8:07 pm

    In one of his books he reminded Palestinians that he was the best friend they had in Washington.

  9. yonah fredman
    June 17, 2016, 9:59 pm

    In regards to the responsibility for the failure of the peace process in the years 1999 and 2000, I certainly do not blame Dennis ross. The camp David summit of 2000 revealed a lack of seriousness by clinton, or shall we say, an inability to look the challenge in the eye and confess the contours of a real peace accord. Since in my opinion the Clinton parameters of December 2000 were indeed serious, the leap from naivete to realism was not that far, but required a paradigm shift, one which Clinton was incapable of during a political season, both for the sake of gore and his wife hillary running in new york. That was Clinton’s choice and had nothing to do with Dennis ross.
    One other note: when I think of the successful summit camp David 1978, besides the relative ease of the issues, and the dogged ness of Jim my Carter versus the nature of Bill clinton, I focus in my mind on the presence of Zbigniew Brezinski, not merely for his stances vis a vis Israel over the years, but moreso his seriousness as a thinker and a negotiator, I contrast him with madeline Albright who strikes me as mediocre in comparison.

    • Citizen
      June 18, 2016, 4:10 am

      Zbigniew Brzezinski on #Iran & #Israel (2012)–#Hillary & Trump Should Listen To Him, Not #DennisRoss https://youtu.be/3ozytIagz-8 via @YouTube

    • Donald
      June 18, 2016, 9:21 am

      Blaming Clinton first seems fair, but that doesn’t mean Ross didn’t play a secondary role. Clearly Miller was blaming himself and other American diplomats.

    • Misterioso
      June 18, 2016, 2:25 pm

      There can be no doubt that President Clinton’s pro-Israel bias was mainly responsible for the failure of the 2000 Camp David Summit. It is also important to remember that by blaming him for its failure, Clinton broke a solemn promise to Arafat prior to the summit not to do so.

      Nor should it be forgotten that Clinton’s Special Middle East Coordinator, Dennis Ross, repeatedly intervened during negotiations on Israel’s behalf. (Hardly surprising, given the fact that prior to joining the Clinton administration, Ross was an executive with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel “think tank.” )

      According to Clayton Swisher, who interviewed many of the officials present at Camp David, “Arafat was horrified that Barak had persuaded Dennis Ross – who spent 90% of his private time at Camp David with Barak – to alter the wording on Jerusalem. Instead of stating: ‘The Jerusalem municipal area will host the national capitals of both Israel and the Palestinian state,’ Ross crossed out ‘municipal area’ and wrote in: ‘The expanded area of Jerusalem will host the national capitals of both Israel and the Palestinian state.’ ‘Expanded area,’ of course, meant giving the Palestinians a capital in the suburbs.” (The Truth about Camp David: The Untold Story about the Collapse of the Middle East Peace Process, Nation Books, 2004)

      “Swisher’s story…is a tale of an incredibly ham-handed diplomatic effort. Clinton and his negotiating team come across as a kind of gang that couldn’t shoot straight. Swisher describes turf squabbles between Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger and most particularly, between an egotistical Dennis Ross and, at one time or another, virtually everyone else. Albright, it comes clear repeatedly, knew virtually nothing about the issues…. The U.S. mediators made little effort to narrow positions before the summits, and there was little of the give-and-take essential in negotiations. One State Department official tells Swisher that at Camp David everything was ‘very loosy-goosy,’ with no prepared texts and no detailed position papers, because ‘that’s the way Dennis liked to run things.’…” ((Kathleen Christison, “Camp David Redux,” http://www.counterpunch.com/christison08152005.html)

      “At Camp David, Swisher notes, even after seven years, ‘ [Dennis] Ross was still nowhere near the most basic understanding of what the Palestinians would consider minimally acceptable regarding territory.’ Fundamentally, as Swisher points out but Ross has apparently never grasped, as the occupying power with total control over ‘the very thing the Palestinians wanted — a state — the Israelis would naturally have to be more forthcoming [than the Palestinian side]; this could only occur if the central mediator stood between both parties and demonstrated a willingness to ‘swing elbows’.’ But neither Ross nor any of his colleagues, including Clinton, saw the need to do this.” (Kathleen Christison)

      With Clinton’s approval, Dennis Ross, a loyal servant of Israel, did a real hatchet job on Arafat. “[He] actually worked with an Israeli negotiator in the middle of the night before the summit collapsed to draft Clinton’s ‘blame speech,’ casting Arafat as the bad guy and Barak as the courageous risk-taker…. [Ross also] spent four hours with [Colin] Powell during the transition and reportedly told the incoming secretary of state not to believe a word Arafat said because he was ‘a con man’.” (Kathleen Christison)

      “In voluminous interviews (including with Swisher) and commentaries over the last several years, as well as in his own memoirs, Arafat always figures as the culprit and as Ross’s central obsession. The obsession — fed by Barak, shared to a great degree by Clinton, and magnified by an Israel-centric media in the U.S. — became a comfortable retreat for Americans who could not acknowledge U.S. responsibility and would not acknowledge Israel’s responsibility, so closely bound was the U.S. to Israel. Swisher ends his account with a semi-apology from [Aaron David] Miller, who participated in Ross’s four-hour briefing of Powell. ‘You don’t want to give centrality to how you fucked up,’ Miller confessed. ‘Dennis [Ross] could have never brought himself to do it, and neither could I.’ ” (Kathleen Christison)

    • Mooser
      June 18, 2016, 8:37 pm

      “The camp David summit of 2000 revealed a lack of seriousness by clinton,”

      “Yonah” after all this time, you still don’t know when you are stepping in it?
      Well, at any rate, thanks for drawing that great comment from “Misterioso”.

  10. Ossinev
    June 18, 2016, 7:07 am

    @yonah freedman
    “In regards to the responsibility for the failure of the peace process in the years 1999 and 2000, I certainly do not blame Dennis ross”

    You are not really addressing the issue at hand which is that Dennis Ross has effectively “outed” himself as a Zionist Jew and openly admitted that his priority is was and forever shall be not the nation of which he is a citizen but surprise surprise his beloved JSIL and that his JSIL Firster bedfellows in America ( and arguably fellow traitors ) like Foxman engineered him into a pivotal position in the so called “Peace Process” in order to “advocate” for JSIL.

    • Mooser
      June 18, 2016, 10:12 am

      “You are not really addressing the issue at hand which is that Dennis Ross has effectively “outed” himself as a Zionist Jew and openly admitted that his priority is was and forever shall be not the nation of which he is a citizen”

      “Yonah” doesn’t think that’s an issue, he thinks it’s a recommendation.
      After all, what has the US ever done for Jews, except to give us a Negro problem?

    • Mooser
      June 18, 2016, 11:10 am

      I’m sorry, I went way OT. I ran into this again, while I was looking for something else:

      ” I have no numbers, but white participation in the”(Civil Rights) Movement was overwhelmingly jewish.
      But let us not confuse a liberal elite of jews with the entirety of the American Jewish population of the 60’s. Read Norman Podhoretz’s seminal work “my negro problem” and it reveals the real tensions between blacks and jews in NYC and other urban northern locations. Jews and blacks “shared” many neighborhoods and the exploding crime rate of the 60’s led to Jewish flight from those neighborhoods.”

      “Yonah Fredman” http://mondoweiss.net/profile/wondering-jew/?keyword=black%25#sthash.ZP3UvjGY.dpuf

      It’s that “seminal”. It always makes me feel so lascivious.

  11. eljay
    June 18, 2016, 8:35 am

    … Longtime peace processor Dennis Ross has denied the charge that he was “Israel’s lawyer” in the White House, but the other night at Central Synagogue in New York he dropped all pretense to fairness. …

    “Plenty of others have been advocates for the Palestinians. We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel,” he said to an outburst of applause from more than 500 people gathered in the historic landmark temple. …

    He said “We need to be advocates for Israel”, but what he really means is “We need to be advocates for religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State’.”

    Like all Zio-supremacists, Mr. Ross is a hateful and immoral hypocrite who:
    – despises justice, accountability and equality when it comes to I-P; and
    – believes that Jews are entitled to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    • echinococcus
      June 18, 2016, 2:28 pm

      Eljay,

      He said “We need to be advocates for Israel”, but what he really means is “We need to be advocates for religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State’.”

      Can’t follow you. That’s the very definition of the word as used in all modern Western languages since 1947, so that’s what he was saying anyway.

      • eljay
        June 18, 2016, 6:51 pm

        || echinococcus: Can’t follow you. That’s the very definition of the word as used in all modern Western languages since 1947 … ||

        I wasn’t aware that the very definition of the word “Israel” as used in all modern Western languages since 1947 is “religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State'”.

      • echinococcus
        June 18, 2016, 7:32 pm

        Eljay,

        You certainly were most aware: for most of the last century, the word “Israel” in its definition as indicated by general usage, had certainly lost any connotation of “some semi-mythical tribes of ancient Palestine” or “the northern Kingdom after the split, equally semi-mythical”, or “believers in Judaism worldwide”. The only thing it designates in general usage is the Zionist entity, since 1947 openly in war for an officially religious/racial supremacist state and since 1948 officially a religious/racial supremacist state.

      • eljay
        June 18, 2016, 9:01 pm

        || echinococcus: Eljay,

        You certainly were most aware … ||

        I’m aware that Israel is often benignly referred to as a “Jewish State”, but I’m unable to find in all modern Western languages the very definition of Israel as a “religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State'”.

      • echinococcus
        June 19, 2016, 3:21 am

        Eljay,

        That’s what the Zionist entity is.
        The word “apple” in common usage designates a given type of fruit.
        Even if the user of the word imagines it to be a baseball filled with angel’s poo, what the word designates is the fruit, period.

      • eljay
        June 19, 2016, 9:15 am

        || echinococcus: Eljay,

        That’s what the Zionist entity is.
        The word “apple” in common usage designates a given type of fruit.
        Even if the user of the word imagines it to be a baseball filled with angel’s poo, what the word designates is the fruit, period. ||

        Correct. In all modern Western languages the very definition of apple is (a type of) fruit, not “baseball filled with angel’s poo”.

        I’m aware that in all modern Western languages the very definition of Israel is “Jewish State”. And I’ll grant you that the word “Israel” in common usage designates a given type of state – a “Jewish State”.

        But I still don’t see the word “Israel” either…
        – defined in all modern Western languages as; or
        – commonly used to mean,
        …”religion-supremacist”.

        If you can provide a link to just one official definition of Israel as a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” I will happily concede your point. :-)

      • echinococcus
        June 19, 2016, 11:14 am

        Eljay,

        Looks like this is taking the discussion totally off topic, so I’ll stop.
        Definitions by usage are what’s in the mind of the collective, or majority, speakers for abstract concepts, while for existing things any reference to it is controlled by measurable or objectively verifiable characteristics, no matter the discrepancies to what is in the speaker’s mind. That’s why we talk of denotation vs connotation.
        Anyway, unimportant and veering to off-topic.

      • eljay
        June 19, 2016, 12:23 pm

        || echinococcus @ June 19, 2016, 11:14 am ||

        Fair enough. We can agree that “the very definition of the word [Israel] as used in all modern Western languages since 1947” is benign “Jewish State”, not “religion-supremacist ‘Jewish State'”.

        So when Ross uses the word “Israel”, he means – and IMO most people understand it to mean – the former and not the latter.

  12. Talkback
    June 18, 2016, 11:55 am

    “We don’t need to be advocates for Palestinians. We need to be advocates for Israel, …”

    How about advocating human rights, international law and treating everyone as equal? Oh sorry, I forgot that this is antisemitic … somehow.

  13. RobertHenryEller
    June 18, 2016, 12:11 pm

    “And while Ross said that American Jews ought to have a more vigorous debate of Israeli policies, many have gone too far in criticism of Israel. ”

    Translation: American Jews can ask pre-approved questions. But don’t have the rude audacity to ask for change.

    Now keep quiet, my little mushrooms. And keep those dollars coming!

  14. James Canning
    June 18, 2016, 1:08 pm

    Dennis Ross as Secretary of State? Yikes. A truly nauseating prospect.

  15. hank
    June 18, 2016, 1:43 pm

    Regarding Israel’s sensibilities, this American Jew would happily abstain from any involvement – passive or active – in Israel’s domestic politics, and would encourage our government to do likewise, if Israel pledged to do the same for us. There is no uncertainty about which country would profit and which would suffer from such an agreement.

  16. Elliot
    June 18, 2016, 10:06 pm

    “the event was off the record”

    It’s a pity nobody speaks Yiddish any more. Reb Dennis could have loosened his tongue to millions of Jews in Yiddish and then denied it in English.

  17. traintosiberia
    June 19, 2016, 11:04 am

    He is one of those insiders who kept two faces throughout their existences and allowed those two faces to influence one another . He has worked hard to remove any Arab speaking or Arab ethnicity from the negotiating process of US side. He worked hard to get US behind Iraq sanctions and Iran attack He has worked for Israel abut through the position of an American representative His total silence on gaza -wars,blockades- is disgusting and Anti American .

    • James Canning
      June 19, 2016, 1:13 pm

      didn’t Dennis Ross help to create the Iraq War catastrophe, by preventing British participation in the planning of the invasion and its aftermath?

  18. mcohen.
    June 19, 2016, 11:30 am

    i support the one country 2 state solution.1 land for all but seperate states.the mentality is similar to south africa.one thinks in squares the other thinks in circles.
    one looks for a win win solution the other a zero sum game …win or lose
    that is the reality.left wing integration policies are a failure in france so why should they work in israel

  19. Raphael
    June 20, 2016, 5:48 pm

    I, recently, made aliyah to Israel. As one of the few liberals in the US has done; I think, most that make aliyah from the US are orthodox Jews. I’m a half Jew though, my father is Jewish, so that is why my application was accepted. I left Israel, because, one does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that I would have been a statistic if the bullets ever starting flying while I was living there. For me, actually, Israel does not even have the color of being a democracy; let alone a liberal democracy.

    I was attacked for being Jewish, years ago; so I sort of was interested in anarchist Zionists such as Lazare, and Hannah Arendt.

    As a Christian, I could not even mention I was a Christian or I would have been expelled, In Israel. I’m glad I am a full citizen of Israel, though; it helped me come to terms with my Jewishness. I wish US politicians; or those that become pro Israel that are liberals would move to Israel; before they get on the traditional Zionist bandwagon. If they knew how quick a right wing Zionist would betray them, in a New York minute; they, I’m sure would think differently of traditional Zionism.

    • Mooser
      June 20, 2016, 7:01 pm

      Hello, “Raphael”! As this is your first comment, I say “welcome”!

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