The 50th anniversary of the occupation will rock the Jewish establishment

US Politics
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In three months the American Jewish community is going to hit an iceberg called the Jubilee, the 50th anniversary of the occupation/Six Day War. The collision is going to change the Jewish establishment. The fractures that have been developing for years over Israel are going to break out in public agony. The anniversary will change the American Jewish relationship to Israel for a long time, as the Six Day War did 50 years go. Young Jews will take charge, young anti-Zionists will be welcomed into some synagogues, and some will speak up for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.

That is my not-very-sober conclusion from the last three days at the J Street conference in Washington.

The liberal Zionist group is bigger than ever; and in the era of Trump it has been revivified as the voice of the establishment Democratic Jewish lobby — a kind of left-center twin of AIPAC. But just as the Democratic Party is divided, J Street is riven by a generational battle between older conservative Jewish communal forces that demand loyalty to “the Jewish people” and young idealists who don’t measure everything with a Jewish yardstick.

The battle was clear when Eva Borgwardt of the student group J Street U gave a speech on the main stage describing her political epiphany when seeing a Free Palestine poster at a Ferguson march in 2014—and realizing she did not have to check her liberal values at the door when it comes to the injustice of house demolitions and military occupation.

Barry Shrage, the longtime leader of the Combined Jewish Philanthropies in Boston, scolded Borgwardt, a Stanford student, warning that she would alienate Israelis:

I was uncomfortable with what Eva said. There are differences here. To talk about 50 years or 70 years of oppression — it doesn’t give a lot of space to real heroes who tried to make the peace happen. The real audience here is not the people in this room, it’s the people of Israel. If we alienate the people of Israel, we have no hope of creating the two state solution that most of us strongly believe in.

Those Israelis send their children to the military that Borgwardt is accusing of atrocities, Shrage said; and the obligation of the young Jews in the room was to love Israel and the Jewish people first. “Maybe the job of J Street U is to say we love Israel, we adore Israel.”

Then Shrage referred to the hesitation of Jewish donors who know that Israel is destroying itself, but will not say so publicly:

There are many, many, many of my most important donors that would love to go over to Israel and make the case — But they do not want to be identified with the UN attacks on Israel, they do not want to be identified with completely unfair attacks on Israel…

That is the Jewish establishment’s crisis: it sees Israel alienating itself from world opinion and committing suicide as a Jewish state. That crisis dominated the J Street conference. The paradigm these people have given lip service to for 20 years, the two state solution, looks to be finished. Even Martin Indyk said from the stage that it is “dead” (though adding that in the Middle East dead things come alive again). Some large portion of the Ashkenazi establishment in Israel came to J Street to plead with the organization to put pressure on Israel; and J Street leaders kept citing the support for two states from Israeli generals.

Let us leave aside the political difficulties of that program — but it is not as if that program is very inspiring to young American Jews. One older speaker after another got up to describe the threat to Zionism posed by Jews ceasing to be a majority in the one-state era. Omer Bar-Lev, a member of Knesset, warned about the end of the Zionist dream. Israel General Rolly Gueron spoke of the need for Jews to take matters in their own hands and finish building the wall that seizes so much Palestinian land. “Israel is the democratic national home of the Jewish people in the land of Israel only as long as Jews are a majority in it, it’s as simple as that,” warned Mika Almog, granddaughter of Shimon Peres.

Even Bernie Sanders, who was adored by the students, spoke up for a Jewish majority. His time on a kibbutz in Israel convinced him that it is progressive to establish “a democratic homeland for the Jewish people after centuries of displacement and persecution.” Sanders blasted Donald Trump for expressing indifference between the one state and two-state outcomes, as if one is Pepsi and the other is Coke. But one state potentially means “the end of a Jewish majority state.”

This language represents a crisis for Jewish communal life, because it’s a racial appeal that young Jews would not tolerate in the U.S. Sanders was on a kibbutz 54 years ago; and no kibbutz has Palestinian members. Bar-Lev sounded very Jim Crow when he warned that if Palestinians decided to vote in East Jerusalem — right now they pretty much boycott elections — they could elect a Palestinian mayor of the city; because they so outnumber the Jews, and Jewish mayor Nir Barkat only got 115,000 votes. Big problem, huh?

Young Jews would like to see speakers bearing witness to injustice. But not one Jewish speaker at any panel I attended used the word apartheid to describe Palestinian conditions. No, that dirty work was left to Ayman Odeh, the Palestinian politician.

There was really nothing transcendent to believe in offered by the older speakers on the stage. J Street has to be terrified in anticipation of the moment that someone on its stage grabs a mike and says the two state solution is over and let’s work for equal rights for everyone living in the land. The students will go nuts.

I saw a little of that energy at the margins. The group SISO wants to “Save Israel/Stop the Occupation.” It says that if Palestinians aren’t free then they should be given the vote; and it’s got some non-Zionists involved with it, along with Morton Halperin, the well-connected J Street chairman. Former Obama negotiator Rob Malley had the temerity to say on stage that Donald Trump’s Pepsi-Coke indifference about the two state solution represents a great opening to think of other outcomes. Countless U.S. presidents have worked hard to negotiate a two-state solution and failed, he said; and Israel never showed restraint. Message: Israelis made their bed.

Yet this conference left me hopeful. Why? There is hope in the crisis that is going to rock this community.

Alan P. Solow, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents, and co-chair of the Obama Biden campaign in 2012, speaking at J Street

The old Jewish communal types are holding on with their money, but they are getting old, and they have no ideas. Alan Solow is a big Obama donor/former Conference of Presidents chairman. He set the theme of the conference when he said at a press availability:

“The 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, the liberation of Jerusalem and the commencement of the occupation is going to be a huge story come this June, and I am very concerned about whether or not the organized Jewish community is adequately prepared to discuss it in constructive ways that will shed light upon the complexities of the issue… as opposed to not being prepared to see what’s coming.”

Those who focus on the occupation are prepared for that moment, Solow said, while the pro-Israel camp has not thought about the p.r. fallout, and he was urging his colleagues to frame the issue thoughtfully.

When I asked Solow how he would deal with the occupation’s anniversary, he said the blame can be spread around.

“I would honestly discuss that the situation is complex, there is nobody here who is completely innocent in getting us to the situation that we’re in today. Certainly the 1967 war was not instigated by the state of Israel, though they may have fired the first shot in a formal fashion, I think a fair historical analysis is that that war was a defensive action. I think there have been opportunities over the course of time that the Palestinians have failed to take advantage of to get us to a different result than we are at today, Israelis fear legitimately that their security is challenged by various actions taken by members of the Palestinian community over the years…

What I would be doing is exposing the multiple truths to the situation and then making the argument that the correct way forward is to arrive as quickly as possible at a two-state solution.

Solow is in the same position as Shrage. They may oppose Likud, but they are its American apologists.

As you can see, I spent most of the conference warring in my heart against these Jewish communal pressures. Those pressures are strong: the donors are going to insist that communal Jews love Israel. Any large Jewish organization is going to be dominated today by people over 55 who are co-dependent with Benjamin Netanyahu.

If you are a religious person – and one recognition I had at the conference is that I am most comfortable in a spiritual space — there was enormous light in the last event I attended at the gathering, last night: a rabbis’ panel on how to open synagogues to broader points of view. Jammed and agonized, the meeting was like a group therapy session. One rabbi after another got up to explain how he or she had dealt with older donors/congregants who don’t want criticism of Israel discussed in the synagogue, or they threaten to leave and “take their marbles.”

Yet one rabbi after another discussed the moral urgency of talking about the conflict. I felt great compassion for these spiritual leaders facing a crisis in their community. As these brave rabbis spoke, it was clear that some want/need to have young Jewish Voice for Peace members in their congregations, as well as advocates for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions).

A Seattle rabbi told about a prominent member of her congregation stopping her in the lobby and whispering angrily, “What is that doing there? That should not be there!”

That was an Israeli flag.

There is a great positive movement afoot in the Jewish community. Maybe it is at the fringes, but I am hopeful for the jubilee that fills Shrage and Solow with dread. The ’67 war married American Jews to a militant state as their primary form of identity in the shadow of the Holocaust; but the jubilee year is going to mark the divorce. While no one can be optimistic about the effect on Palestinian life, the 50th anniversary will change American politics.

About Philip Weiss

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

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61 Responses

  1. AddictionMyth
    February 28, 2017, 12:52 pm

    “For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household.”

    LOL – now we know what he meant. Fortunately it will be peaceful. Though, we don’t need to ‘negotiate’ or ‘find common ground’ or ‘consider their viewpoint’. No compromise! As for the older people leaving the synagogue – this is an empty threat: their own children will put the fear of God in them. :-)

  2. eljay
    February 28, 2017, 1:09 pm

    … Barry Shrage, the longtime leader of the Jewish Federations in Boston, scolded Borgwardt, a Stanford student, over her remarks, warning that she would alienate Israelis: …

    Mr. Shrage must have meant to say “Jewish Israelis” because it’s unlikely that a Zionist like him gives a flying f*ck about non-Jewish Israelis.

    I was uncomfortable with what Eva said. There are differences here. To talk about 50 years or 70 years of oppression– it doesn’t give a lot of space to real heroes who tried to make the peace happen. …

    Poor Mr. Shrage – it really sucks when someone shines a light on your hateful, immoral, colonialist and supremacist ideology. Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig… :-(

    • echinococcus
      February 28, 2017, 2:43 pm

      must have meant to say “Jewish Israelis” because it’s unlikely that a Zionist like him gives a flying f*ck about non-Jewish Israelis.

      You don’t seem to care much about people’s feelings or rights either, Eljay. No one would willingly carry, or boast of, an “Israel” so-called citizenship unless a Zionist, i.e. with almost 100% certainty Jewish.

      Any other persons holding that citizenship do so because forced to it by an act of international piracy and aggression –that has been illegally recognized by colonial powers.

      By calling captive Palestinians, who overwhelmingly want their own sovereignty over the whole of Palestine, “Israeli”, you are adding insult to injury.

      • eljay
        February 28, 2017, 3:25 pm

        || echinococcus: … You don’t seem to care much about people’s feelings or rights either, Eljay. … ||

        I’m not sure that I can or should care about everyone’s feelings, but I do care about their rights.

        || … No one would willingly carry, or boast of, an “Israel” so-called citizenship unless a Zionist … ||

        If you say so.

        || … By calling captive Palestinians, who overwhelmingly want their own sovereignty over the whole of Palestine, “Israeli”, you are adding insult to injury. ||

        The Palestinian citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from Israel are Israeli. You can pretend they’re something else if you like.

      • echinococcus
        February 28, 2017, 4:00 pm

        OK, Eljay, continue following and recommending adhesion to the colonial terminology and legislation –you don’t have to ask the Palestinian people. They don’t count.

      • eljay
        February 28, 2017, 6:42 pm

        || echinococcus: OK, Eljay, continue following and recommending adhesion to the colonial terminology and legislation –you don’t have to ask the Palestinian people. They don’t count. ||

        Absolutely they count, both…
        – as Israelis in a secular and democratic, Partition-borders Israeli state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally; and
        – as not-Israelis (or whatever they are to be called) in a secular and democratic, Partition-borders not-Israeli (or whatever it is to be called) state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, expats and refugees, equally.

        As citizens of these states, they have the right to help democratically determine the futures of their respective states – to decide whether to remain apart or to join together.

        But you go ahead and continue following and recommending dismantling Israel and driving all Jews out of geographic Palestine. You don’t have to ask Jews. They don’t count.

      • echinococcus
        February 28, 2017, 7:47 pm

        Eljay,

        You still didn’t ask the sole owners of the land before showering them with all the goodies of liberty, equality fraternity and forced cohabitation with their illegal murderers. I don’t have a say and I’m not saying they won’t accept it –they just might prefer using their absolute right to sovereignty otherwise than what some goddam Western liberal has determined is best for them.

        And, yeah, it makes it so much friendlier to call them “Israeli”, what I’m sure you never heard may be the most detested insult. It’s not enough to get invaded, in your own place, robbed and enslaved and treated like beasts by invaders you hate the guts of –you have to be given the name of your invading torturer. And some Jewish lawyer from the US or Canada or other Anglo land, in sincere solidarity with the victims, has to solemnly remind you that you are wholly owned by the Zionist invaders.

        Finally, of course “You don’t have to ask Jews. They don’t count.” Duh. Their religion is totally irrelevant and they are f*&’%@ invaders, still illegitimate and still with not a word to say.

      • eljay
        March 1, 2017, 7:25 am

        || echinococcus: Eljay, You still didn’t ask the sole owners of the land before showering them with all the goodies of liberty, equality fraternity and forced cohabitation with their illegal murderers. I don’t have a say … ||

        Neither do I. You continue madly to attribute to me powers of influence I do not possess.

        || … And, yeah, it makes it so much friendlier to call them “Israeli” … ||

        If they are citizens of, immigrants to or expats or refugees from Israel, they’re Israeli. Not sure why you want to reduce them to less than what they should be.

        || … Finally, of course “You don’t have to ask Jews. They don’t count.” Duh. Their religion is totally irrelevant and they are f*&’%@ invaders … ||

        Whatever you say. The rationale you use to drive Jews out of Palestine is your business.

      • echinococcus
        March 1, 2017, 9:10 pm

        Your ceaseless clowning and evading are useless. The Zionists remain invaders even with your pill-pulling, with no right to sovereignty in Palestine in the eyes of the owners of the whole country, period, and calling the victims of invasion “Israeli” is no different than our old custom of branding slaves with their owners’ seal. Of course they have a third-rate citizenship of a pirate state. That’s not the same as defaming them as “Israeli”. As long as the owners don’t approve it, none of your ridiculous liberal-Western equality-fraternity stuff is to be called justice.

      • eljay
        March 2, 2017, 7:23 am

        || echinococcus: Your ceaseless clowning and evading are useless. … ||

        If you say so.

        || … The Zionists remain invaders even with your pill-pulling … ||

        Is that similar to your pud-pulling?

        || … calling the victims of invasion “Israeli” is no different than our old custom of branding slaves with their owners’ seal. … ||

        Calling all citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from Israel Israeli and advocating justice, accountability and equality for all is “no different than our old custom of branding slaves with their owners’ seal”? Interesting. That sounds like more of your pud-pulling.

        || … none of your ridiculous liberal-Western equality-fraternity stuff is to be called justice. ||

        Better just to drive Jews out of Palestine. Good luck with that.

      • echinococcus
        March 3, 2017, 5:27 pm

        One more thing, Eljay.

        Who but Zionists confuse justice with “accountability and equality for all”, “all” meaning “citizens of, immigrants to and expats and refugees from Israel”? Justice means a decision by the invaded owners of the whole of Palestine, i.e. the Palestinians, excluding the invaders.

        You are clearly advocating one more forcible imposition –just that it consists in forcing “equality, fraternity”, and all the rest of your Western liberal cutesy-talk on a wronged people without its being consulted. I can’t see this as qualitatively different than GW Bush or Obama exporting “democracy” by war.

      • eljay
        March 3, 2017, 9:18 pm

        || echinococcus: One more thing, Eljay. … ||

        I doubt it.

        || Who but Zionists confuse justice with “accountability and equality for all” … ||

        I don’t know, but I can see that you confused what I actually said with what you think I said. (Who but a Zionist would do this, right?)

        || … Justice means a decision by the invaded owners of the whole of Palestine, i.e. the Palestinians, excluding the invaders. … ||

        If you say so.

        || … You are clearly advocating one more forcible imposition … ||

        Nope. You are clearly confused.

  3. Maghlawatan
    February 28, 2017, 1:24 pm

    “This language represents a crisis for Jewish communal life, because it’s a racial appeal that young Jews would not tolerate in the U.S.” used to make sense but it’s 2017 in the age of Trump.

    Jews need to accept that Israel wants apartheid.
    It all goes back to Arendt who predicted that the global Jewish community would split.

    • Bumblebye
      February 28, 2017, 7:49 pm

      Israel wants apartheid.

      Israel wants demographic superiority in the whole of the land under its control.

      Trump and his ‘alt-right’ fellow travellers seem perfectly acceptable to the most obnoxious right wing US zionists. What is with all the numerous, seemingly untraceable bomb threats on Jewish institutions? Well, where else in the world is there a Jewish population that nearly matches Israel’s own numerically, that can afford to lose a million or so to improve israel’s numbers? Israel wants bodies of the correct ethno-religious category, US has them, so how do they persuade them to up sticks and scoot off to israel? Trump and his goons are a boon. I bet there’s a huge push going on to encourage emigration, despite any fears over anniversaries – or even because of the anniversaries. Trumps pepsi/coke remarks might even have accelerated anything in the labyrinthine zionist works.

      • Maghlawatan
        March 1, 2017, 9:08 am

        Israel doesn’t understand the demographic impact of pauperisation, the Palestinian attachment to the land, or the historical perspective.

  4. Maghlawatan
    February 28, 2017, 1:55 pm

    Whatever happens, it will probably be a mess. Israel is a Golem. Don’t alienate the Golem. Nobody wants to admit it is a Golem. How can any Jew be proud of what Israel is ?

    • JWalters
      February 28, 2017, 5:48 pm

      “How can any Jew be proud of what Israel is?”

      The Zionist “dream” is in reality a fantasy. It is massive injustice, slaughter, and ethnic cleansing, “miraculously” without injustice. It is a Jewish supremacist view of the world in which its victims don’t exist. The “liberal” Zionists’ main defense is that criticism of their actions makes them “feel uncomfortable”. By modern standards of decency they would feel agony over their actions.

      • Maghlawatan
        March 1, 2017, 9:06 am

        The first time I went to the West Bank I felt that revulsion at what Israel had become.

      • echinococcus
        March 1, 2017, 9:51 pm

        Maghlawatan,

        “become”? Strange verb. When exactly was it anything else?

      • Maghlawatan
        March 2, 2017, 4:30 am

        Echi

        Have you read any of the early Zionist writing? It was supposed to be a normal country.

  5. Peter Feld
    February 28, 2017, 2:51 pm

    I hope the 70th anniversary of the Nakba this Nov. and the 100th anniversary of Balfour around the same time will also rock US-Israeli politics, not to mention in the UK. (It’s also the 120th anniversary of the first Zionist Congress.) Finkelstein is wrong that 1967 anniversary is key – Balfour was the original sin and the greater one, and I hope its centennial becomes a catalyst for awareness and change. http://mondoweiss.net/2016/04/norman-finkelstein-on-sanders-the-first-intifada-bds-and-ten-years-of-unemployment/

    • John O
      February 28, 2017, 4:01 pm

      Don’t forget the attack on the USS Liberty in 1967. Among so many crimes and catastrophes, it’s hardly the worst, but a full exposure of what happened is potentially explosive for US–Israel relations.

      • Citizen
        February 28, 2017, 4:50 pm

        Not to mention if average Americans ever learned about Rachel Corrie (as they did so early, and often, about Anne Frank, although she lived long ago and was not American), and what happened to her.

      • JWalters
        February 28, 2017, 6:00 pm

        And stealing America’s nuclear secrets and materials, “How Israel Stole the Bomb”
        https://consortiumnews.com/2016/09/11/how-israel-stole-the-bomb/

      • yonah fredman
        March 2, 2017, 6:06 am

        Citizen- after your ball point pen comment, common decency would require you to cease and desist referencing anne frank.

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2017, 5:09 pm

        “after your ball point pen comment”

        “Yonah” the ‘Papermate-or-Parker’ question is one scholars are still studying.

      • gamal
        March 2, 2017, 5:29 pm

        “the ‘Papermate-or-Parker’ question is one scholars are still studying”

        they are being martyred on that Cross

      • yonah fredman
        March 2, 2017, 8:25 pm

        Mooser making jokes and winking at denialism.

      • yonah fredman
        March 2, 2017, 8:28 pm

        Anne frank in the schools is a subject above my pay grade. But 999 out of 1000 people who play the ball point pen game are seig heil deniers and jokesters. Go ahead laugh, jack.

      • Mooser
        March 3, 2017, 12:15 pm

        “Mooser making jokes and winking at denialism.”

        “Yonah” how many times do I have to tell you: If you don’t include the date and time-stamp of the antisemitic or “denialist” comment it will not be admissible evidence at the trial!
        Always note the D&TS of indictable comments when you pass judgement on them, so the court will know how to rule.

        Anyway, my defense will be that I was just jerking your chain. And that will force an McNaughty Rule hearing.

  6. lysias
    February 28, 2017, 3:41 pm

    What is Trump’s planned cut of 37% to the State Department budget going to do to the aid to Israel? What is it going to do to the aid to Egypt (which is given because of Israel)? How much of that aid is State Department (as opposed to Defense Department)?

    • Citizen
      February 28, 2017, 4:54 pm

      US military aid to Israel(no strings attached, plus interest) & Egypt (only so long as Egypt defends Israel) constitutes 75% of Total US military aid to foreign countries. I know there was an attempt to make such aid to Israel merely part of US defense spending, but I’m not sure now what budget its put under–I Just discovered it comes under the State Department’s budget.

    • John O
      February 28, 2017, 4:59 pm

      I can’t help thinking of the Law of Unintended Consequences. It’s natural to think that someone doing something you like might produce a result that you don’t like. But the reverse is also true – their doing something you dislike might produce a result that works in your favour.

  7. echinococcus
    February 28, 2017, 4:13 pm

    Meanwhile, an effort that theoretically might represent a significant point in the history of Palestinian resistance has happened.

    MW may want to look at that:

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/02/palestinians-create-political-entity-170226181036908.html

    Istanbul, Turkey – After two days of meetings here, the organisers of the Palestinians Abroad Conference have established a new political entity to represent Palestinian diaspora communities and strive for greater Palestinian rights.

    Conference leaders said on Sunday that they aspired to play a bigger role in the struggle against Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories, alongside the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

    They insisted that their new organisation does not aim to replace the PLO – the organisation that has been representing the Palestinian people since 1964.
    ….
    the new organisation called for the end of the Oslo agreement signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993, the restructuring of the PLO on a more representative basis for all Palestinians, and the formation of a democratically elected Palestinian National Council, which is the PLO’s legislative body in exile.

    The conference leaders said that the Oslo agreement has destroyed the PLO and created a new class of Palestinian leaders in the occupied territories beholden only to Israeli military will.

    The final statement … blamed PLO leaders for squandering Palestinian historic rights in agreements with Israel that it said prolonged Israeli occupation and worsened Palestinian suffering.

    They also asserted the right of Palestinians to resist Israeli occupation, called for the return of refugees to their homes and towns in historic Palestine and said they would strive for Palestinian statehood.

    Mounir Shafiq, a Palestinian scholar, said that while Palestinians have the right to all of historic Palestine as a matter of principle, it is not obligatory for individual diaspora communities to adhere to this vision.

    “Palestinian diaspora communities are free to work within the norms of their adopted countries,” said Shafiq, who will head the newly established General Secretariat of the Conference.

    Fatah, the main Palestinian faction, issued a statement Sunday attacking the conference accusing it of being an “attempt to divide the Palestinian people.” Other small factions based in Ramallah also criticised the conference calling it “an attack on the PLO.”

    Would be interesting to have more detailed coverage.

    • JWalters
      February 28, 2017, 6:06 pm

      But will NBZ, ABZ, ZBS, etc inform the American public about this?

      • echinococcus
        February 28, 2017, 8:17 pm

        Of course not. I was thinking more about the liberal sites and of course those specialized in covering solidarity with the Palestinian resistance. It will be interesting to see their behavior.

      • Atlantaiconoclast
        February 28, 2017, 8:29 pm

        Ha! We must destroy the mainstream media to end its horrendous effect on our foreign policy.

      • echinococcus
        March 1, 2017, 9:34 pm

        See what I mean? Mondoweiss hasn’t reported it yet –perhaps not a significant event touching Palestinian resistance? What’s gone up is a discussion of love letters to the Zionist entity by AIPAC-lite. Wonder if any of the “PA”-leaning sites are going to discuss it.

      • echinococcus
        March 4, 2017, 6:52 am

        Still no coverage at all of a first in the last 24 years, of the possible start of a Palestinian resistance organization outside Zionist control. The new articles on inbreeding discussions and soul-searching in and around the Zionist lobby surely interest some people, but news of significant things would be nice.

  8. talknic
    February 28, 2017, 7:41 pm

    Now. About the coming 70th year of occupation

    May 22nd 1948 Israeli Government statement

    On May 22, 1948 UNSC S/766
    Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947?
    In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa;
    Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem.
    The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.” … ” the Government of the State of Israel operates in parts of Palestine outside the territory of the State of Israel

    “international regulations” then and now;

    Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III
    “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.”

    3 Jun 1948 in the Knesset

    Report to the Provisional Government of Israel by Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Ben-Gurion 3 Jun 1948
    “The entire expanse of the State of Israel allocated to us under the terms of the UN resolution is in our hands, and we have conquered several important districts outside those boundaries“.
    and;
    “To the greatest possible extent, we will remain constantly on the offensive, which will not be confined to the borders of the Jewish State“.

    12 Aug 1948

    the Provisional Israeli Government proclaimed Jerusalem Declared Israel-Occupied City- by Israeli Government Proclamation 12 Aug 1948

    Occupation can actually be dated from 00:01 May 15th 1948, when Jewish forces under plan Dalet were already in occupation of non-Israeli territories even as Israel’s borders were being proclaimed effective and recognized. http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/israel/large/documents/newPDF/49.pdf

  9. echinococcus
    February 28, 2017, 8:14 pm

    The anniversary will change the American Jewish relationship to Israel for a long time, as the Six Day War did 50 years go. Young Jews will take charge, young anti-Zionists will be welcomed into some synagogues, and some will speak up for BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against Israel.

    That is my not-very-sober conclusion from the last three days at the J Street conference in Washington.

    You’re right: counting the number and frequency of your short-term triumphalist predictions, it’s hard to call any of that “sober”. On the other hand, this might be the right policy: knowing the general way reality behaves, why not have a quick smoke and a pleasant dream after all? It helps keep depression away.

  10. Kay24
    February 28, 2017, 8:17 pm

    When will the US/UK/Western nations get it? 50 years and the Palestinians are still suffering, and losing all they have. Are they pretending they can’t get it, while showering the occupier with aid and weapons, or are they intellectually backward? DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS is not working.

    I hope Palestinian supporters all over the world hold rallies bringing attention to their plight.

  11. W.Jones
    February 28, 2017, 10:01 pm

    Phil, Can you please write more about Sanders’ talk to J Street and what were your impressions?

    I found this article about his talk:
    http://forward.com/news/364334/bernie-sanders-electrifies-j-street-with-emotional-message-on-israel-and-tr/

  12. DaBakr
    February 28, 2017, 10:57 pm

    Lol. Did I not read that the savior of American Jews, potential beater of trump claim that America must strengthen its relationship with Israel and embrace Zionism? He may not like the occupation but he damn sure has no clue what can be done about it under current circumstances, Israeli, Palestinian and regional actors all in agreement with Hamas ready to launch another barrage And attack hoping it will bring more sympathy.

    And besides that, trump proved he can read from a teleprompter last night and basically kicked the democrats asses. As in, what could they rebut except to say he promised a lot? I mean really, for the first time he proved he doesn’t necessarily have to sound like a buffoon. And while most dems stayed seated, didn’t applaud much they knew their constituants (other then the far left wingers like PW) were going to eat it up and say, “woah. He didn’t sound that bad. He acted like a ‘president’ . Reaganesque even. Maybe he’s not really a fascist dictator tyrant like our msm keeps implying”.

    This stunning and “not-so-sober” (damn straight not sober) piece by PW will keep me on the edge of my seat waiting for the American Jewish public to implode in three months. I’m trying not to laugh about it because surely in maybe, 3 or 4 super left regional synagogues There will be issues here and there but outside of the upper West, East and left coast elites, I don’t see anything going down jstreet style. In fact, without Obama, who may not be a jew hater but has no natural affinity for intra Jewish issues, the Frankenstein jstreet he and Rhodes built is going to die a fairy quick death. If not a death, certainly it’s money will dry up considerably. The democrats lost miserably and still haven’t come to terms. And even with a more sserious sounding trumpette they have very little to gain afaics by pushing jstreet, JVP, bds, etc etc. Of course, just my humble opinion. After all, what do I know about the situation,?

    * As for how trump promise to make allies pay for assistance I know damn well that most here already understand that Israel does indeed “buy American” supports American jobs and pretty much cooperates on almost all requests by commander in cheap. Egypt? They’ll need a pretty good pr firm but they won’t lose any aid either. Sweden????

  13. DaBakr
    February 28, 2017, 11:22 pm

    P’s. Whatever anybody says I think Melanie comes off as the most serene in the whole crowd. Terrified? Absolutely. But if she keeps her nose out of Washington and stays in NY/Fla she’ll be a very popular first lady. Ivanka looks like a deer in the headlights who has dealt with daddy forever and kushner looked all speedballed up and still in a drugged out daze he was handed the keys to a kingdom he knows almost nothing about except making contributions to some Israeli center-right funds. I can’t wait to see the car crash of kushner being walked through whatever the fck they think he can accomplish holding onto bibis hand in awe while trying to remember some Arabic phrases.

    But an anti-zionist Jewish war I the US? Hah. At least most of the commenters here are honest enough to admit they just absolutely hate every frikkin molecule of Zionism and Israel without discussing stupid pipe dreams about possibly tiny flare-ups with lefty elitist Jews and some of the kids(formerly brainwashed to love Israel unconditionally) who now are brainwashed at leftist university to hate Israel unconditionally. (Eventually there will be a balance)
    . And those hazy college years? They wear off quickly in a capitalistic Democratic republic.

    • Mooser
      March 1, 2017, 12:55 pm

      There goes that low, resentful muttering. And before long, “dabakr” will work himself up to a […].

      • DaBakr
        March 2, 2017, 3:39 am

        [Ah, dear funny alter ego person. While it’s still apparent that you rarely comment on substance I think you might want to check on your use of the meaning of ‘resentful’. While I completely understand why you yourself might be resentful of my comments even if you are wildly opposed to them – if you actually read them instead of reaching into your thimble of cliched insults (“resentful”. “muttering”, etc.) without any thought you might find they are the exact opposite of what you describe.

        Far be it for me to help you express your own resentment and critique of pro-israel Zionist commentary without resorting to actually responding the ideas you might want to find a couple of new insults for accusations because I can assure you that I reserve resent for those who have an actual opinion worth resenting.
        . As for tonality, what I may be doing is “ranting” which you might be surprised to know is rather the opposite of ‘muttering’ (which is difficult to discern in writing) However, the concept of ideation in your case most likely starts with your own feelings of anger and impotence which you may be trying to relieve by attempting as much humour as you can muster. As we all know…. along with trash Yiddish is your trademark.]

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2017, 4:28 pm

        “Dabakr”, your nose is running. Go catch it.

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2017, 5:00 pm

        . “As for tonality, what I may be doing is “ranting”

        Speak up, “Dabakr”. All I hear is a low, resentful mutter. Like an unpleasant background noise, but quickly scrolled past.
        I imagine I’m pretty typical in that regard. But hey, “Dabakr” if you want to think those blocks of undecipherable, Trumpian text are making a big noise, you go right ahead on!

    • Talkback
      March 2, 2017, 9:03 am

      DaBakr: “At least most of the commenters here are honest enough to admit they just absolutely hate every frikkin molecule of Zionism …”

      They simply don’t understand the bliss that comes with settler colonialism and the expulsion, dispossession and denationalization of another group based on faith and religion, yet. Give them some time to become supremacist a**holes.

  14. Ossinev
    March 1, 2017, 9:30 am

    “Certainly the 1967 war was not instigated by the state of Israel, though they may have fired the first shot in a formal fashion, I think a fair historical analysis is that that war was a defensive action.”

    Ah yes now I get it silly me now I understand so it was just like Gemany`s invasion of Poland in 1939 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 – so that`s the Germans,the Japanese and the Israelis simply being defensive in a formal way.

    • JustJessetr
      March 1, 2017, 8:33 pm

      Ossinev said: “Ah yes now I get it silly me now I understand so it was just like Gemany`s invasion of Poland in 1939…”

      Webmasters: To say that Hitler didn’t fire the first shot, or was somehow drawn into invading Poland is Nazi apologia and the commenter should be banned from MW.

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2017, 4:22 pm

        “Webmasters: To say that…/…should be banned from MW.”

        What hubris! What self-entitled arrogance! Do you actually think you can summon the “Webmasters” from their Olympian heights and Olympic hot-tubs like you call a pooch home for supper?

      • MHughes976
        March 2, 2017, 5:06 pm

        O has mentioned the irony in his remarks but it is in fact true that if the first shot is by itself not sufficient proof of aggression then Hitler’s first shot ( not denied by O or me) is not proof of aggression on his part. I would say that the first – at least centrally ordered – shot is indeed proof that you prefer the actual event of war to the certainty of short term peace and the chance of peace in the long term. This seems fairly close to aggression. If you say that the chance of long term peace is in any event negligible you are claiming to have read the oppnrnt’s mind and to know that there is no proposal on your part that would even be considered. This is not the easiest claim to believe.

    • JWalters
      March 1, 2017, 9:42 pm

      Over time Israeli military men have revealed that nobody actually believed Israel was threatened, and the war was needless. It’s purpose was to steal more territory. Hitler did claim his invasion of Poland was defensive, to protect German farmers along the border.

  15. rosross
    March 1, 2017, 9:05 pm

    It is Muslims who are threatened today, not Jews. The Israel experiment was created by Zionists, long before the Nazi factor entered the equation, and was hardly necessary when it was created, let alone today.

    Most Jews live peacefully in hundreds of countries around the world, including Iran and other largely Muslim countries. Even during WWII many Jews, probably most, were not threatened, living in the Americas, Australia, New Zealand and even in parts of Europe, as well as Africa, Asia, India.

    The concept that followers of Judaism need their own State because they are threatened was and is without substance. If a religion is being persecuted today it is Islam although no-one is demanding that Muslims have self-determination.

    In the modern age an enlightened society separates State and religion to ensure that all citizens live equally under the law. Israel refuses to do this because of the demand that followers of Judaism remain a majority in UN Mandated Israel. That approach has no place in a civilized world. No wonder young Jews living in developed nations reject it. As indeed do many young Jews who grew up in Israel but who have returned to the countries their parents and grandparents left to colonise Palestine, living harmoniously, with one of the largest groups in Berlin.

    Injustice cannot be justified by fear.

    • yonah fredman
      March 2, 2017, 6:02 am

      Rosross- at the beginning of ww2 there were 18 million jews on the planet. Most of them lived or died in countries occupied or allied with the nazis. Use the word “most” as if it has a mathematical definition rather than as a word that has no precise meaning .

      • Mooser
        March 2, 2017, 4:24 pm

        “Most of them lived or died in countries occupied or allied with the nazis.”

        But luckily, there were a few hundred, maybe a couple thousand Jews in the US and England.

  16. DaBakr
    March 2, 2017, 3:48 am

    @r

    Oh yes. The 9 billion Muslims are much more threatened in this world then those prolific Jews. Your perceptive comment is most enlightening and remarkable. Have you met moose? He has the most current stats on the Jewish/zionist population. Muslims should definitely be worried and by all means focus their attention on how to eradicate this Jewish/zionist problem before they really get into a tight spot.

  17. Ossinev
    March 2, 2017, 9:23 am

    @JusJessetr
    “Webmasters: To say that Hitler didn’t fire the first shot, or was somehow drawn into invading Poland is Nazi apologia and the commenter should be banned from MW”

    Au contraire mon brave I think that questions should be raised about commenters(sic)who do not understand the concept of irony ( you know as in just jesting).

    To go back to the point Zioland`s wars in Zioeyes and Ziospeak are always “defensive”.

    My country stood up to suffered horrendously and eventually defeated the Nazis.To infer that I am a Nazi apologist is not only wrong it is grossly insulting.

    You really should get out more.

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