The Israelis

US Politics
on 118 Comments

Usually when I go to Israel and Palestine I spend all my time in Palestine to observe conditions there. Last month I did it the other way around: I spent all my time in Israel. I wanted to see what extreme nationalism was doing to people’s attitudes, 50 years after the 1967 War. And I wanted to think what I would do were I in their shoes. So I stayed in four Israeli Jewish homes (Airbnb) and talked with lots of Israeli Jews on the street.

The general political condition of Israelis can be seen in two pictures I took. The first is of a civilian on the light rail line in Jerusalem with his semiautomatic rifle sticking out amid a bunch of passengers.

Semiautomatic rifle on the Jerusalem light rail system, May 26, 2017. Photo by Phil Weiss.

The next is of a sign in a bus terminal in occupied East Jerusalem. Notice the destination.

Bus stop near Damascus Gate, to Bethlehem Checkpoint

These pictures summarize the inescapable facts of Israel’s existence: half the population under its sovereign authority live without rights or with second class citizenship, they’re angry about that, sometimes they resist; and therefore Israelis are armed to the teeth and live in fear. And, it’s permanent: Israelis have no clue how to change the situation. Guns are everywhere in Jerusalem, and people are nervous. It’s no surprise there have been so many extrajudicial executions by Israeli soldiers and border police. They’re on a hair trigger. My instinct when I saw the guns was always to get out of the way, and soon. I don’t have kids, but I can’t imagine raising kids in that environment.

Fear of Palestinians is what drives Israeli attitudes about the conflict; fear is what has produced 11 years of Benjamin Netanyahu’s premiereship, with his endless calls for more security; fear is what has destroyed the political left, from within. “We don’t want another people here. We want a Jewish state,” said Doron, a middle of the roader. Dahlia, a leftleaning woman, said, “We are wrong. But I don’t want them in my state. I am afraid of them.”

I found a love for Donald Trump almost everywhere I went. Even from a woman whose apartment I stayed in who is a member of the Zionist leftwing organization Hashomer Hatzair. “I don’t like his comments about women,” Anat* said. “But I like him, he is much better than Obama.” She pointed to journalist Amit Segal’s Facebook post summing up the difference between Trump and Obama: Obama came out and lectured Netanyahu about settlements and Jerusalem; but Trump came out and lectured Mahmoud Abbas about terror and incitement.

Anat recognized that she is growing callous. “Israel is becoming more racist and I feel it in myself.” She is afraid to go into the Muslim Quarter of the Old City because she looks Israeli, and she could be stabbed. “I used to care when I heard that Arabs were killed. Now not so much.”

She also said she was pleased that Trump had gone to the western wall. Virtually every Jewish Israeli I met– before I went to the May 27 Peace Now rally, anyway– said they believe Jerusalem should never be divided. The idea has been deeply indoctrinated, with religious and historical trappings. Michael Oren says that the 1967 victory made Israel a more Jewish state: a socialist secular political culture gave way to one built on biblical claims in the West Bank. The idea of annexing Jerusalem was put forward during the 1967 War by two cabinet ministers, one from Labor, the other Menachem Begin (Uzi Benzamin reported in Haaretz). Even Uri Avnery, then a member of Knesset, voted to annex Jerusalem.

One of my hosts, David, worked for Labor as a political consultant. When I asked him where the Palestinians should have their capital, he said, “Why not Ramallah?”

This political culture can be frightening. On Jerusalem Day I was in the crowd of Jews entering the Damascus Gate into the Old City and though I saw religious joy, I also saw intolerance and ethnocentrism at every hand. A group of religious men chanted in defiance of the Palestinians surrounding them, “The people of eternity are not afraid of a long path.” An Australian man swigging tequila told me, “Jerusalem is the soul of the Jewish people and it is our capital forever.”

Jerusalem Day at the Damascus Gate: an Australian Jew celebrates with alcohol. May 24, 2017, photo by Phil Weiss.

Really, what does Jerusalem have to do with his life down under? Put another way, what kind of lout would brandish a liquor bottle in a militarily occupied Muslim Quarter of a country not his own? And look at the illegal Jewish settlers there. They’ve made a home in the Muslim quarter, and are passing out water.

Jewish settlers in Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem pass out water to Jews on Jerusalem Day, photo by Phil Weiss.

 

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American Jews used to say that Israelis were tough. That was a compliment; we meant that they knew how to live in the real, global world and we didn’t, because we were soft. Most of the Israelis I met were not tough but hardened. They have contempt for the non-Jews in their midst.

In a bachelors’ apartment in a highrise in Ramat Gan, I watched 13 Hours, a thriller based on the Benghazi killings of US diplomatic personnel, with a couple of the roommates. When the mob of faceless savage Arabs swarmed the consulate, I said, “In America we are always asking, Why do they hate us?”

Itamar laughed. “That’s because you’re liberals. Here we don’t ask that. We hate each other.”

He and his roommates were amused that I was going to the Peace Now rally after sundown. They regarded it as extremism, and naïvete. There is no occupation, Itamar said. “Because god gave you the land?” I filled in. No. He had left orthodox life ten years before. He was a lawyer, and he said there was ample legal basis for Israel’s right to the land. You should read the international documents carefully, he said.

I could feel a lecture coming on about the San Remo agreement and the League of Nations, and I got up to go to the rally.

There I talked to Galia Golan, a founder of Peace Now and a political scientist, about the majoritarian attitudes. “The Jerusalem Day crowds are historical in nature,” she said. “It is what you saw in Germany in the 1930s.”

Golan said she dismissed the word fascism, till 2009, when Netanyahu came back as premier in the wake of the Gaza war, and the country shifted. At Peace Now’s demonstration against the 2014 Gaza War in Tel Aviv, police had to hold back the crowds shouting, Death to the Arabs.

Israeli authorities now surveil social media posts of Palestinians to the point that they contend they can accurately predict who will commit violence, and bring that “evidence” to a judge who will issue an order of administrative detention. “Do you understand the level of control of the population that this means?” says Yossi Gurvitz, the writer. “This is 1984. And you can expect it to come to your back yard in a few years.”

I had asked my most thoughtful host about these attitudes. Allon is an ultra-orthodox intellectual living in an Art Deco apartment in Jerusalem. “I understand that the Talmud says that there is nothing worse than causing embarrassment or shame to another person,” I said. “How do the religious justify the terrible treatment of Palestinians?”

Allon spoke carefully.

“That is true about the Talmud. That is how an American should be treated, a Jordanian, a Turk. But a religious person would say that God gave us this land, so what are you doing here? And therefore the relationship would be different. The Talmud says there are situations when you do shame others: for instance a child should be shamed when he does wrong. I think that is what they would say of the Palestinians.”

It was moving that Allon needed to distance himself from the attitude; and yet the attitude was everywhere; and he and I met in a café because his parents had come out to stay in the apartment that day and he was afraid of exposing his parents to a liberal American.

++++++++++++++++

 

The storyteller in me glimpsed signs of doom in Israel. In preparation for Allon’s parents’ arrival, a cleaning lady was turning the place upside down. She was from South Africa and was doing a religious conversion to stay here. She likes it here. Anat told me of a friend who lists his place on a couch-surfing site and limits his guests to German girls. It’s how he gets girlfriends. South Africa and Germany and Israel, historical doppelgangers.

I want to believe that this situation is unsustainable, as John Kerry and Condoleezza Rice used to say. You cannot maintain an occupation forever. And yet most of the Israelis I met didn’t like this contingency talk and argued that there was no reason it could not go on for a very long time. They want to move on from the idea that the land must be partitioned, and therefore that the Palestinian portion is occupied. They seem to want the Palestinians to assume the position of the American Indians, and just accept the fact of a Jewish state and get on with it.

“There may not be a peace,” David, the Laborite consultant, shrugged. “I don’t see what they’re fighting for; they have a good life with us,” said Oded, 32.

The Peace Now demonstration was big—my estimate was 8,000—but as I walked away, a mother going back to her kids at home expressed disappointment: the crowd was not big enough to have any political effect. I did not see one yarmulke at the Peace Now demonstration. Many of the demonstrators seemed to be academics. Allon, my ultra-Orthodox host, told me the secular left is shattered because it is western and European, and Israel is following its destiny, to be an eastern undemocratic society. Ayelet Shaked the Justice Minister is actually closer to Muslims than Labor because she is religious, he said.

Labor Party demonstrator at Peace Now demonstration Tel Aviv, May 27, 2017. Sign says 50 years of occupation, Halas, or Enough! Photo by Phil Weiss.

 

Even Anat, the Hashomer Hatzair Zionist, seemed accepting of the political culture. Her work took her to Bethlehem the day we talked; and it angered her that Palestinians had written the word “ghetto” on the separation wall. That demeans the history of the Jewish people and the Holocaust, when you throw around words like ghetto and apartheid, she said. “They have big houses, and plenty to eat. Their lives are not perfect, but they are doing alright.”

Her views were no different from the several Israelis who told me Palestinians must accept their status and have “commercial” peace, except that she has a poster of Martin Luther King Jr over her bed, and I don’t imagine they do.

MLK Jr. on the wall of a liberal Zionist’s wall, in Jerusalem

All these people are living in denial, says Yossi Gurvitz. This is apartheid. David Ben Gurion warned about apartheid 50 years ago and it has come to pass. “I tell anyone under 25 who is here: Flee,” says Gurvitz.

 

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During the Jerusalem Day Parade, there were demonstrations at the Damascus gate. Scott Roth, the publisher of this site, was on the other side of the entryway and watched an Israeli woman police officer lose control with Palestinian women. Evidently this officer was tasked to handle Palestinian women. One woman she slapped when she did not immediately obey an order, two others she also abused. If there was anything like a professional occupying army her commanding officer would have told her to take a break and get out of there, Roth said. But no; that behavior is condoned. All Israel supports it, more or less consciously. And of course, there is a legal double standard: the cops do nothing to stop the Jewish settlers saying Death to Arabs.

Israelis know of the injustices at some level, which is why they are more defensive than ever. Have we ever heard leaders of a country speak so incessantly about their right to exist? Because they know that so many in the world regard these arrangements as illegitimate. Two years ago, the journalist Matti Friedman got angry at American critics of Israel, and said, we are like a village on the slopes of a volcano. He is surely right in a spiritual sense. Israelis know that they are not wanted here. That is why they have so many guns, and why so many retreat to the bubble of Tel Aviv to escape the Muslims surroundings, and why many of them describe this as a hundred-year war: Ireland, not South Africa (as Gurvitz says).

The absence of any uplifting political vision and the long horizon of conflict lend Israeli existence a bleak, primal texture. The politics are all about terror victims and stopping the next attack. Sarah, an Israeli American at an anti-Trump rally I attended, said her Israel-loving family and friends would be angry at her for attending the rally. The difference between me and them, she said, is that while all of us put the security of Israel at the center of their politics, she can also stand up for other things, like women’s rights.

“I believe there will be peace in 300 years and they believe there will never be peace,” she said.

Even Labor does not talk about a Palestinian state or pulling out the settlements. Allon said Labor may soon be eclipsed by the Israeli version of Emmanuel Macron, Yair Lapid, who never worries about the occupation. And as for the Israeli Martin Luther King—Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint List– my Laborite host David was dismissive. “Odeh is a failure!”

Why? “Because he refuses to condemn terror; and he did not attend Shimon Peres’s funeral.”

None of my hosts even acknowledged a heroic action of Palestinian resistance during my visit, the prisoners’ hunger strike for better conditions. There is a complete blocking out of the real conditions of countless subjects of their government.

Of course there are exceptions, Israeli dissidents. At Damascus Gate as Israeli officers dragged away a demonstration of American Jews locking arms – breaking one woman’s arm—there was a burly bearded man shouting familiarly at the soldiers, urging them to show restraint. This was Yehuda Shaul of Breaking the Silence. Gideon Levy has needed body guards, but he doesn’t shut up about what Israel is doing to Palestinians. Yossi Gurvitz lost family and friends when he became a dissident.

Yossi Gurvitz, making pasta in his home

I experienced some of this pain and isolation just in a week of being around the Israelis. At the anti-Trump rally I asked a woman who held a poster calling Trump a Schmuck what her name was and she asked me my politics. Progressive. Jewish Anti-Zionist. “Anti-Zionist!” She turned away angrily.

A potential Airbnb host in Tel Aviv, a self-identified hippie, backed out of a booking after I told her I was from Mondoweiss. It turned out she needed the flat after all. “Maybe some other time….I’m familiar with [your website]. I hope you find peace within and in your self identity, that’s the only way to manifest peace in the world.”

Protester at rally during Trump visit, Independence Park, May 22, 2017

I felt that I was a very bad person, that I was putting people at risk in this embattled unsafe place by saying foolish things. I called my wife for support.

If I lived in that society, I don’t know how I would spiritually maintain my path. In the U.S. I have lost jobs and been called vile by my own mother for my positions, but if the pro-Israel bloc in the U.S. is monolithic, it is not oceanic: there have always been people from whom I could derive support. In Israel it is oceanic: there is a sense of a huge unified flattened mass that regards you as a traitor, enabling terrorism.

What if my parents had decided to follow their friends out here in ’68? Would I be righteous? Would I dissent? In the end yes; but I imagine it would have been a tortured path, well into my 40s or 50s to break. I most identified on my trip with the three bachelors in Ramat Gan. A little hip, a little serious, setting out on professional ambitions, Itamar the most serious, watching “Entourage” and trading Bitcoin on the sabbath (a long way from his ultra orthodox teens, when he snuck away in Jerusalem to look at the internet, and went OTD, “off the derech”). If I’d had an elite education in Israel, I’d have folded into this set, just as I folded into my Harvard set, and tried to make it on Israel’s terms.

Israeli police remove left-wing Jewish protesters who staged and sit-in and black the path of the “Jerusalem Day” parade, and annual march through the Old City marking Israel’s 1967 capture of East Jerusalem. (Photo: IfNotNow/Twitter)

Of course, the more important question is, what will American Jews do? I saw hundreds of Birthright kids on my travels, but I also saw a dozen or more young Jews demonstrating against occupation at the Damascus gate. Scott Roth, who is rarely optimistic, turned to me and nodded with admiration. “These are the good guys.”

“There aren’t so many of them,” I said.

“No. But last year they weren’t here. Next year there will be more of them.”

American Jews are all that can save Israel from the ideology that envelops it. That change won’t come from Israelis.

*I used pseudonyms for my four hosts, Anat, Allon, David, and Itamar, so as to protect their privacy.

About Philip Weiss

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

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118 Responses

  1. German Lefty
    June 13, 2017, 1:33 pm

    “Usually when I go to Israel and Palestine I spend all my time in Palestine to observe conditions there. Last month I did it the other way around: I spent all my time in Israel.”

    Strange phrasing. You sound like a Zionist. Israel and Palestine are not separate places. Israel is IN Palestine. Palestine consists of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.

    • eljay
      June 13, 2017, 2:53 pm

      || German Lefty: … Strange phrasing. You sound like a Zionist. Israel and Palestine are not separate places. Israel is IN Palestine. Palestine consists of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank. ||

      He appears to be referring not to the geographic region of / formerly known as Palestine, but to the countries of Israel and Palestine, which are separate places (even if the latter continues to be under military occupation and colonization by the former).

      • German Lefty
        June 13, 2017, 4:29 pm

        Yes, eljay. I know what Phil means, but it’s nonetheless a Zionist way of phrasing things. Because only a two-state solution can”ensure” that Israel remains a Jewish state. Also, by reducing “Palestine” to the West Bank and Gaza you ignore – or even deny – the Nakba, which has consequences for the Palestinian refugees’ right of return. That’s why the choice of words is really important.

      • echinococcus
        June 13, 2017, 5:49 pm

        Eljay,

        referring not to the geographic region of / formerly known as Palestine), but to the countries of Israel and Palestine, which are separate places (even if the latter continues to be under military occupation and colonization by the former)

        The entire country and region of Palestine is illegally occupied by the Zionist entity, and that country “of Israel” is an illegal colonial imposition against the UN Charter and all international law. The so-called country “of Palestine” is non-existent, a bitter joke of a Zionist-US puppet collaborationist administration imposed by the same imperial powers that imposed the so-called “partition”.

        By recognizing the 1947 military conquest and occupation under color of forced “partition”, you simply underwrite the military occupation, the theft of Palestine, “the ethnic cleansing” and all other policies of the Zionist entity.

        Even the blind, deaf and dumb can see that the entirety of Palestine is under military occupation. Judging by your posts, your life’s work seems to be that of repeating daily the ridiculous colonialist fiction, to create the impression that the illegal colonialist partition and the genocide a is a done deal and shouldn’t be remedied.

      • eljay
        June 13, 2017, 6:34 pm

        || German Lefty: Yes, eljay. I know what Phil means, but it’s nonetheless a Zionist way of phrasing things. Because only a two-state solution can”ensure” that Israel remains a Jewish state. … ||

        I can’t speak for Phil, but I’m not a Zionist and the two-state solution I envision includes neither a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” of Israel nor a religion-supremacist “Islamic State” of Palestine.

        || … Also, by reducing “Palestine” to the West Bank and Gaza you ignore – or even deny – the Nakba, which has consequences for the Palestinian refugees’ right of return. … ||

        Phil didn’t “reduce” Palestine to anything it hasn’t already been reduced to: Not Israel. I don’t know whether he’s Partition-borders or ’48 or ’67 borders, but that’s a different matter. Regardless, I don’t see how that impacts the right of return of refugees:
        – Palestinians from Israel must be allowed to return to Israel; and,
        – Palestinians from not Israel must be allowed to return to not Israel.

      • eljay
        June 13, 2017, 6:35 pm

        || echinococcus: Eljay, blahblahblah. ||

        Sure, whatever you say.

      • echinococcus
        June 14, 2017, 1:41 am

        Eljay,

        – Palestinians from Israel must be allowed to return to Israel; and, – Palestinians from not Israel must be allowed to return to not Israel.

        And if you not-discontinue your “not-X” exercises you’ll not-start not-down not-unlike a pretzel.

        Palestinians are the sole owners of all Palestine. They are the only ones with the right to go anywhere in all of Palestine as they wish, period; the Zionist invaders still have no right to be there. Your “Israel” is Palestinian territory just as much as your “not-Israel”. It’s not up to some American or Canadian do-gooder to enforce the continuation of ethnic cleansing and exiling of the Palestinians under the gentle name of “right of return”.

        Also, if you are trying that “measured” colonialist, Zionist-lite approach in the hope that some Zionist government will listen to you and apply your plan of Apartheid-approved two-tier right of return, then you’re not-on your rocker.

      • eljay
        June 14, 2017, 8:36 am

        || echinococcus: Eljay, blahblahblah. ||

        Sure, whatever you say.

      • Arafatbastard
        June 19, 2017, 7:30 am

        Formerly known as Israel, before it was ever known as Palestine, of course.

      • Talkback
        June 19, 2017, 9:27 am

        Arfartbastard: “Formerly known as Israel, before it was ever known as Palestine, of course.”

        Formerly know as Canaan. S what’s your point? That if Jews rule over a territory for a moment in time they own it forever and have the right to re-conquer it in the post Nazi era?

    • randomguy
      June 14, 2017, 3:02 pm

      “Palestine consists of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.”

      Actually palestine consists of more than that, it also includes Jordan and part of Syria. By ignoring Jordan, you ignore the apartheid of the indigenous population in modern day Jordan.

      • talknic
        June 14, 2017, 11:47 pm

        @ randomguy June 14, 2017, 3:02 pm

        // “Palestine consists of Israel, Gaza and the West Bank.” //

        “Actually palestine consists of more than that, it also includes Jordan and part of Syria.n”

        Nonsense. Palestine was declared and recognized by the majority of the International Comity of Nations per the Palestinian Declaration of State hood 1988, far short of their legal, moral and ethical rights, specifically in order to have peace with Israel. All it lacks now is independence from Israeli Occupation.

        However Israel is not nor has it ever been inclined to accept any limits to its Zionist expansionist ideals, demanding more and more without any legal, moral ethical or military basis.

        Having declared statehood, does not preclude the Palestinians from mounting a future a legal challenge against Israeli occupation and illegal acquisition of territories by war going back to 1948, where Israel itself declared to the UNSC that it was operating in territories “outside the State of Israel … in Palestine” May 22nd 1948 Israeli Government statement

        On May 22, 1948 UNSC S/766 the Provisional Government of Israel answered questions addressed to the “Jewish authorities in Palestine” was transmitted by the acting representative of Israel at the United Nations.
        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"

        “By ignoring Jordan, you ignore the apartheid of the indigenous population in modern day Jordan”

        Bullsh*t. Jordan was independent 1946, only the legitimate population of the territory that became Jordan had automatic Jordanian citizenship. All citizens of Jordan are Jordanian, no matter what their heritage. Only citizens of the West Bank were given Jordanian citizenship whilst the West Bank was a part of Jordanian sovereignty. Palestinian refugees not from the West Bank TransJordan were not.

        The West Bank as it is now officially named, was legally annexed at the request of representatives of the majority of the legitimate citizens of the territory. Jordan’s annexation was as a trustee only by demand of the other Arab states (Session: 12-II Date: May 1950) in keeping with the UN Charter Chapt XI

        It was a part of Jordan, which by 1967 was a UN Member state and a High Contracting Power to GC IV until Jordan handed the West Bank back to the PLO in 1988

    • L.Willms
      June 21, 2017, 1:14 pm

      Palestine in the sense of the British naming their colony in the South of Syria “Palestine”.

      The term Palestine goes back to the crusaders and Christian preachers who looked for an alternative name to “Holy Land”.

      The European colonizers who immigrated to Palestine to erect a “Jewish State” called the territory they wanted to conquer “Palestine”, also before the British military conquest of said territory in 1917. All the colonialist literature speaks about Palestine. See the huge amount of digitized Zionist colonialist publications at http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/cm/nav/index/title

      The people living there considered themselves to live in the South of “Al Shams” or Syria in the European languages. Even Arthur Ruppin, the German economist who was assigned in 1908 to lead the European colonization in “Palestine” wrote is first big book with the title “Syrien als Wirtschaftsgebiet” (Syria as economic area). http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/freimann/content/titleinfo/3778909

      The designation of the colonization target changed only with the founding war of the State of Israel in 1948/49, when they invented the term “Land Israel” (Eretz Israel) to designate the same territory which they for many decades had called Palestine.

      Mind you, “Eretz (Land) Israel” means the territory which the European colonialists intend to rule, while “Medinat Israel” or “State of Israel” means the organization excercizing state power but does not necessarily designate a clearly delimited territory. In the 1960 amendment to the “Prevention of Infiltration Law” of 1956, the added text refers in one clause to “Land of Israel outside of Israel”, i.e. meaning those parts of British colonial Palestine which they conquered only in 1967.

      And, BTW, why did they not conquer all of Palestine in 1967? Because the European colonizers were, are, and will always be a demographic minortiy in Palestine.

      All the

      • L.Willms
        June 21, 2017, 6:07 pm

        >> why did they not conquer all of Palestine in 1967 >>

        of course, the sentence deals with the colonial founding war of 1948, not the second phase of conquest of 1967.

        Sorry for the typo

  2. Liz
    June 13, 2017, 1:40 pm

    Incredibly moving and sad. A brilliant reflection on the reality of what’s happening there. Thanks for such amazing–albeit painful–investigative reporting.

    • Citizen
      June 14, 2017, 5:03 am

      Yes, Phil did some painful investigative reporting here. For some reason, I am thinking of the beer garden scene audience in the movie when the young zealot sings Tomorrow Belongs To Me. That would appear to make Phil either the old man who doesn’t get up in that audience, or the visiting English tutor–or some hybrid of those two characters…?

  3. Steve Grover
    June 13, 2017, 2:01 pm

    Weiss sez: “Most of the Israelis I met were not tough but hardened. They have contempt for the non-Jews in their midst.”
    They like non-Jews, but they hate Jews like you. Ya know the kind that do nothin’ else but spew hatred toward Israel and tell people they are Jewish only when it adds a bit of emphasis to the hatred they spread.

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 2:55 pm

      “They like non-Jews, but they hate Jews like you. Ya know the kind that do nothin’ else but spew hatred toward Israel and tell people they are Jewish only when it adds a bit of emphasis to the hatred they spread.”

      The only way to avoid that problem is to make a list of Jews, and not put Phil on the list!

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2017, 10:30 am

        I’ve made the list and I’m checking it twice.

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 12:16 pm

        “I’ve made the list and I’m checking it twice.”

        Yeah, there’s too many Jews. Gotta kick out some of the dead wood, ringers, and those just in it for the money and benefits.

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2017, 1:11 pm

        Yeah, you’re right. I already tossed out Yoni Falic.

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 2:26 pm

        “Yeah, you’re right. I already tossed out Yoni Falic.”

        And that still leaves 179,999,999 on the list. Heck, you’ve got room to get rid of plenty more.

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2017, 5:05 pm

        Mooser:
        Who can do all that with all that booze you and North say I consume? Instead I’ll list the low hanging fruit like you​, Falic, Weiss Max Blumenthal. Since even low hanging fruit need a “rabbi”, why not Brant Rosen?

      • (((James North)))
        June 14, 2017, 9:57 pm

        Mooser: Very cunning. Have your sock puppet attack you by name, and make him sound a little more intelligent than usual. We still won’t fall for it.

      • Mooser
        June 15, 2017, 3:27 pm

        “We still won’t fall for it”

        And it’s a banning offense, too.
        I’ll sorta hate to see “Steve Grover” go, but rules are rules.

      • Talkback
        June 19, 2017, 9:18 am

        Steve Grover creates his own Judenregister.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 13, 2017, 3:05 pm

      spoken like a true hardened person. not tough, hardened, resentful, lashing out, accusatory.

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 12:21 pm

        “not tough, hardened, resentful, lashing out, accusatory.”

        “Vos bei a nichteren oyfen lung, is bei a shikkeren oyfen tsung.”

  4. Steve Grover
    June 13, 2017, 2:07 pm

    “It was moving that Allon needed to distance himself from the attitude; and yet the attitude was everywhere; and he and I met in a café because his parents had come out to stay in the apartment that day and he was afraid of exposing his parents to a liberal American.”
    More like a raging anti-Semite.

    • Marnie
      June 14, 2017, 12:34 am

      A neighbor told me israelis “don’t hate, they just don’t care”. I agree that they don’t care. However, they do hate and are scared shitless, and isn’t hatred the manifestation of fear? I was walking my dog this morning and a man told me to get my leashed dog out of his way as he scurried by me as quick as his short ass could go. I assume he is terrified of large dogs and that fear manifested itself in anger towards me. Whatever, I see irrational fear all the time.
      There is no toughness or strength in the literal meaning of the words. Only the attitude of the one with the most weapons, military, money and the backing of the u.s., so fuck everyone else. Like the jerk on the school yard who is cruel to everyone he/she deems to be weaker. Not because this bully can clean everyone’s clock, but this bully has a friend with muscle who’ll clean your clock for him. Most israelis are cowards, dangerous, ignorant and a number of them are armed to the teeth. “Ain’t nothing more dangerous than a fool with a cause”.

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2017, 9:57 am

        Yeah Israeli’s have arms. Yet virtually no gun violence. Go figure.

      • Steve Grover
        June 14, 2017, 10:27 am

        “However, they do hate and are scared shitless, and isn’t hatred the manifestation of fear? ”
        They got Hizbollah to the North, Hamas to the South, ape shit meshuganas killing each other in Syria and then Iran making threat after threat and funding Hizbollah and Hamas. I gotta say Israel does a good job handling it and Israeli’s live mostly peaceful lives and worry about normal shit like getting their kids to school on time and fighting traffic to get to work.

      • echinococcus
        June 14, 2017, 10:57 am

        Right, Grover again.

        Israeli’s have arms. Yet virtually no gun violence

        Yet a daily news bulletin never fails to bring up several murders by firearms every day. Putting all kinds of firearms together, there have been days with dead counts reaching 600. More, it’s the country with the most gun violence in the world.

        Count on Grover for the foot-and-mouth disease.
        Also, he can’t be Mooser’s sock puppet. I believe that Mooser wouldn’t write with greengrocer’s apostrophes, not even to impersonate a cretin.

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 12:01 pm

        “Yeah Israeli’s have arms. Yet virtually no gun violence. Go figure.”

        This is all “YoniFalic’s” fault. He’s called me a “Slavo-Turk” so many times I got out my hookah, filled it with borscht and started toking and sock-puppeting. And fantasizing.

      • Marnie
        June 14, 2017, 12:06 pm

        Israeli on israeli violence – not so much, unless you are female. Israeli on ‘the other’ violence – a daily occurrence. Go figure your own damn self.

        Hezbollah to the north, Hamas to the south, lions, tigers and bears, oy vey! Trying to normalize israelis doesn’t work though and the quaint notion about them ‘getting their kids to school on time and fighting traffic to get to work’ is hilarious – keep ’em coming steverino, betcha you got a million of ’em (all stinking to high heaven too). 8^P

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 12:08 pm

        “write with greengrocer’s apostrophes,

        Well, truth be told, I used to, until “RoHa” took me to task for it.

      • MHughes976
        June 14, 2017, 12:39 pm

        The Wikipedia article on gun homicides, for what it’s worth, does not suggest that private-life Israelis are that heavily armed, but that are rather well prepared to use what they’ve got. The balance of guns vs. firearm deaths per 100k per annum are ISRAEL 7.03: 2.09 ITALY 11.9: 1.31 UNITED STATES 112.6: 10.54. At that rate it looks like it takes 2.5 – 3 guns to produce a fatality in Israel, about 8 in Italy and about 11 in the US. Americans would seem, despite their reputation, rather less ready to use the guns they have nefariously than are many others. But you don’t mess with an Israeli! Maybe they’re a bit highly strung.

      • MHughes976
        June 14, 2017, 12:56 pm

        If you look at fatalities recognised in their societies as homicides it would seem that it takes about 7 Israeli guns, about 36 Italian and about 31 American ones to produce one homicide.

  5. hophmi
    June 13, 2017, 2:24 pm

    “These pictures summarize the inescapable facts of Israel’s existence: half the population under its sovereign authority live without rights or with second class citizenship, they’re angry about that, sometimes they resist; and therefore Israelis are armed to the teeth and live in fear.”

    I have met many Israelis. I would not describe a single one as “living in fear.” There’s a reason Israel ranks among the happiest countries in the world. I would say that Israelis are concerned about their personal safety. The reason is simple: when a normal-looking person blows himself up in a civilian cafe or a discotech or a Passover Seder, and does so for a nationalistic or religious purpose, it is hard to trust. And most Israelis I know want to live in peace with their neighbors.

    If you have this much trouble separating your own preconceptions and emotions from your subject, you’re going to continue to misunderstand Israel, and to write gloomy pieces meant not to inform, but to feed the confirmation bias of your readers.

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 2:53 pm

      “I have met many Israelis”

      ‘And you, Phil Weiss, are no Israeli!’

      “and to write gloomy pieces meant not to inform, but to feed the confirmation bias of your readers.”

      Don’t let him get away with it, “Hophmi”! Link us to lot’s of up-to-the-minute stories about how happy Israelis are, and how well Zionism is working out for them.

      • festus
        June 13, 2017, 7:30 pm

        The amazing ability of Zionist supporters to hold two completely contradictory ideas in their head at the same time.

    • Keith
      June 13, 2017, 4:27 pm

      HOPHMI- “I have met many Israelis. I would not describe a single one as “living in fear.”

      None of the Israelis are afraid of being thrown into the sea by Jew-hating Arabs? You mean that the story of little Israel barely surviving in a dangerous neighborhood is just a propaganda meme? Who knew?

      • JohnSmith
        June 13, 2017, 9:03 pm

        “It’s funny, because it’s true.”
        “Youth Triumphant,” by George Gibbs, 1921, page 102.

        I.e., how right Keith is.

    • Misterioso
      June 14, 2017, 10:53 am

      @hophmi

      “There’s a reason Israel ranks among the happiest countries in the world.”

      Really?

      The Forward, March 22, 2017 By Naomi Zeveloff
      “A third of Jewish Israelis would leave the country if they could, according to a poll conducted by Masa Israeli, a group looking at the divisions of Jewish society in Israel.”

      Of the near one million Israeli Jews who have emigrated, thousands are moving to Germany, including Holocaust survivors who receive much better treatment there than in Israel.

      “[Shoah] Survivors’ protest makes foreign journalists gasp, security vanish”
      http://www.haaretz.com/news/survivors-protest-makes-foreign-journalists-gasp-security-vanish-1.226913

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3388445,00.html
      “Shoah survivors forced back to Germany due to Israel’s lack of restitution laws”
      Ines Ehrlich Published: 04.16.07, 11:32 / Israel News
      EXCERPT:
      “Documentary shows Israel the worst place for Holocaust survivors to live throughout the Western world. Hundreds protest outside Knesset, demand government help survivors with financial difficulties.

      “Holocaust survivors have left Israel to live out the rest of their days in Germany due to the better conditions they receive there, according to a documentary program broadcast Tuesday night by Israel’s Channel 2 television.”

  6. Annie Robbins
    June 13, 2017, 3:07 pm

    brilliant reporting once again phil.

    • Lillian Rosengarten
      June 15, 2017, 12:02 am

      Very depressing. It is clear that from inside Israel/Palestine there is no hope for Palestinians to achieve liberation and restitution for the Zionist crimes perpetrated against them. The Israeli fear of Palestinians has been skillfully manufactured thru decades of domestic terrorism and can be compared to Nazi propaganda inciting fear, violence and loathing of Jews and the creation of a “Juden Rein” Germany.The only hope for Palestine is thru the mobilization of international pressure to counter the Zionist agenda and force the demise of Zionism as a racist, nationalistic monster. BDS is an step in that direction.

      • German Lefty
        June 15, 2017, 2:26 pm

        @ Lillian: You wrote in a previous post that you hope to be back in Germany in July. If you do come back, would you please tell me the dates and the places of your talks?

  7. Steve Grover
    June 13, 2017, 3:27 pm

    “I have lost jobs and been called vile by my own mother for my positions, but if the pro-Israel bloc in the U.S. is monolithic, it is not oceanic: there have always been people from whom I could derive support”
    Your mother seems like a wonderful woman. She shouldn’t​ have called you vile. You should feel bad for making your mother feel that way. Pathetic.
    It is so wierd that you don’t get how people would be united against those that are hell bent on destroying their country.

    • German Lefty
      June 13, 2017, 4:34 pm

      “It is so weird that you don’t get how people would be united against those that are hell bent on destroying their country.”

      Well, Palestinians are united against the Zionists, who want to destroy Palestine.

      • Citizen
        June 14, 2017, 5:08 am

        @German Lefty

        Yes. What is weird to me is how so many Jewish Israelis, not to mention their AIPAC matrix running mates here in the USA don’t get how Palestinians would be united against those that are hell bent on destroying their homeland.

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 8:27 pm

      “those that are hell bent on destroying their country.”

      “Grover”, stop worrying! As long as our Jewish birth-rates keep up with our Zionist ambitions, that’ll never happen!

      • (((James North)))
        June 13, 2017, 8:39 pm

        Mooser: Pretending to argue with your sock-puppet?

      • Mooser
        June 14, 2017, 11:25 am

        “Mooser: Pretending to argue with your sock-puppet?”

        “North)))”,. would you please stop saying that? Sock-puppeting is a banning offense, and I am the only commenter who is allowed to have his very own sock-puppet.

        So let’s keep it between us, m’okay? The Mods find out, there will be hell to pay. They will probably ban Grover, and really, does he deserve that for being my sock-puppet?

  8. jon s
    June 13, 2017, 3:49 pm

    It’s good that at least Phil got to talk to some Israelis, from both the Right and the Left.
    Next time, Phil , come to visit the Negev (and learn how to focus your camera…)

    And for the most part Israelis don’t live in fear. At least not more than residents of New York, London, Paris and so forth. I’m sure that Phil felt reasonably safe here.

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 5:06 pm

      “And for the most part Israelis don’t live in fear.”

      Sure, “Jonny” kicking a wrong-colored stranger to death is actually a form of Jewish hospitality, revived once again in Beersheba. No fear involved, they do it because they like to, right?

      • amigo
        June 14, 2017, 3:25 pm

        “Sure, “Jonny” kicking a wrong-colored stranger to death is actually a form of Jewish hospitality, revived once again in Beersheba. No fear involved, they do it because they like to, right? ”

        Which is a very considerable factor in Israelis (minus non Jewish versions) being among the happiest people on the planet.

        Hell , if I could kick the crap out of any “non Irish” person –whatever that is , I too would be elated and just think , hangovers would be much easier to bear.

    • Kaisa of Finland
      June 13, 2017, 5:10 pm

      jon s:

      “And for the most part Israelis don’t live in fear..”

      If that is true, what do you need the IDF for?? If you are not afraid of the Palestinians, you can just break the wall and let the Palestinians live free. If you are not afraid of them, why do you need weapons to control them??

    • festus
      June 13, 2017, 7:33 pm

      “And for the most part Israelis don’t live in fear. At least not more than residents of New York..” I dunno. A dozen of them attacked and beat the living crap put of that one black guy (costing him an eye) a couple of years ago because the media had them believing black guys were playing a knock-out game against Jews.

  9. Stephen Shenfield
    June 13, 2017, 4:02 pm

    Are there really so few people from whom you could get support in Israel? Only if you look for support only among Jews. You could find support among Palestinians, surely? At least if you took up residence in one of the mixed cities (like Jaffa) and/or joined United List.

    I would like to query your interpretation of the behavior of the guy who invites only German girls to his home: “It’s how he gets girlfriends. South Africa and Germany and Israel, historical doppelgangers.” I suppose the word “historical” means that you recognize that present-day Germany bears little resemblance to Israel. If he targets German girls, it is not because he hopes to find in them admirers of Nazi Germany who see its values preserved in Israel (such people exist but are a tiny minority of Germans). It is because he counts on exploiting the guilt complex that makes it very hard for a German to say no to a Jew, however obnoxious.

  10. Kay24
    June 13, 2017, 4:30 pm

    If a lady of Palestinian heritage ran for office in the US would she succeed? Or would the evil empire work to sabotage her efforts? Does the US have any congressperson of Palestinian heritage?

    “Britain elected its first MP of Palestinian heritage in yesterday’s general election. Layla Moran overturned a Conservative majority of almost 10,000 votes to win the Oxford West and Abingdon. Moran won the closely contested election by only 816, gaining 26,252 votes.

    Moran was the only MP to overturn a seat in her county; the county’s other five seats remained as they were.”

    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170609-britain-elects-its-very-first-mp-of-palestinian-heritage/

  11. yonah fredman
    June 13, 2017, 4:42 pm

    My yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem was earlier than usual due to a family celebration and has not yet ended. So I am inspired by phil’s report to share some biographical notes.
    of course, i come from the other side of the tracks from phil. he was raised secular, even anti religious, with an emphasis on rationalism. my father was a rabbi (still is) and I was raised to believe in Torah and Zionism. phil never set foot in Israel until he was close to 50, I first moved here/ visited here at the age of 16 or so back in 72.
    I arrived in israel in 2017 the day that Trump left. The next day my first visit was to my aging parents. My mother was born in Europe, Western Europe, because there were quotas limiting Jewish opportunities of education in Poland and so her parents moved from Poland to France. When the Nazis invaded Belgium and France in May 1940, my mother was not yet 7. By the following April, my mother and her 9 year old brother were on a boat with their parents heading from Lisbon to New York City. My father was born in St. Louis to parents who were immigrants from Ukraine. My paternal grandparents arrived in the 1920’s, after the great migration. My grandfather was very religious, more religious than his two brothers who came to America before him. And though they lived in small town Peoria Illinois, they raised their family to keep kosher and shabbos. Small town orthodox Jews in America, a rarity even then, is even rarer today.
    my parents are now in their 80’s and ailing.
    My father taught 28 or so years at Queens College in Queens New York and retired to Jerusalem. They bought an apartment near my brother, who underwent a transformation in his late teens and early 20’s from modern Orthodox Judaism to ultra Orthodox Judaism, so they live in a very religious neighborhood, which makes my visiting them a bit more difficult, because I stopped being religious (with some backsliding) in my mid 20’s.
    After seeing my parents I headed to my uncle for a get together of my Israeli cousins, all first cousins of my mother’s. This is the family that would have been wiped out (in all probability) had there been no Zionism in the 1930’s. Their parents left Poland in that decade and came to Palestine. (One brother stayed in Europe and perished.) Most of these cousins of my mother’s are religious, but a minority are not. The sons of my great grandparents (aside from the brother who was murdered in Europe) all remained religious and all their children remained religious. The two daughters of my great grandparents married secular husbands and thus the results have been mixed: half religious and half secular.
    This was Jerusalem Day and I had passed the crowds flying their flags and made my way not to the center of the action but to my uncle’s for the family get together. Some recollection of the days of the 6 day war were recounted and some songs were sung. I asked the husband of one of my mother’s cousins whether he celebrated Jerusalem Day and he said no. He ardently celebrates the 5th of Iyar, I am a zionist he proclaimed, but the occupation should not be celebrated. Another of my cousins reported about where some of her children live and proudly proclaimed, “they are settlers”, a gathering of cousins is really no place for politics, laying religious and political differences aside are of the essence when a family is diverse and so the assertion of settlerism was not answered by anyone there.

    The kabbala group meets on thursday nights and the kabala is a book which encourages flights of fancy and although i wore a baseball cap and not a yarmulka i partook of the hostliness and the biblical commentary. because jerusalem day was recent when some selection in the text fortuitously referred to Jerusalem, this was given extra emphasis. no politics or should i say no contrary politics was mentioned.

    friday night i ate at my half uncle, who hosted the cousins’ gathering two nights before. my half uncle is a year and a half younger than me and his eldest son and his family were the other featured guests. I got it into my head to explain to my uncle’s son about my politics and told him about the Democratic convention in Chicago 1968, the week of my bar mitzvah. my uncle’s parents moved to Israel when he was not yet 13 and he is thus ambidextrous in hebrew and english and he married an israeli woman. my uncle’s politics are decidedly to the left of the primary thrust of the religious nationalist camp. but he teaches at a school in the territories and most of his kids are currently studying, teaching or living in the territories. (the most neutral term to refer to the west bank is to call them the territories rather than the west bank or judea and samaria.)
    my uncle’s wife (whose politics is decidedly to the right of my uncle’s) commented at one of the meals i ate at their house that she liked when i came over, because my presence causes her husband to reveal his right wing attitudes on certain issues (particularly he feels that the demand that the palestinians recognize the Jewish nature of Israel is natural).

    my uncle’s daughter in law was present that friday night. Her father was one of the founders of one of the major settlements in the territories, ofra. and her grandfather was killed in a terrorist attack in the 2nd intifada, so my uncle explained why he resisted talking about politics as much as he would have preferred.

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 5:13 pm

      Yup, when not even the Zionist sites will have them, they come here.

  12. AddictionMyth
    June 13, 2017, 5:24 pm

    I really enjoyed this article. In addition to the Palestinians and Zio-fascists are the Hasidic/Haredi. Each of these problems must be addressed and unwound. Yes it may take fresh American eyes to get things started. But it can be done. The core problem is that many people committed many deep sins and they don’t want to be held accountable. Thus they create distractions. But first of all, we are all sinners (lol sorry) and secondly, forgiveness is available to all (sorry again!).

    • Mooser
      June 13, 2017, 7:21 pm

      “But first of all, we are all sinners (lol sorry) and secondly, forgiveness is available to all”

      Sure, who needs an accounting, consequences and reparations (that stuff is harsh) when there is forgiveness. Palestinians forgive the Zionists, Zionists forgive the Palestinians, everybody is happy. Problem solved.

  13. Rooster
    June 13, 2017, 7:01 pm

    Great, thoughtful, article.
    Fascinating to watch cancer work at a societal level.

  14. John Salisbury
    June 13, 2017, 7:22 pm

    Another great piece Philip. You have written so many. Admire you.

  15. JohnSmith
    June 13, 2017, 9:29 pm

    I do think it’s a bit funny for an article about Israel to talk about “majoritarian” attitudes. When you look at the land covered by Israel-Palestine (“Israel,” the West Bank, Gaza), I very much doubt that the Palestinians/Arabs/Bedouin have ever been less than the majority of the population. Obviously, that’s less true than it was, with Israel shipping in non-Jewish Jews from Russia, and religious fantasists from India, the better to swamp the native population. But, still and to this day, I don’t think Zionists have succeeded in achieving their hoped-for majority status. I could be wrong, but the half-and-half formula for the Israel-Palestine population appears to be off, in favor of the Palestinians remaining the majority, at least by a small margin.

    I’ve thought the following would make good t-shirts: (1) Caption: “Israeli ‘Democracy’: Indefinite Detention Without Charges For the Racially Oppressed Majority.” (I see the situation in Israel-Palestine as a racial one, I don’t think it really has to do with religion at all. And the caption can apply to those people who are actually arrested, or, in a more abstract sense, the entire Palestinian population.) (2) Images: Pictures of a German concentration camp guard tower, and of an Israeli guard tower keeping watch on Palestinians. Caption: “Guard Towers Are Guard Towers. Gaza Is a Concentration Camp.”

    I’m sure many people have asked this many times, but how would Zionists in the United States react if the United States adapted the same rules for religious supremacy that Israel adapts? America remains perhaps 70-80 percent Christian. How would Jews react if they were told they weren’t “real” Americans, could never be “real” Americans because they were such a small percent of the population? It’s insanity! And Israel remains at least 50% Palestinian/Arab/Bedouin, maybe as much as 55%!

    Secular justice and a basic sense of fairness–is that too much to ask for?

    • Nevada Ned
      June 14, 2017, 1:22 am

      JohnSmith: absolutely.

      Commenters at mondoweiss should be aked the following question: “Do you support the US right to exist as Christian nation?”

      And if you don’t, you’re threatening to drive us (US Christians) into the sea!!

  16. JosephA
    June 14, 2017, 12:15 am

    Phil,

    I am mightily impressed that you dared to tell “Israelis” (or, perhaps I could refer to them accurately as non-Indigenous colonialist non-Palestinians) that you are anti-Zionist. I wouldn’t feel so comfortable in the deep, rural south telling a group of locals that I was anti-trump (or pro-Planned Parenthood).

    These are scary times. Thanks for making the trip and for your thoughtful travelogue. Or shall we call it more of an investigation into mass-psychosis?

    • Arafatbastard
      June 19, 2017, 7:41 am

      Jews originated in Israel.

      You originated in a Munich Beer Garden.

      • Talkback
        June 19, 2017, 8:50 am

        Arafatbastard: “Jews originated in Israel”

        Not all Jews are descendants of ancient Hebrews who lived in the wholy land.

        Arafatbastard: “You originated in a Munich Beer Garden.”

        So when did your ascendants illegaly entered Palestine? And from where? Jewish Autonomous Oblast?

      • eljay
        June 19, 2017, 9:55 am

        || Arafatbastard: Jews originated in Israel. … ||

        Israelis originated in Israel. People who choose to hold the religion-based identity of Jewish have been originating in homelands all over the world by:
        – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or
        – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

      • echinococcus
        June 19, 2017, 2:40 pm

        Eljay,

        Israelis originated in Israel.

        Bullshit again. Those Zionists immigrating there are illegal immigrants, invaders. Those born there did not “originate” there (you may want to consult English usage for the word) but originate in illegal invasion from other, unrelated places.

        People who choose to hold the religion-based identity of Jewish have been originating in homelands all over the world by: – undergoing a religious conversion to Judaism; or – being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion to Judaism.

        BS. The “identity of Jewish” for Zionist purposes is strictly racist. It has nothing to do with the individuals’ effective religion. It has of course nothing to do with effective “race” either, but with its view by a racist, that’s why it may be more exact to call it racist than racial.

      • eljay
        June 19, 2017, 2:53 pm

        || echinococcus: Eljay, blahblahblah. ||

        Sure, whatever you say.

      • Marnie
        June 20, 2017, 12:59 am

        @bastard – Don’t you mean the ancient Hebrews, who no one living can prove any connection to?

      • Talkback
        June 20, 2017, 9:08 am

        Marnie: “@bastard – Don’t you mean the ancient Hebrews, who no one living can prove any connection to?”

        Jews who claim to be descendants of ancient Hebrews who allegedly lived there (and only there!) couple of thousand years ago have more rights to live there than Nonjews (or their descendants) who can prove that they lived there a couple of decades ago and were expelled by Jews. That’s called “pathological Zionist personality disorder” and they haven’t found a treatment yet.

  17. echinococcus
    June 14, 2017, 1:11 am

    American Jews are all that can save Israel from the ideology that envelops it. That change won’t come from Israelis

    What a comedown it is to read this, Weiss. Who the hell wants to “save” the shitty, genocidal, bastard Zionist entity? From itself, no less.

    The ones that need being saved, and really need it because they are being genocided, are the Palestinian people, not the invader bunch (who is only waiting for the right opportunity to apply the American-style final solution: as you so well observe, the oceanic Nazi crowd “seem to want the Palestinians to assume the position of the American Indian”.)

    In the absence of some worldwide war, the only way to do that is by turning around the US, and it’s not your insignificant “American Jews” but only the general population, the masses of Americans, the people who just voted Trump because they’ve had it, who can do that. Every cent we can spare should go to informing them.

    • Mooser
      June 14, 2017, 11:43 am

      “What a comedown it is to read this, Weiss.”

      Phil said that “American Jews are all that can save Israel”. That’s probably true, if American Jews decided to devote a lot of time and resources to doing it.
      He never said they should do it, or will do it.

      • echinococcus
        June 14, 2017, 12:11 pm

        That is a perfectly valid way of looking at it, Mooser. Thanks.

        But then, it’s they, the American Jews, who are the Zionist HQ, not the cannon-fodder suckers that are squatting in Palestine. All they had to do was to just turn a spigot, up in Westchester County, and that would have been it. Instead, the way they are “saving Israel from itself” is by sending the more unbalanced kids to become Zionist troops and settlers. The “lot of time and resources” goes like that, then: the reasonable human minority may devote a lot of time, but in terms of resources it’s one dollar, one vote and the billions have spoken. The only field where $ counts a little less is in gathering people, and the American Jews are not exactly a majority.

    • Mooser
      June 14, 2017, 8:04 pm

      “it’s not your insignificant “American Jews” but only the general population, the masses of Americans, the people who just voted Trump because they’ve had it, who can do that.”

      Try jay-walking instead. You’ll never get a green at that intersection.

  18. yourstruly
    June 14, 2017, 2:38 am

    The fear, hatred and violence that Israeli colonizers express towards Palestinians are reminiscent of the mostly European settler conquests of indigenous peoples in the the Americas, Africa and Asia. Seems that stealing another people’s land, then having to live among the conquered, brings out the worst in us humans. It’s as if any expression of empathy towards the natives for what they, the settlers, have wrought upon them, would be an acknowledgement of the native’s humanity, therein putting the settler enterprise itself at risk. After all one can be either a humanitarian or a settler, but not both at the same time. Thus it is that whatever intentions the settler may have held, re: harmonious relations with the native, almost always give way to the imperatives of maintaining his/her ill-gotten way of life.

  19. johneill
    June 14, 2017, 4:13 am

    “And of course, there is a legal double standard: the cops do nothing to stop the Jewish settlers saying Death to Arabs. . . .Israelis know of the injustices at some level, which is why they are more defensive than ever.” the defensive posture of a ‘scared’ electorate.
    i appreciate the reportage but agree with jon s: you should probably bring a photographer next time.

  20. Jackdaw
    June 14, 2017, 9:08 am

    ” I don’t have kids, but I can’t imagine raising kids in that environment”

    Better to raise kids in America. Not too many guns there.

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/shooting-gop-baseball-practice-scalise-shot-120338383.html

    • zaid
      June 14, 2017, 10:06 am

      At least in the US they wont be experimented on.

      http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=43119

      • Jackdaw
        June 14, 2017, 3:52 pm

        Yes, and every time some big wig in Hamas needs medical treatment, where does he go?

        Suddenly. It’s time to ‘normalize’!

      • talknic
        June 15, 2017, 6:34 am

        @ Jackdaw June 14, 2017, 3:52 pm

        “Yes, and every time some big wig in Hamas needs medical treatment, where does he go?

        Suddenly. It’s time to ‘normalize’!”

        It is the responsibility of ” Israel, the Occupying Power” to care for the Occupied, even Hamas, despite their being enemies.

      • Rashers2
        June 15, 2017, 10:08 am

        @zaid, an apology; prompted by Mooser’s link to the Beersheba lynching coverage, I was surfing through the latest stories from ‘Through the Looking Glass’, also came across this ‘Israel Hayom’ article and wove a comment around it – I’d not registered that you’d already brought it to readers’ attention.

  21. yonah fredman
    June 14, 2017, 1:47 pm

    have to say that finding phil writing “off the derech” was a real kick in reading this article.

    this concept that american jews are the key to change of Israeli policy, i don’t know. if jews hated netanyahu as much as they hate trump, then the change could come about, but that day seems far away. most american jews are minimally involved in thinking about israel.

    read the bernie sanders op ed and if the democratic party can free itself from depending on big donors then the democratic party can free itself from lockstep support for israel, right or wrong. but i think it is a good 20 years if not 50 years until american jews really rebel against israel and thus it seems that events will dictate the future, rather than a change of mind of a small percentage of the population.

    i had an insight today riding on a bus in jerusalem, that i still get a kick out of everyday life in Israel. when jon s, sometimes, cites the joy in his hometown of beersheva at some soccer victory, i cringe, because i know that’s not what the comments section on mondoweiss considers a value. but merely standing on a street corner and watching life go on, gives me a type of pleasure regarding life going on in israel.

    the line and song, “am yisroel chai” , which essentially means, the jewish people still lives, has been labeled as fascistic and many wrongheaded zionists sing the song and use the idea of the song to dismiss other thoughts regarding the necessity of politics going forward. but persistence both as credo and as marvel is certainly near the thoughts of many supporters of israel through the years, particularly my age and older. and just seeing life persisting is something that gives me pleasure as i ride on the bus here.

    but then i notice that one of the bus passengers is wearing a uniform and the insignia on the uniform indicates that he works in the prison system and he (or his uniform) bring to light, the unseen of the situation: thus life goes on normally here on this bus, but normal is not nearly good enough in the totality of the control of the army which calls itself the Jewish army.

    • Mooser
      June 14, 2017, 2:40 pm

      When even the Zionist sites are embarrassed by their drivel, they come here, where there are only two qualifications for Zionism, exhibiting rhetorical sociopathy, and omphaloskepsis.

    • Jackdaw
      June 14, 2017, 6:23 pm

      “his concept that american jews are the key to change of Israeli policy, i don’t know. ”

      Phil’s moral narcissism is boundless.

      • Mooser
        June 15, 2017, 3:09 pm

        “Phil’s moral narcissism is boundless.”

        Wow, that one has got to sting.

      • amigo
        June 15, 2017, 6:16 pm

        “Phil’s moral narcissism is boundless.” jackduh

        Just like Israel,s borders.

  22. Mooser
    June 14, 2017, 2:44 pm

    “cites the joy in his hometown of beersheva at some soccer victory, i cringe, because i know that’s not what the comments section on mondoweiss considers a value.”

    The Mondo comment section is making it harder to get a kick out of Beersheba?

  23. NorthCascadian
    June 14, 2017, 3:19 pm

    So many comparisons to the American Indian and the Europeans, but lets face it, that’s not how the Israeli’s, who hate the Palestinians, see it. American Indigenous people were proselytized, educated and assimilated, then given rights and then arguably given special rights. Their current status is arguably difficult but not as difficult as what is faced by the Palestinians. Palestinians are given the gun to the head treatment. I believe Palestinians are forbidden from converting to the Jewish faith, thereby being allowed into their own homeland through religious conversion. Israeli’s seem to thrive on hatred of the other which includes all non-Jews, hence we are all Palestinian. The barbarity Phil describes in his trip to that place reinforces the need to Boycott Israel.

    • Jackdaw
      June 14, 2017, 6:28 pm

      “American Indigenous people were proselytized, educated and assimilated ”

      Yeah. The remnants who escaped the genocide. A genocide that the Palestinian people never suffered.

      • Marnie
        June 15, 2017, 1:04 am

        You keep trying though .

    • L.Willms
      June 22, 2017, 8:03 am

      The difference between the European colonization of Palestine and that of North America and Australia, is that the latter hat indigenous populations which were organized in many small nomadic tribes without a common organisation, had — so to speak — not yet really left stone age. By their numbers, the colonizers with the massive emigration from Europe overwhelmed the indigenous population. The “Indians” and Aborgines had not the slightest idea that somebody could lay claim to the soil as private property. It was impossible to assimilate even as slaves, as they could not understand why anybody should work longer than needed for the human necessities of life. Their fate was to be extermianted.

      In Palestine, the Europeans faced and still face a completely different situation. Palestine’s soil was worked since thousands of years by sedentary peasants, which had build thousands of years old cities. It was unthinkable that this population could as easily be eradicated as the indigenous populations of Australia and North America. That’s one reason why Theodor Herzl preferred to get a territory in Argentina to colonize — the Argentinian Republic had just eradicated the Pampa Indians.

      And in direction of Palestina, there was also not the expected huge stream of European immigrants. So the colonizers have never managed to become near of a demographic majority, and the import of Jewish Arabs did not help either (and those Jewish Arabs where discrimininate and dispised as “Orientals”).

  24. echinococcus
    June 14, 2017, 5:48 pm

    North Cascadian,

    American Indigenous people were proselytized, educated and assimilated, then given rights and then arguably given special rights.

    Now, now. You are wronging the English and the Spaniards and the French. They, most Catholically or in most Puritan fashion, wherever applicable, sent the overwhelming majority of Injun souls to Paradise, ensuring their timely salvation.
    After which, when there weren’t any Injuns left to fight back, then they did all the nice things you mentioned. Well, almost.

    The Zionists are jealous and they are currently trying to achieve the same. When only a Weitz quota (15%) remains alive, they will reevaluate. They hope to get to an American (or Australian, etc.) situation soon enough.

  25. AreaMan
    June 15, 2017, 5:58 am

    ” My instinct when I saw the guns was always to get out of the way, and soon.”

    Notice that the others on the train did not show that fear or behavior. They are more intimately familiar with the situation than P. Weiss.

    • Rashers2
      June 15, 2017, 10:56 am

      People can become inured to abnormal situations and circumstances over time, even accepting of them as part of daily life or, if they grow up with them, assuming that everyone, everywhere encounters similar. This acceptance does not make such situations or circumstances “normal”, @AreaMan!

  26. Pdxmuscle@comcast.net
    June 15, 2017, 2:15 pm

    An interesting article. As a Palestinian-American, I feel the same tugs at my humanity in some ways. Phil describes the difference between “Oceanic” endorsement of Israel’s policies in Israel, vs the “Monolithic” views he gets in the US and how this has allowed him a minimal amount of air and some comrades to feel a sense of community here and he wouldn’t have in Israel

    Growing up in New York, I can attest to the views growing up in NYC were indeed Oceanic, I was harassed in school, with taunts such as one three five nine, there is no Palestine and two four six eight, Israel is a Jewish state, teachers who would never ever call on me in class, other students who would never sit next to me as I was an untouchable. I was the new Nazi, the new creation to wipe out the Jews.

    Still, we knew we were refugees, and for example we exercised legal recourse against the state of New York when they claimed my dad could not have possibly been born in Palestine in 1932. Reading the New York Times in the 1960-1980s no light ever was given to any view that didn’t conform to a Palestinians are evil narrative. No light was given to the Zionism is racism vote at the UN.
    Still, a persons light is created by simple choice. Our all Christian country club didn’t admit Jews until we were among the first families to sponsor them. I did ask, why we would sponsor people who would never allow us into our own family home? It was because we should do it I was told, that is what makes us human. The ability to say no to exclusion by being inclusive ourselves. And no folks, my family weren’t liberal democrats and all the world needs is more hugs types. Just, we won’t screw others just because we are getting screwed sort of family.

    There is emotional familiarity while reading your article Phil, the sense of being alone or amongst the few is saddening and at times makes one question one’s intentions or sanity, but in the end, giving a voice to the powerless, especially during the shut doors and certainty that you are only abating the savages in their attempts to kill and destroy, is the most human thing you can do. Zero Senators and Zero governors will agree with you but there you are, exactly where you need to be.

  27. amigo
    June 15, 2017, 6:13 pm

    For Jon S. You will be thrilled to learn that your national airline has just been voted by Heathrow Airport as the “Dirtiest and noisiest” airline landing there.Israel was voted worst of 50 tested.

    http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.795965

    Btw , Irelands national airline , Aer Lingus , came in second behind British Airways .

    Israel also regularily tops the list of most hated and least trusted nations on the planet.

    Keep up the good work Jon S and don,t worry , be happy.

  28. JLewisDickerson
    June 16, 2017, 2:59 am

    RE: “Put another way, what kind of lout would brandish a liquor bottle in a militarily occupied Muslim Quarter of a country not his own?” ~ Weiss

    A POTENTIAL ANSWER: An updated version of “The Ugly American”?
    A SUBGENRE: What about those snotty, obnoxious, arrogant, drunken, young American Jews that Max Blumenthal interviewed in a bar in Jerusalem several years ago?

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2017, 12:28 pm

      “A POTENTIAL ANSWER: An updated version of “The Ugly American”?”

      Et tu “Dickerson”? The “Ugly American” was the hero of the book that bears that name. The “pretty Americans” were the villains.
      It’s a very short book, you can read it in a couple of hours.

      • gamal
        June 16, 2017, 12:59 pm

        “was the hero of the book”

        well i am no Homer but without Sarkanism whenever “you give a man something for nothing the first person he comes to dislike is you”

        and he was greasy and dirty which only made him think he was ugly, its surprisingly up to date.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2017, 1:46 pm

        “and he was greasy and dirty”

        He was an engineer.

      • gamal
        June 16, 2017, 1:57 pm

        “He was an engineer.”

        yup sometimes he tripled his redundancy, i have no tolerance for engineers.

        my friend George Norval Lindsay lived on the 19th floor of the Grenfell tower, its got us an airing i think we are beautiful, a forthright people

        https://twitter.com/Fi_Rutherford

      • JLewisDickerson
        June 20, 2017, 3:06 pm

        Yes indeed, me too! And, despite your having explained this to me one time before (which I vaguely recalled after posting, but it was too late to edit).
        I think I have the book in my digital collection. Unfortunately, I recently got the “blue screen of death” on that computer because the hard drive is apparently not quite “all there”. Fortunately, another computer seems to be making progress (very, very slowly) recovering the missing data. A few more days should do it.

  29. jon s
    June 16, 2017, 4:45 am

    amigo,
    I’m not sure that El Al qualifies as a “national airline” anymore, since it was privatized. It’s a privatly owned business now (by the Borowitz brothers).
    Many Israelis prefer to fly on Turkish and other airlines.

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2017, 1:48 pm

      “Many Israelis prefer to fly on Turkish and other airlines.”

      Turkish or Slav airlines, according to the statistics. Makes sense, donnit?

      • Sibiriak
        June 16, 2017, 2:43 pm

        The Slavo-Turk lineage is well-respected.

      • Mooser
        June 16, 2017, 3:46 pm

        “The Slavo-Turk lineage is well-respected.”

        And Slavo-Turk airlineage, even more so! A well-respected lineage about town, doing all the best things so conservatively. I’m probably one myself, if I’m not descended from King David. One or the other, for sure.

  30. JLewisDickerson
    June 16, 2017, 9:03 am

    RE: “Israeli authorities now surveil social media posts of Palestinians to the point that they contend they can accurately predict who will commit violence, and bring that “evidence” to a judge who will issue an order of administrative detention. “Do you understand the level of control of the population that this means?” says Yossi Gurvitz, the writer. “This is 1984. And you can expect it to come to your back yard in a few years.”

    MY COMMENT: Welcome to the age of the “technodictator”!

  31. JLewisDickerson
    June 16, 2017, 9:25 am

    RE: “These pictures summarize the inescapable facts of Israel’s existence: half the population under its sovereign authority live without rights or with second class citizenship, they’re angry about that, sometimes they resist; and therefore Israelis are armed to the teeth and live in fear. And, it’s permanent: Israelis have no clue how to change the situation.” ~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: And, the Israeli government uses propaganda, fearmongering, separation of the populations (social separation and outright segregation), etc. to see that the situation does not improve.

    SEE: “Rich People Just Care Less”, By Daniel Goleman, New York Times, October, 5, 2013

    [EXCERPT] . . . In politics, readily dismissing inconvenient people can easily extend to dismissing inconvenient truths about them. The insistence by some House Republicans in Congress on cutting financing for food stamps and impeding the implementation of Obamacare, which would allow patients, including those with pre-existing health conditions, to obtain and pay for insurance coverage, may stem in part from the empathy gap. As political scientists have noted, redistricting and gerrymandering have led to the creation of more and more safe districts, in which elected officials don’t even have to encounter many voters from the rival party, much less empathize with them.

    Social distance makes it all the easier to focus on small differences between groups and to put a negative spin on the ways of others and a positive spin on our own.

    Freud called this “the narcissism of minor differences,” a theme repeated by Vamik D. Volkan, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia, who was born in Cyprus to Turkish parents. Dr. Volkan remembers hearing as a small boy awful things about the hated Greek Cypriots — who, he points out, actually share many similarities with Turkish Cypriots. Yet for decades their modest-size island has been politically divided, which exacerbates the problem by letting prejudicial myths flourish.

    In contrast, extensive interpersonal contact counteracts biases by letting people from hostile groups get to know one another as individuals and even friends. Thomas F. Pettigrew, a research professor of social psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, analyzed more than 500 studies on intergroup contact. Mr. Pettigrew, who was born in Virginia in 1931 and lived there until going to Harvard for graduate school, told me in an e-mail that it was the “the rampant racism in the Virginia of my childhood” that led him to study prejudice.

    In his research, he found that even in areas where ethnic groups were in conflict and viewed one another through lenses of negative stereotypes, individuals who had close friends within the other group exhibited little or no such prejudice. They seemed to realize the many ways those demonized “others” were “just like me.” . . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/05/rich-people-just-care-less/

  32. Emet
    June 16, 2017, 11:09 am

    Thought you were barred from every entering Israel again or was that someone else? How come they actually let you in?

    • Mooser
      June 16, 2017, 12:59 pm

      “How come they actually let you in?”

      Oh, you know, Jewish mother, and father. I bet all Phil had to say was “Weiss” and he was in like Horowitz.

  33. L.Willms
    June 21, 2017, 8:03 pm

    Thanks for the report. You show the Israeli version of what James Baldwin, the black and gay novelist, said to the “White” racists: You can’t lynch us without you becoming moral monsters (quoted from memory), or others had already said in the 19th century that a people which oppresses another people forges her own chains.

    When Napoleon conquered Spain in 1810, Spaniards opposed to foreign rule gathered in a convention, a Cortes in Spanish, in Cádiz in in the south west corner of Spain. The Inca Yupanqui, delegate from Cuzco in Peru, told the assembly that when they fought against the French occupation, they should consider that “Un pueblo que oprime otro, no puede ser libre” – a people which oppresses another cannot be free itself.

    That is what the European colonizers in Palestine experience, but still they stick to their master-race ideology. But tens of thousands of Israelis prefer to emigrate, and especially to Berlin, Germany. Berlin has at least 10,000 living there with an Israeli passport, and many many more with German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, Italian or Spanish passports, which they are entitled to because of the origin of their ancestors. Only the Jewish Arabs which had been imported into Israel after the 1948 colonial war, have no chance. They are not of European origin. Their only chance is to fraternize with their Arab neighbors of Palestinian origin.

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