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Times super-Zionist Bret Stephens commits fallacy and falsehood, on Jerusalem

US Politics
on 124 Comments

In his oped for The New York Times on December 9, 2017, entitled “Jerusalem Denial Complex”, Bret Stephens, the new super-Zionist Times oped columnist, supported Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital by arguing that Trump was simply acknowledging reality.  This echoes Trump’s own justification for the move from his speech announcing the new policy last week.  After listing the many “pieties”, as Stephens puts it, that Trump’s announcement finally lays to rest, he gives us the following description of Jerusalem:

“What Jerusalem is is the capital of Israel, both as the ancestral Jewish homeland and the modern nation-state. When Richard Nixon became the first American president to visit the country in 1974, he attended his state dinner in Jerusalem. It’s where President Anwar Sadat of Egypt spoke when he decided to make peace in 1977. It’s what Congress decided as a matter of law in 1995. When Barack Obama paid his own presidential visit to Israel in 2013, he too spent most of his time in Jerusalem. So why maintain the fiction that Jerusalem isn’t the capital?”

What’s interesting about this passage is that it embodies both a fundamental fallacy and a fundamental falsehood.  Pretty good for one paragraph.

The fallacy is one of equivocation, in this case on the word “recognition”.  One commits this fallacy when one takes an ambiguous term – in this case, “recognition” –  and constructs an argument in which one uses the terms in one sense in a crucial premise and then in a different sense in the conclusion. “Recognition” has two, admittedly related, meanings.  In one sense, the one expressed when it is said it’s time to recognize reality and stop believing in fictions, the premises of Stephens’s argument, “recognize” just means acknowledge what is the case.  And in this sense all of us know, indeed “recognize,” that Jerusalem has functioned as Israel’s capital for many years, so if you want to talk to government leaders, of course that’s where you have to go.  So from this premise, together with the premise that you ought to acknowledge facts that are staring you in the face, Stephens (and Trump) conclude that you ought to recognize that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.  Sounds almost reasonable when you put it that way.

However, “recognition” has a different sense when describing political acts carried out by representatives of nation-states.  In this sense it means formally agreeing not to challenge the situation in question, to sanction it and treat it as legitimate. So Trump’s act wasn’t a mere cognitive achievement, it was a political act of officially acquiescing and condoning Israel’s annexation of the city against international law.  The point is that when governments “recognize” they are not merely acknowledging facts, they are in an important sense creating them.  What Trump did was to put the US seal of approval on the Israeli annexation, and that goes far beyond merely recognizing what happen to be the undisputed facts of the matter.  While Trump may not himself understand the difference, I find it hard to believe Stephens doesn’t, which makes his argument extremely disingenuous.

The falsehood comes in that phrase, “…as the ancestral Jewish homeland”.  What this means is that the group of people who now identify as Jews, whether currently living in Israel or outside it, constitute a nation, and the very same nation as the people who lived in the ancient kingdom of Judea; therefore, in establishing the Jewish state of Israel, they are merely returning to take possession of what has always been rightfully theirs.

But can anyone really take this claim seriously?  Judaism is a religion, and what Jews today share with the ancient Judeans is this religion.  My roots can be traced back to Eastern Europe, and earlier than that is all speculation and conjecture, nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.

Shlomo Sand, in The Invention of the Jewish People, has forcefully argued that the very idea that Jews, as a collective, constitute a nation, is a very recent idea, largely coinciding with the rise of Zionism.  As someone who was raised Orthodox, I’m not sure I totally agree with him, but this only reinforces my point.  It has for a long time been part of Jewish religious doctrine that we are God’s people, so if that’s so, we have to be identifiable as a separate nation.  We also have religious laws about who can count as a Jew that are mostly biologically based.  But this is religious dogma, not history and not political reality.

In fact, not too long ago, during the period of Jewish emancipation in Europe, it was the anti-semites who emphasized that Jews were a nation apart, and it was advocates for emancipation who argued that Jews were integral to the nations in which they lived but just happened to have a minority religion.  So no, Bret Stephens, Jerusalem is not my homeland, nor my “birthright”.  I have no more of a right to claim Jerusalem than any Catholic in the US has to claim Rome.

About Joseph Levine

Joseph Levine is Professor of Philosophy at UMass Amherst, member of the Academic Council of JVP, and member of Western Mass chapter of JVP.

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124 Responses

  1. Citizen
    December 13, 2017, 10:51 am

    Wonderful little essay

  2. JosephA
    December 13, 2017, 11:54 am

    Very accurate, logical, and much appreciated.

  3. eljay
    December 13, 2017, 1:11 pm

    “What Jerusalem is is the capital of Israel, both as the ancestral Jewish homeland and the modern nation-state. …

    Israel is a modern nation-state, but it is not and has never been an “ancestral Jewish homeland” – the homeland of every person in the world who embraces the religion-based identity of Jewish.

    Israel sinfully covets Jerusalem and illegally occupies and colonizes it. It is the capital of Israel in much the same way the victim chained in his basement is the rapist’s wife.

  4. MHughes976
    December 13, 2017, 2:16 pm

    I think that the following statements are all true
    a) many of the ancestors of today’s Jews lived in what is now called Israel
    b) many of the ancestors of today’s Jews lived elsewhere
    c) many of the ancestors of today’s Palestinians lived in what is now called Israel
    d) Judaism in most of its forms both ancient and modern ascribes particular theological importance to Jerusalem and the territory around it. (Mind you, it is at least an oversimplification to say that all forms of Judaism or many forms of Christianity have implied something like Zionism.)
    Everything really depends on d). The other propositions by themselves would never have been thought to imply anything important. However, it is wrong to impose on others a political claim founded on a religion they do not accept.
    Levine’s remarks on the equivocation between ‘recognise as fact’ and ‘recognise as legitimate’ are impeccable.

    • Boris
      December 13, 2017, 3:42 pm

      I assume that “now called Israel” is the ancient Jewish nation state on the territory of what had been known since 125 AD as Palestine.

      a) yes
      b) yes
      c) no. The area was depopulated after more than a century of Jewish resistance Roman occupation. The ancestors of what is known today as Palestinians came in after .
      d) Jews identity themselves as a nation independent of their religious convictions. Levine deliberately narrows it to Judaism, but there are plenty of Jews who are not religious.

      • Talkback
        December 13, 2017, 4:24 pm

        Boris: “c) no. The area was depopulated after more than a century of Jewish resistance Roman occupation. ”

        That’s a myth which not even a single Israeli academic has proven so far.

        Boris: “The ancestors of what is known today as Palestinians came in after.”

        Say who? Boris?

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 5:04 pm

        “Jews identity themselves as a nation independent of their religious convictions.”

        So all over the world, every nation should be suspicious of the loyalty of the Jews ‘resident’ there at the time? Let them get influence and affluence, and the Jews will transfer it to their own nation. And as you say, it’s “independent of religion”. We want a lot more than just the money to build Temples and JCC’s.

        “Boris”, you just keep on repeating those anti-semitic tropes and telling us they are philo-semitic. That’s a risky strategy, guy.

      • MHughes976
        December 13, 2017, 5:21 pm

        Whatever one thinks happened in ancient times it is surely true that today’s Palestinians must have had many ancestors living in the place. Even if there was a depopulation after 135 – the evidence is at least mixed – there was plenty of time, centuries upon centuries, for the population to be replaced. The ‘many ancestors’ proposition is true even if many of the ancestors concerned existed only in the last few centuries, even I’d some of the ancestors were Jewish, even if there was considerable churning back and forth across the wider Middle East.
        Political rights do not depend on population statistics from the past. I don’t think that anyone would have attached any importance to these things – I can think of no comparable case – had it not been that some ancestors are assigned more importance than others by religious ideas, ideas which carry enormous weight even among those who do not believe in God.

      • Brewer
        December 13, 2017, 8:45 pm

        Complete nonsense. The Romans did not depopulate the region of its Jews. They may have captured and taken some Zealots as slaves but that was the extent of it. The Sanhedrin was re-located from Jerusalem to Yavneh in 70 AD where it remained for centuries.

        “Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely…….”
        – Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, and the former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University. Since 2006 he is the chair of the Historical Society of Israel.

        I read about these deeds many years ago and have long awaited their publication. Apparently those pertaining to Jerusalem were handed over to the Palestinians and the Jordanian Government last year:

        There are 171,306 deeds recorded in 46 registries of Jerusalem in Ottoman archive records. Of these, 133,365 are private property and 37,671 belong to foundations. In addition to this, Turkey’s archives also have records of Jerusalem between the hijri years 950 and 1917.

        Among the records of private property were 139 deeds belonging to Sultan Abdul Hamid II, 137 of which were transferred to the treasury in the past. The remaining two are in Jerusalem’s Erihav region. The records show that there is a plot of land approximately 30,000 square meters in size that is recorded under the name of Sultan Abdul Hamid II [1842-1918].

        The deeds proving that Palestine belongs to Palestinians were handed to Palestinian officials. Israel did not ask for deed records from Turkey. Had Israel requested these records, it would mean that Israel would be accepting that it is occupying Palestine.

        A memorandum was signed between Palestine and Jordan. Procedures such as the maintenance and repair of foundations in Jerusalem were transferred to Jordan. Therefore, in 2016, upon the request of Jordan, Turkey provided copies of the deeds of foundations in Jerusalem to Jordan.
        https://www.sott.net/article/371194-Ottoman-archives-hold-records-of-Jerusalem-deeds

      • eljay
        December 13, 2017, 9:21 pm

        || Boris: d) Jews identity themselves as a nation independent of their religious convictions. … ||

        No doubt. But Jewish is a religion-based identity (no Judaism, no Jewish) and when push comes to shove even the most ardent Zionist will tie Jews back to religion.

      • RoHa
        December 13, 2017, 9:53 pm

        “Jews identity themselves as a nation independent of their religious convictions.”

        So what?

      • RoHa
        December 13, 2017, 10:06 pm

        “Israel did not ask for deed records from Turkey. ”

        Of course not. Every Israeli Jew already has a title deed dated 55BC, showing exactly which bit of land his/her ancestor owned, along with the wills proving transfer of title and a complete family tree proving descent from that ancestor.

      • Mooser
        December 13, 2017, 11:15 pm

        “Jews identity themselves as a nation independent of their religious convictions.”

        “So what?” “RoHa”

        So what? It matters a lot.
        In fact, I would say “Boris’s” formulation of Jewish identity has provided the basis for all serious antisemitism.

        Why “Boris” thinks stating this is to Jewish or Zionist advantage, I have no idea.

      • Sibiriak
        December 13, 2017, 11:18 pm

        eljay: when push comes to shove even the most ardent Zionist will tie Jews back to religion.
        ——————————–

        So what?

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 1:36 am

        “So what?”

        “So what”? It is very important. Since “Jewish” is a religious (or social, or religio-social, if you will) identity, Zionism, and it’s wholly owned subsidiary, Judaism, can exert no compulsion, no legal pressure on Jews (those not captive in Israel, anyway).
        Nor can Israel, or Zionism, or Judaism, tell the US: “Make all the Jews in America do this, or that.”

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 4:11 am

        RoHa: “Every Israeli Jew already has a title deed dated 55BC, showing exactly which bit of land his/her ancestor owned, along with the wills proving transfer of title and a complete family tree proving descent from that ancestor.”

        And they also can prove that every Nonjew (especially Palestinian Nonjews) are not descendants.

        What’s more important. The mere fact that the bible shows that Jews ruled over this land a couple of hundred years thousands of years ago proves that nowadays Jews have the right to conquer the territory and expell, dispossess, denationalize and disenfranchise its Nonjewish population and settle their land even while violating POST-Nazi international law and human rights. It’s top exclusive!

      • eljay
        December 14, 2017, 7:19 am

        || Sibiriak: eljay: when push comes to shove even the most ardent Zionist will tie Jews back to religion.
        ——————————–

        So what? ||

        It’s self-explanatory.

      • Misterioso
        December 14, 2017, 9:48 am

        @Boris

        Reality:

        http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087/full
        Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087

        The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish

        Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.

        EXCERPTS:
        “The non-Levantine origin of AJs [Ashkenazi Jews] is further supported by an ancient DNA analysis of six Natufians and a Levantine Neolithic (Lazaridis et al., 2016), some of the most likely Judaean progenitors (Finkelstein and Silberman, 2002; Frendo, 2004). In a principle component analysis (PCA), the ancient Levantines clustered predominantly with modern-day Palestinians and Bedouins and marginally overlapped with Arabian Jews, whereas AJs clustered away from Levantine individuals and adjacent to Neolithic Anatolians and Late Neolithic and Bronze Age Europeans.”

        “Overall, the combined results are in a strong agreement with the predictions of the Irano-Turko-Slavic hypothesis (Table 1) and rule out an ancient Levantine origin for AJs, which is predominant among modern-day Levantine populations (e.g., Bedouins and Palestinians). This is not surprising since Jews differed in cultural practices and norms (Sand, 2011) and tended to adopt local customs (Falk, 2006). Very little Palestinian Jewish culture survived outside of Palestine (Sand, 2009). For example, the folklore and folkways of the Jews in northern Europe is distinctly pre-Christian German (Patai, 1983) and Slavic in origin, which disappeared among the latter (Wexler, 1993, 2012).”

      • Boris
        December 14, 2017, 9:56 am

        Wikipedia has many articles on Jewish population in the Land of Israel. Mooderator does not let me post it.

      • Boris
        December 14, 2017, 11:10 am

        Misterioso,

        Elhaik’s research had been debunked my the science community. Yet, you keep posting it.

        Are you him?

      • Eva Smagacz
        December 14, 2017, 2:39 pm

        Boris,

        You said:

        Elhaik’s research had been debunked my the science community.
        Yet, you keep posting it.

        Please post the links to reputable research that undermined Dr. Elhaik’s research methods or his conclusions.

        So far, I was not able to find any, but maybe you have something substantial, published in pear reviewed journal, that I missed?

        65 / 74

      • Sibiriak
        December 14, 2017, 5:01 pm

        eljay : It’s self-explanatory.
        —————————-

        No it isn’t. But in any case, please indulge me. Please explain why you think it is so important that “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“, as opposed to an identity fundamentally based on non-religious factors?

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 6:54 pm

        “Wikipedia has many articles on Jewish population in the Land of Israel. Mooderator does not let me post it.”

        Try learning to link an article, instead of cut’n pasting the entire article. Can’t guarantee results, because you must press “Post Comment”, too.

      • eljay
        December 14, 2017, 8:17 pm

        || Sibiriak: eljay : It’s self-explanatory.
        —————————-

        No it isn’t. … ||

        “When push comes to shove even the most ardent Zionist will tie Jews back to religion.”: Yup, that’s pretty self-explanatory.

        || … Please explain why you think it is so important that “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“ … ||

        I don’t “think it is so important” that this be so – I’m just stating my opinion that it is so.

        Zionists, however, seem to “think it is so important” because they inevitably tie the identity of Jews back to religion.

        Then again, perhaps Zionists recently acknowledged that the identity can now be acquired…
        – by speaking Hebrew;
        – through a bureauratic process (“Jewish State” citizenship);
        – by being born in “Judea and Samaria”; and/or
        – by adopting some/many/most of the cultural practices of Jews,
        …and I just missed the memo.

      • Sibiriak
        December 15, 2017, 3:03 am

        eljay: “When push comes to shove even the most ardent Zionist will tie Jews back to religion.”: Yup, that’s pretty self-explanatory.
        —————-

        I was asking about the importance you attach to the fact that Jewish identity is fundamentally religion-based , what implications you derive from that fact- not the simple meaning of the assertion.

        [Sibiriak:] Please explain why you think it is so important that “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“ … ||

        [eljay:] I don’t “think it is so important” that this be so – I’m just stating my opinion that it is so.

        Okay. It’s just an opinion of yours. But it doesn’t have any particular importance, no specifiable implications, morally, legally, politically, to the conflict in Palestine? Really? C’mon.

      • eljay
        December 15, 2017, 12:05 pm

        || Sibiriak: … I was asking about the importance you attach to the fact that Jewish identity is fundamentally religion-based , what implications you derive from that fact- not the simple meaning of the assertion. … ||

        It’s my turn to act surprised: Really? You needed to ask that? C’mon.

        You’ve been around MW for quite a while and I’m sure you’ve read plenty of my posts, so I know that you know that as far as I’m concerned a state – any state – established as the state primarily of and for people throughout the world who choose to…
        – adopt a religion-based identity (by undergoing a religious conversion); or
        – retain a religion-based identity (by accepted the identity that’s associated with being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion),
        …is and can only be a religion-supremacist construct.

        The notion of a religion-supremacist state may sit well with some people. It may sit well with you. It doesn’t sit well with me.

        || … Okay. It’s just an opinion of yours. But it doesn’t have any particular importance, no specifiable implications, morally, legally, politically, to the conflict in Palestine? … ||

        As far as I can tell, my opinion has yet to have even the slightest impact on the conflict in I-P. The Zionist opinion, on the other hand, has literally had life-altering impact on the conflict in I-P.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2017, 1:02 pm

        “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“, as opposed to an identity fundamentally based on non-religious factors?”

        Yes, exactly: I am an American Citizen, and Jewish is my religious identity. The American State can (or could have) conscripted me into the military, Judaism can’t.
        I pay taxes to the US, my state and local municipality. Judaism cannot tax me.

        The US has legal jurisdiction over me. Judaism can try, to the extent I permit it, to persuade me.

        If you would like to contend that there is some national bond in Judaism which supersedes the ordinary national, legal and religious identities we know, go ahead. I haven’t seen such a thing.

      • Talkback
        December 15, 2017, 2:37 pm

        eljay: “– retain a religion-based identity (by accepted the identity that’s associated with being descended from someone who underwent a religious conversion)”

        I agree with your definition, eljay. But Zionists will always challenge yours with their definition of a “people”. And by using this ambigous term they are claiming that Jews are a people as the French, the British, the Americans, etc. and therefore have a right to national self determination, too.

        So instead of using your definition of what you think Jews are, why don’t you use a legally relevant definition of what they are not?!

        Jews are not a CONSTITUTIVE people lilke the French, etc. They do not represent the whole population which lives in a certain territory. And they are never going to be one. And this contrary to any other group of people striving for national self determination. If the Scots, Catalans, Kurds or anybody else what to have an independent state, they – as a people – will become a CONSTITUTIVE people. From simply being a “people” they will become a nationality, the nation of a state. And anybody who acquires the citizenship of their state will become a member of this constitutive people (aka “nation”), too. Jews simply can’t do that and they never will, because at the end of the day they ARE a religion based group and only allow others becoming a member by religious conversion.

        And people don’t have the right to national self determination (which means a state) who don’t want to be its constitutive people of the statte, but only the dominating ethnic or religious sub group.

        What do you think?

      • Sibiriak
        December 15, 2017, 3:47 pm

        eljay: The notion of a religion-supremacist state may sit well with some people. It may sit well with you. It doesn’t sit well with me
        —————————

        With all due respect, you are missing the point. I asked why it was so important to assert that “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“, as opposed to an identity fundamentally (or equally) based on non-religious factors?

        Would a nationality-based supremacist state be any less reprehensible than a religion-based supremacist state?

        It just seems to me that lot of time is wasted — by anti-Zionists –arguing about the exact nature of Jewish identity, when their focus should be on the crimes committed by Zionists.

        Zionists, of course, like the distraction.

      • eljay
        December 15, 2017, 7:05 pm

        || Sibiriak: … With all due respect, you are missing the point. I asked why it was so important to assert that “Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity“, as opposed to an identity fundamentally (or equally) based on non-religious factors? … ||

        I sincerely respect you and apologize for misunderstanding. So let me try again: I assert that Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity because that’s what I understand it to be. (And by inevitably tying Jews back to religion – which was the comment you originally challenged – Zionists reinforce this understanding.)

        || … Would a nationality-based supremacist state be any less reprehensible than a religion-based supremacist state? … ||

        It wouldn’t. But my opposition to a “Jewish State” is based – in part at least – on the fact that it is necessarily a religion-supremacist construct.

        || … It just seems to me that lot of time is wasted — by anti-Zionists –arguing about the exact nature of Jewish identity, when their focus should be on the crimes committed by Zionists. … ||

        I don’t argue the exact nature of Jewish identity. I state my understand of what it is and how it relates to the “Jewish State” construct and it crimes (which are the crimes of Zionists).

      • Sibiriak
        December 15, 2017, 7:39 pm

        Mooser: : I am an American Citizen, and Jewish is my religious identity.
        ———————————————–

        Wonderful! I’m certainly not going to argue with that.

        And if another person tells me, “I am an American citizen, an atheist, part of a Jewish people, and Jewish is a non-religious identity for me,” I’m not going to argue with that either.

        But if someone tells me that the Jewish religion gives Jews the right to colonize Palestine and oppress Palestinians, I will deny that vehemently.

        Or if someone tells me that Eretz Israel is the ancient homeland of the Jewish people, therefore Jews have the right to colonize Palestine and oppress the Palestinian people, I will deny that vehemently as well.

    • lyn117
      December 13, 2017, 4:16 pm

      The area now known as Israel has been known since 500 BCE as Palestine.

      a) Relatively few of the ancestors of today’s Jews lived in what is now called Israel. The vast majority of today’s Jews’ ancestry (as Jews) is from peoples who converted to Judaism outside of ancient or Roman era Palestine

      b) Most of the ancestors of today’s Jews originated (as Jews) elsewhere

      c) The majority of the ancestors of today’s Palestinians lived in ancient Palestine. The area wasn’t depopulated by the Romans. A few rebel leaders fled after unsuccessful revolts against Roman rule, but most of the people stayed and eventually adopted Christianity and/or Islam.

      d) I don’t particularly disagree with Judaism ascribing a theological importance to Jerusalem, however, merely claiming God gave you something doesn’t mean you have the right to take it from it’s legal owners

      • MHughes976
        December 13, 2017, 6:45 pm

        On depopulation, it’s a question of what we make of Dio Cassius 69:12 with its very high casualty figures figures for Judaea. It seems pretty certain that population was cleared out while a security zone was established round Aelia Capitolina, the renamed Jerusalem. How long it took for repopulation to occur, and how Jewish the new population was, isn’t so clear. The centre of Jewish life moved, everyone seems to agree, to Galilee: to that extent the Jewish population weathered the storm.

      • lyn117
        December 14, 2017, 10:16 pm

        @MHughes976, re Dio Cassius
        Judea, that he reports cleared, is only one section of Palestine. It’s unlikely it had 900 villages or 580,000 men to be killed, especially as Josephus reported 1 million killed only 50 years or so earlier. And Jerusalem appears to have retained it’s name. I suspect there’s a good deal of exaggeration.

      • Brewer
        December 15, 2017, 12:58 pm

        “it’s a question of what we make of Dio Cassius 69:12 with its very high casualty figures figures for Judaea.”
        Dio Cassius was not born until nearly a century after the events about which writes. In a largely illiterate age, such hearsay is not considered reliable. Unless I am mistaken, there is no independent evidence of any large-scale exodus at that time and neither is it practically feasible or precedented.
        Israel Jacob Yuval, Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem makes the case:
        https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-5-JeCa2Z7hV2szWm1VYmVlckE/edit

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2017, 1:51 pm

        “On depopulation, it’s a question of what we make of Dio Cassius 69:12 with its very high casualty figures figures for Judaea”

        I would say, don’t drink the stuff, no matter how cheap a bottle of it is!

      • MHughes976
        December 15, 2017, 5:24 pm

        Thanks for the reference to Yuval, Brewer, though his remarks seem to me to concern a slightly different, though related, topic, that of the permanently enforced exclusion zone. It seems to agreed widely this existed for a time at least in the area within sight of Jerusalem but did not extend to Galilee. Its actual extent, duration and rigour of enforcement over time remain quite debatable. Dio’s record suggests that there was a very drastic, horrific ethnic cleansing while the new dispensation around Jerusalem/Aelia was being set up and might suggest that not many Judaean Jews survived to make any attempt to return. The Roman Empire believed in keeping written records, though it’s only in Egypt that the climate has prrseved them in anything like abundance. I don’t see much reason to question Dio’s implicit claim to have read Hadrian’s original report on the campaign. Dio moved in the highest Roman circles and would have had full access to the archives. That doesn’t stop his figures from being highly suspect. They are extraordinarily high! Though it has to be admitted that the archaeologists have found plenty of damage from 135 + and no clear case, I think, of a location that survived the war undamaged.
        I think I’m running on into too much detail. I too think that the evidence for a large scale exile, having a significant effect on populations far and wide, is very weak. And in any event not providing a moral argument for Zionism.

      • Brewer
        December 15, 2017, 9:31 pm

        It is an interesting topic. My first clue that the “expulsion” story might be doubtful was when I read about Yochanan Ben Zakkai (who was a friend of Vespasian) being smuggled out of the besieged Jerusalem in a coffin. He then moved the Sanhedrin to Yavne, about 20 miles or so from Jerusalem – with Vespasian’s blessing. This is incompatible with a general expulsion.
        I must confess I am not an expert on the either the period or the place but I have since found that most mainstream Jewish Historians seem to agree with Israel Bartal (see my post above) about the expulsion being a myth.
        I think it is also helpful to bear in mind that two thousand years ago “Historians” were more tellers of tales and employed none of the rigor that today’s Historians regard as part and parcel of the craft. Josephus is a good example – much of his stuff is wildly exaggerated.
        Of course it makes for an interesting academic debate and defeats one plank in the Zionist’s edifice but it is not very important in the present-day scheme of things. Very few populations have remained on their ancestral lands unmolested throughout the ages. As Erich Fromm pointed out, the World would be a madhouse if they all claimed ownership based on such criteria. I believe modern-day Zionists adopted the idea so as to leverage off the indigenous rights movements of the late 20th century. I don’t believe the circumstances are analogous but that is a whole different argument.

      • DaBakr
        December 15, 2017, 10:28 pm

        Well, that is a nice concise bunch of distortions and non scientific lies to keep you going for a while. 500b.c.e.? Let’s guess, your going to site a Greek historian? And the many thousands of Jews who fled out of judea by Roman, Greek, Arab colonialists north or west across Africa or through Iran to east Europe,? They just disappeared? All you need to add to your brew is the asinine ‘khazzer’ theory and you’ll have the concise jew haters history of Israel including ignoring what the quran itself has to say about the land of Israel.

        But hey, we’ve already established that people generally believe what they want to believe , so your covered.

      • MHughes976
        December 16, 2017, 10:14 am

        Why speak so unkindly, DaB, of a discussion that I would see as marked by an honest attempt to read and understand primary sources? Maybe I’m saying this myself as shouldn’t.
        If Lyn was indeed about to cite Herodotus that hardly seems to be irrelevant, still less an indication of mendacity. His remarks are indeed proof that the area, the land between the waters, was widely known as Palestine (perhaps Syria-Palestine) a name which also occurs much earlier. If you consider that the actual date of Herodotus’ writing was close to the dramatic date of Nehemiah’s activities in Atraxerxes’ Jerusalem (that’s if you think he means Arta 1), you would not expect, considering the rather poor state of Jerusalem as N depicts it, that any Israelite or Judaite name would have been in wide use at that time.

      • lyn117
        December 16, 2017, 1:40 pm

        @DBakr
        Herod being a client king of the Romans enabled lots movement by Jews throughout the empire. They were all over the Roman empire before the rebellion in Judea, as traders, as proselytizers and converts, possibly holdovers from the Phoenician trading empire that the Romans defeated. That is to say, for those who had left Judea, a large proportion left voluntarily. Others were of course exiled involuntarily, as prisoners or slaves. For the Jews who fled Judea due to the rampages of the Roman army quelling the rebellion, no doubt most fled to nearby areas, that is, to other parts of Palestine. Where they didn’t disappear but most eventually adopted Christianity or Islam.

        As far as the Khazzar theory, it’s supported by DNA evidence. It doesn’t matter in any case, even if most Jewish ancestry was from ancient Judea it doesn’t give them any legal claim to modern Judea.

      • Brewer
        December 16, 2017, 2:48 pm

        DaBakr.
        Your post has me confused. What exactly are you referring to as “a nice concise bunch of distortions and non scientific lies?” My impression is that contemporary, mainstream Israeli Historians are the chief proponents of the view that the “diaspora” was not a result of expulsion and this contradicts what “people generally believe “.
        These are the statements of two leading Israeli Historians:

        No “nationalist” Jewish historian has ever tried to conceal the well-known fact that conversions to Judaism had a major impact on Jewish history in the ancient period and in the early Middle Ages. Although the myth of an exile from the Jewish homeland (Palestine) does exist in popular Israeli culture, it is negligible in serious Jewish historical discussions. Important groups in the Jewish national movement expressed reservations regarding this myth or denied it completely.
        – Israel Bartal, Avraham Harman Professor of Jewish History, former Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Hebrew University and chair of the Historical Society of Israel.

        Here, Bartal addresses what you refer to as “the asinine ‘khazzer’ theory”:

        Here is what was written about the conversion of the Khazars, a nation of Turkish origin, in the Zionist Mikhlal Encyclopedia that the State of Israel’s Zionist Ministry of Education recommended so warmly during that “period of silencing”: “It is irrelevant whether the conversion to Judaism encompassed a large stratum of the Khazar nation; what is important is that this event was regarded as a highly significant phenomenon in Jewish history, a phenomenon that has since totally disappeared: Judaism as a missionary religion….

        Perhaps you did not read the link I gave to Israel Jacob Yuval, Professor of Jewish History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem so here is a direct quote:

        Medieval Jewish apologetics, willingly and thus paradoxically, adopted an ancient Christian myth as a kind of foundation myth for their own local communities. The myth that the Jews were exiled from their land after the Second Temple’s destruction allowed the Jewish communities of Europe to see them-selves as miniature Jerusalems and to weave messianic hopes for the future, when the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple would be accompanied by the people’s return to their land.

        It seems to me that you are quite vehemently opposed to the conclusions reached by these prominent Historians. In view of their status and for the sake of this discussion I think it incumbent upon you to tell us why you so disagree and what sources you rely on for “the many thousands of Jews who fled out of judea by Roman, Greek, Arab colonialists north or west across Africa or through Iran to east Europe”. I am particularly intrigued as to why thousands of Jews would flee from Roman, Greek and Arab colonialists – into Roman, Greek, and Arab lands.

    • eljay
      December 13, 2017, 9:20 pm

      || MHughes976: I think that the following statements are all true
      a) many of the ancestors of today’s Jews lived in what is now called Israel
      b) many of the ancestors of today’s Jews lived elsewhere
      c) many of the ancestors of today’s Palestinians lived in what is now called Israel … ||

      Agreed. I would add: At least some of the ancestors of today’s Palestinians lived elsewhere.

    • Emory Riddle
      December 14, 2017, 7:23 pm

      (a). I highly doubt it. The Ashkenazi likely have no closer tie to the people who lived in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago than I do, an Irish American. I mean, look at them. These are white people, not Semites.

      • echinococcus
        December 14, 2017, 7:54 pm

        Emory,

        Wrong verb. You can’t know “Semites” by how they “look”: they are speakers of given languages.
        And neither German(o-Slavic) Yiddish speakers nor the Spanish-speaking Sefardí are Semites, obviously.

        Time to stop that moronic blood and gene discussion and signal the Zio propaganda squad to flick off. They are having the time of their life thanks to the incompetence of the discussants here.

      • oldgeezer
        December 14, 2017, 9:48 pm

        @echi

        That’s cool. I never knew I could learn to speak aramaic or arabic and become a semite. I guess I’ll do that and claim to be indigenous.

        You’re the flip side of zionists but the same coin. A part of the problem and neither of you will be a part of the solution.

      • Talkback
        December 15, 2017, 3:51 am

        oldgeezer: “That’s cool. I never knew I could learn to speak aramaic or arabic and become a semite. I guess I’ll do that and claim to be indigenous.”

        Of course. If you learn to speak Hebrew you become Israeli, too. And that’s exactly what echi meant, right?

      • MHughes976
        December 15, 2017, 9:41 am

        Yes, Lyn, I would favour that view of things too. Aelia was merely the official name.

      • MHughes976
        December 15, 2017, 9:57 am

        Replying to Emory very pertinent comment. ‘Many ancestors’ is still true, I think. It doesn’t take much for this to be the truth. I believe that one of my great grandfathers was Norwegian – this enough to give my American grandchildren many ancestors from Norway. This may or may not be a a fun fact for them but it surely doesn’t give them any political rights among the fjords.
        What happens in Zionism is that one arbitrarily selected group of ancestors is given special importance because and only because certain stories are told about them and have made a great impression. These stories are of unmistakably religious or theological character.

      • oldgeezer
        December 15, 2017, 10:11 am

        @Talkback

        Well except foe the fact that learning Hebrew doesn’t make you Israeli he/she may have meant it that way. I don’t really think so though. Won’t be the first time I was wrong today in any event!

      • Maghlawatan
        December 15, 2017, 12:38 pm

        @Mhughes

        Zionist archaeology is weird. Dig to one level and dump.everything else.
        Because they were not around.

      • echinococcus
        December 15, 2017, 2:22 pm

        Old Geezer,

        Not exactly: the “language families” concept applies to mother tongues, evolving naturally in communities of native speakers. That’s what allows one to trace language similarities and language evolution.

        Again, not exactly: Modern Hebrew is not a natural language. It has its own native speakers, (starting 1882 only) belonging to many different language communities, but that does place its few-generation native speakers in a special group.

        At any rate, “Semites” is a linguistic concept, not a racial / genetic one. No matter the strange reaction to this obvious fact.

      • MHughes976
        December 15, 2017, 4:50 pm

        I agree about the weird archaeology. Certain levels of soil are privileged and given overwhelming significance, even though all levels yield infornation about the past, in just the same way as certain ancestors in the gene pool are privileged: all in reference to those religious stories. There is then a certain tendency to extreme over Interpretation.

      • RoHa
        December 15, 2017, 6:43 pm

        MHughes, my guess is that, if we look back far enough – and not very far for most of us – we’ll all find in our ancestry some shifty foreigner with a honeypot tongue and a flimmery eye who led one of our other ancestors astray from the Path of Righteousness.

        And, as you say, this does not give the right to claim chunks of territory.

  5. Keith
    December 13, 2017, 5:49 pm

    Folks, over at CounterPunch, Jim Kavanagh has an interesting perspective on Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including numerous historical references we should be aware of. The gist is that the empirial elites are fundamentally Zionists and that this recognition will shine a spotlight on that reality. A long quote and a link:

    “After all, Israel’s relentless Judaization of East Jerusalem, consistent with its long-held declaration of sovereignty over the entire city, was proceeding swimmingly, with only the feeblest occasional murmurs of protest, accompanied by massive countervailing deliveries of arms and money, from the peace-process-loving governments of Europe and America. Trump’s gratuitous, self-aggrandizing gesture, by unmasking that as the de facto acceptance of annexation that it is, only brings unwanted attention to the whole rotten game, and to the hypocrisy of those governments especially.”
    ….
    “As excessive and gratuitous as Trump’s Jerusalem announcement was, there is no question that it is the culmination of American politics. It is the perfect example of how Trump is the symptom not the cause of long-festering political rot, the product not the antithesis of American political culture. His recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is the fulfillment, exactly as Trump says, of a promise that’s been de rigueur for presidential candidates, and of the demand of a law (Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995) passed twenty-two years ago by overwhelming majorities in both Houses of Congress. Just six months ago, the Senate—including Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders—voted 90-0 to demand that Trump “abide by its provisions.” Schumer, who believes he’s on a mission from God to be the guardian of Israel, had last week criticized Trump for his “indecisiveness” about declaring Jerusalem the “undivided capital of Israel” and moving the embassy.
    ….
    “To wax ironic, Zionism’s fatal weakness may be the effect of its greatest strength—its tenacious entwinement in our political culture, which is hard to overstate. We live in a country where powerful politicians and the wealthy donors who control them proclaim their fealty to Israel; where Israeli officials enjoy veto power over candidates for office down to the level of State Assembly. where the Secretary of State gives a “devoutly Zionist” speech and is still criticized for not being obsequious enough to Israel, where the Vice-President declares “I am a Zionist,” and where a President who was excoriated for avoiding service in the American army can say “I would personally grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die” for Israel, and nobody bats an eyelash.”
    (Jim Kavanagh) https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/12/13/zionism-in-the-light-of-jerusalem/

  6. Nathan
    December 13, 2017, 7:59 pm

    “Shlomo Sand, in “The Invention of the Jewish People”, has forcefully argued that the very idea that Jews, as a collective, constitute a nation, is a very recent idea, largely coinciding with the rise of Zionism”.

    Well, it’s debatable if Prof Sand “has forcefully argued” his ideas, but for argument’s sake let’s assume as a fact that the Jews’ constituting a nation is “a very recent idea”. So, Joseph Levine believes that the Jews constitute a nation, and he claims that this fact has been forcefully argued. It would seem silly, therefore, that Joseph Levine would claim that “this is religious dogma, not history and not political reality”. He has just argued that the Jews constitute a nation and that this is recent idea – so, obviously, this is history (albeit in his eyes “recent” history) and obviously this is political reality.

    Prof Levine wishes to establish that the people of the ancient Kingdom of Judah are not the same people as the Jews of today: “But can anyone really take this claim seriously? Judaism is a religion, and what Jews today share with the ancient Judeans is this religion. My roots can be traced back to Eastern Europe, and earlier than that is all speculation and conjecture, nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.” Why does Prof Levine share with us the fact that his roots can only be traced back to Eastern Europe? Why does he conclude on a personal note that “Jerusalem is not my homeland, nor my ‘birthright’”? It would seem that he is raising the point that he has the right of veto. Since he doesn’t share the narrative (of the roots of today’s Jews in ancient Judea), the narrative has thereby been disqualified.

    Well, things are not so simple. There is no right of veto. Prof Levine can argue that Jerusalem is not his homeland, but those Jews who argue that this is the homeland are not asking for his approval. There doesn’t have to be a unanimous agreement. Moreover, there is also no need for recognition. If someone recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, that would be fine. If not, that would also be just fine.

    We are told that “it was the anti-Semites who emphasized that Jews were a nation apart, and it was advocates for emancipation who argued that Jews were integral to the nations in which they lived but just happened to have a minority religion”. However, the question is not what others think. The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves. There are Jews who maintain that their Jewish identity is only religion, and there are Jews who maintain that their Jewish identity is a national identity. Those who disapprove of there being a Jewish homeland will have to learn to live with the fact that no one is asking for their approval.

    • eljay
      December 13, 2017, 10:20 pm

      || Nathan: … Those who disapprove of there being a Jewish homeland will have to learn to live with the fact that no one is asking for their approval. ||

      You keep bringing up this approval thing as though it has meaning. I don’t want or need the permission of Jewish supremacists (Zionists) in order to disapprove of their supremacist state or their (war) criminal actions any more than I want or need the permission of rapists and murderers to disapprove of their unjust and immoral behaviours. Jewish supremacists (Zionists), rapists and murderers will have to learn to live with those facts.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 1:49 am

        ” Those who disapprove of there being a Jewish homeland will have to learn to live with the fact that no one is asking for their approval.”

        Uh, yeah, you are. Israel has no way to command, to demand the support of Jews in the countries which pay your remittances.

      • Nathan
        December 14, 2017, 4:05 am

        Eljay – You remind us in scores of comments that Jewish identity is a religious identity. You also have your special grammar in order to refrain from saying “Jews”, apparently for fear of defining the Jews as a collective entity. So, you should be able to handle a polite reminder that no one needs your seal of approval. There are Jews who define themselves as a people, even as you protest this identity.

      • eljay
        December 14, 2017, 9:03 am

        || Nathan: Eljay – You remind us in scores of comments that Jewish identity is a religious identity. … ||

        I remind you that Jewish is, fundamentally, a religion-based identity. Correct.

        || … You also have your special grammar in order to refrain from saying “Jews”, apparently for fear of defining the Jews as a collective entity. … ||

        As I pointed out in this thread, your Comments archive shows that you have the same special grammar and apparently the same fear.

        || … So, you should be able to handle a polite reminder that no one needs your seal of approval. … ||

        It’s a pointless reminder. I don’t need your permission to have or to state an opinion.

        || … There are Jews who define themselves as a people, even as you protest this identity. ||

        So what? They don’t need my permission, remember? But it doesn’t matter how Jews choose to define themselves – none of the definitions grants to any Jews the right:
        – to a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine; or
        – to do unto others acts of injustice and immorality they would not have others do unto them.

    • Mooser
      December 13, 2017, 11:25 pm

      “The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves.”

      That is because we outnumber everybody else. But if those few other people would just acknowledge that “the Jews” have always gotten what they want, things would go easier for them.

      Oh, BTW “Nathan”, Shlomo Sand wrote a book called “How I stopped being Jewish”. You got some way of preventing that?

    • RoHa
      December 14, 2017, 12:06 am

      “Joseph Levine believes that the Jews constitute a nation”

      No he doesn’t. He nowhere says that he agrees with the idea, and the general message is that he does not agree with it.

      (He does not, however, note the fact that “nation” is an equivocal term. Exactly what does “nation” mean in the claim that Jews constitute a nation?)

      Mooser, as well as Sir Isaac Isaacs and Edwin Montagu, points out the dangers of the claim. Evil ant-Semites like myself will use it as a reason to persecute Australian Jews. But I don’t suppose you care about them.

      ” It would seem that he is raising the point that he has the right of veto. Since he doesn’t share the narrative (of the roots of today’s Jews in ancient Judea), the narrative has thereby been disqualified.”

      Wrong. Nothing to do with sharing “narratives”. He is arguing that there is no solid historical evidence that modern Eastern European Jews are biological descendants of ancient Palestinian Jews, and using his own background as an example.

      “The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves.”

      No, it isn’t. There may well be Jews who tell themselves that they are a sort of nation, and that they are direct descendants of ancient Judeans, but these silly stories and crackpot beliefs have no moral significance. They give no rights whatsoever.

      “Those who disapprove of there being a Jewish homeland will have to learn to live with the fact that no one is asking for their approval.”

      Zionist propaganda organs seem to work very hard at trying to gain the world’s approval.

      • Nathan
        December 14, 2017, 3:37 am

        RoHa / Keith / Anne Robbins – When our author presents a point as having been “forcefully argued”, he is expressing his having been impressed by this argument. If Prof. Levine thinks that the Jews are not a “recent nation”, then he shouldn’t give us such an enthusiastic book report. But this is how it is in the anti-Israel camp. The book of Prof. Sand is really quite unimpressive, but it is an attack on the legitimacy of Israel – so by definition it’s a great book. Prof. Levine didn’t notice that a “recent” nation is nevertheless a nation – and it slipped by the editor as well. Clearly, the real message of Prof. Levine is that he sees the Jews as a religious community, and he gives himself the right of veto over the other narrative. I think it’s fine to remind everyone that other Jews sees themselves as an ancient nation. No one has a monopoly on identity.

      • Keith
        December 14, 2017, 11:04 am

        NATHAN- ” If Prof. Levine thinks that the Jews are not a “recent nation”, then he shouldn’t give us such an enthusiastic book report.”

        My, how you can twist obvious reality! It is the CONCEPT of Jews as a racially organic nation that is the recent development. With the changes of the enlightenment and modernity, the concept of what constituted Jewishness was racialized by anti-Semities and Zionists. Early Zionism was primarily the Jewish Zionist’s version of the Eastern European phenomenon of Blood and Soil nationalism with the “sacred soil” being the biblical mythology of the non-existent kingdoms of Temple Judaism. Ideology is not empirical reality. I might add that your comments on this thread are sufficiently incoherent that I have difficulty even understanding your point of view.

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 12:32 pm

        Nathan: “If Prof. Levine thinks that the Jews are not a “recent nation”, …”

        For the second time. He argues that the IDEA that Jews are a nation is a recent IDEA.

        Nathan: “The book of Prof. Sand is really quite unimpressive, but it is an attack on the legitimacy of Israel – so by definition it’s a great book.”

        ROFL. Because Nathan thinks that Prof. Sand books attacks the legitimacy (the what?) of Israel it is by definition “really quite unimpressive”.

        Nathan “Prof. Levine didn’t notice that a “recent” nation is nevertheless a nation – and it slipped by the editor as well.”

        For the third time: He argued that the IDEA that Jews are a nation is a recent IDEA.

        Nathan: “I think it’s fine to remind everyone that other Jews sees themselves as an ancient nation. No one has a monopoly on identity.”

        More important. Jews are not a nation in the relevant legal sense, because their is no Jewish nationality which could be acquired by becoming a citizen of any state. They are only a (sub-) “nation” within citizenship and therefore as such don’t have a “right” to a state in Palestine. Contrary to the Palestinians who have been a constitutive people from the get go. Jews are not the people of Palestine and they are not the people of Israel either. Israel doesn’t have a constitutive people according to its supreme colonial Junta court.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 5:03 pm

        “the concept of what constituted Jewishness was racialized by anti-Semities and Zionists”

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 6:28 pm

        Sorry, that was an inadvertent post. Didn’t mean to. But as long as it’s up there, “Keith”, I thought that was a pretty good way of putting it.
        I don’t know if ‘racialize’ is an accepted term in the sociological lexicon, but it seems to fit and it’s the one which occurred to me, too.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 6:47 pm

        “They give no rights whatsoever.”

        Much more importantly for Jews outside of Israel, they involve no obligations whatsoever, either.

        A “nation” in which the biggest part of the nation’s citizenry are not under that nation’s authority? ( In fact, they are under the authority of nations who will defend them from Israel’s demands, not enforce them.)

    • Keith
      December 14, 2017, 12:25 am

      NATHAN- ” He has just argued that the Jews constitute a nation and that this is recent idea – so, obviously, this is history (albeit in his eyes “recent” history) and obviously this is political reality.”

      How is it possible that you are this far out of touch with reality?

      NATHAN- ” The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves.”

      The issue is how the Zionist narrative deviates from reality. A side issue is how you intellectually debase yourself by parroting the Zionist narrative.

      • Annie Robbins
        December 14, 2017, 4:23 am

        My roots can be traced back to Eastern Europe, and earlier than that is all speculation and conjecture, nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.

        nathan’s absurd response to this is to think levine “is raising the point that he has the right of veto.” (setting up another strawman with which to argue) and goes on to declare levine’s “narrative has thereby been disqualified”. more yackity yack and then this: “The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves.”

        note how for nathan the center of everything revolves around him, jews and jewish narrative. note how for levine, it doesn’t:

        nothing that can compete with the Palestinians’ actual residence on the land for the past hundreds of years.

        maybe nathan thinks “narrative” supersedes reality. maybe he imagines “the Jews themselves” are the overriding issue here and they all agree on something, both really stupid assumptions.

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 7:04 am

        Annie: “note how for nathan the center of everything revolves around him, jews and jewish narrative.”

        Well, since Zionists in general can’t base any of their ludicrous claims on universal human values they have to resort to judeocentric supremacism.

        There’s no way on can support Zionuism withough assuming that Jews are more privileged than Nonjews in Palestine. Being a Zionist you just have to be racist whether you like/know it or not. Unfortunately to far to many Jews think or believe that they have a right to be racist.

    • Annie Robbins
      December 14, 2017, 1:58 am

      let’s assume as a fact that the Jews’ constituting a nation is “a very recent idea”. So, Joseph Levine believes that the Jews constitute a nation, and he claims that this fact has been forcefully argued. It would seem silly, therefore, that Joseph Levine would claim that “this is religious dogma, not history and not political reality”.

      why would you claim it’s a “fact” that levine believes jews constitute a nation just because he wrote that sand “forcefully argued that the very idea that Jews, as a collective, constitute a nation, is a very recent idea, largely coinciding with the rise of Zionism”? one does not add up to the other.

      levine stated “religious laws about who can count as a Jew that are mostly biologically based” were “religious dogma, not history and not political reality”— you can’t cherry pick his words and apply them to whatever you want for the sake of argument and then claims his ideas silly.

      if you think religious laws about who can count as a Jew are not mostly biologically based, not religious dogma and are historical and political reality, then try arguing that. but don’t twist his words into something he did not say. don’t make the claim “He has just argued that the Jews constitute a nation” when in fact, he didn’t.

      it’s not worth arguing all your strawmen, because you claim something unstated as “fact” and then argue against it. maybe you should just strike the word “fact” from your ridiculous arguments since you fabricate so much crap.

    • Mooser
      December 14, 2017, 2:11 am

      “We are told that “it was the anti-Semites who emphasized that Jews were a nation apart, and it was advocates for emancipation who argued that Jews were integral to the nations in which they lived but just happened to have a minority religion”. However, the question is not what others think. The issue is what is the narrative of the Jews themselves.”

      ROTFLMSJAO! Exactly! Why shouldn’t Jewish narrative correlate with the antisemitic narrative? After all, they know what the Jews are really like!

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 2:26 am

        Shorter “Nathan”:

        ‘Just because something is antisemitic doesn’t mean it’s not true’.

    • Talkback
      December 14, 2017, 4:02 am

      Nathan: “He has just argued that the Jews constitute a nation and that this is recent idea.”

      Nope. He literally argued that the IDEA that Jews, as a collective, constitute a nation, is a very recent IDEA and not that they are a nation.

      Nathan: “… so, obviously, this is history (albeit in his eyes “recent” history) and obviously this is political reality.”

      To be more precise. It is just another Zionist hoax to make ludicrous claims. And yes, this hoax and self delusion has become political reality.

      However Jews want do define themselves they are not a nation in the legal and relevant sense of nationality/citizenship. Nobody can become Jewish by acquiring the citizenship of any country. Therefore the self declared state of the “Jewish people” only reveals its institutionalized racism against Nonjews.

      Nathan: “Why does Prof Levine share with us the fact that his roots can only be traced back to Eastern Europe? ”

      Because he wants to emphasize that his sense of homeland has not been perverted by Zionists and their myths and anachronistic pseudo legal claims.

      Nathan: “Moreover, there is also no need for recognition. If someone recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, that would be fine. If not, that would also be just fine.”

      Sure. Zionist don’t care about international law and human rights. They value violence against and oppression of Nonjews as much as they value their expulsion, dispossession, denationalization and disenfrenchisement.

      And by pointing to the “reality” that Israel exercises control over its illegally annexed Jerusalem or by pointing to the bible the US and Israel are only admitting that there’s not a single relevant international document on which they could base their claim. It’s the same like recognizing that Nazi Germany had illegally annexed half of Poland and pointing to the history of the Holy Roman Empire. The stupidity is mind blowing.

      Nathan: “Those who disapprove of there being a Jewish homeland will have to learn to live with the fact that no one is asking for their approval.”

      A Jewish homeland is not a state. And nobody has to live with the fact that Zionist claims are only based on violence, terorism, dispossesion, expulsion, disenfrenchisment, denationalization and institutionalized racism. No wonder that you sound very similiar to those who were bragging about a volks german “homeland”.

      And if you think that your beloved Apartheid junta can live without approval and only on military strenght you are self delusional as Nazi Germans were. Your statement even reminds me of their arrogance.

    • Misterioso
      December 14, 2017, 9:55 am

      @Nathan

      My great grandfather was dispossessed and driven out of Ireland by the British during the 19th century. Do I have the right to go to Ireland and kick out the present occupants of what was my great grandfather’s land and take it over? Certainly not!! It would never enter my mind or that of any sane person. The Zionist argument that today’s Jews are descendants of the ancient Hebrews (long since disproven) and thereby had/have the right to dispossess and expel well over one million indigenous Palestinian Arabs between late 1947 and 1967 and create an expansionist, racist, apartheid, occupier “Jewish state” is utterly ludicrous and racist to the core.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 14, 2017, 11:14 am

        Zionism is insane.

        Ashkenazi Jews cooked with schmaltz. There are no olive trees in Poland.
        The story of exile is utterly romantic but it doesn’t hold water either genetically or culturally. Cultures often imagine their history. The patron saint of the Swiss canton of Glarus is Fridolin.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fridolin_of_Säckingen

        He was associated with a monastery in Germany and probablly never visited Glarus.

        If the devil visited Herzl and said I will give you the land but you must abandon your morality it would be the story of Israel.

  7. Kay24
    December 13, 2017, 11:36 pm

    It must serve the zionists very well, to have these die-hard supporters of Israel, work for the American media, and be able to spew their twisted version of facts, that many readers, or viewers, never bother to check out. What makes the New York Times think that a so called journalist whose son serves in the IDF, and writes one biased article after another when it comes to Israel, is going to be unbiased? When it comes to justifying Israel’s crimes, these Israel firsters are doing a great job for the mothership, even throwing aside credibility, and honesty, to do so. All for the good of Eretz Israel.

  8. Misterioso
    December 14, 2017, 10:11 am

    More grist for the mill:

    Today’s Palestinians and their ancestors have lived continuously between the River and the Sea for at least 15,000 years.** The Jebusite/Canaanites were ancestors of today’s Palestinians and it was they who founded Jerusalem around 3000 BCE.

    It is estimated that the biblical Hebrews did not invade until circa 1800 BCE and their resulting United Kingdom of Israel, which never controlled the coast from Jaffa to Gaza, lasted a mere 75 years, less than a blip in the history of Canaan and Palestine.

    Originally known as Jebus, the first recorded reference to it as “Rushalimum” or “Urussalim,” site of the sacred Foundation Rock, appears in Egyptian Execration Texts of the nineteenth century BCE, nearly 800 years before it is alleged King David was born. Its name “seems to have incorporated the name of the Syrian god Shalem [the Canaanite God of Dusk], who was identified with the setting sun or the evening star…and] can probably be translated as ‘Shalem has founded’.” (Karen Armstrong, Jerusalem, One City, Three Faiths; Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996, pp.6-7)

    BTW, thus far, no archaeological evidence, or more importantly, writings of contemporaneous civilizations, have been found that prove Solomon or David actually existed. (Nor has any evidence been discovered to confirm that the Jewish exodus from Egypt ever occurred. )

    To quote renowned Jewish Israeli writer/columnist, Uri Avnery: “[David and Solomon’s] existence is disproved, inter alia, by their total absence from the voluminous correspondence of Egyptian rulers and spies in the Land of Canaan.” (“A Curious National Home,” by Uri Avnery, May 13/17 –
    http://zope.gush-shalom.org/home/en/channels/avnery/1494589093/)

    **
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087/full
    Front. Genet., 21 June 2017 | https://doi.org/10.3389/fgene.2017.00087

    “The Origins of Ashkenaz, Ashkenazic Jews, and Yiddish.”

    EXCERPT:
    “Recent genetic samples from bones found in Palestine dating to the Epipaleolithic (20000-10500 BCE) showed remarkable resemblance to modern day Palestinians.”

    • catalan
      December 14, 2017, 10:59 am

      “Today’s Palestinians and their ancestors have lived continuously between the River and the Sea for at least 15,000 years.**”
      And I have lived in central New Mexico for a whole of 12 years. Why is it important to have ancestors who have lived in the proximity of one’s current residence?

      • Maghlawatan
        December 14, 2017, 11:20 am

        Cultural continuity is important. Settler societies have very messy groupthink and are more likely to be ruled by assholes such as Trump or Netanyahu.

      • eljay
        December 14, 2017, 11:22 am

        || catalan: … Why is it important to have ancestors who have lived in the proximity of one’s current residence? ||

        It helps to discredit the fraudulent claims of ZiAppropriationists who – despite having ties to the area varying from tenuous to non-existent – insist that other people’s residences are actually their “ancient / eternal homesteads”.

      • John O
        December 14, 2017, 11:33 am

        @catalan

        “Why is it important to have ancestors who have lived in the proximity of one’s current residence?”

        In most places it doesn’t matter one whit. The fact that my ancestors came from Ireland has no bearing on my right to live in the house I own in England.

        However, if a bunch of Italians turned up on my doorstep and told me (perhaps while pointing guns at me) that there had once been a Roman villa on the spot, and they therefore had more right to live in my house than I do, I’d be more than a bit upset about it.

      • MHughes976
        December 14, 2017, 11:34 am

        I agree fully, Catalan, that ancestry is not in general of any moral importance in determining political rights. There may be some exceptions by general consent, as when children of British citizens born abroad get a British passport.

      • catalan
        December 14, 2017, 11:59 am

        “Cultural continuity is important.”
        Important to whom? For what? Who gets to define what is of importance? Plus, we are all the same culture, ultimately. We all like Spaghetti, eat potatoes, and like a good book. As a side, Trump doesn’t “rule” America. Trump is an old man in a big house who likes golf and twitter. Nobody “rules” America because it is too complex to rule.

      • Talkback
        December 14, 2017, 12:38 pm

        catalan: “Why is it important to have ancestors who have lived in the proximity of one’s current residence?”

        Ask Zionists. This ridiculous and pathetic bunch of people argue that Jews have an exclusive right to Palestine, because they (and only they) are the descendants of ancient Jews and the Nonjews of Palestine are not. In their tiny brains the think that this would be somehow legally relevant and that a couple of hundred years of ruling thousands of years ago would outweigh Paletinian presence for the last thousand years. See Netanyahu pointing to the bible as if this would outweigh international and human rights law of the 21st century. Backwarded racist barbarians. I wouldn’t be surprised if this nutcase would argue that Jews have a right to commit genocide, because it is written in the bible, too.

      • amigo
        December 14, 2017, 2:21 pm

        ” Plus, we are all the same culture. We all like Spaghetti, eat potatoes, and like a good book. ” catalan

        The hell we are .

        Some of us do not apologise for rogue nations committing war crimes and land theft –to mention just a few of Israel,s crimes.

        You do.

        Some of us do not idolise Money.

        You do.

        Some of us eat Pork .

        You, ????.

        I don,t eat Spaghetti –no value in it.

        What,s your idea of a good book.How to make money or steal from your neighbour.

      • catalan
        December 14, 2017, 4:40 pm

        Amigo, I do eat pork. Actually I eat mostly at a place where the owner is Muslim, so I don’t have pork at lunch, but I do eat pepperoni at home and stuff, sure. But here is the thing. Either you are 100% certain that BDS will force Israel to do whatever you want it to do, or you are not. If you are not, then perhaps it’s useful to think of plan B, i.e. compromise. Personally, I think that there is a chance that BDS alone cannot bring peace to the region. Either way, I like many Arabs, Muslims, etc, and I am not in the business of defending/supporting/hating any state, because that’s just not my line of thought. I only can think of individuals as good or bad; and only their actions matter as to that definition. Actions of course include what they say. I think that it is bad to talk in general about groups of people (more than one) in terms of morality. So, by definition, I cannot hate “Israel”, “Palestine”, etc. But I can very much hate individual Israelis. Or individual Americans.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 5:12 pm

        . “Trump is an old man in a big house who likes golf and twitter.”

        Poor “catalan”, his hopes were so high!

        “Now that I became rich, I voted for Trump because I want to keep my capitalist gains. It’s not what we tell each other, it’s what we do.” “catalan”

        ” I am confident that Trump will be a fabulous president for rich people (like me for instance)” “catalan”

        Plenty more at the link, if wanted.

      • Maghlawatan
        December 14, 2017, 5:13 pm

        Catalan

        Forcing everyone to drop their maternal language and moving them onto Hebrew resulted in today’s cluster fuck of a Jewish state with Nazi attitudes to justice . Zionism could only do that because people lost touch with their identities . Similar processes happened in the US.

        Settler colonialism is dangerous for mental coherence.

      • Mooser
        December 14, 2017, 5:16 pm

        “Why is it important to have ancestors who have lived in the proximity of one’s current residence?”

        Er macht zack nisht visindicht!

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 14, 2017, 7:12 pm

        “Trump is an old man in a big house who likes golf and twitter…”

        Moose, Cat forgot to mention, his favourite president also loves – and sees as his right – to grab every p***y he wants. So what the heck with the way he acts, just he makes sure one’s money is safe, right??

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 14, 2017, 7:15 pm

        “Nobody “rules” America because it is too complex to rule..”

        Try real democracy. (Two parties and a mad man, doesn’t sound like a democracy to me..)

      • RoHa
        December 14, 2017, 8:16 pm

        Kaisa, I have already offered a better solution.

        http://mondoweiss.net/2017/01/origins-golden-shower/#comment-866964

      • Keith
        December 15, 2017, 12:40 am

        KAISA OF FINLAND- “Moose, Cat forgot to mention, his favourite president also loves – and sees as his right – to grab every p***y he wants.”

        To put things into perspective:

        “In short order a dinner was arranged with young Governor Bill at the Little Rock Hilton. Tim recalls that they were scarcely seated before Bill was greeting a pretty young waitress in friendly fashion, putting his hand up her dress while announcing genially to the assembled company, “This woman has the sweetest cunt in Little Rock.” (Alexander Cockburn) https://www.counterpunch.org/2011/11/11/hes-no-bill-clinton/

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 10:04 am

        Keith, I am a “Green Leftist” and in Finland the “Green Leftist” men call themselves Feminists and they would never allow any “pu**y graber to run for a precidency in this country. And neither would most of the rest of the population. We are talking about Trump, because he and his “Royal Family” is now in charge of your country and I could not care less, if he was not envolved in this issue with the Palestinias.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 10:11 am

        RoHa,

        I am sure you’d handle it better.

      • Keith
        December 15, 2017, 3:06 pm

        KAISA OF FINLAND- “Keith, I am a “Green Leftist” and in Finland the “Green Leftist” men call themselves Feminists and they would never allow any “pu**y graber to run for a precidency in this country.”

        So, do you condemn former US President Bill Clinton as much as you do Trump? How about Hillary Clinton who condemned the WOMEN Bill took advantage of when he was Governor of Arkansas? In the US, the same left “liberals” who condemn Trump DEFENDED Clinton.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 3:42 pm

        Keith:

        In this matter I am only interested in what is happening NOW and how it affects the Middle East. In Finland I would not want to have any pu**y graber to run for President, no matter what party they represented and it might be good for you Americans to sit together and think about why there is so much sexual harrasment involved in the U.S. politics and why it does not seem to bother many of the voters.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 4:31 pm

        p.s. Keith:

        I had to try to think, where I was and doing what, when Clinton got elected for the first time: I was spending my year as an exchange student in a High School in Denmark and eventhough I had some American friends there too, we were not at all interested in the politics of the U.S.A., but rather used our time on studing Danish, partying and hanging around with some cute Danish boys.

        I became politically active about four years later when I started at the university, but still, my main interest has never been U.S. politics and that is why I have no oppinion about the past. I do not have different standards on different people. Everyone should be treated the same.

      • Keith
        December 15, 2017, 4:59 pm

        KAISA OF FINLAND- “In this matter I am only interested in what is happening NOW and how it affects the Middle East.”

        The conversation you referenced was recorded in the back of a tour bus in 2005 and has zero affect on the Middle East.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 6:39 pm

        Keith:

        “The conversation you referenced was recorded in the back of a tour bus in 2005 and has zero affect on the Middle East..”

        So you did not get my point at all.. Trump was runing for his campaign when the tape came out and had it been in Finland, he would have been kicked out because of that before he got elected. My point was, you could have kicked him out because of that tape and tried to find better representatives in the first place. So it has everything to do with what is happening today. (And if there was some similar evidence on Hillary, you could have changed her too.. So the whole elections could have looked like something else..)

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 15, 2017, 6:49 pm

        Keith, if a person thinks he/she is entitled to harras, oppress or bully other people for anyreason, in my point of view, such person shows he/she is not capable of leading a democratic country.

      • Keith
        December 16, 2017, 12:45 am

        KAISA OF FINLAND- “Keith, if a person thinks he/she is entitled to harras, oppress or bully other people for anyreason, in my point of view, such person shows he/she is not capable of leading a democratic country.”

        Who, exactly, has Trump bullied? The comment was made, in locker room fashion, on a tour bus in 2005. Was he trying to impress the jerks he was with? Who knows, who cares. You have consistently misrepresented this episode. Be honest, confession is good for the soul. I am including a link to the transcript and video of the actual occurrence. It is a bunch of guys on a tour bus talking shit, nothing more. Watch the whole video. Does he harass or bully the extremely beautiful woman who greets him when he departs the tour bus? No! He treats her with respect, unlike Bill Clinton who humiliated the waitress in the quote I provided and you ignored. You are a hypocrite. Not only did Hillary defend Slick Willy, but she was the driving force behind the illegal and immoral intervention in Libya where thousands of innocent women and children died. But you don’t care, not really. You are scoring points with your reference group, hypocrisy be damned. Video & transcript of “pussy grabber” comment- https://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/08/us/donald-trump-tape-transcript.html

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 16, 2017, 10:11 am

        Keith, obviously you are a man and you could not care less abot women’s rights, also your memory must be short. Would enough of the Americans care about such things and the history of Donald Trump really been investigated, he could easyly be winning Harvey..

        “Another type of accusation was made, primarily after the audio recording surfaced, by several former Miss USA and Miss Teen USA contestants, who accused Trump of entering the dressing rooms of beauty pageant contestants. Trump, who owned the Miss Universe franchise, which includes both pageants, was accused of going into dressing rooms in 1997, 2000, 2001, and 2006, while contestants were in various stages of undress. During a 2005 interview on The Howard Stern Show, Trump said that he could “get away with things like that”, at least backstage at the adult pageants..”

        And please read the section with “Public allegations of unwanted physical contact”, there is even a former Miss Finland on the list:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Trump_sexual_misconduct_allegations

        About 50% of the population on this planet are women and I have to say, I am happy to live in a country where my rights are protected also by the leading men, not only women, and part of those rights are the right not to be peeped, harrased or grabbed by any disgusting, slimy, pompous men.

      • Kaisa of Finland
        December 16, 2017, 10:27 am

        “You are a hypocrite. Not only did Hillary defend Slick Willy, but she was the driving force behind the illegal and immoral intervention in Libya where thousands of innocent women and children died. But you don’t care, not really. You are scoring points with your reference group, hypocrisy be damned..”

        Show me one place where I have defended the Clintons. Obviously you have not read my comments.

      • Mooser
        December 17, 2017, 12:59 pm

        “Keith”! You can stop now. Mueller has ALL the Trump-transition e-mails.

        Oh, his e-mails!

      • Keith
        December 17, 2017, 6:00 pm

        MOOSER- “Mueller has ALL the Trump-transition e-mails.”

        Yes, and they will go through thousands of e-mails looking for anything to do with Russia and ignoring the huge number dealing with AIPAC, Netanyahu and Israel.

    • Nathan
      December 14, 2017, 1:19 pm

      Misterioso – Generally, in this website, an Israeli is not regarded to be a reliable source of information. However, if that Israeli says something that an anti-Israel person can use in the propaganda war against Israel, then suddenly that Israeli is a “renowned writer” or a “famous historian”, etc. Moreover, you should take to heart that although Mr Avnery is indeed a very intelligent man, he doesn’t know how to read ancient documents nor is he an expert in archeology. He has a political agenda, and so you should take him with a pinch of salt. Indeed, there is no evidence of slavery in Egypt and King Solomon has not yet been found in any archeological dig (David has been discovered), however there are plenty of other Israelite and Judean kings that have been mentioned in archeological texts (Omri, Ahab, Ahaz, Hezekiah and others).

      Why does the issue of ancient Israel come up in the discussion here? Even if it would be clear to you that, indeed, there was an ancient Kingdom of Israel, you would still be against the founding of modern Israel. So, what is the point of all the nonsense that the kingdom lasted only 75 years? We can all adopt the Palestinian narrative, and we can accept that there was no ancient Temple, there was no Israelite kingdom, the Jews are all Khazarian converts from the Middle Ages with no roots in the Middle East and all the rest of the bla-bla-bla – and yet the State of Israel will remain a fact of life, soon to be 70 years old. A state is founded, and that’s it. It exists, and it will fight to maintain its existence. That existence doesn’t depend on finding King Solomon in an archeological dig, nor does it depend on your desire or lack of desire to live in Ireland.

      • amigo
        December 14, 2017, 2:28 pm

        “however there are plenty of other Israelite and Judean kings that have been mentioned in archeological texts (Omri, Ahab, Ahaz, Hezekiah and others). “nathan

        Then this!!.

        “A state is founded, and that’s it. It exists, and it will fight to maintain its existence. That existence doesn’t depend on finding King Solomon in an archeological dig, ” nathan.

        Contradicing yourself again Nathan.Par for the course.

      • RoHa
        December 14, 2017, 9:45 pm

        So, Nathan, you are ready to ditch all that nonsense about ancient nations and historical homelands, and face the raw facts. A bunch of foreigners, who had no rights there, pushed into Palestine and set up a state against the wishes, and at the expense of, the native inhabitants.

        You now seem to declare that the existence of the state is a sufficient justification for maintaining the state. But this is not so. The state oppresses many of the people under its control, and attacks its neighbours. Maintaining such an entity is manifestly immoral.

        (“Even if it would be clear to you …” Is wrong. It should be “Even if it were clear to you …”
        Why do people make such a hash of conditionals? They are not difficult.)

      • Talkback
        December 15, 2017, 4:07 am

        Nathan @ Misterioso: “Even if it would be clear to that, indeed, there was an ancient Kingdom of Israel, you would still be against the founding of modern Israel.”

        ROFL. Since when does the existence of an ancient Kingdom justify a terrorist coup d’etat to create a state within a state without the consent of its population? Are you pro-ISIL or only pro JSIL?

        Nathan: “So, what is the point of all the nonsense that the kingdom lasted only 75 years? ”

        Oh really? So Zionists want to create an exclusive claim based on only 75 years of ruling thousands of years ago? ROFL. That’s beyond crazy.

        Nathan: “A state is founded, and that’s it.”

        Might is not right. That’s your problem. You justifcation is only based on colonialism and its inherent violence against the native population, and that’s it. The foundation of this setter entity in the post Nazi era is as anachronistic as any reference to the bible from you or your King of the Nutters.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2017, 12:35 pm

        .” A state is founded, and that’s it. It exists, and it will fight to maintain its existence.”

        A “state”, already? You got enough people for one fair-sized city. Oh, and 3/4s of your “nation” is held hostage by other states.

      • Mooser
        December 15, 2017, 12:41 pm

        “Why do people make such a hash of conditionals? “

        Perhaps the seal of the conditional should apply here.

      • DaBakr
        December 15, 2017, 10:36 pm

        @n

        now your catching on. it’s big time entertainment but nonetheless stimulating to see where some things stand with fringe groups and sites.

      • eljay
        December 16, 2017, 10:08 am

        || Nathan: … Why does the issue of ancient Israel come up in the discussion here? … ||

        It comes up for the same reason the issues of ancient “Judea and Samaria” and ancient Hebrews come up: You Zionists raise them to justify the creation in the 20th Century of a religion-supremacist “Jewish State” in as much as possible of Palestine.

        || … Even if it would be clear to you that, indeed, there was an ancient Kingdom of Israel, you would still be against the founding of modern Israel. … ||

        Sure, because carving up Palestine in order to create a religion-supremacist state was an unjust and immoral means to an unjust and immoral end.

        || … the State of Israel will remain a fact of life … It exists, and it will fight to maintain its existence. … ||

        I agree that Israel will remain a fact of life for some time to come*. And I agree that Israel should continue to exist. But unlike you Jewish supremacists, I do not agree that it should continue to exist as a deliberately and unapologetically oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.
        __________________
        (*Perhaps not the Thousand Years Zionists envision, but for some time at least.)

      • Talkback
        December 16, 2017, 12:23 pm

        Eljay: “And I agree that Israel should continue to exist.”

        Why?

        Eljay: “But unlike you Jewish supremacists, I do not agree that it should continue to exist as a deliberately and unapologetically oppressive, colonialist, (war) criminal and religion-supremacist state.”

        How else?

      • echinococcus
        December 16, 2017, 3:01 pm

        Talkback,

        Eljay: “And I agree that Israel should continue to exist.”

        Why?

        How else can we make the Palestinians keep their invaders, murderers and torturers –and keep paying them? After all, the off chance that the Palestinians may manage to survive and get their land back must also be covered: they must get X0 years of continuous indoctrination to recognize “equal rights” and staying rights to the squatters, otherwise they may be tempted, clueless colonials that they are, to decide who among the invaders to propose Palestinian citizenship to –and that’s a big no-no. Can’t let them fellahs decide their own fate.

  9. inbound39
    December 14, 2017, 12:39 pm

    What everyone misses here and fails to accept is Israel declared its borders as defined by resolution 181 and they accepted its conditions also. Jerusalem was not considered within Israels borders and given the Israeli Government accepted those borders it would seem Jerusalem being divided was unimportant to the Zionist Government at Israel’s inception. All of a sudden these days it has become all important to Zionism that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel even though it was nevetr included in Israel’s Sovereign territory…..neither was the West Bank.

  10. genesto
    December 14, 2017, 12:42 pm

    How about the notion of Jerusalem as the capital of a truly democratic state of Israel with equal rights – at least by law – for ALL of its citizens, including those in the formally annexed Gaza Strip and West Bank? Of course, the city would have to respect its religious sites and be accessible to worshipers from all over the world.

    Any thoughts out there on this?

  11. pabelmont
    December 14, 2017, 1:14 pm

    After so muich fun, especially Misterioso’s http://mondoweiss.net/2017/12/stephens-falsehood-jerusalem/#comment-900227 , a very smalll point (rather off center for all the discussion), the text says “if you want to talk to government leaders, of course [Jerusalem]’s where you have to go. ”

    I beg to differ. If “you” are Ecuador, maybe yes. But ifd “you” are USa or Russia “you” can call the official to Tel-Aviv to talk to you. And if you do otherwise, you are more-or-less doing what Trump says he will do.

  12. Ossinev
    December 14, 2017, 1:16 pm

    @Catalan
    ” Nobody “rules” America because it is too complex to rule”
    I thought that Sheldon Adelson ruled America ? Or is he just the Kingmaker in Chief within the Zionist Lobby ?
    http://www.tomatobubble.com/sheldon_adelson.html

  13. Maghlawatan
    December 14, 2017, 5:42 pm

    The nyt is hopeless. One imagines that at some point the dichotomy between Israeli nihilism and US Jewish decency will be impossible to cover over with newsprint. The NYT needs a Palestinian State because if Israel is a psychopath it won’t be good for the stenographers.

    https://youtu.be/IU3P6WXzvXU

  14. JLewisDickerson
    December 16, 2017, 1:38 am

    RE: “The fallacy is one of equivocation, in this case on the word “recognition”. One commits this fallacy when one takes an ambiguous term – in this case, “recognition” – and constructs an argument in which one uses the terms in one sense in a crucial premise and then in a different sense in the conclusion.” ~ Joseph Levine

    MY COMMENT: Thanks for the concise analysis. When I heard this “reasoning” from Trump and Netanyahu, it immediately struck me as absurdly inane, but I couldn’t quite explain why.

    I did realize that the problem with Trump saying the status of Jerusalem could still be decided in negotiations was that in granting the Israelis US recognition of Jerusalem as their capital, Trump had just eliminated the most significant incentive there was for Israel to strive towards an agreement.

    Since Israel probably considers US recognition sufficient, there is no longer any reason (apart from mere altruism and/or perhaps any available monetary inducements) for them to make the significant concessions likely required for a peace agreement.

    Consequently, if there was ever any possibility of Trump achieving the “ultimate deal”, he eliminated it, along with the possibility of achieving any deal at all, when he magnanimously bestowed upon Israel recognition of Jerusalem as its capital, and began the process of moving the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv.

    Some “art of the (ultimate) deal” that was! More like Trump Air, Trump Taj Mahal (a/k/a “the eighth wonder of the world”), Trump Plaza Casino, Trump Marina Hotel and Casino . . .

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