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Joyless in Zion

Israel/Palestine
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I never went to Israel when I was young, but I had a girlfriend who had been there and she told me that the Israelis were tough. She’d had fun there: she slept on beaches and smoked dope and made a lot of friends. But the Israelis were much tougher than we were, she said both admiringly and wearily. It wasn’t just their famous rudeness but their view of life; it was hard to be around them.

Now I’m back from my 13th trip to Israel and I can say, they are too tough.

I’ve been visiting through a distinct period: Israeli violence against non-state actors, Lebanon 2006 to Gaza 2018. Israel has regularly meted out violent punishment to those who defy or provoke it or shoot rockets or don’t believe in its right to exist, five bouts of punishment, six counting the era of knife attacks. It doesn’t seem that Israel has gained anything from all that violence, the thousands or tens of thousands dead. The Israelis are more insecure than ever. When you travel through occupied territory on Route 443, the Israeli flagwaving doesn’t stop. The Palestinian cabdriver said the flag was a Big Lie: it informs the Palestinians that this is Israel when it’s not. It is the same imposture at the police station in East Jerusalem: a lot of flags and a star of David, symbols that the people who are served by the station all disdain.

Or look at the banners on the Ministry of Justice, again in Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem. The Israelis are not sure themselves that they are going to be around that long. Ahmadinejad got into their heads when he said, they will vanish from the page of time. Netanyahu’s keen desire, Joseph Massad writes in Electronic Intifada, is that Israel will be around another 30 years: “the Hasmonean kingdom survived for only about 80 years[in the second century BC],” and so he is “working to ensure that modern Israel will surpass that mark and reach its 100th birthday.”

That’s not very confident.

Israeli flags on district court in East Jerusalem, occupied Palestinian territory. May 13, 2018. Photo by Scott Roth.

 

 

++++++++

The New York Times did a piece suggesting that Israelis have a conscience about the violence they poured forth at the Gaza border, and they hope that it was the right thing to do. But Gideon Levy says they have lost their conscience; and that was my impression too from interviewing Israeli Jews in West Jerusalem. I talked to 20 people. Every one expressed support for the killings. There was simply no dissent, even from a Meretz supporter.

I asked why Israel was getting such bad press over the shootings; and here are some responses:

“On whose head is the blood in Gaza? 100 percent on the leftwing media that hates Israel, and is Arab owned. Hamas used their own population as  a defensive shield.” (Avraham Feld, 65)

“We behaved very, very gentle with them. It doesn’t look gentle. But out of 40,000, 60 [dead] is not many. If it wasn’t gentle, we would kill a few 100s.” (Rami, a shopowner.)

“Our problem in Israel is a very, very small group of Jews. But they have the microphone and they hate themselves. They talk against us. And that’s why those in America– they don’t like Israel. For 1000 years we are used to it– people who are against Israel and the Jews.” (Nehama, 47.)

“I think there was no other option. Just to watch and allow people passing through the fence? The problem [with the headlines]– it’s a question of hasbara.”  (Moshe Ardon, 66, Meretz).

“These are not peaceful people. If 20 percent have a flag, then 10 behind them have a gun.” (A man from Kibbutz Ruhana, not far from Gaza).

“We Israelis have a clear system when someone threatens to come to the fence. First a warning shot, then if he keeps coming, we shoot in the leg. If they do come more, we have to shoot him.” (Shmuel, 14, walking with his mother)

There is no debate. Just like Gaza 2014 and Cast Lead before that nine years ago: 90 percent of Israeli society is behind it. The people all echo the talking points and insulate themselves from world opinion. This is the way a cult works, enclosing its thinking from the outside world, including the large portion of the neighboring population who don’t buy what they say. The world’s condemnation only makes them feel more certain of their own righteousness and, surely too, their superiority to ordinary unenlightened people. They become more hardened, and self-involved.

 

+++++++

The time my girlfriend went out, 40 years ago, Zionism was fun. Not for its victims of course. But it was the time when Israel figured for Americans, and American Jews, like such a good healthy idealistic fulfilling life-charged undertaking. You’ve seen the newsreels of the Zionists dancing in the streets of Tel Aviv, or in the dusty roads of their kibbutzim: that excitement was communicated to us. Bernie Sanders, Noam Chomsky, and Tony Judt all went over to work on kibbutzes in that spirit. People read Amos Oz novels about the Galilee.

Look at these photographs of Zionists celebrating the harvest in Yad Mordechai, a kibbutz not far from Gaza that I visited on Nakba Day. Grapes bow their shoulders. They dance as the combine sucks up grain…

Photo of celebrating the harvest, in a display case at Yad Mordechai, a kibbutz near Gaza.

 

Photo of grape harvest, in a display case at Yad Mordechai, a kibbutz near Gaza.

That time is over. Now Israel is held in contempt by much of the western world, and Israelis know it even as they get down to the hard business of shooting border-crossers.

 

+++++++

My host at an Airbnb in West Jerusalem confronted me for my views. We’d been friendly for two days, I kept praising her sparkling clean apartment; but she brought up my work and upbraided me– her guest, twice her age–  and told me what I should not write, and accused me of BDS, and called me a self hating Jew. I was upset and wrote a lot of it down:

“So you write bad things about Israel. Like what, you are for BDS?

“What do you want us to do? So–what should we do?

“But we are a democracy. You don’t have the whole picture. You shouldn’t be writing these things about us without knowing what is going on.

“You are going to compare us to the Nazis next, aren’t you? [I’d compared Israeli treatment of Palestinians to her parents’ experience in Russia]

“This is our land. We are a people like any other, not a religion. It is different, and we need a state.

“No, the Palestinians are not happy, but that is their leaders’ fault. They’ve never accepted the Jewish state. Then they bombed us in the second intifada.

“You don’t have the full picture so you should not write about this. I think you are this way because you don’t like being Jewish. There are Jews who are like this.”

 

++++++

My next host was just as tough in his own way. He was in the kitchen after work, guiding religious Zionist tours of the Old City, when I asked him, “What is the strategy in Gaza?” His wife sighed. “Oh the people are suffering there, it is very bad in Gaza.” But he sprawled out in his armchair in a crude manner familiar to me from Israeli men, with one knee up and the other leg extended, and rubbed his scalp in a gesture of thoughtfulness.

“In Gaza you are seeing what we Israelis call – [he says the Hebrew phrase] — conflict management. No one knows how to end it so they manage it. Yesterday was a bloody day as you know [the day of 62 killed] but today was quiet. That is because the message has been sent that if they do more today, then Israel will respond, very hard, and there will be more loss of life, so they pull back. Everyone knows there could be another war, and they don’t want that.”

A young man says that killing 62 people is sending a message…

This is a big reason why American Jewish communal responses are so terrible. Jewish leaders have lots of Israeli friends who hold forth to them in such terms, as though this is a real strategy; and the Americans are at a loss to criticize.

As my mother’s best friend Golda told me when I first came out here, at age 50: Aliyah means to go up. “When we moved here [in 1968], we went up. You in the Diaspora we call yoredim. You are lower.” That is the essential relationship, and all the big American Jewish orgs have no problem with that.

 

+++++++

One of the most striking things about this visit was how naked the apartheid is. Back in the States of course it is still a heresy to say that Israel is an apartheid country. But when you are over there it feels frank and unadorned. Everyone knows there is one sovereign between the river and the sea, and that sovereign must be Jewish. Here’s my list of evidence:

–Arriving at the Tel Aviv airport, I mill about with a couple thousand other arrivals over the 40 minutes it takes to exit, and I see just a handful of Arabs. The Massachusetts-sized country I’m coming into is half Arab, there are Arab lands all around. But these people are obviously not wanted here, are often subject to searches here. And the walls contain messages that exclude them. They avoid the place.

Ben Gurion airport, May 2018. Zionism is an infinite ideal.

–Israeli forces shut down Damascus Gate on the night before Nakba Day, May 14. They are only letting some people through. A group of women in hijabs waits. I come up and the guards wave me right through. I am the correct race.

–At a demonstration against the new embassy earlier that day, several different protests were sequestered in a free speech area: notably a bunch of young mostly American Jews called All That’s Left, and a lot of Palestinian demonstrators, including legislators, waving Palestinian flags. For more than an hour the police dose out brutality against the Palestinian demonstrators for holding up Palestinian flags and chanting for the liberation of Palestine. They ignore the Jews, whose messages are chiefly about occupation.

–The two principal peoples of the land are segregated, and there is complete separation in consciousness. In the Israeli neighborhoods of West Jerusalem you see very few Palestinians. And of course the opposite goes for Palestine. “If I go into an Arab village, even inside Israel, they will kill me– make me into pieces,” Rami, the storekeeper wearing a kipa, explains earnestly to me. On May 14, the night of 62 slaughtered at the fence in Gaza, I walked to a restaurant in the German Colony on the foot/bike-path on the old train line. I heard an Israeli-American discussing new robotic technology to his son and two men discussing international media. The restaurant was full of chatter and laughter. It goes without saying that the Palestinians I talked to that day and the next were filled with anguish and sorrow, and had one subject.

–The Palestinian taxi drivers I met speak Hebrew. It’s required in schools. One’s son studies at the Hebrew University. No Israeli I met speaks Arabic. I’m told the amount of Arabic in Israeli schools is derisory. Everyone knows what the master tongue is.

–Israelis I interviewed said that they preferred a Jewish state to a democracy where Palestinians could vote. “No, they must not vote. I don’t know how many citizens of Falastin want to kill us. They would make an Arab anti-semitic prime minister. And this is the only Jewish country in the world.”—Rami, who votes Likud. And a middleaged Labor voter from Hadera who’d come to visit the Sderot lookout over Gaza says the same thing. “We can’t have majority Arabs. The problem is Hamas sends people to the fence with an ideology, Palestine is from the river to the sea, and there should be no Jewish state.” Liberal Zionists in America like to say that Israel will face a choice between being Jewish and a democracy. But Israel long ago made that choice, and took the Jewish part, not the democracy.

It is amazing that such a naked system of inequality is so successfully defended in the United States. But it is. I’ve often referred to Wolf Blitzer and Terry Gross shaming Jimmy Carter in 2006 for using the word apartheid in the title of his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Carter was ostracized from the Democratic Party, too, for saying that. Then you go there and it’s apartheid without any pretense.

Now and then the truth breaks through back home – when Stephen Robert the former chancellor of Brown wrote in The Nation that Israel is “apartheid on steroids.” Or when Palestinians speak. But it’s still rare. More often it’s David Brooks writing in the New York Times that he gets “gooey eyed” about Israel having been out a dozen times.

That’s the real miracle of Israel: the hasbara, rationalizing this situation to the west.

 

+++++

The American Jews at the anti-embassy rally were much more involved emotionally with Palestinians and the Palestinian story than my Israeli hosts. But those American Jews were nothing like the Palestinian demonstrators. They needed to separate themselves from the Palestinians as the Palestinians chanted “From the River to the Sea, Palestine Will be Free.”

The American have so much less at stake than the Palestinians. Look at this Palestinian woman covering her face as she protests. She has a lot to lose. The American Jews seem very entitled by comparison, and of course: We are.

Palestinian protester covering her face as she leads chants near US embassy, May 14, 2018.

But the Palestinian suffering this time has had a political effect on American Jews. Natalie Portman acted because of Palestinians being shot at the fence. Jeffrey Goldberg needed to distance himself. Writer/professor Emily Bazelon was moved by her son’s anger at the killings. “Came home and my 15 year old was on the phone with his senators asking them to condemn Israel’s actions. My main feeling: he’s expressing his Jewish values. What a terribly sad day.”

Losing Goldberg (which I’ve predicted) means there will be more defections to come. The firewall doesn’t work if it’s just Bret Stephens and Bari Weiss and Shmuel Rosner, with help from Tom Friedman. You need a powerful center. But Eric Alterman has misgivings about Israel, Eric Goldstein of the Jewish Federations can’t full-throatedly defend it anymore, and J Street is even losing a little faith.

Young Jewish journalists will be emboldened, to follow the Max Blumenthal path. I know how journalists behave. The essence of mainstream journalism (and maybe of all social interaction!) is self-censorship. Now journalists see that there are career points to be made by being critical. Natalie Portman hasn’t turned into fairy dust; and they want to show that they are as smart as a pretty actress. They see Peter Beinart (who is actually halfway honest) being more and more outspoken on the question, maybe because he also wants to keep up with Portman. They see Michelle Goldberg getting more vocal, and more and more American scholars coming out for one state. Because as everyone knows who has been there, it is the reality, one state, with apartheid.

Secretly these journalists have always agreed with Max Blumenthal and Ali Abunimah, there is a problem with a Jewish state, the two-state solution as imagined is a form of apartheid; but they don’t want to be crazy outliers, they want to be sure that the Dershowitz/Oren/Foxman sharks aren’t still in the water. Now they begin to think that they can have a great success by turning against Israel. And that they can express these thoughts without losing work.

Older Jews are surely afraid what will happen when the young turn on Israel entirely and say, Where were you when they were killing unarmed protesters? During the last Israeli slaughter, 2014, Emily Bazelon supported the Israeli actions against Gaza that killed 2200, and acknowledged then that American Jews and Israeli Jews are family, cousins or brothers and sisters, and need to look out for one another. She aligned herself with centrist Zionists, Yossi Klein Halevi, Jonathan Chait, Jeffrey Goldberg. But that Jewish consensus is now shattered, and Bazelon is listening to her son.

 

+++++

Going out there gets harder and harder. The Israelis have a high standard of living, but what are they living for? Ideals that it is hard to justify in this day and age. The Israeli Jews have lost touch with the tender filaments of human connection. Of course their relations with the Palestinians have done this to them. You cannot watch thousands of unarmed young people being shot at the Gaza border and approve it heartily without having blocked off some avenues of the soul.

I worried about my mind when I was there. The rates of depression in Palestine are incredible, pushing 40 percent, four or five times normal rates. But the Israelis are as bad off mentally in their own way as the Palestinians, or worse. They know their indifference to others’ opinions cannot last. On the day I stopped people in West Jerusalem to ask about Gaza, 20 people refused to talk. They frowned and shook their heads. They knew that the world won’t understand them, and they walked hurriedly by.

About Philip Weiss

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

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188 Responses

  1. eljay
    May 30, 2018, 11:10 am

    Supremacism is hateful and immoral work and it requires hateful and immoral people to do it, justify it, support it and defend it.

    Zionist were wrong to assume that as long as Jews were the ones doing terrorism, ethnic cleansing, land theft, military occupation, colonialism, oppression, torture and murder it could never stop being fun.

    Aggressor-victimhood is such a tough gig…   :-(

    • Emory Riddle
      May 31, 2018, 8:07 am

      Tough? Give me a break. Every time the IDF goes up against armed adults they break and run.

      • catalan
        May 31, 2018, 8:50 am

        “Every time the IDF goes up against armed adults they break and run.”
        I agree that Zionist soldiers lack the inherent bravery and nobility of their Arab cousins. Odd, because they are both semites. That is why Zionism is losing and despite the vast amounts spent to fight BDS (30 million USD), the community of nations is waking up. As someone who lives in America I can attest to the superiority of Americans (courageous, noble, generous of spirit) compared with the Zionists who are fearful.

      • eljay
        May 31, 2018, 10:12 am

        || catalan: … I agree that Zionist soldiers lack the inherent bravery and nobility of their Arab cousins. … That is why Zionism is losing … ||

        Nah, Zionism is losing because – as your Comments archive will attest – you cheerfully support BDS. Don’t be so modest.

      • DaBakr
        May 31, 2018, 3:24 pm

        @er

        the kind of talk spoken by every loud mouthed idiot who has never been in, seen nor ever will be in battle. at least Hamas militants have the excuse of believing whole heartedly that not only are they destined to destroy the zionist entity but they are taught (and assuming they believe) they will be rewarded with a paradise of sex, food and fun like nothing they could ever imagine.

        Now what would Hamas do if they started improving the lives of everyday Palestinian Arabs? In what depths of misery would they trawl for willing shahids if life were actually normal. If they had electricity, water, sewer and concrete for homes and schools. But nah. Those tunnels must be built. Mansions of the leadership maintained. Luxury automobiles purchased and so on. how dare Israel send all that material when y’all say it’s a total blockade, open air prison .

        And Phil is bummed and joyless in Israel. Omg! Like how surprising is that? I know a village of Bedouin a few kms east that will show pw how to have some fun. But it’s true. There is a certain small segment of society that live gloomy lives of glum guilt. Most probably take lexapro or wellbutrin. They hand wring a lot. But I can guarantee that even of those, 85% are devoted zionists at their core. And the Arabs? Israeli Arabs know how to have fun

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 3:51 pm

        “But I can guarantee that even of those, 85% are devoted zionists at their core”

        “DaBakr”, even 100 % of not enough Zionists is still not enough.
        You never had enough to begin with, and the peak has passed.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 11:09 pm

        @mssr

        can one ever have enough of anything so great?

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 31, 2018, 5:15 pm

      ELJAY – “Overfaded”

      ELJAY
      Published on May 27, 2018
      Off the album “Halfway”, available now. Produced by Bodi.

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 31, 2018, 5:45 pm

        P.S. From Twittwer.com:
        ELJAY
        @eljay344 — https://twitter.com/eljay344?lang=en
        Inquires: [email protected]
        Toronto, Ontario
        instagram.com/eljay97/ — https://www.instagram.com/eljay97/

        P.P.S. The album “Halfway”, available now. Produced by Bodi. http://hyperurl.co/halfway

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 31, 2018, 6:03 pm

        P.P.P.S. FROM URBAN DICTIONARY:

        Bodi
        A Bodi is a drug in the form of a person. Highly addictive once it gets into your realm; beware, withdrawal symptoms are severe and last for months—even years.

        A Bodi is one of the hottest guys you will ever meet. His muscles are so ripped that you just assume he is or has been Mr. America. His looks automatically draw the eyes of everyone; women pant, men are jealous and skeptical, even zombies are stunned (more so than usual) by the attractiveness. A Bodi appears immaculate, casual yet extremely sexy, white dress shirt, blue jeans that fit tight in all the right places, gorgeous tan, white teeth….simple yet eye catching. Speaking of eyes, if you meet a Bodi you must stare into his eyes. They are captivating…he will lock eyes with you and you will immediately know that great sex with him is definitely in the near future. A Bodi will treat you as if you are the most desired queen that has ever walked the earth. You have just died and gone to heaven, and you don’t even know it yet!

        Even though a Bodi is an extreme risk taker, you should not be. Don’t run with the pack of hyenas that constantly torment an extremely attractive male. The “who” and “why” that results will shatter you, and could cause you to fall off a lethal ledge.

        Dudette 1: “I sure could use a good Bodi again, like Travis.”
        Dudette 2: “You will never get over him, will you? LOL!”

        #attractive#hot#class#eyes#hyenas
        by Marykate Veras March 01, 2013

        SOURCE – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Bodi

      • eljay
        May 31, 2018, 6:24 pm

        || JLewisDickerson: P.S. From Twittwer.com:
        ELJAY
        @eljay344 — https://twitter.com/eljay344?lang=en … ||

        I’m better-looking.  :-D

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 31, 2018, 6:56 pm

        RE: “I’m better-looking.” ~ eljay

        MY REPLY:
        That may well be.
        But, can you ‘carry a tune’?

        P.S. Wherever the algorithm(s) leadeth me, I will follow!

      • just
        May 31, 2018, 7:01 pm

        Wow!

        Congrats, eljay!

        Thanks, John.

      • Annie Robbins
        May 31, 2018, 7:42 pm

        hot!

      • JLewisDickerson
        June 4, 2018, 10:55 pm

        Eljay of “Overfaded” reminds me a bit of Eric Burdon:

  2. pgtl10
    May 30, 2018, 12:20 pm

    Thanks for the article Philip. A couple things:

    1. When you say Israelis have a high standard of living, are we talking about Israeli Jews? Arabs in that area have high poverty rates.

    2. Jeffery Goldberg and Emily Bazelon didn’t really backtrack as much as declare the state of circumstances between the US Jewish community and the Israeli Jewish community. Being a decent human being isn’t just a Jewish value as Emily states. It’s a value by much of the world.

    • Annie Robbins
      May 30, 2018, 2:02 pm

      pgtl10, your comment reminded me of a similar sentiment that bazelon’s son responded to in the thread: https://twitter.com/simon_bazelon/status/996356954862833664

      Of course. This tweet was more about observing the irony that expressing Jewish values now means protesting the *Jewish* state. But ultimately it’s true that this is a human rights issue

      seems like a smart kid

    • Stephen Shenfield
      May 30, 2018, 5:19 pm

      A survey in 2006-7 found 1.5 million Israelis living in poverty (about a quarter of the population). Poverty is especially widespread among Palestinian citizens of Israel and also among haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews), both groups wtth high rates of unemployment.

      • Misterioso
        May 31, 2018, 10:29 am

        Zionism is rapidly approaching its death throes.
        Here’s a brief sampling of reality:

        “Israel has one of the highest poverty rates and levels of income inequality in the Western world. It also has one of the highest costs of living. Tel Aviv ranks ninth among the world’s most expensive cities, higher than New York and Los Angeles; five years ago, it ranked 34th. The situation is so dire that a 2013 survey by the financial newspaper Calcalist (the most recent Israeli study conducted on this topic) found that 87 percent of adults—many with children of their own—depend on substantial financial support from their parents.” (NEWSWEEK – 5/10/18)

        Why Jews flee to Europe (or at least half of it)
        By Doug Saunders,
        Globe and Mail, November 16, 2013
        EXCERPTS:
        “Have you heard about Europe’s Jewish exodus? Amid growing tensions and tough economic conditions, tens of thousands of educated middle-class Jews are fleeing every year – not out of the continent, but rather from Israel into Europe, and especially to Germany, which has become the chief destination (after the United States) for the half-million Israelis who have left the country amid its much-discussed ‘brain drain.’

        “This has taken both Israelis and many Europeans by surprise – and offended some Israeli leaders. Last month, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, during a visit to Budapest, took to Facebook to denounce the growing wave of Europe-bound Jews who have become known in the Israeli media as the New Yordim (emigrants, or literally, ‘fallen’).”

        http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.806869
        EXCERPT:
        “More Israelis Left Israel Than Moved Back in Six Year Record. 16,700 left and 8,500 came back in 2015, in first year since 2009 that more Israelis exited than returned.” By Lior Dattel. Aug 15, 2017, Haaretz.

        https://www.haaretz.com/israel -news/.premium-jewish-agency- chief-warns-young-u-s-jews- more-turned-off-to-israel-1. 5751616
        Haaretz – Jan 22, 2018, by Judy Maltz
        “Young American Jews Increasingly Turning Away From Israel, Jewish Agency Leader Warns”

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=20982'%20style='color:#000;
        The Real News, Jan. 25/18
        “US Bipartisan Support for Israel over Palestinians Is Breaking Down, New Study Shows”

        https://www.haaretz.com/us-news/.premium-vast-numbers-of-california-jews-disengaging-from-israel-survey-finds-1.5821675
        Haaretz, Feb. 14/18
        “Vast Numbers of Progressive California Jews Are Disengaging From Israel, Survey Finds.” By Judy Maltz.

        https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623?utm_campaign=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=smartfocus&utm_content=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.haaretz.com%2Fopinion%2F.premium-progressives-welcome-aipac-is-all-just-gaslighting-1.5871623
        “Why Young Jews and Democrats Are Waving Goodbye to AIPAC”
        “My generation has only known Israel as an occupier. We won’t back anyone who supports that injustice – including the powerful lobby that is AIPAC. By Emily Mayer, March 6, 2018 – Haaretz

        NEWSWEEK – 5/10/18
        “More Israelis are moving to the U.S.—and staying for good”
        “Spurred by the high cost of living, low salaries, and political and demographic trends, Israelis are leaving the country in droves​.​”
        B​y Yardena Schwartz

      • catalan
        May 31, 2018, 11:12 am

        “Zionism is rapidly approaching its death throes.” misterioso
        Indeed – BDS, the concert cancellation by gorgeous Shakira, and the poor morals of the Zionists guarantee that the end is coming. Their long life expectancy (higher than the US), and high nominal GDP per capita (higher than France or the UK) simply masks the underlying malaise.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 31, 2018, 12:12 pm

        Catalan

        You have to price tail Risk into your investments and your beloved Israel.
        BDS is part of tail Risk. It is God’s way of trying to communicate with her once again lost people. Before she starts smiting.

      • DaBakr
        May 31, 2018, 3:44 pm

        @mag

        So she does exist!

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 11:17 pm

        @mg

        You may want to read up on the Arab boycott of Israel put in place and observed (publicly at least) by the Muslim/arab block nations since 1948 until the eighties/nineties. They swore that was going to work as well. But I have to admit, you warning a zionist (at lest an Israeli one) about “risk” is funny. Kind of like warning an Eskimo about snow.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 11:36 pm

        @mst
        “…. Western nation”

        Last time I checked we were still a middle eastern nation. We may get military financial support from Western nations but nobody built the infrastructure, the cites, the suburbs, Samaria and Judea, the desert, the universities, the school’s the security apparatus, agriculture and t tourism but israelis- Christian Jewish Muslim Druze. Together in peace and conflict. We’ve been hearing predictions of our soon coming demise since before ’48 so how can you expect anybody but you’re co-commenters here to take you seriously? Of course we have problems with income gap, poverty, class, bigotry etc. try and name a successful middle eastern nation as well as any western nation that doesn’t. But it must make Zionist haters feel better to keep droning on about our destruction. No better then the fanatical Israelis who believe our conflict with the Arabs is going to magically disappear.

        Now, if you want to get serious and discuss an all out war which most sane people believe would be apocalyptic then let’s discuss all out war. then, at least, your comments about destruction, defeat and “death throes” can take on a more serious tone. But you should consider that China, Russia, India, Turkey the Korea’s, Japan, east Europe, and what’s left of west Europe Iran, the Gulf states and Egypt will all factor in. Bible wackers and fanatics will be wild with anticipation and all over a piece of land smaller then New Jersey. So, let’s discuss how ridiculous this scenario is likely to occur..

    • genesto
      May 31, 2018, 3:00 pm

      ‘Being a decent human being isn’t just a Jewish value as Emily states. It’s a value by much of the world.’

      This is a point I’ve been trying to drive home to my Jewish allies in the movement for quite some time. Those of us who consider ourselves enlightened on the subject have to, once and for all, stop talking about Jewish values. They are HUMAN values!

      If you are going to confront Jewish exceptionalism, you have to do it completely.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 4:56 pm

        “If you are going to confront Jewish exceptionalism, you have to do it completely.”

        I can’t. There’s nothing, no amount of evidence that will ever convince me Zionism is paying the Ziobots at Mondo.

        I know we’re no smarter than anybody else, but this is a value-for-money question.

      • RoHa
        May 31, 2018, 7:07 pm

        Mooser, are you thinking about quality or quantity? If the latter, I think at least some of the Zionist commenters are fulfilling their quotas.

      • hophmi
        June 1, 2018, 7:44 am

        Maybe try and stop telling Jews what they’re allowed to believe. It’s offensive.

      • eljay
        June 1, 2018, 8:37 am

        || hophmi: Maybe try and stop telling Jews what they’re allowed to believe. … ||

        You Zionists should try that some time.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:12 pm

        “Maybe try and stop telling Jews what they’re allowed to believe.”

        “Hophmi” please help. Tell me what I should believe. Nobody is paying you, right? Make like Tom Sawyer, and say: “Why, this ain’t work!”
        It’s your love of Zionism, and your encyclopedic knowledge of same and believing yours is the voice to defend and expound it which drives you, not some kind of emolument.

    • DaBakr
      May 31, 2018, 3:34 pm

      @p and @a

      Where did the authors claim that being decent is exclusively a jewish value? missed that.

      PW definitely means Israeli Jews but he surely knows that despite the Arab poverty levels there are a significant number of wealthy and middle class Arabs, Druze, etc. that live here. Israel has made tremendous strides in past two decades to end inequalities. One needs only to look at the number of non Jews in prominent positions, jobs, etc. I assume mweissrs get highly irritated at Israelis boasting about Arab supreme court judges, police officials, generals and other assorted jobs in ever sector.

  3. Liz
    May 30, 2018, 12:21 pm

    Oh Phil, what a sad, sad rendering of your recent trip–thank you for being so thoughtful in writing your account.

  4. satrappist
    May 30, 2018, 1:40 pm

    phil pray (sic) continue

    please

    the difficult track

    been being enlightened/edumacated by yer site fer a while now

    my frame of reference is the rabbit proof fence

    a movie

    yer might’ve seen it

    a phil noyce piece about indigenous humans, classified at the time as not people but as part of the country’s flora and fauna

    ………

    tracked, hunted, shot, poisoned ……….

    annie mike k cigar god joe tedesky
    abe
    realist

    just

    pray (sic) continue

    you all at times resemble plugger at full tilt at moorabbin on a sunny saturday

    knowledge

    ability

    purpose

    an australian diplomat by the name of john cecil dauth had a a stellar career until around 2004/2005
    was even australia’s ambassador to the the united nations
    then
    sadly
    slid
    back to charged’affaire to new zealand

    coupla senior australian federal police officers lost their security clearances about the same time

    knowledge

    ability

    purpose

  5. JLewisDickerson
    May 30, 2018, 1:47 pm

    RE: “Or look at the banners on the Ministry of Justice, again in Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem.” ~ Weiss

    YES, LOOK:

    ■ Ministry of Justice

    ■ Photo from 1938

    • Marnie
      May 31, 2018, 12:16 am

      It’s impossible not to make that comparison, and we’re only talking about flags. There’s not much daylight between between nazi germany and nazi israel.

      And there are so many possibilities for the Who does the best Roland Freisler contest or My Favorite Nazi, izraeli style.

      • DaBakr
        May 31, 2018, 3:58 pm

        @m
        Well, it’s not surprising you consider yourself an expert on Israel evil. you know your subject well.

        Not much daylight got into the huge gas chambers. Not much daylight seeped between the boards of The jam packed box cars of death. Not much daylight between the doors and the ovens in the death factories. Not much daylight shone on the bottom of the forty foot high stacks of human bodies and bones the camp workers were forced to bury. And not much daylight got through the thick black stench of smoke when the bones and bodies got so high they had to be burnt for safetys sake.

      • JLewisDickerson
        May 31, 2018, 5:07 pm

        Roland Freisler – President of the German Nazi Court (with subtitles)

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 6:04 pm

        “Not much daylight got…”

        Yeah, sort of serves as a reminder that even 90 million people and all the resources of Germany won’t make an ethnic supremacist schtik work.

      • Marnie
        June 1, 2018, 12:14 am

        “@m
        Well, it’s not surprising you consider yourself an expert on Israel evil. you know your subject well.”

        Thank you!

      • Marnie
        June 1, 2018, 12:22 am

        If you wanna give a master class on jewish suffering and the holocaust – don’t. The history is documented 24/7. It’s a requirement now for everyone to study the holocaust. the u.s., who kept their persecution, murder, ethnic cleansing, etc., to the indigenous people and the enslaved africans they stole from their homeland, has made it mandatory to study a holocaust that happened a world away. The holocaust did not officially occur in palestine until 1948, to a people made to suffer trauma for over 70 years now and still counting, while the holocaust you speak of had a beginning and an end. Would the actual victims of the nazi (germany, no israeli) holocaust be proud of the ‘jewish state’? Seems like a few outspoken survivors are horrified by it. It’s too familiar you see. And they were told ‘never again’. Peddle your bullshit somewhere else.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 4:39 pm

        @mrn

        I figured you would stoop to bringing up those who harp on Jewish suffering through eons. And far be it from me to give you lessons on rhetoric but it is not about Jewish suffering. It is about people who make asinine comparisons that not only detract from their point but expose them as mediocre thinkers with a true believing mindset.

        By comparing the German ww2 regime with Israel and claiming essentially little difference you open the door to literally dozens and dozens of other equal and many more accurate comparisons to other recent historical events most of which don’t compare (Pol pot, Mao a few others compare, maybe) . To the point where naziii comparisons like yours are mostly if not already meaningless and useless hyperbole.

        If you don’t want to sound like an idiot (except to your small insulated group of peeps here) then answer where the crimes I mentioned, industrial human cleansing, shipping, gassing, burning and trying to cover it all up and on top, have a small but vocal devoted base of people(probably growing in nn numbers with the intolerant so-called progressive far left malcontents) still trying to prove nothing like these things happened.
        . Since you can’t do this (i mean, you can. You can bring up dier yassin. But there were equal slaughters by Arabs of Jews especially in the 20s and during the’48 war. All horrendous but hardly industrial scale. You could mention the 6-700,000 displaced Arabs but then you’d have to contend with the 8-900,000 Arab Jews chased out and robbed by Arab nations long before Palestinians were accepted as a separate nationality.

        . So, if you really consider yourself an expert on Israeli evil (and I’m certain you do) then act like one and stop with the absurd, stupid and probably evil comments about how little daylight there is between…. lest people start pointing out how little daylight there is between neo-nazis and you, or MW

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 5:16 pm

        “DaBakr” you have the Israeli expertise to settle this; Is that a “riding crop”, or a “swagger stick” our Beitar boy is holding?

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 6:11 pm

        “… Jewish suffering through eons.”

        “e·on ēən,ˈēˌän/Submit noun plural noun: eons

        an indefinite and very long period of time, often a period exaggerated for humorous or rhetorical effect.
        “he reached the crag eons before I arrived”

        ASTRONOMYGEOLOGY
        a unit of time equal to a billion years.

        GEOLOGY
        a major division of geological time, subdivided into eras.”

        Jewish suffering, as revealed in the fossil record.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 7:53 pm

        Fossil record? Feh! Let’s wait and see what the radio-telescopes tell us.
        Jewish suffering began with the Big Klopf!

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 9:02 pm

        @mssr

        I can’t say for sure. But look up some photos of US cops and you’ll find plenty of uniforms that compete for the bad design award. In fact, Hitler’s SS may have been disgusting but it wasn’t because their uniforms were badly designed. In fact, since he thought the Reich was going to last a1000 yrs there was much effort put into elaborate designs from everything from bayonets to trench coats. Hugo Boss was even in on the game. In comparison, the U.S. Uniforms were drab and not particularly handsome. The boats were functional but butt ugly, same for tanks and jeeps. So, maybe you can surmise from this one of two things:

        A) Israel will last another 1000 years or

        B) that ugly uniform design (& especially our infamous camo-bag helmets) spells out a successful strategy for staying around.

      • JLewisDickerson
        June 1, 2018, 11:31 pm

        RE: “DaBakr” you have the Israeli expertise to settle this; Is that a “riding crop”, or a “swagger stick” our Beitar boy is holding? ~ Mooser

        MY REJOINDER: To be fair, it might be an extra-long ‘capacitive stylus’.

      • JLewisDickerson
        June 1, 2018, 11:52 pm

  6. Mooser
    May 30, 2018, 1:58 pm

    Not just “joyless”, according to Josh Marshall (TPM) there has been a “sea change”. He is reporting on an article in the Forward (linked)“Jewish Groups Reject Israel Funding For Fear Of Being Branded Foreign Agents”

    Here’s the jist:

    “Generations of American Jews have the experience of buying Israel bonds or supporting Israel financially in other ways. Indeed, post-1948 and especially post-1967 many of these groups have it as a central part of their organizational mission supporting Israel both politically and to a degree financially. This is the first example I can think of, certainly at scale, of trying to run the money in the other direction. That is quite striking to me.”
    “Most or apparently all the groups turned down the money, (Ed. Money to fund anti-BDS programs) though fundraising is of course a big deal for all these operations. The most immediate concern was that they would have to register as foreign agents under FARA – the law that’s gotten various Trumpers in hot water.”

    • Mooser
      May 30, 2018, 3:47 pm

      Or maybe those orgs. have more than enough funds to smear and harass BDS activists from domestic sources.
      But gosh, not wanting to defy the FARA laws for Zionism? We’re going soft.

      • JWalters
        May 30, 2018, 10:17 pm

        LOL!

      • hophmi
        June 1, 2018, 7:45 am

        Not news. These orgs would have made the second decision 25 years ago.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:19 pm

        “These orgs would have made the second decision 25 years ago.”

        Well then, the next time 25 years ago comes around, they’ll be ready.

  7. Boomer
    May 30, 2018, 4:04 pm

    re: “More often it’s David Brooks writing in the New York Times that he gets “gooey eyed” about Israel”

    Though he has also written about that “rudeness” you mention: life is rough there, more pleasant here. It’s better to live in NYC and visit Israel when the mood strikes. That’s the advantage of having your “own thing.” As the saying goes, “it’s a nice place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to live there.” And, as another saying goes, “who needs Israel when you have Westchester?”

    • DaBakr
      May 31, 2018, 4:00 pm

      @bm

      Boy do you need to meet some real Israelis. We all know people who move away. But there are ten for every one.

  8. Maghlawatan
    May 30, 2018, 4:41 pm

    The fact that there is 90% Jewish approval for what is done to Gaza is like vindication for all the Arab and American diplomats who warned that it would be a cluster fuck in the 40s. Sovereignty is pointless if it means a damaged population.
    Zionism was based on a lie -landowithout a people- and the ends Israel will go to to deny the tRuth are grotesque.
    It is very hard to stop a culture on the path of self destruction.

    • hophmi
      June 1, 2018, 7:47 am

      Or perhaps Israelis understand Middle Eastern reality, where hundreds of thousands are dead next door in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, and an American radical doesn’t understand it.

      • Maghlawatan
        June 1, 2018, 10:38 am

        So perhaps 600k Israeli dead in the next war would be ok by local standards. Do hasbara wallahs ever listen to themselves?

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 4:53 pm

        @mg

        600,000 would make many many Arabs and certain mullahs in Persia ecstatic. Look how big a party they threw when the three teens were kidnapped and shot. So yes. I am certain israelis understand whats what in these parts.

  9. Maghlawatan
    May 30, 2018, 4:42 pm

    If Phil spoke Hebrew the vox pops would be even juicier with nihilism set to max

  10. Mooser
    May 30, 2018, 7:51 pm

    “A man dressed in the uniform of the Irgun, a Zionist militia, on Jerusalem Day, May 13, 2018, in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem”

    No trauma ‘long him!

    • JLewisDickerson
      May 30, 2018, 9:18 pm

      That uniform reminds me of the ‘goose steppers’!

      • oldgeezer
        May 30, 2018, 9:42 pm

        Absolutely.

      • Marnie
        May 31, 2018, 12:23 am

        The guy in the uniform reminds me of David Schwimmer.

      • just
        May 31, 2018, 2:28 am

        Jack boots and all.

        It is said that ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’.

        ( See RoHa’s perceptive observation below as well)

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 4:24 pm

        The boots are prescious! What price the ‘swagger stick’?

      • Citizen
        June 1, 2018, 7:26 am

        @ Marnie
        Yes, David Schwimmer, playing Adenoid Hynkel.

    • Misterioso
      May 31, 2018, 10:52 am

      @Mooser, et al

      In 1925, Polish Zionist, Vladimir Jabotinsky founded the Revisionist Party in Palestine, the precursor of the Irgun and Stern Gang terror groups as well as today’s Likud party. It called for the “revision” of the British mandate to allow the forcible Zionist colonization of Transjordan and its union with Palestine to create one Jewish state. Jabotinsky advocated that Zionism should concentrate solely on the creation of a Jewish state encompassing the borders of biblical or Eretz Israel and if London did not provide its full hearted support, Jewish forces should be mobilized to be used against British troops.

      Jabotinsky’s chauvinistic, militaristic and authoritarian views appealed mainly to young Jews, including those in Europe, where he had formed youth groups known as Betar whose practices such as wearing brown shirts and using distinctive salutes were taken from Italian fascism.

      • Maghlawatan
        May 31, 2018, 11:43 am

        Nobody knew in 1930 how Israel would turn out. There were many thinkers who wanted different things. Some were humanitarian such as Martin Buber. Some were paranoid fascist ass holes like Jabotinsky. The paranoid fascist ass holes won. Hebrew used to be sacred. Now it is paranoid.

        If often think of Amira Hass who said her life’s work was pointless. Israelis did not want to listen.

        Nation building is fascinating. So is the collapse of nations.

      • DaBakr
        May 31, 2018, 4:08 pm

        @m

        If you wrote what you just wrote about Jews but referenced black folks you would be hounded to the pits of hell by your own gang. Nobody gets to tell American blacks what racism looks like to them and sorry habibi, nobody is telling Jews anymore wether they are “sacred or paranoid” and nobody can define what is jew-hating. in fact, the intolerant and politically correct rules governing racism were set by the far left and so-called progressives. But sure, you can always come here, to the officially branded ‘hate site’ mondoweiss. Nobody will bother you here…much.

        Afaik… Amira Hass still has time to create meaning in her life because she is not dead yet.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 7:41 pm

        “nobody is telling Jews anymore wether they are “sacred or paranoid”

        That’s some choice. But you are right, Zionism can’t tell us those things anymore.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 4:56 pm

        @mssr

        Ha. Well everybody is sacred to some degree and that is a very scary concept and nobody is going to tell me how not sacred I am ;)

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 5:26 pm

        “and nobody is going to tell me how not sacred I am”

        And nobody will tell you how scared you are either.

    • John O
      May 31, 2018, 5:03 pm

      The uniform is pretty much 1940s totalitarian style, more Soviet-looking than anything else (and definitely unlike any American or British uniform). The question is – was it ever worn in combat? Google images “Irgun” doesn’t show anything remotely resembling it. Curious, eh?

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 6:21 pm

        “Google images “Irgun” doesn’t show anything remotely resembling it. Curious, eh?”

        Looks like a costume for the “Springtime for Bibi” scene.

      • Mooser
        May 31, 2018, 7:34 pm

        Actually, I used to dress like that a lot, when I was riding a motorcycle in the winter. And the pants go outside the boots, so as not to funnel water down ’em.

  11. JWalters
    May 30, 2018, 10:15 pm

    This article is flat-out great reporting and analysis. If Mondoweiss doesn’t get a Pulitzer Prize at some point the game is rigged.

    The Israelis Phil interviewed are as deluded as the Christian sect of Reverend Hagee. Both have sacrificed their humanity to archaic beliefs.

    “That’s the real miracle of Israel: the hasbara, rationalizing this situation to the west.”

    That is so true and deserves DEEP contemplation. This “miracle” has been partly explained, also in the pages of Mondoweiss.
    “Rabbis want to criticize Israel but fear donors (and NYT buries the news)”
    http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/rabbis-criticize-donors

    Time and tides wait for no man.

    • JohnSmith
      May 31, 2018, 4:02 am

      Alas, reporting can be good, admirable, even excellent, and yet not be in the running for a Pulitzer. Mondoweiss would be much more likely to earn a Pulitzer if Mr. Weiss were to marshall a team of 15 reporters and spend 6 months exhaustively reporting (“deeply reporting”) in the most stultifying way possible some “slice of life” “human interest” story.

      The Pulitzer committee would be much more impressed by a tiny, tiny story reported at book length about, say, workers in a shoelace factory, or a family living on a tiny river island in India. The New York Times knows this and churns out stories that are just that kind of thing, created purely as catnip for the Pulitzer committee. This is why the New York Times has so many Pulitzers while being a pathetic rag when it comes to reporting on, say, Israel.

      It would be nice if the Sulzberger family would give up on their devotion to racial supremacy in Israel and stop treating their newspaper as a Fox News-style outlet for cheap propaganda upholding that racial supremacist doctrine.

  12. RoHa
    May 30, 2018, 10:46 pm

    “A man dressed in the uniform of the Irgun, a Zionist militia, on Jerusalem Day, May 13, 2018,”

    should be

    “A man dressed in the uniform of the Irgun, a Zionist terrorist group, on Jerusalem Day, May 13, 2018,”

  13. RoHa
    May 30, 2018, 10:48 pm

    “Israeli flags on district court in East Jerusalem”

    Long hanging banners with an emblem in the centre. Looks familiar.

  14. Yonah Fredman
    May 31, 2018, 1:26 am

    At the train station there were people enjoying themselves, but Weiss felt they should be joyless. This is a prescription of how Jerusalemites should feel.

    When I studied Arabic in jerusalem, indeed there was friction from many I told of my study and I am far enough to the left to feel alienated by bibi”s rule and to leave after he got elected.

    But there is joy in jerusalem. The joy of everyday life.

    (Let me repeat my stance re:gaza. The strangulation of Gaza in order to punish Hamas is brutal, that’s why I favor a modus vivendi.)

    • Mooser
      May 31, 2018, 4:06 pm

      “(Let me repeat my stance re:gaza. The strangulation of Gaza in order to punish Hamas is brutal, that’s why I favor a modus vivendi.)”

      “Yonah” why are you prevaricating? Last time, you took a much wider stance.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2018, 1:14 am

      “(Let me repeat my stance re:gaza. The strangulation of Gaza in order to punish Hamas is brutal, that’s why I favor a modus vivendi.)”

      Gosh, “Yonah”, do you think it’s fair that thousands of people have to hunt through Mondo comment threads to get your latest stance.

      Why don’t you open a Twitter account, “Yonah”?

    • hophmi
      June 1, 2018, 7:50 am

      Yonah, it’s because Phil is the joyless one, and you know how misery loves company.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:31 pm

        ” it’s because Phil is the joyless one, and you know how misery loves company.”

        “Hophmi” please don’t let this article rob you of the compassion you once had for Phil:

        “This analysis is nothing new. It is typical of Phil’s writing, which suggests, as it always does, the Phil has internalized anti-Jewish hatred, and like those secularist Jews in Europe who looked down upon their brethren or converted to Christianity to escape their Judaism, Phil adopts the classic tropes of the self-hater. Self-hatred is a disease. It is a sad disease borne of many generations of persecution, but it is a disease. And Phil is afflicted with it, as many Jews have been in the past. And it is usually the self-haters who cause the worst damage to the Jewish community, precisely because of how small it is.” “Hophmi”

  15. whitecat
    May 31, 2018, 5:56 am

    I don’t even think he second picture is the police station, it’s a post office in east jerusalem – Yes Israel is that secure that it needs to push flags in your face even when it’s a post office…

    • Jackdaw
      May 31, 2018, 9:01 am

      Definitely a post office.

      The horror. The horror.

    • DaBakr
      June 2, 2018, 12:14 pm

      The USA has an American flag at every post office, or at least used to.

  16. Jackdaw
    May 31, 2018, 7:23 am

    Phil.
    I’m having a BBQ and pool party tomorrow in Savion, and you’re invited.
    Let me know if you want to meet some real Israelis and American olim.

    • hophmi
      June 1, 2018, 7:51 am

      I bet he doesn’t come. He’s too joyless for a BBQ.

      • Jackdaw
        June 1, 2018, 10:42 am

        @hophmi

        I was going to serve those kebabs that turned Phil’s stomach the last time he visited Israel.
        The kebabs, in Phil’s mind, that looked like military shotgun canisters.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 2:29 pm

        “I bet he doesn’t come. He’s too joyless for a BBQ.”

        Yeah! When we rebuild the Temple, we’ll show Phil what Barbecue is all about!

  17. guyn
    May 31, 2018, 8:40 am

    “My host at an Airbnb in West Jerusalem confronted me for my views. We’d been friendly for two days, I kept praising her sparkling clean apartment; but she brought up my work and upbraided me– her guest, twice her age– and told me what I should not write, and accused me of BDS, and called me a self hating Jew.”

    You should put that in the comments section of Airbnb, that would teach her.

  18. Citizen
    May 31, 2018, 9:00 am

    That uniform looks like it was designed for a movie starring Charlie Chaplin or Grouch Marx satirizing the Nazi regime. It’s difficult to digest such real life silly absurdity with all the murder and mayhem that actually happens under such crappy fashion shows. How diabolical to steal the menorah and star of David to kill folks and steal their land. At least Hitler stole non-religious symbols, like the swastika and runes bolts. His troops did not wear the Christian cross. Seems the early Zionist militia/terrorist groups and current IDF are actually a Jewish version of the Christian Crusades–that’s how backward they actually are.

    • catalan
      May 31, 2018, 10:00 am

      “actually a Jewish version of the Christian Crusades–that’s how backward they actually are.” Citizen
      While the rest of the world is advancing towards an enlightened humanism and away from superstition, war, and fanaticism, the Zionists are going backward.

    • Elliot
      May 31, 2018, 2:24 pm

      The Hebrew banner says Beitar which was Vladimir Jabotinsky’s organization. Jabotinsky’s style (and arguably, substance) was fascist, hence the boots and bling. Menahem Begin took over from him as leader.

      https://972mag.com/an-alliance-of-hate-the-israeli-rights-ties-to-european-facism/118580/

      • just
        June 1, 2018, 9:57 am

        Well done, Marnie.

        I know that what you linked to is just a miniscule smattering of the “real Israelis”, and that is rather frightening and hopeless.

  19. Jackdaw
    May 31, 2018, 11:56 am

    ” But he sprawled out in his armchair in a crude manner familiar to me from Israeli men, with one knee up and the other leg extended..”

    ROFL!

    Phil. You are a piece of work.

  20. John Fearey
    May 31, 2018, 1:03 pm

    I spent three very happy weeks in South Africa at the beginning of this year and while there are some big problems, like not much water in Capetown and corruption, the problems are, from what I could tell, acknowledged and the exit of Zuma is hopeful. (I assume he’s still gone, I’ll have to check.)
    But here’s the point: everyone, and I mean everyone, from all walks of life, both white and black, who I came in contact with, seemed happy to some greater or lesser extent. They smile. It was remarkable and too wide spread to be some kind of tourist marketing tool. A real joy to experience.
    I came home happy, not like the basket case I was after a week in Jerusalem where so few, except the occasional Palestinian, ever seem to smile or laugh. I sure wasn’t.
    Only a few weeks ago I was in a class where the professor who had spent a decade or more at the outset of his career in Johannesburg was describing what a miserable place SA was in the seventies, so much so that he had to leave, first for the UK then the US. And he wasn’t even a white South African, just a brilliant Australian academic who couldn’t stand being complicit.
    If I were an Israeli, I would look to SA to see what the future might hold. I guess it’s tough work being an oppressor.
    Hint (for a better quality of life)-one person, one vote.
    Thanks for the great reporting Phil.

    • catalan
      May 31, 2018, 2:09 pm

      “while there are some big problems, like not much water in Capetown and corruption,” John Fearney
      I agree that not having water in Capetown is a little bit of a problem. However, thirst is a much more minor issue than racial and social justice, which South Africa is on its way of attaining.

    • Boris
      May 31, 2018, 9:39 pm

      … everyone, and I mean everyone, from all walks of life, both white and black, who I came in contact with, seemed happy to some greater or lesser extent.

      I was in South Africa in September 2017 and I wish I smoked what you were smoking.

      There still had some water in Capetown, and the water shortage was in full swing yet faucets in our hotel were leaking. There were only few areas in the town were a white person could safely walk on a street. There were very aggressive beggars during the days, and we were warned about robberies and worse during the night. Crime is rampant.

      Unemployment among young professionals is rampant, many are trying to leave if have not left already.

      And now – after Zuma – the government will confiscate white farmers land. Many of these farmers are attacked and murdered – this is all well documented.

      So, if South Africa becomes like Zimbabwe, it will definitely attain “racial and social justice”.

      • John Fearey
        June 1, 2018, 6:44 am

        OMG, leaky pipes, crime in the street, yuppies looking for a better deal. Sounds like NYC . I’d like to see your stats on land appropriation since the only source for that that I heard was some rascist politician in Australia on a rant, although it certainly could become an issue since the whites haven’t had to give up much. I smoke filterless American Spirit, the “beggars” were never aggressive and you sound like a bit of a wimp. Everyone else book your flights, you won’t be disappointed. I stand by what I wrote. It’s a gorgeous country very much open for business.

      • Citizen
        June 1, 2018, 7:39 am

        @ Boris
        All true. The government is already confiscating white farmer land without compensation. There’s been a pattern of grisly murder of white farmers for decades now; the death toll is many, many thousands–there’s a web site that keeps track of those murders & posts the names of those murdered. This information never gets into US mainstream news media.

  21. DaBakr
    May 31, 2018, 4:18 pm

    BTW: the commenter who mentioned the guy in the top photo was right, that’s David schwimmer.

    • Citizen
      June 1, 2018, 7:41 am

      Yes, playing Adenoid Hynkel.

      • Citizen
        June 1, 2018, 9:26 am
      • Marnie
        June 1, 2018, 9:26 am

        Sorry Citizen I didn’t catch you first time round. I have not watched ‘the great dictator’ so the name meant nothing to me.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 5:03 pm

        Nobody said the pomp and circumstance of military isn’t often ridiculous. Check out the former Libyan dictators get ups and his all female Ukrainian prætorian guard. Or Sisi. Or little hashemite king wearing more weight in chest metals then his head.
        The French are the only ones who consistently put out stylish police/military uniforms. (Oh, and Hugo Boss designed a dynamite leather trench that the SS lapped up)

      • Jackdaw
        June 2, 2018, 5:24 am

        “Check out the former Libyan dictators get ups and his all female Ukrainian prætorian guard. Or Sisi. ”

        But if a single Jewish nutter puts on a vintage uniform, the entire State of Israel is under indictment.

        That’s the mindset of the Mondoweiss/BDS cult. That’s why they must fail.

      • eljay
        June 2, 2018, 8:46 am

        || Jackdaw: … But if a single Jewish nutter puts on a vintage uniform, the entire State of Israel is under indictment. … ||

        Nah, only its Zionists. Israel’s non-Zionist Jews and non-Jews are exempt from indictment.

        || … That’s the mindset of the Mondoweiss/BDS cult. … ||

        Says the Zionist cultist who not only anti-Semitically conflates all Jews with Israel but also conflates all Israelis with Zionism.

        || … That’s why they must fail. ||

        Don’t worry – “Jewish State” will fail, too.

      • just
        June 2, 2018, 9:38 am

        Don’t you have a pool to skim and meat to incinerate?

        Better hop to it, Jackdaw.

      • Jackdaw
        June 2, 2018, 10:24 am

        @eljay

        “Don’t worry – “Jewish State” will fail, too.”

        The Jewish State will fail and disappear, but not in your lifetime.

        You’ll be gone and forgotten soon enough.

        Quoth the Jackdaw, ‘Nevermore”.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2018, 1:20 pm

        “You’ll be gone and forgotten soon enough.”

        You really should talk to Israelis about it. Did you show everyone your Mondo comments at the pool party? I’m sure every English-speaking person there would admire the way you explicate Zionist ideals in English.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2018, 1:30 pm

        “Check out the former Libyan dictators get ups…” “Jackdaw”

        ROTFLMSJAO! Now, that’s the kind of ‘whataboutery’ which encourages me to believe “Jackdaw” is a parody, not some Zionist ego on the half-shell.

      • eljay
        June 2, 2018, 3:24 pm

        || Jackdaw: @eljay

        “Don’t worry – “Jewish State” will fail, too.”

        The Jewish State will fail and disappear, but not in your lifetime. … ||

        Of course not – everyone knows that the “Jewish State” will last a Thousand Years!

        || … You’ll be gone and forgotten soon enough. … ||

        I’m sure I will. Unlike Zionists:
        – I don’t pretend to be significant; and
        – I don’t fuck others overs (not even for my own gain).

        || … Quoth the Jackdaw, ‘Nevermore”. ||

        An Ode to Zionism (and Jackdaws)
        Then it all crashes down and you break your crown
        And you point your finger but there’s no one around
        Just want one thing, just to play the king
        But the castle’s crumbled and you’re left with just a name
        Where’s your crown, King Nothing?

        (with apologies to Metallica)

        :-)

    • Marnie
      June 1, 2018, 9:27 am

      I know I am.

  22. Walker
    May 31, 2018, 4:35 pm

    A valuable testimony, Phil. Thank you.

    One thing that gets lost in the discussions is how well you can write, particularly in longer pieces. What about an autobiography some day?

  23. Danaa
    May 31, 2018, 8:01 pm

    But the Israelis are as bad off mentally in their own way as the Palestinians, or worse. They know their indifference to others’ opinions cannot last. On the day I stopped people in West Jerusalem to ask about Gaza, 20 people refused to talk. They frowned and shook their heads. They knew that the world won’t understand them, and they walked hurriedly by.

    The conflicted and dysfunctional mental state of Israelis is even more obvious in Hebrew. The social media of israelis ,including FB and Instagram, and the commentary on newspaper pages reveal a very seriously compromised collective. To some degree, speaking a language not spoken by the vast majority of the planet’s dwellers, insulates israelis to some extent from the truly devastating criticism directed their way. They really receive only snippets of what’s said out there, translated – selectively – for their convenience by various media figures. Those israelis who migrated to israel from Englsih speaking and French speaking countries, are exposed more to the opprobrium, which usually results in them building a near-hermetic mental shield around themselves.

    Those shields are easier to build when you have religion to provide the mortar for the walls and religious emigres to israel are among the worst of the worst, if we speak nationalist zealotry. That’s because they have to go all biblical (and Talmudic) to maintain a less hellish view of themselves.

    I communicate with 4 israelis now and then, but it is difficult going due to language barrier. I write in English, they use google translate to understand what I said, then respond in Hebrew, which I understand less and less. And though I read the words, the context I notice is beginning to escape me. It’s like a foreign language to me now, but one that strangely I can understand, but from a distance, and through dense fog. One of the difficulties for me is that hebrew, as a language, has become extremely lazy at conjuring up new words, so they use Englisized words, which no dictionary will identify. A word like “universal” becomes in hebrew Uni-ver-sali, which somehow loses its bite, and much of its basic meaning, by becoming hebrewsized. This, plays a role, I think, in preventing the flow of ideas between them and us, on the outside. It is as if the word itself, its very meaning, becomes a sharpened Hasbara tool, that can be hurled back at you.

    I believe that this language barrier is partly what allowed cult-like mentalities to develop in Israel, just as Phil has noted based on the responses he got. The cults we are all familiar with, like the Koresh Davidian branch and those mormon cults had to resort to actual physical barriers as well as a near-complete clamp-down on outside information, to maintain the hold on the cult members. basically, to deprive them of independence of thought, even as the cult leaders clamp down on any critical thinking or questioning. the physical barriers often included strange dresses for the women that would set them apart from the outside world. But in a small country, it is possible to segregate the people – young and old, religious and secular, into a cult-like mental state, just by filtering every bit of feed-back from the world outside, and/or every discussion with an “outsider’ through a language that is singularly not amenable to translation into the Anglo-saxon and/or latin languages (much less Asian ones, but i don’t know much about those).

    The beauty of this cult-like segregation is that it seems rather open, yet is actually as closed as if there was an actual meters high walls separating them. That strange dichotomy between the seemingly open and carefree and the deeply propagandized internal reality is, I think, part of those disturbing undercurrents sensed, but not easily expressed, that visitors like Phil, are sensitive to. That undercurrent toad that now and then raises its misshapen head just above those lovely warm waters. One minute it’s a nice conversation with a hospitable , open and even warm person. The next minute, there’s that toad, peeking up from underneath, leaving one both perplexed and perturbed.

    • James North
      May 31, 2018, 8:16 pm

      Danaa: A question that I should already know the answer to: what percentage of Israelis are basically unilingual in Hebrew? Is that percentage shrinking?

      • Danaa
        June 1, 2018, 7:28 am

        Good question. I don’t have exact percentages, and the definition of “unilingual” can be a bit vague. But basically, I’d say that over 70% of Jewish israelis are, for all intents and purposes, unilingual. Their understanding of English comes from 6 years of school study plus what they get from TV. I had those 6 years of study, and I can tell you that at the end of those one is quite far from fluent, and I got a pretty good grade in English too. So one can, for example, read simple things, and respond to a tweet, but not a long article, much less a book. Not even fiction. Neither would people get any of the nuances so common in, say, English, or, for that matter french from watching movies and TV which all come with subtitles. As for conversational skills, that depends on how much effort people cared to spend conversing and at what level. Most people in israel, just like in the US, are basically lazy when it comes to mastering another language.

        just think how fluent people who got Spanish in school are. They can manage as tourists in Mexico or the carribeans and that’s about it.

        There was recently a fine interview conducted by Abby martin of israelis in the street. Their command of English was, pretty much, as I would expect. For some, nearly non-existent. For others, they could string conversational words together but without true fluency. I can’t blame them, as i know it took me well over 3-4 years before i could conduct a half-way decent conversation about something complicated, like Politics. And I was supposed to have had a talent for languages. The majority of the ex-israelis i know in the US (the non-academic people) are still not entirely comfortable in English even 10 years later.

        My 70% figure makes allowances for the 1 M or so who are fluent in Russian (but who likely speak hardly any English at all, if they did not go to school in israel), and perhaps several 100’s of thousands who speak French. Once upon a time the people who came from North Africa spoke french fluently – in their own dialect, but that generation has pretty much died out, so such French that is spoken is brought over by French emigres, and there are not so many of them, and many of those who go to israel, are more orthodox inclined.

        Also, the influx of jews from Anglo-saxon countries is relatively small, despite appearances. Perhaps 200K? I don’t have the numbers, and it would probably be good to do the research to find out how many.

        So unfortunately, my observations tend to be anecdotal and/or inferential. When I visited (the more recent visits) I’d insist on addressing people in English, for the most part. But it was easy to tell when people couldn’t quite follow as I’d find myself reaching for some Hebrew word or expression to explain meanings. It was difficult, somehow, to find the right words too. And I know they – the people I used to know, what family I have there – were both puzzled and seemed a bit annoyed that I did not revert to hebrew as most visiting ex-israelis do. heck I made them work at it! My excuse was that I can’t express nuances well enough in hebrew any longer, and they’d try to bear with it, since they know very well that English is far the richer language. Truth is, it made life easier, as it prevented me from getting into too many heated arguments, and forced everyone to stick to ‘simple’ stuff. Here and there, if someone expressed too much annoyance, I’d retort that since the US pays israel over $3B/year (and then some) the least they can do is to learn to speak the donors’ language (heck, I can still be rude when I have to be!)..

        All of which kind of makes it a somewhat boring visit for me, so I don’t care to go there much. Got so many more exciting places to visit in the world where i haven’t been yet!

        I think it would be interesting though to do some research on this language barrier thing.

        Apologies if reply is too long. Wish I had more precise numbers to make it all shorter!

      • Citizen
        June 1, 2018, 9:05 am

        @ James North

        Re: May 31, 2018, 8:16 pm
        Danaa: A question that I should already know the answer to: what percentage of Israelis are basically unilingual in Hebrew? Is that percentage shrinking?

        Wikipedia: “in 2013 Hebrew was the native language of only 49% of Israelis over the age of 20, with Russian, Arabic, French, English, Yiddish and Ladino being the native tongues of most of the rest. Some 26% of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and 12% of Arabs reported speaking Hebrew poorly or not at al.”

        I would imagine if you barely or don’t speak a language, you also probably can’t read it? Maybe that’s not right because I once spoke German poorly, but I could read it and write in it.

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 5:11 pm

        Unofficially, most israelis you come upon in normal discourse speak English to at least some degree of proficiency. like any nation with unequal income strata, the lower down the scale, the less likely the education took place. I have no idea what the language situation is among the hard core ultra religious settlers. Some are surely American but don’t speak English on purpose so it’s harder to gauge.

        I’m assuming the ‘innocent’ question is plumbing at the assumption that as Israel moves more to the right (which a lot of normal folks would just attribute to balance and the swinging pendulum) it will turn inward and abandon its connection to the west and English plus all the other languages Israelis speak. Don’t worry, it’s a completly absurd assumption. Israel is becoming more and more diverse. Encountering Thai, German, Arabic, Hebrew English French and German in the stretch of a half hour stroll would not be all that unusual. Perhaps your annoyed that modern Hebrew is now entrenched as a universal language?

      • Jackdaw
        June 2, 2018, 11:46 am

        Jew-obsessed James.

      • Mooser
        June 2, 2018, 12:38 pm

        ” Jew-obsessed James.”

        Okay, which attitude shall we settle on?

        1) ‘Come to Israel! Get to know us, learn about us, you’ll love us!’

        2) ‘You should be banned from Israel! Banned!’

        3) ‘If you try to learn anything at all, about Jews or Israel you’re “obsessed with Jews”‘

        Which is it?

    • Maghlawatan
      May 31, 2018, 11:32 pm

      I think it’s a toxic mixture of trauma, the education system, Hebrew , geographical isolation and natural Jewish “cocooning” that has separated Israelis from the outside world. The occupation and its cruelty make perfect sense in Hebrew.

      I have seen that conversion from nice guy to toad as well. It is easy enough to set Israelis off. Just mention Gaza. I like watching them trying to process their Hebrew thoughts in English. It must be like explaining a nightmare.

      • Danaa
        June 1, 2018, 4:11 pm

        It must be like explaining a nightmare.

        Good way to put it. Something that is deeply scary to the dreamer, yet somehow loses its bite when explained. that happens even in one’s native language, much less a language learnt late in life.

        The analogy of explaining an emotional state in a foreign language in which one has limited vocabulary,with a dream may, in fact, be quite deep. I think I’ll use that next time the subject comes up, if you don’t mind.

        FYI, I am mired in the throes of an essay on just this kind of emotional disconnect, that seems deeply tied to language. I struggle with the concepts – one second they are crystal clear, but the next they seem contrived. Like I am trying to graft a Chomsky or a Lakoff onto a Leibnitz (disclaimer – I am decidedly not a scholar on any of these illustrious people’s work. Just wish I were more, so I could ground it all in something learned-sounding. I do try though….when not lazy).

        Also, thanks for the dream-analogy inspiration. Now all I need is the perspiration, and I’ll have my book chapter!

      • DaBakr
        June 1, 2018, 5:13 pm

        @mg

        It’s just amazing how easily you have tricked yourself into believing you understand the core issues that drive the continued flourishing of the Jewish State. Picture what your average Arab scholar thinks of Bernard Lewis and you’ll get an idea of what Jews and Israelis think of your analysis.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 6:40 pm

        ” you’ll get an idea of what Jews and Israelis think of your analysis.”

        And if Jews and Israelis don’t like it, that settles the matter. Jews and Israel, being omnipotent, need never contend with an unpleasant analysis.
        No trauma ‘long us!

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2018, 1:00 am

      “They frowned and shook their heads. They knew that the world won’t understand them”

      Or they know the Mossad, or whatever Israel’s internal thought police are called, might understand them all too well.

    • Yonah Fredman
      June 1, 2018, 3:07 am

      Danaa, when you write about losing your hebrew, i snicker inside, for i know after six seconds you’d be correcting my hebrew and mocking my accent, which shows that i know israel temperament as well.
      cult like, well, we’ll discuss that, but meanwhile hanging out in the mw comments section, i happen to think that the prevailing Zionist attitude is rational.
      will an arab majority be democratic and stable in the new post conflict israel envisioned by phil weiss? maybe. probability between .1 and .3
      is it logical to exchange the current tense with this slender promise? decidedly not.
      the fact that this simple premise leads to the logic of squeezing gaza is farkackt. (as they’d say in the jewish part of town here in jewville america.)
      those photos (not the russian jew in the beitar get up, which is a purim outfit to 999 out of 1000 israelis) in jerusalem are places that i walk. i probably know jerusalem better than you, and of course, you’d say, thank god, or whatever your equivalent is.
      in 1948 ben gurion was logical, but neglecting gaza for 70 years doesn’t work.
      but you’d have to prove to me the illogic of rejecting mass refugee return in order to prove the cult point.
      there was no alternative to hebrew as the jewish language of zionism. you like english. i do too. universal-ee is a fine word and means the same thing as universal. maybe with a sneer. which i hear in your words too.

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:39 pm

        “Danaa, when you write about losing your hebrew, i snicker inside, for i know after six seconds you’d be correcting my hebrew and mocking my accent, which shows that i know israel temperament as well.”

        I must register for the Mondoweiss Live Chat feature. Hear all the accents.

      • Danaa
        June 1, 2018, 3:59 pm

        the Mondoweiss Live Chat feature

        Is there such a feature? should there be? can you imagine the cacophony (cf symphony of accents)? I think it’s fun to imagine though.

      • Danaa
        June 1, 2018, 4:16 pm

        Yonah, I promise a longer reply later, if you promise to plow through it. For now, let’s just say that our journeys appear, in essence, to be orthogonal…..

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 4:27 pm

        “I think it’s fun to imagine though.”

        Apparently “Yonah” doesn’t need it. He hears us all just fine. And is always ready to tell us just what he’s heard us say.

  24. Boris
    May 31, 2018, 9:53 pm

    As far as flags are concerned, I think there was an explosion US flags being displayed everywhere after 9-11. Of course, waiving a US flag in the United States is not the same as having Israeli flag on your car in a disputed territory in Judea and Samaria.

    As for claim that Israel is an apartheid state, I think Israel should ban Philip Weiss from entry after his 13 visits. This would prove that him being Jewish does no offer protection from being treated as an enemy. Although, they did ban Norman Finkelstein – obviously this is forgotten by the mondos as it would prove the same argument.

    • echinococcus
      May 31, 2018, 11:20 pm

      they did ban Norman Finkelstein – obviously this is forgotten by the mondos as it would prove the same argument

      No, it just proves to all and without appeal that the “Jewish state” absurdity is a total lie, put out there for the irretrievably stupid people.

    • Maghlawatan
      May 31, 2018, 11:37 pm

      “As for claim that Israel is an apartheid state, I think Israel should ban Philip Weiss from entry after his 13 visits. ”

      Hillel would be so proud of you, Boris. He was so Fond of fruitcake.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2018, 1:46 am

      “As far as flags are concerned, I think there was an explosion US flags being displayed everywhere after 9-11.”

      Sure was. And then we launched a war on Iraq.

      • Citizen
        June 1, 2018, 9:12 am

        & It looks like Trump is setting up his war cabinet for a war on Iran (+ Syria, Hezbulleh, Hamas, not thinking much on what Russia & China will do as he follows Netanyahu’s script.)

        Odd, how the cable tv news shows have been trotting out the same people as foreign policy pundits who did all they could to get us into war on Iraq. John Bolton, Bill Kristol, etc.

  25. Mooser
    June 1, 2018, 1:06 am

    “As for claim that Israel is an apartheid state, I think Israel should ban Philip Weiss from entry after his 13 visits.”

    Gosh, “Jon s” is always suggesting Phil should go there and get to know the people.

    “prove that being Jewish does no offer protection from being treated as an enemy.”

    Who ever said that it did? Neither does being Christian, atheist, agnostic, Muslim or Buddhist. Israel can treat anybody as an enemy.
    And gosh, they have so many to choose from, and as you say, what a diverse group.

    Do you think Israel is keeping enough Jews out, “Boris”? Charging enough for visits? After all if it costs an arm and a leg, people will be dying to go there.

  26. jon s
    June 1, 2018, 3:39 am

    A personal experience from “Joyless Zion”:
    It so happens that my wife and I were invited to the wedding of a wonderful young couple , last Tuesday evening, in Netivot.
    After the huppah and the first round of dancing we were sitting down for the first course and… the siren goes offf! For a split second I had an imaginary picture in my mind of hundreds of people running around looking for the shelter, pandemonium. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. My son-in-law was the first at the table to take charge: “everyone, just stay where you are!” So we all stayed put -and started singing, and the celebration continued. It turned out that the siren was a false alarm, but later that night a rocket did hit Netivot.

    • Marnie
      June 1, 2018, 9:32 am

      And in more important news – anything, anything at all, just anything but a personal story by the revisionista historia moreh.

      Sorry, the only flavor they had was san diego, but know I was thinking of you in a special kind of way….

    • Marnie
      June 1, 2018, 1:21 pm

      “It turned out that the siren was a false alarm, but later that night a rocket did hit Netivot.”

      Finally, some good news!

      • Mooser
        June 1, 2018, 1:41 pm

        “Finally, some good news!”

        I hope “Jon s” doesn’t see that, he’ll kvetch.

        “false alarm”

        Remember “Jon s” last attempt to report a “terrorist attack” in Israel? Which was an Eritrean man shot and beaten to death for walking into Beersheba.

      • Marnie
        June 2, 2018, 12:04 am

        I most certainly do. Thank you Mooser, would you like another:

        November 15, 2012 at 7:16 am with 17 replies

        “As an eyewitness on the other side- (“Israel’s South Under Attack”):

        Spent a rather tense and sleepless night, here in Beer Sheva . The siren sounded again and again: three times between 8 and 9 PM, and then through the night, I lost count of the alarms. We kept running to our “security room”, waiting for the siren to end, waiting fearfully to hear an impact . In the morning: still more alarms. So far it seems that Iron Dome has intercepted a significant number of the rockets fired. As usual in these situations, many relatives and friends, here and abroad, call and write, expressing concern and solidarity, and inviting us to stay with them.
        As of now , reports are that 3 Israeli civilians have been killed, all in Kiryat Malakhi.”

        Holy mackerel I was on the edge of my chair with that one! The build up (‘tense, sleepless night’), the action (running back and forth to the ‘security room’ (who even has those??), the awesomness that is zionist solidarity (‘as usual in these circumstances, many relatives and friends, here and abroad, call and write, expressing concern and solidarity’! A tearjerker with a happy ending, jon s is safe baruch hashem!! jon s MW’s unofficial ‘man about town’.

        I’ve heard stories and even songs that a great many american and not american jews regularly send sums of money to their jewish relative interlopers living in palestine, just to ensure these particular relatives never return to america and not america.

        I wonder if ‘iron dome’ is a euphemism for jon s’ thick skull.

      • Marnie
        June 2, 2018, 12:31 am

        jon s sure does wax poetic about beer sheva. There doesn’t seem to be much there, there, except a lynch mob that can be whipped up at the mere site of the american gothic gold standard of the trespass into town by a strange black man…..

      • jon s
        June 3, 2018, 7:21 am

        Marnie,
        Since I live here, I occasionally post a comment which includes a personal experience or observation. For example the visit with the Dawabshe family before Sa’ad Dawabshe died of his burns, or the account that you cited. As to the terrorist attack in Be’er Sheva in October 2015, I wrote an entirely accurate account at the time, including the tragic lynching.
        Regarding Be’er Sheva in general, I admit that I rather like the place . You can write that “there doesn’t seem to be much there” , ignoring the top-notch university, major medical center, excellent theater, symphony, championship football team, basketball team, hi-tec sector, lots of good places to eat and shop, and relatively comfortable climate. Of couse it has its blemishes too, improvements that need to be made.
        You’re welcome to see for yourself.
        Have a good week, shavua tov.

      • Marnie
        June 3, 2018, 10:07 am

        jon s – I could give fuck all about news of a personal nature havnig anything to do with you. I think it’s all an attempt to normalize yourself and seriously Iron Dome s, you can’t. I remember the manure spreading you did wrt the Dawabshe family and you fool no one. I also agree with Mooser “There, it’s perfect!’ said “Jon s” as he put the finishing touches on his latest story of Zionist suffering and heroism, “I just don’t see how anybody could have any sympathy for Palestinians after they read this!”

        I’d invite you for tea (no sympathy) but can’t guarantee your safety.

      • Mooser
        June 3, 2018, 12:57 pm

        “(no sympathy)”

        Watch out for him, “Marnie”, he’s a real charmer. Remember how he dazzled Avigail Abarbanel. . Just a few comments from “Jon s” and Ms. Abarbanel was calling him ” “flat Earth society member @Jon s”

        Oh yeah, that’s when “Jon s” is at his unctuous best.

    • Mooser
      June 2, 2018, 12:44 pm

      ‘There, it’s perfect!’ said “Jon s” as he put the finishing touches on his latest story of Zionist suffering and heroism, “I just don’t see how anybody could have any sympathy for Palestinians after they read this!’

      And the relief when we get to “It was a false alarm” is palpable.

      Those “false alarms” must keep you guys pretty spun up.

      • Marnie
        June 4, 2018, 11:38 am

        “Of couse it has its blemishes too, improvements that need to be made.” You could help by leaving and save the yammering about alarms for your book Jon s – Musings from the Iron Dome.

  27. able
    June 1, 2018, 7:49 am

    The photo of the fella in Irgun uniform is so hilariously Nazi – left hand pointing a riding crop at the Untermensch – I assumed it was a hoax. However, it appears genuine.

      • Marnie
        June 2, 2018, 12:34 am

        That is weird and very disturbing, so izraeli. And it’s raised 50 whole dollars in only 12 months, with a goal of 10,000 dollars!

      • Jackdaw
        June 2, 2018, 1:46 am

        A lone nut in Israel, and Phil managed to find him.

        I’m not surprised.

      • John O
        June 2, 2018, 9:34 am

        @Pheasant

        “A lone nut in Israel”

        You wish. Someone designed that uniform; someone got the cloth and leather and metal bits; someone sewed it together, made the boots, cast the metal ornaments, filed and polished them. Someone put up the Israeli flags; someone hung up what appears to be a map that he’s pointing to with his stick. All alone whilst being in need of mental health treatment? I don’t think so.

      • oldgeezer
        June 2, 2018, 1:00 pm

        @Citizen

        That guy is just really creepy. I wouldn’t let him be near anyone without supervision. What’s with all the hand positions?

        I noticed his location is Vancouver…. I am so embarrassed if he was rasied in Canada and also embarrassed if he holds Canadian citizenship.

      • Marnie
        June 3, 2018, 10:10 am

        “A lone nut in Israel, and Phil managed to find him.”

        I knew you never go outside or look our your window.There aren’t a lot of lone nuts in izrael; they travel in large groups and have a hive mind. There are no lone anythings, that would imply individuality and that doesn’t exist here.

  28. Ossinev
    June 1, 2018, 10:59 am

    @Citizen
    “Is this David Schwimmer”
    I don`t think so but in any case I think this particular Zioweirdo is a little bit short to be a StormTrooper:

  29. Ossinev
    June 1, 2018, 1:32 pm

    @Debacle
    ” I assume mweissrs get highly irritated at Israelis boasting about Arab supreme court judges, police officials, generals and other assorted jobs in ever sector”

    I believe the two Arab Supreme Court Judges you may be referring to are Christian Arabs.(Joubran and Kara)Yes there was around 2003-4 an Israeli Muslim Arab Supreme Court Judge. Methinks window dressing for the only Democracy in the Middle East or alternatively the only Middle East Democracy – BTW grateful if you would confirm that Israel is a Middle Eastern Country in your Ziophilosophy). Notwithstanding that would be grateful for details of the presumably high ranking Arab Muslim Police Officials you refer to and I am on tender hooks waiting to get your details about the Israeli Arab Muslim Generals.

  30. Citizen
    June 1, 2018, 3:42 pm

    I am on tender hooks waiting to get your details about the Israeli Arab Muslim Generals.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2018, 4:18 pm

      Those hooks, don’t scratch, they’re part of the tender trap.

      (But don’t let Omar’s hooks get you, that’s part of the tenter trap.)

  31. Yonah Fredman
    June 1, 2018, 6:05 pm

    The front page featuring of this clownish photo for a serious piece is indicative of the lack of seriousness somewhere too close to the core of the mw attitude. Cheap journalistic shtick.

    • Mooser
      June 1, 2018, 6:23 pm

      “Cheap journalistic shtick.”

      Cheap? How dare you! Do you have any idea what it cost Mondo to rent that uniform, have all the little doo-dads cast,
      get the flags and pay David Schwimmer to pose?

      Hey “Yonah” do you think that actually wearing that uniform and carrying a little ‘swagger stick’ shows a “lack of seriousness”?
      Or does that fascist get-up show a serious devotion to Zionism and concern for the Jewish future which Phil can’t appreciate?

      But do give us another example of how you can talk yourself into believing everything and anything is Mondo’s fault.

    • just
      June 1, 2018, 6:31 pm

      I guess you would prefer a photo of Israel’s hero, Elor Azaria… or any of the murdering snipers at the ‘fence’.

    • eljay
      June 1, 2018, 8:27 pm

      || Yonah Fredman: The front page featuring of this clownish photo for a serious piece is indicative of the lack of seriousness somewhere too close to the core of the mw attitude. Cheap journalistic shtick. ||

      It’s interesting that a clownish photo of a uniformed member of the “rejuvenated yehudi people” merits a cry of “shtick” but – according to your Comments archive, anyway – a clownish photo of your Glorious Leader “Bibi” Netanyahu holding a cartoon drawing of a bomb at the United Nations does not.

  32. James Michie
    June 3, 2018, 3:09 pm

    An interesting piece, Phil, but one understandably fraught with your conflicted rejection/acceptance of Israel as a theocratic “Jewish state” established by murder, banishment and theft: murder of thousands of Palestinians and banishment of hundreds of thousands more from their own homeland, Palestine; and theft, through England’s unilateral “decision” (with the help of the ill-conceived Balfour Declaration) to fully sanction a Zionist armed invasion and bloody occupation of a state, the State of Palestine. Where, indeed, are traditional “Jewish values” applied in this equation? Your use of the term “apartheid” rather than “racist” belies your apparent and fully understandable shame over the behavior of Israeli Jews toward their “neighbors”, the Palestinians. Here, again, subliminal denial and cognitive dissonance are at play.

    Near the top of your piece, you state: “Now I’m back from my 13th trip to Israel and I can say, they are too tough.” Is your use of the term “too tough” a way of escaping the raw truth of Israeli Zionists–that they are racist, brutal, genocidal, ethnic cleansers and land thieves in what little remains of Palestine?

    The utterly surreal irony of the human rights crisis, in both Palestine and Israel is that the theocratic “State of Israel” continues to employ many of the very same “tactics” employed by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s during the Holocaust. Gaza is the prime example, as the world’s largest concentration camp imprisoning 2-million Palestinians under severely impoverished conditions–and getting worse by the day. The Nazi “Warsaw Ghetto” pales in comparison.

    So what do the Palestinians, especially those imprisoned in Gaza, really want? They want their FREEDOM, JUSTICE and EQUALITY–not mentioned in your piece, but qualities of life inherent in “Jewish Values”. N’est pas?

    My abiding hope, and I’m sure yours as well, is that Israelis sooner than later will come to realize and appreciate that their treatment of the Palestinians is anything but “neighborly” and is the galactic antithesis of “Jewish Values.”

  33. chris o
    June 6, 2018, 2:34 am

    Amazing reporting. Great writing. Your work is very important. And more than that, moving.

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