Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 149 (since 2009-10-18 23:35:01)

andrew r

Showing comments 149 - 101

  • The U.S. is at last facing the neocon captivity
    • It comes from the oil crisis, it comes from terrorism, it comes from a century of war, and it comes from the fact they are non-Christian.

      Would you feel a bit embarrassed at learning the major Palestinian plane hijackers, George Habash, Wadi Haddad, Leila Khaled, were Christians? For good measure so is Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert Kennedy.

      RE: the '73 oil embargo, there's good reason to believe western oil companies colluded with OPEC on raising the price of oil, since they made a huge windfall while small-town gas stations were closing up. Besides that the embargo was a death-knell for OPEC countries using oil as a political weapon against the United States, and even the actual embargo was essentially ineffective at threatening US oil supplies.

      You might be making the point that the average American is too lazy to analyze these situations in-depth, but that doesn't mean you need to exhibit the same laziness.

  • What if the Times had sent Rudoren to Selma in 1965?
    • Uh, Jeff, the British were in the process of invading Palestine when the Balfour Declaration was issued. It was only a month afterward they took Jerusalem and still almost another year before they had the Galilee. And frankly, if Palestine hadn't been occupied by a friendly power after WWI, whatever the Zionists accomplished up until then would most likely have been rolled back. Certainly any further progress would have been dead in the water.

      Also, please read some scholarly material on the League of Nations Mandate system, because while the British did govern Palestine, they did not consider it part of their domain like India.

      link to

      Mandatory rule was different from earlier, discredited types of imperial rule, the British liberals and humanitarians who helped to frame it argued, being purely benevolent in its intent and intended to last only for a limited time. It was a transitional form, a
      halfway house between dependence and independence, perhaps even a tool for making those earlier and more exploitative forms of imperial rule obsolete. 5 The first serious scholarly investigations undertaken (often by Americans) in the 1920s tended to endorse that liberal view.
      The mandates system, the American legal scholar Quincy Wright concluded in his massive study published in 1930, was not only a practical and more humanitarian means of administering
      “backward areas,” but was having a spill-over effect as well, as the principles of trusteeship and tutelage on which it was based came to be accepted throughout the colonies.6

    • You got a legitimate complaint, they don’t.

      Got a newsflash for you JeffB: There's a Jewish state in Palestine today because some people who didn't live in the region couldn't mind their own beeswax. You don't get a hair up your ass about the British issuing the Balfour Decl. Ha ha different standard.

      It had the opportunity for happiness and immortality but chose greed and tribalism.

      And in supporting the Zionist movement that's exactly the choice you made. As with opposing the Palestinian refugees' right of return.

    • We don’t consider the descendant’s of the Frank’s hold on France to be a “crime” we consider it to be history. In the case of Jews we consider it to be a crime. That is precisely the problem.

      That's because Israel is a standing threat to the Palestinians who are Israeli citizens in the Green Line as well as those under occupation in the West Bank, Gaza and E. Jerusalem. No citizen of France who might be of Spanish descent is in danger of being expelled, nor apparently does any living person have an outstanding grievance with France on the basis of an ancient Frank-Visigoth conflict. Is anything about that rocket science?

    • JeffB: I addressed a line away from the part you quoted.

      See, that in itself is the intellectual dishonesty oldgeezer was talking about as my entire post, which was only three sentences long, clarified the settlers can disappear from the West Bank (As Salaita wished for) without violence. Their govt. can simply recall them back inside the Green Line and reverse its standing violation of international law by settling civilians in occupied territory. In contrast to the unpublished article Shaked reproduced which unabashedly called for specific actions against civilians.

      The fact is, wishing people who settle in occupied territory would disappear from said territory is not genocidal. It is they who are taking part in what could be a genocidal process. The 4th Geneva Convention forbids civilians of the occupying power from being transferred to the occupied territory because it may be part of the process of destroying the native population.

    • Me personally I’d like to dismiss national claims to land for groups since I think they are racist crap.

      In other words, goodbye Zionist movement and the Jewish state it produced. Why didn't you just say you were against that racist settler movement? Would have saved a lot of people the trouble of arguing with you.

      Edit: Ugh.

    • Let's try a thought experiment - when the German civilian settlers were removed from Poland in the closing days and immediately after WWII, was that genocide? This question pertains only to nationals of the Third Reich who were from Germany or Austria before 1 Sept. 1939 or those from the Baltic states who were imported into Poland, and excludes Polish citizens of German descent.

    • link to

      Note that Shaked's controversial post was actually quoted verbatim from another writer: This is an article by the late Uri Elitzur, which was written 12 years ago, but remained unpublished. It is as relevant today as it was at the time. (From the Hebrew)

      So we are to believe in the "heat of war" she just happened to find an unpublished rant from 12 years ago and approvingly copied it to her FB. And she spoke hastily in saying it was relevant both now and at the time it was written. Give me a break.

      Edit: Supposed to be a response to Jeff B's first post in this talkback.

    • That's not a genocidal tweet because the West Bank settlers are, well, settlers. They are the ones involved in a potentially genocidal enterprise. Their govt. can subsidize their exit from the occupied territory as easily as their illegal squatting.

  • In support of a just sentence for Rasmea Odeh
    • Also, Rasmea's defense was based on demonstrating the immigration official who interviewed her had a faulty memory and could not reliably recall if she explicitly instructed Rasmea to report a conviction even if it was outside the US.

      She couldn't use the PTSD defense because the judge wouldn't let her mention being tortured. Obvious that's not contradicted by the defense she resorted to.

    • So, question, no one disputes Ms. Odeh's 1969 conviction was based on her own confession. If she lied about being tortured by the Israelis, what made her so honest as to confess in the first place?

  • Muslims are Nazis, 'USA Today' jokes
    • Then you'd concur with likening Nazism to Zionism, an extremist ideology which led to the targeting of civilians to create a religious-racial state. Or Christian European racism which has led to a number of genocides on most of the planet. Not to mention the cartoon is the product of someone who has no interest in analyzing or closely following any of the conflicts the listed paramilitary groups are taking part in. Hamas departed Syria so they would not drag Palestinians into the fighting, though Assad did drag Yarmouk into his own killing spree.

    • If you are determined to join Special Forces and become a sniper, nobody will stand in your way. Good luck, soldier!

      Don't give him any ideas.

  • Finkelstein on Joan Peters's legacy (and Dershowitz's legal troubles)
    • I'm going to do the really fun thing: A blow-by-blow response.

      Take for example his claim (elsewhere in his writings) that there were no Arabs who were open to Zionism. But the Feisal-Weizmann Agreement of 1919 was just one of several counter-examples (link to

      For all intents and purposes, Ruppin was correct on that much. The only Arabs willing to collaborate with or tolerate Zionism were those already in bed with the British. There was a rebellion against the British Mandate which required 20,000 extra soldiers and air power to put down.

      Also bear in mind when reading Ruppin’s writings that he started off as an extreme leftist, being a founder of Brit Shalom, but left the movement after the murderous Arab riots of August 1929. His writings thereafter have a different tone.

      He went from proposing a "parallel Arab colonization" through buying extra land in Syria for fellahin they evicted to "I believe in the transfer of whole villages". Different tone, maybe. Different agenda, no.

      I haven’t seen Palestinian writings stating that they must give up their claims to pre-1967 Israel because it would be immoral to have to drive out the Jews.

      And I haven't seen any Zionist leader from before 1948 remarking they would give up on creating a Jewish state if it meant dispossessing the Palestinians. There are plenty of quotes about population removal and justifying the previous evictions of the peasants, some bandied about in the material I linked above. (Ruppin cite p. 201, Shafir p. 86)

      Precisely! Therefore, the Jews had the right to oppose the colonization of their land without loss of political rights. That we were too weak for so long to physically oppose our occupiers does not detract from our right to restore our sovereignty.

      Remarks like this make your claims that no one had to be dispossessed for a Jewish state rather doubtful in their sincereity. Right here you are casting the farmers and workers, themselves eking out a precarious existence, in an adversarial light. Many of the immigrants to Palestine in the 19th century were refugees from other conflicts in the Ottoman Empire (e.g. the Crimean War). They were citizens of the Ottoman state and it's absurd to portray them as colonialists. And they had more of a right to settle in Palestine than European nationals who usually refused to take Ottoman citizenship (A legal requirement for permanent residence in the Empire).

      The Arab population grew mostly around the growing Jewish population palpably demonstrates how Zionism in practice not only didn’t drive out the fellahin, but actually increased their numbers. Second, those population figures prove that this was much more do to immigration than to the birth rate.

      This in particular is a myth that can't be buried deep enough. One of these days I might skim through From Time Immemorial just to see how Peters could fill up a 600 page book and yet miss this important fact:

      "According to official estimates, the population of Palestine grew from 750,000 at the census of 1922 to 1,765,000 at the end of 1944. In this period the Jewish part of the population rose from 84,000 to 554,000, and from 13 to 31 percent of the whole. Three-fourths of this expansion of the Jewish community was accounted for by immigration. Meanwhile the Arabs, though their proportion of the total population was falling, had increased by an even greater number-the Moslems alone from 589,000 to 1,061,000.* Of this Moslem growth by 472,000, only 19,000 was accounted for by immigration. The expansion of the Arab community by natural increase has been in fact one of the most striking features of Palestine's social history under the Mandate."
      link to

    • Robert in Occupied Palestine, I think we're past the point where researching the demographics of 19th century Palestine is going to matter. The real battleground is placing responsibility for the conflict as we know it today, and that falls squarely on the Zionist movement. They conspired to create a political state where settler immigrants would be the majority on land that was already inhabited and cultivated. Even if we reached a consensus on the population growth of 19th century Palestine, you'd still probably argue there was enough room for a Jewish state in part of the country.

      Therein lies the rub: By the time Hoveivei Zion, JCA and WZO settlement activity got underway, very little arable land was not in use (Mainly along the coast north of Jaffa and the Jezreel valley). Ruppin admitted in 1928 it would be difficult to settle new immigrants in Palestine without a mass dispossession:

      Ruppin claimed that there were deep and manifest conflicts of interests between Arabs and Jews, conflicts which would worsen as the Zionists gained more control of the land: “Land is the essential condition for putting down economic roots in Palestine […] wherever we purchase land and settle people on it – its current workers [the Arabs] must of necessity be removed, whether they be owners or tenants […] in future it will be much harder to purchase land, because sparsely settled land is no longer available – what is left is land settled with considerable density” (ibid.). 283 Ruppin to Kohn [30 May. 1928] in: (Bein 1968, III, 149-150).

      So while Israel apologists argue the Arabs started the conflict by opposing immigration, many Zionist figures back then were saying behind closed doors the presence of the fellahin was an obstacle.

      Herzl, Ruppin and Weizmann even came up with plans that were aborted. Both Herzl and Ruppin's plans were almost identical and formed when Palestine was still under the Turkish, to buy land in present-day Syria and pay off fellahin evicted by land purchases to move there. In 1939 Weizmann proposed evicting the Palestinian Druze of the Galilee to Jabal Druze (Syria).

      I think we're better off dwelling on these details than getting caught up in a pissing contest over who was immigrating to Palestine in the 1800's or who attacked first.

      Ruppin cite:
      link to (p. 375, 379)

      Herzl's JOLC plan:
      link to

      More quotes (Also Weizmann plan mentioned above):
      link to

      Background on settlement activity in 1800's Palestine
      link to

  • How a culture remembers its crimes is important: A review of 'American Sniper'
    • This description of American Sniper reminds me of Munich, which tried to make a humanitarian point and said a whole lot of nothing apart from "Israelis are nice killers". And likewise, Palestinians in that movie had no character other than jabbering about the liberation of Palestine. We're never going to get any more than this crap from Hollywood.

  • When Hagee vilifies Obama as 'anti-Semitic,' Cruz and Dershowitz don't walk out
    • Hagee should be aware this is anti-semitic.
      link to

      "'And they the hunters should hunt them,' that will be the Jews. 'From every mountain and from every hill and from out of the holes of the rocks.' If that doesn't describe what Hitler did in the holocaust you can't see that."

  • Yad Vashem
    • Yonah: But in 1881, the primary reality was that of oppression and not the light from the Anglo countries.

      Yonah, I hope you're not suggesting that Zionism was the alternative. While some Germanic Zionists (including Herzl) liked the idea of their Ost brethren populating their own state, the first settlements built by the WZO were rigidly selective kibbutzim. I've cited this before:

      (p. 260, 304)

      All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

      While the British placed quotas on immigration, the Jewish Agency was empowered to allocate the entry certificates (There was one unbreakable stipulation: No communists). As Segev revealed in "The Seventh Million", the St. Louis that was infamously turned away by the US-controlled Cuban harbor was also rejected by the Jewish Agency. There are reams of material in that book, the thesis on Arthur Ruppin and other studies that leave no doubt the WZO was not building a refuge for persecuted Jews and took in refugees only as an afterthought.

      To take a more macro view of things, it's common sense that a political movement which was antagonistic to the existing society (the Palestinians, naturally) was not a good way to create a refuge. Those resources used in building settlements in Palestine could have settled Jews in places big enough the local population wouldn't take it as encroachment. That would have been a more credible attempt at saving them even if hadn't worked. Zionism was a pet project whose apologists want to retroactively cast as a rescue mission.

      Finally, many more Jews saved themselves moving to the United States before the quotas were enacted, a fact acknowledged by some speakers at the early Zionist Congresses.

      link to
      link to

  • In travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh found guilty despite history of Israeli torture
    • Rasmea deserves to go home to a free Palestine. It's the pogrom state of Israel that needs to be taken out of the middle east. No one believes this is about her technical violation of us law and clearly you don't either.

    • Ugh, that was supposed to be a blockquote. Whatever, here's the EI links.

      link to

      link to

      Also, her brother filled out her Visa application in 1995 and she filled out her own application for citizenship in 2004.

    • With all due respect, you're full of crap. The judge did not exclude the legitimacy of her conviction: It was presented to the jury as a given.

      As Jebson spoke, the charges Odeh was convicted of by the military court appeared on the screen standing behind his podium. The jury saw each charge, and then, each question she answered incorrectly on her application, zoomed in on in dramatic fashion.

      According to the EI writer, the govt. mentioned the bombings ten times in the closing arugments alone, and 50 times throughout the trial. The govt. played up what she was convicted for, and so the legitimacy of the Israeli military court was at the heart of the govt's case, nevermind the defense.

    • Did you follow the trial at all? The defense wasn't allowed to bring up torture - the judge ruled any testimony on it would not be admissible, and warned Ms. Odeh she could be held in contempt for discussing it. At best, the defense mentioned that she was convicted in a military court.

      Also, while her brother (already living in the US) filled out the application for her, she stated point blank that she thought the question only applied to the US, and that the Immigration official who interviewed her did not specify it applied anywhere in the world.

      Rather than throwing everything against the wall, the defense was heavily circumscribed in what they could use. Much of their case rested on demonstrating the Immigration official had a faulty memory and couldn't be relied on to remember instructing her to report any conviction outside the US.

      It should have been the state of Israel on trial, not Rasmea Odeh. Obviously that's what the judge was trying to prevent.

  • Defending Apartheid: Then in South Africa, now in Palestine
    • When I first found these articles (It might have been Ali Abunimah's twitter feed, but can't remember), I did a double take in case these were satirical. These talking points in favor of apartheid in South Africa and Palestine are straight out of madlibs.

      South Africa Shouldn’t Be Singled Out
      link to

      "Why is South Africa so harshly condemned while completely different standards apply to black Africa? Despite human rights violations in Zaire, President Bush applauds Mr. Muboto for his contribution in the Angola talks, while mentioning the atrocities in South Africa.

      "Is it that one form of repression is more acceptable than another, or is it that black/white oppression hits home? Or is it maybe that better conduct is expected of a white-ruled country than from black-ruled Africa?"

      link to

      "South African problems defy simplistic solutions put forward by supporters of disinvestment and boycott. Ethnically, the country is diverse. It is not solely an issue of blacks versus whites. There are at least 17 different black ethnics. Several of whom, such as the Zulu and the Xhosa, have a centuries-old history of hostility. Black rule is no guarantee that the mass of South African blacks will be freer and have a higher standard of living. It could mean less, as the history of other African nations suggests."

  • I quit my job at the Jewish Community Center over a pro-Israel rally and they called me an anti-semite
    • Then how do you justify Israel blowing up Palestinian hospitals?” Of course, this person had all the answers; Hamas is allegedly hiding missiles in hospitals.

      Along with the trope that Palestinian children are encouraged to confront Israeli soldiers (and throw stones at them), people who defend Israel assume a moral highground that's on shaky foundation. When the Zionist armed groups - Haganah, Etzel and Lechi - didn't have military bases and had to operate underground, they didn't behave any better than Hamas supposedly does. This writer on 972mag admits she was recruited by Etzel (Irgun) as a teenager and underwent training at a kindergarten (!). The Haganah had a youth organization called Gadna (Youth Battalion) which dug trenches and built fortifications in Jerusalem during May 1948.

      All three paramilitary groups hid grenades, machine guns and mortar shells in schools, synagogues and kibbutzim. (I haven't found any examples of hospitals being used, but put up the links, I'm collecting these.) Lechi used the Great Synagogue in Tel Aviv while Irgun stashed rifles in the Hurva Synagogue of the Jewish Quarter (which weren't discovered until recently). Kibbutz Nahalal even invites visitors to look at the big hole in the ground used for an arms cache.

      So I for one am a little tired of hearing about the barbarism of Hamas while people remain ignorant of these facts.

      link to
      link to

      link to
      link to

  • Rejecting collective punishment from Gaza to Syria
    • I am reminded of the hostage situation in that Kenyan shopping center. Why is it we don’t hear more about the brutality and criminality of the “Kenyan regime”?

      Okay, seriously, I'm starting to think this is a post-modern performance art where we take Zionist talking points that have been refuted and scorned zillions of times here and superimpose them on another situation.

    • As has the Syrian army which has become quite a good fighting force dislodging barbarian hordes from one stronghold after another. Actually, for those who want to follow the Syrian Army progress in cleaning out the islamist mad-men from towns they have eviscerated

      Maybe Israel should elect Bashar prime minister so he can do the same with Gaza. They haven't really had a strong leader since General Blimpman. Seriously though, having Bashar in the government would be a huge PR boost for Israel if comments like this are any indication.

  • Avigdor's triumph: Israel reportedly wants to transfer northern villages into Palestinian state
    • What fascism in letting the Arabs stay at their place and just move the border so that their national state will be also their home?

      Denationalizing and ghettoizing them. Stripping them of citizenship on a racial basis. Of course if Israel ever decides to pull an Operation Barbarossa, Umm el-Fahm will be on the front lines.

  • Cyndi Lauper, the country you are planning to entertain imposes violent segregation, not equality
    • That’s not apartheid that’s just different standards. Separate countries can do that.

      You're an imp. Israelis who cross the Green Line are still under Israeli civil law, while Palestinians are subject to PA law and Israeli military courts. Americans living in Mexico are subject to Mexican law. Is the distinction too fine for you, or what?

    • The West Bank isn’t part of Israel so it is an occupation and any actions are 4th Geneva conventions violations. But the West Bank is part of Israel so Israel is an apartheid state.

      This seems to be you rewriting others' arguments because most anti-occupation/anti-Zionist speakers would not in a million years consider the West Bank part of Israel. However, Israel has created a system where the settlers can freely move across the Green Line as if the West Bank was part of Israel, while Palestinian freedom of movement is restricted within a matrix of checkpoints and roadblocks. Israel wants to have it two ways: treat the West Bank as part of its own territory for the purpose of its own Jewish nationals living there, and defer its final status to some "negotiated settlement" that's never going to take place so it doesn't have to grant the Palestinians citizenship (Which will end Israel as a Jewish state). This is the ABC's of the conflict, Ben Adam.

  • Mahmoud Abbas: Hero of the anti-boycott forces
    • Hannah Arendt’s detailed comparison of the effects of Israeli rabbinical law regarding personal status with the Nazi Nuremberg race laws

      You might appreciate this bit of irony regarding the British Emergency Regulations. (Israeli Land Seizure under Various Defense and Emergency Regulations, JPS vol. 14 no. 2 Winter 1985)

      On Feb. 7, 1946, the Jewish Bar Association convened in Tel-Aviv to protest these regulations. The meeting was attended by some four hundred lawyers. Yacob Shimshon Shapira, a leading attorney who, after 1948, became the Israeli Attorney General and Minister of Justice, described the regulations as follows:

      The regime established in Palestine with the publication of the Emergency Regulations is quite unique for enlightened countries. Even Nazi Germany didn't have such laws, and acts such as those perpetrated at Majdanek actually ran against the letter of German law. It is true we are assured that the Regulations are aimed solely against offenders and not against the entire population, but it will be remembered that the Nazi governor of occupied Oslo, too, declared no harm would befall citizens who would just go about their business as usual. No government is entitled to legislation of this kind.

  • 'It's hard to see why Israel won't follow white South Africa's road to extinction,' says 'Forward' writer
    • By the way, the British would not put the Mufti on trial for treason or collaboration on the grounds he was not a British subject, and the Foreign Office gave a collective *yawn* when the Jewish Agency submitted letters written by the Mufti and hearsay testimony from Rudolf Kasztner about his special relationship with Eichmann. The FO concluded that while he committed acts hostile to the Allies, there was no evidence he took part in any atrocity. (See The Mufti of Jerusalem by Philip Mattar.)

    • Of course, no European power has been willing to share nuclear technology with an Arab state.

      Almost forgot the Iraqi nuclear reactor was built by France. My bad.

    • Why haven’t the Saudis produced a technological society like the Israeli Jews? The Per Capita GDP is West European in amount

      Saudi has to buy technology while Israel receives it as a gift. Since you can only think in half-educated soundbites, that's closer to the reality. Of course, no European power has been willing to share nuclear technology with an Arab state.

      Kuwait is has a $58,000 GDP per capita. Where are its famous universities? Its patents? Its Nobel Prizes?

      If you think Nobel Prizes are a measure of superiority, guess what? Not one Jewish Nobel Prize winner is of Mideastern origin, while two winners (Baruj Benaceraf and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji) are of North African descent. None of the Jewish communities of Syria, Iraq or Yemen have produced a Nobel Laureate.

    • The Grand Mufti was a chief architect of the Holocaust.

      Chalk up yet another poster who doesn't understand why MW has moderation if someone can get by with this steaming pile of fertilizer.

      Great Video on the history.

      The video just gets stupider and stupider by the minute: it claims Hajj Amin al-Husseini founded Fateh (Founded in the late 50's in Kuwait), that he coordinated a terrorist attack with Hasan al-Banna (evidence?), that Hitler and Mussolini sent weapons (Germany had a policy of not antagonizing the British empire in the 30's; no way could the Palestinians get weapons from there), that he organized the Farhud (Not possible; the Farhud took place after the British reoccupied Iraq).

      Also, Wisliceny's testimony has never been substantiated and to anyone half-educated about the Third Reich, the idea they needed an outsider to convince them to exterminate the Jews is so beyond asinine, it should be regarded as Holocaust denial. The Mufti did play a role in recruitment of the Handschar division, but he did not "oversee" recruitment and training. In any case, the Mufti's collaboration was limited to himself; there was no pro-Axis movement in Palestine.

  • Deconstructing Netanyahu's tribute to Mandela
    • Those fatalities may not include the "infiltrators" shot by the IDF border guards during the first half of the 1950's and killed by mines laid along the armistice boundary. Morris estimates in Israel's Border Wars and Righteous Victims (Which duplicates much of that material and is easy to find cheap) that 2,700 to 5,000 Palestinians were killed attempting to reenter Israel (p. 274).

      I think one of the reasons Israel allowed a certain number of Palestinians to remain in the Green Line after 1948 is that at some point it was easier to keep tabs on those deemed less dangerous (The Christians of Illabun and Iqirt, though the latter village was demolished on Christmas day 1951) than to try and expel every last individual. The only reason Israel is 20% Arab today is a logistical failure, not because it has a conscience as that stupid Richard Cohen article in WP would have you believe.

  • Why Israel wanted Arafat dead
    • So am I. No one's forcing you to answer the noxious remarks. That said, there's definitely been a few posters here that made me wish this software had an ignore button, for readability's sake more than anything else.

  • Netanyahu's greatest fear: Linkage
    • The word “Quibla” (direction) is similar to the biblical Hebrew word “קבל” (Koval – in front of) which has connection to direction. The word is not in use today in modern Hebrew but Arabs still use it as “Kabel” (in front of, before).

      Interesting: The same root means receive (קיבל, מקבל) in modern Hebrew. Well, you have to stand in front of someone to receive it...

  • Joseph Massad on how 'Peace is War'
    • Sorry for the off-topic post but since Shmuel posted a Hebrew article I feel prompted to ask:

      מי שיודע בשפה הזאת תביט בספרי ילדים האלה ולומר לי שעברית טוב או לא, וללא בעיות בדקדוק מיוחד? תודה

      Would anyone who knows Hebrew mind looking at these children's books (Which were translated) and tell me if the usage of Hebrew is correct, especially the grammar?

      link to
      link to
      This one in particular has a line: זה היה מתאים גם לנו
      Can היה be used like that or did the writer want to use יהיה?

      link to

  • Nakba in The New Yorker, BDS in Variety
    • And although you are strong and well trained and resilient, you experience some sort of mental collapse. You feel the humanist education you received collapsing. And you see the Jewish soldiers, and you see the marching Arabs, and you feel heavy, and deeply sad. You feel you’re facing something immense that you cannot deal with, that you cannot even grasp.

      Articles like this are going to destroy nakba denial, only to replace it with the traumatized killer genre.

  • Rutgers roiled by fake eviction notices describing demolition of 25,000 Palestinian houses
    • It occurred to me after making that post that Eurosabra might actually be from Algeria before 1962. That would be interesting... for about 15 seconds.

    • "As someone who remembers the “War of the Posters” every night in Algiers"

      And I bet you rode a tank, held a general's rank, when the blitzkrieg raged. You also killed the czar and his ministers. Anastasia screamed in vain.

  • Mubarak says the road to Washington runs through Tel Aviv
  • 'Where Do You Stand?': A 1943 Yom Kippur sermon challenged the American Jewish community on Zionism
    • The way you phrase your arguments is somewhat interesting -- they're not based on factual merit so much as the views of certain people in an ascribed position of moral authority. Nevermind the logistical feasibility of Palestine as a refuge during the late 19th/early 20th centuries, "those who fought in the ghettos" knew better than "these particular American Jews" that Eretz Israel was the solution.

      There's just one problem -- The complete lack of any rational basis for assuming Palestine could accommodate more than a few hundred thousand additional people. During the 1850's, Palestine was an exporter of wheat; starting in the 20's, it had to import, and now Israel imports most of its cereals, fish and beef.[1] As you probably know, an Israel of 1 million people circa 1950's adopted an austerity program.

      Anyone who really does their homework on Zionism would understand the major bodies responsible for settling Palestine never intended to physically transplant the European Jewish communities and wanted to create a new Jewish body from the best elements of the old. The Palestine Office, founded by Ruppin, had a selective policy of placing Jews in the settlements and aiding their departure from Europe, and even sent back those who turned out to be unfit. [2] The idea that Zionism was a rescue mission foiled by the Arabs is propaganda.

      [1] link to

      [2] link to (p. 260, 304)

      All immigrants who became ill or were injured irreversibly during their stay in Palestine were forced by the PO and, later, by the Jewish Agency, to return to their ports of origin and for this purpose the authorities even agreed to pay for the ticket and other necessary expenses. From the beginning of the 1920s, those who were forced to leave included the chronically sick, who had already been ill in their countries of origin, victims of work accidents who could no longer support themselves, and also large families whose provider had died or become crippled and
      who were left with no means of support. By this method, among others, the PO and the Jewish Agency fostered the healthy “elements” and weeded out the weak and the ill, in the spirit of Ruppin’s eugenic planning.

  • A note from Roger Waters to Abe Foxman
    • I find it bizarre that Israeli children are hammered with the kind of messages depicted in the film when Israelis commonly travel to Germany, and 100,000 Israelis have a German passport.

      link to

  • Yahoo! features Middle East news from Glenn Beck-owned right-wing website
  • Bradley Manning faces 136 years in jail for exposing American war crimes
    • It's a free country, so you only get what you deserve. Yet it's only a free country if you're on the right side of the invasion of other countries. You're invited to join in the plunder or at least keep your head down. When you oppose the war-of-choice, it's not a free country anymore.

  • We gotta get out of Israel, if it's the last thing we ever do
    • Last year I made this post: "In all honesty, Mondo’s hasbara trolls are probably the smartest out there." I now retract that remark and apologize to jon s, yrn and Oleg R for overestimating their intelligence. It's not often I feel compelled to apologize for sarcasm.

  • 'I'm anti-Zionist,' Helen Thomas declared, in twilight of long career
    • Israel as Jewish state has at least as much right to exist as many modern Arab states, whose borders where artificially drawn by European imperial powers during the 19th and early 20th century.

      This is a disingenuous comparison. Israel was created so a colonial-settler group could become the majority within a previously-created colonial entity. The real parallel to the other Middle-Eastern states is with the British Mandate of Palestine. Instead of becoming an independent state like its neighbors, it was partitioned with most of the majority population expelled by force out of the usurped "Jewish state".

  • Yet another film about Palestinian suicide bombing ('The Attack')
  • 'J Street' says Jewish state 'hangs in balance' of failed negotiations
    • Yes talknic, of course they were compensated. So what? Do you think they shouldn’t be? These people had their entire lives there.

      So you think people who've had their lives disrupted by the Zionist state should be compensated, and this should be applied fairly across the board, and no one should be denied compensation on the basis of race.

      Israel owes the Palestinian refugees in the occupied territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan a few billion dollars, you know.

  • Top Abbas Confidant: 'I give up… We failed.'
    • his philosophy, formed by the holocaust, is to get the other before the other gets you.

      This is a good quote to throw at him: "We have the moral right, we had the duty to our people to do it, to kill[5] this people who would kill[5] us."

      link to

      Still the same speech: "I ask of you that that which I say to you in this circle be really only heard and not ever discussed. We were faced with the question: what about the women and children? – I decided to find a clear solution to this problem too. I did not consider myself justified to exterminate the men - in other words, to kill them or have them killed and allow the avengers of our sons and grandsons in the form of their children to grow up. "

      link to

  • Both Massad, and 'Open Zion', ignore the experience of Middle Eastern Jews
    • For all that Massad has relationships with Mizrahi Jews, his thinking remains monocausal and racist. Jews never lived in the Middle East and all discussion of Jewish identity and Zionism must be tied exclusively to Europe. (...) It is therefore ironic that Massad, in seeking to counter Zionism, affirms its basic dogma that Jews are Europeans and not Middle Easterners.

      To be blunt, this style of argumentation is a ridiculous logical leap. That Massad did not mention Sephardic Jews by name in the article is not a license to belligerently attribute a meaning to his words he obviously did not intend. The failure to mention Middle Eastern Jews may be problematic in some ways - some of them were victims of Nazi racial persecution as well - but in dispossessing the Palestinians, the primary agents, Jewish or not, have been European.

      OTOH, there's a murkiness to the essay in that Massad wants to prove gentile support for Israel follows a linear path of closet antisemitism, to the point he believes a Holocaust museum dedicated to the Jewish victims is implicit support for Nazi racism. Although Zionism started off supported by out-and-out antisemites, it's a much stronger case that today support for Israel is animated by colonial racism. Otherwise the analytical content is dumbed down from what Massad could have accomplished. It's not enough to scandalize people with the revelation that Zionists internalized white-nationalist antisemitism of the 19th/early 20th century and that their biggest supporters were indeed such antisemites; there's no clear indication that today all the evangelicals and secular imperialists share the goal of chasing out the remaining American and European Jews to Israel or that any government supporting Israel has such a program in mind.

      What someone like Massad could aim for is a discussion on what exactly there is to gain by imperialist support of Israel and how the anti-Zionist struggle can undermine it.

  • Two social critics who used Nazi analogy-- Mark Rudd, Betty Friedan
    • Re-reading that infamous interview where he comes out in favor of ethnic cleansing, this stood out as an egregiously stupid remark.

      "You don’t have to tell me that. I have researched Palestinian history. I understand the reasons for the hatred very well. The Palestinians are retaliating now not only for yesterday’s closure but for the Nakba as well. But that is not a sufficient explanation. The peoples of Africa were oppressed by the European powers no less than the Palestinians were oppressed by us, but nevertheless I don’t see African terrorism in London, Paris or Brussels. The Germans killed far more of us than we killed the Palestinians, but we aren’t blowing up buses in Munich and Nuremberg. So there is something else here, something deeper, that has to do with Islam and Arab culture."

      link to

    • I'm certainly guilty of using Israel-Nazi analogies, albeit in a more indirect way. In the comments on one TabletMag article, I said "never again" should be for Palestinians and Jews alike; since the interlocutor took that as likening Israel to the Third Reich, I replied that while the numbers may not be equivalent, the Palestinians killed by Israel, like the Jews killed by Germany, had a sacrifice imposed on them for the cause of creating a racial utopia. It would be sophistry to say that Zionism and Nazism have nothing in common, especially since they were both guided by 19th century eugenics (Although the Zionist movement was less extreme in their application, it did lead to a selective immigration process by the Jewish Agency. And of course Ben-Gurion and Weizmann believed the Palestinians as a group had a weak biological link to the land, which the former cited as the reason they fled during 1948).

      However, at some point there's a line between forming an argument and throwing out rhetoric, and the invocation of the Nazis can become intellectual laziness. Also, I think relying on such a reference point is in fact a mirror image of the claim that the Holocaust defies comparison to other atrocities. People who revere the European colonial regimes as the foundation of our civilization but who are (hypocritically) appalled by the killing centers and police battalions are not likely to care about Palestine, no matter how good the argument.

  • 'Birthright' goes to Lebanon: Israel admits popular tourist attraction is located on Lebanese land
  • Israel's worldwide role in repression
    • On the one hand, Israel-defenders tout the democracy of Israel, on the other hand, they want to audit discussion about Israel. What the hell, I thought you liked democracy.

  • 'Beyond Tribal Loyalties' -- new volume spotlights awakenings of 25 Jewish activists
    • As'ad abu Khalil confirmed the phrase does not come from the Qur'an, which would make it apocryphal. Though I can't tell if the "made them apes and pigs" bit is in reference to Jews.

      By the way, it is not true that describing Jews as "descendants of apes and pigs" is from the Qur'an. I was going to write a short article on the origin of the phrase but I don't have the time. The phrase as it is in reference to Jews does NOT appear in the Qur'an as is claimed by anti-Semitic Islamists (there is indeed a reference to "and made them apes and pigs" in a particular historical reference. There is however a Hadith (typically disputed) that Muhammad's wife, `A'ishah, once described Jews as "brothers of apes" when a group of Jews did not address the Prophet properly, according to her although the same Hadith reports that the prophet saluted the visiting Jews. This reference is used by contemporary Islamists to justify their language of today.

      link to

  • Elliott Abrams calls Chuck Hagel an anti-Semite
    • Abunimah:‘To understand how extraordinary this obsession with Israel is, just imagine the uproar if any senator raised objections to a US cabinet nominee over, say their "commitment" to Canada, France or Turkey, even though those countries, unlike Israel, are actually NATO allies.

      Although the obsession with Israel is extraordinary, it's not really that inexplicable. Canada, France and Turkey aren't going anywhere; Israel is under danger of decolonization which is portrayed in popular media as "destruction." They aren't talking about Palestinian refugees migrating back to rebuild their old villages; the Arabs are being likened to Nazis who want to destroy a Jewish country for racist or religious reasons.

      It's a package deal: US military intervention is always against a bad guy, because it defeated the bad guys in WWII. And since Israel was created by their victims, whom we can take the credit for saving, it's part of constructing that narrative. Now, Israel and the US have a common enemy: Arab regimes allied with the Soviet Union one day and Islamic terrorists the next. And of course rogue states who sponsor terrorism and happen to be developing WMDs.

      The obsession with Israel is really self-love, as it's part of the ritual of reliving the Glory Days over and over. Given the general apathy or outright approval of US military killings across western Asia, I'd expect with Hagel the Obama administration will continue to be what it was.

  • Since when is the left embracing Chuck Hagel, a nationalist, establishment figure?
    • "well i don’t like sanctions. but it doesn’t have to lead to war. yes, they’re deadly (iraq) but who’s going to argue they are the same as destroying iraq? max is! that’s who: “They forget that sanctions are war by other means.”"

      Wait, back up a minute. Would it be fair to extrapolate from this you'd support an Israeli government if you knew it would only continue the siege on Gaza and completely refrain from bombing it? The point here isn't the question itself -- It's that you can't know anyone who'd support economic warfare would abstain from military warfare. Aside from that, sanctions and blockades can achieve the desired level of destruction. It should be pretty obvious to us today (and at the time, even) that the sanctions on Iraq were not employed because G. H. W. Bush and Clinton were too humanitarian to bomb the country.

    • "Ajl can’t merely advance an argument, to be considered on its merits, he has to put on a “tough Jew” act."

      He can defend himself but if you don't quote him at length and only gleamed that from the tagline on his blog, it's not a very impressive observation.

  • The Western Wall is as political as the Apartheid Wall
    • You know anti-Zionism refers to a political movement called Zionism and not the liturgical construct of Zion, right?

  • St. Louis city board shelves Veolia contract following activist outcry over human rights abuses
    • We're going to find out very soon what sort of hasbara brigade St. Louis has to offer. Isn't that exciting. (I contributed to the flooding of calls, and it's pretty likely we'll be calling again next month.)

      This report isn't perfect (Give Israel advocates one thing -- they've mangled the English language so badly "disputed" is now a euphemism for "occupied") but it deserves credit for actually airing the idea that separate roads and buses constitute segregation. It also shows how differently the three city officials reacted to the pressure. And the very first sentence of the article is so sweet.

      link to

  • Israeli army releases video of Dec. 12 killing of Palestinian youth at Hebron checkpoint
    • Several people here see shots being fired by individuals other than the soldier who ran out of the building. There are some shimmering spots during the scuffle but if those are shots how do we know it's not the first soldier?

    • The Arabic description of the video sticks to the official story (via Google):

      "The attempted attack on a border policeman in Hebron

      Videotape documenting a Palestinian attempt arrived barrier to force of border guards near the Ibrahimi Mosque in 12/13/2012 months pistol and approached a police and tried to assault him before he was killed by border guards fire. And later found that the gun was a placebo."

      Maybe the family will comment on the video, confirm it is the checkpoint and point out any other facts. It just raises more questions than answers.

      One thing that's obvious is that the guy in white swung first and if he was armed it would've made a lot more sense for the soldier to make the first move. So we are now to believe this guy pulled out his fake gun while scuffling with an IDF soldier.

    • In all honesty, Mondo's hasbara trolls are probably the smartest out there (Although that's really because the crudely Islamophobic ones got weeded out).

  • Confirmed: Stevie Wonder pulls out of IDF fundraiser
    • This is great news, but I'm hesitant to get too excited because he can always perform directly in Israel. That hasn't been ruled out yet.

  • Video: What if you built a refuge for a persecuted people in a place where another people already lived?
    • "It is not uncommon for populations to be moved in the midst of war"

      For example, the Jewish and Slavic populations that were moved during WWII.

  • Stevie Wonder, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Marco Rubio -- all pony up for Israel
  • 'A vision seen in a dream': A leading religious Zionist's 1956 call for the Palestinian refugees to return
    • Thanks Mooser, I was almost taken in by this 'til you woke me up. Real clever, too, before reading a single word I had prepared a similar reaction, but then came the 'war of subjugation' line, and it almost looks like he's going to turn against Zionism. Of course, it's just the same old 'shoot-and-cry' genre. In fact, the name Brit Shalom rang a bell, so here I am running back to this thesis yet again. Looks like R. Binyamin wasn't so innocent after all.

      Ruppin founded Brit Shalom immediately after his final, official retirement from the Vaad Hapoel Hatzioni (Friedlander 1989, 230). In April 1925, the core members of Brit Shalom met for the first time. They were composed mainly of Zionist activists and intellectual figures from the intimate circle of the Hebrew University. Among the members were Ruppin’s most loyal secretaries since the early days of the PO: Tahon and R’ Binyamin (Yehoshua Radler-Feldmann Ha-Talmi), and a group of scholars, and university faculty members, Judah Magnes (chancellor and first president of the Hebrew university), Martin Buber, Hugo Bergmann, Ernst Simon and Gershom Scholem; most of whom had immigrated from Germany or Prague to the Land of Israel in order to work at the Hebrew University (Ratzabi 2001, xiv).

      [Bloom p. 377]

      Some of the members, like Buber and Magnes, genuinely believed in the aim of bi-nationalism, but Ruppin put those dorks in their place.

      Similarly to Lavsky’s historiographical conclusion that Brit Shalom “assisted Zionist historiography in its desire to promote an image of the Zionist movement as seeking peace” (Lavsky 1996, 162-167), I will argue in the following that Ruppin’s involvement in the establishment of Brit Shalom was meant, or at least served, to promote an image of the Zionist movement as humanistic; an
      image that made an impact on both the British authorities and ‘the humanist Zionists.’ It must be remebered that the bi-national idea was the plan that Ruppin presented to the British Shaw Committee (1929) (Bein 1968, III, 168, 180-181), although, as we shall see, he himself never believed in its plausibility, certainly not as an immediate political solution.

      [Bloom 376]

      Anyway, you'll note above that R. Binyamin was one of Ruppin's secretaries. He played a minor role in the ill-fated Yemenite aliyah during 1911 by taking part in a bizarre and silly deception meant to pass off the envoy, Shmuel Yavnieli, as a scholar rabbi.

      In addition to the pamphlets, Yavneli also carried with him a letter to the Yemenite Rabbis which included a series of questions concerning the Yemenite version of the Halacha (Jewish law) and traditions. This letter expressed the ostensible interest of the Yishuv in the Yemenites' customs, and it complemented the pamphlet by making a direct link between settlement in Palestine and the religious idea of kibbutz galuyot (Heb. ingathering of the exiles), which entailed, in its first stages, concentrating and reevaluating all the traditions of Diaspora Jewry. According to Ruppin, this letter was written by R’ Binyamin with the aid of Rabbi Kook (Bein 1968, II, 103). This fabricated letter is full of flowery biblical phrases and mystical allusions. The letter presents Yavneli as a scholar Rabbi who studied in the “Holy land” for a few years, was knowledgeable in the traditions of both Ashkenazim and Sephardim and now wished to study the traditions of the Yemenites for the imminent kibbutz galuyot.

      [Bloom 330]

  • 'Daily Beast' crank against intermarriage pushes regime change in Iran on the side
    • Converts face many hurdles, often many more than born Jews, and that is for a reason. To keep as many of them as possible out.

      I'd expect even a born Jew without a traditional education would face a struggle to become an Orthodox convert, especially a rabbi.

  • US cancels Gaza scholarship program because Israel won't let students travel
    • The agreement enabled Gazans holding Palestinian identity cards to cross. For seven months, the crossing operated in an orderly manner, and some 1,320 persons crossed daily.

      On 25 June 2006, following the abduction of the soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel decided to close the crossing.

      Does it not sound to you like Israel had the last word on anyone leaving Gaza even through Rafah at that time? Also, it seems pretty stupid to blame Egypt for not opening the Rafah crossing as a way to absolve Israel of not opening the crossings it directly controls. We also need to keep in mind that not permitting Gazans to enter Israel is an apartheid policy and that doesn't change just because Egypt controls one side of Gaza.

    • Once again, an attempt to defend Israel leaves out a few inconvenient facts:

      In September 2005, following the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, Israel issued an order declaring the end of the military government there. However, Israel continues to control almost all the exit and entry points around the Gaza Strip. The area borders Israel on the north and east, and entry into Israel is possible only at crossings under its control. Access to and from the Gaza Strip by sea, to the west, and by air, is under Israel's exclusive control.

      Rafah Crossing, on the other hand, is located on the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Initially, it was widely assumed that the disengagement had also ended Israel's control of this crossing, and that free passage would now be possible. It quickly became clear that matters were more complicated.

      Following the disengagement, Rafah Crossing was closed for three months. In November 2005, the Crossings Agreement was signed by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The agreement established that the crossing would be operated by the Palestinian Authority, under monitoring of the European Union and remote monitoring by Israeli security personnel. The agreement enabled Gazans holding Palestinian identity cards to cross. For seven months, the crossing operated in an orderly manner, and some 1,320 persons crossed daily.

      On 25 June 2006, following the abduction of the soldier Gilad Shalit, Israel decided to close the crossing. It informed the European monitors that the crossing was closed for security reasons, and ceased to carry out its part of the agreement. Israel allowed the crossing to be opened only in isolated cases, and without giving advance notice. From then until June 2007, the crossing was closed for 265 days.

      After Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, Israel announced the freezing of the Crossings Agreement. The Palestinian force that operated the crossing on behalf of the Palestinian Authority was unable to reach the crossing due to Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip. Israel objected to opening the crossing on the grounds that it was unable to monitor the persons passing through it, and Egypt closed the border since it was impossible to implement the Crossing Agreement. The European force also stopped its monitoring activities due to the European Union's refusal to cooperate with Hamas. As a result, since June 2007, the crossing has not been opened in accordance with the Crossings Agreement. Egypt, which can open the crossing on its side, generally refrains from doing so, thereby becoming a partner in Israel's siege policy.

      link to

  • 'Jewish political community' supported Iraq war, but now divides between neocon funders and liberals -- Alterman
    • I do have a question for those who believe the Israel lobby manipulated the US into attacking Iraq: How about Lebanon in 1983?

  • No room for racism in a movement working for equality and freedom
    • I find the comment especially objectionable because I place a high value on concrete historical knowledge and it's an example of playing fast and loose with the facts. And considering that's how the case for Israel is usually made, it's extremely aggravating to find someone doing the same with the Holocaust when they should know better. But the only real purpose this comment could serve is to remove responsibility from the Nazis or imply the Zionists had a near equal significance. We need more understanding, not less.

    • It's not really controversial to suggest that the actions of al-Qaeda, the Nazis and Imperial Japan were used as a rationale to persecute people associated with them through common ethnicity. That's a truism. On the other hand, to lazily assert 'Zionists operated the concentration camps' is a total horseshit remark on the face of it and suggests Jews as such brought the Holocaust on themselves.

      Without any context it's hard to tell exactly what the writer of that remark is trying to accomplish but I'm assuming this is some ass-backwards attempt to challenge the notion of the Holocaust justifying Zionism. Hey, it turns out the Zionists themselves are responsible for the mass murder of Jews during WWII, ergo, they don't have a leg to stand on in Palestine.

      Now, I would definitely call this racist against Jews, anti-semitic even, because it assumes Zionism is a natural product of Judaism, that is, being Jewish is sufficient to be Zionist. Anyone who believes the offending remark logically believes Zionism = Judaism, or else they'd find a way to challenge Zionist orthodoxy through serious research. Anyone who believes that remark is being disingenuous in saying Zionists and Jews are not equivalent or that not all Jews are Zionists. That amounts to nothing more than CYA. To claim Zionists were an essential part of the extermination process and then claim that's not racist against Jews is hypocritical.

      This is different altogether from demonstrating Jewish collaborators were part of the extermination process or that the ZVfD and the Labour Zionists made dirty deals with Nazi ministers. There is historical evidence for that. Writing this sewage "Zionists operated the concentration camps and helped murder millions of innocent Jews" shows contempt for those who were exterminated by removing the responsibility from the perpetrators just to grind an axe.

      It shouldn't be that hard to tell the difference between the Ha'avara agreement and silly fantasies.

    • "Greta was somehow associated with what is obviously an over-the-top libel against Zionists — not Jews, Zionists."

      It's not acceptable to libel Zionists because throwing historical accuracy to the wind only makes it harder to establish their culpability for the nakba. Don't accuse them of something they didn't do; prove they did what they actually did.

  • Stop calling him 'Bibi'
    • "If Alois Hitler never changed his name, I’d imagine not much would have changed."

      And if Hitler had been admitted to that art school, the greeting would've changed to 'Heil Heydrich' (?)

  • Hebrew University lecturer calls for expelling Palestinians as alien hostages in war against Muslims
    • Morris detailed the agreement between Deir Yassin and Givat Shaul and the villagers' determination not to fight against the Yishuv no matter what. There were also little Munich Agreements with Shiekh Muwannis and the other Jaffa-area villages that didn't amount to much. (Birth p. 91,97)

      In the early months of the war, the desire for calm in certain areas took a number of forms. Several villages concluded formal peace
      agreements with neighbouring settlements or urban neighbourhoods.
      The notables of Deir Yassin on 20 January 1948 met with leaders of Jerusalem’s Jewish Giv‘at Shaul neighbourhood and agreed to mutual non-belligerency. Deir Yassin took upon itself to keep out bands of irregulars and if, nonetheless, some appeared, to inform Giv‘at Shaul of their presence ‘in daytime by hanging out laundry . . . (two white pieces with a black piece in the middle)’ and ‘at night Deir Yassin’s people will signal three dots with a flashlight . . . and place three . . . [lanterns?]’. Similarly, patrols from Giv‘at Shaul near Deir Yassin were to be armed with a mutually agreed password. Giv‘at Shaul was responsible for the safety of Deir Yassin’s vehicles passing through the neighbourhood.134
      The founder of the Arab Workers’ Department, Aharon Haim Cohen, was instrumental in concluding this agreement as well as similar agreements that month and in February with the villages of al Qastal, Sur Bahir and al Maliha.135


      In the Jerusalem District, there was widespread and persistent opposition by many villages to taking part in the hostilities; immediate self-interest won out over nationalism. Roving bands of Arab irregulars, sometimes led by ‘Abd al Qadir al Husseini, were fairly regularly turned away, the villagers often refusing to put them up or give them supplies, let alone join in attacks. Al Maliha’s mukhtar, Sheikh ‘Abd al Fatah, had ordered the village militia to fire on any stranger who approached, ‘Jew, Arab, or Englishman’.176 In early January 1948, the inhabitants of Qaluniya chased away an armed band and prevented it from ‘doing anything’.177 Deir Yassin’s inhabitants had a firefight with a
      roving band of irregulars who wanted to use their village as a base to attack west Jerusalem. One villager was killed and the village ‘women burst into cries and screams’.178 Just before 28 January, ‘Abd al Qadir, at the head of a band of 400 armed men, encamped near Deir Yassin. Apparently they tried to recruit villagers. The village elders ‘were opposed’, and the band moved off to Beit Jala.179 Deir Yassin’s mukhtar was summoned by AHC representatives in Jerusalem to be questioned about the village’s relations with the Jews. The mukhtar said that ‘the village and the Jews lived in peace’.180 A fortnight later, on 13 February, an armed band entered Deir Yassin bent on attacking nearby Giv‘at Shaul. ‘The villagers opposed this and the gang’s reaction was to slaughter all the village’s sheep . . .’181 A month later, on 16 March, an AHC delegation composed of two men and (unusually) a woman visited the village and asked that it host a group of Iraqi and Syrian irregulars 'to guard the site’. The villagers refused and the delegation left empty handed.182 Deir Yassin’s notables registered a similar refusal on 4 April.183

      Edit: Can't fix, doesn't look this way in the edit box.

  • Liberal Zionists' vision of religious segregation puts them to the right of western neo-fascists -- Max Blumenthal
    • Here you go.

      link to

      Let's get this straight, you have no problem with reservations to begin with, but some white people getting evicted from a reservation gets your panties in a twist. So basically, what's yours is mine and what little I left you is mine as well.

    • You say that you are anti-colonial, and yet I dont see your objection to mass immigration into even indigenous European lands of “Others,” the disempowerment of Europeans in their indigenous homelands via special preferences and privileges for “Others,” and conversely the empowerment of the colonists via diversity promotion and multiculturalism.

      This is not even hasbara anymore, it's outright white nationalist. Here's your theme song

    • Multiculturalism has failed as Merkel, Sarkozy, and Cameron all have stated.

      Germany tried monoculturalism in the 30's and 40's and that didn't do so hot, either.

  • Walt, Munayyer, and Mearsheimer offer one state scenarios, and my response
    • how about the Arab and Muslim world mistreating Israel and the Jewish people by wagging war after war on the basis that Jews don’t have a connection to this land?

      You need to get over the idea that the Zionist project was benign and non-violent. Ruppin was very blunt about the basic aims of settlement:

      This aim is: to bring the Jews as a second nation into a country that is already settled by a nation – and to achieve that by peaceful means. History knows such intrusion […] only by way of occupation, but it has not yet happened that a nation agreed of its own good will to let another nation come and demand complete and equal rights as well as national autonomy. The uniqueness of the case precludes, in my opinion, treating it according to the accepted official and legal concepts. It requires a special study and consideration. Brit shalom should be the forum in which this problem will be discussed.”283

      [Bloom 379]

      If Jews do have the connection we know they do, and the non violent sale of land was then banned, what options did this leave the Jewish people, in their historic homeland?

      The sale of land was not as kosher as you make it out to be.

      The 14,200 dunams of this colony were purchased from Anton Bishara Tayan and Salim Kaser, two Christian Orthodox merchants and moneylenders from Jaffa, who acquired the land and retained its owners – the villagers of Umlabess and Yahudiya – as tenant farmers, when their land was sequestered by the authorities for being in arrears in the payment of taxes. Given the crude character of the tapu, the Ottoman land register, parts of the purchase were disputed: the Arab tenant farmers very likely were legally entitled to the possession of 2,600 dunams, though Tayan claimed to have sold the whole area to its new owners.

      [Shafir, Land, Labor, 200]
      link to

      Ruppin admitted that buying land alone was not going to achieve Jewish political autonomy in Palestine:

      Ruppin claimed that there were deep and manifest conflicts of interests between Arabs and Jews, conflicts which would worsen as the Zionists gained more control of the land: “Land is the essential condition for putting down economic roots in Palestine […] wherever we purchase land and settle people on it – its current workers [the Arabs] must of necessity be removed, whether they be owners or tenants […] in future it will be much harder to purchase land, because sparsely settled land is no longer available – what is left is land settled with considerable density” (ibid.). 283 Ruppin to Kohn [30 May. 1928] in: (Bein 1968, III, 149-150).

      [Bloom 379]

      Even as early as 1914, he admitted transfer was a means to the ultimate aim of Zionist settlement:

      Although he anticipated some cultural problems, Ruppin remained optimistic during the whole of his “blind spot” phase: “It is highly probable that the two [Jews and Arabs] would live happily and amicably together even if the Jews were to come in great numbers” (Ruppin 1914, 292). Nevertheless, the “happy and amicable” relations he anticipated did not necessarily exclude the implementation of a large scale transfer of the Arab
      population, whether voluntary or forced. In his “blind spot” phase, Ruppin believed that the transfer was a reasonable solution. In May 1914, to note one example, 255 he submitted his plan for the transfer of Arabs from Palestine to Syria. In a letter to Dr. Victor Jacobson256 he wrote:
      “We are considering a parallel Arab colonization. Thus, we are planning to
      buy land in the regions of Homs,257 Aleppo etc. which we will sell under easy terms to those Palestinian fellahin who have been harmed by our land
      258 Ruppin to Jacobson, [12 May 1914], pp.1-2, (CZA L2/34ii); extract reprinted in: (Alsberg 1955/6,

      [Bloom 363]

      Source for Bloom cites above:
      link to

      When the Arab and Muslim armies marched on Israel in 1948, it was not because Jews had forced anyone to leave their homes. The leaving of the homes occurred after the outbreak of war, that was started by the Arabs and Muslims.

      Most of those who read Mondoweiss know this to be a flatout lie. Haifa, Jaffa and the former villages making up present-day Tel Aviv (Shiekh Muwannis, Jammasin), as well as many villages in the Jerusalem area (Deir Yassin, Lifta) were already depopulated by the end of the British Mandate. There were terrorist attacks (reprisals, to be euphemistic) by Haganah at Haifa and al-Khisas that killed civilians, and Haganah also took part in the attack on Deir Yassin. The Haganah shelled Haifa and Acre before 15 May and the Irgun shelled Jaffa. And that's only what I can recite from memory.

    • It's interesting how Israelis are never responsible for their own actions. They flagrantly broke the partition agreement that they were supposed to have accepted and they get a free pass because the Arabs made them do it. The Arabs also made them expel the Palestinians which incidentally led to the result they were after, a Jewish demographic state. But of course if the Arabs accepted partition without any resistance (or alternately, accepted unlimited immigration sans partition), the Yishuv would have dropped their demand for a Jewish state, which is why they went to Palestine in the first place. The Zionist settlers have no moral responsibility for their own actions because they have an unconditional right to what they want damn the consequences for anyone else.

      Of course this can be expanded to killing Palestinians by air (rockets made us do it), killing pregnant women at checkpoints (suicide bombers made us do it), demolishing houses on either side of the Green Line and fill in the blank...

  • Media coverage of anti-American protests turns a political clash into a cultural conflict
    • Well, my problem with the Crusades isn't that so much as the Crusaders relentlessly massacred civilians. I'm guessing if Himmler gassed and burned Muslims as well as Jews you'd view the Holocaust as a defense against Muslim invaders.

    • I have as much respect for any denomination as any other, but when the clergy starts getting hierarchical it's time for the clerics to get a real job . Plus his predecessor started the Crusades.

    • "Im reminded of the woman who went to Haiti and was raped…probably the perfect example of this phenomenon…"

      Anyway, are you suggesting here that Amanda Kijera, now that she's been raped by a Haitian, needs to see black men for the neanderthal rapists they are?

    • "It is a self loathing of Western Civilization, European Christendom, driven by a deep sense of guilt and a desire for absolution from that collective guilt."

      I'm Jewish and I'd like nothing more than to see the Pope flipping burgers at Steak 'n Shake (He can still wear the hat if he wants). Question: Does that make me a self-hating westerner.

    • "Im reminded of the woman who went to Haiti and was raped…probably the perfect example of this phenomenon…"

      EV has a point. We need to spend more time promoting our rape-free culture. Who knows, we might convince those savage, backward cultures to give up rape.

  • Coptic Christian leader of organization that produced anti-Muslim film spoke at Pamela Geller's anti-mosque rally
    • "Since I have been highly critical of Christian and Jewish fundamentalists and extremists here, and consistently so, why would you expect me to have any sympathy for Muslim fundamentalists and extremists? I don’t."

      This is why I think criticizing religious extremism is beside the point. Maybe the Muslim victims of western warfare have more merit in going extremist than the Jewish fundamentalists who colonize Palestine and the Christian fundamentalists who set up military bases in the oil kingdoms. They are not reacting to a perceived threat to their religion; they are simply taking from others. The rioters have just cause to feel threatened.

      "Certainly the cultural values and agenda of the fanatical shrieking mobs that have been all over the world news in the last few days are radically out of sync with most Americans and Europeans — with the spirit of New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Paris, London, Rome, Berlin, Stockholm, etc."

      Outside of 9/11 and 7/7, if that even counts, none of those cities have been subject to any sort of military attack in recent memory. You're making a good point indirectly here, the enlightened liberals with their high cultural values don't know what it's like to live in a warzone, where their home is literally the front. You can turn up your nose at the rabble and pretend there's a higher plane of existence, but your life is free of violence for three and only three reasons:

      a. Someone got there before you and killed to get what they wanted
      b. Once they got it, they killed some more until no one could take it from them
      c. They engineered a civilization so their successors would not be threatened, and would even have the means to go out and repeat the process (Yeah, I'm assuming you're American, but the model still works with slight variation depending on where you are).

      Until you are actually in the middle of that process, have actually been targeted by a military, you can not presume to judge those who have, no matter how wonderfully above religion you place yourself. And all the countries where these riots are taking place, they have that experience to varying degrees (Some directly, some by proximity).

    • That hysterical mob shrieking mode that some Muslims sometimes get into — it is f*cking appalling. Anti-human. Bestial. It brings out the John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in me. I hate shriekers. Make my day.

      I'm not trying to excuse the rioting, well screw that, maybe I am, but did no one stop to think this might be the result of decades of military intervention in the region whereas the people often dubbed collateral damage don't have the means to invade the USA and drop some aerial warfare of their own? Sure, Americans don't act anti-human and bestial, they don't set buildings on fire with bottles of gasoline, they just put on a uniform, get in the fighter jet and shoot everything at random. That's not mob violence, that's ordered violence.

      The western invaders of the Middle East wrote these rules of engagement. If you want to target the invaders who have been killing your people at random for too long, you break their rules of decorum. The mob might look bad on TV, but they know up close and personal what a strafing fighter jet looks like.

      The real question is why it took a stupid film to get this result and not an actual invasion or massacre by the US army. Maybe the old regimes where these riots are taking place would have squashed it before breakfast, but who knows.

  • Romney bombs at the King David
  • Susan Abulhawa demolishes Itamar Marcus
    • Most of what Marcus said is pathetically dumb, but this takes the blue ribbon (~20 minutes):

      The Palestinian youth and Palestinian adults are being bombarded with such poison and such hatred.
      There would not have been an intifada had there not been poisoning from 1994 to 2000 that we had observed and we were screaming about and we were warning about... because as I said at the beginning of the Oslo Accords that Palestinians admired Israelis and democracy and human rights... that was a population we could have slipped into a peace treaty with if there had not been all the poisoning coming from the Palestinian leadership.

      So if I got this straight, the West Bank and Gaza population before 1994 would have signed a treaty with Israel had not it been for media brainwashing. But if they're so easily brainwashed by the media, why would he even think they'd make peace with Israel? The way he talks about people, they have the brains of a scarecrow.

  • How many of you are uncomfortable with the phrase 'oppression of Palestinians'? In the packed room, just a few heads nodded
    • "hold highly sensitive information about how Syria helped Saddam Hussein hide elements of his wmd program"

      If I ran a blog, any assertion that Saddam hid weapons of mass destruction in Syria without an attempt at proof would be a bannable offense. This mantra is clearly going to last for decades and will most likely persist among a few cranks after the US empire is defunct.

  • Shamir ordered Bernadotte assassination to save Jerusalem for Jews. But will his obits tell you that?
    • And you think Israel should be free to enforce policies that were discriminatory (and deadly) to Jews in Europe. Who's the hypocrite now?

  • Why hasn't Jonathan Pollard applied for parole?
    • Much as coke-addled spies don't deserve sympathy, it's too bad Pollard's taking the fall for Israeli intel. Wouldn't it be nice if Aviem Sella and Rafi Eitan (There are two Raphael Eitans - this is not the "roaches in a bottle" guy who drowned in the Med) could be extradited? Throw in Peres for good measure.

      A full accounting of the materials provided by Pollard to the Israelis has been impossible to obtain: Pollard himself has estimated that the documents would create a stack six feet wide, six feet long, and ten feet high. Rafi Eitan, the Israeli who controlled the operation, and two colleagues of his attached to the Israeli diplomatic delegation -- Irit Erb and Joseph Yagur -- were named as unindicted co-conspirators by the Justice Department. In the summer of 1984, Eitan brought in Colonel Aviem Sella, an Air Force hero, who led Israel's dramatic and successful 1981 bombing raid on the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. (Sella was eventually indicted, in absentia, on three counts of espionage.) Eitan's decision to order Sella into the case is considered by many Americans to have been a brilliant stroke: the Israeli war hero was met with starry eyes by Pollard, a chronic wannabe.

      Yagur, Erb, and Sella were in Washington when Pollard was first seized by the F.B.I., in November, 1985, but they quickly left the country, never to return. During one period, Pollard had been handing over documents to them almost weekly, and they had been forced to rent an apartment in northwest Washington, where they installed a high-speed photocopying machine. "Safe houses and special Xeroxes?" an American career intelligence officer said, despairingly, concerning the Pollard operation. "This was not the first guy they'd recruited." In the years following Pollard's arrest and confession, the Israeli government chose not to cooperate fully with the F.B.I. and Justice Department investigation, and only a token number of the Pollard documents have been returned. It was not until last May that the Israeli government even acknowledged that Pollard had been its operative.

      link to (Sorry for the freep link)

  • Why is Obama meeting with a man who called him 'Neville Chamberlain'?
    • But you can't make it drink.

    • You can't debate someone like Dersh. He'll shout you down and chew the scenery, and that's if you can get his attention for longer than 5 seconds.

      But I wouldn't want to debate him on legal grounds anyway. Any defender of Zionism should first be challenged to explain how Zionism is not a settler-colonial movement whose basic aim, a Jewish state, can only be achieved through some form of racist segregation. For just about every defender of Israel, creating the Jewish state was a victimless crime and getting them to acknowledge the most basic facts that cast their movement in a bad light, such as the Kibbutzim barring Arab workers (Jewish Arabs included) is like leading a horse to water.

  • Israel's reliance on US has turned it into a 'global pariah'
    • "Democracies all open their archives, or at least the de-classified sections of them; non-democracies don’t."

      Democracies don't deny citizenship to long-term residents on a racial basis (Or for that matter use paramilitaries to expel said residents). In any case, do you really know anything about the openness of archives in other countries to make that comparison? In the early 90's, Russia opened documents captured from Germany (Osobyi Arkhiv).

  • Finkelstein stands by 'BDS cult' accusation, says it's 'historically criminal' to not support the two state solution
    • The one state solution has two possible outcomes. (1) Jews going meekly to the gas chambers or meekly being expelled from the country to who knows where

      I know a good deal of what you learn in US public school is full of crap, or at least whitewashing, but can it really be true the death camps were operated by Palestinians? And it was all just an international conspiracy to make the Germans look bad? Must be that Arab Gulf oil money funding our textbooks.

  • 'Do you feel more Arab or more American?': Two women's story of being detained and interrogated at Ben Gurion
    • she willfully violated a 10 year travel ban to Israel that the Israeli government had imposed on her for being part of the Gaza flotilla.

      That's mind-boggling. Is Gaza part of Israel or not? Make up your mind.

  • US Embassy to American in trouble in Israel: 'You're not Jewish? Then we can't do anything to help you'
    • Religiousist is racist. Racism is any discrimination based on identity passed down at birth.

  • 'Hath not a Palestinian eyes?': Protesters disrupt Habima performance at Globe
  • Alterman says BDS shares Ahmadinejad's agenda, and Hezbollah's too
    • oleg: Jews had a fighting chance as part of the armies of Britain, the USSR and Poland. Also, the "sheep to the slaughter" trope is an example of Zionist antisemitism, agreeing with the Nazis that the racial weakness of the Jews made their disappearance a certainty. The Jews killed in the Final Solution were not "sheep," they were unarmed civilians taken by force. The fact that you make distinctions between stateless Jews who went dumbfounded to be massacred and Israeli Jews who fight back only displays the paradox of Zionism dividing Jews into several kinds of people even as it claims to unite them.

    • "Arguing that because Jews are doing well in the US, Jews do not need Israel is such a ridiculously stupid argument in historical context, it’s amazing Phil makes it."

      I actually agree that was a facile argument, then again so is the idea Jews need a state because of persecution. Having a state did not save most people during WWII.

  • Liberal Zionists are afraid their parents will reject them if they come out
    • My dad in his role as as president of the Holocaust Museum in Dallas has expanded the content of that museum from the the persecution of Jews in World War 2 to include the persecution of African Americans in Texas. I’m very proud of that.

      It must be safe to assume that her parents don't view any action against the Palestinians at any stage of the conflict as persecution. Their focus on segregation in the Old South is just a feel-good trip so they can support a regime that segregates in their favor, while pretending to anti-racism. You might as well campaign against porn while keeping a stash of Hustler in the crawlspace -- the hypocrisy is no less blatant.

      The biggest failure of liberalism in the US is that it's taboo to come out in favor of apartheid or Jim Crow, but you can make a career justifying racial exclusion for the sake of Zionism, and, of course Indian removal.

      I have not wanted to go there, to disappoint them, to make them sad, to make them want to reject me.

      That's infuriating. I don't know what to tell her, except there are no compromises. Anything that threatens to disown one's offspring for turning against it can't be all that defensible.

      I love Israel the way you do when you’re 16 and you’re free from your parents' grasp for the first time and go on a team tour and you get to go out and experience things on your own.

      Now this whole paragraph seems disrespectful to anyone who was forcibly relocated to make Palestine become and remain a Jewish state. For propriety's sake she could keep thoughts like this to herself. Of course, she's not talking to Palestinians here.

      I'm not an expert on this issue at all. Everybody who will speak here this weekend will be more an expert than me. I have probably already belied my stature by some of the language I've chosen to use in this talk.

      If you want to become an expert, or better informed at least, you simply have to learn the facts of the Zionist movement that supporters of Israel in general do not seem to know and those who do would rather not talk about. Not only what it's done to Palestinians; what it's done to certain Jews as well, however far down the memory hole that's been flushed. Like I said about Bradley Burston -- Liberal Zionism is the art of saying a whole lot of nothing. In the time it takes you to admit Israel might've gone overboard, you could have more fun riding a glacier.

      But I cant be silent anymore, because I understand that in order to secure the future of Israel so that my nieces can go back and create the kinds of memory-- experience the magic of floating in the Dead Sea and the power of watching the sunrise over Masada-- we cannot continue with the status quo.

      Israel hasn't been able to ride roughshod completely unscathed and now you want to try the carrot. It's not going to happen.

  • Feminist scholar Katherine Franke refuses to be pawn in Oren's equality game
    • Jewish gays have rights. Israel does not specifically persecute Palestinians for being gay but that's not going to do you a whole lot of good if you can't build a house.

  • 1200 rabbis threaten an end to interfaith harmony if Methodists support divestment
    • Any religious definition is going to veer towards being observant. Zionist colonization had to ignore some basic tenets like keeping the Sabbath and fasting on high holy days. This was possible because the Zionists adopted the attitude that Jews are a nation irrespective of religious practice, and that idea could only have formed in Europe where the uneasy mix of intolerance and emancipation affected Jewish identity.

    • I don't think anyone said there is no link between Zionism and Judaism. However, Zionism is still a secular racial ideology that assumes the existence of a biological Jewish identity regardless of how observant you are. There's no way that came from Rabbinical Judaism.

    • Link to the letter with signatories
      link to
      link to

      This is a very fascinating letter. Runs the gamut of hypocritical to just plain illogical.

      Yet quite honestly, were American Christian denominations to indict only Jews and Israel for the conflict with the Palestinians, they would justify the violence perpetrated against Israeli civilians – including children – as the unfortunate result of Israel’s unilateral guilt. In other words, Israeli victims would be responsible for their own suffering. Frankly, such a representation is anything but an expression of friendship and common purpose, and it would replace the closeness and comfort the Jewish community feels in existing relationships with distance, distrust, and disappointment.

      Anyone like how the above paragraph totally forgets that Israeli civilians include Palestinians who are 'present-absentees' and frequently suffer their communities demolished? And for that matter, what were the signatories doing the whole time Cuba was embargoed, Iraq was under sanctions and Gaza was (and still is) under siege? What BDS proposes will not inflict near as much damage on Israel. If anything, Israel is the only country they would defend from a consumer-led boycott.

  • When is someone going to lose his job for calling someone an anti-Semite?
    • It was really creepy how the students kept having to watch footage of dead bodies, even through a hanging monitor on the bus. Jewish funerals don't even show the person.

  • When Mike Wallace questioned Israeli story of '90 massacre, he got called into the owner's office
    • I keep saying that I want to change American Jewish identity because we won't change American policy without changing the Jews; Jews are just too powerful in American establishment.

      Just once I'd like remarks along this line to be accompanied by some comparative study: How powerful are Italians, Irish and other immigrant communities who at one point were not considered "white" for the purpose of immigration quotas? Last time I checked Rupert "Billionaire Tyrant" Murdoch (a US citizen since 1985) wasn't Jewish. How many bad things about Israel can you say on his network?

  • Hasbara in 1988: 'despite difficulties, South Africa is a vital, progressive state with much to admire '
    • "Israel differentiates in those who are peaceful and those who are not."

      Oh man, this is just not worth the effort. It can be refuted by reading most of the articles here.

    • * In SA whites where not indigenous to the country. They arrived on boats from Europe. Jews, on the other hand, have always lived in the land now called Israel and have long standing, legitimate rights.

      This might've had a speck of merit except the Zionist colonies made distinctions between Oriental Jews and Ashkenazim. Even among Jews the colonial pattern of reserving the most menial and least-paying jobs for the natives (and paying them less for the same work for that matter!) while settlers were in more comfortable positions replicated itself. This is a section from 'Land, Labor' by Gershon Shafir (p. 105) to get an idea of how segregated the moshavim were.

      Upon their arrival, Yemenite Jewish immigrants could "choose" to live in either cow-sheds or stables, under the open sky, to erect wooden huts or, if they were lucky, to move into temporary shelters such as cellars, depots, etc. Between 1912 and 1914, the JNF, in cooperation with the PO, financed the construction of more durable homes. These consisted, according to Druyan's painstaking research, of either tiny single-dwelling houses, some in fact built by the immigrants themselves, or of long wooden barracks, that contained eight to ten rooms. All of these accomodations, Druyan sums up, sufficed for no more than 30% of the Yemenite immigrants in the colonies. The houses were built in separate quarters, at some distance from the existing moshavot: Shaarayim near Rechovot, Machane Yehuda near Petach Tikvah, Nachliel near Hadera, Nachlat Yehuda near Rishon Letzion. (63) These quarters, or shall we call them slums, were built either from the donations of various philanthropic bodies, or with the monies of a special drive for the construction of the Jemenitenhauser. Some of the money collected for the express purpose of building homes for the Yemenite Jewish workers, was diverted to other purposes for both YJ and Ashkenazi workers though, occasionally, Ruppin also spent money on construction prior to its authorization from Cologne. The YJ residents were forced to pay either monthly or yearly rents. (64) When the dimensions of the housing shortage were revealed, the heads of the WZO in Germany refused to spend much of the very limited budgets of their, at the time, objectively poor movement on philanthropic aid. They were willing to spend money on the YJ only commensurate with their "value" for the overall colonization goal of the Zionist movement.

      And of course the Kibbutzim were created for the express purpose of barring Mideasterners, even if they were Jewish, from competing with the Ashkenazi workers.

  • Israel bars Gunter Grass from entry under law barring former Nazis
    • A good indication that Gaza's independence is a fiction would be the ease with which Hana Shalabi was deported there. Don't forget that many Hasbarists claim the PA is independent in the West Bank (Read: Palestinians under PA jurisdiction are not under occupation) yet she was arrested in Area A (Jenin) so Israel deported a person from one independent entity to another. Obviously it would not be possible for one state to behave that way vis-a-vis two other states even if they don't have bilateral relations.

  • The liberal Zionist predicament
    • A last P.P.S. only because I've a nagging feeling about the response to Nobody whom Atzmon talks about identifies as a “Jewish Marxist.” That is a category he imposes on them.

      Of course there probably are people who simultaneously identify as Jewish and Marxist. It's the charge of putting their humanity second, and using the compound term to define them as such, that is racist against Jews as a whole. "Jewish" is a complex, fluid identity like religious identities are. Any compound use of the term in a pejorative way is almost certainly going to be racist.

    • P.S. I wouldn't consider "Jewish supremacy" to be a racist formulation given the supremacy is actually there. It would still be racist against Jews to assume their belief system ipso facto is the source of that supremacy without accounting for external factors. And I don't understand what makes that point so obscure after listening to the likes of Nonie Darwish, et. al about Jihadists and the Koran. Like you said Tree, same shit, different identity.

    • Clarification: That is a category he imposes on them. That would not necessarily be racist if not for

      The act of imposing a category in a social critique is not necessarily racist. The category he does impose on them still is.

    • Tree: Of course there is. If I am talking about the KKK and upper class white snobs, those are two subsets of whites. They are not the sum total of all whites, and Atzmon has no more said that his two categories are the sum total of all Jews than you or I would say that the KKK and upper class white snobs are the sum total of all whites. Atzmon ties the two, tribal Marxists and Zionists, together through their sense that their “Jewish” identity puts them on some higher plane, moral, intellectual, or spiritual, than their individual identities as human beings. A subset of whites, a subset of Jews. Same shit, different “identity”.

      First off, while it is fair to say the KKK and/or UCWS are the equivalent to Zionists, "Jewish Marxist" is a nebulous term that says nothing at all. Atzmon doesn't get a pass to label people "Jewish Marxists" because they put their Jewish identity over their humanity. That's an antisemitic formulation on the face of it. Not because Jews have been persecuted on the basis of being a race of potential communists. Because 1) Nobody whom Atzmon talks about identifies as a "Jewish Marxist." That is a category he imposes on them. That would not necessarily be racist if not for 2) Were a non-Jewish Marxist to put his ethnicity/religion/nationality over his humanity, would Atzmon call them a 'Tribal Marxist' or a Marxist with some other prefix? If he has, do point it out.

      To put not too fine a point on it, "Tribal Marxist" is a category reserved for Jews. When Atzmon uses it, it will never refer to White Marxists, Arab Marxists, African Marxists, Nigerian Marxists, Russian Marxists, Christian Marxists, etc. etc. nor will he ever denigrate other Marxists who put their ancestral identity over their humanity with an ethnic prefix.

      It's pretty cut and dry to me that using "Jewish" as pejorative prefix in any context is going to be racist. Also goes for "Arab" or "Muslim" or "Black" or, you get the idea.

      Of course, this begs the hypothetical, what if Atzmon did exactly what I'm accusing him of not doing... freely denigrating Marxists with their own ethnicity? There's a reason it is a hypothetical... the history of linking Jews and Marxists in antisemitic discourse is the inspiration for Atzmon's category. So in fact, if he were to call Frantz Fanon a "Black Marxist," that would simply be racist against Blacks. Racist discourse can spread to any category like a broken silo of paste. That's how today's Islamophobes recycle what was said about Jews in the 19th century.

      Also, my point linking Atzmon and Churchill might need some elaboration. Regardless of the distinctions they make, Jews in general are their target. A phrase like "Judaic spiritual and religious heritage" is going to signal that much louder than any qualifier. It's not that he says all Jews are Zionists or Marxists. It's that Jews may become Zionists or Jewish Marxists and this is a result of that Judaic heritage as opposed to any historical process where people who aren't Jewish might be involved.

      But the same can be said about whites, you might argue. True, and it would make some sense in the case of white supremacy because Jewish communities have had a complex interaction between each other and the broader societies they lived in, and that is only the first step to explaining where Zionism and Marxism came from. To explain these two ideologies as the product of a linear Jewish history stemming from the Holy Texts is a regressive understanding of history that makes the force behind a supremacist ideology to be Jewish supremacy itself. And that is where I call antisemitism - the belief that Jews are embedded in gentile society for a sinister purpose. Atzmon's many formulations make Jews the carriers of bad things for gentiles.

      Where has he not exonerated anything other than "Jewishness" as the cause of Zionism? This section in 'Tribal Marxism For Dummies' would have been vigorously argued against if a hasbara troll brandished it here:

      Machover’s reading of Zionism is pretty trivial. ‘Israel’, he says, is a ‘settler state’. For Machover this is a necessary point of departure because it sets Zionism as a colonialist expansionist project. The reasoning behind such a lame intellectual spin is obvious. As long as Zionism is conveyed as a colonial project, Jews, as a people, should be seen as ordinary people. They are no different from the French and the English, they just happen to run their deadly colonial project in a different time.

      However, as much as Machover is desperate to divert the attention away from the Jewish question, Jewish tribal politics and the Jewish identity, his entire premise can be demolished in a one simple move. If Israel is a ‘settler state’ as he says, one may wonder, what exactly is its ‘motherland? In British and French colonial eras, the settler states maintained a very apparent tie with their ‘motherland’. In some cases in history, the settler state broke from its motherland. Such an event is a rather noticeable one. The Boston Tea Party may ring a bell. However, as far as we are aware, there is no ‘Jewish motherland’ that is intrinsically linked to the alleged ‘Jewish settler state’. The ‘Jewish people’ are largely associated with the Jewish state, and yet the ‘Jewish people’ is not exactly a ‘material’ autonomous sovereign entity. The lack of material Jewish motherland leads to the immediate collapse of Machover’s colonial argument.

      Moreover, native Hebraic Israeli Jews are not connected culturally or emotionally to any motherland except their own state. As an ex-Israeli, I can testify that neither my parents nor myself or any of my fellow expatriates have ever been aware of our ties to any other (mother) state except Israel. Accordingly, it may be true that Zionism carries some colonial elements and yet, it is not a colonial project per se, for no one can present a material correspondence between Jewish ‘motherland’ and a Jewish ‘settler state’. The Jewish national project is unique in history and as it seems it doesn’t fit into any Marxist materialist explanation.

      link to

    • How students are educated in a country usually matches how the country explains and justifies its actions. Atzmon isn’t just describing how Israeli students are being educated, he’s describing how Israel justifies itself. That’s exactly what Atzmon was upfront about.

      This I'm not sure about: "After reading Moses’ oratory we may have to confess, the Jewish nationalist project that is supported by the vast majority of Jewish institutions around the world is an attempt aiming at robbery of the indigenous Palestinians following a cultural and religious heritage that is overwhelmingly documented in the Judaic Bible"

      Even though Israeli Jews are doing the dirty work, I haven't found anything to indicate it's limited to them. And of course the first category Atzmon attacks are Zionists and neoconservatives, who are understood to be Americans. At the same time, I can accept that he's attacking identities that were forced on him growing up in Israel. That still doesn't do much service to anyone who wants to understand Zionism.

      He’s also not describing “Jews as a group”, but subsets of Jews, who have supremacist attitudes which they feel are justified by Judaic religious texts.

      My last response to Danaa goes for this more or less. There's no meaningful distinction between Jews as a group and subsets of Jews divided into categories as imposed by him. This is similar to the point I just made about the Churchill oped from 1920 that divides Jews into Zionist Jews, International Jews/Bolsheviks and Jews who regularly take part in their home countries. An antisemite like Hitler would never acknowledge the last grouping, so in that way Churchill's antisemitism was more liberal. Yet in his imagination, Jews as a peculiar group are still a source of antagonism to their host societies, and that is it by definition.

      Any grouping of people into a subset needs to be accompanied by some insight into their social relations. There are histories of Zionism that touch on intra-Jewish relations, between Ashkenazim and Mizrachim/Sephardim, between German and Pale of Settlement Jews, between plantation owners/managers and vagabond workers... and that's just Gershon Shafir in 'Land, Labor'. After being exposed to the insights of Shafir and Etan Bloom, what use have I for categorizing Jews as Zionists, Marxists and cosmopolitans and tracing their behavior to Moses? These categories as used by Atzmon do not explain any relation between Jewish communities or between them and the broader societies they lived in. And all three stem from "spiritual and religious heritage" which tells me diddly squat.

      I agree with Dana for the most part that his use of the word “Jewish-ness’ is problematical from a logistically point of view. His use of the term “third-category Jew” was a bit more accurate but clunky nevertheless. He’d probably get his points across better if he used the term “Jewish supremacist” or “Jewish exceptionalist” when describing the behaviors he’s critiquing.

      Of course, if Atzmon does not want to be called antisemitic, he'd do well to stop throwing around terms like 'Jewish Marxists' and 'cosmopolitan'. "Jewish supremacist" is still problematic because secular Zionists do not think Jews are superior to gentiles; they view themselves among those who are superior to Orientals. So that still falls short of explaining the origins of Zionism, not that he's shown any particular desire to do this.

      And, again, I think its perfectly fine to criticize him for his failings in his writings. Even say you think his writing is anti-semitic if you believe it, but to ban him or shun him is wrong. It gives the impression that, yet again, overt racism towards Arabs is allowed in polite society, but the mere suggestion or “whiff” of anti-Jewish racism is a banning offense, thus reinforcing the idea that despite the fact that anti-Arab racism is killing tens or hundreds of thousands of Arabs, saying something negative about Jews is so much worse. It isn’t.

      Agreed on the last point. However, I don't understand how shunning him creates that impression because anyone who is overtly racist against Arabs has already been shunned by default.

      Of course you realize my interpretations of Atzmon are informed by other writings of his that for reasons of sanity are going unmentioned. This time.

    • "Were the rest of us to do what you do on everything every last one of us would be a proven “anti-semite”"

      Somehow I doubt that. How many of us write about "Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans" as a category?

      "combine the two as “proof” that Atzmon was talking about “all” Jews. Is that the essence of your case?"

      Yes and no. The essence of my case is that the Atzmon article I've been picking at has no clear point and is an unfocused mess, unless you unite the disparate themes into being about Jews in general, as he does in the last paragraph. He already combined the two for me. The job is redundant.

      For that matter, there's nothing I learned about Jewish history or identity from Atzmon. Had he used his Israeli background as a springboard to research Jewish history more in-depth, his writing might've had some value. Instead, he mixes scattershot generalizations with some basic facts about Zionism that can be learned in greater detail elsewhere (The paragraph referencing the 'Absentee Property' law is the only real content in that article and even that has the silly "Moses' call to theft" line). If I stopped accusing Atzmon of antisemitism, he would still be an intellectual blackhole.

      And we're back to yet another point I already made, that he's getting some leeway on here that is just not granted to anti-Jihadists. G.W. Bush himself could never qualify as a racist in a million years if he were granted the breathing space you're showing Atzmon. At the end of the day, the enemy of the good is sourced from either Jews or Muslims.

      For reference, 'Zionism vs. Bolshevism' by Churchill is antisemitic despite making distinctions between differing groups of Jews, OR, because it does make such distinctions. In Churchill's mind Jews were the source of an egregious political movement and the key to fighting it. Of course, Palestinians, not Jews, were ultimately the victims of his racism which encompassed both.
      Linking to a Google search because I can't find it reproduced on non-kooky sites.
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    • Mainly because of the very last line in 'Swindler's List': Would the Zionists be open to the notion of brotherhood, they would be empathic to the Palestinian right of return. Would the Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans be open to the notion of Brotherhood, they would give up on their unique exclusive banners and become ordinary human beings like the rest of us.

      The whole act of bringing "Jewish Marxists" into the picture doesn't exactly indicate Atzmon is only talking about Zionists and neoconservatives.

    • "How can he be any more clear that he is talking about the “Israeli experience”?"

      When I said Atzmon needs to be upfront that he's talking about the Israeli experience, that was a direct response to this part from Danaa:

      The way he talks about the continuum from Deutoronomy to present day Israel is an all too true description of the Israeli experience (even if it may not be the Jewish experience outside Israel). A continuum, straight from the bible, and through endless centuries of Jewish achievement interspersed with unrelenting of “irrational” persecution, and bingo, softly land into the modern Judaen experience, is precisely what one takes away from the bloody-mindedness of the full-bodied Israeli educational system.

      In other words, Danaa took Atzmon's writing that I am calling antisemitic to be about how Jewish Israelis are educated, and in no way does he set out to explain that.

      "But that is exactly what Atzmon is saying, and you dispute this by calling it anti-semitic."

      What I'm calling anti-semitic is that Atzmon explains Jewish behavior with reference to the Torah the exact same way Islamophobes explain Muslim behavior with reference to the Koran. Look at the paragraph under which I called him a nutjob: Zionists and neo-conservatives are very familiar with the different immoral teaching within the Judaic spiritual and religious heritage that matured into Zionist looting. Foolishly, they try to project it on to Islam and Muslims.

      This can't be any more straightforward. He's not talking about the factual history of Zionism anymore. He's saying that peculiar Jewish traits can explain the behavior of Jews as a group. And the "Judaic spiritual and religious heritage" is one of those traits. It's one thing to point out that Zionist figures have used the Torah as a justification. It's another thing altogether to tell us Islamophobes are projecting when they say the Koran is the cause of terrorism, and would be correct if only they made the same argument about the Torah and the theft of Palestine.

      Like I said before, if the Torah can explain the actions of Zionists - And that is a different task altogether than pointing out they use the Torah as a self-justification - Atzmon needs to explain why political Zionism started in Basel instead of Baghdad. That he doesn't bother is only one example of why he can not write seriously on the subject.

    • Danaa, although you might find some deconstruction of Israeli society in Atzmon's writing, there is nothing in 'Swindler's List' as a whole to suggest that. If he's going to write about the educational system in Israel, if that bit about the continuum between Deuteronomy and Israel is supposed to be about the Israeli experience, he has to be upfront about it. James Joyce can get away with vague writing... not him.

      Given that I'm wrong about the purpose of Atzmon's article ("casting aspersions on any given political expression by Jews" like I said above), it has no clear purpose. There's got to be an alternate explanation for why he jumps from criticizing anti-Muslim scaremongering to Jewish Marxists.

      "there can be absolutely no doubt that zionism did intend to “rob the land” so they can “work the land” and in doing so found justification in both jewish and socialist texts"

      Nobody disputes this. None of what Atzmon writes that I find objectionable has anything to do with the factual history of Zionism.

      Of course Atzmon doesn't write about Jews for the same reason as, say, Houston Stewart Chamberlain or Heinrich von Treitschke. Whatever his personal motivation, however he got to this point, the end product stinks. If he's going to lay out how Israel turns you into a goy-hating drone, he should just shut up and do it instead of insulting all his anti-Zionist critics. But somehow it doesn't seem like he's really interested in that, either.

      Speaking of which, you don't think calling As'ad abu Khalil an "Anti Zionist Zionist" was libelous?

    • I already took on this article in a long discussion about Atzmon last year -- and ended up arguing with the man himself. Everything in that article leading up to Israel Shahak's name misrepresents what he wrote in 'Jewish History, Jewish Religion', because Shahak's purpose was to explain how the Medieval Rabbinic tradition led to the radical settler movement. His Talmudic citations were not meant to analyze the root causes of antisemitism and Atzmon should not have presented him in that light. That summarizes what I said below.

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      Atzmon thinks scholars should look for "the root causes that may well have led to an antisemitic event, ideology or text" and what's his idea of a root cause? "The considerable body of anti-gentile views", "Jewish cultural supremacy" and "Jewish political lobbying". This is one example of how I find him manipulative: He pretends to care about deconstructing antisemitism as a historical phenomenon, yet his idea of such is to look at Jewish traits or behavior that invited the hostility on themselves.

      Once again, I've never seen any discussion on racism around MW that would suggest the behavior of the target can be a source of explanation. If someone came around suggesting Israelis should be afraid of a Palestinian return because of Arabs killing each other in Syria or Iraq, that would be called racist and rightly so.

      So what is Atzmon saying here, if not what I just laid out?

    • If you didn't already find them in the letter signed by As'ad Abu Khalil, I'm not terribly inclined to go looking for more Atzmon to read so as to find more quotations that weren't cited in the letter. Not to mention I already cited an example above that's not in the letter, so that knocks it down to two statements.

      So if you don't mind all three statements coming from the same article, here's a hackjob on 'Swindler's List':

      Needless to say, so far these recurring attempts have been futile if not actually counter-effective. Not a single Western politician, Zionist campaigner or neo-conservative think tank has managed to establish a comprehensive case against Islam. The reason is simple: in spite of the clear fact that some terrible atrocities have been committed in the name of Islam and in the name of jihad, these acts were performed by disparate, radicalized and isolated cells

      This is okay, so far. There's always room for one more good debunking on Islamophobia. However, Atzmon takes a peculiar turn from here...

      Since the collective incrimination of Muslims stands at the premise of neo-conservative philosophy and global Zionism, and since both Zionists and their neo-conservative twins are doing poorly on that front, I have decided to dedicate this paper to a pedagogic cause and try to help them out. I will give here a crash course in rhetoric. I will try to enlighten our foes and show them, step by step, how to establish a case based on a continuum between the holy scripture and merciless collective barbarism.

      Now, this could be satirical. And he leaves enough wiggle room to claim as much if he's called on it, at least in this paragraph. However, he does not devote any space to explaining why anyone needs to, "establish a case based on a continuum between the holy scripture and merciless collective barbarism." Instead, he goes on to do exactly that without a trace of irony.

      In fact, there are many other ways to save the Judaic God from being the logos behind contemporary Israeli plundering, yet it is not that easy to save the Israelites from being presented as robbers and plunderers, especially in the light of their spiritual, cultural and religious heritage. In short, it is actually impossible not to see the continuum between Deuteronomy 6:10 and the crimes against the Palestinian people that are committed by the Jewish state in the name of the Jewish people.

      Now here is an example of how after endless condemnation of the behavior of Zionists, Atzmon is still one himself. The idea that there's a continuity between present-day Israelis and the Ancient Israelites is Zionism 101. Again, this could be a satirical point to show how bigoted Islamophobes are. That's what I'd like to believe. However, the thickness with which he lays on this point and his anti-Marxism leads me to conclude he's earnestly asserting the Torah can explain the actions of Jews in modern history.

      It seems obvious: the recurring failure by Zionists and neo-conservatives to defame Islam and Muslims is actually nothing more than a banal projection. Zionists and neo-conservatives are very familiar with the different immoral teaching within the Judaic spiritual and religious heritage that matured into Zionist looting. Foolishly, they try to project it on to Islam and Muslims. After reading Moses’s oratory we may have to confess that the Jewish nationalist project that is supported by the vast majority of Jewish institutions around the world is an attempt to rob the indigenous Palestinians in line with a cultural and religious heritage that is overwhelmingly documented in the Judaic Bible.

      And there we have it. The money shot. The proof that Atzmon is a nutjob. Instead of making a point against religious bigotry, he is saying in no uncertain terms the Zionists and neoconservative campaigners against Islam would be correct if they spoke about Judaism. It's not possible to find satire or irony in his thesis at this point. He's seriously telling us the actions of the Zionists in Palestine can be explained by Judaic scripture. And just for good measure:

      On the face of it, robbing the rich, confiscating their homes and grabbing their wealth is seen as an ethical act within the progressive discourse. As a young revolutionary I myself took part in some righteous parades. I was ready to grab my sword and to join the hunt for a Tsar, a capitalist or any other enemy who may cross my way. But then the inevitable happened: I grew up. I realized that such vengeance towards an entire class of wealthy goyim is no more than an extension of Moses’s oratory of Deuteronomy, Chapter 6.

      Now he's on a completely left-field anti-Marxism kick that disrupts the flow of his article, or it would if the point was to deconstruct anti-Islamic rhetoric instead of casting aspersions on any given political expression by Jews.

      Now, the Bundists were anti-Zionist in general. So much they formed a different group in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Moshe Olgin for example referred to the Palestinians as the established inhabitants of Palestine who were there hundreds of years before the arrival of the Zionist settlers. The fact that Atzmon could boil down socialism to "robbing the rich" only shows he has a belligerent misunderstanding of the term - socialists do not want to steal what the rich have, they want to destroy the basis of their wealth so no one can have it. The fact that he places Marxism as an extension of "Judaic spiritual and religious heritage that matured into Zionist looting" shows he's antisemitic no less than any given ruling class figure from Marx's time.

      And for good measure, the three statements are in bold. "the different immoral teaching within the Judaic spiritual and religious heritage that matured into Zionist looting." - This is yet another formulation of his that is flatout antisemitic on its own without the extended quote.

      Oh, on the off chance anyone thinks the whole article is satirical, that can only mean Atzmon himself is 100% full of satire.

    • "Jewish people would have pressured a group of Palestinian writers to dismiss Atzmon precisely because he a Jewish problem – for them. And don’t think they lack the wherewithal to do it."

      Either that, or Ali Abunimah, Omar Barghouti, Joseph Massad, et. al decided by their own cognitive reasoning that Atzmon is damaging to their cause based solely on their own reaction to his writings and not how Jewish people react to them. Now, it's just me, but it doesn't seem very respectful to assume off the bat they caved in to Jewish pressure.

      What is so amazing about Atzmon he gets a pass to call anti-Zionist Jews "tribal" for identifying as Jews; an Arab anti-Zionist a "Sabbath goy" and an ally of "Jewish marxists"; portray the Jewish holy texts as the cause of anti-semitism ("if we are to even begin to understand the roots of anti Semitism, then primary attention must surely also be dedicated to the considerable body of anti-gentile views expressed within the Torah, Talmud")... That is complete filth, not scholarship.

      I haven't seen one Mondoweiss poster defend Nonie Darwish. She grew up in Egypt and speaks about jihad. She's readily recognized as a racist even though she's also an Arab. The fact that Atzmon is a self-described ex-Jew who's racist against Jews should not even be controversial and it doesn't take more than the comment quoted above to realize it.

    • "The rejection of Atzmon was probably to some extent the result of white (and Jewish) people telling the Palestinians who they should and should not associate with."

      The exchange between Atzmon and Asad abu Khalil should blow that out of the water. If Atzmon calling him an "honorary Sabbath goy" and "Anti Zionist Zionist" does not show he's a total moron, what will it take? Look at how he made fun of Prof. abu Khalil, someone he owes a great deal of atonement, and tell yourself he's not an arrogant ass.

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  • Rockets are collective punishment
    • "Collective punishment and intentional attacks on civilians are wrong, no matter who practices them or why."

      If that's the case, Burston should turn against Zionism in toto. This is nauseatingly hypocritical as he's not really rejecting intentional attacks on civilians as a matter of principle. He's rejecting attacks that do not expand the Jewish and demographic state and only add to its delegitimization.

      Sadly, I have to link another Burston oped.

      "In return for my acquiescence, the settlement movement blackened Israel's democracy and its very name. We gave them Yitzhak Rabin and they gave us Avigdor Lieberman."

      In 1949, Rabin gave the order to demolish Iraq al-Manshiya and al-Faluja despite an explicit promise to protect these villages in an annex to the armistice with Egypt. As defense minister, he's famous for the savage beatings of demonstrators during the first intifada.
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      "Settlement has long been, and remains, the fuel for the fire of de-legitimization of Israel, the basis of charges of apartheid and ethnic cleansing. It undermines the foundation of the idea of a Jewish state. It turns the very word settlement into an obscenity."

      Uri Davis' work demonstrates that Israel is an apartheid state in the 1949 armistice boundary, nevermind the occupied West Bank and Gaza. Non-Jewish citizens of Israel can not lease land held by the govt. or the JNF, which is 93% of the land in the Green Line. A Palestinian-Israeli, Adel Kaadan, had to wage a ten year legal battle just to live in a small Jewish town. Even though he technically won, the result only applied to him and was not a general ruling against segregating Arabs from Jewish towns. Even though Burston will probably not have a problem with challenging this situation, it's in place because of the Zionist state he supports.

      "Every morning the settlements expand, the democratic and Jewish character of Israel is undermined, Israel's standing as a member of the community of nations is called further into question, and the support of this country's indispensible American ally is clouded, casting a shadow over the security of everyone here."

      This tells you pretty well what Burston really cares about. The whole decision to create a Jewish state in Palestine was not democratic to begin with as it excluded the Palestinians who should have been able to live in and build their own country instead of being expelled en masse at gunpoint. Burston will not condemn that action because it was necessary for the demographic (not democratic) and Jewish character of Israel.

      "Like many a bigot, I truly have no quarrel with the vast majority of the Jewish residents of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But I do not want them to force the majority of Israelis, myself included, to live in a new Arab country which retains the name of Israel. I have no problem at all with Arab countries. But I didn't come here to live in one."

      Hint: 50% of Jewish Israelis are of Arab background which would make Israel an Arab country as it stands. Now, of course many will disavow that Jews from Morocco, Yemen and Iraq are Arabs, yet they spoke Arabic there, so that would raise the question as to why Muslims and Christians from the same regions who speak the same language are Arabs, but not Jews. The separation of Jew and Arab into mutually exclusive identities is a racist trope that was brought on by European colonialists, Zionists as well as their British and French backers.

      I really get the impression that had the West Bank been cleared of Arabs quickly after 1967, fast enough so that his generation didn't have to protect the settlers, Burston would be outspoken about as much as he is on 1948. His concern is for protecting the hard-won gains of 1948 which are threatened by the settlements expanding the boundary line to include more Arabs.

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  • Responses to Toulouse murders from Palestinian orgs and Jerusalem mourners
    • That we're civilized and they are bloodthirsty fanatics, even the ones who are killed themselves. Because obviously that's what you think.

  • As I read this, I cringe
    • Had I grown up in the Zionist Entity, I would definitely be stained with an IDF service, just as I'm stained by not resisting the non-existent draft you have to register for. Once you send in that selective service card, you can't unsend it.

  • When victims retaliate: A response to Bradley Burston
    • Burston says a whole lot of nothing so it seems like he's critical of Israel though not really. Look at this navel gazing trash.

      link to

      “”God protect you from us, and from your own people. You will be scoffed at even as you are shot at. There are people on both sides for whom non-violence causes a sense of unease, a sense of being, forgive me, emasculated.

      Teach us to grow up.

      Teach us what we have lost. Our sense of shame.”

      There's two ways to read that. He either knows the IDF can kill civilians deliberately, as in, not collateral damage, or he thinks there's no real danger for non-violent resisters, so he's making fun of them. This guy exists only to give Israeli media a sense of soul-searching. His kind think it's really cute to act like they're in and out of rehab only instead of drinking they shoot civilians. Engaging with him is a complete waste of time because he's the kind of bullshit artist as only Zionism with a liberal face can bring you. If he's reading this, what can I say? Yeridah for Israel, Bradley.

  • The myth of Israel's favorable treatment of Palestinian Christians
    • I would think twice before relying on Bridgett Gabriel as a source on Lebanon.

      "For anyone like me who grew up in a civil war context, I will tell you her first big lie. She claims that during the civil war in Lebanon she lived for seven long years in a bomb shelter. As those of you who grew up in Lebanon, you know that people never stay in the bomb shelter for more than a few days because wars don't go on uninterruptedly but they go through periods of intense fighting, then lulls, then cease-fires then temporary peace and then more fighting and so on. So this in itself is the biggest lie of the book. I have run into many liars from Lebanon, but her lies are by far the biggest ones."

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      "I have read nothing in this topic to contradict the conclusion that Christians are under serious threat in every Arab country, whilst Christians in Israel relatively speaking are many times better off, despite the intolerances that do exist and Michael Oren admits that."

      There are few Christians in Israel to threaten in the first place. Palestinian Christians were certainly under serious threat during the British Mandate and the 1948 war from Zionists. This is really cute. You cite the depopulation of Lebanese Christians as a sign of Muslim intolerance, yet their expulsion from Palestine is proof that Israel is a liberal, tolerant, modern blah blah blah.

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • "Very intriguing comment Atzmon made in discussion with Mezvinsky — Atzmon said “Jews have no ethics. Their code of conduct is the rules from Moses, the Covenant, so that if they obey those rules, they are obeying god. But there is no Jewish system of ethics, to evaluate right from wrong.” He elaborated. "

      This contrasts heavily with Shahak in 'The Weight of 3000 Years':

      From the ethical point of view, classical Judaism represents a process of degeneration, which is still going on; and this degeneration into a tribal collection of empty rituals and magic superstitions has very important social and political consequences. For it must be remembered that it is precisely the superstitions of classical Judaism which have the greatest hold on the Jewish masses, rather than those parts of the Bible or even the Talmud which are of real religious and ethical value. (The same can be observed also in other religions which are now undergoing revival.)

      You can't read Shahak and come away with the impression that there's a "Jewishness" as Atzmon pushes it. Shahak actually cared about religious practice as it evolved (or degraded as he'd put it) based on social conditions and the demands of circumstance.

      And the 'Wandering Who' passage quoted above doesn't take into account that Weizmann and his ilk saw Jewishness as a national grouping irrespective of religious practice (Though their views on the sacred text is a complex subject in itself). This is from the era where it was common for men of science to postulate the biological characteristics of national groupings - what we call eugenics - and that's the context for the rise of political Zionism. Does Atzmon deal with that at all? If not, he's a charlatan.

    • First, a full disclaimer, I've argued with Atzmon here before, basically explaining how he and Israel Shahak are not alike.
      link to

      "Doesn’t messianic and xenophobic ethnic nationalism lie at the heart of the Jewish tradition — in the Torah, Old Testament and Talmud? The vision of a long succession of conflicts and wars against “the nations” (other ethnic groups), culminating in the triumph of Moshiach over the unchosen nations?"

      This begs the question why political Zionism originated in Basel and not Baghdad or Jerusalem. Of course Atzmon can't answer that and wouldn't give a damn about it anyway because where historical knowledge fails him, he falls back on prejudice.

      In all my attempts to read him, I saw no evidence that he seriously researched the history of any Jewish community anywhere in the world or the Zionist movement for that matter. Or that he has any sort of framework for how Jewish tradition and political behavior inform each other. Shahak did, though I think he was too Eurocentric in linking the chauvinistic texts with the radical settler movement. So does Etan Bloom whose thesis on Ruppin touches on how Jewish traditional roles became secularized, yet still diffused into Zionism. Atzmon rehashes cliches about "Jewish Marxists". His target is one undifferentiated mass called Jews and nouns preceded by the adjective "Jewish". There's nothing specific about his critique. There's no reason to listen to him anymore than Nonie Darwish or Walid Shoehat.

      He may or may not know this much: The early settlements in Palestine did not behave as if Jews were superior to the goys. They behaved as if white Europeans were superior to orientals, and it showed not only in their shabby treatment of Arabs, but also in their shabby treatment of oriental Jews. The founder of the kibbutz movement, Arthur Ruppin, expected them to die of natural causes for the weakness of their race, and did not want them as part of the Zionist movement, though he acceded to recruit a handful for menial labor. You have to be kidding me to assert that came from Judaism. Ruppin got that from the eugenics movement in Germany. There's a lot more baggage attached to that than Atzmon would bother to unravel. Etan Bloom did some of the work.

      And it's out and out ignorant to portray Zionism as the natural outgrowth of the Torah, Talmud... Herzl himself was uneducated on Jewish religion. For God's sake, the guy expected dueling (as in, take ten paces, turn, fire) to be regulated in his Jewish state. That would not be possible in a Jewish theocracy. Herzl, Ruppin, Ben-Gurion, Weizmann, and virtually all the figures who were important in creating the Usurping Entity were atheists and turned their backs on rabbinical education. And they hated haredim. Yet Ben-Gurion did giveaway important state functions to the two chief rabbis, namely education and conversion, though notably not legislation. The Zionist movement's relationship with religion is a lot more complicated than ten-cent analyses about chauvinism in the texts.

      I too am amazed that people who'd know better than to say something like "9-11 came from the Koran" would go around saying Israel is caused by Jewish tradition. That right there is in agreement with Zionism, not calling out Atzmon's barenaked bum.

  • "Didn't we learn anything from 1938?' Wasserman Schultz's opposition says Palestinians belong in Jordan
    • "“I personally wish that the Jews do not drive us to this war, as this will be a war of extermination and momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Tartar massacre[10] or the Crusader wars."

      Well, it's interesting to find out the original source of this quote, but it's still silly to claim Azzam Pasha or any given Arab leader had a genocidal intent based on it. The whole extended quote leaves the impression that he expects a lot of fatalities on both sides as opposed to a one-way slaughter. In any event, the idea that he is inciting Arabs to emulate the behavior of the Crusaders is just... weird. Who the hell tries to motivate their soldiers by telling them to kill the same way their ancestors were killed? It doesn't follow that he planned for Arab soldiers to wantonly slaughter as the Crusaders did.

      Also, he sounds like a typical Western colonial agent with this line, "war gives the Bedouin a sense of happiness, bliss, and security that peace does not provide! …" Uh-huh, riiiight.

  • How a comic book healed the wounds of normalization
    • tokyobk -

      Many early Zionist figures referred to what they were doing as colonialism. A famous example is Jabotinsky in his "Iron Wall" article, which disingenuously claimed the Palestinians would not have to be expelled for settlement, yet posited an "iron wall of bayonets" to make them accept the Jewish settlers. Another case is Aharon Eisenberg whose company Agudat Netaim developed farms on moshavot for private ownership. (See Land, Labor by Gershon Shafir)

      The third president of the WZO, Otto Warburg, belonged to the Prussian Colonization Company and worked as a land surveyor for German settlement of Poland. He was the one who gave Ruppin the mandate to form a WZO office in Jaffa. And building settlements in Palestine was just one of his projects; he proposed a railroad from Germany to Baghdad running through Anatolia with Jewish colonies on either side of the tracks (Of course this didn't go anywhere). Ruppin himself viewed the PCC as a model for settling Palestine with the exception of Hebracizing the natives (It was policy of the PCC to Germanize the Polish as Ruppin was).

      The most significant indicator of Zionism's colonial nature, and something that needs to be acknowledged when you talk about 'historic connection to the land', is that like most colonial settlers the European Zionists despised the natives they found in their colonies, and the Old Yishuv was no exception. When Yemenite Jews arrived just before WWI, they had to live in barracks built for them away from the moshavim they worked at. Only Ashkenazim were allowed in a kibbutz.

      "The historic connection to the land" was for European Jews and only European Jews. Arab Jews were a source of imported labor. That's how they were treated by the developing colonies before 1948 and that's how Mideastern Jews were treated after Palestine was made into a Jewish state.

      Now, although the settlers didn't arrive in the name of a mother country, the Zionist project itself was integrated into or spun-off from other colonial projects, including the above-mentioned PCC. Some technical experts from Algeria joined the moshavim, the German embassy protected the Yishuv from Turkish hostility until almost before the British took Jerusalem, and of course Ben-Gurion and others formed a Jewish Legion carrying the British flag. Few of the settlements in Palestine before WWI were profitable and the British takeover was needed to make the Yishuv a force that could conquer Palestine.

      What really makes Zionism colonialist, in my view, is that like the Puritans and Quakers who settled North America, Jewish settlement in Palestine was backed by imperialists who detested Jews and saw this project as a way to get rid of them and solve their socialist revolutionary problem. And that's how Herzl pitched the idea to the European statesmen he met.

  • The liberal Zionist inability to confront the right of return
    • Morris couldn't even get a job in the mid-90's without the intervention of Ezer Weizmann. And only after an interview where Weizmann flat out asked if he supports Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. I skimmed through '1948' and while the material on Deir Yassin from 'Birth' is outright recycled, details like the Haganah raids on Balad as-Sheikh and Wadi Nisnas with orders to kill adult males didn't seem to be in there. No big surprise.

  • Praise the 'NYT' for exposing an American Jewish family's argument over Israel/Palestine
    • On one hand, it was an interesting story -- Then again, why does it take a Jewish activist to relate settlers shooting farmers? Why couldn't a Palestinian write about it directly? Probably the same reason the editorial on 'pinkwashing' only talked about the Brand Israel PR offensive without going into what homosexuals actually face in Israel if they aren't Jewish.

      But when Tayseer does make it from Gaza to Israel via the West Bank, his story is one of fear of being expelled just for being Palestinian. The rest of what Klein Halevi describes of lives of such Palestinians is homelessness, prostitution, fear, alienation, compromise and violence regardless of the status of the Israeli-controlled territory where they are. Palestinian men live on the streets of Tel Aviv and work as prostitutes. Israeli Jews are their clients, benefactors, friends and even partners.

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  • Israel's threat to attack Iran-- will Obama capitulate to that as well?
    • Okay, this is a serious question now: Has Iran provided Hezbollah with the hardware necessary to fight a conventional war or even overfly Israel? Does H possess Iranian fighter jets? So how likely is Iran to hand out nukes in the event of producing any?

    • Let's see here...

      -In the states we honor our martyrs on Memorial Day. Of course we call them fallen instead of martyrs.

      -Hezbollah is not the NSDAP and Lebanon is not Germany. Newsflash: Hezbollah is not an invading army. It defends its country from invasion. Newsflash: Hezbollah hasn't advocated any anti-Jewish measures in Lebanon. Maybe I should start killing art school dropouts one-by-one. There's no reason to believe they'll become another Hitler, but with the survival of the Jews at stake, can you really afford to take that chance?

  • US Freedom Riders woke a nation. Palestinian Freedom Riders must wake the world
    • I was going to argue with ymedad using this table but then noticed he already pooh-pooh'd it on his blog.

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    • "just remind me about the comparison with the civil rights movement, when were Southern blacks using terror tactics which obligated a stringent ecurity apparatus which led to oppression?"

      In other words, had blacks responded to lynching by killing whites, the segregationist measures that were already in place would be justified on security grounds. And those struggling against segregation through non-violent tactics would be completely discredited in the eyes of, well, those who imposed it on them to begin with.

      Also, the segregation itself isn't a sufficient cause for Palestinian attacks. It's backing up the segregation through military offensives on civilians. You need to feign a lot of cluelessness to cast the segregated people as the bad guy.

  • Bellow: Diaspora Jews support Israel because it restored our 'manliness' after the Holocaust
    • "What I am saying is that if Israel would have been formed before the war it could have helped the Jews."

      You are ignoring everything that had to be done to establish Israel. No nakba, no Israel.

      "It is a judgement call, and in my judgement and in the judgement of many others, a Jewish state would have been able to save many Jewish lives."

      Then explain the logistics. Moving many Jews to one location isn't going to save them ipso facto. "Israel" circa 1939 could have been a glorified de facto concentration camp, depending on how the war turned out. And it would have been 100% dependent on Britain for defense.

      "They were not going to replace anybody unless they were attacked."

      An internal WZO memorandum in 1907 (Written by Ruppin) called for a Jewish majority in Palestine. The Zionist leadership made their intentions explicit, if only to themselves, to replace the Palestinians that early.

      "You are against saving several hundreds of thousands of Jews because you think they had the intent of remaining in Palestine and evicting the Palestinians."

      Actually I can not establish the intent of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Other the other hand, the intent of the political leadership of the Zionist movement can be established. And the point is that the Zionist leadership chose a Jewish state over rescuing Jews. That's not my "position," it's what happened. During the 40 years preceding 1933, the Zionist movement could have put its efforts into creating refuge for Jews all over the world instead of colonizing Palestine. They were hellbent on Palestine regardless if it would save Jews or not.

      Oh, and you said this above, "You are a low life taking what I said out of context," yet you did the same with my argument. Not that I'm bothered (I don't expect any better from you), but if no one tells you you're acting like a childish idiot, how will you know?

    • "You guys always make me laugh because even in 1938 you would have been against a Jewish state. So what if several hundreds of thousands of Jews could have been saved you would argue, it should never be done at the expense of the Arabs in Palestine."

      Eee, it's very easy for you to write this crap because you base it on nothing except emotion. Some people like to critically think before they put an argument together. Instead of asking us if we would have supported a Jewish state in 1938, why don't you ask how an Israel in 1938 was going to take care of several hundred thousand more Jews without dispossessed Palestinian property and reparations from the FDR. Don't forget, the Zionist Organization did not accept the Peel Commission plan; it was to be the basis for further negotiation (Ben-Gurion wanted to accept it, though).

      In the real world, after the Palestinians were expelled and Jewish immigrants from the Middle East arrived, Israel needed an austerity measure to take care of 1 million Jews. There's no way it would have been food self-sufficient in 1938. Germany could still have invaded "Israel" or cut-off food imports through submarine warfare. Your arguments take for granted that "Israel" would have saved many additional Jews when that wasn't a guarantee.

      To really deal with your last, silly sentence, no one objects to several hundred thousand people taking refuge in a country. But the Jews who would have fled to Palestine were not just going to sit out the war and go home; they were going to replace the people already living there. There's no way they could have accepted that. If anything, relentlessly pursuing a Jewish state in Palestine made it untenable for Jews to take refuge there.

  • Strategic asset or rogue state? Israel's threats to Iran 'concern' Pentagon
    • "Goyim kill goyim and blame the Jews" - Begin on Sabra and Shatila

    • "Both scenarios are horrific, but the Iran-nuking-Israel is actually the lesser of the two evils when you think about it."

      And the best part, Palestine will be open for the refugees to return. Sure the country will be irradiated and may never grow anything again, but you can't make an omelet without sprouting a few mushrooms.

  • JTA wonders why 'Jewish influence' is so 'pervasive' in our politics
    • "The nature of this conflict is such that the democratic will of the Palestinians conflicts with that of Jews. That usually leads to war as in this case."

      Let's chew over this Orwellian claptrap for a minute. You might as well change 'war is peace' to 'war is democracy'. War is about as authoritarian, anti-democratic and disdainful of the individual as it gets. The Zionist settlers chose an aim that would lead to war. Had the Palestinians fled their country without even an ineffective attempt at fighting back, which was the minimum necessary to avoid conflict with the settlers, there still would have been war on them. This was not a clash of democratic wills. It was a clash of racist tyranny on the part of the Zionists vs. the natural right of the Palestinians to remain in their country.

      The fact that the Yishuv at large was willing to be conscripted as the foot-soldiers of such tyranny does not make it democratic. It only means they submitted the basis for their livelihood to an authoritarian structure. It's like arguing Assad has a democratic mandate because many in Syria still support him.

      Zionism started as an aggressive proto-fascism that can not by definition respect anyone's democratic will. It will only claim a democratic mandate, as you attempt here, to legitimate expulsion, thus denying other people their rights.

    • "what most Jews agreed to democratically"

      How dare Rosa Parks went against what most Americans agreed to democratically.

      You don't really care about democracy. Otherwise you would respect the democratic will of the Palestinians to return to their country. Democracy is supposed to protect other people's rights, not your right to take away theirs.

  • Goldstone sugarcoats persecution to try to save Israel
    • dimadok, here's a list of individuals you should know about:

      Azmi Bishara - Former Knesset member who was charged with 'support for a terrorist organization' after visiting Syria; yet Lisa Goldmann has not been in trouble for using her second passport to visit Lebanon.

      Mahmoud Darwish - Harassed by the military governor of the Galilee for reciting poetry until he left Israel

      Adel Kaadan - Could move to a Jewish town only after ten years of litigation

      Fatina and Ahmed Zabeidat - Needed a high court order to obtain a plot of land in Rakefet

      Manhash al-Baniyat - Bedouin tracker whose house in an unrecognized village was demolished after he was KIA.

      And the fact that several Israeli Palestinians attained what sound like impressive positions on paper doesn't mitigate a few facts: The High Court of Justice is less powerful than the army which can blow off its rulings; The president of Israel doesn't have any formal powers (briefly acting, like, wow); Majadele could only join the cabinet as a member of the Labor party; As someone pointed out here, Arab parties have never been represented in the cabinet and the cabinet has the real power to decide if Israel goes to war; Most of all, no one is impressed that the IDF use Bedouin as trackers and border guards. It's not uncommon for a regime that persecutes a certain group to recruit some agents from that group (See below).

      Saddam's deputy prime minister was Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Christian. Would you seriously believe Saddam did not persecute Iraqi Christians on that information alone? The Iraqi army under Saddam also had Shiite officers, so how can you possibly argue Saddam had anything against Shiites?

      The Bahraini ambassador to the US is a Jewish woman. Are you going to start praising Bahrain's treatment of minorities now?

      You want to talk about minority rights? The current defense minister of Syria is a Greek Orthodox.

      So even for the sake of argument you pretend Israel is a liberal democracy with an Arab minority instead of a colonial-settler state ruled by a minority that has forcibly displaced and disenfranchised the majority, a handful of people in what sound like important stations does not tell you how the minority really fares under the government.

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