Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 30456 (since 2009-07-30 20:11:08)

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

Showing comments 30456 - 30401

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • what part can't you agree with since nada never said Participation by American Jews in the movement for justice for Palestinians was not a very good thing?

      some 90+% of the US population is neither Jewish nor Arab, and the struggle to reach a tipping point will be decided in this group.

      exactly -- and another reason why we shouldn't be privileging jewish voices.

    • really? you don't think bds legislation on campuses of higher learning all across the US is making an impact? where do you think leaders of tomorrow come from? it's global and it's important

    • It is not privilege. It is responsibility.

      i think you may benefit by looking at it from a different (non jewish) perspective. the reason a non jewish person may privilege a jewish perspective is because they 'implicitly accept the Zionist narrative of Israel representing all Jews, with very few exceptions'.

      so this is not an accusation jews support palestine liberation because they feel privileged -- it is the idea the listener privileges the jewish voice, for permission or what ever. the jewish person may privilege the jewish voice, or the non jewish person privileges the jewish voice or witness. but in reality, we shouldn't. only a palestinians witness knows the experience -- so they should be privileged. and every other witness, jewish or non jewish, should be judged solely on their words and deeds. your responsibility -- or a jewish responsibility, is no greater than mine to end this. as an american i am culpable. it's my responsibility too.

      american support won't end when jews feel responsible, it will end when the vast majority of americans feel responsible. and they don't need permission from jews to feel that -- or they shouldn't anyway.

    • Hearing “Jewish Voices” for Palestine “gives people permission” to change their outlook and then to speak out themselves.

      true, but sad. it shouldn't be this way. it is like this because society is programmed. do not buy into it. every voice matters and there's no reason we should be privileging jewish voices in this conversation -- at all. to change american policy on israel we need the masses, every voice. nobody needs permission from jews or the jewish community to be honest or speak their mind, ever.

      They want a bona fide certificate to show they are not anti-Semites and they think that Jews and only Jews have the credentials to issue such certificates. The question I would like to ask is: how should we anti-Zionist Jews respond? Do we say: “I give you permission, here is your certificate”? Or do we say: “There are no such certificates and you do not need permission from me or anyone else”?

      tell them the accusation of anti semitism is the most powerful tool used to support decades of war crimes and occupation. tell them if palestinians can suffer for so long your least worry should be to be labeled an anti semite for following your conscience. ask them why they are privileging your opinion over their own?

      tell them the idea "Jews and only Jews have the credentials to issue such certificates" is, at it's core, anti semitic because it empowers and perpetuates the concept that jews have power over society. so #2 for sure:

      “There are no such certificates and you do not need permission from me or anyone else”

      and finally tell them -- silence is a cowardly position. don't use anti semitism like a shield to stand behind as a justification to do nothing. speak out -- the louder the better and there will be people backing them up.

  • Two more young Palestinians are shot dead -- this time after one allegedly throws a knife
  • Sanders 'put everything on the line' for Palestine because BDS movement has changed US conversation -- Peled
    • About the conversation changing in the US, i am reminded of an article phil linked to yesterday, by Eva Illouz 47 Years a Slave: A New Perspective on the Occupation
      read more: link to

      Arguments against slavery were advanced in the 18th century, but only in the 19th century did the argument against slavery gain momentum and become widespread, especially among city dwellers. Many reasons were offered for the striking change of attitude, the most obvious being the circulation of enlightenment ideas about the basic rights of human beings; the emergence of mass circulated newspapers and novels that depicted stories of suffering and made empathy into a civilized emotion; the increasing recognition that distant strangers were human beings equal and similar in rights. The eminent historian of slavery, David Brion Davis, claims that, ultimately, it was a moral argument that compelled England to claim the Transatlantic Commerce of Slaves illegal, and it was a moral argument that gave rise to what historians have called “humanitarian sensibility” in Britain and in the United States – that is, a new awareness for the suffering of strangers and for the sacredness of the human person.

      there are so many similarities:

      with time, in the face of the systematic colonization of the land, the pervasive exclusion of Arabs from the body collective, the Judaization of Israel, the tone of the debate has changed and been replaced by a question about the moral nature of Zionism. Moral evaluations – whether we think people are “good” or “bad,” “just” or “unjust,” “worthy” or “unworthy” – are more fundamental to judgment than political opinion or aesthetic taste. In that sense, moral evaluations are far less negotiable than any other form of evaluation.

      morally, it's just wrong. and once people see that they can't turn back.

      and the obstacles:

      But the most significant obstacle was the proslavery ideology that was everywhere: in schoolbooks, political speeches, Church sermons, laws and fictional literature. As is always the case in history, once a group of people controls economic, human or territorial resources, it justifies its domination over a group with an ideology.

      What is ideology? The set of beliefs and stories a group that dominates another tells to itself in order to make its domination seem natural, deserved and necessary ....When the ideology is pervasive, present in different arenas (school textbooks, politics, newspapers) and when it is sustained by concrete economic and political interests, ideology becomes an automatic way of thinking, an irresistible way of explaining reality and acting – or not acting – in it.
      In order to defend and justify their domination over Africans, the proslavery camp used a number of arguments and diffused them widely: the first argument was a hierarchical view of human beings. Whites were unquestioningly superior to Africans, who were compared to animals, and as animals they were dangerous, to be domesticated and controlled. It is interesting to note that here, as in other and subsequent forms of racism, blacks were viewed both as weak (inferior) and strong (dangerous).

  • 'NYT' manages to make childhood detention story work for Israel
    • yes Sibiriak, it is very emotional.

    • it’s always amazing to me that people who oppose a Jewish state .... oppose the presence of Jews in Hebron, a place where they were the victims of a massacre in 1929 .... Israel isn’t a violent society.

      hops, you are really taxing our imaginations. violent jewish extremists set up a fortress in hebron and the zionist regime surrounded them with thousands of soldiers and made apartheid streets blocking stores and entrances and checkpoints. so please, don't yammer on about jewish victimhood because of a massacre in 1929 to justify executions in the streets today and mobs screaming death to arabs to defending executioners and then tell us israel is not a violent society. occupation is inherently violent, and you know that. everyone knows that. don't whitewash what is going on. the extremists worship a man who slaughtered praying worshipers -- and for this the zionist regime punishes the people of hebron. and you're "amazed" the jewish extremists in hebron are not welcome?

      your mind is in fairyland.

  • Chabon calls occupation 'the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life' and says he is 'culpable'
    • Okay, first of all, who is the author to make this comparison? Is he a black person, descendant of a enslaved black ancestor, or have any biological or social ties to the black community?

    • I have to assume that you are either deliberately trying to offend black people by downplaying the level of trauma they have collectively suffered or you are a white supremacist trying to whitewash the crime of white slavers and revise history to be more favourable to your own race.

      you're the 3rd incarnation we've had here of the same voice so you'll have to excuse me for not caring what you assume about me. you wrote this:

      Just as the Jew as a nationality, as an ethnic group, as a cultural identity was deceptively fabricated for Zionism, we have multiple identities here that owes their existence for the same exact reasonings.

      personally, although i wouldn't call it "exact" i'd suggest you read the link phil referenced earlier in this conversation, for it very much describes cultural similarities of the oppressors in both societies:

      What is ideology? The set of beliefs and stories a group that dominates another tells to itself in order to make its domination seem natural, deserved and necessary.... When the ideology is pervasive, present in different arenas (school textbooks, politics, newspapers) and when it is sustained by concrete economic and political interests, ideology becomes an automatic way of thinking, an irresistible way of explaining reality and acting – or not acting – in it.

      In order to defend and justify their domination over Africans, the proslavery camp used a number of arguments and diffused them widely: the first argument was a hierarchical view of human beings. Whites were unquestioningly superior to Africans, who were compared to animals, and as animals they were dangerous, to be domesticated and controlled. It is interesting to note that here, as in other and subsequent forms of racism, blacks were viewed both as weak (inferior) and strong (dangerous).

      Proslavery people in Britain and the United States further argued that Africa itself practiced slavery, and that Britain and America in fact were contributing to the cultural development of the slaves – because African societies were unskilled and primitive, they stood to benefit by being exposed to the “advanced” European civilization. The domination of a people is not only caused by the belief that a people is inherently inferior and dangerous, but the very act of domination makes these beliefs seem true: the proof of the racist was in the pudding of the plantation owner.

      Proslavers also argued that the land itself was crucial for the nation and for economic prosperity.

      read more: link to

      Perhaps more importantly, only by acknowledging that America as an ongoing settler-colonial project ..... we can accurately assess the vast scale of work needed to be done in order to liberate the oppressed.

      it's amusing -- your penchant for lecturing us on the similarities between the white supremacy embedded in american culture and a cultural identity that was "deceptively fabricated for Zionism" -- that justified and allowed the oppression of another people, and yet you not only reject using a era in american history that required society wallowing the same immoral morass, you accuse those who don't agree with you of white supremacy!

      so you should make up your mind. do oppressed people in america "owe[s] their existence for the same exact reasonings" that justify culturally oppressing a people, or not. because you can't have it both ways. it is the mental condition of superiority that allows the oppression and subjugation of another -- to treat them like animals and deny them freedom and rights and justice -- whether it be slavery, colonization, occupation -- ultimately the mentality of the oppressor jumps through the same immoral hoops to get there -- to justify their superiority.

    • I have to side with Hopmi in this one.

      we're shocked

    • do not completely lack rights (they publish newspapers that you quote all the time, they vote for their representatives, they may and have successfully petitioned the Israeli government

      under occupation, their representatives don't make the laws, so what difference does it make? they are subject to a military court system w/israeli military judges. and while they may be able to publish newspapers, they are still subject to military censorship determined by a governing body where they have no voice.

      land conflict where the rhetoric was about one group replacing another in order to reverse history.

      a land conflict where one group replaced another in order to reverse history. and buried in that phrase "one group replaced another" is collective punishment, home demolitions, home invasions, land confiscations, dissenters imprisoned (even for facebook postings), torture, the list goes on and on. all policies decided by people elected into office they couldn't vote for.

      Slave uprisings did not, to my knowledge, purposely try to murder as many white children as possible

      what hat did you pull that out of. palestinians are not trying to murder as many jewish children as possible. evidence suggests that distinction of killing children, if made, would fall on the israeli military -- and jewish terrorists burning children to death and bombing schools and hospitals.

    • Glad to see MW using American historical parallels such as ...

      david, it's not uncommon at all, in fact i just used one in my recent article here:
      link to

      The near constant use of Nazi parallels .... is alien, almost always off-putting and ultimately counterproductive in terms of Palestine solidarity.

      Let’s keep the light on the parallels that Americans can relate to directly

      we rarely if ever publish articles using israel/nazi parallels though i agree they are common in debates. but i'd challenge the idea americans don't (or can't) relate directly to WW2, the holocaust and nazis.

      partly i think this is a result of the "good war" reference to ww2 and that so many american families lost people in that war and the era of demonization of germany and germans prevalent in media during my upbringing (baby boomer generation) and many other reasons.. but more common is the constant references to the holocaust in american culture and media including how and why it relates to israel and israel's founding, and it's fairly difficult to approach that subject while avoiding "nazis". i'd argue ww2/nazis is not "remote" (or alien) to most americans at all, we are constantly reminded of it (unfortunately as far as i am concerned). and it's because of those constant reminders (which includes a constant drumbeat referencing and prioritizing anti semitism) -- as well as international law that came about directly as a result of that war, laws that israel is flagrantly violating today -- that parallels, (whether off-putting and ultimately counterproductive or not) will (imho) likely continue.

      that said, i find repetitive parallels annoying.

      and thanks for your lesson plan!

    • an excellent interview, hats off to zeveloff also. i loved his answer here:

      What role do novelists have to play in changing the status quo in Israel and the Palestinian Territories?

      What a creative writer, a fiction writer or a writer of creative non-fiction can bring is an overt point of view that doesn’t try to hide itself the way journalists are trained to be objective and conceal their biases and just “present the facts.” It is a strength to have a point of view, to implicitly or explicitly say to the reader: Here is where I am coming from and this is what I saw and this is what I thought of it and what I made of it and how it made me feel. It is all there on the page for the reader to accept or reject or connect to or not connect to, and it can be extremely powerful.

  • When 'Broad City' Went On Birthright, and taught us all a lesson about American Jews and Israel
    • jack, your ridiculous 1961 propaganda article ("The children are taught hate, the Garden of Eden stolen from them by murderers; their duty is to live for Return and Revenge.") -- you do understand nakba denial is not allowed at mondoweiss? it is a banning offense:

      . Sitting in his neat office, with my guide, the principal of the school (a former member of the Palestinian police), and the camp leader, I listened to the first of what became an almost daily Mad Hatter conversation.

      It went like this:

      "The Arab countries invaded Israel in 1948 to save the Palestine Arabs from being massacred by the Jews."

      "Were there massacres? Where?"

      "Oh, yes, everywhere. Terrible, terrible."

      "Then you must have lost many relatives and friends."

      This, being a tiresome deduction from a previous statement, is brushed aside without comment.

      "Israel overran the truce lines and stole our country. We left from fear. We have a right to our property, which brings in 47 million pounds a year in income. If we had our own money, we would need nothing from UNRWA. Our own money is much more. We do not have to be grateful for the little money spent on us. We should have our own."

      "Then, of course, you want to return to your property and to Israel?"

      "Not to Israel. Never to Israel. To our own country, to our own part."

      "But didn't the Jews accept Partition, while the Palestine Arabs and the Arab governments refused?"

      "Yes, yes. And England protected the Jews. An Arab was arrested if he carried a pistol only to defend himself, but Jews could go through the streets in tanks and nothing happened to them. Also, England told the Arab states to attack Israel."

      The principal of the school then spoke up. "In our school, we teach the children from their first year about their country and how it was stolen from them. I tell my son of seven. You will see: one day a man of eighty and a child so high, all, all will go home with arms in their hands and take back their country by force."

      On this warlike note, we left.

      Mad Hatter conversation?

    • you always highlight the tiny number of critics who make the same silly arguments about how the trip pushes marriage on its participants. It only confirms.... a number of the people who participate are the angry types who would doubtless find a way to be unhappy in some way.

      your comment suggests the idea birthright encourages hooking up or marriage is not only "silly" but comes, primarily, from angry people.

      link to

      Currently, the “success” of Birthright is measured by the likelihood that its participants will marry another Jew and raise future children within the Jewish faith. While it is sometimes lampooned as a “two-week hook-up fest,” this model should not be dismissed so flippantly — it does influence rates of in-marriage. The last two reports from the Jewish Futures Project demonstrate that Birthright participants are more likely to in-marry and convert spouses. And as those numbers increase, Birthright also influences decisions concerning religious education for participants’ children.
      These decisions regarding marriage and the family are, according to the report, “key indicators of their commitment to remain part of the Jewish collective.”

      maybe the the Jewish Futures Project is made up of a lot of "angry" people.

  • Another interview on Israeli TV
    • the fact remains that there is no distortion or mischaracterization in Sami’s very to-the-point summary. In all the long discussions, one of the never questioned, basic assumptions is that the invaders within human memory get to remain in Palestine.

      while anyone can distort and mischaracterize, it's also true people can misinterpret or read others words in a way that suits them. for example when samy wrote nor any jewish or non-jewish occupier in Palestine ! i interpreted that to mean no one should be there as an "occupier"/as an invader.

      and in this regard (misinterpreting) i think he was unfair rothchild to interpret her words as he did. for rothchild never spoke of a "lovely israel" she said "we honor the idea of equal rights and justice" in the declaration. and if you read the words relating to "equal rights and justice" they are not those speaking of jewish immigration -- which has nothing to do with "the idea of equal rights and justice".

      sami himself wrote:

      3. Our fight as Palestinians have never ever been against the jews but against the European colonizers who ethnically cleansed us and massacred us out of our homes, in the name of Talmudic heresies.
      4. Jews have been and will be welcomed in Palestine under the Palestinian rule.

      anyway, it's likely that once equality eventually emerges in palestine (it will, it's inevitable) there will be an exodus of zionists who can't or won't live without their privilege, their supremacist attitudes and positions. but it's not for you to decide or pontificate "who get[s] to remain" anyway, you're not palestinian and you can't speak for them.

    • I did, and keep doing it.

      oh, i get it. you want to have that same argument again in this thread even tho it wasn't addressed in the article.

      Anyone talking about “occupation” has to make clear if they consider any part of Palestine NOT to be illegitimately occupied.

      actually that's not really true. there are lots of people who can and do talk about "occupation" sans any reference at all how they consider every part of palestine. however, if you'd like to make some rule about what anyone talking about “occupation” has to do, you could start your own blog where you demand compliance. but obviously there are lots discussions and conversations to have sans this reference -- life such as it is.

      I expect that the territories identified as occupied are limited to the post-1967 grab, i.e. the Official Israeli Version.

      hmm, i thought " the Official Israeli Version" denied the occupied palestinian territory as recognized as occupied under international law -- was even occupied land. i think they call it 'disputed' land -- last i heard anyway. and in legal jargon they ('occupied/disputed) have 2 separate and differing definitions.

      whereas, the legal definition of occupied, under international law, pertains only to what's legally recognized as occupied, a more common use definition (contrasting with the legal definition) -- like when the zionists originally ethnically cleansed 750,000 palestinians from their homes and occupied the land, the nakba (initial phase, it's ongoing) -- one assumes rothchild recognizes that happened. but that doesn't address your legitimately/ illegitimately concern.

      but she's likely not going to be commenting in the comment section echin, so if you were serious about her opinion why not just ask her as i suggested before, instead of holding court again in the comment section with your sledge hammer.

    • rooster, about the students reference to hamas, in an earlier article (titled "let liberal jews weep for their dream of israel, and move on" ) a student ask rothchild why she didn't condemn hamas, i thought her response was equally forthright: link to

    • mhughes, at the beginning of the second paragraph she links to and references an earlier "attack" interview. in it she writes:

      With further translation, I learned that he referred fondly to the Rothschild family who bought land in Mandate Palestine (with the not-so-subtle implication that I am a traitor to the family name, although I can assure you I am not from that family).

    • regardless of your "educated guess" as to rothchild's meanings (and/or motives) , if you think "a more public discussion is needed" why not just spill your beans?

    • the article seems to say that acknowledgement of the Nakba plus full civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis will be enough without further redress.

      could you please cite where it seems to say this? she referenced the occupation 7 times, and anti-occupation once. so it seems the scope of redress goes beyond "acknowledgement of the Nakba plus full civil rights for non-Jewish Israelis" there are a lot of palestinians who are not israeli.

      The approving quotation of that Declaration, a fig leaf over the Nakba, is quite distrurbing

      what i find disturbing is how discordant it is with reality. but i think that was her point. i don't think things would be as they are today had a policy of "complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex; guarantee[ing] freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture; safeguard the Holy Places of all religions; and it will be faithful to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations" been in place since '47-'48.

    • echin, i think it's fair to conclude rothchild's reference to "complete ignorance of Middle East history, the Nakba, occupation, Muslims" was not, in fact, a complete history of the Middle East, the Nakba, the occupation, or Muslims. but for a fuller understanding of her meaning why not just ask her? you can contact her on twitter @AliceRothchild or perhaps read one of her books which may address issues not included in this short article.

    • Nobody knows what territories you’re talking about

      hm, i think "the ongoing occupation of Palestinian territories" is fairly clear.

      nor do they know who is occupying them

      she used the term "Israeli occupation". i like and use the term occupied palestine, but i'm not sure the best way to promote the use of it is to imply others are necessarily unclear if they don't use it. plus, the term "Occupied Palestine" does not explain who occupies palestine either.

    • I actually found the most interesting moment in the entire segment was when the interviewer questioned Alice’s observation that “boycott” is non-violent. - See more at: link to

      i know rooster, amazing! and the young students response too, fantastic and totally logical.

    • thank you so much Alice Rothchild for this brilliant article. i strongly urge everyone to open the link to the link to the current channel 10 interview link to

      rothchild comes on at 7 minutes, but the others interviews of american jews are really good too.

  • Tidbits from Reader Survey: Please Add Your Ideas To The Mix
    • If you look up the Encyclopedia Judaica, you will find that there non-jews, like you and I, are called goyim.

      thanks, i'm aware of who it references. here's a recent conversation regarding the use of the term, in case you're interested: >>> link to

      The events in the ME, and Israel/Palestina is located just there, concerns us all, because their future could be decided, or effected, by one of those wars, therefore perhaps we should keep an eye on them.

      thanks for your input. myself, i appreciate reading about what's going on in the region outside of I/P. syria and yemen in particular and i highly recommend moon of alabama which i frequent daily. i recommend >> link to

      i agree with you we don't cover the general middle east region as much as i/p -- but we do sometimes (ie on our front page right now >>> link to )

      i have written a few articles about syria as has allison (and phil too i think) -- so it's not like it never happens -- syria (in particular) is a very contentious issue in the palestine activist community (ie: see comment section in the previous url) because there's no unity of opinion and the differing sides are both so adamant about their positions. hence, writing about syria can be like asking for trouble and/or frustration.

      for articles on yemen i just googled 'mondoweiss yemen' -- in the last year we've had more than a few link to

      anyway, i think suggestions such as yours is one reason they hosted the survey (one assumes, i wasn't involved in it), so thanks for your feedback. out of curiosity -- did you answer the survey and tell them that? either way tova will probably be reading the comments -- so thanks.

      edit: p.s. i was just reminded of the 2013 article Do’s and don’ts for progressives discussing Syria by Ramah Kudaimi. the comment section of this one article is a perfect example of the 2 sides of the syria conversation i was referencing. >>> link to this same article landed on our top ten list of most traffic for 2013 -- as i recall more than 100k views (don't cite me on that tho). and my comments led to supporters of the author attacking me on twitter as well as people writing the site to complain. the article has 353 comments, big fight!

      none of this means we shouldn't cover syria, it's just how it's covered that's (very) contentious.

    • ;)

    • hi theo. just thought i'd mention -- aside from really not liking being referred to as "goyim" -- that i am not jewish (and i've written over 1k articles for mondoweiss). nor is kate (albeit, not opinion). i also thought i'd mention that a quick glance at our from page right now, we've got articles by nida hussain, nada elia, susie kneedler and kate. i don't think any of them are jewish. we frequently have palestinian voices like fidaa abuasi, ahmed moor, Haidar Eid, Isra Saleh El-Namy (who has written 13 articles for us since august >>> link to ) all from gaza (we've actually publish LOTS of awesome gazan writers -- too many to mention). and we have other voices besides palestinians who are not jewish.

      many many regulars and we try to add new voices, ie like most recently Abdul-Razeq Farraj from the west bank ("spent over 15 years of his life in Israeli prisons, and was recently released from his last administrative detention arrest." - See more at: link to

      we've actually published lots of articles by non jews.

      so, we would not be surprised at all "there are a few [non jews] who are most intelligent and politically match the line" our readers are interested in. but i (totally) agree w/you we need more of these voices!

  • Trump, Sanders and the battle of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn for blue collar Arabs and whites
    • i feel the same way kathleen. and she does seem to thrive on instigating human disasters. it's irrelevant to me if she's a sociopath or not. as long as she's acting like one and people are willing to support her, it makes no difference to me what makes her tic.

  • The end of apartheid in Israel will not destroy the country, it can only improve it
    • or "Al-Quds/Jerusalem"

      (less controversial?)

    • the person will be charged and tried based on the evidence available.”

      That is perfectly reasonable. But I also can’t help noticing that this is not common practice.

      au contraire it is completely normal in criminal matters. whereas, your comment suggesting charges should be made weighed against what opinion the alleged criminal would have (of the charges) is absurd. ie: if a murder suspect's "opinion" about the charges made against him mattered, no one would ever be charged with murder. our government affords israel that luxury, as well as other criminal states who are our allies. it doesn't mean the people have to shut up about it.

      re SA, please find a source other than frontpage magazine. david horowitz is a flaming racist -- i see no reason to promote his site on mondoweiss. i totally agree SA is a criminal state.

      all your examples are whataboutery. the fact of the matter is that palestinian civil groups representing the majority of palestinian society, unlike saudis, initiated bds. there's no logical reason palestinians should not be "selective and arbitrary" in focusing on their own oppression. not poland, hungary, or wall street for that matter. supporting bds doesn't mean not supporting the rights of others. had the oppression not gone on so long it's likely bds wouldn't have the traction is has. that's just what happens after decades of oppression sometimes, things come to a head.

      if the overwhelming civil society of saudi arabia initiated a bds movement to end their oppression i would back them 100 percent! in fact someone recently put out a call to support the end of repression in SA and i said 'sign me up'.

    • antidote, (my bold) The question is: Does it make sense to advocate post Apartheid SA as a positive model for Israel, and hope for any resonance among the majority of Israelis, be they on the left or the right?........The second problem is that the analogy Israel-SA is problematic and obviously not widely accepted in Israel. Apartheid does not equally apply to the situation of Palestinians in Israel, Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem.

      the problem with your logic is that the crime of apartheid is not defined by what does or does not have "resonance among the majority of Israelis" or what's accepted in israel or whether SA apartheid 'equally applies' israel wrt gaza/WB,EJ.

      what does matter is if the apartheid meets the definition of the crime of apartheid as it's defined by the 2002 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court:

      "committed in the context of an institutionalized regime of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group over any other racial group or groups and committed with the intention of maintaining that regime."

      if someone commits a crime, do we say Does it make sense to charge that person based on whether the charge will have any resonance for the criminal? do we say or concern ourself with whether the charge will be accepted by the criminal? no. if the crime meets the definition as it applies to the law -- the person will be charged and tried based on the evidence available.

      you can read the crime's definition here: link to in contrast to the definition of apartheid (here: link to ) which is NOT the same as the definition of the crime of apartheid.

      "Originally most did not intend to exploit native labor and resources, as colonizers do.” Adam and Moodley stress

      note the bold:

      Article 7
      Crimes against humanity
      For the purpose of this Statute, 'crime against humanity' means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

      the criteria is not what 'most originally intend to do' or whether the oppressors are indigenous or not or whether their self-concept is that they are 'simply returning to their ancestral homeland'. the criteria is whether there is "widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack". so even if someone didn't intend to commit a crime, once they have knowledge of the crime and perpetuate the crime, they are complicit.

      only if one argues the zionist regime has no knowledge the occupation is a widespread or systematic attack directed against a palestinian civilian population of systematic oppression and domination by one racial group [racial group defined as ethnic group in the rome statue -- iow, israeli jews] over any other racial group or groups [Palestinians] and committed with the intention of maintaining that zionist regime -- could one claim it doesn't meet the definition of the crime of apartheid.

      , “because people give meaning to their lives and interpret their worlds through these diverse ideological prisms, the perceptions are real and have to be taken seriously".

      again, it doesn't really matter if one says 'but we didn't intend for there to be systematic oppression and domination by jewish people over palestinians.' or 'but i have a right to my homeland and therefore i have a right to systematically oppress and dominate you to maintain our state.' or i have a right to interpret my world through these diverse ideological prisms because my perceptions are real and have to be taken seriously' or 'but it's not the same kind or the same rationale as the regime of SA based on other criteria not spelled out in the crime's definition.' all that matters is the definition of the crime and if that criteria is met (not according to the opinion, perception or judgement of criminal). and i think it is.

  • PEN director acknowledges 'legitimate concerns' about Israel sponsorship but won't give back the money
    • really? do you mean curious how mondoweiss would publish a press release instead of doing our own research and writing original coverage? or curious how anyone could forget a name like that from the 2012 article. when something is under the byline "mondoweiss editors" 99 chances out of 100 when MW publishes a press release someone sent in, it's not altered, just a brief italiced forward. sorry if you find that inadequate.

  • American Voices: Who are you voting for and why?
  • Thousands of Israelis fill Tel Aviv's Rabin Square in support for soldier who executed Palestinian
    • echin: likely to worsen may have become evident even to you by now. No matter how much concession you advocate along with other defeatists

      i don't understand what Sibiriak said in the past that's left you with the impression he said things couldn't get worse. are you just using a rhetorical pt scoring thing or did he ever claim or imply things couldn't get worse?

      personally, i don't think what's happening now bodes well for the feasibility of a 1SS either, tho that is my preferred outcome. and as for the "desirability" it's hard for me to merge "desirable" w/outcomes entailing lots of blood and death.

      can you answer the question he asked? When do you predict the decisive guerrilla war against the colonists will begin?

      you think everyone who is not in sync with your outcome or logic is therefore necessarily a defeatist or a propagandist. i'm not so sure that is the case. some people (even palestinians) simply think a 2ss is more desirable, more practical or more likely and may not see that, at this juncture, as defeat (and it's not my business to judge them so). they may see it as a more likely outcome or more feasible one. tho i am not one of those people, i don't think nastily stalking 2 staters as defeatist and propagandist makes you sound honorable, righteous or correct.

      It’s no use continuing to recommend that the Palestinians lie down and die or disappear

      did he recommend Palestinians lie down and die or disappear? or is this your rhetorical way of making some point/winning the argument.

      they very probably will continue ignoring your wise counsel.

      speaking of wise counsel, when do you suggest the decisive palestinian guerrilla war against the colonists will begin? or do you think it has started.

  • Obama's November surprise
    • It’s not really a choice

      ;) why? tail wags dog?

    • Hillary Clinton won’t let him go forward with such a resolution now because it would capsize her campaign. But when he does it in November or December– after she is elected president, according to the scenario– then she will say, There is only one US president at a time, and Obama’s policy is my inherited policy.

      then she'll invite netanyahu to the WH, get cozy and the non veto will be a little blurp in history that lasted for a month. obama has had 8 years to get tough on israel and he didn't do it. the lame duck session is too little too late but it might happen. it might give other counties cover to sanction israel or something.

      The theme of the evening was: Obama wouldn’t have gotten the Iran deal if we had not taken on AIPAC inside the official Jewish community. But J Street took on AIPAC and cracked the monolith and signaled to politicians around the country, they could support the deal and still get Jewish backing. J Street is justly proud of this. And by the way, Trita Parsi of the National Iranian American Council and Joe Cirincione of Ploughshares were in the hall that night; they also delivered the Iran deal. As did Jewish Voice for Peace, Code Pink and a lot of grassroots groups.

      the self absorption of patting yourself on the back and taking credit for an issue huge swaths of the american public were very vocal about is just stunning. and this reminds me very much of tablets scolding article claiming the very mention of money and lobbying and "foreign interests" over the iran deal was bigoted. >> link to

      the idea that the deal went through because "J Street took on AIPAC and ... signaled to politicians around the country, they could support the deal and still get Jewish backing" is still the idea jewish lobbiests buy politicians and -- ultimately -- have the power to control our foreign policy. but they claim it and it's not anti semitism! yes, i agree it was a much broader coalition that delivered the iran deal. one that included a LOT of americans that spontaneously erupted across social media.

      re: "Labor didn’t dare say a word about peace in the last election" -- just wondering if anyone read todays: "Herzog: Labor Party Must Stop Giving Israelis the Feeling It Always Loves Arabs"
      link to

  • 'Say Hello to Zenobia': A report from Palmyra rising from the ashes
    • the lobby is still all over this -- about US invading syria. i wrote about it here recently:

      link to

      they are softening the target (the US public) getting ready for hillary and pending US intervention in syria, which she supports.

  • 'Forward' columnist and Emily's List leader relate 'gigantic,' 'shocking' role of Jewish Democratic donors
  • Anti-BDS legislation faces crucial hearing tomorrow in California Judiciary Committee
    • steve, it may surprise you to know that there are a lot of californians who elected members of the california legislative jewish caucus to congress, for reasons unrelated to israel. and there's a very good chance most of those people do not speak hebrew. there's a very good chance the vast majority of americans only associate the knesset with one thing, this building in israel that the government is run out of. just like if one wrote "capitol pentagon" the majority of americans would think it was related to that place in DC where they headquarter the DoD, and NOT a plane figure with five straight sides and five angles. and i am sure the california legislative jewish caucus knows all this.

      so i'll remain flabbergasted.

    • you probably don't have to be in california, but i am not sure if it would go on the record in quite the same way. i suppose if they got flooded with emails from out of state it may have an impact tho.

    • thank you ritzl. i hope you write the judiciary today. you're in calif aren't you?

    • even if they do not want to imply they are representing knesset interests in california, that's what they are doing. they SPONSORED the "pact" between california and israel that gov brown and netanyahu signed -- according to them on their website. i would urge everyone to open the jpost link embedded in "Assembly member Travis Allen, a right-wing Christian Fundamentalist who recently traveled to Israel to meet with Israeli legislators"

      just days after that was published AB 2844 was introduced. so yes, this is clearly what they were doing. also, there is a lot that didn't make it into this article because it was too long as is. over 1/2 the information i collected for the article didn't make it in -- in the interest brevity. i cut into it heavily, picked and chose what to publish.

      there was a partisan squabble over travis's bill -- that's what delayed the dem caucus's bill. long story.

      also, one part (2 full paragraphs) that got cut i recently put back in. it's in the middle, about the longest boycott in american history and supreme court decision that confirms boycotts are protected speech (and more). i hope everyone reads it!

    • thank you very much gitelsura. i will do so right now!

    • i know, i was flabbergasted when i saw that. i left the link below it because it was so mindblowing -- almost unbelievable.

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