Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 20927 (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 13700 - 13601

  • Conflict Resolution 101: Talk to Hamas
    • american, you mean did i go search for the article since you didn't actually link to it and check whether you posted the whole thing? no. i might have had you linked to it, which everyone likes and i wish you would do more.

      but i do recall stripping away over 1/2 the text you copied. in the fair use link i directed you to it says "If you use the copied work in a way that substitutes for the original in the market, it's unlikely to be a fair use;". substitute meaning, the reader does not have to go to the source to read most of the text.

      most blogs like traffic, we do. we support driving traffic at truthdig as opposed to ripping them off.

      notice on our front page, when we blockquote from someone else we rarely do that with more than 4 paragraphs unless we have permission, except for gov stuff like daily press briefings because that's different, it's publicly owned.

      we don't want people posting whole articles in the comment section or even 8 paragraphs is way too much. it's best to provide the link and quote enough so people are interested and go to the source. then it drives the traffic of our colleagues.

      btw, i do it to your copy/paste comments a lot. it's time consuming. generally i don't like to have conversations about the comment section in threads but i think this is worth repeating.

      and for the commenter who just left a 30 paragraph copy/paste comment that got deleted, now you'll know why. i'm going to start deleting comments the infringe on fair use more so please everyone, just repost it with a shorter clip from the article. it's nothing personal.

      the exceptions is full articles that are short/3 paragraphs (ma'an news). or ILM has given us permission to copy anytime.

      i hope that clears things up.

    • Ma’shal was recently interviewed on American TV basically saying he can’t live with the state of Israel.

      no, basically he did not say that. if you have to lie and twist someone's words to make your argument you should examine your argument. and from all evidence, it appears it is israel who refuses to live along side a sovereign palestinian state.

      Anyone who seriously believes that Israel desires anything other than a world without Palestine is living it up in a steep, severe fantasy. you probably have the same goal, so why do you have such a hard time recognizing that it’s Israels’ as well?

    • thanks sean.

    • that's just got to be one of the most original comments i have ever heard palikari. thanks for sharing!

    • thanks lysias, i've definitely been doing that in the evenings and it helps. however, i don't really want to be drinking too early in the day, i have this affliction where i simply cannot spit out whiskey. ;)

    • american, can you please read ( and internalize)this comment: link to


  • What I said to the couple holding a banner with a swastika on it
    • swoon.

    • but you don't need anyone's permission to use the same kind of humor, it doesn't have to be an exact replica.

    • Palestinians are calling for a global "Day of Rage" on Sat Aug 9th.

      Take to the streets on Saturday 9 August with a united demand for sanctions on Israel.

      link to

    • what arrogance? "we are all palestinians now" as a saying, is not arrogant.

    • welcome throwing stones!

      I don’t see the anti-Arab racist “Clash of Civilization” talking heads sanitizing their messaging

      and those apocalypse sound tracks are horrible.

    • Just what do you recommend as a way to channel the good to stop kill happy zionism?

      not sure it would work during this slaughter but i thought one of the most effective things i ever saw to shame zionist was the SNL donkey video. so i'd put in a plug for good comedy. maybe a mock of those israeli HS students dressed up as KKK but preferably blood soaked.

      or i liked those burning bloody babies dolls in front of the holocaust museum. and we posted a photo of britain jews against genocide in their live action on the worldwidephotos thread. and in barcelona everyone in the demo raised their hands with (fake) blood. i thought that was very effective.

      frankly, i am partial to those actions (like the one in derry, ireland and malta, oakland, and some places in south america, too gory tho but then SA has seen so much gore and blood they're earned their right to use it in protests however they want) where everyone lies all over the ground like dead bodies.

      anyway, i probably got too carried away. frankly i think images of death are very relevant.

      but then jordan said the demo was " to call for peaceful justice". i love the idea of south africa reconciliation. but i'd be down w/the hague too.

    • chu, i don't want to burst your bubble but what the author saw in the upper east side was this:




      she even said: to see even this mildly anti-Israel graffiti was a surprise

      radical no doubt.

      and it appears both the photographs in the article were from foreign countries. the one on top, note the asian font in the background ( 2 signs with asian and english which indicates to me this is not new york) and at the base the caption says:
      A student in El Salvador marches with a disturbing mock-up of the Israeli flag.

    • Jordan, what non violence advocacy NGO in New York do you work for?

    • chocopie, you and me too! i've been to tons of rallies here in the US and have seen very very little this stuff being referenced, ever. and i've looked at literally tons of photos and footage in preparation for this the worldwide protest post (which is updated daily btw for anyone interested) and sometimes in states in the ME do you see the burning of the israeli flag or other highly inflammatory signs (allegations of genocide notwithstanding but i consider that fact and reality and i think it's quite appropriate) maybe some in south america albeit rarely, but not in the US.

      anyway, i've heard literally dozens of these kinds of accusations tho, generally allegations people are screaming anti semitic stuff ( i always wonder, so where's the video!!) and i always say to people, take a photo of it or record it.

      and here we have an article about it and there's not even an accompanying photo, which frankly i find disappointing and disconcerting since it's the point of the article, other than the 'what we should all do' instructional aspect.

  • Where you can donate to help Gaza -- Updated
    • sorry chocopie and thanks for bring it to our attention. not sure who cleared that but i imagine it's due to the fact we're backed up all the time (almost 200 comments right now) and sometimes a sentence crammed into a long paragraph just slips thru the cracks.

  • A brief respite in Gaza
    • Hasbara trashed? Break out the champagne

      ha! we'd be drunk non stop. we trash lots of their comments every day.

    • It sounds a bit cruel but it appears

      beauty, amoung other things, is in the eye of the beholder

    • i was talking to erza. the comment is gone so one of the other mods must have trashed it, which i respect. anyway, he tried to respond too, something about a 'wall of life' that is a 'slight inconvenience' for palestinians. what he possibly doesn't understand is that this is a form of nakba denial which is against our comment policy. we really don't need this level of discourse at the site. i probably should have not tried to respond because this mentality is beneath us. people interested in that kind of discourse should go hang at a site like stand w/us and see if he can dig up anyone who wants to wallow in the gutter, let them host the conversation. people who cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge the occupation or be honest about what's at stake here, freedom. some yabbering about throwing jews into the sea.

    • . Honestly, the concept I am trying to convey is not that difficult to comprehend: No rockets, no retaliation, no bloodshed (on either side). Kapish?????........

      Honestly, the concept they are trying to convey is not that difficult to comprehend: No occupation, no rockets. Kapish?????

      And once a semblance sanity can be regained and maintained, I am sure the Israelis will be even willing to help the Gazans rebuild.

      maybe they do not want 'help' from the israelis. maybe they want their independence. no retaliation? phfff! not good enough. no bloodshed? phfff! not good enough. you're not calling the shots and it's not your place to determine what should be good enough for palestinians.

      my theory ... Hamas does not want the bloodshed to end. In fact, it appears by their action that they want their own people to die, particularly the women and children, in the name of jihad.

      that's not your friggin theory, that's straight from hasbara central, or haven't you been paying attention? how convenient, self-serving, lazy and clueless of you. how many times do they have to say it? lift the siege. end the occupation.

  • israel is the golden calf
  • Israel, your brand is tanking
    • trev, we don't link to hate sites here so i removed your link which claims the source as another hate site (jawa report). it also claimed " a picture of the murdered Israel Fogel family doctored by Free Palestine", which you repeat only w/quotemarks.

      however, there's nothing on the photo which implies any 'group' made the image, just a flag that says free palestine on it, which anyone could have made. it's a saying, after all.

      So i’m wondering why with all the dead children in Gaza would Hamas or any other group put out a pic such as this that is so easily checked?

      why would you wonder that? why not wonder why a hate site would claim, against all odds, something so ridiculous.

      and, fyi, a flag w/free palestine on it is not the logo of the freepalestine movement.

      and to answer your last question, i would recommend google drop link to

      just scroll the photo over the screen which opens up and drop the photo in there. it will show you all the places it has been published before.

  • Elie Wiesel plays the Holocaust trump card in Gaza
    • hi Kathryn (and everyone else especially new readers and others, you know who you are) . as a general rule, we don't publish whole articles here in the comment section. we try to practice fair use.

      on really slow days sometimes i read the whole article and pick and choose which paragraphs a reader might prefer having published. you can just imagine how many slow days we have around here. anyway, it takes up valuable time while clearing comments to edit them too. and so far today i've edited at least 3 articles. obviously, i don't leave notes for all of them.

      but if everyone could remember not to publish whole articles please?

      and thanks for the great link! i sent it to phil last night. Hedges even mentions phil in the article!

    • Should I repeat it more slowly?

      no, you should internalize the response so we don't have to keep repeating it. link to

    • The Jewish nation survived all these years partly because it always had a “mainstream” that’s poke with one voice.

      when you say "Jewish nation" i presume you're referencing people, as opposed to the new state. and i heard that in the decades prior to founding of the state there were major divisions within mainstream jewish thought regarding statehood. wasn't there? there wasn't just 'one voice'.

  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
  • I'm waiting for Roger Cohen to say that Zionism is 'often' racism
    • I have stated many times that I don’t think that the Jewish establishment represents “the Jews,” “the Jewish people” and “the Jewish community” — despite its strident claims to do so. Many Jews disagree with the views of the Jewish establishment.

      You keep misrepresenting my views on this subject for reasons that are baffling.

      yes, i know you've stated that many times. however, perhaps you are not aware that when you build your arguments, your 'logic' sounds otherwise. for example: link to

      Mooser has tried to make the argument that American Jews are victims of Zionists. Wrong. Overwhelmingly they represent the Zionist establishment by free choice and with passionate conviction. Perhaps one might argue that they have victimized themselves.

      now, do you see how one might read that and interpret it as American Jews "overwhelming representing the establishment?" so either you don’t think that the Jewish establishment represents “the Jewish community” or you do, but you can't have both views when it suits you.

      but at a minimum sean, please take some responsibility if you feel your views are being misrepresented. i think it's a common phenomena for many people to not see the flaws in their own arguments whereas finding them in others seems so easy. perhaps this is at the core of your 'bafflement'.

      Leaders of the Jewish and Zionist establishments are one and the same people — they are not manipulating themselves

      yeah, that's kind of a nobrainer. as as far as i know, no one is arguing otherwise. however by this same token, being consistent, if American jews "overwhelmingly they represent the Zionist establishment" makes them, also, "one and the same people".

      and if there's one thing i have learned being around here for a few years, it's that there are a lot of jewish voices saying they never even heard palestinians til they got to college, and stuff like that. someone even did a study we published a review of on what was told to kids growing up about israel. so lots of them went thru the first 18 years of their life being told only a hasbara zionist notion of israel's history. to me, this indicates a manipulation on a massive scale. not just some fringe element.

      anyway, as i said before, we just disagree. and thanks for asking about my tooth! i am in severe pain, have been told it has to be pulled, and i am in complete denial (left the dentist's chair!). just suffering away while holding onto my tooth til it becomes unbearable. oh well. this too shall pass.

    • Much of the Jewish and Israeli media are now convinced that the world is veering towards antisemitism

      yes, so the zionist media keeps telling us.frankly, i don't think it's as much of a problem as this..which may have a lot to do with it. here's a graph that might interest you:

      and in case it doesn't show up you can see it here: link to

    • sean, when you say If the Jewish establishment defines Judaism and Jewishness as Zionism.....wouldn’t it be logical for much of the world to embrace antisemitism explicitly and without apologies?

      can we assume when you say "much of the world to embrace antisemitism " you're not speaking for yourself? because when phil says, "we're supposed to be more thoughtful" wouldn't you categorize yourself as one of the thoughtful ones? one of the ones who would not embrace anti semitism?

      and if that's the case why? because you've argued time and again the 'jewish establishment', with the exception of some fringe element, is the same as the jewish community as a whole. so why wouldn't you categorize yourself as one who would "embrace antisemitism explicitly and without apologies" if you think it's the logical path?

      and i say that as someone who does not think it is logical in the least.

    • This model of the world in which Zionists are supposedly manipulating, tricking and abusing Jews strikes me as absurd and morally evasive (even craven). Zionism is a Jewish movement that has been embraced by the Jewish establishment and a majority of the world’s Jews. They own Zionism — they are not passive victims of it.

      sean, aside from your alleged claims regarding a "model of the world" (which i must have missed out on) given your theory (or "fact" as you call it), that (unlike others one presumes) jews were not or are not manipulated by zionists leaders, i'm curious what you think of Kevin Coval's excellent, incredible poem "israel is the golden calf" and wondered if you somehow missed it. link to

      part of the poem (my bold):

      every young person
      every young jew
      every person not named netanyahu
      not a israeli prime minister war criminal

      we have been lied to
      we have been manipulated
      we have been coerced

      your jewishness is not dependent
      upon an undying loyalty to a state
      that murders in your name.

      israel is not a religion.
      israel is the golden calf
      and G-d is
      a child in Gaza

      again, far from claiming this as a "model for the world", but none the less it does imply he may have felt manipulated by zionist propaganda at some point to. do you think Coval is being 'morally evasive/craven'?

      out of his rocker?

      one more thing, can you clarify where your reference to "passive" in "passive victim" came from? or was that merely a rhetorical flourish?

      because there is, or can be, a big difference between being a victim and a passive victim.

    • Precisely. Hear oh ISRAEL the Lord is our God the Lord is One. “Next Year in Jerusalem” Israel, and a return to Israel has been an essential part of Judaism throughout the ages.

      sligoker, i don't think everyone worshiping judaism throughout the ages has interpreted the meaning the way you do (albeit it is clearly in vogue today, probably by design).

      you goliath

      israel the golden calf
      the false g-d

      we worship
      we war/ship

      this is what happens
      when you build a state
      when you erect borders
      when you define yourself
      in opposition to another.
      when you other

      israel I do not want a seat at your table.
      i will eat with the goyium you so despise
      or i will eat alone

      i do not want aliyah.
      the audacity of ascending
      to a higher place
      a place where there is life
      already and love
      and generations
      we now murder.

      your city of peace
      is a city of death.

      i renounce my citizenship.

      we are a Diaspora people
      meant to wander, to make
      all the world a home
      for us and for all
      to call everywhere
      not one plot of land
      it’s a metaphor!
      you literalists!
      you racists!
      you european / american genocidal mimics!
      you maniacs!

      link to

    • welcome mentira. yes, i am a big fan of the comment section myself. btw, did you know you could read all of bandolero's comments by clicking on his user name?

  • Israel shells another UN school-- and even the US is 'appalled'
  • Tariq Abu Khdeir goes to Washington -- and finds surprising support
  • The British public and the world see that Israel's actions are 'wrong and unjustified' -- Miliband
    • vera, check out pakistan: link to

      wonder if they'll do more than pass a resolution. note reference to "Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as Non-Aligned Movement, adding that the OIC general secretary was in Pakistan and there was an OIC meeting being held on August 12."

      and the Non-Aligned Movement had an emergency meeting yesterday in iran. link to

      of course, who knows what will come of it.

  • What Jim Fallows and I saw
  • The withdrawal that isn't
  • Who broke the ceasefire? Obama blames Hamas against the evidence
    • How can it possibly be? Another Israeli strike, in immediate vicinity of @UNRWA school in Rafah, kills & injures many in & outside building.”

      you have no idea how frustrating it is for me writing a post to have it sit there all day long and sometimes til the next day. but yes, this happened. after everyone and their brother reads about it maybe it will get published here.

    • hmm, not sure it was quite that benevolent. didn't we gain a huge foothold (military base) in the region as a result of our balkanization?

    • just between you and me (secret) this wasn't his first comment. he had some real doozies but they all violated our comment policy #1,#2, & #6.
      a real winner/not!

      probably sent by central; mehane replacement.

    • you won't have to wait til you're that old taxi. besides, by the time you're 99, whatever formation of a state it is, it probably won't be called israel anymore.

    • i read a statement somewhere saying hamas never agreed to a ceasefire where israel could continue incursions into gaza.

    • israel saying it has evidence means nothing

    • oh wow.i had no idea! and subtitles. unbelievable.

  • Inhuman shield: How 'The New York Times' protects US elites from Gaza's brutal reality
  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
  • Israel calls Obama's tune
    • old geezer, as a general rule, we don't hold discussions about comment mod policy on threads. this is partly due to years of reading daily kos where miles of bandwidth is devoted to it. we refer people to the comment policy thread.

      and, we have enough of our own problems with it to be posting letters about complaints to other sites. so please, this is not the place, ever.


    • Israel today according to their press is to proceed with destroying the last three tunnels into Israel

      how do they know it's the last 3 tunnels?

    • You say the world is outraged, Latin America is up in arms, etc. Nonsense.

      hmm, there were many large protests there and the president of bolivia called israel a terrorist state and broke down in tears (heavily tweeted) ended diplomatic ties. did you open the link?

  • Crisis in Rafah: Palestinian civilians trapped trying to escape Israeli onslaught (Updated)
    • ali abunimah recently wrote about it too, mentions silverstein: link to

    • They are saying their men were the ones responsible, but they haven’t heard from them.

      jon, they also contest the time frame. said it took place before the ceasefite. and there are (timely) tweets to confirm that.

      link to

      link to

    • Finally someone at Mondoweiss that know what going on.

      Egypt closes Rafah crossing to Gaza indefinitely
      link to

      ‘Maybe it’s better not to dream,’ says Gaza student stopped at border
      link to

      Foreign citizenship is dream ticket for Gaza residents as Egypt squeezes harder in wake of coup
      link to

      these are just 3 of the articles we've published about the rafah border crossing being closed by egypt. it took me a nano second to find them.(we have archives too!) you also may want to check fidaa alabussi's articles. seriously, if you think you're endearing yourself to us by your slagging criticism of the site. think again.

      anyone who reads mondoweiss who is not aware egypt closed the border and getting in and out of gaza via rafah is hugely challenging is simply not paying attention.

      you might also be interested in this article by max which discusses "Sisi and the regime that overthrew the elected President Mohamed Morsi in a military coup on July 3."

      link to

      actually the archives for july and august 2013 each have dozens of posts discussing egypt.

      link to
      link to

  • 'Dear American Jewish community, It's time to talk about Zionism'
    • It’s not difficult to connect the dots and see the main themes here.

      you seriously crack me up. to repeat: link to

      i'd also like to make the point that by blending zionism into a religion, for those who do, how that facilitates manipulating the masses. this is one way throughout history religious and political institutions have manipulated cultures and societies into doing their bidding. it is in this way the masses become the unwitting victims of both the religious and political powers of the day. that's not new at all however laughable you might find the notion.

      if you honestly think that every politician who has spewed religious doctrine to beef up their political goals/agenda truly believed everything they are telling the masses i have a bridge to sell you in brooklyn.

    • One can be a secular Zionist and still hold racist views


      that are based on biblical themes and attitudes.

      sure, but they could hold racist views not based on biblical themes also. not all racism is bases on something ancient, albeit racism has been around a longlong time.

      religion and colonialism are not mutually exclusive categories

      yes i know.

      Colonialism can be a subset of religion, an expression of religion.

      obviously, but it's not a requirement.

      even secular Zionists rely heavily on biblical myths, symbols, legends and memes to pursue their objectives

      not all of them. one can just believe jews should get their own state. there's no requirement either colonialism or ethnic nationalism be religiously based.

      Zionism is a biblical ideology, the product of an Old Testament outlook and value system.

      sean, i totally accept that you hold a similar concept of what zionism is as those who support it: link to

      Defenders of Zionism say it is a national liberation movement for the repatriation of a dispersed socio-religious group to what they see as an abandoned homeland millennia before.[5][6][7] Critics of Zionism see it as a colonialist[8] or racist[9] ideology that led to the denial of rights, dispossession and expulsion of the "indigenous population of Palestine".[10][11][12][13]

      whereas, i define it as a critic does. you can repeat yourself til you're blue in the face. you can also believe that a person who does not believe in god is telling the truth when they claim they have a right to something because the bible says so, as opposed to just going along with the game to get what they feel is their just deserts (notice all those jews lining up to support christian zionists even tho they do not believe jesus will swoop down any day now). seriously sean, we simply disagree. the way you see it there are simply NO zionists, who don't buy the whole biblical routine, which is simply ridiculous on it's face considering people like Hertzl was an atheist. even the idea of 'reviving an ancient homeland' doesn't require a belief in religiosity simply because not everything in the bible is religious. for example, lots of people who do not believe jesus was the son of god none the less believe jesus existed as a person. that doesn't make them religious.

      anyway, i completely get it you won't back down. but that in itself doesn't make you right or your understanding of things "factual". if you want to believe zionism is a religion, so be it!

    • admit? i didn't know it was a religion.

      wasn’t it perceived as such by many notables with high credentials?

      who were or were not communists? iow, did communists call it a religion. my point is that is you have an opinion about someone or something that's perfectly valid, to have an opinion. but to state it was fact and claim lots of notable communists leaders agree with you then it makes sense to quote one while making your claim.

    • Zionism is a belief that God chose....

      hmm, not for zionists who don't believe in god.

      Seems like history is repeating itself after 3000 years

      don't hold your breath. we've go the internet now.

    • Document that particular quote?

      can you find one expert source who says "zionism is a religion". if this is indeed a fact it shouldn't be that hard. you've made the argument this is fact as opposed to theory and buttressed by claims it's "amply documented by the official statements of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders over the last half century".

      i just have not heard jewish leaders saying zionism, per se, is a religion. but i understand and agree w/your point " they have blended together Judaism and Zionism in their public statements on both Judaism and Israeli politics", i just not understanding how zionism, which began and still very much operates as a political colonialist construct, is now defined as a religion.

      but i'm open!

      i'd also like to make the point that by blending zionism into a religion, for those who do, how that facilitates manipulating the masses. this is one way throughout history religious and political institutions have manipulated cultures and societies into doing their bidding. it is in this way the masses become the unwitting victims of both the religious and political powers of the day. that's not new at all however laughable you might find the notion.

      but i do make a distinction between political and religious constructs. i don't believe zionism is a religion. but unlike you i am not claiming my ideas are 'facts'.

    • what can we as a country do about our politicians kowtowing to israel? expose them. yell about israeli crimes and how they suck up to zionist money during the election cycle. make loyalty oaths to israel and trips to israel an embarrassment for them. last i heard they still need our vote to get into office.

    • and secular jews? basically inconsequential in the grand scheme of things?

    • But I am talking about things as they are right now in 2014.

      well, the way things are right now there is a lot of handwringing and 100's of millions of dollars invested in countering what is considered to be a very big threat to zionism. the left, anti zionists and especially the jewish youth. why would they be spending all that money if the threat was not there?

      once again, you've brought up mooser. really sean, i can't speak for him no matter how many times you claim i want to.

      but i will address your statement: Overwhelmingly they represent the Zionist establishment by free choice and with passionate conviction.

      'they' being american jews in the context of your paragraph. you're saying american jews represent the zionist establishment. and you're also saying the zionist establishment represents them. so they represent each other. that's a nice neat little box you've got sewn up there sean and the only american jews outside that box are "quite a few Jewish dissidents".

      I’m not sure what we’re arguing about.

      well, in my perception of things there are actually very few people who inevitably control the masses or the perception of the masses. . not millions of people. so i would no more say "american jews represent the zionist establishment." than i would say "americans represent congress". i make a distinction between those in power and those they seek to, or do, represent.

      but there's something most people in power have in common, (represented by the old story of the emperor w/no clothes) and that is that there's a powerful tool in having people think everyone supports them whether they do or not. so those who control the image of the masses can control the masses. it keeps people from stepping out of line and it starts at a very young age. that's why dissent (like the 99% protests) burst the bubble of that image and become dangerous for the establishment.

      so by agreeing with the jewish establishment that they represent american jews, and perpetuating that notion, you are actually serving that establishment. you are doing their work for them.

      so how we disagree is that i think those of us who object to the zionist state, including american jews of which i think there are more than a few inconsequential dissidents, are making a difference. and you seem to think we have no power because congress votes 100-0. i think the masses in this country have been victims of the establishment, i think they use us to create the idea they are all powerful (like the way zionist trolls always say "the vast majority of americans support israel") they did what they do in our name and brainwash americans thru the media from a young age (accusations of anti semite or self hating jew (depending on whether one is jewish or not) for those who step out of the zionist narrative) and use us as hosting agents.

      but since you believe there's generally no distinction between american jews and the establishment, i don't know, it sounds to me like you're just part of that cog that perpetuates the idea of a streamlines boxed in group.

      i see them more as free agents, albeit possibly more conditioned from birth not to step out of line.

    • and what about political zionism? do you see that as a powerful force? worthy of focus?

      one of the distinctions i make between zionism and judaism is one i consider primarily political and the other, regardless of how organized jewry has appropriated judaism to serve the zionist project, is a spiritual endeavor open to interpretation that can easily be practiced by the individual without the appropriation of land, as a communion with god.

      and because it requires individual interpretation it means anyone at anytime can alter the way they practice it. it can morph just as easily away from zionism as it did towards it generationally or otherwise.

    • sean, i asked you earlier "religious leaders aside, what distinctions do you make between Judaism and Zionism?"

      could you explain please?

      and just to be clear are you saying:

      "Zionism has morphed into a religion — the contemporary face of Judaism —

      ...And this isn’t a “theory” — it’s a fact, amply documented by the official statements of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders over the last half century."

      and this "fact", can you document Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jewish leaders stating "zionism is a religion, the contemporary face of Judaism"?

      btw, lots of theories are true. i'm just wondering is a secular zionist would agree with you they're actually practicing a religion called zionism.

    • There *is* a Jewish establishment that claims to speak for the Jewish community

      no shit sherlock. the operative word here being "claims". try listening harder:

      you have to extract this concept you seem wedded to that there’s some jewish establishment who speaks for all jews.

      'claiming to speak' and 'speaking' have 2 different meanings. there is no organization that speaks for all jews.

      and i'd really appreciate it if you'd address these questions here: link to

    • I would be more sympathetic to your argument if you could mention ways in which dissidents like Surasky have managed to influence the Obama administration, the US Congress, the Republican and Democratic Parties, the mainstream media, etc.

      well sean, i'm not sure if you've noticed how many articles have been written lately either about, or referencing, that recent gallop poll mentioning american youth. the 19-32 demographic (off the top of my head, i could have that age bracket skewed). there's this concern out there (the one referenced by the is gov and ruet as the deligitimization groups or something..allegedly more threatening to the 'jewish state' than any military threat). so while you are correct the admin and US congress is locked in, there are some people very concerned about the next generation. some hand wringing going on about how the largest demographic in support of israel is old people and republicans/white.) so my hunch is that the growth of this group and ones like it, is a threat.

      and i don't agree with you that Cecilie Surasky exercise no influence whatever over American politics. i think they do. and i think it was very telling a group like j street wasn't even allowed into that big jewish group, i think we're seeing a push from the left using words like apartheid and bds, which sort of broke thru into the mainstream somewhat this year...albeit not enough, i don't think that would have happened had members of groups like jvp/sjp been applying pressure these last few years.

      it's built from the ground up. there's a swelling in the ranks. and this will bear fruit eventually.

    • The notion the Jewish nationalists are the victims of Jewish nationalists strikes me as absurd on its face

      then why bring it up? i noticed you didn't say "The notion the Jews are the victims of Jewish nationalists strikes me as absurd on its face"

      why not? after all, isn't that what we were talking about?

      and i noticed you didn't address this question: so you don’t believe Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism?

      just a yes or no will be fine.

    • so you don't believe Zionism is the natural expression of Judaism? i misunderstood you, i thought you were trying to build the case the author would agree with you. and i thought you've agued time and again that zionism and judaism had essentially been fused together.

      religious leaders aside, what distinctions do you make between Judaism and Zionism?

    • The fact that you describe efforts to engage Mooser in rational discussion here on a few points that he himself has raised as an “obsession,”

      sean, that is not what i characterized as obsession. i was referencing comments you made on your site.

      strikes me (and some other people here) as peculiar.

      so be it. if it makes any difference i think you're a little peculiar too. ;)

      You need to step back, Annie, and notice that you are not engaging in these interventions on behalf of any other commenter on Mondoweiss.

      actually sean, i'm not engaging here because of mooser. i'm engaging here because i have a personal beef with your theory regarding zionism=judaism. and as a matter of fact i rarely engage with you about it. it seems to me this is the discussion you most want to have and you initiate and inject into most of the threads you engage.

      now, if someone chooses to engage with you over this topic, so be it. but if they don't, then so be it.

      and speaking of standup comedy, you telling me what i need to do.....that is funny.

    • You didn’t answer my main point

      that's because your main point is full of crap. cecilie surasky is a vital member of group that puts fear in the heart of zionist leaders. the group that bleeds members from liberal zionist groups like j street. the jewish youth are flocking to groups like jvp and sjp in droves. their membership is flourishing on campuses, and conferences are held to try to stop that growth.

      if they were consequential, stand w/us wouldn't beat a path to wherever it is they're demonstrating. they also wouldn't be able to generate 10's of thousands of signatures on petitions over night, effectively influence and organize around the presby vote, and the list goes on.

      of course, compared to the Conference of Presidents, and the dozens of establishment Jewish organizations that are members of the CoP, they are a small org, but definitely not inconsequential. and i dare say i think the author, who is a member of that group, would agree with me.

      we just do not agree. we've had this discussion many times before sean. repetition won't being me any closer to your myopic view.

      btw, i am neither angry or upset with you. wouldn't want you using my words to claim otherwise.

    • Your hunch is that Benjamin Silverman agrees with Mooser

      well in all fairness i don't quite recall whatever conversation your referencing and what mooser may have said or not said so i am not sure if those are mooser's words. nor would i claim the author 'agrees w/mooser'. but i think the idea jews are tools of a zionist agenda is sort of a no brainer and something lots of people would agree with, including many jews. personally, i think jews are targeted and manipulated, the footsoldiers of the zionist agenda. for sure.

    • sean, here's the problem with your logic. stating Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism does not support the notion the author believes Zionism is " the natural expression of Judaism."

      those are your words, not silverman's and nothing you've written or blockquoted changes that. in fact, i agree w/silverman, practically everything he said in his article. but i wouldn't think of using that to claim he agreed with me on the roots of zionism.

      could you please blockquote the part of the article that discusses the roots of zionism? because if the author didn't address those roots, how do we know what he believes? do we even know if the author is religious or secular?

      he wants a discussion on the "core beliefs of Zionism", but where did he say those core beliefs are inseparable from judaism?

    • I am stating factually that whenever I try to engage in a discussion with Mooser concerning statements he has made that I find curious, you rush in and intervene

      i'm not rushing sean, i'm just here a lot given to the fact i work here. i find your obsession w/mooser rather fascinating, so i engage. just like anyone could if they wanted. and i'm not speaking for mooser (other than correcting your claim he was " positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists." which he didn't state), i'm speaking for myself. these are my own opinions.

      All of us here are open to being challenged about our comments and we should be challenged. Is Mooser an exception in your mind?

      well, obviously that's not always the case because if mooser were open to being challenged by you he'd engage w/you more now wouldn't he? and frankly i don't believe everyone else here necessarily falls into this category either. there are even people on staff here who don't engage very much so i can't categorically claim All of us here are open to being challenged. and mooser is no exception to that.

    • You have repeatedly expressed upset and even anger about associating the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Zionism with the Jewish *community*.

      oh sean, now really. let's be mature about this. do you think i am expressing anger with you? because i can assure you i'm not angry. i'm not even upset. in fact this conversation, like many with you, i find amusing. now, maybe it's you who've been angry and upset for all i know? but i wouldn't stoop to using that to buttress an argument i was making.

      now, regarding this allegationof yours: "You have repeatedly expressed upset and even anger about associating the Israeli government, the Israel lobby and Zionism with the Jewish *community*. "

      if this is something i've said 'repeatedly, why don't you just run along and find an example of what you're referencing. here, i've even entered it into the search engine for you:

      link to

      and you might notice there on the first page i've blockquoted cecilie surasky, from the very same group the author is a long standing member of, jvp:

      Saying something over and over again doesn’t make it true. The Bay Area JCRC, and local offices of the ADL and the AJC, are not synonymous with the “Bay Area Jewish Community.” In fact, while the Jewish Community Relations Council claims to represent Bay Area Jews, they won’t release the number or names of groups they represent. That certainly makes one wonder if the number is embarrassingly small. And it’s likely shrinking. There is no shortage of Jews around here, from a wide political spectrum, who would be appalled to be associated with an attack on a Muslim group for using a word that Israeli officials use regularly.

      my hunch is, the author is probably closer to my own thoughts regarding the jewish community, that yours. in fact, he might even agree that many jews are the victims or tools of zionism.

    • Why don’t you let Mooser speak for himself, debate for himself and express his own thoughts?

      are you suggesting i am censoring mooser? because i am not. it seems to me like he is speaking for himself, in fact he's made a lot of comments on this thread. maybe he's just not saying what you want him to say or addressing your obsession. i can't do anything about that sean. maybe you should take your own advice and let Mooser speak for himself, debate for himself and express his own thoughts?

      i'm not the one hounding mooser, you are.

      Silverman... he made no effort to blame Zionism on “colonialism”

      let me show you how this works, using your own text:


      I think Benjamin Silverman knows the Jewish “community” better than you do — he speaks as an insider. And he made no effort to blame Zionism on Judaism or biblical text — he goes much deeper than that.

      now i get to claim victory!

    • I shudder to think of the heat he is going to take for expressing these thoughts

      hmm, did you read Benjamin Silverman's bio?

      long-time Palestinian solidarity activist, and self-identified Jewish Ant-Zionist, involved in Jewish Voices for Peace andStudents for Justice in Palestine at The New School.

      i don't shudder to think what heat he'll be in, he's probably used to it by now just like thousands of activists are.

      — or of the heat Mondoweiss is going to take for publishing them.

      really? sean, relax. we've been doing this for years. MW will survive the publication of this article. it's a great article.

      Notice that Benjamin Silverman targets “the American Jewish COMMUNITY” and “the Jewish COMMUNITY” for his critique

      hmm, you mean did i notice the part that said Dear American Jewish Community,?

      yes. of course. i'm not sure what you're saying. do you think you're teaching me something i don't know? i'm at a loss on what your point is sean. why don't you blockquote something i have said that contradicts the author.

    • you are positing two groups — good American Jews and bad Zionists.

      actually he's not. he said american jews and zionists. obviously this combination can make up more that 2 groups. and of course people within subgroups get manipulated by their own kind, all the time. i mean look at israel hasbara directed towards israeli citizens: link to

      Are they manipulating themselves? I don’t grasp the world model here.

      try harder, this is not that complicated. first i'd suggest comprehending there are more than a handful of free thinkers or free agents who self identify as american jews. iow, you have to extract this concept you seem wedded to that there's some jewish establishment who speaks for all jews. there just is not. but as long as you refuse to comprehend that, you're stuck in your own reality and won't get it.

    • we've had this conversation or one like it so many times sean. and while i agree with you in large part about this infusion of zionism into judaism and vice versa to strengthen the grip of zionism i still believe, for the most part, zionism is primarily a function of colonialism, or something.

      i think there's a growing secular-ness in the jewish community (and obviously jews who follow judaism outside a monolith zionism org), especially the youth. and regardless of what zionism has become, so thoroughly drenched within the religious community, it's roots were secular and it's intentions were not very different that other nationalists of that day and age.

      so when you say reject the idea Europeans, whites and “Aryans” are responsible for Zionism and suggest several thousand years of Jewish ethno-religious nationalism are at the core of contemporary Zionism, it suggests to me that it's not primarily a colonialist project very much intended, by secularists, to take over the land.

      the reliance of biblical texts, which was also used and promoted in christian zionism happened with a lot of intent after the fact (and that can be seen in the morphing of the bible interpretation). i think as the secular community grows so will anti zionism. and i don't think it's required to reject judaism (which is a religion, not a people) to reject zionism.

      but more immediately in this conversation, frankly i think having a person suggest someone should give up there identity as a jew, what kevin said, to just walk away from being jewish if that's who they are, is weird (not to mention rude and none of someone else's business). and then you chime in, in an antagonistic insulting goading way, ("repeatedly pointed out to Mooser ", "I am still waiting for Mooser to engage", "Mooser’s latest tack"and "That would be a cute trick – to try to pretend that Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish movement. ")

      but alas, you've just admitted yourself Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish, when you said "Zionism was strongly influenced" by 19th and early 20th century nationalist and ethnic nationalist movements in Europe. zionism is, and remains primarily tool of colonialism regardless if "contemporary zionism" relies on or has merged with biblical texts. (recall most religious jews rejected zionism initially so claiming it's origins are biblical is a non starter).

      non religious jews, many of them are not zionists. and you continually go back to referencing "American Jewish establishment" as if every jew is part of some establishment. they simply are not all engaged with this group think, nor is there any requirement to be.

      so you launch into your critique against mooser, goading him to engage you over this "American Jewish establishment" which as far as i know, he isn't part of.

      frankly, i don't get it. what's the point? working for a showdown in the MW threads?

    • it's a worthy conversation to have just, and we wouldn't be having it had you not rejected the idea of racism being injected into the conversation.

      ideally, it may not have been the most opportune way to begin the thread but alas, it happened!

    • I believe the article was about separating Zionism and nationalism from Judaism and had nothing to do with racism.

      actually, aside from mentioning Every facet of our Jewish life has been infected with Zionism (and the like) the author doesn't mention judaism even once.

      just, people just take away different things from an article that's all. in terms of the authors intent, i think it's a really good letter. but..he's not writing it to me. if there's one thing i've learned here over the years, is that i definitely wasn't raised in any kind of insular tribal sort of environment...meaning..i just never had this sense i was in some larger clan so to speak, other than just being american or part of the human race.

      i think, on the other hand, for a large part of the jewish community it's different. and this difference has perhaps facilitated a feeling of a demand to be loyal to this tribe think, or something. a conditioning of sorts of an obligation. an obligation i only have for members of my immediate family or close friends....or...what is morally right. but not to a very large group of a certain million people or anything. so, when i read the letter my ears did picked up on:

      We Jews have a lot of blood on our hands, we have been made complicit in these inhuman acts, and we have a responsibility now to do something about it.

      i just thought to myself, well..that could be said about most americans. and i thought, why am i not included in this message? why is he only speaking to jews? and of course, like all people, some are much more complicit than others whether they are jewish or non jewish. and i reject the idea jews, as a whole, should be blamed for what's happening there. i think that kind of thinking leads to retribution for all jews. just like i reject the notion muslims have to be or should be called to account for terrorism committed in the name of islam. i just do not think it's helpful. so to me, when i read jpb's statement i thought, well, that's right. one can't really say that every jew has blood on their hands. it's too much to lay on one people as a whole. it's a terrific burden to lay on a child for example. i mean really. does a 5 year old jewish kid who lives in nebraska have blood on his/her hands? of course not. does a 15 yr old high school trumpet player in fresno who plays in the school band who happens to be jewish, is that kid more responsible for gaza than other kids in his school band, just because he is jewish?

      so if, like me, someone is reading thru this and that line happens to jump out at them ..then a natural thought trajectory might be....that kind of blame is racist. albeit obviously not the authors intent. it's part of a group think and if one is accustomed to accepting group think and group responsibility then it seems like normal speech. but as an american, i have (and we have) blood on my hands for this situation. we facilitate this. it's a bunch of cowards who let this go on. i mean look at obama, he's not jewish and he's facilitated this just like millions of non jewish americans. it's not only jews who kowtow to this zionist narrative and it's going to take a much larger group than american jews to turn it around. much much larger.

      anyway. hope that's helpful.

    • Gilad Atzmon — and he has the guts to defend his views in fair and open debate

      does he have a comment section on his blog now? i'm not sure how comparing a commenter on mondoweiss to an international figure, in terms of exposure, is that helpful.

      That would be a cute trick – to try to pretend that Zionism isn’t a thoroughly Jewish movement.

      wasn't zionism partly a response to nationalism, or ethnic nationalism? that didn't begin with jewish thought did it?

    • no worries. those double negatives are confusing.

    • just, i think jpb meant ' "No jews have no blood on their hands" is a racist statement.'

  • Reprint of Yochanan Gordon's "When Genocide is Permissible" (Updated)
    • google is your friend - sheldon adelson

    • Israel wants nothing more than lifting the blockade


    • The descendants of Holocaust survivors.

      and all those holocaust museums all over the country/world. try explaining it's only about jews, not a lesson on genocide. that would be a sick neat trick.

    • After he had solved the “Palestinian Question “, who is next??.

      the rest of the arab /muslim world i suppose. i mean adelson advocated nuking iran. wtf.

    • mhuizenga, did you see this: link to

      completely freaky. and this represents a lot of teens. i think it's permeated the culture to a degree we cannot fully comprehend. just the fact this got picked up by the times of israel. i mean,how clueless can you be to imagine this is acceptable speech. the editors? outrageous.

    • absolutely tom

    • yeah just, It’s not jolly.

    • sumud, little by little. interestingly this couple ended up living here at my home awhile back for 6 months. so they knew what i did and frankly they were astounded when they heard about some of the stuff. but they were skeptical and they had this friend, a hippie kid who had been to israel and completely drunk the koolaide. but i didn't get into long discussions with them. i could tell the girl wasn't into political discussion. but she was into these teenage novels. she just absorbed these saga books like the hunger games. so i gave her the almond tree and she completely got sucked in. it was so up her alley. that book turned her, completely. but she's still not what one would call an activist at all. yoga, health food, knitting and canning, back to the land stuff. and her boyfriend read the book and he got hooked too. but still they don't read the news. but they were primed so to speak. so this time when israel invaded it pierced thru into their world somehow, in real time. i think they get it. whereas i was almost in my 50's before i saw anything really. just didn't enter into my reality til after iraq.

      but once you see it you can't go back. so yeah, little by little...tiny steps for some people.

    • i cleaned it up for you. no prob

    • i love that interview tom. phil featured it along with some other articles yesterday. link to

    • Now Israel defiles their memory to defend genocide against a people who had absolutely nothing to do with the Holocaust.

      last night i was discussing what was going on w/gaza with some kids who stopped by (25 or so, a couple, who when i met them about 2 years ago knew nothing of israel/palestine. brought up in a little town, like raves and the grateful dead and hiking. just not political. so i told them some of the basics) and they'd heard about the recent slaughter. and one of them said to me, "you know what i heard recently? some people saying palestinians were responsible for the holocaust" i swear, had i not gotten to them first a couple years ago, they might have believed this garbage.

      anyway, finally they are becoming more interested like this isn't some sideshow. like it's important. and they said to me, "we have this jewish friend and she wants to know if there's any jewish peace groups around she could join." i guess some of the previously uncurious young crowd are starting to get alarmed. so they told her they had this friend who would know and they'd ask me. i showed them the jewish voice for peace website and they memorized the name, it being fairly easy to recall.

      anyway, just rambling.

    • that would depend on which americans you're considering. native americans certainly were.

  • Collective fear, collective support for war crimes -- it's the 'Time of Men' in Israel
  • US suspended aid to Egypt after it slaughtered civilians -- why not Israel?

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