Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 5529 (since 2010-01-10 08:28:48)


Showing comments 5529 - 5501

  • 'Washington Post' column refers to 'powerful Israel lobby' as factor in 2012 campaign
  • Congress threatens to cut aid to PA over statehood bid, but Israel urges them to reconsider
    • MRW,

      Though Arabic was the original language of my family, assimilation into the Ashkenazi-dominated culture in Israel forced all Arab Jews (i.e. Mizrahi Jews and Sephardic Jews) to change their names and forget the language of their origin and use Hebrew as the only language.

      This alienated entire generations as children were ashamed when their parents spoke to them in any language other than Hebrew. And parents felt alienated.

      My Arabic wasn't as good as it is today. I took private classes and managed to acquire what others were forced to forget.

      Another practice that was quite heart-breaking and despicable had children taken from their parents -- by the state -- at a young age and put in a Kibutz for 're-culturing'.

      My youngest sister was taken from my parents when she was six and that broke my mother's heart. She made up a song that she would later hum in sadness whenever she sought to comfort herself.

      Very few non-Ashkenazi Jews speak Arabic nowadays, less so in public.

      Formally, Israeli Jewish school children are taught Arabic, but its voluntary and what little they are taught, it is the most basic form of Arabic, enough to serve them in the military (In the occupied West Bank or Gaza).

      Ironically, in the non-Jewish sector in Israel, Palestinians whose native language is Arabic, start learning compulsory Hebrew as early as 4th grade.

    • thankgodimatheist September 17, 2011 at 2:46 am

      Avi, do you have a link to that, please?

      I'm sorry, but I don't have a link. A London-based journalist publishes a newsletter in Arabic. It contained this information.

      Here is his name: حميد غريافي

    • MHughes976 September 17, 2011 at 12:24 pm

      Does this story imply that the United States and Iran (Syria and Iran will supply the Phalangists with East Euro weapons for use against Hizb) are hand in glove here? Are you saying that some sort of partition of the ME between these two apparent enemies is beginning? Or have I just misread?
      Iran is often considered to be the patron of Hizb. I’m expressing surprise, not contradicting you, which I’m too ignorant of these matters to attempt.

      The implication is that the right wing coalition (Christians and Sunnis) that is Western-backed will be using Iranian and Syrian weapons so as to make it appear as though the US and NATO are not involved. Eastern Europe is mentioned because it is a good source for such weaponry, without needing to purchase them directly from Iran or Syria. The information this Colonel leaked did not imply that Iran or Syria were involved in any way.

      In popular culture, those who watched the movie Charlie Wilson's War may recall that Tom Hanks' character goes to Egypt, a US ally at the time, to purchase Soviet-made weaponry to ship to Afghanistan during the US proxy war against the Soviet Union. The US didn't want the Soviets to know that the US was supplying the Mujahideen with weapons.

      So, in the Lebanese case, there is the Phalanges which include both Christian and Sunni fighters supported by EU, the US and Saudi Arabia, and on the opposite side is Hezbollah and by extension the Shia in Lebanon.

      As an aside, Iran may get involved -- directly or indirectly -- That remains to be see. But, the information above was not meant to imply that Iran was going to be involved in this mess.

    • I've got a rather grim piece of information to share.

      A retired Lebanese army colonel and current military adviser to a right wing political party in Lebanon has leaked information that in the last two years some EU countries, along with the US and Saudi Arabia have been training right wing Lebanese Phalanges (Christian and Sunni) in Urban Warfare. The training covered various special forces tactics, including night raids, counter-reconnaissance, and technical intelligence collection. In addition, the training focused on tank operations and the use of armored vehicles.

      Close to 140 Lebanese fighters have returned from the United States, France, Belgium and Germany where they received training to fly combat planes and helicopters and carry out aerial bombing missions.

      The Colonel emphasized that the military wings of the right wing Christian and Sunni parties have about 50,000 fighters who will be provided with the latest advanced weaponry Syria and Iran have to offer, weaponry that was purchased from East European countries. Some of the weaponry is stored in the Gulf states. In addition, the United States has on hand armored vehicles in Qatar which can be used to reinforce fighters in Lebanon should the need arise.

      The plan is to wait until the Syrian regime falls, and then use the opportunity to attack and dismantle Hizbollah -- a Shia' group.

      The Lebanese Colonel that leaked this information stated that the plan is already underway. He emphasized that in the early stages the Lebanese army will remain neutral lest it fragment like it did in 1975. In the event the Lebanese army splinters, the Phalanges will take over the army's arsenal.

      This in turn will see the reshaping of a new Middle East. It is safe to say that in the foreseeable future, civil wars, in both Lebanon and Syria, will become part of the daily reality.

  • Israeli officials say they are just trying to help Palestinians, and Americans, climb down out of the tree
    • The extent that US and some European diplomats will go to prevent the Palestinian Authority from presenting a statehood resolution at the United Nations is astounding, although the motivation for their frantic efforts is not at all clear, especially in light of the slim chance of success.

      Ira, Israel is frantically trying to stop the bid for Palestinian statehood mainly due to the fact that Israel has planned on keeping the occupied West Bank.

      Now, you will probably say that retrospectively it's easy to make such a claim, but when I look at Israeli maps from the 1970s and see planned roads that systematically bisect the West Bank into Bantustans, I realize that the Oslo Accords were not coincidental.

      Please understand that when it comes to long-term strategic planning, i.e. where Israel will be in 20 or 30 years time, or what it will look like, the Prime Minister's office and the Knesset have very little say in the matter. The policies are set by the so-called "security" apparatus. They run the show.

  • America's loose nukes: who's reckless now?
    • DBG September 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

      The hatred for America on here astounds me. I guess if I hated America I’d do my best to leave.

      Taking his cues from AIPAC's latest press release on shared values and other cockamamie ideas, DBG feigns indignation on behalf of the US and elevates himself to HASBARAT $$ status.

  • On the 29th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacre
    • DBG September 16, 2011 at 5:10 pm

      Your mentality sounds like something Norman Finkelstein will includ in his next book, the Nakba Industry (being released in 2013)

      DBG's current status: HASBARAT $

    • longliveisrael September 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm

      Actually, Walid, yes it does, thanks. Certainly in comparison to any of the countries who demonize it and even more than Western countries who have faced war. That goes for Western countries who have been at war far away from their own countries with no direct threat.

      As for Gaza, I wonder what any country would have done having rockets fired at it’s civilians for 8 years. Let’s wonder for example what would Turkey do? Look up Kurds.

      I'm instituting a new rule. From now on, every time a poster repeats absurd, debunked, outright false information, and propaganda, he or she will earn a Hasbarat dollar sign like this one $.

      As of now, you're at HASBARAT $

  • Top media ethics expert: Times' Ethan Bronner is in 'very dicey ethical territory'
  • Campaign to end military aid to Israel enters NY, underground
  • Welcome to 'Apartheid Street'
    • Moderator: "eeny, meeny, miny, moe"?

      I think the comment fits better in the NY MTA ad campaign thread.

    • With news like this:

      With the U.S. Postal Service's admission last week that it won't be able to make a $5.5 billion debt payment this month, some serious questions and concerns have been raised.

      link to

      It looks like Americans (Jews and non-Jews) will soon have to decide whether they want a functioning postal service or aid going to some foreign country like Israel half a world away.

  • The declaration of 'The Jewish Authority in Eretz Yisrael'
  • You've got to be carefully taught
  • Israel evacuates Jordanian embassy ahead of massive protest
    • Jordan is about 60% Palestinian. Therefore, Israel's and the United States' plans for Jordan will result in a civil war.

    • Once again Zionism's defenders demonstrate to the world at large that they live in a reality of their own.

      Shalit, as a uniformed soldier of the State of Israel, carrying out an act that was sanctioned by Israel, not by France, should not be able to file a lawsuit in a French court. But, the fact the father had to resort to asking France for help, seeing as Israel has failed him, speaks volumes.

      In addition, given that Shalit was helping Israel impose an illegal siege on Gaza's civilian population, then he is by definition a terrorist.

    • After imposing a criminal siege on Gaza for more than 5 years now, it's good to see Israel feeling as though it is under siege. I look forward to Egyptians and Jordanians closing down both embassies and cutting off relations with Israel. It won't happen overnight, but Turkey is showing Arab leaders what having a spine looks like.

  • In a refugee camp, the girls work on a mural about freedom
    • It sounds like a wonderful experience for you, Lynn. And I'm sure the girls appreciate the interest and support they receive from visitors like you. God speed.

  • 'NY Times' readership miles ahead of the newspaper of record
    • Times they are achanging. I haven't read the Washington Post in a long while now, but seeing the comments at the NYT, I would be curious to see whether the online readership at WaPo has changed.

      The commenters are getting their information elsewhere and thinking independently.

      The power of independent journalism. This is great.

  • Reverse aliyah: '92d St Y' works with Israeli consulate to provide program to Israeli parents
    • It's not always liberal Jews leaving to escape Israeli radicalism. The reasons vary.

      I have a niece who recently moved from Israel to California and she did so mainly for better economic conditions. And in Israeli terms, she could be described as wealthy. I wouldn't describe her as liberal in a long shot. Far from it.

      I know of several Israelis who moved to the US simply because they liked the lifestyle in cities like NY, for example. Politics don't always play a major role in such decisions.

  • Michael Lerner says We need a Jewish state b/c Jews continue to face vulnerability, hatred
    • Israel was the first affirmative action state, recognized by the United Nations primarily out of a global recognition that the Jewish people had faced extraordinary persecution through much of the past two thousand years, culminating in the Holocaust.

      Lerner seems to wear the victimhood as a badge of honor. Does he believe that Jews are exceptional victims, that they were targeted by the world's nations while everyone else was left unpersecuted?

      That seems to be the implication in his writing. I find that preposterous and ludicrous. And why should the Palestinians suffer because The Jews needed a homeland? Lerner doesn't explain why.

      Now, for the sake of argument, let us assume that Jews the world over have been targeted for more than two thousand years. Shouldn't that awaken in Lerner some kind of introspection, some form of examination that asks, "Could they have had reason for that persecution?" But, he does neither.

      He is a "progressive" and a "rabbi" like I am Moses.

      Incidentally, for a privileged American Jew who grew up in Berkley, California, Lerner is the epitome of what Tony Judt described when he wrote:

      American Jews — most of whom know nothing of Jewish history, Jewish languages or Jewish religion — feel “Jewish” by identifying unthinkingly with Auschwitz as the source of their special victim status and “Israel” as their insurance policy and macho other. I find this contemptible — they are quite happy to see Arabs killed in their name, so long as other Jews do it. That’s not fear, that is something between surrogate nationalism and moral indifference.

      I don't need your progressivism, rabbi. Keep it to yourself.

    • Elliot September 14, 2011 at 9:43 pm

      Lerner is a victim of his generation. If he were 30 years younger, he’d be an anti-Zionist.

      I don't subscribe to that idea. Bluntly put, I find that to be an excuse. Lerner grew up in the US.

      I have met many Ashkenazi Israeli Jews, well in their 80s, some even Holocaust survivors, who did not let their generation turn them into victims.

      Sometimes victimhood is willful, in the sense that people use it as a crutch.

      Incidentally, a serial killer can ask for leniency, citing childhood abuse as an aggravating factor, but that doesn't absolve him of the crimes he committed. Psychological trauma in childhood does not give adults a carte blanche to commit crimes or enable them.

      Lerner is the editor of Tikkun Magazine. So what kind of Tikkun is this when he won't even look at a broken house that he helped build?

  • Israeli Foreign Ministry urges American rabbis to tell their high-holiday congregations to support AIPAC
  • Israeli PR firm scrubs Bronner from website as investigative report appears
  • Why Israelis are feeling isolated
    • Chaos, the funny thing is that Merriam Webster's Third International Dictionary (Hardcover) defines "Israel" as "The Jewish state in Palestine". I got a good chuckle out of that.

    • Chris Keeler,

      The term "Israeli Arabs" was coined and spread by the Israeli government in the early 1950s in an effort to erase their historical and ancestral origins.

      In geopolitics, the terminology helps Israel divide and control between Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians in the occupied Golan, Palestinians whom Israel calls "Druze" and Palestinians whom Israel calls "Bedouin".

  • Pro-Israel lobbyists work to save Palestinian Authority funding (and why should this be a surprise?)
    • tod, you don't know what you're talking about.

    • Very good writing, Alex.

      The right-leaning Israel Project and J Street have both come out against the Palestinian move to the UN. Their position on funding for the PA, though, is a reminder of what the PA's actual role in the West Bank is and why US officials like Senators John McCain and John Kerry and Elliot Abrams (all quoted in the Reuters report) are becoming increasingly vocal about maintaining aid to the PA.

      The PA security forces, which have been accused of detention, arbitrary arrest and torture, have worked hand-in-hand with the Israeli military, the US and the EU to keep the West Bank void of resistance to the occupation.

      Some were also tortured to death, like Haitham Amer who "died" while in "custody".

      And it was none other than Bush Jr. who stated that Mohammad Dahlan, the head of the PA's Preventive Security Service (Yes. It is Orwellian) was "Our man in Gaza". This was before Dahlan and Dayton's minions attempted to overthrow Hamas in an attempted coup.

  • On saying that Israel has a right to exist
    • Simone Daud September 14, 2011 at 11:44 am

      “i swore a sacred oath on the bible to protect israel.”

      When and how? Really. I’m interested. You see when Lieberman wanted to introduce a loyalty oath for Arabs of Israel Palestinians in Israel, it became quickly apparent to us that the best approach is that the loyalty oath be imposed on observant Jews too. We’ll do it if the Rabbis permit their congregation to take “a sacred oath on the bible” for Israel. Of course, that can never happen for a huge number of reasons.

    • My grandson identifies with ‘nothing’ – he simply is.

      He is a human being. That's beautiful.

  • House reps reach across the aisle at last . . . to smack Ramallah and Geneva upside the head
    • A moving photo from the link:

      link to

      Ahmad Barghouth, 64, also known as Abu Nidal, sits by his father's grave, which will be cut off by the wall. Land outside his house is now being flattened to build the barrier.

      -Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

      It seems the family didn't have the financial means to afford a traditional gravestone.

    • Hillary Clinton and Dennis Ross are already scheduled to fly to Ramallah in the coming days in an attempt to dissuade (read: threaten) Abbas from going ahead with the planned declaration at the UN.

      So, Abbas will have to choose between alienating more Palestinians than he already has, losing credibility among the leaders of the nations of the world, and between bowing to American/Israeli pressure, thus satisfying his masters.

      His choice will depend on current internal politics within Fatah and between Fatah and Hamas. But, more importantly, Abbas will have to make his decision taking into consideration whether he prefers to remain in his homeland, or seek refuge outside the country.

      Might. After all, the defense industry sells many of the same weapons to both Israeli and countries like Saudi Arabia. Who cares who recognizes who as long as both keep buying!

      Well, the Military Industrial Complex donates weaponry to Israel while it sells degraded weaponry to Saudi Arabia. Israel wants to maintain military superiority in the region. After the US convinced the idiots in Saudi Arabia that they needed advanced weaponry to defend themselves against Iran, the monarchy went and purchased close to 60 billion dollars worth of weaponry. Israel balked at the deal, claiming that the radar systems the US was selling Saudi Arabia had to be downgraded in order for Israel to maintain the technological advantage.

  • Yiddish poetry for Palestine
  • Abuse victims bring case against Catholic church to Int'l Criminal Court
    • So where are all those Islamophobes who liked to spread propaganda about Muhammad, claiming that he married a 9-year-old, thus labeling him a pedophile and claiming that Islam tolerates pedophilia?

      Where are those Pamela Geller and Daniel Pipes minions now?

  • America’s collective denial of 9/11’s meaning
    • Well, let's take that a little farther. Let's go back to the 1960s when the US was bombing and burning villages in Vietnam. Do those Americans who pretend as though the US has been innocent all along, that it merely retaliated in October 2001 after being "attacked", think they can escape from history?

      No. I don't think so. I think they were content living the illusion that their country can do no wrong.

      When Regan was paying for the slaughter of innocents in Latin America, very few in the US cared to pay attention or cared to believe their own country was committing such horrific acts. The rest of the world knew. The rest of the world took notice.

      So in 2001, when Americans were 'inconvenienced' they suddenly realized that there was a bigger world out there, bigger than they had previously imagined. Out of the intellectual cocoon in which they lived, they stepped into the open to realize what it was like to live in fear. But, they didn't like that.

      They are just like Israelis who like to pretend that there is no occupation. The moment a Palestinian attacks them however, they become indignant.

      Methinks entire populations have a lot of maturing to do.

  • American Jews who fear a Palestinian majority in I/P are 'paranoid, hysteric, macho, contemptible' --Judt
    • And in doing so, he makes a very important point – what is the worth of your sensibilities if words offend them, but aggressive violence doesnt?

      That's a good point. It should apply to anyone and everyone, anywhere and everywhere.

    • And you think that god is a man?

      Incidentally, if god is what you religious types claim he/she/it is, then how can he/she/it have a gender?

      No, wait. I take that back. YOU think that women are inferior, that's what actually bothers you.

  • Presbyterian Church committee recommends church divest from Caterpillar, HP and Motorola over Israeli human rights abuses
    • The 10 major languages of the world usually include Arabic as do the main six languages of the UN. So, literature published by many manufacturers would usually include instructions in English, French, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese and Russian.

      Recently, a friend asked me to help him set up his HP printer, one he received as a gift. I mentioned the boycott in passing and proceeded to connect the printer. Upon checking the instructions, I noticed that the instructions were available in English, French, Spanish and Hebrew.

      So, apparently, as far as HP is concerned the number of Hebrew speakers in the world is equal to 300 to 400 million. I guess at HP headquarters, each Hebrew speaker counts 150 times the number of other speakers.

  • Ron Paul says our unfairness to Palestinians led to 9/11 attacks
    • To the best of my knowledge, bin Laden never claimed responsibility for the attack.

      The only time a "bin Laden" claimed responsibility was in that grainy video in which this guy appeared. Viewers were told that the man in the video was bin Laden.

      In addition, if the US didn't know where bin Laden was in the last 10 years, then what is one to make of the fact that on January, 28, 2002 CBS News reported that bin Laden had received dialysis treatment at a military hospital in Pakistan several days earlier.

      Then there is the alleged CIA visit of bin Laden in July 2001:
      link to

    • Some observations:

      1. It's interesting that the boos came when the whole issue of Islam came up.

      2. Santorum sounds like he has the wisdom of a door knob. I take that back. Door knobs fulfill a useful function, Santorum doesn't.

      3. It seems like "Jihadist" is merely code for "Muslims", all 1.6 billion.

      4. It's a strange concept that one's actions could not have consequences. The myth that "They attacked us because Their way of life is anathema to Our way of life" is a convenient escape from reality. Each presidential candidate should undergo a psychological evaluation, lest the Oval Office become occupied by a delusional halfwit.

    • Thanks. I'll check the clip.

    • Is there video of the exchange?

  • Richard Cohen instructs Obama: there must be no 'daylight' between you and Netanyahu
    • Ostrovsky maintained close ties with some of his former colleagues at the Mossad. He wrote of a split within the Mossad, a split between those who disagreed with the agenda of the newly appointed chief and those who agreed. At the time, this created two camps within the Mossad and Ostrovsky was one of those who had left in disagreement over the direction in which the agency was taking Israel. In short, he hoped to effect change from without with the help of a few insiders.

      In 1991, when Ostrovsky learned of the plot, he recruited the help of former congressman Pete McCloskey in order to get the information out.

      Moreover, when the information leaked to the press, Jack Anderson, an investigative reporter, and Jane Hunter, the editor and publisher of Israeli Foreign Affairs wrote about the case in her newsletter in 1991, thus bolstering Ostrovsky's credibility.

    • To think that Bush Sr. was the last president to stand up to The Lobby -- and even he eventually gave in and surrendered -- is both depressing and instructive.

      With each passing day, I find Victor Ostrovsky's account of Israel's plan to assassinate Bush Sr. during the 1991 Madrid summit (While pinning it on three Palestinians) to be more and more plausible.

      Ostrovsky writes:

      Since the Mossad had all the security arrangements in hand, it would not be a problem bringing the killers as close as they wanted to President Bush and then staging his assassination. In the ensuing confusion, the Mossad people would kill the ‘perpetrators,’ scoring yet another victory for the Mossad. With the assassins dead, it would be difficult to discover where the ‘security breach’ had been, except that several countries involved in the conference, such as Syria, were regarded as countries that assisted terrorists.

  • 'Arab Sources' on Mondoweiss
    • eee September 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Google “עוד דונם ועוד עז”, that should help.

      It looks like Danaa's comment from several weeks ago, that you are either a recent oleh or a Brooklyn 'returnee', has sent you scrambling for some Hebrew catch phrases. See if you can figure out the difference between חכם and מתחכם.

    • Mr. Daud, I'm curious, why were the African American writers banned? Where they too 'uppity' for the democratic party establishment?

    • Simone Daud, welcome aboard.

      I look forward to reading more about your experiences and thoughts.

  • Today's Israeli spin against Palestinian statehood: Cairo attack a sign of violence to come following UN vote
    • Among the most recent Wikileaks cables is the revelation that Israel plans on expelling Palestinians out of the occupied territories and into Jordan. Israel would like Jordan to be the 'Palestinian state'.

  • 'Fundamentalist-dominated state bent on expansion and war' --Sullivan
    • In my view it is terrible framing for the following reason. On the one hand, Sullivan advances the notion that Israel is merely dominated by fundamentalists. Implied in that assertion is the notion that such conditions have the potential to change.

      On the other hand, Sullivan attributes a sense of permanence to "Islamism". Here, the implication is that no matter what Israel or the US do, there will always be crazed Muslims 'out to get Us'.

      That's the distinction; the capacity to change vs. nihilism.

    • Which ally is threatening conventional warfare if its own nuclear monopoly in the region is in any way threatened? And which ally is making it harder and harder for the US to shape a credible and potent strategy against Islamism?

      The problem with Sullivan's argument is that it harkens back to Orientalist and colonial thinking.

      His argument is that Israel is making it difficult for the US to shape a strategy against "Islamism" (side note: I hate the word Islamism).

      And yet, would "Islamism" even interfere with the US, or be of any significance to threaten the US had the US not supported Israel's policies, had it not followed failed colonial strategies in the past like the British and French did, strategies that have alienated and angered many Muslims, "Islamists" or otherwise?

      You see, the underlying thesis of Sullivan's argument is predicated on Orientalism. If that's the best Sullivan can do when he argues to hold Israel accountable, then he better not make his arguments, for he is doing damage to the truth and wrapping his argument in mainstream media apologetics (re: fighting "Islamism"). It's as though radical Muslims are a special breed of radicals that the US and its allies ought to be fighting. It's as though radical Muslims are such a menace to world peace, that even if the Israeli problem were solved, the US would still have hordes of "Islamists" to pacify. That is an ignorant argument.

      There is a far better English-born journalist whom I respect; his name is Robert Fisk.

  • How Saloma left the Amish
    • Mooser September 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

      “One of my favorite flicks about death. Ingmar Bergmans
      “The Seventh Seal””

      One of the best movies about special-forces operations ever made, better than “The Dirty Dozen” by a mile!

      I see you have got a Sixth Sense for puns.

  • Jordan and Saudi Arabia sound warnings on blocking Palestinian statehood
    • These two, the Saudi and the Jordanian monarchy, are merely fearful of losing their grip on power. They realize that domestically, their position in power sits on quick sand.

      At the same time, let us not forget that all the bluster and posturing is aimed at appeasing the local population. These leaders have always sought to appease their own subjects -- by paying them lip service -- while working behind the scenes to please the US and their masters in Washington.

      Yet, Jordanians, Egyptians and Saudis alike have grown tired of their leaders' lip service. They have grown tired of the talk and are demanding actions.

  • On September 11, we remember the... 1 percent
    • Several years ago, I visited the battle grounds of WWI and WWII. Places in northern France, for example, are littered with cemeteries of fallen soldiers.
      Memorials erected for Canadian, Belgian, British, and Dutch soldiers speak of the death toll of those wars. Yet, none left a lasting impression on me as the enormous number of gravestones I saw. At one place I found a bench on which to stand. Then I looked as far to the horizon as my eyes could see, and all I saw were gravestones covering the terrain like dominoes, neatly positioned in rows.

      When I visited Washington DC, standing at the foot of the Washington Monument, I looked west toward Arlington Cemetery. From that distance, the hills of the cemetery looked almost grey as the gravestones merged together from that distance to form one large indistinguishable mass.

      And yet, despite all this sorrow and misery that riddles human history, all that death, loss and pain, despite it all there are those who will stand in Europe, or stand in the US and cheer for more war and more destruction - so long as they get to stay away from all the violence.

      Sometime in 2007 I watched a documentary that described the landfills outside Baghdad. The landfills were filled with yet-to-be identified body parts, like mass graves. These were the victims of the US invasion, unidentified, anonymous, nameless, voiceless and forever silenced victims.

  • 'September: The Threat of an Opportunity' - Israeli settlers plan to confront Palestinian demonstrators
    • This is shaping up to be a massacre of large proportions. Providing the colonists with weapons and training is essentially a carte blanche to kill at will.

      Israel is hoping that the violence the colonists inflict on Palestinians will be so enormous as to push Palestinians to strike back, thus justifying a harsh response from the military, one that will be equivalent to Gaza 2009 or Jenin 2002.

      And, depending on how Israeli thugs will play this, this has the potential of turning into a large scale violent clash, possibly involving Palestinian refugees in neighboring states. Pushed far enough, people in Jordan could very well take to the streets. The monarch would be risking his position.

  • See the children's drawings that terrified the San Francisco Jewish Community Relations Council and the Jewish Federation of the East Bay
    • Walid September 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      Seham, heard about the millionieh being organized this Thursday in Amman to have the Israeli Embassy flag taken down?

      YNet News:

      Jordan protest threatens to emulate embassy storming

      As you know, when the attack from the Sinai took place, the press let it be known that it was Jordanian GID who had tipped the Israeli Shabak, warning them about a possible attack. For many, that was further confirmation of the collaboration between Arab leaders, Israel and the US.

      Should Israel play its cards wrong -- and it usually does -- the violence it will inflict on Palestinians when they declare statehood could end up motivating Jordanians to push the monarchy out of power.

  • Similar to Goldstone smears, pressure on Gaza art exhibit is attempt to prevent the truth of Cast Lead from getting out
    • It's OK to indoctrinate American children with emotionally-draining images of skinny Jewish kids dressed in striped prison uniforms, held behind barbed wire fences.

      It's NOT ok to show drawings of Palestinian children suffering under the crushing siege and occupation. Doing so is risky as it might HUMANIZE Palestinian children in the eyes of American children.

      No. Better stick to the narrative where Nathan's people -- the Jewish kid who lives down the street -- are the victims and Nidal's people -- the Arab kid who sits three rows behind me in class -- are the evil ones.

  • 'NYT' calls Dogan a Turk-- yes, and how many other American deaths go unaudited?
    • Well, it's the same treatment social issues get, isn't it?

      I mean, if we looked at the true causes of crime in inner cities, unemployment and violence, we find that the source of the problem is a broken system. But, the media and the government tend to place the blame on the individuals. We are constantly brainwashed with the idea that it is those individuals who are born with certain violent and criminal tendencies who are to blame.

      But, in reality, what drives someone to commit a crime? What drives someone to sell drugs, or rob a bank, or break into a house, or steal a car?
      If there were an equitable distribution of resources in society, instead of the deliberate disenfranchisement of entire segments, many of these problems would go away.

      Instead, the elite that is in control of the resources, prefers to place the blame on the individual. Similarly, the elite in control of the narrative, prefers to place the blame on "fanatics," "Islamists," irrational barbarians.

      The root cause? Who cares!? Ignore the root cause and divert attention from Israel's actions. Come up with a million and one excuses, but avoid the root cause at all costs, lest the corruption be exposed. That's the rationale.

  • George W. Bush in the remainder bin of history
    • Bush:

      "I like to tell people when the final history is written on Iraq, it will look like just a comma because there is [...]"

      So killing an untold number of human beings is merely a comma?

      Meanwhile, I woke up to read a headline on Google that stated: "The world mourns 9/11".

      The 9/11 industry is starting to put the Holocaust industry to shame. It's the sense of exceptionalism that is so nauseating.

      Bush on America's response to 9/11:

      "Now watch this drive".

  • US ambassador to Israel calls for 'stronger commitment to Zionist education' in US to overcome young Jews' disaffection
    • This Shapiro character is like the prostitute who is proud to be one. Perhaps it's best if he changed his name to Madam Shapiro. Or better yet, someone do humanity a favor and give him an Israeli passport. Let him stay where he feels at home.

      And good for Obama for pleasing The Lobby with his appointment of Shapiro.

      Perhaps they should all drop all pretense and make Tel-Aviv the capital of the United States. Just a thought.

  • Sullivan takes spears for Mearsheimer
    • Sullivan has the courage to write this stuff on his own blog/website, but when he is interviewed on .....say.... Bill Maher's propaganda show, Sullivan suddenly develops amnesia.

      Tom Friedman does the opposite. He uses racist language and harsh adjectives in writing about Arabs and Palestinians. But, when he goes on TV, he uses softer language and curtails his peddling of anti-Semitic (i.e. anti-Arab) bigotry.

  • Krugman seems to want to talk about pundit-class responsibility for Iraq disaster
    • If Krugman could only bring himself to use similar language that which communicates his inner-most strong passions and feelings about the injustices Israel has perpetrated against the Palestinian people.

      Alas, that's the problem with PEPs. They reserve their harsh language for Uncle Sam, while they beat around the bush with excuses and euphemisms when speaking or writing about the Zionist state.

  • On September 11, 2011
    • notatall, great post.

      Along somewhat similar lines, I can only imagine what society we would have if all the money and manpower spent on the last decade's useless wars was invested in social programs, in infrastructure and education.

      About 40,000 Americans die each year in automobile crashes. What if 10% of the trillions that were poured into the war machine were put toward highway safety and better roads?

      And I get frustrated when I mention this to Americans and all I get in response is, "You sound like a socialist!"

      The free market economy has destroyed this country and very few seem to comprehend that or care about it.

  • Guess it wasn't Saddam after all: Israeli media now trying to pin 9/11 on Hezbollah and Iran
    • Actually, I will soon be filing a lawsuit that presents a special report about dramatic revelations that could change everything we knew about 9/11.

      In my lawsuit, I will allege that it was those 9 Turkish citizens -- one of whom was an American citizen -- killed on board the Mavi Marmara who facilitated the 9/11 attacks.

      A month later, I will be filing a lawsuit that alleges that driver who cut me off in traffic last week helped facilitate 9/11, not to mention that person who didn't hold the door open for me when I walked in for my dentist appointment. You see, this will be a good opportunity for me to pile on with my own grievances while taking advantage of others' tragedy. You must understand that I enjoy doing this as it conveniently deflects attention from my own wrong-doing and makes it seem as though everyone else is out to get me.

      Stay tuned as I plan on abusing the US court system, filing frivolous lawsuit after lawsuit, to score political points on behalf of my beloved Israel. I will continue to do so, as long as America will put up with my shenanigans as a traitor to my own country and an agent of my beloved Israel.

  • Tom Friedman suggests Arabs are 60 years behind the rest of us, or maybe 100
    • The West, especially powers that were historically colonial like Britain, France, Germany, including the US, scrambled to arrest the revolutionary momentum that started in Tunisia and quickly swept Egypt, Bahrain and Yemen.

      The fear among these western powers is for there to be geographic contiguity characterized by freedom and independence in the Arab world, stretching from Morocco to Iraq.

      NATO's involvement in Libya and ongoing clandestine operations in Syria are the typical knee-jerk response of the west to divide and control the region. Nu'man Abd al-Wahid's article link to, provides the historical background for such colonial meddling in the affairs of Arabs in the Middle East.

      In a sentence, the Arab Spring has been hijacked and co-opted by Western powers in order to stymie the new wave of revolutions, independence and self-determination.

      So, within this context, Tom Friedman's comments are both irrelevant and instructive. He is simply echoing Israel's (i.e. the West's) hope/plan for these revolutions to fail. And with Zionists like Friedman, Arabs are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

  • Tens of thousands of Egyptians protest Israeli embassy; destroy flag and protective barrier
    • From Al-Jazeera TV: Among the papers recovered from the embassy were documents that proved Azzam Azzam -- the Israeli jailed in Egypt on charges of espionage and later released in a deal between Mubarak and the Shin Bet -- was indeed working for Israeli intelligence at the time of his arrest in 1996.

      Since yesterday, speaking on behalf of Israel, Obama has been talking to (threatening?) Egypt to control the protestors.

      The Israeli press has already compared yesterday's events to the taking of the US embassy in Teheran in 1979.

      Ha-Aretz notes that relations between Israel and Egypt quote, "Will never be the same".

      Meanwhile, Israeli press reports reveal that in a recent meeting, Erdogan asked Obama about the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara. According to Ha-Aretz, Erdogan asked Obama if he knew that one of those murdered was an American citizen and whether he cared at all. The report claims that Obama did not respond.

  • U.S. Flotilla to Obama: Protect Us From Israel
    • Unlike the Palestinians and those who stand in solidarity with them, Civil Rights advocates of the 1960s had the federal government and the US constitution on their side. Palestinian solidarity has to contend with violators of human rights and enablers of war crimes from AIPAC, Israel, and the US government. The scale has been tipped so that on one end sits The Israel Lobby like a 7000 pound elephant, and on the other end of the seesaw sit the Palestinians light as a feather, held hostage, up in the air by the elephant that won't let them down.

  • 'The truth is not easy to tell': The story of Palestinian women in Israel
    • Their struggles for entitlement to their homes continue to this day, with women commonly describing living in the 'ghettos' of Lyd and Ramleh.

      Conditions in the 'ghettos' of Lyd and Ramleh are far worse to fit into a short article. Surely, Fatma Kassem wrote in her book about the economic discrimination and oppression that had turned both Lyd and Ramleh into drug and crime ridden cities. Much like Jaffa's Palestinian youth, the cities of Lyd and Ramleh have turned many Palestinian teens onto a life of crime, auto theft, drugs and prostitution.

      These are all the side-effects and the consequences of economic and geographic strangulation aimed at the Palestinian minority in Israel.

      A quick visit to the website of a Palestinian civil rights organization in Israel reveals a myriad of Israeli government policies aimed at ghettoizing the non-Jewish inhabitants of the aforementioned cities.

      And those who are looking for a sampling, a taste, the tip-of-the-iceberg, can watch the movie Ajami.

  • What do you do when Netroots is just not that into you?
    • Danaa June 17, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      I think JN is being rather kind. After all, we could appoint Avi in his stead…

      Or, we could appoint you, Danaa, in his stead. That way you'll have the chance of boring witty to tears -- practically torturing him -- with your favorite, meandering, meaningless, "treatises".

  • And now for something completely different . . .
    • Robert Werdine June 17, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Yes, it would seem that we hopelessly benighted pedestrians struggle hard to understand these concepts and their “manifestations.”

      Here is my answer to your question.

    • And again, we killed lots of Iraqis in the name of that belief but the dog, per the article, is alive and well


      I'm a bit confused. If memory serves, I thought you said you were Israeli.

    • Islam does not have "contempt" for dogs. Muslims simply consider dogs, as they do most other animals, to be unclean. They will keep them -- as pets or guard dogs, or hunting dogs -- but they won't bring them inside the home. By contrast, cats are considered clean because they constantly groom themselves (Even if you never owned a cat, you must have seen a cat licking its fur clean).

      More importantly, traditionally cats have been accepted into the confines of many a Muslim's clean home because -- as the story goes -- one day, a cat came and rested next to where the prophet Muhammad was sitting. When he didn't shoo it away, it was viewed as a sign of approval. One can think of it as a kind of blessing. Or, if one prefers, one can think of it as a type of dogma or doctrine similar to the approval a Kashrut inspector would give to Kosher food; i.e. it's OK because religious doctrine says it is.

      Nonetheless, there is often overlap between religious practices/laws and health/moral issues. For example, not to get overly graphic, but draining an animal of its blood is far safer for human consumption as it removes many of the pathogens that may be present in the blood. That way, it's not merely a question of whether the food is Kosher or not, but whether it's healthy or not.

      The same rationale applies to the treatment of cats, on the one hand they do groom themselves, on the other hand, religious tradition states that they are clean. That's the overlap.

      And many times there is overlap between religious and practical applications.

    • hophmi June 16, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Again Adam, I’m mystified by your penchant for posting stories like this, which, besides showing your ability to distort the article, shows your willingness to engage in exactly the kind of orientalism, paternalism, and chauvinism you accuse other of when they post (much more common) stories of backwardness in the Arab world, where, in places like Saudi Arabia, women can’t drive and elsewhere, people die in protests about political cartoons.

      That only goes to show that you do not understand the concept of Orientalism and its manifestations.

  • Newt Gingrich lauds ‘Jerusalem Day’ extremists
    • The video was taken in Jerusalem. But, the displays of ethnic supremacy can just as well apply to Umm Am-Fahem, a Palestinian city in Israel where Kahana supporters marched last year in provocation through the city, under the protection of the Israeli police.

    • Leave aside the whitewashed talk about the 1967 war, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were made refugees.

      Or the fact that by all historical accounts -- unless one reads Michael Oren's historical revisionism -- Israel initiated the war in 1967 and attacked Egypt.

      Even Israeli officials who participated in the war, later admitted that Israel initiated and launched the war.

      Either way, demography will tip the scales in favor of Palestinians, whether the likes of Gingrich like it or not.

      Except for MORE ethnic cleansing, Israel's leadership has not a viable long term plan.

  • Some thoughts on the fake gay blogger from Damascus....
    • jon s June 14, 2011 at 3:12 am

      By all accounts Ilan Grapel is an Israeli-American peacenik – who would probably feel at home on Mondoweiss- who was enthusiastic and excited by the Egyptian revolution.
      Let’s hope he’s released as soon as possible.

      Yes, let's hope he's released soon. Nothing to see here, people. Move along. All is quiet on the Western front.

      Is that what the Israeli media has been feeding you?

      Ilan first entered Egypt in early February. He spent some time there recruiting and paying individuals. He was surveilled hanging around Al-Azhar mosque and several churches. At some point he left Egypt, flew to Germany only to return a short while later for another extended stay in Egypt.

      Al-Quds newspaper stated that Egyptian authorities have evidence that he paid and recruited several individuals to help him in fomenting sectarian violence in Egypt.

      link to

      In addition, there is photographic evidence that he volunteered and served in the Israeli military in 2006. Some peacenik.

      And on top of it all, Israeli services have been known to recruit Jewish Americans -- for their American passports -- and send them on missions to Arab states.

    • The irony is that many Orientalists in the West like to peddle their indignation about the mistreatment of women in the Middle East. Meanwhile, many Muslim and Arab men and women alike complain of the blatant racism they face in the US today, nevermind Israel's abuses for more than 60 years.

      In other words, if hacks in the US truly wanted to defend Arab or Muslim women's rights, they could start by making sure those women are not treated with disdain in the US, are not called "rag heads" or "sand niggers".

      Wouldn't that be a good place to start?

      But the West marinates in the imperialist and racist mentality that the white man was put on this Earth to civilize the savages and educate them. It serves a political end. Nevermind that without the cultural and scientific capital of the Middle East, Europe would still be shooing rats in the plague-infested alleyways of the dark ages.

    • Nobody is rotting in Israeli prisons – a huge mistake if you ask me. Insted of some rat-stew and daily beatings – like it is supposed to be in every proper Middle-Eastern prison – all convicts in Israel get excellent food, water and are entiteled for a free university education. Such waste of taxpayer’s money.

      That's a nice fantasy you have there. But the weasel word in your post is "convicts".

      The topic under discussion here -- in case you have reading comprehension issues -- is about Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are held as political prisoners with no due process whatsoever under administrative detention.

      And aside from the By god they are getting free foot massages and back rubs narrative you're pushing, Palestinians are routinely tortured in Israeli prisons. The torture is so severe that those who are released at some point, come out with psychological traumas that they will live the rest of their miserable life as vegetables.

      But, I know what you are talking about when you mention "convicts" and "excellent food". You are referring to the likes of Samuel Sheinbein who has been spending his jail time in a minimum security prison in Israel and will be eligible for parole in two years after butchering in 1997 a teenager in the US and stuffing him in a plastic bag.

      Sheinbein wasn't even an Israeli citizen at the time of the murder, he was an American citizen. But, the Israeli court refused to extradite him and granted him citizenship based on his father being an Israeli.

      Is he the type of convict you had in mind?

      Or perhaps you meant to write about Yigal Amir, the murderer who assassinated Rabin and currently enjoys better treatment than many Palestinian prisoners?

  • 'Washington Times' yanks Weiner-married-Muslim-agenda piece
    • So what view does the article advance? Is it claiming that his exposing himself to a minor is the fault of his Muslim wife?

      You mean there won't be a sleaze piece connecting Weiner with Judaism, AIPAC and Israel?

      It's good to know that Muslims are the West's standby scapegoats. But, wait until election time and then Hispanics will become America's favorite cooties carriers. And that reminds me of the racist Lou Dobbs with his Leprosy stories about Mexicans.

  • Shareholders to Caterpillar: 'our product has become Israel’s weapon of choice for ethnic cleansing and potentially even war crimes'
    • Modern history includes such examples as Nazi Germany's Volkswagen and of course, there is IBM for its involvement.

      So, now Caterpillar will be associated with ethnic cleansing.

      The Israeli army says, quote: “The D9 is a strategic weapon here.”


  • 'NYT' characterizes '48 ethnic cleansing as 'evacuation'
    • when Arab gunmen used the surrounding hills to ambush convoys bringing supplies to besieged Jerusalem....Today, the town is one of the only surviving Muslim villages in the area.

      Up is down.

      Convoys were bringing "supplies" to "besieged" Jerusalem.

      In reality, Zionist forces were trying to conquer land that was not even allocated to them under the partition plan. According to the partition plan, Jerusalem was to become an international city, neither under the sovereignty of Jordan, nor Israel (at the time).

      But, to reinforce the victimhood narrative, the New York Times claims that Jerusalem was under "siege" and that the Zionist forces were merely interested in bringing in "supplies" to Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

      So, the NYT's terminology is such a stretch that it turns facts on their head.

      Nonetheless, can one expect the NYT to describe Gaza aid flotillas as bringing in "supplies" to "besieged" Gaza while describing the Israeli Navy as "gunmen" "ambushing" said flotillas? (Perhaps, "pirates" would be more fitting, eh?)

  • Wingnuts focus on Weiner's marriage to Muslim
    • a taqiyyah-practicing Muslim who are conspiring to put the United States under the control of Shariah law

      That's anti-Semitism. Is it not?

  • Why I fell so hard for 'A Gay Girl in Damascus' (and why the hoax makes me angry and conservative)
    • Phil,

      Years ago before I ever set foot in the US, I used to see it through the prism of Hollywood and American TV shows. Through that prism, I envisioned every American having a beautifully manicured green lawn, everyone was either blond or a tall black basketball player. When I arrived in the US, though I came to realize that some of my previous perceptions were in fact misconceptions, many of those misconceptions persisted.

      They persisted in the sense that I interpreted my new experiences and interactions with Americans through that old prism. Sure, many of my misconceptions about what my eyes could readily see (e.g. landscape) were dispelled.

      But, when it came to the reality that wasn't readily visible like cultural norms or social habits, it took a long time before I actually understood much of what I experienced, saw and witnessed. Like a wildlife researcher, in order to understand the population, I had to observe, look for patterns, collect (mental) data, take (mental) notes and through trial and error draw conclusions.

      Consider these general examples, I have yet to find a guidebook so detailed that it explained that one should not wear white after Labor Day, or emphasized that eye contact with strangers must be avoided, or explained why Americans seemed aloof and cold, sometimes even hostile and curt (when by American standards many are warm and friendly). These are things that I learned through experience by living in this country.

      Sure, I could have done some anthropological/sociological research by reading about the US, about American culture, but knowing what I know today, I don't think the text could ever come close to conveying the intricate complexities of society, culture and behavior the way personal experience and personal interaction have.

      So, in retrospect I now realize that my initial perceptions were actually exact opposites of the reality with which I am familiar today.

      When I do visit Israel from time to time, I inevitably see things through a different set of standards than I previously did. Strangers on a bus in Tel-Aviv speak to me in English with their heavy Israeli accents when they approach me. Yet, I dress like every other Israeli, or American. But, there are fine behavioral details and cues that people pick on. That applies anywhere on the planet.

      In short, one cannot accurately perceive/understand a society or a culture without both living in it and understanding its complex structure.

  • 'Gay Girl in Damascus' deceit has damaged the cause
    • Who is this MacMaster? Is he employed by a specific agency, institute, organization, government? Or is he merely a private citizen agent provocateur and trouble-maker?

  • Over 1,180 Palestinians displaced and affected by Israeli demolitions in the West Bank so far in 2011
    • Kate, good points. Thank you.

    • Uri Avnery disappoints as he seems to be engaging in historical revisionism.

      In his recent article entitled: "Netanyahu: Stupid Like a Fox?"

      Avnery writes (Emphasis added):

      [One protester] was one of hundreds of refugees who held the demonstration on the Syrian side of the Golan border fence, to commemorate the Naqba—“Disaster”—the exodus of more than half the Palestinian people from the territory conquered by Israel in the war of 1948. Some of the protesters ran down to the fence, crossing a minefield. Luckily, none of the mines exploded—perhaps they were just too old.

      1. The dictionary defines "Exodus" as "Mass Departure". And while the Nakbah did see more than 750,000 Palestinians forced out of their homes at the barrel of a Zionist gun, they did not willingly depart. That is an important point and I'm sure Avnery knows that.

      2. The "departure" -- if Avnery insists on using such euphemisms -- started well before the war of 1948. In fact, Illan Pappe and Simha Flapan cite the first forced expulsions and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians to have occurred as early as five months prior to the war. Again, I'm fairly certain that Avnery is familiar with these details.

      So, I see no reason for him to smooth-over the ugly rough patches of an ethnic cleansing.

  • 'We will boycott Israel' --a cappella flashmob in Brisbane
    • Is that so? Explain then how Palestinians in the occupied West Bank get to the Dead Sea.

      Surely, you're not going to suggest -- like Tom Friedman did re: Ramallah-Jerusalem -- that Palestinians simply march there, are you?

      There are multiple Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints preventing the average Palestinian from reaching the Dead Sea.

      Needless to say, I won't be holding my breath for your explanation.

    • hophmi June 12, 2011 at 2:13 pm

      Yeah, I could really see the public getting behind a movement that makes its rep disturbing everybody’s coffee break. Way to go!!!

      It would appear that coffee breaks and nice language is all Israel's apologists care about.

      link to

      Meanwhile, while Israel is maiming and killing more Palestinians on a daily basis, Zionists are fiddling with their own butlers and pricey China teacups.

      As the quote that is often wrongfully attributed to Marie Antoinette goes, Let them eat cake.

      It is testament to the fact that Zionists have become accustomed to a vain, selfish life of decadence and privilege.

      If they weren't, they would have mustered the empathy to see non-Jews in Palestine as equal human beings.

  • What is the living ethos in Jewish communal politics other than Zionism? (More dialogue about David Simon)
    • Readers will undoubtedly find the following exchange to be useful:

      link to

      In particular, readers may wish to read the following post by Shmuel, a long-time contributor to Mondoweiss:

      If I may be a little more general (and personal), I find your comments on this thread typical of most of your contributions to this blog. You constantly attack the positions of those to your left, for being intransigent, dogmatic and “small tent” (with or without justification), while working very hard to establish your own lefty past and reputation. So you used to be active in Hadash, are in favour of whatever 2ss you believe to be on offer, and oppose BDS (but so does Uri Avnery, so it’s ok). Yet neither your theoretical agreement with the radical left, nor your pragmatic convictions ring true. Not because they are impossible, but because they are unconvincing.

    • clenchner June 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

      Respectfully Phil, I think that the way you go about it might NOT be promoting the end result you seem to want.

      Note to readers:

      The above is one of that commenter's longest posts on this website. That is testament to the centrality of his own religion, not only to his identity, but also to the importance of Israel as a Jewish state in his daily life.

      As far as forensic analysis of text goes, the above is proof that the commenter's world view revolves around his own religion. There is nothing wrong with that, per se, as individuals should be able to define their own identity.

      However, when writing about the Israel-Palestine impasse, moral and legal justice, the above commenter should disclose to readers his strong connection with Israel and the centrality of that state in his own personal identity as a Jew.

  • Portland's 'friendliest' markets refused to meet boycott advocates, and stocked many Israeli brands, and so--
    • Mikhael June 12, 2011 at 11:29 pm

      That certainly is reported to have happened in some isolated instances, and when it did, there was widespread outcry and denunciation, followed by bad press for the clubs in question, but you are outright lying when you state that’s the status quo.

      You're wrong. And calling me a liar is inappropriate when your past assertions had been proven to be not only false, but deliberately misleading.

      But, for someone who admits to have been born and raised in the US, you sure make a lot of grandiose statements about an Israeli society you know very little about. Make sure you use sunblocker when you get your tan, though. I hear skin cancer is nasty.

    • Mikhael June 12, 2011 at 7:20 pm


      Jon S is right–anyone reading your posts could only conclude that you do have a skin-color obsession. It might hurt your poorly functioning chaotic brain, but whatever your stance on the Israeli Jewish-Palestinian Arab conflict, skin color has absolutely no relevance.

      If you’re a dark skinned Jew or an Arab of any kind, then you are prevented from entering clubs by Ashkenazi bouncers, for example.

      But, then again, skin has nothing to do with it. Right? Next, along the same false claim that every Arab is your friend, you will also claim that you know maaaaany non-Ashkenazi Jews. Get over yourself.

    • jon s June 11, 2011 at 2:33 pm

      Est1982, I’ve argued several times that a blanket boycott of Israel is morally wrong and politically counter- productive.

      The fact that millions of Israelis are sitting on their hands, supporting both actively and passively the crimes Israel commits in their name, they have willingly become the immoral party.

      They have relinquished all rights and privileges to protest that which the world imposes on them, be it BDS or otherwise.

      Your complaint should be to the Israeli government, not those who stand in solidarity with the oppressed.

      But, then again, appealing to the moral values and conscience of those who are used to privilege, used to being the overlords, is futile.

    • es1982 June 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      No, if your message is that the occupation is wrong, you should boycott the occupation. If you boycott Israel as a whole, you’re sending the message that the very existence of Israel is illegitimate.

      You are assuming that Israel labels all products made in the occupied West Bank as products of the West Bank.

      But, in fact, Israel exports many products that originate from the West Bank and the Golan and even Jordan, with a label that reads: "Israel".

      So a so-called limited boycott of settlement products is a farce. It achieves nothing as other products continue to be exported as though they were made in Israel proper.

      As for Israel's legitimacy, Israel was never legitimate. It wasn't legitimate in 1948 when the Zionist lobby strong-armed the US into recognizing Israel and it isn't legitimate today as an Apartheid state, an Ethnocratic state in which one ethnicity enjoys a superior official status.

  • Our demands (designing placards for a demonstration)
    • I promise I’ll try to cutback and let Werdine irritate the oysters.


      I mean this, do NOT cutback on your posting here. You are an invaluable member of this community. I should have better phrased my previous comment to you.

    • Hostage,

      Normally I wouldn't dignify werdine with a serious response.

      Nonetheless, as I've said in the past, thank you for your contribution.

      P.S. - Watch out for that guy, James North, he likes irritable oysters ;)

    • Robert Werdine June 12, 2011 at 6:53 pm

      Goodness, it seems that we have here a disciple of Edward Said.

      “Orientalist sources?” Oh, please.

      So Bernard Lewis is a “racist Islamophobe” is he?

      I challenge you to prove that assertion. What have you read by Lewis that could possibly support this slander? Better dust off your copy of “Orientalism.”

      Note to readers:

      The commenter above has been shown in the past to be a liar. He also pretends to be an Arab, a demonstrably fraudulent claim.

      In light of these facts, it comes as no surprise that he would be unfamiliar with an Orientalist like Bernard Lewis.

    • jonah June 12, 2011 at 9:04 am

      False, there were repeated persecutions of Jews in the Arab-Islamic world throughout the centuries, even tough to a less extent than in Europe. link to

      Why is it that Israel's defenders are habitually intellectually lazy?

      Using Orientalist sources to support such claims is ludicrous, especially when the racist Islamophobe Bernard Lewis is cited.

    • jonah June 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm

      On the other hand, what about racism in Arab countries, where neither Jews nor Christians can live free from persecution, discrimination and ban, if ever they are allowed to live there. And what about a possible Palestinian state?

      That's a bizarre statement to make in light of the fact that Christians and Muslims and Jews have lived in the Middle East for centuries and got along just fine if it were not for Crusaders from Europe or Zionists from, you guessed it, Europe.

      And then you'll cite Egypt, neglecting to mention that the Israeli-supported dictatorial government of Mubarak fommented conflict beween Copts and Muslims. You will also cite Lebanon, claiming that Muslims massacred Christians there, but somehow neglect to mention that an Israeli-backed Christian militia killed thousands of Muslims. You will also cite Iraq, neglecting to mention that an invasion of western powers destroyed whatever social fabric held the country together.

      I won't write in length about your repeated vilification of more than 300,000,000 Arabs -- from more than 20 different countries, from the Atlantic to the Persian Gulf -- when you lump them all together as you forget that Arab Muslims and Christians alike, live to this day, side by side in many parts of the Middle East.

      It is however rather instructive that you suddenly care about Christians being persecuted.

      But you and I both know that you do so because your audience is -- for the most part -- an American Christian audience. It's a golden opportunity for you to vilify Muslims, yet again.

      That the Israel lobby uses the "Judeo-Christian" line to create a fictitious connection between Israel and the US is no coincidence.

      P.S. - Did you know that unlike Judaism, Islam allows for the mixed marriage of a Muslim and a non-Muslim?

      You did not know that, did you?

      Well, now you do.

    • * Palestinian citizens of Israel are free to study at any Israeli university or college, and study whatever field they choose. There are Palestinian citizens of Israel with PhDs, and they are also employed by Israeli universities as lecturers and professors.

      False. The Palestinian citizens of Israel cannot choose their field of study, however qualified -- or overqualified -- they may be.

      First, there is a category of fields from which Arabs are prohibited. Namely, these fields include advanced Chemistry, Physics, and Geology. A student friend who worked at the admissions department at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem explained that these fields are 'sensitive' to 'state security'. As such, Palestinians from Israel cannot get into those fields of study without personal connections.

      Second, another category of exclusion has to do with the medical field where Palestinian students who wish to study medicine -- despite their qualifications or high grades -- are limited to a quota. Each semester for example, the university would limit that quota to 3 or 5 Palestinian students from Israel.

    • clenchner June 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm

      Are most Israelis white?
      That depends. In the US, immigrants from Iran and the Arab world are generally not seen as white. A majority of the Jewish population in Israel is descended, in whole or in part, from populations that are native to the Middle East – Arabs, Persians, Turks, etc.
      If you think of Arabs as ‘white’ than yes, most Israelis are white. If you think of Arabs as ‘not white’ then no, most Israelis are not white.

      Note to readers:

      The commenter above hides behind semantics and superficial definitions to obscure the racist nature of mainstream Israeli culture and society.

      Specifically, the phrase "if you think of Arabs as white" is meaningless. Why? In Israeli society, European and North American Jews are considered white. In Israeli society, Jews from North Africa and the Middle East are considered brown, non-white.

      And although the majority of Israelis are not Ashkenazi, meaning they are not white, the centers of power in the state are held by white Jews. Non-White Jews are marginalized.

    • clenchner June 11, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      I love it that Nazereth Illit is becoming a mixed city. This is a perfect response. We’ll see more of that in the coming decades, no matter what laws are passed.

      Readers should know that commenter clenchner (whoever he/she is) runs interference for Israel's discriminatory policies and racism by littering this website with meaningless platitudes, out of touch with the reality on the ground.

      Consider, for example, the fact that Upper Nazareth's current mayor, Shimon Gaspo, has recently:

      Gapso told the paper that if he had been present during the October 2000 clashes between Israeli Arabs and police, more Arabs would have been killed.


      He also said his city would never become a mixed Arab-Jewish city, although 16 percent of its residents were Arab, and that a mosque would never go up in his city.

      link to

  • Sternhell: 1967 is destroying 1948
    • Richard Witty June 12, 2011 at 9:15 am

      Avi (and others),
      If your thesis is justice for all (in practice, not just in token quotations), then your work is wonderful, even if we disagree on the how-to’s.

      Note to readers:

      If after posting here for several months now, the above commenter has yet to acquaint himself with my "thesis", then he has either a very short memory, or hasn't been paying attention, two challenges with which I cannot help him.

    • Robert Werdine June 12, 2011 at 9:50 am

      You know clencher, it almost pains me to see someone so civil and reasonable battling so uselessly against so many who wear their incivility and unreasonableness as a badge of honor.

      You suggest that it “might not be fair to saddle all the Palestinians with the likes of Avi.” Permit me to add: it would be unfair to saddle anyone with the likes of Avi.

      Aside from the fact that American Jews -- by historically supporting democratic administrations -- have garnered a reputation for being liberals in America, they have also abused democracy in order to enable and support the Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

      In other words, the Israel lobby and Zionist Americans have grown accustomed to using civility and platitudes in an effort to conceal their atrocious and heinous agenda -- supporting Israel's ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.

      To see Israel's defenders flouting the victimhood card and using polite language as a yard stick for legitimacy/credibility or lack thereof is truly and utterly pathetic.

      And finally, as Mooser has repeatedly said, if the owners of this website have you chained down to a keyboard, forcing you to comment here, then blink the address where you are held hostage so that you can be rescued.

    • Supporters of a secular democratic state, a binational state, are heavily over-represented in the Palestinian diaspora and Palestinian solidarity groups that from a strong left or far left background. They are an even smaller sliver of public opinion once we tease out the Islamist one staters from the secular ones, the Hamas/PIJ folks from the PFLP ones.

      Note to readers:

      The above is mere speculation, born out of the above commenter's ethnocentric and Zionist bias.

      In addition, the aforementioned commenter has habitually posted about Israeli-Palestinian relations comments that showed a distinct perversion of the reality on the ground.

      Further proof of said commenter's perversion of reality, is his comment claiming that:

      clenchner June 12, 2011 at 8:21 am

      Right now the camp of those opposed to a two state solution is a diverse bunch, but quite a few support an Islamic state or dream of reversing history and displacing many of the current inhabitants. The liberal forces among Palestinians are mostly for 2ss.

      In other words, said commenter would have readers believe that reality depends on his own biased perceptions. This is the point where misconception and fact diverge.

    • clenchner June 11, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Ha. I’ll happily amend my statement to:
      “I hope one staters like Avi don’t increase in political power.” Folks like Shmuel are much nicer. Unfortunately, I’ve encountered three Avi’s for every one Shmuel….

      Note to readers:

      Shmuel and I, both agree on the same principles regarding BDS and the so-called one state solution.

      Shmuel has disagreed in the past and continues to disagree with ethnocentric, tribalist, Zionist Jews like clenchner - whether on matters of political or social equity. In that regard, Shmuel and I share similar views.

      Also, please note that the above commenter's modus operandi is to derail the discussion in order to divert attention from the subject matter, i.e. Palestinian rights, including the right of return and equality for all, whether Jews, Muslims or Christians.

      Whether he likes Shmuel or dislikes me is irrelevant. When Shmuel presses him on similar matters, that commenter weasels out and disappears.

      That said commenter is unable to distinguish between personal and principled issues, is testament to either deceptive tactics or a convoluted perception of the world around him.

    • Readers who wish to put the above commenter's spin in context, may wish to read the following comment from September 2010:

      link to

      clenchner September 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      So when we look behind the strategy at the political and national goals of the strategies main proponents, what do we find? A solid core of one state supporters along with long time political rivals to the Palestinian Authority as a project.

      followed by:

      For my part, I’m sympathetic to the two-staters mostly because I hope that the one staters don’t increase in political power.

    • Note to readers:

      Commenter clenchner hides behind vague feel-good platitudes in an effort to establish his 'liberal' credentials.

    • clenchner June 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm

      I don’t share the Zionist dream Danaa. On that alone, your whole comment is invalidated.

      Readers should note that denial alone does not amount to truth. Commenter clenchner's comment history indicates that he is a Zionist.

      I do share the dream of seeing a Palestinian state. Generally speaking, a higher proportion of Palestinians than Zionists have that particular fantasy.

      Readers should know that commenter clenchner is in favor of a Palestinian state -- without the right of return for Palestinian refugees into their previous land or homes -- as it serves his Zionist dream

      Anyway, I’m not questioning the motives of, well, people who think the failure of a 2ss has already occurred in the sense of dismissing anything they say. Many are good people with important points to make. It’s more a case of a bias that makes them less trustworthy on the topic.

      Readers should know that commenter clenchner uses meaningless phrases as a stalling tactic.

      I don’t actually dismiss people because they come to different conclusions that me. The ‘dismiss’ muscle comes into play when I witness people attacking others on a personal basis, which is often paired with efforts to portray a sincere and reasonable opinion in the worst possible light.

      Readers should know that commenter clenchner is under the illusion that playing dumb will earn him credibility.

      Note that when he is confronted with the erroneous conclusions that he posts, he usually refuses to accept those corrections or disappears for a few days.

  • Challenging anti-Semitism must be rooted in opposing racism, not defending Israel
    • Anti-semites will use Zionism as grist for the mill. Zionism will use anti-semitism as grist for the mill.

      Readers should know that commenter clenchner uses his Judaism to perpetuate the military occupation and ethnic cleansing while claiming to be a "leftist" -- a meaningless term in this day and age.

      link to

  • More lies Weiner told us (#9: Jordan River is eastern border of Israel)
    • It is quite instructive that the media chooses to focus on such sleaze while giving more heinous crimes and statements no coverage whatsoever.

      As far as public opinion goes, the only hope left for the US public is the Internet. Once the government gets its paws on it -- with various legislation and restrictions -- it will become as bad as any other medium.

    • The one thing I am sure of is that we seen nothing yet, so we better be ready. The real dangerous, well paid crew is reading, silently, looking for angles, collecting data, checking to see how many dots are connected, measuring the impact of this web site in toto – us all included, even clencher and our anti-mascot, Witty.


      The Israeli/Zionist narrative has yet to peddle any kind of myth or tactic that I -- and I'm sure many here -- have yet to hear/read.

      There is a limit to the propaganda AND spin human beings can manufacture. And so, they tend to recycle most of it.

      Anyone familiar with propaganda from the Middle Ages, will surely find the same tactics used today. That is to say, the formulas have stayed the same.

  • If you were 12 years old and they were ethnically cleansing your neighborhood-- well, you'd stop being a child too
    • Pamela Olson June 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      Yes, that’s what they look like — possessed or under hypnosis.

      The bigger the delusion, the harder it falls.

      But their ugly and rather pathetic desperation speaks to the end being sooner rather than later. Inshallah.

      I found it sad, but also interesting, how the settler infants, blank slates, yet to be brainwashed with hatred and racism by their settler parents, attempted to reach out to other (Palestinian) children. They were communicating with them on an equal level. Then the older settler child stepped in front of his sister and closed the door. But, still, he was explaining to them why his youngest brother, who could walk, was not allowed outside.

      Around age 5 or so, children start to develop consciousness about race and other characteristics.

    • Precious Palestinian children.

      The scene with the settler tourists could have easily fit into a scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The only mentally healthy people in the video were the Palestinians. The settlers seemed like zombies, muttering Am Yisrael Chai as if possessed or under hypnosis.

  • Has J Street abandoned the two-state solution? (and why the liberal Zionist vision for two states is not morally justifiable)
    • The hack has weaseled away again. He'll strut back in a few days carrying his tabula rasa and denying he said X, Y or Z; like the criminal interviewed by police whose story changes depending on the questions asked. When inconsistency in his fabricated narrative does him in, he weasels out by accusing the interviewer of tricking him, or developing a sudden memory loss.

      This commenter is of little concern to me, however. I am interested in the demented lengths to which some American Jews will go in order not only to contain Palestinian efforts for liberty, but also to deceptively lie to their fellow Americans by claiming to be progressive and assimilated Jews.

    • I’m in my late 50s, in excellent health, but I increasingly doubt I’ll live long enough to see a just solution, whether 1- or 2-state.

      Given that the land was taken by force from Palestinians, the only possibility of regaining it is through force. We live in a world where only the strong survive, whether we like that reality or not. Might makes right.

      Jews in the west live in privilege and they won't budge unless that privilege is threatened. That is the very reason why BDS has little support among American Jews. In fact, many of them are working to undermine the BDS movement.

      This year, 2011, with the Arab Spring and new revolutionary grass roots movements demanding freedom in the region is the worst timing for Israel to attack Iran. That is why a regional war resulting from Israel's attack on Iran can be a positive power equalizer.

    • It sounds like you are panicking at the mere thought of relinquishing that privilege to which you have gotten used. It's a rude awakening, isn't it?

    • Readers should note that I have already explained why I consider clenchner to be a fraud/a hack. See here:

      link to

      And I'll repeat:

      J Street and the folks demonstrating in Tel-Aviv are basically following the lead of Palestinian negotiators in allowing for some adjustments to the Green Line based on a fair exchange of territory.

      How do you know they are “following the lead”? I thought you were against “interpreting” others, going by what they wrote.

    • clenchner June 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm

      I think you are reading too much into the choice of language here.

      I know you are wrong.

      J Street and the folks demonstrating in Tel-Aviv are basically following the lead of Palestinian negotiators in allowing for some adjustments to the Green Line based on a fair exchange of territory.

      How do you know they are "following the lead"? I thought you were against "interpreting" others, going by what they wrote.

      I don’t think the use of the word ‘gushim’ changes that, and mostly reflects an ever shifting linguistic battleground.

      That's a meaningless statement. It's newspeak, for sure.

      On the other hand, I can’t be the only one who thinks the phrase ‘National Left’ is creepy. Yes, I’m sure it was crafted by pollsters with the best of intentions, but still….

      What is truly creepy is reading contradictory comments from someone who on the one hand blames Palestinian movements for failure to effect change, and on the other hand rejects BDS by calling it a political tool.

  • Going to a demo in Tel Aviv
    • clenchner June 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

      Nope. Needs to be said Avi, all your efforts to interpret me fall flat.

      The following posts from previous months, show that clenchner is at least stolid, at worst dishonest:

      clenchner April 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

      So what have we learned? that J Street sees it’s primary goal as working inside the Jewish community. Next up: Arab Caucus at the convention ONLY INVITES ARABS to join!
      This broadside on Ben-Ami for his decision about who, when and what to debate about feels petty, and a lot more like bullying than dialogue. Nothing stops Barghouti from write[sic] an open letter or something addressed to J Street.

      That Barghouthi fella should write a letter and be content, you see?

      clenchner April 12, 2011 at 11:26 am

      Ridiculous. And when Palestinians want to have a conversation that is internal to the Palestinian community, should we accuse them of racism when a Zionist demands to be included?

      J Street, as an organization with limited resources, thinks right now that engaging on the very delicate topic of BDS (delicate in the mainstream Jewish community) that it can achieve it’s goals better by lending it’s names to events where the participants are Jewish. Who is Barghouti to suggest otherwise? Is he an expert in, or even concerned with J Street’s mission and how he might be helping or hinder it? Of course not.

      Back when Brit-Tzedek v’Shalom was founded, the newly elected board made a decision not to allow any chapter to have any event where Palestinians or Arabs were to speak. This was part of the effort to ‘speak Jewishly’ and persuade the mainstream community to work with them. In time, this policy was softened, and when J Street began having public events it did a great job of arguing with the right, the left, other Jews, other non-Jews, etc. You can see this when they have someone like Mona Eltahawy speak at their conference in a plenary session.

      Now along comes Omar Barghouti, tried to prod J Street into an event that serves his agenda. He is rebuffed, and blows the racism whistle. Pathetic. A better question is, why so much attention to J Street in the first place? Why not ask to debate AIPAC?

      Precisely because J Street has been so open and willing to deal with the left wing of arguments around Israel/Palestine in comparison to any other major American Jewish organization. And so, the small tent coalition that seeks to kick out any actor on the field not deemed supportive enough of the BDS agenda comes along, tar and feathers in hand, and creates from whole cloth a pointless and damaging fight.

      Unless of course, this is a brilliant strategy to persuade the pro-occupation forces in Jewish life that J Street is safe after all, because look! The ‘real’ BDS’niks hate them too. Hrm…. Well, at least such a view is entirely consistent with the conspiratorial ‘who benefits’ mindset so often expressed here.

      (I think Jeremy made a mistake in ruling out a debate with ‘any Palestinians.’ But this isn’t racism, it’s a decision relevant to the goal of shifting the Jewish community so that it will be better able to pressure Israel.)

      clenchner March 12, 2011 at 10:39 am

      Philip, I encourage Palestinians to fight for their rights as if J Street did not exist. Personally, I’ll support my allies in the Palestinian community regardless of what J Street can or can’t do.
      That said, your question can be reversed: how long should Jewish and Israeli supporters of a Palestinian state remain dependent on a failing Palestinian national liberation movement and a solidarity movement that has existed for decades without leading to a tangible improvement in Palestinian rights?
      The key for me is: I support Israeli and Jewish peace organizations not because they are endorsed by Palestinians, but because they represent vital interests that I hold dear.
      By the same token, I expect Palestinian political activists to work for and with the institutions that make sense for THEM. To the extent that alignment is possible, that’s great. In some cases (witness Hadash) alignment of interests and politics leads to some really inspiring joint efforts.
      At the end of the day, the Jewish and Israeli community that sincerely hopes to see an end to the settlement project, and end to occupation, and the flowering of a truly independent Palestinian state, aren’t hitched to that goal because they are un-interested observers motivated by abstract principles of justice. They do so (in my experience) because Palestinian liberation is a key component of a safe and secure for Jews and Israelis wherever they may live.

      clenchner January 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

      Only a racist would exclude the 20% of Israelis who are not Jewish. Now, I’m not calling you a racist, only suggesting that for significant parts of Israeli society, including ‘everyone’ and celebrating the multicultural reality, is a positive thing. You might want to join in that.
      This tendency to associate Israel with the west is greatly weakened these days. I look at the role of Shas and Lieberman, the dwindling of the old school Ashkenazi elite, the growth of fundamentalism, and see that truly western values and attachments are quite lacking.

      You see, folks. It's the dwindling role of the Ashkenazi elite that has led to this decline.

      clenchner January 20, 2011 at 3:35 am

      I think you are climbing up the wrong tree here. I think that Arabs should have the legal right to buy homes in Katzir, rent and buy in Tel-Aviv, Nazereth Illit and everywhere else.
      The legal right to equality in all respects is very important.
      Anyone who thinks that the Israeli Palestinian population values highly the ability to integrate into Israeli-Jewish society in great numbers is misinformed. I can’t cite poll numbers, but really – just ask around.

      "A multicultural reality is a positive thing", but it's those darn Arab rejectionists who don't "value highly the ability to integrate into Israeli Jewish society in great numbers" who are the obstacle.

      clenchner December 28, 2010 at 8:20 pm

      Hillel is moderate/conservative on Israel, a reflection of donor wishes. But the constituency (all Jewish students) and the staff (often liberal rabbis and communal service professionals) are to the left of that.

      clenchner December 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      3. One of the reasons I’m not a Zionist is that I think about the Jewish future in the long term, not the short term. Sovereignty hasn’t always worked in our favor. But that same long term thinking makes it easy for me to imagine radical changes in circumstances. As far as I’m concerned, another pogrom is always possible, always will be, anywhere. Just maybe not right now. That sense of insecurity is part of why I’m a radical -I always look at power relations from the perspective of the weaker side, the side Jews have been on historically. I support an interdependent world where no ‘side’ can accumulate too much power.

      Continued, from the same post:

      5. Jews were massively over-represented in the civil rights movements, specifically where it was easy to count: Freedom Riders, Freedom Summer, SDS membership, etc. If you’re willing to make conclusions about Jews based on their current numbers in neo-con circles today, will you also draw conclusions based on their numbers in other movements?

      Will you draw conclusions based on those who reject BDS, the only viable non-violent option left on the table?

      clenchner September 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

      BDS as a movement claims to be rights based, part of a strategy of using a human rights framework to advance political and national goals. So when we look behind the strategy at the political and national goals of the strategies main proponents, what do we find? A solid core of one state supporters along with long time political rivals to the Palestinian Authority as a project.

      So, because Palestinian organizations are finding new ways to end their people's oppression and seek justice, you are fearful given the organizations involved.

      It's interesting circular logic.

      First you reject Palestinians bringing the BDS debate into the Jewish community, then when the first and second Intifadahs fail as does the peace processing, you point to the Palestinian organizations who have decided to join BDS as a reason NOT to support BDS.

      And that’s fine, really. We can argue politics within the community of occupation opponents. But let’s not have one side whip out the ‘rights based strategy’ card to deflect attention from the politics of it all.

      For my part, I’m sympathetic to the two-staters mostly because I hope that the one staters don’t increase in political power. Not sure I actually care how many states we end up with in the end, but along the way leaders who show respect to the national aspirations of both sides are the one I choose to support.

      That's a peculiar statement to make in light of the previous quote.


      As evidenced on this very site, the community of one staters generally have no problem with defining Jewish and Israeli identity for those folks, as opposed to recognizing that, at minimum, Jewish Israelis constitute a polity that seeks existence over non-existence, and that this polity deserves internationally recognized rights of self determination. Alongside the Palestinians of course.

      So, it's self-determination for Jews while embracing multi-culturalism, so long as Bargouthi can write a letter. Right?


      The background to the rise of the BDS movement lies in the migration of hard left Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank to nonprofits that survive on foreign funding. Which is fine, the PA and the Israeli human rights movement survives that way as well. The difference, is that these NGO’s have banded together, declared themselves to be the same thing as civil society, and presented a political strategy (sorry, a rights based agenda) that never has to win a single Palestinian vote in an election. When elections do occur, folks seem to vote either for Fatah (two state solution) or Hamas (Hudna or Islamic State.)

      So, there is a conspiracy, a political conspiracy behind BDS. And it seems that conspiracy is global in scale. Got it.


      BDS is fine as a set of tactics IF they can be divorced from the ‘rights based agenda’ political strategem. Can they? I’m not sure. Meanwhile, I’ll selectively support limited use of BDS campaigns while debating whatever is calling itself the BDS ‘movement.’ Because BDS shouldn’t be a movement – it should only be a tactic.

      Perhaps what the BDS Movement needs is an organization like J-Street with "limited resources", thus justifying the exclusion of the Other. No?

      clenchner April 15, 2011 at 11:11 am

      I think that Max has framed an instance where a Jewish organization behaving in an ethical manner as a ‘racist.’

      Excluding the voices of the victims from the stage is not ethical. It is morally bankrupt.


      This perverts what has actually happened.
      Having been to so many events and conferences with caucuses based on orientation, race, gender, etc., I’m baffled by the demand that a Jewish organization shouldn’t make the perfectly reasonable choice to refrain from a debate that doesn’t serve it’s own interests.

      More fundamentally, it’s another instance of far left supporters of Palestinian rights unleashing fury on that portion mainstream American Jewry most in support of Palestinian rights.

      Yes. It's those darn far left supporters who are unleashing fury on an organization that supports Palestinian rights by doing nothing. Again, interesting circular logic.


      Calling someone or something ‘racist’ is a big deal in US political life. Using the word in this way cheapens it and casts a certain amount of dishonor on the blogger who made that cheap shot.

      Cute lecture.

      clenchner April 15, 2011 at 2:57 pm

      I can’t pull a source out for you, but will point out something else. The Zionist logic is that IF Jews are a people/nation, THEN they deserve a state, AND that state should be Palestine.

      So anti-Zionists might go after all three points: Jews are not a people, if they are they do not deserve a state, and if they do that state should not be in Palestine.

      To me, that’s overkill. For the whole premise to be false, only one link has to be false; and the strongest link is the Jews are a people one.

      It’s just that this people don’t necessarily get a state, and if they do, it might not be in Palestine. ‘Nuf said. If we were talking from before Israel existed.

      But since it does, and Zionist goals have been largely realized, it feels odd to even raise the issue. Israel exists. An independent Palestinian state does not. So let’s get to it, and let Jews think whatever they want about their own identity.

      Oh the contradictions.

    • Readers should know that clenchner supports so-called Palestinian "leaders" because those leaders have been in Israel's pocket all along.

      His new line of argumentation is to claim that he is more Palestinian than many activists because he supports the Palestinian leadership -- whoever that may be nowadays given Israel's refusal to recognize a democratic Palestinian election.

      But, the truth is that not only have those leaders who negotiated with Israel so far, offered Israel so much -- as found in the Palestine Papers -- they have compromised away some of the basic demands that UN resolutions have called for, to wit the right of return, Jerusalem and the colonies. No referendum, no international law and certainly no justice has been carried out by those "leaders".

      clenchner won't admit it, and he'll deny it vehemently, but the truth is that clenchner dreads a single democratic state in which both Jews and Non-Jews can live equally.

      It's not politically correct, much as it is self-defeating for his argument, to admit that his advocacy is focused on maintaining a Jewish state.

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