Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 145 (since 2017-05-28 17:18:06)

Bont Eastlake

Showing comments 145 - 101

  • Palestinians haul university student's body over hospital walls to keep Israelis from confiscating it
    • This is what a real people look like. They have each others back even after death. On the other hand look at Israelis, who can't even bring back the body a dead spy held in Syria for over 50 years. Imagine what they WON'T do if some lowly IDF grunt got killed in action in the field of battle. They will probably leave the Arabs to deal with the corpse while pretending to give a shit.

  • Bill making it a federal crime to support BDS sends shockwaves through progressive community
    • Haha, your too funny Roha with utmost honesty.

      You have some knowledge, which I presume are mostly secondary gained from reading the ideas, thoughts and experiences of others that you think is enough to repudiate a religion that has been thriving across every human society for over 1500 years.

      The only qualification you need to support your opinion, is your own view of your opinion? I find that hilariously narcisssitic and conceited.

      Regardless, I do agree that there many Muslims, or perhaps those who present themselves as Muslims who are absolutely repugnant in all aspects of their character.

      If you are really a student in Islam, you would know that every person is judged by God for their sins and no one can carry sins of another, nor can they bring others to sin. So the fact there are bad Muslims is irrelevant. Islam doesn't have any clauses saying Muslims are automatically good, and being Muslim is a passive identity. It is a 24/7 lifetime commitment that many will struggle with throughout their stages in life. Thats why God specifically mentioned only He will be judge of all, because every single individual is His subject. He is not a God of Muslims, He is God. Muslims are by definition, those who submit to God. You could identify as a Hindu or an atheist or a Jew, it doesnt really matter if you submit to God. Its a game every single one of us need to play and anybody and everybody can win. Subconciously, I am sure many do realize this only without having to face the annoyance of labels like Muslims, Christians, Jews etc.

    • Roha,

      Interesting you would consider Islam, not Muslims, to be silly and repugnant, considering it is a faith is dearly held by 1.6 billion individuals, many of exceeding grace, intellect and nobility.

      Are you a student of Islamic theology, if I may ask?

  • 'We need to cut their heads off,' Bush said of anti-western demonstrators in Syria in '06 -- Tzipi Livni
    • Mooser,

      Hatespeech is wrong. Whats so hard to understand here?

    • Echinocus,

      I have emotions and I respect them. If people that I have no relations to intentionally attempt to cause me emotional harm and distress, I will retaliate regardless of freedom of speech.

    • Kaisa,

      Nobody is talking about Findland except you. The references to offensive caricatures made in the preceding chain of comments are towards the cartoons published by a large Danish newpaper and the Charlie Hebdo magazine company. Both of which attracted immense level of media attention and provoked violent responses from a small minority of Muslims globally. I say small minority because Western media reports of such offenses were so overblown in the transparent motive of showing Muslims conform to their stereotypes.

      I find it bizarre a Media Student like yourself can be so oblivious to the subject matter at hand while taking part in a dialectic on it.

    • Kaisa

      As I have said before, offensive cartoons about Jews exist...just a general statement acknowledging the basic truth.

      However, most publishers with a significant platform to reach a large set of global audiences never mock Jews in the same way they mock Muslims. Charlie Hebdo drew Muhammad as a modern terrorist for example. Have they ever drew Jewish prophets as fascist IDF soldiers? No, because I really tried looking for such drawings and couldnt find any. Same with the Danish cartoonists.

      And when people are outraged at the offensive cartoons, they defend themselves the sameway El Jay and others do here. Freedom of speech and they mock all religion, why Muslims so sensitive etc. However, from their avoidance of mocking Jews, we can clearly see they are just opportunistic racists and Islamophobes who are not even brave enough to own up to it.

    • Kaisa,

      Catholics are not oppressed peoples, so your point of about offensive cartoons targetting them is irrelevant. Satire is meant to punch up.

      Secondly, my point about mocking the Jews in the same manner Muslims are mocked was meant to show the hypocrisy of the publishers of these cartoons. When the Danish cartoonists received global backlash for their cartoons, they defended themselves saying they target all religion using their right to free speech. Same with Charlie Hebdo. This is patently untrue. They never mock Jews or Judaism so they are discriminatory and racist.

    • Eljay,

      I have repetitively said, Muslims are entitled to react to offensive cartoons in any way they wish. I would prefer them to not use violence, of course but thats my problem, not theirs.

      I have not made any arbitrary ruling like "Caricatures of “prophets” are no excuse for Muslims to go out and do violence". Excuse for whom? Who are the Muslims trying to justify themselves to, you?

    • Roha,

      How is he ( or anyone ) entitled to hold opinion on how OTHER people should react to something? He is not even a Muslim himself so where does the entitlement comes from??

      Muslims are a group of 1.6 billion individuals of various races, ethnic groups, gender and sexuality, classes and nationalities. They can decide on their own the appropriate response to offending material without having to consider the views of some random white guy in Canada.

      Wrt your earlier point, freedom of thoughts and freedom of speech are highly Eurocentric concepts that may not be interpreted in the same way by all people. The consensus, atleast within American society, is the legal protection of the public from state prosecution when criticizing and questioning the government. Thats it. When it comes to interaction between private entities, freedom follows rules and code of conduct. As such, publishing bigoted drawings often lead to lawsuits, loss of employment, calls of boycotts, etc.

    • Caricatures of the Prophet of Islam as a maniacal terrorist with a bomb under his headgear, a warlord, a women-abuser etc are all pretty shitty way to express your freedom of speech. They are a cowards way of being political without having to face political consequences.

      Eljay, you can choose to exercise your freedom of speech as above...but Muslims have the right to be offended and hurt by your choice. Whether they choose violence or nonviolence to rectify the situation is up to them. Dont try to start a fight before you are prepared to deal with all possible response.

      Kaisa, offensive cartoons against Jews exist. But, the people or establishment that publishes offensive cartoons on the Prophet and Jesus, refuses to do likewise with Jewish figures. This mean they are fully aware of political sensitivies and pick and choose who they can offend without getting much trouble, just like predatory bullies. They are not champions of free speech or radical progressives, they are glorified sociopaths.

    • ELjay, I dont mean to distort your words but you shouldnt make a point, wait for a reply, and then reiterate a slightly modified version of your initial point. Its like moving the goalpost retroactively.

      Who made you the authority in determining the correct response to verbal abuse versus offensive caricatures. Because you say something doesnt warrant a violent response, it is fact? The point is the offense felt, not the offense intended. If Phil feel offended seeing a innocent drawing you posted, he is entitled to ban you from his website. Your freedom of speech is not greater than his right for self-preservation.

      Lastly, I dont even know what point ur making here. MW routinely covers politics of Arab nations, Western nations in addition to Israel, in a wider pursuit of global justice. They are consistent with their mission statement UNLIKE those cartoonists whos actions clearly failed to match their claims.

    • Eljay,

      Freedom of speech applies to speeches against the government that represent you. Not against anyone and anything you feel like having an opinion on. Why is it apologetic to say your words have consequences? Try calling Phil or any of the editors here offensive names and see if they entertain your idea of freedom of speech.

      Secondly, those cartoonists claim to be anti-all religion and that they dont discriminate who they mock. But leaving Judaism untouched, and repetively focusing on Islam is a sure sign these people are a bunch of hypocritical, Islamophobic cowards.

    • Kaisa,

      Exactly. Christians are not exactly a persecuted group anywhere in the world, definitely not in Europe or North America. Why would they care about some cartoons when their religion is everywhere in public and private life?

      Jewish people on the other hand are not so privileged, but definitely more privileged than Muslims in Europe and North America.

      Yet, like you said...they are for some reason never made target of offensive satire. So freedom of speech only applies to some people, not all? That is discrimination. Also offensive drawings of Muslims and Islamic faith are not rare, just rarely become subject of mainstream attention.

    • Gamal,

      Im not speaking for Muslims in general, but Im trying to present the perspective of Muslims who are most affected by the caricatures of the Prophet.

      Like I said before, privileged Muslims like yourself can afford to let silly things like that slide...but Muslims who are struggling with socioeconomic corruptions, such drawings can be the straw that broke the camels back. Many of these Muslims only have their religion to help them face the ugliness of everyday life. An everyday life that would be more than happy to see them drop dead and dissapear.

      And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, these cartoons show up denegrating their faith. Drawn by professional cartoonists to be as visually potent as possible in its derision of the only thing helping them survive. What do you expect them to do...go home and turn into privileged Western liberals?

    • Muslims are humans too. They can get hurt both physically and psychologically.

      If you want to insult them that is your right. But how can you demand they dont respond to your agitations? They have the right to protect both their physical wellbeing and their mental wellbeing. They shouldnt just sit and allow people who never care for their interests, harm them psychologically like house slaves.

    • Kaisa,

      Is it really about free speech though? Why don't those cartoonists use their free speech making fun of Jews or Judaism? Isnt it discriminatory to use your platform to demean some religion but stay silent on others?

    • ELjay,

      --- "I would rightly expect violence against me if I verbally abused a Muslim guy. Same standard." ---

      Muslims hold the Prophet as the most perfect human that everyone should strive to emulate. This is the core of their belief. When you want to become a Muslim you have to first state that there is no other god but the only God and Muhammad is His messenger.

      When you insult or make fun of the Prophet, you are directly questioning the most fundamental aspect of a Muslims identity. You are essentially going for the jugular in the effort of delegitimizing the Muslim identity. Its not the same as saying Muslims are backwards or Muslims are misogynists etc...those are lame insults. Insulting the prophet is an act of overt aggression towards them, regardless of how they choose to take it.

      I'm not saying its ok for Muslims to riot and get violent as a response to demeaning caricatures of the prophet. I think they should respond but in a smarter way, like boycotting and severing diplomatic ties until apology is made. But i understand why they choose violence. A cornered animal needs very little agitation to bite.

    • Nothing to do with the racism and supremacist ideals that motivated Europe to invade and colonize Middle Eastern nations.

    • Eljay,

      Caricatures of the prophet are never innucous art projects but are almost always designed from the getgo to offend and inflict psychological violence on Muslims. Sure, if the Muslim in question is living a life of privilege in a safe country, good job and with a happy family then the caricatures wont be enough of a trigger to elicit a violent reaction.

      But the people who respond to these offensive drawings are not exactly privileged folks living happy lives. The power dynamics matters when assessing the morality of violence. If the caricatures were satire they are supposed to punch up, not down. You would rightly expect violence when you call a tensed black guy the N-word...but Muslims are supposed to adhere to a different standard?

    • Exactly and those pointing the finger and shouting accusations know exactly what they doing. They intentionally ignore or even revel in the underlying issues that afflicting the Muslim communities in wartorn countries, and pretend to be shocked and scared when these people react to their triggers.

      They seem to derive some sort of perverse gratification from baiting the Muslims and drawing reactions from them.

  • Israeli paper investigates 50-year-ago attack on 'USS Liberty,' while US papers leave it in the letters column
    • So are you implying because Israel went and attacked, relatively speaking, an insignificant piece of US military equipment decades ago this "special relations" would be invalidated?

      The only reason people bring up this BS is to try to turn what is a human rights and international law issue into a nationalist issue.

      In doing so they always frame the US as the good guy being taken for a ride by mean little Israel.

    • Jd65,

      I am not an anti-Israel activist, and I am sure MW do not view themselves as such too. I am pro-social justice and pro-liberty for all oppressed peoples because I know unless everyone is free, no one is.

      In the field of social justice, ambiguity and duplicity is not a welcomed trait. Im not saying the world is black and white, it definitely isnt. But that doesnt mean we just accept it and pretend like the various shades of grey is the same as white.

      Alison Weir do not present herself as a nationalist, or a pro-US imperalist but I still perceive her as such because what she choose to not say, not fight for, not call out. She do not acknowledge the most fundamental idea that bounds all activists for justice...intersectionality. Oppression is not discreet state of being, that can be localized to a place or to a is a continuous spectrum that exists within all human societies. Her being a white American woman, should be cognizant of the multitudes of injustice and evil that has been perpetrated by the American state in her name. If she isn't concious of her own oppressive role, what gives her the right to call out others?

    • Legitimizing the roles and actions of the US military, which is an institution built to defend white supremacy and white settler-colonialism on Native American/Hawaiian/Samoan/Puerto-Rican land.

    • What does it matter? I don't see this level of hysterics when Israel routinely attacks fishing boats off Gaza or when it raided the Turkish aid ship heading to Gaza.

      The exclusive outrage directed at Israel when it attacks the US military is a strong sign of pro-Americanism, which means you are not really interested in justice and universal law.

    • Jd65,

      It is a set of beliefs that fundamentally supports the establishment and continued existance of the white-supremacist American state as it was set up by the European settler-colonialist on Turtle Island.

      White nativist nationalists are at best, indifferent to the historical and present injustices perpetuated in the formation and existence of the American state or at worst, explicitly support them.

      White nativist nationalists generally don't care about principles of justice and liberty, they only care about losing their place in the hierarchy of oppressors. Hence, they often rally against Israel whilst at the same time support a strong US military, border control, law enforcement and the police as well as capitalism in general.

    • Jd65,

      It is a set of beliefs that fundamentally supports the establishment and continued existance of the white-supremacist American state as it was set up by the European settler-colonialist on Turtle Island.

      White nativist nationalists are at best, indifferent to the historical and present injustices perpetuated in the formation and existence of the American state or at worst, explicitly support them.

      White nativist nationalists generally don't care about principles of justice and liberty, they only care about losing their place in the hierarchy of oppressors. Hence, they often rally against Israel whilst at the same time support a strong US military, border control, law enforcement and the police as well as capitalism in general.

    • Mooser,

      What are you talking about and what relevence does it have to the topic at hand?

      MW doesn't claim to represent the interests of every registered member so I don't see why we have to push Phil into making some form of self-incriminating statement to please us. I view it as a privilege to be able to access this site, its articles and the many discussions that take place here. I dont agree with many but thats my problem, not Phils or anyone elses.

    • Echinocus,

      When analyzing historical events, objectivity is frankly bullshit and everything is relative to which side you are on.

      In this case, it is unfair to expect Phil to explain his views because both sides are problematic, so say the least. On one hand we have a group that is directly responsible for immeasurable death and destruction across all continents, since its inception til today and on the other we have Israel.

    • Alison Weir is a white nativist-nationalist who has been discredited within much of the pro-Palestinian activism space. Her work doesn't carry much weight here, rightly so considering her agenda-laden perspective on everything tied to Israel-US relations.

    • Why do you emphasize intentional? It seems like you are trying to raise a nationalist sentiment out of this affair. Whats your game here?

    • Such views are tied to a malicious agenda, even if they do utilize the truth.

    • Phil or any of other editors of MW do not owe you shit. This is their space, they get absolute authority on what they decide to publish or abstain from.

      The entitlement of some people is astounding, seriously. The way you are pushing Phil to divulge his inner thoughts, you would think he is married to you or something. Back off and learn some respect.

    • The goal is always the same, which is to uproot and dismantle all oppressive institutions and power systems. When people are subjected to oppression and injustice, it really doesnt matter which side actually does it...only how to stop it and hold the oppressors accountable for their actions.

      But in the case of Israel and USA, it becomes difficult for the victims of each country to distinguish which side should they fight against due to the shared characteristics of both.

    • I feel its more important for us to clearly form a perspective on the role and objectives of the military USS Liberty was part of, before analyzing the attack.

      Its imperative that we avoid approaching this issue through a nationalist POV, or a us-vs-them perspective in order to maintain objectivity and consistency in our activism. Nationalism and settler-colonialism is wrong regardless which side partakes in it. And the US is definitely a settler-colonial establishment that uses military might to legitimize its grip on stolen land and resources.

      So essentially, we have a spat between two equally ignoble entities, both pursuing goals that are unjust and oppressive. Lets not take sides.

    • The US and its military are imperialist forces that serve to uphold the white supremacist-capitalist hegemony. I am conflicted with this article...I am hostile to the military complex which the USS Liberty was part of but also realize it can be used to distrupt the unconditional support Israel gets from the US.

  • At NY premiere, David Grossman will join Netanyahu minister who boycotts Darwish
    • MHughes,

      If the privileges are given, by a non-supernatural actor then religion is no longer the controlling factor in this arrangement. Religion in my understanding refers to the collective beliefs and practices that is done in order to gain favors from supernatural forces, namely God in the context of monotheistic religions like Judaism.

      A religion-supremacist state would be governed strictly through religious texts and beliefs that are held by every member of said state. A religion-supremacist state in theory should be a good thing.

      In Israel you can be a devout Jew but your privileges are still bound to the policies and law crafted in the secular branches of the government and judicial system. In fact, your strong religious conviction may serve against you in Israel if your interpretation of Judaism contradicts the official state ideology.

    • MHughes,

      You are describing Zionism, a man-made political ideology, not a religious theology. So Jewish people are given privileges in Israel at the expense of others. But here, as you as said yourself, they are given meaning there is another class of people above them that enables this arrangement to take place. Are the givers of privilege more Jewish than the receivers?

      I still dont see how this is a religion-supremacist set up. There is nothing superior about having to beg for privileges from the state using religion. In fact, its more of a blackmail dynamic, like you must believe in so and so if you want to keep your house, your job etc.

    • Eljay, a white guy from Canada with no known proof of qualifications about anything...knows more about Jews than Jewish people, Israel than Israelis, Middle Eastern politics than Middle Eastern politicians.

      You should be in the running for president of the world, instead of wasting your white superpowers on the lowly folks of MW.

    • Eljay,

      I just don't get whats the game your playing here. So of all things, your against Israel because its full of Jews?

      Jewish identity is not a monolith, it is one layer of many within people who associates with the faith. It doesn't erase the various other layers like race, ancestry, gender, sexuality, social and economic class, language, family ties and so on. Even within the Jewish layer there is a whole spectrum of beliefs and theological ideas that often contradicts Zionist stereotyping of the faith.

      Being Jewish alone won't save you from being a victim to Zionist machinations, like many Jewish folks in MW can attest to. Nor does it automatically make you complicit in Israeli crimes.

    • The use of the term "religious-supremacist" as a basis to criticise Israel is so problematic in my view.

      1. Israel primarily use the Westphalian nation-state model as their political framework, that is very similar to other European and Anglo countries. Religious elements exists only as superficial garnishing of what essentially is a secular, human-centric state infrastructure. Religion is far from being supreme in Israel...unless we consider Zionism is a religion.

      2. It ignores the vast array of documented grievances many parties have against Israel that are not based on religious issues. The Nakba for example, was a political act to secure valuable land and resources from a civilian population through armed state violence. Religion had nothing to do with it.

      3. It ignores the intersectionality of violence between Israel and its many secular, Western allies, who directly benefitted from Israeli policies and actions. These countries, namely the UK, Canada, Australia, USA and to a lesser extent France, directly and deliberately colloborated with Israel in foreign policy, diplomatic relations with the UN, economic and military cooperation out of secular, materialist objectives. Many Arabs and Palestinians who are against Israel are Christians btw, like the Americans and Canadians who are fighting alongside the "Jewish-supremacist" state.

      4. The term religious-supremacist just makes no sense in this day and age when science and materialism forms the basis of all political entities. When I think of a religious-supremacist country, I think of a class of devout monks and shamans running it, not a bunch of clean-cut, professional looking men in tailored suits and uniforms.

  • Why they fear the truth
    • Theyve given platform to several pro-Palestinian individuals to present their perspective and ideas without censoring or suppressing their speech. Though I don't see them as explicitly anti-Zionist they do try provide their viewers with some level of cross-examination of Israel-related news.

    • The problem is, people often prefer a convenient lie than face the hard truth. Its not like we can't see how Israel treat its Arab citizens or how it uses military force to oppress Palestinians in West Bank, or how its leaders openly use racist rhetorics against Arabs and Muslims. Its all over the internet, social media and even TV with the rise of progressive channels like RT, Al Jazeera, MSNBC.

      The fact that Trump, a personification of all the ills of Israeli state, manage to win the election shows that truth alone is not enough. Some people want the truth so bad, up until they need to be accountable for it. Then they resort to alternative facts and 4D chess games or whatever.

  • Israel slams UNESCO World Heritage decision on Hebron as Palestinians celebrate 12-3 vote in favor
    • If only Western nations would stop propping up this pathetic, apartheid regime and walk the talk. One hand is criticising while the other hands over bags of money.

      There are more Zionists among the non-Jewish populations of Europe and North America than there are Zionist Jews in Israel, I think!

  • Anti-Semitism accusations against 'Dyke March' prove pro-Israel lobby will torch LGBT rights for marginalized people
    • Sibiriak,

      You are comparing two statements based on diametrically opposed context and malignantly constructing a false equivalence as an direct attack on my character.

      Lets review the context of both statements.

      1. Rebuked the use of legalistic notions as basis for the oppressed to secure their rights. My reasoning is, its unfair for an oppressed group having to demand justice through a legal framework that wasn't designed to function through their enthusiastic participation. In a position of disadvantages imposed by the oppresor, they should not be handicapped further by legal constraints. If anything, the obligation for ensuring legal representation and delivery of justice is on those running the court system.

      2. Demanded that any policies advocated by a privileged group within a state or nation or whatever political entity, to be pursued strictly through the legal systems that is accessible by all parties who may be affected by said policies. This way the less-privileged group, i.e. immigrants, are able to protect their interests in an fair and equitable manner without infringing upon their fellow countrymens rights.

      So why would you attempt to smear me like you did?

    • Page: 1
    • Sibiriak,

      Stop trying to derail the conversation by bringing up legalist BS that has no bearing on ground realities. Imperalists make up laws as they go, not for the purpose of enacting universal justice and fairness but to protect their material interests by any means necessary.

      Legality should never be a criteria for our protests against oppression, because it is through the legal systems that oppression is maintained. Slavery was legal, genocide of natives was legal, dropping a fucking atomic bomb on civilian population made up of mostly women and children was legal.

      We tolerate laws as long as it benefits us, materially and spiritually. But laws that were designed to keep us under control, keep us subservient to the interests of those who despise us, laws that deny our humanity are not something we need to accept and live by...unless of course, we are indeed subhumans the law see us as.

      Check yourself. Legal structures are man made no different from the assault rifles and ballistic missiles. Only its capacity for inflicting harm on people is unparalleled and we should acknowledge its potential use as a weapon by the ruling class.

    • You mean capitalist nationalism. Zionism didn't come out of nowhere.

  • US Jews must oppose Palestinian boycott, but boycott Israel and bring it to its knees over prayer at western wall
    • Nathan,

      As far the white European ruling class of Israel is concerned, they are extremely well insulated from any repercussions from their actions. Almost all of the conscripts that are sent to the frontlines of battlefield, as well as in the occupied territories are brown skin Jews descendant from Arab migrants. White Jews are almost exclusively reserved for less risky roles in the airforce or command center posts.

      When Israel goes to war, its Arab and Ethiopian Jews who bear all risks of casualty while White Jews stand to benefit the most from having a powerful, US-backed army. Even when white Jewish soldiers are killed or captured, the response by Israeli state is decidedly different. They are more likely to engage in negotiations with the enemy if white Jewish soldiers are captured, and if killed they retaliate far more destructively.

    • Nathan,

      Ironic you would be accusing others of being keyboard warriors when the Israeli state is the exact manifest of a keyboard warrior in real life. Never facing their enemies head on and hiding behind the the US and West Europe for protection against their criminal activity. Whether its Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran or Syria...Israel has never been able to engage these purported ideological enemies directly without tightly holding Americas hand.

    • Eva,

      The only supremacism that matters is white supremacy. Israel hate Jews that oppose it as much it does Muslims and Christians. Thats why it sends thousands of brainwashed Jews to do its dirty work in the occupied territories.

      One day when these poor deluded Jews develop a human conciousness they will ask the state, why did you make me do those things that will haunt me forever. I cant sleep I cant eat my hearts burdened with the sins of my misdeeds...did you even love me? Only for the state to shrug and say thats your problem to deal with.

    • Mooser and Gamal,

      Are we anti-Israel or anti-human right abuses which Israel partakes in?

      Because it sure seems many of us here are more than eager to call out Israel and American Jews supporting it, while steadfastly remaining silent on our own complicity in similar state crimes. So one cannot help but to wonder what is driving these activists? If you are Jewish yourselves I get it, Israel is exploiting your identity and ruining your name for its own deviant schemes so its personal. But what if your just a random white Canadian or Australian or whoever Gamal is?

      In my view, if you oppose Israel please base your opposition on their actions not on their perceived characteristics. Stealing land, enforcing oppressive laws, bombing innocents are always wrong...regardless of who does them. We cant pick and choose who should be accountable for their actions and who gets benefit of the doubt. Your own cozy homes, how did you get to own them if not through the wholesale theft of indigenous land during the formation of the country?

    • Gamal,

      You seem to be personally fixated in making me someone you want me to be. Someone who is pro-Israel by virtue of demanding (too much?) accountability among his fellow activists in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement.

      In truth, the intrusion of anti-semitic thoughts and talking point within the movement have always been a thorn in our side, as documented by various anti-Zionist groups like American Campaign, The Occupy Movement, Jewish Voices for Peace and so on. In fact one of the main things protestors are often briefed on is protecting themselves from being liable to accusations of antisemitism.

      Its something that we simply do not need when Israels most potent weapon against activist is accusing us as antisemites. Come on, wake up. Nobody is denying existance of AIPAC and how rich Jewish dudes lobby for Israel. If the law permits them to do so, we should be talking about the law not some mysterious Jewish establishment as if white Protestants and evangelicals don't lobby for Israel too. Sometimes I feel white non-Jews have a bigger hardon for Israel than any Jew actually based on their fervent support for it socially, politically and theologically.

    • Keith

      "There are a helluva lot worse things said on Mondoweiss than Citizen’s comment which was a good faith lament about neocon/Zionist outsized influence."

      Well its one thing for pro-Israeli trolls to spew nonsense anywhere they can to distrupt intellectual discourse from taking place. In their position of absolute moral bankcruptcy, their options are limited and it is to be expected of them to behave in according to their degenerate nature.

      However we cannot uphold the same low-expectations for people speaking on "our side" because it reflects on all of us. If you want to criticize Israel and Zionism, you can choose from an entire library of knowledge to do so. But to stoop to using antisemitic canards is simply unacceptable because it lacks any intellectual rigour or moral basis. In addition, it serves to undermine our entire movement for Palestinian rights and plant seeds of division among our diverse ranks. A recent article by Haaretz further document this distressing trend, linked below.

      - We in the Palestinian Solidarity Movement Have a Problem With anti-Semitism -

    • Citizen,

      America is indeed a Christian-supremacist nation just Israel is Jewish-supremacist and ISIS is Islamosupremacist.

      Historically, millions of people in America were subjected to violence and abuse through the process of forced conversions, especially among the indigenous and enslaved black populations. One of the reasons many blacks and Natives are Christian today is because their ancestors were forcibly converted through acts of pure terror by the early American settlers. Many can't go back to their ancestral religion because all knowledge of them has been systematically erased leaving them in a constant state of spiritual turmoil.

      Christian imagery, including of course the white, Nordic looking Jesus Christ, saturate every public and private space of the country. Non-Christians were legally barred from immigrating to the country due to discriminatory laws that privileged Christians over non-Christian foreigners. Federal and state level public holidays are directly and indirectly rooted from Christian religious beliefs like Easter, Christmas despite a vast amount of the population not celebrating these. Despite the US claiming itself to be a secular, pluraristic nation the default holidays are undeniably Christian.

      Socially speaking, its cool and accepted to openly profess Christian beliefs and take part in activities based on that faith. Going to church every Sunday, decorating your house for Christmas, wishing strangers Merry Christmas, wearing a crucifix chain or tattoo, quoting Biblical verses and so on.

      But such form of acceptance and normalization are not afforded to other faith like Muslims or Hindus or Sikh. Muslims can't congregrate for Friday prayers without suspicion and opposition by the mainstream, people can't wear Turbans or hijabs with the same comfort and safety as wearing those wearing a cross.

      To claim the US is not a Christian-supremacist nation is, objectively speaking, untrue. Not when the influence of Christianity dominate all other faiths in politics, legal system, education, media and social conventions.

    • Paranam kid,

      I think your comment was meant to me as a response to my earlier reply to Citizen's claim.

      If so, let me clarify that I didnt mean to associate racism, misogyny, greed etc with Jewish values. I meant American values are and has been instrinctly corrupt with the aforemention traits without needing any detrimental input from Jews.

      The modern American state was founded overwhelmingly by non-Jewish, white Christians who saw the indigenous peoples and blacks as lesser humans, women as inferior to men and promoted private ownership and capital accumulation as central tenets of society.

    • Gamal,

      With all due respect, intellectual exhaustion is what drives people to repeat decades old antisemitic canards like an all-powerful, Jewish establishment running a virtouse America to the ground.

      I find it both funny and depressing, that every time left-wing activists pursue actual left-wing politics we are labelled as caricatures. I guess anything left of the ideals of Disney cartoons are too extreme for some.

    • Keith,

      Firstly there is no such thing as a monolithic Jewish establishment working together to corrupt the purity and holiness of American values. Rich and powerful Jews sit alongside all-American white Protestants, agnostics and atheists at the top of the capitalist hierarchy ruling over the poor of any hue and faith. To claim that there is a special class of Jewish only figures controlling and corrupting any aspect of American society is not only unprovable, its a form of hate speech towards Americans of a specific religion.

      Secondly, I think MW is not a place for anything goes type of discussion where anybody can say anything under the flawed conception of free speech. This is still a space for the express pursuit of truth and justice. Making libelous statements targeting an entire demographic group certainly cannot be part of that pursuit and only serve to bring harm to the reputation of the community here.

    • American values like racism, misogyny, homophobia, worship of money and capital were very well established before Jews ever step foot on its soil. The US was founded on slavery and mass genocide for crying out loud!

      You are a racist antisemite who MW should do well to ban. We don't that sort of toxic mentality here in a community set for the pursuit of justice and liberty for all.

  • Amazon pulls blank 'History of Palestinian People' -- which aims to dehumanize in order to subjugate
    • Roha,

      All nationalist narratives are fundamentally irrational although some are definitely more convincing than others. In my humble opinion, Israeli claim on Palestinian land based on twisted Biblical tales is no more irrational than Canadas or Australias sovereignity claims for example.

      You can spend a lifetime debating and debunking these narratives, but at the end of the day nobody is going to give up ownership of prime real estate because they lost an argument.

      Debates and discussions are useful for ingroups with matching goals and interests, not for dealing with the enemy. We have BDS for that and even with limited support and patronage it has made a bigger impact on Israeli behavior than all debate and criticisms ever made. We will see how much Israelis believe in their own BS when the Euro-American blood money fueled gravy train stops.

    • Emet,

      You know what your spewing is utter bull yet you can't stop yourself from doing it out of the perverse gratification youre getting from this sick exercise. But like many Zionists on the rank, your just a coward who is afraid to face reality, deadly afraid that it won't treat you as good as your Zionist delusions does.

      If you're so certain of having historical rights to Palestine over the indigenous Arabic speaking populace, why don't you argue on that basis at the UN? Why are you arguing with random strangers concerning the most critical aspect of your identity, and existance? I'll believe you once I see some form of consistent academic and political backing of your views by neutral actors. Which is exactly the case with the Palestinian perspective in this conflict.

    • People define people by self association. They probably spoke a variant of the Semitic language, unlike the recent ancestors of Israeli Jews from Europe. Also, if language alone defines a people why the white elite of Israel rather mingle and associate with the Europeans rather than their fellow black and brown Jews who speak in Hebrew?

  • Yakov Rabkin's devastating critique of Zionism: it is opposed to Jewish tradition and liberalism
    • Mooser,

      I meant institutional collapse as in loss of public trust on their government and society in general. Imagine your 60 and homeless, would you care about political institutions, governmental policies, media narratives, fashion trends,interest rates etc? Nothing will no longer mean anything for you to drive you to do anything for the interests of the state. All you probably want is a home to go to, family to be around with and be under God's good grace.

      That form of conciousness that comes with being detached from all privileges of being a citizen, and a member of society will no longer be isolated among the most disenfrancised. It will spread among the populace as capitalism start to squeeze their labor output more violently so make up for the continued loss of morale.

    • Roha,

      The why part is impossible to know for sure, but we can make some educated guesses based on historically similar political situations. The Israeli population are, relative to their Arab neighbours, immensely privileged economically.

      Therefore they are more sensitive to negative changes to their economy especially if the shift is caused by outside factors they cannot control. I propose that economic sanctions by their trade partners will have an immense impact on the behavior and thought process of the Israeli public, even if the sanctions do not cripple Israel like it does to Gaza and Westbank. Sanctions will bring mass anxiety to the public and it will be harder for the government to use ideological propaganda alone as means to power.

      Cultural shifts among foreign backers of Israel and domestic population also may contribute to shifts in government policy. Racism is no longer cool anywhere and similar awareness is rising against Islamophobia. With social media and internet providing voice for the marginalized peoples, and mainstream adoption of progressive narratives it will be increasingly costly in terms of politics to support overt oppressive policies.

      People want food on the table and prefer to feel good about themselves. If BDS succeed in disrupting the Israeli economy, in tandem with the mass awakening of political conciousness through digital media, Israel will change.

      However, my feeling is, there are so many countries entangled together in a massive, messy web of oppression. Israel's imminent ideological collapse will be the catalyst for the collective uprising against these countries. I foresee the end of Westphalian nation-states starting with Israel.

    • Mooser,

      Well, I suppose it could also follow in the footsteps of South Africa. Or it could just implode and start a chain reaction of institutional collapse of all Western-based nation states, or possibly all nation-states.

    • America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand all transformed themselves to be democratic multicultural multiethnic countries with equal rights to all citizens, despite starting as white supremacist, settler colonial states.

      If those countries can do it, I don't see why Israel can't.

    • There are surely problematic ideals within strains of Judaism, however none of which indicts the core theology of the religion which is based on universal justice and fairness of God to all of His subjects in his wrath and in his compassion. That I feel was the core message that was preached by Abraham, Jacob, Moses and many other early proponent of the monotheistic faith thousands of years ago.

      However, Objak I feel the issue with Judaism is not that it will never change, its the opposite. It has changed considerably from the time of Abraham and Moses, leading to the development of a dysfunctional form of religion as Keith described.

      I also disagree with your statement on Islam and Islamophobes. Islam has no need for change. Interpretations of the Quran and Hadith may vary according to each person, but the theological framework as preached by the Prophet Muhammad is still considered as a direct message from God that transcends space-time. Islamophobes are nothing more than racists trying to play philosophers and intellectuals.

  • Gulf crisis could push Hamas closer to Iran, or cause it to fold under the Palestinian Authority
    • The Palestinian Authority have effectively ceased to represent the collective interests of the Palestinians living in the West Bank with their undemocratic hold onto power and yielding to Israeli commands. Palestinians deserve a secular representative, but they should not need to tolerate extreme levels of government corruption and incompetence for the privilege. The moment PA decided it would work with Israel instead of resisting it outright, they made themselves and the Palestinians they claim to represent, subservient to enemy interests and cemented their status as unworthy leaders.

      Hamas has managed through its years of dogged determination in not yielding to Israel, a moral upperhand over its West Bank counterpart. It may win or lose from its political machinations with Iran and the Gulf states, it may lose its core support from Gaza due to its overtly religious nature, but I cannot possibly see it folding to Palestinian Authority.

  • Thousands in Jerusalem protest abduction of Yemenite babies following disclosure some were experimented on
    • First line of defence against white supremacy is radical self love and pride of your ancestry, heritage, culture as you see them. Followed by strong loyalty to family values especially towards the mother, and unconditional love towards all members of your family. Lastly, white supremacy is the absence of self-identity. Surrounding oneself with those who genuinely accept and embrace us as we are, building relationships that empowers mutually, and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable are critical steps in finding and developing an identity thats true to ourselves.

      We are social creatures but we are not nationalistic by nature. Nothing wrong with being nationalists but healthy and rational social conditioning is imperative for all humans. Most people who are victims of white supremacy are conditioned from birth to be "white" over being human. White in this context refers to an artifical identity set overlaid onto the base human conciousness for political purposes.

    • Israel is the country where white European Jews can also partake in racist hatred against colored people in peace.

    • Zionists were racists no different from any other European power at that time, and possibly even now. They coopted mainstream European racist worldview, internalized it, and made it part of their idealisation of Jewish identity. What they did with the Yemenite children were not much worse than what was done to Aboriginal children in Canada, or black women and children in the US.

      Religion in this instance, like Christianity was for the slaveowners and colonizers, were self-prescribed to legitimize their delusions with a divine mandate. When did Moses ever say its ok to kill babies and steal their organs? When did Jesus say it was ok to sell bombs to dictators and despots? It doesn't matter, these people decide what Jesus or Moses meant as long as they can act upon their delusions.

    • Being a Jew won't save you from white supremacy, if you happen to a Jew of color.

  • Start 'Birthright' earlier and hire conservative professors-- to stem 'national security issue' of Jewish kids abandoning Israel
    • India is mirroring America in its rising support for Israel. The right wing of Indian politics employ supremacist ideals, Islamophobia, anti-socialism, neoliberalism and state violence to secure their power.

      The Hindu right who are main supporters of pro-Israel foreign policy also have a positive view of Trump that sharply contrasts the view of South Asian-descent Americans and many of their own countrymen.

      It seems Zionism attracts a certain breed of people wherever it gains exposure. Racists, narcissisists, submissive authoritarians...generally unpleasant peoples in my view.

    • Zionism is a monster that will spare no one in its lust for power. Palestinians are their victims through overt violence, (some?) Israelis are their victim through manipulation and psychological abuse. Jew or Muslim or whatever, if your against Zionism your the enemy to be crushed through whatever means possible.

    • Would this be considered as form of child abuse, and the adults emerging from the brainwash process victims?

  • Israel's P.R. campaign is failing: the more Americans know, the less favorable they are
    • Why mention foreign countries? How about the voter manipulation tactics and perversion of the democratic system by the homegrown Republican Party? They are the biggest producers of terrorism domestically and globally, and are holding the entire country hostage through their anti-democratic strategies for power.

      Whatever Russia or Israel can inflict on the American public, the Republicans can outdo by tenfold. From mass incarceration of black and brown citizens to the repealing of the ACA, it seems nobody hate Americans more than fellow Americans themselves!

    • I used to react to news on Israel with feelings of anger and hate, because I knew they were bad but news about them were always glorified and tinged with pro-Israeli emotion so to speak. Mainstream criticism of Israel were always from a I'm dissapointed but I still love you kind of viewpoint which irked me to no end. With only a superficial perspective on the conflict and Israeli state activity, I could only choose to hate them although hate is a irrational emotion.

      But with the rise of social media and croudsource journalism, I was able to access perspectives and first person POV of people from across the entirety of the spectrum. I no longer had to rely on my base emotions to pick a side to support and associate with. With the constant flow of raw, unadultared info it became unnecessary to hate but I felt a righteous anger instead. I felt good about myself and I started to feel a sort of pity towards the Israeli as if I am standing on a higher ground and these people were wallowing in shit like pigs. The stench doesnt reach me anymore, I can see the big picture more clearly and my mental health improved. Now I feel ever more determined to help Palestinians and make Israel accountable for its crime.

  • Iran is no longer a theocratic juggernaut, even if Trump and friends want you to see it that way
    • We should stop using the term "Middle Eastern" when referring to countries like Iran, Saudi etc. The term is rooted in orientalist and colonial mindset of 19th century Western Europe.

      Plus even within that problematic framework I'm not sure Iran is included in the Middle East category.

    • Western style democracy is overrated. The fact that Iran is flourishing despite all it went through over the past century proves indigenous sovereignty in any form trumps the best form of imperialist political structures.

  • From lamentation to triumphalism: the story behind 'Jerusalem of Gold,' Israel's second national anthem
    • George,

      Also, have you listened to the Basque song? They sound so similar one would easily mistake them as cover versions of each other. There is no way such similarites in melody can be attributed to "unwittingly incorporating elements". If it had happened today no studio would even dare to publish it knowing the legal implications of such blatant theft of intellectual property. Ofra committed fraud, no question about it.

      Art in my view shares some principles with math. Unless the working support the final answer, the entire calculation is worthless even if you do come up with the correct answer. Art created from theft is no art.

    • George, humans accomplish things and musicians are born in every society. Celebrations I believe should be reserved for positive achievements that uplift us, not those that putdown others especially through acts of injustice.

    • The song was shamelessly plagiarized from a Basque artist. The more you look into Israeli accomplishments the more disgusted and embarrased you feel for them.

  • Haim Saban pushes Democrats to support bill that would slash funding to Palestinian Authority
    • The congress, like Israel, view humanity as its enemy and thus will never act in the common interests of the people.

  • Support Mondoweiss to keep brave journalists reporting news
    • Eva,

      With regards to the comments, I am unsure how they have changed since I visit the site mainly for the articles. I feel there is a more coherent outlook and vision when it comes to the choice of writers published here. Very few contradictory or incompatible ideas and concepts can be found despite the ever growing number of articles as well as increasing depth and complexity of their contents.

      I really can't fault Phil for choosing to delegate the moderation process. I'm sure its not an easy job, and its certainly a thankless one!

    • It should be a good thing if a site grows and changes as time progresses and more knowledge is discovered. The intellectual rigour of Mondoweiss of recent is greater than it has ever been as a result of Phil Weiss' unrelenting dedication for truth and justice.

      When facing an enemy like Zionism who fights dirty and hard, we cannot remain stagnant in our moral growth. Problematic ideals and concepts must be identified and chipped away from the raw political conciousness.

  • Canada Park, a popular picnicking spot for Israelis, created upon the rubble of Palestinian homes
    • Annie,

      I did not ignore your points on the Israeli lobby, I just felt they were too cliche plus that line of activism has been heavily infiltrated by genuine anti-semites and right wing nationalists. Not that i disagree with you with regards to the Israel lobby, I just dont feel its a worthwhile endeavor to focus our activism on it, at this moment in time.

      I feel there are other movements against Israeli apartheid that possess more radical ideals worth supporting and giving platform to. Maybe we should be looking into them instead.

    • Annie,

      So surely we have to ask why did Britain, America, Canada etc continued to support Israel when it has consistently acted in only one way since its existence?

      Why give guns and money to a group you know is going to use them for ethnic cleansing and perpertuate apartheid? This is the type of conversation I wish more activists participate in.

    • Mooser,

      Zionism meant different things as it progressed through history. Its founder, Herzl did not really envision the military annexation of Palestine by Jewish armed forces when he wanted a Jewish state. He was open to having it set up anywhere it was pragmatic to do so, including places in Argentina and even Africa. He also wanted Jews to chip in and collectively pay for their new land, not violently appropriate it using bombs and guns.

      The annexation of Palestine by European Jewish migrants was an opportunistic exploitation of the chaos and confusion in the region brought by European colonisation.

      Of course, having set up the state Israel resisted local Arab opposition to its existence and sustained itself not through Jewish supergenius and miracles but from British ill-gained money, weapons, technology and diplomacy followed by more Western countries outside of the Soviet bloc. The Palestinians, having just came out of centuries of foreign rule, not having an army, centralized governance, UN representation, its own currency etc stood no chance.

    • Sibikirak,

      Are you suggesting we bury our heads in the sand when it comes to outside factors in the oppression of Palestine?

      Is it not outside factors, like the British, the Americans, the Canadians etc that were ultimately responsible for Israel despite local opposition by Arab countries?

      Please explain your views.

    • El Jay

      You oppose Israel because according to you they are supremacist, like Japan and Islamic states. Is this correct?

      If the above is true, countries that are not based on supremacist constructs, you know like Canada and Australia, are not subjects to scrutiny and calls for accountability. Despite Canada and Australia having directly assisted Israel in carrying out it many crimes.

      You till date have yet to make a single statement on the criminal ties between YOUR government and Israel, nor have you called for any form of accountability for the role Canada played in aparheid Israel's past and present criminal activity.

      Instead, all you have done is project supremacist ideals yourself by sanctimoniusly criticising Israel while enjoying the privileges from being Canadian, privileges made possible from being part of the pro-Israel criminal racket. Do you note the gross moral inconsistency?

    • How about holding Canada accountable instead? If it wasnt so eager to help destroy Palestine, Israel would have long made it an enemy of the Jewish people and banned its name from public sphere.

    • Echinoccus,

      Yeah but those Islamic countries that help Israel dont do it because its part of their faith or due to popular demand of their peoples, they do it because of corrupt and oppressive government that is backed by foreign powers. They are just as problematic as the secular Abbas government in West Bank.

    • Annie,

      Its true the American-Israeli strategic partnership and strong diplomatic relations is noted by most Americans and is a key focus point for many pro-Palestinian activists. But this relationship is far from clandestine nor does it project any form of hypocrisy on the US since America is extremely upfront with its support for Israel due to various factors. Unlike countries like Australia or Canada, the US doesnt pretend to be bastion of universal human rights for every nation and cultures of the world, just those it allied with.

      What I feel is incorrect with Eljays activism against Israel is that its based on a flawed thinking or ideology instead of judging the actions of the state.

      By basing his opposition of Israel to a loose set of principles labelled as supremacism, and associating it with other countries like Japan and Islamic states, it serves to distract our focus from discreet illegal actions by Israel done through direct cooperation with aforementioned countries.

    • What sort of countries have such friendly relations with the sole apartheid regime in the world?

      Canada and Australia present themselves as cleancut social democracies that uphold human rights, but apartheid racist Israel seem to hold them very dear for some reason.

      Maybe Eljay can explain this weird relationship? After all, he hold the belief that Israel is grouped with Islamic states and weirdly enough, Japan for being illegitimate supremacist states. Yet its not Japan or Islamic states that help Israel preserve its apartheid status and continue violate human rights, its countries like Canada or Australia.

  • I was born ideologically, politically, and spiritually in June 1967 -- settler/ambassador Dani Dayan
    • Also in an ideal society, we will have a constant competition within the two classes for meeting their respective needs. The followers will try to best each other in being the most loyal, most supportive and most rewarded by their leaders through novel metrics. Likewise the leaders will also be in constant competition with each other for being the most loved, most helpful, most bountiful etc.

      This constant state of warfare of sorts fulfill the highest needs of every member of society, their self actualisation as human beings. The two classes will never compete with each other, just among themselves. But when relatively distinct members are introduced into society, the dynamics shifts to either assimilate the newcomers or to exterminate them, inviting a new set of dynamics into the system. Thus any form of resistance toward assimilation or extermination by the newcomers will lead to departure from ideal state of society, introducing inequality and dysfunction within its members.

    • Keith,

      Your spot on with regards to the dynamics of eager leaders and loyal followers in any functioning society. Both elements will always be separate but need each other in order to survive. The most important aspect of this relationship is the delicate balance between the needs of both sides. You cant have a population with hetegenous followers and homogenous leaders, or vice versa like we have in most Western societies.

  • The deep bonds of Palestinian-Puerto Rican solidarity were on display at this year's NYC Puerto Rican Day Parade
    • Gamal,

      Its easy to say we should be friends with racists so they can see our true pleasant selfs. Who is going to be accountable for the real hurt and harm racists cause to marginalized people because they just didnt know better? The violence they inflict on innocent people purely due to their skin color or religion? The pyschological torment and physical abuse racists are known for?

      Wild animals have awesome qualities and aspects too, but that doesnt mean we should allow ourselves to be hurt by them. We can choose not to live with chimps and gators but unfortunately we cant with racists.

    • Racists everywhere are subhuman. Tolerating their existance is the price we pay to live in civil society.

    • Goes to show Israel is far from the only state currently engaging in the business of settler colonialism and occupation of foreign lands. On a separate note, I recently got to know a few Puerto Rican Muslim women. In their hijabs they look indistinguishable from the average Palestinian women which I found to be amusing.

  • Nationwide 'rally against Sharia law' reflects violent surge of Islamophobia since Trump election
    • Yonifalic,

      Surely the modern American legal system involve casuistry when lawyers get to use complicated jargons and esoteric knowledge to sway opinions and plant prejudice within judge and jury? In any court case, the lawyers always win even when they lose.

      How about the huge disparity in judgement decisions between rich and poor, white and black, men and women? Surely some form of casuistry plays a role in it?

    • Gamal,

      Western progressives and conservatives often conveniently forget that most European countries and North America were extremely homophobic legally and socially, throughout their history. In pre-colonial caliphates as well as during early Islamic states, few gave any care on homosexuality or gender roles. Western homophobic attitudes from their inceptions as nations up until the 21st century are so well documented yet none of these places ever had shariah as their legal system.

    • True, sharia law even compared to modern western laws like those in America, is exceptionally progressive and more functional. For example, sharia law is holistic in its treatment of the economic, social as well environmental aspects of human lives. It serves to bring balance and the state of righteonous in society, not merely to scare and punish like the sociopathic legal system of the US.

      One of the most common Islamophobes cry out against shariah is how it threaten the lives of gay people....when state violence towards non-hetero sex was pioneered in Western Europe like the buggery and sodomy laws in UK.

  • The issue isn't the 'occupation', it's Zionism
    • What is most disturbing is how such a deeply deranged society managed to exist as they are for over 60 years. Why are so-called enlightened societies of the West enabling them?

  • Campaign to stop Linda Sarsour from speaking at CUNY was an epic flop
    • I have followed Linda for quite some time and I find her absolutely inspirational. Never seen a public figure or anyone within activist circle with her fortitude and commitment to justice. Her mind is as sharp as obsidian but that's not what's unique about her. It's her heart that for me, elevates her above established leaders like Bernie or Hillary.

      She's also been under unrelenting attack from all sides, Zionists, white liberals and conservatives and even Muslim organisations for her work and message since day 1 but as of yet, nothing managed to faze her.

      I seriously see a social justice juggernaut in the making and I'm sure people will not stop talking about her anytime soon.

  • Palestinian Authority to hold questionable 'supplementary' elections in Gaza
    • Echinococcus,

      True, all aspects of daily life in Palestine are ultimately subject to Israeli occupation and colonisation by proxy through the corrupt Abbas government.

      So in Palestine almost everything works against the favor of the average person. The population in West Bank is almost 2 million, yet state institutions running things are awfully inadequate and criminally incompetent for the aforementioned reasons.

      Institutions to administer finance, housing, jobs, food, crime, courts, health and wellbeing function to make life hard, not easy. So in practice, the only thing that actually keep things running despite Israeli-controlled state apparatus is religion. Without it, Palestine will surely look like a post apocalyptic wasteland full of misery.

      So the role of religion in Palestine is immensely different from role of Christianity for people in Boston or Toronto who has the privilege of a stable, sovereign government responsible for their needs and a robust economy with unfettered access to national and global trade. So people can more than afford to joke around when it comes to religion and faith, since it's not the thing that keeps them sane and their children well-fed. Compare to African Americans who traditionally have been much more religious. It's because of the same dynamics in action.

    • Sibiriak,

      That article on Pakistan blasphemy beatings was truly a depressing read. I have read many articles on blasphemy in Pakistan and the main consensus I was able to derive is as such.

      Pakistan's civil institutions are deeply intertwined with religious ideals which results in religion permeating through all aspects of life, regardless of the individuals own stance on religion. In turn, religion can be used in destructive manner by opportunistic people to settle personal disputes and fights.

      For example, an argument on well water rights can easily devolve into a blasphemy case through shrewd accusals, falsified evidence and dishonest witnesses. Religion is perverted into a tool of control in Pakistan, made possible due to multitudes of independent factors. Colonisation by UK and post-colonial interference by Western powers like America and its allies are among the chief factors.

    • Good points Echinococcus.

      People living in first world countries may see the entire Ramadan thing as a backwards farce. But they often fail to see the vast differences in life quality between for example Boston and Hebron or Gaza.

      For these people whose economic uncertainty and general hardships are more often the norm in life, religion is the only thing that unconditionally gives them solace and peaceful hearts despite living lives that would make most Westerners quit trying after the first day.

      So any offense, intentional or not towards religion naturally touches the deepest most volatile places in their psyche no different from someone being rude to your wife or daughter in western countries. It's evokes a primal, biological response thats hard to be rationalised with words.

      So I suggest we approach this matter with utmost sensitivity and empathy for all parties involved.

    • Eljay,

      "What do Japan and Iran have to do with Israel and its on-going (war) crimes? Seriously, enough with your distractions. - See more at:"

      Exactly. Japan and Islamic countries like Iran have nothing to do with Israel's war crimes yet according to you they are still subject to opposition since all of them apparently are in the same basket of states based on "supremacist construct".

      On the other hand, countries like Canada that directly assisted Israel in commiting warcrimes through diplomatic and economic​ support are perfectly fine since they fall outside of your definition of "supremacist construct".

    • Eljay,

      "I have not said that Israel and Japan should not exist as states. - See more at:"

      Well how else are we meant to interpret your views ?

      You come up with a term like "supremacist construct", define it so loosely that it includes as per your own comments, Israel, Islamic states, Japan and some other countriesbefore ultimately stating that these should not exist as supremacist constructs.

      What a pointless exercise in moralizing.

    • Sibiriak

      "We believe that eljay has made some excellent points about “supremacist constructs”. - See more at:"

      Can you direct me to these "excellent points". He's idea of supremacist construct apparently group Israel with Japan as countries with dubious legitimacy to exist as a state.

    • Eljay,

      Unlike anti-Zionism which as a political movement and philosophical thought has robust backing from a diverse range of people and institutions, opposing supremacist construct of states has no set history, no consistent backers, no concrete goals to focus on.

      Your argument that Islamic states and the Japanese state need to be opposed because they employ supremacist ideals as Israel is beyond ridiculous and cannot be taken seriously. It seriously undermines the root cause of global activism against the Zionists which is based on historical and present injustices perpetrated by the state. Is Japan colonizing a foreign land and abusing its indigenous population? Is Iran?

      Lastly, if Islamic states and Japan are illegitimate because they are based on supremacist construct, what gives legitimacy to exist as a state to countries like Canada?

    • Eljay,

      "Islamic states (whose ranks I hope Palestine does not join) come to mind, and I recall reading that Japan defines itself as a state of and for racially-Japanese people. I’m sure there are others. - See more at:"

      So Islamic states (all of them?) and Japan are also not entitled to exist? Am I understanding your views correctly?

      I think we should just stick to the politics of anti-Zionism honestly, your obsession with tying state legitimacy with supremacist constructs appears to be highly problematic and incoherent in its meaning and implications.

    • Ah, so your basically disavowing the ideology of Zionism where it is claimed that Jews are all one people deserving of their promised land just for themselves.

      Well, "anti-Zionism" is a popular and widespread term in fields of theology, activism, politics as well as academia and it basically is used to describe a similar ideal to your opposition of religious supremacism.

      Though anti-Zionism is rather specific to Israel compared to the more generic supremacist constructs. Are there any other historical or current state that utilises supremacist construct, in any form, as their right to exist?

    • Eljay,

      I think I get what you mean by religious-supremacist, as in Jews are treated better than non-Jews by the government. But isn't the apartheid label already serve to bring awareness to this fact?

      I don't get why we need to come up with such a vague and redundant term to base our opposition on. "Religious-supremacist", I've never heard that term before in any activist spheres. Can you elaborate what it means and why we should fight against it?

    • Sibiriak,

      If you have to know the internationally recognised universal laws and human rights to critic Israeli actions,then expect only lawyers and academics leading the charge. I prefer basing my opposition to Israeli actions on the testimony of its many victims. Especially when we have complete access to them through the internet and social media.

      Laws are blunt instruments, international laws even more so. I don't need to wait until some court in Europe decide what Israel is doing is illegal to offer my full support for Palestinians victimised by the state.

    • Eljay,

      Why is a Canadian dictating how Palestinian authorities conduct themselves? Their country, their laws. Don't like it, stay home. Plus, like Kate said, this wasn't a simple case of religious police abusing their power.

      Israel's fault is not that its a Jewish state. We don't oppose Israel for being Jewish, we do because of the Nakba, its apartheid laws, its war crimes, illegal stockpiling of nuclear weapons, its illegal settlements among other secular, non-religous reasons. It is impossible for Palestine to follow Israel's path unless we are talking about alternate realities.

    • Kate,

      I tend to agree, even Muslims who don't fast for any reason would not eat in open view of others out of respect and a sense of decency.

      These people were clearly trying get a rise out of the situation and the authorities correctly called their bluff.

  • Why has the Occupation lasted this long?
  • If Trump is serious we may be seeing the most significant step in 20 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations
    • Echinoccus,

      I think its fair to say every decent person regardless of political leaning will find it disgusting if elected leaders behaved in manners that of Nazis and committed war crimes. After all, even in Nazi Germany dissent was actively suppressed by the state proving that the Hitler government was not as popular and widely supported as people may think.

      However, can you provide us with one or two legislative examples where the Democrats acted against human rights and social justice? On the other hand surely everyone's familiar with legislations that were backed overwhelmingly by Democrats to improve lives of the common people if one seek to assess the bigger picture concerning the party.

    • echinococcus,

      Let's focus on real world policies and actions being pursued by these two parties instead of these sensationalised ramblings?

    • festus,

      How can you possibly lump Democrats and Republicans together as both being bad for the American people? Was it not the Obama administration that overhauled and revived the country's economy after it was on the brink of insolvency due to Bush's domestic policies and his wars? Was it not Democrats who championed equal rights for the marginalised, the lgbtq community, the Hispanics and African Americans? Was it not the Democrats who made vital healthcare affordable to millions of Americans who otherwise would've suffered in silence?

      Where have you been in the last decade, to mindlessly equate both GOP and Democrats as both being destructive for the people?

    • Festus,

      No one can escape from being biased in my view and therefore I do not accept anything that is deemed to be unbiased coming from a person. I do not claim to be unbiased, though I do strive to engage with people from various parts of the left-right political spectrum.

      Moving on to your next point, was my observation really that far of the mark when it comes to his detractors and supporters? His core visions as president are inherently irrational such as banning Muslims from travelling into the country, building a literal wall spanning the entire southern border to stop supposed onslaught of illegals, locking up his main rival for president and so on.

      None of these can be considered as rational goals if we consider the fact that he is the leader of one of the most pluralistic, diverse and free countries in the world.

    • There is a strong binary from what I see among people opinion towards Trump. It's either a strong contempt or unconditional support. Many opposing him appear to be to see right through his facade and acknowledge the multiple failure you have mentioned.

      The problem is people supporting him seem to be motivated by irrational energy where logic and reason gets twisted and warped into confirming to their views. And these are not limited to lower rung anti-intellectuals but smart, highly educated people too. It seems pointless to fight Trump directly because he has this base of support that are highly defensive and lash out at the slightest provocation.

      Maybe its better that anti-Trump people just focus on self-empowerment, caring for each other and let the chips fall where they may. We don't need Trump, but his supporters pathologically do. As long the need is there, Trump is safe no matter how destructive his presidency becomes.

    • How do you imagine this alternative scenario to take place considering even before settlements that are deemed by international law to be illegal, Israel was kneedeep in all kinds of criminal state building exercises? Namely the Nakba which cannot be understated in its impact on the indigenous peoples of Palestine.

      A country built on theft and murder cannot stand for long, no matter how much money you pour into it. Israel is already creaking and cracking all over, from external and internal discontent. It will be a miracle if it manage to stay as it is within the next decade.

    • He's short in quite a few things actually.

  • Jake Sullivan seeks to rebrand 'American exceptionalism'
    • Roha,

      No matter how much you feel entitled to hold on and fight for your views, you will lose because you are strategically on weak ground. Hence, your inability to argue on a legal basis, using the framework of international law and doctrines of universal human rights that are recognised by all nations.

      Immigrants have no moral duties fullstop. You can argue against this all you want but in practice, there is nothing you can do to enforce these moral duties on human beings without blowback. They may have their own customs and traditions when it comes to queuing, marriage, education, economic activities, religion and so on, or they may just adopt the local way of life.

      It's up to them just like its up to you if you want to be conservative or liberal, atheist or Christian, gay or straight, marry or stay single. If you like having choices then its only fair you support the right of immigrants to have theirs.

      Moving on to your next point, I agree that by allowing immigrants to do whatever they want, there will be instances where abusive or oppressive behaviour are brought over to their new home country.

      But now that they are in a new environment, those behaviors will no longer be sustainable and those who hold on it will be stigmatised by wider society and looked down upon by their families. The mechanisms that allowed disgusting practices to take place, like a patriarchal culture, a corrupt government, dysfunctional legal system etc are no longer there so people who practice it will be quickly weed out by society. Wives would no longer tolerate abusive husbands when they can actually drive a car, find jobs, wear pratical clothing without legal issues etc. Nor would sons and daughters blindly accept abusive treatment or traditions without rebelling or calling attention to it from outside authorities. So essentially, just by not discriminating against immigrants, you will promote them to assimilate by their own accord.

      Thirdly, banning articles of clothing is an act of fascism no matter its Iran doing it or its France. It can never be a progressive idea to forcibly deny human beings the right to wear clothing they like, whether its a shapeless burka or a form fitting bikini. France was undoublty wrong to attempt it as proven by widespread domestic and global condemnations of such move. If you don't like people wearing the burka or the veil or whatever, just tell them. If they care about your opinion they might change their fashion choices for you.

      Furthermore, widespread availability of legal sex workers is not a progressive ideal. Especially when countries like Holland is one of the richest in the world. It shows that most of the money is actually going to men, and women are coerced into entering the trade as means to gain some form of economic independence. Women should be free to make their career choices, but I'm certain no girl wishes to rent out her sexual organs as a job when she grows up.

      Lastly, again as an individual you are entitled the same rights as the immigrant. You can intrude into their lives as much as they can into yours.

    • Eljay,

      "Who said anything about deporting immigrants? I didn’t." - See more at:

      Your earlier comment:

      "So, basically, as long as an immigrant fails to reach a “contractual agreement” with the government of his new homeland he is free to do whatever he pleases and the government cannot expel him for his refusal to be a slave because expulsion would be a form of fascism. Interesting" - See more at:

      What do you mean by expulsion in above context?

    • Roha,

      I'm not sure what exactly you arguing against as none of what you said have any legal basis. Immigrants may bring with them conservative and often clashing values, but so what? Societal values are in a constant state of flux regardless of the state of immigration. There are ongoing protests for women's right in Iceland which is one of the most homogeneous countries in the world.

      Also, who gets to define what is progressive and liberal values? Was France being liberal and progressive when it attempted to ban Muslim swimming gear a few years ago? Is Holland being liberal and progressive for having nude women in glass boxes offering paid sex to anyone walking pass the red-light alleys of Amsterdam?

      Lastly, who gives a shit about how immigrants choose to socialize, or their inability to queue in a satisfactory manner. What happened to minding your own business and just respecting people's spaces?

    • Eljay,

      1. I said a government should not be able to deport or expel legal immigrants under any circumstances unless all parties involved explicitly agreed upon the legitimacy of such measures through a pre-signed contract. Immigrants are subject to the same laws that apply to everybody else, from the President to the pauper. Unlike slaves who have to endure discriminatory laws without any legal right to protest. - No need for twisting words.

      2. The issue is why. Why are such laws necessary and who benefits from their enforcement?

      3. Adult Canadians do not face any legal repercussions for forgetting the national language and adopting another as their primary method of communication. You can stop speaking English or French, without risk of being deported back to Europe. Children are required to complete basic schooling, but again, they don't get deported for failing to do so. Immigrants should expect the same treatment, nothing more nothing less.

    • Sibiriak,

      Congratulations on passing your residency hurdles, which included​ learning a new language. The fact that you had to fulfill a set of prerequisites before being allowed to immigrate is common sense. It's hard to argue against common sense and I won't. In fact it is exactly what I advocate.

      What I can't agree with is retroactively slapping a new requirement on people having already immigrated legally, to speak the national language. The moment a person becomes a legal immigrant, they are full stakeholders in government policymaking. Therefore they have the right to oppose any policy affecting them if they feel unjustly targeted.

      People have many reasons to learn their national language, but only a few not to. If the government is truly concerned about assimilation and minimising domestic tensions, it should investigate these reasons and formulate a credible, democratic action plan to mitigate them. Not criminalising what essentially is a form of expression and further stoking mistrust and resentment among the immigrant population.

      At the end of the day, the responsibility falls solely on a country's government to ensure​ immigration doesn't negatively affect domestic matters. Not potential migrants who's only concern is for a better life for them and their loved ones.

    • Roha,

      What constitute as good manners is highly subjective, among people and across time eras. Majority of the people in Alabama used to believe it's perfectly good manners to use the N-word to describe their fellow African-American citizens in private conversations. Most African-Americans however, have a slightly different concept of good manners where use of N-word was highly disparaged.

      Now being in Alabama, obviously the first set of manners was more prevalent and thus the dominant "custom and convention" was the liberal use of N-words, instead of disparaging the use of it. So for the clueless immigrant who found themselves in this new land, what custom and conventions are they meant to honor and take up for themselves?

    • Mooser,

      You're right, I certainly don't. But I'm sure you would not deny them the right of doing so in the eyes of the law.

    • Eljay,

      Learning the national language is a matter of practicality, not ideology or politics. For most people, the inability to speak English or French in Canada serves as a significant disadvantage in all areas of life especially over the long term. Hence it is ridiculous to suggest immigrants must be legally required to speak the national language or else. How else are they going to socialize, work, entertain? Why not make a law demanding immigrants must eat healthy nutritious meals each day or must enjoy themselves and be happy? Because you seem to be a proponent of legally forcing people to do things they naturally would be inclined to do!

    • Kaisa of Finland,

      I'm not sure what are the immigration laws in Finland is like, so its hard for me to discuss the particulars of immigration in that country without resorting to generalised statements and ideas. Conventional wisdom state that when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So immigrants will often find it to be in their favor following the basic cultural practices of the Finns so why do we need laws to force them to do it? Likewise, immigrants bring with themselves invaluable new knowledge, philosophy, cultural practices that may serve as innovations to how Finns live. So why forcefully make people abandon all these potentially beneficial traits out of fear and prejudice?

      In America, immigrants stand in the forefront of cultural shifts and progressive ideas that otherwise would have never taken root in society. Culturally speaking, in the fields of feminism, spirituality, religious liberty, gender roles, sexuality, labor rights and media ethics, immigrants have played an immense role in crushing reactionary and oppressive beliefs. In addition, immigrants helped brought to surface deeply rooted problems and toxicity present in hegemony, and contributed to development of newer, more positive and empowering collective mindsets.

      Ultimately, the choice to allow immigration is on the hands of Finnish government, and thus it is they who carry liability for any tensions arising from conflicting values and lifestyle between the host population and immigrants.

      Coming back to your rather amusing example, if 10,000 Finns migrate to Palestine, legally and raise mayhem there I don't see anything wrong with it. The migrant Finns must do what they feel is most beneficial to their survival in the new land. The Palestinians, having agreed to allow 10,000 migrants in all the way from Finland, should bear some responsibilities in making them feel welcome and help them fit in in the new environment. Beyond this point, it will be a constant game of give-and-take between newcomers and the natives until some form of permanent balance is achieved.

    • Eljay,

      Of course immigrants should be free to do what they want, that's the whole point of living in a liberal, progressive society. They are still bound by the laws of the land though, however the same laws applies to everyone in the country so it's redundant to mention.

      We don't expect off-the-grid living, nudist anarchist hippies to somehow fit in into the supposed national lifestyle, nor do we of ultra-conservative religious people who scream verses from the Bible during Sunday mass. So why do we have special requirements for immigrants? We don't give a shit about homeless people not living a particular lifestyle, but when it comes to immigrants its completely appropriate to craft some arbitrary lifestyle and expect them follow it like well trained dogs.

      The government has no moral or legal right to expel anyone who didn't sign a contract making them liable for expulsion under certain circumstances, if we are talking about legal migrants.

    • RoHa,

      I'm sorry to say but immigrants are not slaves to be burdened with "duties". They are humans with the same wants and needs as any other, and are perfectly capable of reasoning for themselves. As such, most who are able to learn their new country's language, do learn and speak them for practicality and emotional reasons. We see this everywhere, for example among the Turkish immigrants in Germany, Algerians in France, Pakistani and South Asians in the UK. Whether speaking the dominant or national language protects them from racism and state-sanctioned discrimination is a matter of debate.

      If a government seeks to enforce some form of duty onto immigrants, it has to be done after a contractual agreement between all the parties involved. Otherwise it is a form of fascism that must be fought against, not just by the immigrants but everyone who supports justice and liberty.

    • Kaisa of Finland:

      Those are fair points yet I believe there are some problems with your assumptions. Learning the dominant language doesn't necessarily mean a person will find it easier to live, because discrimination rarely occurs purely out of lingual differences. Rather lingual differences are often made as an excuse to dehumanise and marginalise people that are seen as the other when other differences just as skin color and religion are too socially risky to focus on.

      My view is if the use of local language is paramount for the host nation, they should make that clear to all potential immigrants well before they migrate. Tie the ability to migrate with their ability and willingness to assimilate lingually through clear contractual obligations.

    • The only obligation immigrants have is to follow the laws that they agree, in good faith, to be just.

      Anything else, like speaking a certain a language a certain way, eating certain food in a certain manner, worshipping a certain god etc are all personal demands that have no authority on their own to be burdened on immigrants.

      It doesn't matter if they immigrants are British, Australian, Japanese, Indian or whatever. They are all equally human and must be afforded the dignity they deserve.

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