Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 900 (since 2010-07-16 14:37:21)

Newclench

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  • Gaza war gives rise to new Jewish group targeting Jewish institutions that support occupation
    • As someone who was part of this group's first action, I can tell you it was refreshing how many were making snarky references to both J Street AND the hard core BDS folks.
      These are sane, progressive Jews who know Israel and the OT, the Jewish community, and themselves. As I experienced them (I guess I'm one of them) they would be denounced endlessly on this site if they expressed themselves.
      Reading Phil's optimistic report, I feel like paraphrasing on his behalf:
      "Dear group that would be savaged by the insane choir on my site for failing to fully endorse BDS or repudiate Zionism: Good job!"

  • Florida Congresswoman sides with Israeli police over her own brutalized teenage constituent
    • Tree is the tone policeman who must shame all other tone policemen. It's 100% hypocrisy.
      "how dare you object to a nuance that I find perfectly reasonable!"

  • Reform Jews offer no proposal to end occupation, says Jewish Voice for Peace
    • "They were all cleared of whatever moral opposition to YESHA existed a long time ago by donor pressure and careerism."
      If you think the Reform movement is pro YESHA than you are quite ignorant of Reform movement politics.
      Unless YESHA donors and funders are happy spending their way to stuff like this:

      The NRA is America’s curse. And the settlements are Israel’s NRA
      link to ericyoffie.com

  • The American father insists that Israel is an egalitarian society, his daughter disagrees
    • Why would you write "while pretending that they are culturally indebted to no one."?

      Do you really think Israelis aren't aware that they borrow things from Palestinian, Arab or Islamic culture?
      Here's an utterly Zionist source describing the direct borrowing from those cultures. I learned of this stuff in grade school, which is how I knew to find it.
      link to esra-magazine.com

      Hebrew speaking Israelis use plenty of Arabic words in casual conversation, and no one is confused about where those words come from. (Finjan, wadi, shabab come to mind. The last is used in particular by ultra orthodox folks to refer to wayward youth who skip class.)

      I suppose you might be forgiven if you meant that some non-Israeli lovers of Zion had no idea where falafel comes from, but that's not what was written here.

      Anyway, the seepage of culture from the margins to the center is kind of universal.

  • BDS is the only means of ending the occupation -- Derfner
    • The modern history of BDS begins with the launch of a boycott of settlement products in 1995, initiated by Gush Shalom, a group that strongly supports a two state solution.
      The Palestinian led-effort began years later. Derfner is on solid ground when he engages in 'two-stater BDS.'

  • South African radicals wanted to kill Paul Simon for violating boycott -- Steve Van Zandt
  • Don't destroy our dream-castle Israel! (Why the Jewish establishment shut out J Street)
    • Maybe the rejection is irrational. But Occam's Razor would suggest that this is a more complicated answer, and less likely to be true. Making assumptions about the motives of others' - how do you like it when that happens to you?
      J Street represents a particular camp in the Jewish world, one opposed by the right wingers and by the Palestinian solidarity movement. Trying to flatten everything into a 'this or that' dichotomy is, aside from anything else, quite undemocratic. Can't there be 3 camps? Or 5? Or 10? Keep in mind that J Street and say, the Palestinian Authority, are broadly aligned with each other. Right wing Jews are opposed to that alignment. So are left wing solidarity activists.

  • Peace Now board member jokes about owning a SodaStream
    • 1. "APN’s milder criticism of the occupation in general." That's just a strange thing to say. Can you support, perhaps with a quote, that APN is somehow 'less critical of the occupation' than.... ??? What does that even mean? Less hyperbolic use of language?
      If there is one thing about APN folks should agree with it is that they oppose the occupation, unreservedly.

      2. I've seen many many pantloads of 'humor' on this site, quite a bit of it from commenters being despicably cruel to others. And when the unfunny, mean spirited, cruel humor flows from the more extreme to the less extreme, it passes muster. But when it comes in this one instance from the less extreme to the more extreme, suddenly, 'whoa, dude, not a laughing matter!'
      Feels a little hypocritical, as though the pump is primed to denounce APN for something, anything, and then this came along so 'gotcha!'

    • She's making fun of the Jewish community's anti-BDS obsession - for Purim.
      The holiday where we commemorate our own attempted genocide with humor.
      There's something utterly humorless about twisting that into 'the occupied territories are just a joke.'

  • 'Netanyahu is a Nazi': Scenes from an Orthodox anti-military draft protest in Jerusalem
    • "...secular-nationalist Economic Minister Naftali Bennett"
      The author has such a good, knowledgeable tone throughout. But not knowing that Bennett is Orthodox, as is his party, sends the message that she isn't quite fluent in Israeli politics yet.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

  • Israeli leftwing party embraces settlements on occupied land
    • Shame on you both.
      You make an assertion "So people in both the Labour Party and Meretz think it’s cool to circulate a list of their illegal settlements" turn it into an inflammatory title "
      Israeli leftwing party embraces settlements on occupied land" and insert a bizarre conclusion: "are sharing a map of Kibbutzim on stolen Palestinian land, including illegal settlements on occupied West bank land, and taking pride in it."

      It's just insane. This FB page, which isn't even the main page of Meretz, posts a graphic and you use that one data point to demonstrate that the party has made a complete about face from opposing settlements to 'taking pride' in them?

      This is shallow and beneath you, Phil. Maybe not Ofer, who I don't know, but come on. Not because I give two shits about Meretz, but because intellectual dishonesty doesn't actually serve a good cause.

      The reality is much less nefarious. A relatively small number of kibbutzim are outside the Green Line in occupied territories. The vast majority of those were settled by Labor, not Mapam. Then the movements merged for economic reasons. And yes, there is a historic connection between Mapam kibbutzim and Meretz. So we have a weird situation where the unified kibbutz movement has a few stray entities which are settlements and a historic link to one third of the historic Meretz coalition.

      Meanwhile, Meretz is as opposed as ever the settlement project, and some junior staffer repeated a pro-kibbutz image showing where they are all located to foster some kibbutz pride.

      It would be pointless, but at least not misleading, to simply attack the entire kibbutz movement for being on stolen Palestinian land. (Pointless, because most of Israel is on such land, not the kibbutz movement in particular.)

      This is just another political attack on two staters using a very flimsy excuse, and asserting falsely that they aren't even against the occupation.

  • Israeli rap warns vulnerable Jewish women about seductive, dangerous Arab men
    • There is no doubt in my mind that DAM routinely attracts more fans and sells more records than whatever 'rapper' helped make this video. So in that sense, DAM is more representative of Israeli hip hop.
      Subliminal is, sadly, more representative than DAM. I'd like to change that by supporting the progressive hip hop community there, instead of suggesting that this racist video is part of hip hop culture.
      Regarding crowd-sourced music production, your comment makes me think you don't understand the music industry. That said, it's great to see DAM keep on keeping on.

    • Sure, make an enemy of hip hop fans. That'll help liberate Palestine!

    • So, it is really strange that Phil, David, and Max are referring to this as Israeli hip hop. Yes, this is a racist video by a racist organization in Israel. But no, this is not representative of a stream of Israeli popular culture. (The racist sentiments might be representative of the Kahana-ist mindset, but those folks are not hip hoppers!)
      Impugning Israel's hip hopers like this makes as much sense as me using a radio jingle for getting rid of bed bugs and using that to make an assertion about an American musical subculture.
      The Palestinian-Israeli group D.A.M. is much more representative of Israeli hip hop than this video, artist unknown.
      Sometimes it feels like in the pursuit of a catchy headline or finger jab, all kinds of tricks are used that make an informed ready feel cheated.

  • Smarting at Israeli's reception, Florida school says students must not interrupt a 'lawfully invited' speaker
    • Woody, your rule has nothing to do with behavior at events, you realize that, right? Sounds like you wish the US government would prevent certain people from being able to speak in the US. Again, how would you phrase that in general terms so that it only applies to your opponents?

    • Just out of curiosity, how would you state your preferred rule or mode of behavior using affirmative language?
      Would it be something like: The right of protestors to disrupt or silence speakers shall not be infringed. This includes use of human voices, clapping, non-amplified noisemakers and instruments, and any visual prop that can be held by one person, but excludes amplified sound, cloth banners held by more than one person, or the blocking of exits.

      It would be helpful to contrast this university's policies with the appropriate alternative, so we can advocate for it across the board.

      That said, I have a concern that such an affirmative policy might be used against a variety of groups that we here might actually agree with.

  • Palestinian activist Abir Kopty: Oslo should go, the peace process serves Israeli interests
  • Exile and the Prophetic: Barghouti's warning - the alternative to two states is 'persistent conflict' without any middle ground
  • At pricey Chicago fundraiser, Obama calls three leaders of J Street his 'cabal'
  • Ben Ami on ethnocentrism, the blown Arab Peace initiative, and the 'war of races'
    • This is sad to say, but many Jews do think this. Is it most? Not sure. Definitely far from 100%. And there are lots of nuances. More older than younger. More of the fundies and ultras than the secular or liberally Jewish. More in Israel than the U.S.
      I agree that it is paranoid, delusionary and destructive. But please consider, it is also a perfectly natural outcome, a form of national PTSD. There should be room to... pity these folks, not just condemn them.
      In a similar way, one reason I support Palestinian rights despite the fact that many are a bit extreme (I'm not painting all Palestinians with that!) is because a) the cause is just, but also b) who wouldn't become extreme when subjected to so much injustice! It is a wonder that so many Palestinians are as forgiving and tolerant as they are, and a testament to the real possibilities for peace that still exist.
      Our world views should be wide enough to embrace all of that.

      Glad to see more Israeli leaders coming to grips with their own pathology. Shame that it seems to happen after they leave office.

  • Chas Freeman on Israel's self-inflicted existential crisis
    • Dude, relax.
      "Judaism is a religion distinguished by its emphasis on justice and humanity"
      That's just a commonplace platitude that is appropriate and valid for all religions. It's also true that most religions have a dark side (e.g., the Crusades).

      It is probably true that many modern Jews have a belief that for a time, they were more moral than their gentile neighbors. This is a common idea in oppressed societies. But this idea has always been vigorously contested inside the Jewish community, and today mostly fundamentalists and especially conservative Jews would espouse it. Liberal Jews would recoil in horror at such naked ethnocentrism.

      That said Zionism seems like a strange contradiction, in that it asks liberal Jews to accept some very un-liberal values. it's true; and despite the lag in time, liberalism is winning, leading to a relative decline in the liberal Zionist constituency. (And the growth in conservatism and assimilation among American Jews.)

  • Half of Israel's eligible youth don't enlist-- and ranks of 'gray resisters' grow
    • Pretty sure the singular for 'Shiminstim' is 'Shminist' and not as the author states.
      More significantly, I think this article misses some important context.
      One of the policy debates in Israel for years now has to do with the inflation in the number of available conscripts, the sufficiently high number of volunteers to elite units and positions, and the high cost enlisting soldiers who offer little value. As a result, some talk about Israel moving in the direction of the US, with a larger core of professional soldiers and a smaller number of enlistees.
      So looking at the number of 'non-enlistees' in isolation from the total number of enlistees might gloss over the fact that reducing the draft serves Israeli military policy. The people not being drafted are of marginal value, like the Haredim or folks with a lower socio-economic status.
      In the past, the IDF saw itself as having a social mission of helping to integrate society and offer opportunities to youth who might otherwise join the underclass. This has weakened over time, part of the general decline in equality and social solidarity among Jewish Israelis.
      Celebrating folks not enlisted as a sign of something seems misguided to me. The real metric is and should be folks who explicitly refuse. It's good to celebrate those who do, but worth thinking about how the numbers from this movement's inception do not show anything like a year after year increase.

  • Israel cracks down on American travel to West Bank by requiring tourists to obtain military permit
  • The etymology of anti-Semitism
    • I find it astounding that after Massad's definitive and scholarly article, that anyone would even think of referring to Palestinians as 'Semites.' It's bankrupt nonsense. The title of the cartoon had me thinking, finally, someone who explains that the word 'Semitic' was originally an etymological term! Alas no.
      That said, obv. the use of the term anti-Semitism to refer to critics of Israel probably increases the number of Jew haters without doing a thing to protect Israel.

  • Beinart's challenge, Beinart's fear
    • I do not fear that Palestinians will rush to impose Sharia in a unified Palestine. That said, a question should have an answer.
      In traditional Islamic jurisprudence, there isn't really a wall between religion and state affairs. The status of non Muslim groups would not be equal in the eyes of the law. Right wing Islamophobes talk of this all the time. "Dhimmitude."
      A larger problem has to do with those in Israeli or Palestinian society who do not want religious law to govern personal status issues, which tend to discriminate against women, those in mixed marriages, or those who dissent from their nominal religion (as in the case of Reform Jews).

  • Diaspora Jews must speak out against the Israeli Law of Return
    • You seem to have conflated individuals and groups. All Jews are no more responsible for anything to any greater degree than all Muslims are responsible for anything.
      Jewish unity is as mythological as Islamic unity (etc. I don't mean to 'pick' on Muslims obviously.

    • Demanding that Jews do anything is morally the same as demanding that Muslims or Arabs do anything.
      Rejecting the law of return
      Rejecting the use of terrorism

      Both suggest a collective responsibility for the sins of individuals and institutions. Both are wrong. At most, it might be legit to direct some attention to Jews who implement the law of return to emigrate to Israel. But why bother? That's one group unlikely to care what Sam Bahour thinks.

  • Palestine and the Left
    • Everything about this article is excellent and a breath of fresh air. The willingness to critique and understand, the historical perspective, the openness to doubt, the sober and knowledgeable authors, the sheer intelligence.
      It stands in such contrast to much of the blathering that passes for left discourse. Jacobin is a serious effort, which doesn't mean I agree with all of it. The seriousness is in tone, respect for one's audience, intellectual roots. Regardless of one's perspective, it's a model for how to public, edit and write on difficult issues.

  • Fear of democracy in the Jewish community
    • JJ Goldberg "...called on anti-Zionists to help change the American Jewish community by working inside it, so as to broaden its diversity."
      Excellent advice. There are a lot of anti- and non-Zionist Jews in America, some of them are active participants and leaders in traditional settings like synagogues and charitable nonprofits. All power to them.

  • Meet Nathan Blanc, Israeli conscientious objector
    • Good for him! May he be strong and get through this in good health.
      New Profile has been saying that the refusenik movement has been growing for many years. My impression is that it's actually been a tiny trickle with statistically very small bumps, though one could divide the history of conscript refusal into before/after the 2nd Intifada. Anyone have numbers?

  • Israeli army captain assaults valiant protester Ezra Nawi
    • "of whom there will one day be stained glass window portraits in synagogues"
      What a lovely sentiment. Something to look forward to!

  • The most rational political course in Israel is also the most immoral -- Noam Sheizaf
    • Absolutely. Nice to see the crucial role of Hadash mentioned. They are indeed the only real Jewish-Palestinian coalition with a mass base, and that's worth something.

  • Gaza takes NY (we're talking hummus and seafood)
    • Tanoreen is an amazing restaurant. It's far out in Bay Ridge, but well worth the visit. It's a destination.
      In particular, you can order fresh knafeh done well as a desert.
      (The Gaza recipe sounds like a great idea - sharing Palestinian culture is a great way to advance understanding.)

  • Israelis flock to Berlin-- some for 'multicultural vibe'
    • A few points Phil and Hophmi.
      1. This story is ten years old. Well, new for this journalist from Al-Jazeera, but an old story. Reporting non-news as news is not a hallmark of journalistic quality. Here's a random recycled item from 2008: link to telegraph.co.uk

      2. There is a brain drain in Israel, but much like the anglo emigration from apartheid South Africa, it isn't at a level that would cause any damage to the Israeli economy. The main causes of outmigration are cost of living, better opportunities abroad, adventure seekers, etc. I'm someone who left Israel in disgust, and I know plenty others, but we're a small fraction of the Israelis who have left.

      3. The real challenge to Israel and Zionism is more subtle. The Zionist idea is that Israel is the Jewish state, a home to all Jews who desire it. A magnet that would exert influence over Jews qua Jews. But we have an elite constituency that grew up in Israel who reject this logic with open eyes and the benefit of years of indoctrination telling them otherwise. The question a sci-fi writer might tackle would be: what is Israel down the road in the absence of these folks? Probably just 'more' of what it is now, which will increase out-migration for all the reasons that cause it now.

      4. One of my friends served in the army the full three years, including in Gaza, the West Bank and Lebanon. He is a political centrist. And he left Israel with PTSD symptoms that took years to tease out and address. Many of those who left have escaped the cause of their PTSD without needing or wanting to understand the political implications of it all. It's enough to be away from all those triggers. This is one of the ways that the conflict exerts a powerful undertow that harms the quality of life and resiliency of Israeli society, no matter what the leaders and champtions say. And why ending the conflict - really ending it, not managing it - is such an imperative for anyone cares about our friends and relatives who are still there.

  • Colonizer as lender: How Liberty Square and Bab al-Shams spring from similar roots
    • Annie, we aren't far apart. But I think it's more helpful to support the folks we support as an alternative to invisibilizing them, which is what Strike Debt has done.

    • "Although these “occupiers” proclaimed their solidarity with a global movement against austerity and debt, Palestinian voices and grievances were not welcomed."
      False.
      It would be more accurate to say that J14 in Israel represented a vast cross section of Israeli society. This includes those who felt that social struggle would be harmed by 'politicization' or addressing the Occupation. But is that it?
      The J14 movement also included many groups, individuals and political party associated people who addressed the occupation, racism within Israel, and the social struggles of the Israeli-Palestinian population.
      These links below (which don't necessarily represent my own opinions) demonstrate that J14 was a movement that was very broad, expanding event to include a tent on Rothschild that addressed the Naqba in a creative and fruitful way.
      link to blog.onevoicemovement.org
      link to 972mag.com

      It's right and proper to criticize Israel and Israelis for what they do, and to a lesser extent, for what they don't do and should. But J14 was a time of experimentation and hope, diversity and transformation. Strike Debt could have made the same points in support of the portion of J14 that agrees with them, instead of going negative and falsely portraying all of J14 as monolithically against addressing Palestinian voices and grievances.

      A shame.

  • 'J Street' leader hints that 2013 is make-or-break for two-state solution
    • One part that baffles me: why do you think Palestinians desire to expand their historic and proud nationality so that it will encompass millions of Jews from other places? Hundreds of thousands of Russians who aren't even Jewish?
      No matter what the state is called, 'Palestinian' will be a nationality derived from shared history and language, not legal citizenship. That's why Israeli Arabs are nonetheless 'Palestinian', and many Jordanian citizens identify as Palestinian.
      This notion that somehow millions of Jews in Israel become 'Palestinian' is as realistic as thinking that millions of additional Palestinians become 'Israeli.'
      Equality and justice are important values - but they do not map to a single political outcome.

  • In Jerusalem, even the dentist lets you know who's in charge
    • I didn't deny the discrimination. I mentioned it. In your eagerness to "sew a kit" for me you repeatedly fail at basic reading comprehension.
      How about this: find a way to stop pretending to read my mind, and in return, you'll not look silly for making shit up.

    • I think you captured an everyday slice of Israel that affects almost everyone. This kind of bureaucratic insanity reminds me of so much... dealing with the army, police, mas hachnasa, bituach leumi, driver's licence people, interior ministry for getting a passport, and all the rest of it. It's hard if you don't share a language, and (no question) worse if you are Arab seeking service in places that assume 'Jewish' is the norm. Glad your child got what she came for.

  • When loving Israel is a social credential
    • Ridiculous. The reason people talk about Jews being at the forefront of the civil rights movement has to do with the ethnic breakdown of participants in Freedom Summer, or the ethnicity of the whites who were in SNCC, or the way that American Jews are the only white ethnic group to give solid majorities for Democrats in proportions totally out of line for other white Americans.
      So today you find American Jews taking pride in this history (and sometimes the high Jewish presence in the early labor movement) and it bothers you?
      Going past Zionism in the Jewish community is EXACTLY a process of taking pride in our values and legacy, and understanding how Israel's behavior is a threat to that.

  • Brian Lehrer finds '5 Broken Cameras' 'extremely shocking' and wonders if Palestinians have abandoned two-state solution
    • This is evidence that documents like 5 Cameras do a wonderful job of penetrating minds. Something about the nature of this discourse needs to be understood and replicated. Really heartwarming to see Lehrer show this openness.

  • The wisdom of the late Akiva Orr
    • He was a really great guy. I don't know who the 'next' Akiva Orr is, but he'll have these qualities: respect for others, sense of humor, and a clear view of the entire situation, without blinders for your own team's flaws.

      The book Peace, Peace and there is no Peace is a masterpiece.

  • Eric Alterman's bias revealed as he warns against the 'red menace' of BDS
    • tree, I think the passionate fringe of toxic, bile spewing solidarity activists play a dual role that is rarely addressed. The guard the flame, but they also keep others away.
      Complaining about my complaining here brings to mind the old joke, where one person shouts angrily "I am not being defensive! Stop picking on me!"
      That said, it's much better to address the sin as opposed to the sinner. Good point.

    • Alterman was a bit over the top. But coming from the choir at Mondoweiss, isn't that a bit of the pot calling the kettle black?

      Where this post does a real service is recognizing that there is room for a fruitful debate over some of the thornier BDS related issues. Not the kind of debate where politically correct folks rally to defend the right line (yeah, that's a well known part of "Stalinism") but to create that wider space of democratic contestation where people might not agree all the time, but they see themselves as broadly in the same camp.

      That kind of Stalinist behavior is promoted by some liberals, who endorse the exclusion of JVP or BDS or whatnot, even if they also ident,ify the Israeli state as the primary guilty party at this stage of the conflict. And it is promoted by folks here, who are eager to draw those sharp, razor tipped lines designed to keep on the outside not only Zionists of all stripes, but even non, post, or anti-Zionists insufficiently doctrinaire. (cf the bile hurled at Chomsky, Finklestein, and even Sand.)

      The urgent and necessary cause of protecting Palestinians needs everyone who can contribute - even including some opponents of BDS.

      My circle of trust would include anyone who has ever participated in solidarity work in places like Bilin, AND those of similar opinions. That's what a successful large tent looks like. The commentariat over here would likely happily reduce those numbers. Can you imagine the sneering condescension of Mooser or Avi to a hapless Meretz supporter on the way back from inhaling teargas on a Friday?

      Alterman could have done a better job with his thesis if he had used the comment section at EI and here to make his point. It often feels like the peanut gallery at a Moscow show trial.

  • Bloomberg backs Brooklyn College over BDS event as another official withdraws funding threat
    • Brilliant. You don't have to be a fan of BDS to realize that the NYC politicians were essentially going totally nuts, counterproductively. I bet the next time Nadler's CoS tries to do this kind of thing, she gets an apologetic 'not this time.'

      Charles

  • Why I'm for boycott
    • Phil writes: "I have avoided all discussion here of cultural and academic boycott, anti-normalization measures, and the desire some have expressed to transform Israel with a flood of returning refugees, to revolutionize 1948."

      That's a wise decision. By doing so, you make a lot of sense that might otherwise be tarnished.

      A program for ensuring a desirable Jewish future begins with ending the oppression of Palestinians and transforming the relationship. Our future is mortgaged to the Palestinians at this point, and redeeming that note is the Jewish task of the 21st Century.

  • If you were a Palestinian Israeli, and your polling place looked like this--
    • This is not how most polling stations are. They tend to be in schools. I wonder if this is an Embassy.
      Most Israeli Palestinians actually do vote.
      Feels like a strange way to address the problem of state symbols in Israel.
      (Which should be changed to reflect both peoples.)

  • Election Day in Jerusalem: Deciding to vote, boycott or rebel
    • Talknic, just to correct one major error you are making...
      Many countries, including the US, grant citizenship to the children of citizens born overseas, even if they do not return to the US to claim it.
      Germany offered (maybe still does) citizenship automatically to Germans from other states (Russia, Croatia) and has done so for a long time. Germany, Poland and a few other countries give citizenship to the children of folks affected by the Holocaust whose ancestors were from there (and possibly others - not sure.) I know quite a few holders of European passports who never lived there and don't speak the right language.

      But never mind the recent stuff. Consider how European countries granted citizenship rights to religious minorities in the Middle East. This is how generations of Russians, Greeks, French and others were born and died in cosmopolitan parts of the Ottoman Empire without ever even visiting the country of formal citizenship.

      Territory and citizenship are certainly linked, but you are clearly misguided about how the extent. And it's a good thing! Once a Palestinian state becomes free of all Israeli control, one suspects that many Palestinians living around the world would want to become citizens of that country - even if they never move there. Even if they have another citizenship. Even if they are only one half, or one quarter Palestinians ancestry. And that would be a good thing.

      On a final, ludicrous note, are you truly suggesting that Israel's 1948 borders are somehow in doubt with regards to international law and international recognition? What a laughable proposition. It reminds me of utterly strange Israeli twistings of international law, like when they claim settlements are legal. Settlements are indeed not legal according to international law. But the '48 borders of Israel are indeed quite settled. Where that not the case, how could we possibly campaign for the labeling of goods from the Occupied Territories for boycott purposes, as many worthy folks have been doing in Europe and elsewhere for years?

    • Annie - I have nothing but respect for the political choices of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. They are choosing not to integrate into the Israeli polity. This desire to not be part of Israel.... makes perfect sense.
      Inshallah, some day the occupation will end and Palestinians in Jerusalem will be citizens in a Palestinian state, free of Zionist control and equal in every way to Israel in matters of sovereignty.

    • If Israel did not have the right and the power to change it's laws of citizenship, what would be the point of applying pressure to rectify the legal injustices?
      You'll find nothing I've written ever defending the state of Israel's discriminatory policies against Palestinian citizens. Implying that I think so suggests a lack of understanding.
      Every so often (well every day) there are some staggering lapses in logic here. Everyone who thinks states aren't in charge of citizenship laws, raise your hand, and state for the record the name of the alternative legal structure that is in charge.

    • Talknic, being a 'resident of Israel' is a legal status AND a reference to where someone lives. I was using that phrase in the legal sense, as 'registered as a resident of Israel.' This is a status enjoyed by many folks inside and outside of the Green Line, and includes both citizens and non-citizens.
      Regarding what Israel has the right to offer.... are you seriously suggesting that states do not have the 'right' to determine who gets to be a citizen? As pointed out numerous times, many states routinely offer citizenship to folks who are not resident in their own territory. It goes back a long time. If you weren't aware of this before - now you are!

      Finally, I may disapprove of Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem (and other parts of the WB nearby) but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. The denial of rights to Palestinians living in the annexed parts is a serious human rights violation; the position of Palestinian and Israeli hr orgs is to demand the fulfillment of those rights, as opposed to denying that an annexation has occurred. (cf, HaMoked)

    • Nice to see Hadash recognized as a non-Zionist party on Mondoweiss!
      and
      It is true that East Jerusalem Palestinians mostly occupy a strange limbo where they are residents of Israel but not citizens. But - legally speaking, they can ask for citizenship at any time and become voters. Thousands have done so. I think - does anyone have more info? that it was once easier to do than it is today.

      It's worth noting that East Jerusalem Palestinians, for the most part, decline to pursue citizenship for political reasons, despite the obvious legal benefits. So are they not voting by conscious political choice, or because Israel is discriminating against them in this matter?

  • '5 Broken Cameras' plays NY and Tulsa, 'Gatekeepers' makes NPR
    • We should care about the impact of media on Israeli public opinion for the same reason that MLK Jr. cared about using nonviolent tactics. Because victory - any victory - involves a transformation of both the victim and the victimizer into a new relationship. It's one thing to recognize that YOU don't want to do that work, and another to denigrate that kind of activity in general.

      Both movies are great. Both should be mandatory for every Israeli. Wouldn't it be great if they provoked real soul searching and an openness to new ways of thinking?

  • The only hope to upend the political landscape in Israel/Palestine -- simultaneous uprisings between the river and the sea
    • Nice to see a graduate of Hadash Youth here! Excellent analysis and a productive line of thought. Whatever change we see in Israel and Palestine, it will include large sections of both populations or it won't happen.

  • Millions disenfranchised in Israeli vote due solely to ethnicity and geography
    • Excellent demonization there. Not that I'm protesting your conclusion.

    • You seem to have avoided answering my question while... responding to my question.
      “Are you suggesting that this is a strategic mistake, and Palestinian residents should hurry up and get citizenship so they can vote?”
      This is a fun question because... if the topic is a complaint that Palestinians can't vote, and there exist a group of Palestinians who actually can vote but choose not to, then the thesis is problematized. (ugh to crit studies!)
      If those Palestinians who could vote but choose not to are behaving this way because there is a strong national consensus endorsing such a view, that what we have is a well articulated Palestinian position calling for NOT VOTING in Israeli elections if you are from outside '48 Israel.

      My inclination is to respect that position, while the original post suggests it is mistaken. The contradiction is simple: most Palestinians outside of Israel do not want to belong to the same entity as Israelis and jointly elect their representatives together. Disagree if you like, but don't make it sound like a Zionist position.

    • Mooser, your scenario seems outlandish. In most post conflict societies, from South Africa to the Balkans to post dictatorship Latin America to post Socialist Eastern Europe, the longed for 'day of judgement' never really happens that way. After all, everyone still has to live together.

      Which isn't to say a complete uprooting of the old order never happens. Witness Cambodia, Zimbabwe, East Timor, and that old standby, Algeria.

    • Mndwss, it's not so offensive. I disagree with the emphasis on 'voter disenfranchisement' as opposed to 'occupation that must end.'
      We live in a time of story wars, and some folks are changing the story of 'Palestinians under occupation deserve to be free and living under Palestinian sovereignty' into another story where 'all of Palestinian is indivisible, Israelis and Palestinians should be citizens in the same entity with equal rights.'
      I prefer the first story because I think it is a more effective frame for the goal of Palestinians living without being dominated by Israelis.

      Using nifty turns of phrase to make your point instead of actually making your point is a way to win an argument without having to have it. Supporters of occupation do this. Everyone does it. It's reasonable to poke holes in it.
      It is not offensive, just.... propagandish. Unhelpful.

    • Um.... Israel never annexed Gaza. It did annex the Golan and East Jerusalem. FWIW.

    • Annie, according to your logic Israel 'likes' all the Palestinian political parties in the Israeli parliament. Which is super not true.
      According to your logic, Palestinians in the PA/Gaza have been unable to vote for parties that Israel does not like, such as Hamas. Super not true! Palestinian political parties that have stood in elections include the PFLP and Hamas, and Israel couldn't do a damn thing.
      I think.... you are conflating things.
      Please consider that as flawed as things are, Palestinians do have a history of voting in free and fair elections, as certified by international election bodies, both in Israel and the PA. Yet you seem averse to honoring the choices of those voters and seeing them as legitimate. That's a very extreme position.
      and
      Name two Israeli Palestinian political leaders who have been jailed as a political leader in the recent past? (Two because, well, something did happen with the former head of Balad, but he fled and his party seems to be alive and well. No jail time though.)

    • 1. How would you write this story when the Palestinian Authority has an election? Should Israelis demand the right to elect the Palestinian leadership?
      2. Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have had the right to Israeli citizenship for many years, allowing them to vote if they so choose. (Yes, it is complicated...) But in general, the national consensus was to NOT exercise that right. Are you suggesting that this is a strategic mistake, and Palestinian residents should hurry up and get citizenship so they can vote?

  • Lapid could help form new Netanyahu coalition, experts say
    • There was much talk about a strong decline in the Arab vote; this seems not to have happened, which is good. Witness the growth of the 'Arab' parties to twelve seats in the current Knesset. If the Palestinian citizens of Israel were to vote as Haredim or the settlers do, there could be 15-18 Palestinian MKs from Arab or Jewish-Arab parties.

      At some point, the Zionist left and center left will have to include these forces in a future coalition if they are to have any hope of governing. This political leverage for internal changes in Israel is as important as external leverage. Moreover, the external pressure should be closely coordinated with the leaders of these political parties.

      For all the problems with Palestinian politics and leaders, there is one thing we can say for sure. Palestinian citizens of Israel had a chance to vote for their leaders and they used it to pick the ones they picked. That democratic choice deserves our respect and support. There's a nice and probably healthy mix of socialist, nationalist and Islamist forces at play. Here's hoping they find more ways to work together and earn political victories with the hand they've been dealt.

  • What left? The rightwing bloc is over 100 Knesset seats -- Derfner
    • 18 seats out of 120 for the left? That's better than the US Congress, where only one person (Bernie Sanders) belongs to a party that is left of the Dems, who are still engaged in war (etc.).
      I'm rooting for Hadash to get five seats. Win or lose, someone should write about the amazing Nabila Espanioli.

  • 'Anti-Zionist chic'
    • The Herzl thing and an internationalized Jerusalem - that has real potential. I hope someone picks up on that for some fun. Launch it with some street posters at the next GA or WZO or Jewish Agency conference.

  • How 20 tents rocked Israel: Palestinians take the fight to their occupiers in Bab al-Shams
    • A great action. But this: "So instead, it was left to a group of 250 ordinary Palestinians to show how the idea of a "state of Palestine" might be given practical meaning."

      Calling Abir Kopty and M. Khatib "ordinary" is a baffling statement. Extraordinary feels much more appropriate.

      There really is no limit to what can be accomplished in this way.

  • '5 Broken Cameras' and 'The Gatekeepers' nominated for Best Documentary Oscar
    • Justice, I'll admit to stirring, but not to 'just' stirring it. I'll also admit to not caring for BDS in particular - it's just a wide range of tactics that sometimes poses as a movement, and in so doing creates a problem.
      There is a movement for the recognition of Palestinian rights, for equality in Israel, independence for Palestine, and of course for peace. Proponents of BDS are part of this movement, and so are some opponents of BDS. The most sensible faction lies in the middle, carefully avoiding BDS movement talk while supporting specific campaigns when and where useful.
      I remember conversations about excellent Israeli films (including Ajami), but beyond that the entire 'Other Israel' film festival in New York. And in those conversations, the most stringent pro-BDS folks uttered precisely the kind of nonsense that would result in the boycott of 5 Broken Cameras. The Davidi recognizes this fact in his public statement following the Oscar nomination.
      The EI post is an example of pilpul, the legalistic explication of a principal to draw a dividing line that is otherwise quite hidden. It only needed to be written because my question above is fair and obvious.
      If the next Israeli-Palestinian co-production is non political, or less political, or expresses a politics less pure, how will it's inclusion or exclusion from the boycott be explained?

      Again, great film. What a thrill if this production actually wins!

    • I don't understand why this film isn't being boycotted. I was reviewing the discussion around Ajami from a few years ago, and it seems that 5 Broken Cameras violates the PACBI rules in a similar manner. It was funded in part by an Israeli state institution, the success of this film reflects well on the Israeli film industry, it showcases a Palestinian violating the the call against normalization by working with an Israeli - one with financing from the Israeli state.
      See here: link to usacbi.org

      If this film is NOT addressed by the cultural boycott.... at the very least we should hear a revision of the rule express by the link. A Palestinian working with an Israeli and getting Israeli state financing and being showcased as an Israeli film? Saying that this should not be the target of a boycott seems to be an example of carving out exemptions for political convenience.

      In short, the difference in the BDS's movement response to Ajami and 5 Broken Cameras show something inconsistent. Though surely some pilpul can explain how they shouldn't be lumped together.

      (Great film of course. Hope it wins and has a strong impact.)

  • Exchange on anti-Sephardi racism on the left
    • "Contemporary Judaism has fully embraced Zionism and Jewish nationalism."
      The problem with this statement is that all of Judaism coexists at the same time - ancient and modern. "Contemporary Judaism" has no trump card in deciding what future currents will look like.
      Whatever future Judaism looks like, it will trace a lineage to ancient times, picking and choosing, making ethical choices and prioritizing according to existing conditions.
      The versions of Judaism that see Zionism as a tragedy (as opposed to merely a crime) are likely to thrive, but they won't simply replace whatever Zionist inflected Judaism becomes. There will probably be versions that descend from both.

  • Endless 'debate over two-state solution' is cover for the real story, annexation of West Bank
    • "I've noticed the same thing, from rightwingers and even liberal Zionists..."
      So... the Palestinian political forces, including the PLO, the PNA, Fateh, Palestinian People's Party, Hadash, Tajamu, and others - are they rightwingers or liberal Zionists?

  • Shlomo Sand on Zionism, post-Zionism, and the two-state solution
    • Again with the presumptions and "apparently." Mooser, you insist on a kind of Stalinist denunciation for what I don't say, as though some code of morality has been violated for lack of my attention.
      Working together has nothing to do with being nice Mooser, a subject you are quite the specialist in. It's about shared interests. What you are clearly not an expert in is the art of reading comprehension. You will not find anything I've ever put in writing suggesting that I support the Zionist project - or if I have, it is the same kind of Zionism that Shlomo Zand is guilty of. You know, the kind that no actual Zionist would recognize.
      What a strange way of showing solidarity - some folks decide they aren't Zionists anymore, but there is Mooser, broom in hand, ready to neatly return them to the Zionist pile lest they mess up his neat little categories.

    • Israel as a country should be based on Israeli citizenship with no discrimination of Palestinian citizens whatsoever. Jewish ethnocracy is a terrible evil - for the Jews, along with Palestinians.
      That is Sand's position, is the position of Israel's left (including the three mostly Arab political parties in Knesset), and my own.
      An Israeli identity makes Israel into something that is not 'A Jewish State', but merely a state with lots of Jews. This might be hard for you to understand but... Some Jewish Israelis consider the Palestinian minority in Israel to be brothers and sisters, comrades, allies, and of course fellow citizens deserving of full civil rights.

    • It sounds like you actually believe that the Israeli government is motivated by concern for the welfare of it's citizenry, and this explains the saber rattling against Iran.
      I think Israeli ruling circles are 'afraid' about the loss of hegemonic power that enables them to dictate terms to others in the Middle East. Certain sectors of Israeli society have been leaving in greater and greater numbers for years, but it is not, and will never be a kind of 'depopulation' that changes the balance of power or results in some kind of new alignment in Israeli society.

      This is a case where the fake, overblown fears of some Israelis are matched wholeheartedly with the unrealistic hopes of Israel's detractors.

    • 1. It is false that more than 50% of Israeli Jews hold dual citizenship. 60% of Israeli Jews come from Muslim countries that did not provide this option.
      2. Forcibly expelling native born Israeli Jews from Israel to another country.... sheesh. You'd think we've learned better than to engage in that behavior, no? For all the comparisons to South Africa, so few realize the centrality of the ANC ideology as expressed in the Freedom Charter.
      3. The percentage of Israeli citizens residing outside of Israel is comparable with countries like Mexico and Morocco. High compared to most OECD countries, but not by any order of magnitude, and well explained by the facts that Israelis have recent immigration experience, and often were immigrants themselves to Israel before leaving again.

      link to fmep.org

    • You put in parenths what you think I mean but don't say. And in this we have the big reveal: you invent opinions to demolish and assign them to a real person who said no such thing.
      It's not only dishonest - no shortage of that - but it's the kind of ideological mudslinging you just love to make fun of when others do it. That makes you the worst kind of hypocrite - simultaneously inventing, denouncing, and misleading.
      Here's a hint though, if ever you choose to escape the paper bag trap you put yourself in: just read what I wrote. No need to invent anything: not my opinions, not the Jewish people, not Eretz Yisrael.

    • If only the Jews of 1948 could have known about 1968!

    • I'm with Sand here. I support an Israel where Jews no longer have a privilege over non-Jews. When we get that far, all the rest should be easy peasy.

    • 1. If you really really can't understand why Jewish victims of the Holocaust might have been uncomfortable living in Germany or taking German compensation.... then I guess you just have to give in to the mystery of it all. It makes perfect sense to me.
      2. Sand's parents were communists. At the time they came to Israel, the socialist world welcomed the creation of Israel, there was a vibrant socialist movement and a Jewish-Arab communist party represented in the Knesset.
      3. Really? You don't get why a Jewish Holocaust survivor might see the newly created state of Israel as a reasonable place to immigrate to?

      War does terrible things.

    • "I justify the existence of Israel not because of historical right, but because of the fact that it exist today and any effort to destroy it will bring new tragedies. Besides, Zionism created a new Israeli nation that has a right to exist."

      It's amazing how many people will champion Sand without understanding that this is the implication of all that he writes. Championing "Israeli-hood" is a very productive form of resistance to Zionist ideology.

  • Roots of Resistance: The visitors
  • In Honor of Titans
    • I've been looking forward to the 'festivities' commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Intifada for some time, after figuring out last year that it would be coming up. (That's probably the wrong word though.)

      The Palestinian commentary should rightly be on the Palestinian actors, their stories and the lessons to be drawn for today. For myself, the Intifada is intertwined with my own history as a refusenik; the group I belonged to formed itself in the 1986-87 period, publicized itself in September, had the first member conscripted in November, and then *bang* the Intifada breaks out.

      Allow me to share that when this happened, the political environment I was part of in Israel was ecstatic. We were so happy that 'the news' had less to do with what Arafat was up to, and more about what Palestinians under occupation were doing. Happy that the protests were largely nonviolent (on the Palestinian side) making it easier to make the immorality of occupation clearer to Israelis.

      At the time, it was possibly to graduate from an Israeli high school and not quite get what the "West Bank" or "Occupied Territories" meant, as a decade of Likud rule had erased the Green Line from the education system. The Intifada changed that.

      I've got a lot of memories from those years. Visiting Beit Sahour, East Jerusalem and Gaza with solidarity organizations. Clandestine meetings with 'shabiba' young activists in hilltops not far from Jenin. Learning for the first time, as best I could, about the differences between the PFLP, the DFLP, the (currently named) Palestinian People's Party and Fateh.

      One of my strongest memories is being locked up in Atlit prison, which was mostly for Israeli military prisoners, but had been transformed so that it was not a concentration camp for Palestinian prisoners. The sheer numbers had overwhelmed existing systems. As a prisoner, I spent a few days taking food to Palestinians. Every chance I got I whispered - I am with you! That was why the guards took me off that detail.... I'm sure it's mostly fantasy, but what if news of refuseniks was helping Palestinian morale?

      It has been 25 years, and a lot has changed. But Palestinians are not free in Palestine, they are not equal in Israel, they are still the refugee nation. And tonight is Hanukkah, when Jews celebrate our ancient struggle for national liberation against the Greek empire then in power. How can we celebrate this special time without a deep sense of shame at the ironic role reversal? We are the Greeks. The Palestinians are the Maccabees.

      My concluding thought is that what is most precious about Judaism and the Jewish people need not fear Palestinian liberation. At this point, Palestinian liberation is the one vital and missing ingredient for our long term future, which I say as both a Jew and an Israeli. Happy Hanukkah, my Palestinian friends. Congratulations on the victories of the first Intifada. May its promise be complete in our day. Amen.

  • Jonathan Cook on liberal Zionism
    • FYI, the Labor Party is not Mapam. It was allied with them electorally for some years (1959-1984 I think) but even then - it was not the Labor Party.

  • Avnery-- leftist, and 89-- warns of the 'natural increase' of Arabs threatening Jewish majority
    • Avnery is one of the best most authentic peace champions in the Middle East, never mind Israel. Which is why he gets along so well with Palestinians, from Arafat to grassroots Fatah and Hamas leaders. Attacking him for not being pro-Palestinian enough is kind of crazy. Why would you want pro-Palestinian Israeli peace leaders? If Israelis are going to make peace it will be because it is in their own interests, don't you think? Do you imagine that peace will be imposed on Israelis by a leadership that is against the Israeli interest?

  • ‘It’s time for Palestinians in Israel to stand firm against the Bantustan plan of Oslo’: An interview with Awad Abdel Fattah
    • Any evidence for this statement: "Look at Dov Chenin [the sole Jewish legislator in the parliament for Hadash]. He is unapologetic about supporting the Jewish character of the state. He sees no problem with that."

      I know him pretty well, and can't imagine him saying or doing anything in line with that statement.
      Then again, this whole interview feels like an anti-Hadash screed, part of a campaign to win voters over from their nearest rival, and the party that Azmi B'shara came from. Would be cool to see an interview with Mohammed Barakeh or something to balance this out.

  • US silent as thousands go on hunger strike in Turkey for Kurdish political rights
  • Following Abbas statement on right of return, Palestinian youth in Lebanon call for end to Oslo and the Palestinian Authority
  • 'A vision seen in a dream': A leading religious Zionist's 1956 call for the Palestinian refugees to return
  • Comeuppance for Netanyahu? No, he might run against Obama-- and increase daylight between countries
    • My impression is that a phrase like this was once a more natural part of intra-Jewish discourse, but that it is fading a bit and now provokes a certain sensitivity.
      If the "World Zionist Organization" were being founded today it would not have that name. They would instead call it "The Federation of Zionist Communities" or some such. "The Jewish Agency" would be named something in Hebrew, forcing all the diaspora Jews to pronounce it poorly.
      As a Jew, I don't like the phrase "world-Jewry" but I don't assume that someone using it has bad motives. There is no such thing; what we have are "world Jewries."

  • Brazil’s barbarians at Israel’s gate: South American Israel lobby tries to shut down World Social Forum on Palestine
    • Shmuel... I'm glad Palestine is part of the WSF process. I'm disappointed that it is not equally open to different parts of the political world who support Palestinian rights, including two staters, folks who do not see BDS as the primary form of support, and others. The movement for Palestinian rights should, at all times, but one that runs a wide gamut of Palestinian political representation. This group seems to come from a specific corner, and they seek to define what is politically correct as part of an ongoing political struggle taking place inside the movement.
      and
      I'm sure that the folks giving the WSF a hard time are in fact, Zionists. But knowing that is true and sounding like those other folks did in that statement above are not the same thing.
      But you know what? I'm sure we agree that folks who support Israel's occupation should not be welcome. And we probably agree that political representatives of Israel's occupation enforcing parties (such as Labor or Kadima) would not be welcome. But that still leaves a much wider tent that seems to be in play at the moment.

    • The way the words 'Zionist', 'Zionism' and 'Zionists' are used is off-putting. Makes the text look like a screed as opposed to a defense of free speech. I wonder if that's a Latin American thing.

      That said, one interpretation seems to not have occurred to folks. That the sober folks in Rio Grande do Sul who are not Zionists and actually support the World Social Forum process are just the teensiest bit off-put by the strident tone of some of the organizers, and this makes it easier for them to bend in the direction of 'the Zionists' instead of standing up to them.

      And this is the political challenge: to find positions that folks as far left as Brazil's Worker's Party will want to defend with great vigor, instead of taking a few steps beyond that. I wonder if the rejection of a religious dialogue is connected to that. Why unite your opposition with your closest friends?

  • On the unbearable lightnness of (not) being Israeli
    • I became aware of Arabs as 'the other kind of Israeli' pretty early on. My mother encouraged me in this. I attended various programs in school that brought Jews together with Arabs (we traveled in both directions, I hosted and was hosted). I joined a 'Jewish-Arab' youth movement. I joined a 'Jewish-Arab' political party. For me, Israelis are both Jewish and Arab, but also folks who are neither.
      What's interesting is that both racists on the pro-Israeli side and opponents of any kind of Israeli identity come together in agreement that Palestinian citizens of Israel are somehow less 'Israeli.'

      Support human rights and equality? Insist on the full inclusion of Palestinian and other non-Jewish citizens within the Israeli polity.

  • 'NYT' op-ed equating anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism relied on Nasrallah quote that is in all likelihood a fabrication
    • I don't think you'll see some kind of 'explicitly' anti-Zionist denomination. It's more that groups of liberal observant Jews will form a large minority or majority in certain locations, enough to stand apart from the 'typical' nonsense around Israel.
      But they won't be waving explicit anti-Zionist flags around, and they won't stop affirming a sense of peoplehood with Israeli Jews, even as they walk back theologically and politically from supporting a racist Israel. And really, that's what you want; an alternative leadership ready with a Plan B, not some bridge burners no one would listen to.

    • Going after someone for anti-Semitism when there is such thin factual evidence makes it all the harder to fight the real incidences of anti-Semitism in the Arab and Muslim world. It is a huge strategic error that ultimately has the effect of making it easier for the read Jew haters to thrive.
      and
      When Arabs and/or Muslims in frontline conflict zones with Israel fall victim to anti-Semitic tropes and language, there is something despicable about linking it to the legacy of European anti-Semitism instead of the modern Arab-Israeli conflict. Beyond anything else, there is a vicious ant-Arab racism at play here that underestimates the political, historical and religious awareness among Arabs. As if they are clueless about the discourse of 'the new anti-semitism' and what it means for the culture of resistance, etc.

      For all the folks actually concerned about improving the image of Jews and Judaism in the Middle East - first step is to de-link it to the Israeli national project. Our survival might depend on it - just as it did with the fall of the 2nd Temple.

  • Omar Saad, a Druze-Palestinian musician from the Galilee, refuses Israeli military service
  • If only it was just one tweet: One activist's experience in the 'Our Land' Facebook group
    • Great post Beka.
      Today in Palestine is good to remind us that non-Palestinian supporters of Palestinian rights are NOT at the center of that struggle.
      And
      I wonder about that 'vote/poll' done a few days ago here, where something like 14 commenters posted in support of Greta vs. 4 who were against. Suggesting that despite all the evidence of Greta's poor judgement, the comment section here is dominated (and dominated) by folks with similar poor judgement. Not that it's personal, but I'm often struck by the viciousness of attacks on things I've said (well, not really - attacks are usually on me, regardless of what was said) only to find my sentiments echoed at the top from Phil and others.

      What a strange disconnect.

  • Free Gaza's Col. Ann Wright disinvited from Swedish Boat to Gaza
    • FWIW, I think this is crazy too. I'm not a fan of AW, I've got bones to pick with the boats to Gaza movement.
      And yet....
      Fucking boats to Gaza is a great solidarity action. I still remember the 'almost' ship that was supposed to leave Cyprus for Israel in 1988. I guess.... it is such a great action, it is so useful for the movement, that it seems worth it to treat AW this way. Hrm. There's a line between careful and WTF, and for me, this kind of crosses it.

      I've done nothing for the various Gaza ships. But I've been to Gaza, been friends with Gazans. It is so awful there, and so awful what the Israelis, Egyptians and the Quartet have allowed it to become (with some help from Palestinian factions and mis-steps.)

      I hope the Swedish ship makes it and does good service to the movement.

  • Israeli film 'The Gatekeepers' brings truths about occupation that Palestinians are vilified for saying
    • "As if the messianic settlers who plotted to blow up the Dome of the Rock are all that different from the messianic settlers who built Jewish-only communities in the Galilee."

      Do you really not understand the differences here? Just for starters, do you think Jewish only communities in the Galilee are somehow different than those in the center, coastal region or the Negev?

      If you argue that Dome of the Rock terrorists are 'not so different' than boho suburbanites looking for 'quality of life' then you are strengthening some very extreme factions in this debate. Would you also argue that Palestinians who blow up civilians are 'not so different' than those who do not? And which camp exactly would be strengthened by that argument?

  • Green Party pres'l candidate misses crucial political opportunity by not talking up democracy in Israel/Palestine
    • Dear Jill Stein: having won your party's nomination on the basis of your own hard work, vision and proposals, you are guilty of not adhering sufficiently to the platform of your party. Please ditch any of your opinions and priorities that do not conform to that platform!

      Better she should follow the much Green-er ideas of the German Green Party and their international aid foundation, the Boll Foundation. They do great work in Israel and Palestine.

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