Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 908 (since 2010-07-16 14:37:21)


Showing comments 700 - 601

  • Two cheers for Beinart
    • Of course you are right Phil, and I've tried to support this position down here in the trenches below the tag. But surely you notice what happens? The hostility and rage directed against this sensible approach?
      The zealots on any side represent 'the zealots camp.' Phil and Beinart are on the other, together.

  • Beinart's 'Zionist BDS' will only help entrench the occupation
    • Annie, believe it or not, I think we are aligned here. As Phil would say, this is an opening.

    • Great analysis (though I disagree) but you left out something. Beinart is doing something quite routine: unifying the largest possible camp while trying to split the opposition. What I've witnessed (here and in radical circles) is an effort to adopt positions so extreme that they unify the opposition while leading to splits internally.

      So that's why folks are courageously pro-Palestinian as Chomsky and Finklestein are denounced as Zionist stooges, Gilad Atzmon is championed as a truth teller, and folks whose non- or anti-Zionism is insufficiently rabid are insulted without regard to their arguments.

      And now, enter Beinart, who tells folks eager to support the Palestinians but frankly weirded out by a lot of their (often non-Palestinian) supporters that they can do it, for reals, with way better languaging, more support from the mainstream, and the backing of large numbers of moderates.

      Excellent. That's called progress. It leads to political and social change.

  • Establishment Jews attack Beinart over settlement boycott call
    • Beinart is claiming space for a more muscular version of J Street politics, more activist, grassrootsy and franky, honest than what J Street can deliver. Because Beinart doesn't have to do the dirty politics of it.... which is great.
      The Zionist language turns me off, but I'd love to get into some direct action with him. Maybe that's next?

  • As I read this, I cringe
    • "largely defeated both in Israel and within the American Jewish establishment"
      It's funny when 1SS supporters look at 2SS and consider them to be weak and defeated. As if Israel hasn't been successful at defeating all Palestinian initiatives regardless of what they represent.
      I wonder how many votes the 1SS folks get in the next Palestinian elections or among Palestinians in the next Israeli elections.

  • Beinart calls for boycott of settlements 'to save Israel'
    • Mooser with the ad hominem insults! Heaven forbid visitors think this is a site for adults.

    • It's really good to see this kind of militant effort directed against the part of Israel that occupies or supports the occupation. Sure, militant for liberals, but more evidence of the progress J Street and others are making possible.

  • 'Tablet' describes American veterans of IDF experiencing 'dual loyalty' issues
    • Calling them mercenaries shows a lack of knowledge about the actual conditions for Israeli draftees. Soldiers in Israel (and most conscripts in any country) get enough money for cigarettes and show polish, Its another example of pejorative and incorrect language used to elicit a strong emotion.
      His response has to do with other Israelis, or pro-Israeli American Jews, not understanding why he didn't remain in Israel. Most Americans don't actually care who served in what army, and most of those that do have at least some sense of veteran solidarity.

  • Gilad Shalit's father says, 'If I were Palestinian I'd kidnap soldiers'
  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • I'm truly laughing out loud. Really Danaa, "denunciations" bother you? You haven't ever engaged in a little denouncing yourself here and there?
      Atzmon and his supporters are a ball and chain on the leg of the Palestinian cause.

  • 'I refuse to join an army that has, since it was established, been engaged in dominating another nation': Interview with Israeli refuser Noam Gur
    • One of the really nice things about this - in comparison to past efforts - the translation into Arabic.
      Yes it is very hard - but thank god there IS a platform in Israel to offer support. The New Profile movement is one of the leaders, but there are others. Pity the poor fools who refused in the olden days, when the only support group that existed was Yesh Gvul, which formally is only connected to reservists.

  • MJ Rosenberg: why he is trying to stop the next war
  • The radicalization of Yossi Gurvitz
    • Great job bringing this guy here. He's right: the language of pro and anti Zionism is strange, mystifying. Zionism IS a spent force. On the right, they are simply fascist and borrow some of the language of historic Zionism. On the far left, they are fighting something that barely exists as a coherent ideology. The only real authentic Zionists worth debating are some old time academics and seriously old school labor party/kibbutz types and the three revisionists that Yossi mentions.
      In the USA, Zionism has more currency precisely because of the ignorance of the situation in Israel. The strongest (non Orthodox) Zionists are often those with the least awareness of the situation there.

      Time to look at the situation there as a puzzle with lots of pieces that need to fit together, not as some kind of holy war by the folks who 'get it' against the folks who 'don't get it.' (Note how that applies to a bunch of different folks...)

  • 'Commentary' says amount of US political money coming from Jews is 'staggering'
    • Most Jewish money is given by the same kinds of people for the same kinds of motives as other donors, large and small. I think the outsized influence of actual, influential pro-Israel primary dollars comes from the gatekeeping and early money function of that money.
      So looking at the totals is a bit misleading. Better to look at things like finance committee members for various campaigns, endorsements and donations by pro-Israel PACs along with the dates, etc. This post doesn't really go there, but that's where the influence plays out; making certain candidates credible in the first place.
      The focus on Jewish money as a % of the total obscures that, and is parallel to the fact that the vast majority of Jews vote mostly on domestic issues - just like the vast majority of all voters.
      What is interesting, is the behavior of the Jewish demographic. We are one of the very few white ethnic groups to be so solidly Democratic. (Can't think of any others...) Why is that? We give so much money in part because Jews are pretty well off (in the aggregate - some of us are pretty working class!), but vote more like African Americans.

  • 'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')
    • "The Israeli Reut Institute last year outlined an Israel advocacy strategy of driving a wedge between the liberal Zionist and the extreme left in Israel and abroad."

      I read this and couldn't believe my eyes! I thought that was the strategy pursued on this site by Avi, Mooser, Chaos, Danaa and so many others. I guess they are in league with the Reut Institute.

      (Just using my 'who benefits' eyeglasses.)

  • How Tony Judt broke with exclusivist ideology
    • Pol Pot's ideology was never shared by very many people. It was a dictatorship. Comparing an average Israeli with an individual dictator/mass murderer explains a lot. It's not that you support this or that political vision, it's that you hate Israelis as politically inferior beings no better than Pol Pot.
      That'll win hearts and minds....

    • I've no idea what you are getting at. Like most people here, and J Street and many others, I oppose war and saber rattling with Iran.
      If ever I'm accused of coming across like Obama, I'll take that as a compliment. He's a gifted speaker.

    • It seems to me that rejecting Zionism is much more effective when you can muster some empathy with Zionists, as human beings. Zionism is not an irrational, monstrous ideology completely out of step with history as we know it. It is rather entirely consistent with a previous era, firmly moored in place as the world has moved on. You don't serve the cause of liberation by pointing at people and screaming at them that they are simply wrong, end of story, but by opening the doors to transformation that remains internally consistent.
      The bridge leading away from Zionism for Jews and Israelis is still very Jewish, and will remain tribal.

  • Young activist disrupts AIPAC panel about 'Israel on Campus'
  • J Street's call for Iran diplomacy earns ire of Jewish establishment
    • If somehow war with Iran is averted, J Street will deserve some of the credit. But now lets hear from those who claim that J Street is just another version of AIPAC....

  • Finkelstein's prescription for a two-state solution is not realistic
  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • You really need help here! The word 'Anti-Semitism' has NOTHING to do with speakers of Semitic languages. There is no such thing as a formalized bias against 'Semites' as speakers of Semitic languages. The word Semite fails even as racism, since speakers of Semitic languages are arguably from different races; it's a linguistic term, and quite irrelevant.
      But hey. You think that this word refers to a non-existent form of bias. Got a dictionary source for that? A founding document of the anti-all Semitic language speakers movement? The name of an organization dedicated to promoting the oppression of Semitic language speakers?

      Finally.... the term itself was born as political. It can't 'become' political when it has been that way from the start. But fine, don't trust my analysis. Go read Professor Joseph Massad..... link to
      "The defensive claim made by some that Arabs cannot be "anti-Semitic" because they are "Semites" is equally erroneous and facile. First, I should state that I do not believe that anyone is a "Semite" any more than I believe anyone is an "Aryan", and I do not believe that Arabs or Jews should proudly declare that they are "Semites" because European racists classified them as such. "

    • You apparently do not know what the word "antisemitism" means. Here's a hint: it's got nothing at all to do with 'speakers of Semitic languages.' It's entirely, exclusively about Jews. It's a word invented to refer to Jews. And that's been true since the word was purposefully invented, well before the Likud or AIPAC existed.

    • Thanks Phil. Things are improving here.

  • Just in time for Netanyahu visit, neocon ad in 'NYT' attacks MJ Rosenberg and CAP
  • ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event
    • What's the word - "l'hitamem"? To "make oneself innocent" in violation of the actual facts? Danaa can't really be arguing that there are no limits. But to say that 'limits and purity are the problem' is to pretend otherwise.
      My moral basis for struggle is to look at every group and every human being as a subject, not an object. That includes the Palestinians, the Israelis, the Jews - everyone. And it excludes folks like Atzmon, and Zundel, who aid and abet the transformation of Jews from subjects to objects of struggle. And of course it excludes the right wing Zionists who treat Arabs, Palestinians and Muslims the same way, performing mental gymnastics to treat a group as less viably entitled to full consideration.

    • Silly comments about people's names or handles is what passes for discourse here. Much more satisfying - if you're a bully!

    • Danaa, you do a good job of explaining where you come from.
      "And when I woke up, the anger over having been sold a bill of goods was, well, like that of anyone’s who escaped from the clutches of a sect. "
      I get, I can empathize and recognize that there is a community of people who share this sensibility. Please know that it is possible to grow up in Israel, suffer the indoctrination, become an anti-Zionist, and yet not fall victim to this anger. The rage and anger introduce a distortion that in Atzmon's case renders him beyond the pale. For many of us, the 2k years of Jewish history are the alternative to Zionism, not any sort of logical conclusion. Interestingly - that's the same view of the political Zionists, who were pledged to breaking with what came before, not continuing it.

    • Actually hophmi, MW is not a great place for Atzmon, and you know better. Crap here if you like, but at least it ain't counterpunch.

    • "We do not know if it was through bribery or threats" but that won't stop us from insinuating that it is one of these two things. Heaven forfend it stem from principled opposition to giving a stage to a noted anti-Semite. Even having the ADL as an opponent can't give Atzmon a hechsher.

  • Lobby's bedfellows: CAP's new PR outfit also worked for Sheldon Adelson's pet project
    • You've linked Adelson to Birthright to Rabinowitz Dorff as if it's an unbroken change. Casual readers might not realize that:
      Rabinowitz Dorff are firmly on the Dem side of things, and Adelson couldn't care less for them. He would probably veto them on the grounds that they work with J Street professionally.
      Birthright was founded by a lefty Israeli politician Yossi Beilin (last of Meretz) with funders who are not on the right (Steinhardt and Bronfman). Adelson is a latecomer. Readers might want to know that Adelson's recent fascination with crazy right wing politics is relatively recent (last few years), while Birthright emerged in 1994.

      This piece seems (to me) to implicitly make the charge that in order to curry favor with Zionist Jews, CAP is turning to a communications firm linked with far right Republican funder Adelson, proving that CAP is willing to betray Democratic principles and consort with the enemy over a shared bond to Israel. That's just not an accurate reading of the situation.
      Better to say that R/D as a firm is known for the intersection of Jewish, liberal and Democratic causes, and as such it makes perfect sense for them to work with Birthright (founded by a liberal) and with CAP. The Adelson connection is tacked on for shock value. It's.... irrelevant.
      Not that I care about R/D, CAP or Adelson. But pick on them for better reasons than this.

  • Surprise-- courageous Elizabeth Warren is craven on Israel lobby
    • I disagree with Warren's stated position. It wouldn't surprise me if she does too, and just had a consultant borrow language from AIPAC. The goal is to NOT discuss this issue (if you are Warren) and you do that by coming up with a position likely to be identical to that of her opponent, Scott Brown. Not having a position, or having one less loyal to Israel, would make it an issue.
      I'm all in favor of going after electeds for being awful on I/P. But let's be strategic - go after them when it makes sense. Warren is conforming here, not leading. And while that doesn't make her any better than other Senators - it doesn't make her any worse. And so, I disagree with anyone singling her out over this issue. Feels.... besides the point.
      That said, yes, the boilerplate text she has as a 'position' is gross. Boring, typical, non newsworthy gross.
      I hope she wins!

    • Annie, do you understand why politicians bother to have positions at all? Given how our system works?
      The goal of any politician is to get rid of conversations that don't advance the message. Lots of text on a website has zero to do with that. If Warren wins, it will be because her messaging on Wall Street works. Any deviation from the most normative, centrist Dem line will cost her votes and be distracting.
      I wouldn't venture to make any guesses about her actual opinions based on what her website says, and there is little evidence that f.p. concerns matter to her very much at all.

    • Warren can have a lot more influence over Wall St. than foreign policy. I expect she wants to remove I/P from the table in her election campaign. Any reason for why that wouldn't be the smartest political strategy?

  • NGO 'industry': a boon or bane in Gaza?
    • Eva, I don't disagree. But this is an opportunity for US citizens willing to take a risk, to engage in what might be called 'nonviolent civil obedience'. I've been willing to participate in such an effort for awhile - but as Pam notes, it's hard to get anything off the ground.
      It would be fantastic if an organization based in the US raised funds to transfer to Gaza based nonprofits with donors/staff agreeing in advance about the risk and likely consequences. I'd certainly give time, a small amount of $, and my public voice for such a project.
      It's just.... hard. Legal fees. Paperwork. Technical infrastructure. But it can be done. And despite the unfairness of it all, being a white Jew (and Israeli) probably would offer a measure of protection.

    • Ah, Chaos. You have no idea what you're talking about!
      link to
      But you can fix that. Find someone from ANERA, PCRF, MECA and they'll school you.
      The existing hurdles are complicated by the fear of terrorism flavored charity, but they exist independently of it.

    • Would love to chat with your about your idea of making it easier for individuals to donate directly to Gaza based NGO's. I've given a similar idea a lot of thought and might have some ideas for you. It's important.
      There are some serious difficulties for any US based fiscal sponsor to help with this project, because of very strict laws and ramifications if a dime ended up in the wrong hands. HOWEVER if individuals were willing to create a new 501c3 and take the legal risk, it could work. Another idea is to use a European flow through fiscal sponsor, and give up the tax benefit.

  • Hoenlein says irresponsible 'J Street' threatens Jewish unity (and survival)
    • +1! Note: Many Recons (Kaplanian Jews) have given up on the chosen people stuff.

    • Far left and far right: united in seeking the end of a small Israel, united in seeking to erase the political space that J Street inhabits, united in wanting to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian majority state. So sad.

  • Jewish social justice groups add a day in Palestine to Israel tour
    • Kudos to Avodah and AJWS. They took a difficult moment and made it a win on so many levels - responding to their community, empowering the kids, improving the trip, etc.
      Would be great if this led to other trips to Israel including time spent in the West Bank, learning from and interacting with Palestinians.

  • Video: Protesters are attacked at an 'Israel Alliance' event at U of New Mexico
  • Assault on Beinart begins with poll claiming young American Jews love Israel
    • Lookie folks, turns out bullies love the feeling of community support! Aww. It's like, all they really want is to be loved. Me - I'll go with not being a bully.

    • Read the Shlomo Zand book again. Once you take away the discriminatory laws, you still have.... Israelis. Take away the Zionism and you still have Israel. Non- and anti-Zionist Israelis have been around from the beginning. Most of them have never advocated for the non-existence of Israel. By way of example, none of the Palestinian Israeli parties in the Knesset seem to want that. Even arch-nationalist Azmi B'shara talked about Israel as 'a state of all its citizens.'
      Personally, I'd be pretty darn pleased if the Israeli ID would finally say 'Israeli' under nationality.

      Mooser, you are just a bully. Seems to be all you got.

    • My observation is that some Zionists feel that Zionism was conditionally justified by past circumstances (Holocaust, etc.) and they'd like to continue with a relationship to that old version.
      But they also recognize that most of what passes for Zionism or Zionist policy today is completely wrong and immoral. Personally, I'm happy to make the trade.... they can maintain the illusion of a conditionally moral Zionism that existed once upon a time in exchange for de-Zionification of the State of Israel. Myths and illusions aren't really the realm of policy or international relations.

    • Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is the great Jewish question of our age. (It's other things besides of course.)
      Growing up in Israel, I feel like the more attached I became to an overtly 'Jewish' identity, the angrier I became at the damage Israel was doing to it. The more Jewish I feel, the more anti-Zionist. And strangely, the more Jewish the more I want Israel to overcome it's roots and treat all citizens with full equality (or even, affirmative action that begins the long process of reconciliation with Palestinians.)
      There's a growing community in the Jewish world that fears more for the 'Jewish soul' than for the security of the state of Israel. Beinart represents it well.
      (Whatever the Jewish soul is.... don't ask me!)

  • The end of the 'two-state solution' is the beginning of a more just future
    • Let us know when Jews living in Palestine or Palestinians living in Israel can join the PLO, as whites could join the ANC. Or when a 'Freedom Charter' style document that addresses the aspirations of both sides is adopted and accepted.

  • Wael Ghonim at Harvard: a key figure of the Egyptian revolution speaks truth to U.S. power
  • Norman Finkelstein slams the BDS movement calling it 'a cult'
    • Hophmi reflects what I heard back in 2001 at an ISM training in the West Bank. That said Hophmi, shame on your for talking about what people don't say. That's a weasel game. BDS folks are pretty clear that they think 'armed resistance' isn't a useful avenue for action, and in that sense they are nonviolent and de facto opposed to the armed struggle strategy. So what if they don't let themselves get dragged into denouncing other Palestinians? You'd think Israel would vastly prefer BDS to terrorism, maybe recognize the shift towards a nonviolent strategy as a step forward.

    • ahadhaadam, I have always heard this view from others on the left. One of the nice things about MW is how this view gets a fair hearing where we all see it.
      The BDS cult is in favor of 'ending' Israel while at the same time using rights based language so as to avoid having to say 'we want to end Israel.' That in itself doesn't mean BDS isn't sometimes a useful tactic, but such thinking taints the entire movement with a kind of unwholesome, fanatic gleam in the eye. It's off-putting, self-defeating, and a real gift to the pro-occupation right wingers, who easily bounce off it to solidify their own supporters.

    • Liam isn't trolling, and you saying so with an ad-hominem attack (as opposed to a rebuttal) is just another example of the purist bullying so rampant on this site.
      That said, Liam, no idea why you think there's a chance to end the conflict now. It's kind of a mess no matter which solution you ultimately support....

  • New book explores the history of 'New Jewish Agenda'
    • @Empiricon you are right. Argh. Mea culpa.

    • Since I know Ezra, let's clarify: anti Zionism and anti-Semitism aren't the same and he isn't saying that anywhere. Ezra is not a Zionist. Speaking for myself, of course the Nakba was a crime. Duh. But why pick on folks for what they said when there is such a wide range of nitpicking for what they didn't say?

    • Ezra, I hope you are following the comments here. I know you, what a good person you are, how decent your politics are. That your excellent work is worthy of publication is a no brainer. That fools would stomp all over it here -proves a sad point. I look forward to hearing from you what conclusions you draw from this.
      I'll definitely buy a copy of this book. Good luck!

  • How Sarah Schulman managed to get 'Pinkwashing' into the New York Times
    • Oh yes. And this:
      "It must translate "manifesto culture to soundbite culture." In doing so, it must avoid "heightened rhetoric, highly ideological language," and academic language, including old left language."

      In other words, the small tenters must give way to a broader understanding of what it means to be pro-Palestinian rights. Schulman understands that some of the folks most bitterly denounced here on MW are in fact key to expanding the Palestinian message in the United States - precisely because they don't give a shit if the gatekeepers (of ANY side) like or don't like what they have to say.

  • 'Romeo and Juliet' and the politics of occupation
    • "and the young lovers having been "star-crossed" would have explored the intersections of power, privilege, class, race, sexuality, access, and politics that hover heavily over everything in this life."

      Really? I think they would have done exactly what you and Khalid did. And that's just fine. Not everything has to be about everything. There's something to be said for not being an anti-systemic crit-theorist who runs about problematizing everything.

      That said, nice writing.

  • So the U.S. military doesn't want to attack Iran and neither does Israel. Who does?
    • MRW, since eee was able to excommunicate Jews from the tribe I wonder if I can use my 'Jew-thoriteh' to hereby grant permission to all and sundry to oppose the war with Iran.

      Ta da! and good luck.

    • Exactly. There's a huge difference between folks who feel good about risking a war with Iran and those that don't. How big a difference? Ask the folks who might be killed in a war.
      It does no one any good to conflate Israelis and American Jews in general with the much smaller faction that is beating the drums for war. Yet it happens here quite a bit.

  • 'NYT' gives Israelis its magazine to make an attack on Iran 'normal'
    • I read it as confirmation that attacking Iran was stupid and that Barak/Netanyahu are insane AND out of sync with the Israeli military establishment.

  • The courage to refuse: the 10-year anniversary of the Combatants’ Letter
    • Yesh Gvul. The Shministim of 1987. The Shministim of 2000. Courage to Refuse. It never seems to end.
      I always thought that for every refusenik, there must be thousands who support them, and that an increase in the number of refuseniks must mean that the end of the occupation is near. But it seems that these brave action signal the desperation and isolation of the Israeli left, who are unable to move the needle using legal, electoral, protest, solidarity, or internationally based strategies.
      That's not a criticism. It's a sad comment. We've been trying for years using almost every possible means, and everything seems worse than ever.

  • The antiwar movement must rise again. Now
  • New additions to the Mondoweiss comments policy
  • Ynet manufactures new threat to promote Ben White book
    • I'm no Palestinian but I'm also not a Zionist. And equating the shorthand 'Pal' with the N word? Wow. Do you have any source, whatsoever, from an organization that addresses Palestinian issues in the West suggesting that 'Pal' is an offensive word?
      Hell.... if it turns out to be offensive, I'd stop using it. But I can't imagine where you got this from. Again, Google "Pal Solidarity" and you'll see it used all over the place.

    • Toivos, that's ridiculous. That would mean that is a racist website. Get a grip! Or better yet: use Google on "Pal Solidarity" and see how many pro-Palestinian groups use that shorthand.
      Are you a plant, here to make supporters of Palestinian rights look ridiculous?

    • annie, I've no idea why either of us mentioning Palestinian legislators. You started talking about them.
      The Palestinian mufti might not have said what some press has him saying. If so - that's fantastic. Love put that to rest. But.... there does appear to be some video...
      link to

      It's funny. You are so keen to oppose right wing Israeli sources, it looks like you can't tell if they are correct. Even a broken clock is correct twice a day. It sounds like you have no familiarity with the Hadiths relating to Jews and why they might be problematic.
      Why not go whole hog and oppose all religious extremism even if it emerges from the Palestinian side?

    • jaynot - you understood me. I'm saying that false accusations of antisemitism make it harder to stand up against actual instances of antisemitism.
      I don't know about dividing the Pal Solidarity movement. I don't know anyone who supporters the Hadith about killing Jews or Gilad Atzmon's ramblings. You'll never catch folks at the ISM talking that way, that's for sure.
      Annie, I'm in favor of peace, peace talks, talking to Hamas, not arresting PA legislators, etc. Not sure how that channels Bibi.

    • So silly. This hysterical nonsense makes it harder to point the finger at folks like Gilad Atzmon or the PA Mufti who cursed out the Jews at the recent Fatah anniversary day celebrations. (Makes you wonder if he knows that there are Jewish members of Fatah....)

  • A regular commenter on this site seeks a more temperate comment board
    • @tree - you got me. I was doing exactly what Avi was doing, and it is indeed very silly. Kind of you to notice.
      Assigning unspoken/unwritten motives, feelings and thoughts to others is a fool's game.

    • I value Palestinian voices here. Abir Kopti comes to mind. I wish there were more spokespeople from mainstream Palestinian organizations - political parties, national institutions, from Hamas to the People's Party to whatever. All the Arab parties in Israel. Speakers from the Palestinian diaspora in Lebanon, London, Egypt and the Gulf.
      It's not like welcoming the 'hinged' is some kind of insult against the 'unhinged.'

    • Or not. You AND Avi all together still don't represented a very great slice of 'reasonable interpretation land.' Do you think there are all these rules and boundaries, visible to you but invisible to others, and hence an important job? Don't say this, do say that, don't cross that line?
      It fits well with all the intuitive (=mind-reading) conclusions that pass for informed opinion. You didn't say X, so you must think Y. Alas, no matter how hard you try you only have my stated opinions to play with, not the ones I've kept to myself.
      But sure, go on inventing opinions and thoughts I don't hold and putting my name on them. Assure readers that your taste measurements are precise, and not, just possibly, of a piece with the malicious and vindictive manner used to treat anyone who dissents from your extremist version of the truth.

      You know, the intemperate stuff that Donald is quite rightly drawing attention to.

    • I never made light of other people's suffering. That's a delusional interpretation of yours that you represent as fact. If there's one thing you're proud of, it's the ability to channel what other people area feeling, their motives and unspoken assumptions. Could be a stage act.
      Nazareth is a great city, no matter how hard you try to belittle it.

    • Donald,

      If you're still tracking comments here - good for you. Of course the crazy ass invective and extreme views are counterproductive. Actual hasbara folks probably do a little Montgomery Burns hand rub when they see that stuff. Helps portray supporters of Palestinian rights as nutjobs.

      Phil, thanks for chiming in. What Donald is saying is so obvious.... the mean spirited, angry, and abusive posters like Mooser (to name just one out of many) come off like 2nd grade class clowns or middle school bullies.

  • Palestinian hackers occupy an Israeli government website
    • One of the legacies of Israel as an army with a state (as opposed to the other way around) is that vast amounts of proper state services are underfunded, poorly run, etc. and there is always a public outcry when the fail, as they inevitably do.
      This cycle happens with hospitals, building inspections, jails and prisons, the civilian police, labor laws, the operation of the stock market, and on and on.
      Just another reminder of all the wonderful things that might happen after Israel finally reaches an agreement to end the conflict.

    • Good to see those Zionist fire extinguishers get their comeuppance at last!

  • Palestinian youth 'fed up with illegitimate representation' to protest negotiations
    • Now that Hamas has joined the PLO and clearly given Abbas the go ahead to proceed with negotiations, and taking into account that Fatah and Hamas are the two dominant political forces in Palestine, it's strange to hear these folks talk about the will of the people.
      The only way they can do it is be defining the 'people' as including many who can't be physically present, millions of others living in a wide variety of circumstances. Take the refugees in Jordan - they vote in Jordanian elections. This group wants them to vote in Palestinian elections.
      I can think of only one other group that insists on this kind of representation, where people should be represented twice, once within a state they don't live in and a second time in the state where they reside.
      Of course, I'm being hypocritical. As a dual citizen, I enjoy this privilege, though I can't vote remotely in the Israeli elections as I could if I chose in the US elections.
      But I get it. I personally would like to see the PNC have open elections in some fashion, perhaps modeled on the way the Jewish Agency elects delegates from the diaspora.
      I'm not afraid of real democracy for Palestinians, Egyptians, or anyone. Democracy and self determination are strongly linked. The Palestinian nation deserves to have forums where being a Palestinian is enough to have a voice. I sure hope no one tries to get them to give up their dream of a Palestinian state that represents the Arab Palestinian people wherever they may live.

  • A Jewish voice left silent: Trying to articulate 'The Levantine Option'
  • Lieberman plan to strip Palestinian citizenship mirrors liberal demographic fear mongering
    • Munger, I'm with you. Genuine liberals (like Ben Ami, but not like Ross) are engaged in two related projects. The first, is to protect and extend democratic norms in Israel, including full equality for Palestinian citizens. The second, is to maintain Jewish demographic hegemony. The thing is... I don't think Ben Ami is making either of those conditional on the other.
      There's a tradition in Israeli politics to fight for two things that are somewhat in contradiction. (Fight the white paper as if there was no war; fight the war as if there was no white paper!)
      Liberals like Ben Ami aren't prophets. They know that Palestinians may someday outnumber Jews in the state of Israel someday. I think they are willing to take those odds, come what may. This divides them from conservatives or right wingers, who want to take steps now to prevent such a thing from occurring, ever.

  • Ynet: Support for Israel on American campuses is kerplunking
    • I agree with you about Latuff. But - one grandparent is quite enough to get you permission to live in Israel, so why wouldn't it be enough to make you feel involved?

  • Cooking magazines dish on new trend: labeling Arabic food Israeli!
  • 3-year-old arrested, leftist writer interrogated -- another day in the 'Jewish and democratic' state
    • If peoples had democratic control over immigration policy.... ah, but that's a Palestinian demand from the Mandate period. I bet Palestinians sure wish it had been granted.

  • Christian group dedicated to derailing divestment bankrolled by settler-funding philanthropy
  • Anti-Paulism
    • Since there is not a single Jewish idea that (some) other Jews don't find harmful/disagreeable, I don't think you need to look for a defining line. But when you use such a position to take a stand against the community or 'the' religion itself, then you are being an A.S.
      Above all, don't fall for the trap of reducing Jewish identity to religious faith.

  • Israeli intolerance: Palestinian citizens are 'barred' from governing coalition
    • @eeee: "Since the goal of the Arab parties is to dismantle Israel as a Jewish state, why would Zionist parties form a coalition with them?"

      This is a strange statement. The legislative priorities of the Arab and Arab-Jewish parties don't focus on dismantling Israel. In fact, their on record making sure that the parts of Israel with an Arab majority remain in Israel.
      The Rabin government included Arab parties 'on the outside' allowing him to demonstrate that there was nothing that crazy about including them, while at the same time bowing to the racist imperative that they not be formally included.
      But what gets me is - let's say that these parties want to use their power to 'de-Jewify' the Israeli state. Well, they can't without a lot more votes. But other parties that are anti-Zionist (the ultra-Orthodox) fit in with gov't coalitions without any fuss, and others that are explicitly against democratic principles (wanting to transfer Israelis, take away citizenship, take away the right to vote, etc.) are even allowed to pass some of their anti-democratic legislation.
      Denying the vibrancy of Israel's democracy, which includes Palestinian Israelis, is a foolish and counterfactual position to take. But so is denying the structural racism that reduces the political rights of Palestinian Israelis as a national minority, and as individuals.

  • 'Haaretz' columnist says 2-state solution is dead--and global community must help us toward equal rights
    • This reminds of one of Afif Safieh's bon mots: imagine a boxer emerging from the ring having lost a fight. He says to his fans - sure, I lost against this guy, but if only he was bigger and stronger, or there were two of them, surely I'd have won!
      The forces that can't even get a small state on 22% of Palestine are confident that 100% is within reach.

  • Nada, zilch, finito-- the media snowjob of mass proportions
    • There's a complete lack of awareness of how this fact-less conspiracy thinking makes them look. Of course, I see the same kind of nonsense on the far right lists I belong to - like the accusations that Obama is conspiring to destroy Israel, etc.
      For years, the Israeli right wing touted the meme that the mass media are simply liars. They use the phrase 'tishkoret' a play on the word for media 'tikshoret' to suggest that left wing self hating Jews are behind every story that casts the settlers or the occupation in a bad light. Ditto of course for nearly all the foreign press.
      This kind of thing isn't quite as far out there - but it's well on the way. It suggests a community that is in such a defensive crouch, it can't distinguish between real media criticism (what FAIR does) and mere unfounded suspicions.
      Next up: why does the media always pay attention to puppies and kittens? Could it be the MSM conspiracy?

    • You think it's some kind of secret?
      link to

    • Organizations like Hiddush have been working hard to make this story pop in U.S. for some time, because they (genuinely) oppose religious coercion in Israel. Lo and behold, Hiddush folks were at the Union of Reform Judaism's 'Biennial' recently, connecting and strengthening their ability to reach US audiences with stories from the religious wars inside Israeli society.
      Of course, I'm not privy to any FACTS from this or that media outlet to prove it, but it seems more likely that this story is popping now because folks who care about it have been pushing for some time and finally got their ducks in a row. All the events that didn't get press in the past help make the case to certain editors that they should finally pay more attention.

  • Ron Paul and the left
    • Given the choice, some of the most active here definitely prefer to attack an individual than engage with uncomfortable ideas. It's a hallmark of cultish extremism that exists on the pro-Israeli right wing as well.

    • +1 jnslater.

  • 'New York Times' implies anti-Zionism is anti-Semitic
    • You really should stop putting thoughts in my head and words in my mouth.
      Specifically: I'm not hostile to Palestinian nationalism. And in due course, when they enact laws privileging the right of return allowing descendents of refugees to become citizens over and above other kinds of immigrants it will be perfectly sensible.
      If you think 'Palestinian' isn't an ethnicity that we really have nothing to discuss. It's a nonsensical position. Like many other ethnicities it can be a bit porous on the margins, but.... yeah, Palestinians are ethnically defined. They are Arabs from Palestine. Or maybe 'Arab' is no longer an ethnicity either?

    • What does this have to do with policies? Many ethnic nationalist movements have no legal mechanisms to propose or enact policies - because they aren't in power. (Um... Biafra comes to mind.)
      Meanwhile, I'll continue feeling somewhere between warm and tolerant towards Palestinian nationalism. Even if they enact a restrictive immigration policy someday.

    • "ethnic nationalist movements tend to look alike and promote the same narrow xenophobic (and often racist) values."
      That's not quite true. Nationalist movements break down into all sorts of categories. Irish nationalism included a great many Protestants and wasn't exclusionary at all. South African nationalism was inherently inclusive - it was the antidote to tribal and racial differences. Could anyone argue that African American nationalism is somehow the sibling of racist American white nationalism? (I suppose one could, but that's an awfully ahistoric interpretation....)
      Nationalism is just another ism, with adherents existing along a spectrum of intensity and extremism. The violent fringe variants are no more natural and odious than the respectable and progressive versions.

  • Arendt: an Israel dependent on 'great powers' will always be 'precarious'
    • Ramzi, your comment reminds of Jeremy Ben Ami's recent statement he's going to worry about Israel, and Palestinian groups should worry about Palestine, and that's a reasonable division of labor. Not that I'm judging - it makes perfect sense.
      And I'll agree with you that it's past time for anyone who cares about the future of Jews in the Middle East to jettison the Zionist baggage. What Jews in Israel need isn't more nationalism, it's more long term thinking.

  • Two critiques of Norman Finkelstein
    • It was wrong of me to lose my temper and write to you as I did. From time to time I fail to live up to my own standards. My sincere apologies.
      I'm not Witty and it sort of irritates me that sometimes my views are conflated with his. I'm not a Zionist as he is.

    • Are you being intentionally thick? Yes. As I wrote above. This isn't that hard buddy. I think you are suffering from rubbed off ignorance and ill-will from some of the small-tent yahoos here. No offense, but given the clarity of each and every answer I'm giving you, you have to wonder what the problem is.... Talk about not taking 'yes' for an answer.... is this how you treat all supporters of equality? It's like a process designed to eliminate any but the most patient and forgiving, as opposed to one built for recruitment.

    • Tree, and I'm being consistent with anything I've ever written here:
      Yes. I'm a huge fan of an Israeli state that allows citizens to be 'Israeli' as opposed to 'Jew'. (There were some interesting court cases around this over the years.)
      Part of the reason I sometimes say 'Hebrew speakers of Palestine' instead of 'Jews' is because the Israeli Jews have more or less created themselves since 1948 as a thing quite distinct from, through related, to the religious or ethnic group we call Jews. They have land, culture, language, shared identity, etc. And the non Jews among them (Russians, migrant workers, and many Israeli Palestinians) prefer being Israeli over other options they might consider.

    • Tree, I accept the challenge you have bravely laid down. I'm withdrawing the (nonexistent) support I may have had for policies that discriminate.
      I still support the right to self determination for all parties though - Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Hebrew speakers. (This is the position that the PLO has adhered to since the 70s, and still does today.)

    • Unless I've missed something, Finkelstein was only 'mildly critical':
      Finkelstein had some mildly critical words for BDS and its “vagueness,” stating that in order for the movement to attract a wider audience, goals must be clearly stipulated – to include the final settlement, which in his view, should be based on the June 1967 borders, “two states for two peoples” and all that jazz.
      He's not saying BDS is wrong or bad, he's saying it lacks political clarity because many adherents insist on vagueness regarding end goals. Agree or disagree, it seems a fair point.

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