Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 15 (since 2011-12-09 01:19:24)

Zio-skeptic since the 1970s. Goy by birth.

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  • 'Ex-Neocon' -- Scott McConnell looks back on 20 years of ideological tumult
    • Most right of centre French, and some left of centre ones too, consider De Gaulle the greatest leader France has ever had. The man wrote awesome French prose. A private Christian, he fully accepted France's secular state. He had a defective daughter who was institutionalised. He survived WWI mainly because he was a German POW. He disliked and distrusted the English speaking people, and FDR patronised him. These experiences explain why De Gaulle vetoed the UK's 1963 application to join the EU, and partly seceded from NATO in 1966. De Gaulle was cool to Israel. I once thought that this could be entirely blamed on the antisemitism of old French Catholic families, but I now see him as having been 30-50 years ahead of his time.

      During the Cuban Missile Crisis, De Gaulle let JFK know that the USA was a firm ally, even unto WWIII. The Soviets got wind of this, and the Soviet ambassador to France threatened De Gaulle with nuclear annihilation. De Gaulle replied "Sir, in that case you and I will die together" and escorted the ambassador to the door.

      De Gaulle practiced a stern personal integrity of a kind that Americans in the age of Trump and HRC can only daydream about.

    • Since the 1970s, I have joked that American conservatives walk away from me because I support Palestine, do not agree with Zionism, oppose the War on Drugs, and the TPPA, and see American interventions in the ME as a failure. That American progressives shy away from me because I am very warm to capitalism (but hate crony capitalism), and am pro-life. I have been warm to the Libertarian movement for decades. In recent years, I find myself liking Eisenhower more and more.
      I thought I was a hopelessly eccentric and idiosyncratic soul (albeit an unrepentant one). That was because I had never heard of Scott McConnell's name. I now see that McConnell and I are kindred spirits. Thank you Philip Weiss for helping me understand myself better.

  • Sam Harris defends his silence on Gaza slaughter (or tries to anyway)
    • If there is no God, there is no Covenant. If there is no Covenant, there is no Chosen People. If there is neither Covenant nor Chosen People, then Zionism has no justification, and Ashkenazi Jews should extinguish their marginality via intermarriage with Christians and educated secular Muslims. I have no time for the assertion that the Jewish God does not exist, followed by the argument that the Palestinians deserve neither human rights nor sympathy, because they are economically and technologically backward. This is colonialist triumphalism of a very ugly kind.

    • It is a stark fact that the conventional bombing of Japanese cities, 1944-45 may have killed about 1 million people. The fire bombing of Tokyo on 1 August 1945, the bombings of Dresden and of Hamburg were utterly apocalyptic, and will be strongly condemned once the USA and UK weaken sufficiently.

  • 'Dear American Jewish community, It's time to talk about Zionism'
    • The IDF in Gaza reminds me of the French army's response to the Algerian war of independence, 1954-62. The French won the battle, in good part by their willingness to employ inhumane methods and to censor the domestic press. But they lost the war.
      Zionism is an attempted colonialist solution to a European sociological problem called (not very accurately) antisemitism. As such, Zionism is doomed as all of European colonialism has been doomed. I reached this conclusion in the 1970s. The fall of National Party rule in South Africa bears out my thinking here.
      I do not agree that the IDF is genocidal. But I do agree that Israel has become an apartheid regime, based on a deep disdain for Moslem Arabs.
      I support Iron Dome and the destruction of the Gaza tunnels. But I condemn in the strongest terms the argument that because Hamas allegeldy uses human shields, and because the use of human shields contravenes international law (I do not believe that international law applies wars of liberation), then the IDF is blameless when civilians die in Gaza. When fighting against colonialism, one uses the weapons at hand, and a very common weapon in anti-colonial struggles is the fact that many voters in the colonial power are people with a conscience.

      It is very curious that the branch of Judaism that has seen most clearly that there is something fundamentally wrong with Zionism, is the haredim, esp. Naturei Kara and Satmar.

  • U.S. casts lonely vote against establishing war crimes inquiry in Gaza
    • People libel people. People cannot libel a collective entity, much less a nation-state. And criticism of public policy, even wrong-headed criticism grounded in factual errors, is not libel.

  • The swan song of the Israeli left
    • Today, for the first time in my life (I can be very very slow on the uptake...) I saw that Deir Yassin was a pogrom. Sabra and Shatilla was a pogrom.

    • "...it’s quite possible that in the very near future, we’ll need to hide Arabs in our homes as the militias of hawkish right-wing politicians Naftali Bennett, Ayelet Shaked and Avigdor Lieberman come to drag them out and round them up in the city square. "

      Reading those words filled my mind with a terrifying and deeply nauseating thought. There is a good chance that by 2020, Likudniks and/or the IDF will have unleashed pogroms against Palestinians. The people who experienced pogrom after pogrom will become the perpetrators of pogroms. I was overcome with a desire to cry.

  • Gingrich says Palestinians are an 'invented people'
    • But the Jews themselves are also a bit "invented," especially if one believes in the Kazar business. (I am not qualified to have an opinion on Kazaria.) Can one truly say that the Ashkenazim, Sephardim and Mizrahim are all the "same people"? And the Jews of East Africa?

  • The case against circumcision
    • The link below is to an article that powerfully refutes the claim that the randomised clinical trials support mass circumcision in Africa as an AIDS-fighting strategy:

      http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/23477339/1441224426/name/JLM_boyle_hill.pdf

      It also is a raw fact that HIV and other STDs are more common in the USA (where adult men are heavily circumcised) than in continental Europe and Japan (where only Moslems are circumcised).

      The claim is only that if a man is circumcised and doesn't use condoms, he is less likely to catch HIV from an infected woman on any given sexual act. What if circumcised men interpret that as a licence to have unsafe sex? It is also quite possible that all circumcision accomplishes is delaying the inevitable. We cannot determine that from the extant evidence, because the trials were cut short after only 6 months. They should have been run for 5, better yet 10, years.

      Every village commissary in Africa should stock free condoms, paid for by Bill and Melinda Gates. That might save lives. Pruning willies will not.

    • I am well aware of Matthew Taylor's writings on this tender topic. I am an intactivist who takes a close interest in Jewish intactivism, even though I am not Jewish. I believe that intactivism cannot win in the USA until American doctors and medical school profs firmly discourage routine circumcision. I believe that American medicine will not cross this bridge until liberal and secular Jews fully accept that brit milah can be a free adult choice. Jews will not cross that bridge unless and until
      Jewish intactivists convince a fair fraction of Canadian and American Jews. Hence I see helping and supporting American Jewish intactivists as a moral imperative.

      The large North American Jewish community will have to come to terms with the fact that many Jews outside of Israel and North America have quietly abandoned brit milah sometime in the last 150 years. "Uncircumcised Jew" is NOT an oxymoron!

      Let me reiterate that intactivism is NOT about forbidding circumcision. It is NOT about forcing devout Jewish women to marry intact spouses. Intactivism only wishes that circumcision take place after the 18th or 21st birthday, so that the owner can fully consent to it, after being informed of the potential sexual drawbacks. Delaying circumcision until the owner had attained his majority would also greatly enhance the ability of the circumcised penis to serve as a bodily sign of faith, commitment and loyalty. To circumcise at 8 days of age only attests to the faith etc. of the father, a much lesser thing. If it proves very difficult to convince young Jewish men to have a bris of their own free will, that would be telling evidence that circumcision indeed does have sexual drawbacks.

      Finally, there are Jewish men who are angry about the fact that the faith of their ancestors required that the most sexual part of their bodies undergo a minor operation. And the number of Jewish men who feel this way will rise over time, because of the availability and quality of intactivist prose on the internet. Most of all, given present-day mores, it is easy for a young unmarried nonorthodox Jewish woman to experience intercourse with an intact man. More than a few Jewish young women are hedonists and blog about it. The result will be more and more Jewish mothers who will refuse to let their infant sons go through brit milah.

  • Jewish publication says Jews give half of Democratic money and a third of Republican money
    • The fraction of the American voters who are Jewish is declining because of low Jewish birth rates. We do not have hard data on the importance of campaign contributions by self-identified Jews, altho I would not be surprised if Jews give 25-40% of all personal campaign contributions. (Ms Streisand, would you please come to the stage and collect your award?) For that matter, we do not have hard data on how many American Christians believe that Israel is part of God's plan for our time, and that the Jews are still the Chosen People. I know that some Americans definitely believe this, especially evangelical Christians. I know that some American Roman Catholic bishops and intellectuals are pro-Israel and philosemitic because they are ashamed of the historical trashy anti-semiticism of Roman Catholic peasants and artisans. I also know that quite a few Americans view Arabs and Moslems with contempt, to a point that anybody who annoys Arabs and Moslems must be doing something right. This ignores the fact that quite a few Palestinians are Christian Arabs.

      I have come to a tentative conclusion that I think is similar to Henry Knorr's above. While Jews are 2% of all Americans, they make up 10% or more of what the Brits call the "chattering class." The movers, shakers, and opinion makers. Newspapers, TV, film, leading public policy academics. You cannot be a respected member of the New York, Boston, Washington, and LA chattering classes if you disagree with Zionism, or take serious exception to Israel's actions. Your phone calls are not returned, you don't get invited to the cool dinner and cocktail parties, your opeds are rejected, you are not invited to address the CFA and the Trilateral Commission, you can't publish in Foreign Affairs, etc etc. Note that the views of a person of the stature of Noam Chomski do not get much of a hearing. My very Catholic brother has told me that my Zion-skepticism is beyond the pale. My thesis adviser in grad school was shocked by my refusing to buy into "Israel right or wrong, because it is a democracy and its enemies are Bedouins under the skin."

  • Kafka was wrong about circumcision
    • "Uncircumcised Jew" is not an oxymoron.
      The Qoran is totally silent about any obligation to circumcise.
      Jews get Nobel prizes despite being circumcised, not because of it. Last I checked, many/most first rate Jewish scientists are a rather secular lot.
      The circumciser's scalpel removes more than just the foreskin. Not infrequently, a cut boy grows up to be a man resistant to common sense about the natural male genitalia enhance the sexual experiences of both genders. That resistance can be seen as a form of amputation...

    • Roman Catholicism forbad circumcision until 1951, when the Pope said it was OK to circumcise to treat problems that could not be treated in any other way. American Catholic hospitals immediately declared open season on the American Catholic foreskin, an open season that persists to this day.

    • The Arabic word meaning circumcision appears nowhere in the Koran. Islamic circumcision is a custom. not a COMMAND.

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