Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 18 (since 2010-03-03 03:52:40)

I sit on the steering committee of Friends of Sabeel of Northern California, and I am an Active Member of the East Bay/San Francisco chapter of Jewish Voice for Peace.

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  • Victim's daughter responds to anti-Arab attack in Oregon: 'I don’t want this to be considered a hate crime'
    • I deplore this incident and I hope that Mr. Abdel-Jawad is recovering -- physically and emotionally -- from this grievous assault. There is no question that Jason Kendall, the assailant, is mentally ill. There is also no question that this was a hate crime; to wit, Kendall was attacking a "Saddam Hussein looking guy" and trying to "save" the female "victim" of the Saddam-Hussein-looking guy. If the restaurant owners had been tall, blond, blue-eyed and light-skinned, bets are pretty good that Kendall would not have acted as he did. There's no reason why the complaint against Kendall cannot include hate crime and also mental illness.

  • Holocaust survivor and activist for justice Hedy Epstein dies at 91
    • Kate, to answer your question: As Citizen C wrote in his/her response above, "Hedy told me that her children had prevented her from seeing her grandchildren over her views".

      So precisely because Hedy fervently believed that "Never Again" means "Never Again for Anyone", her children disowned her and deprived their children of contact with their remarkable, compassionate, principled grandmother. Great shame on them. Perhaps her grandchildren will some day understand what an amazing person and role model their grandmother was. For their sakes I hope they do.

  • It is time to stop celebrating Jewish dissent in the Palestine solidarity movement
    • Some examples of character lynching, please? OTHER than JVP's absolutely disgraceful character assassination of Alison Weir last year, joined by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation and the American Friends Service Committee? Shame on them all. Alison Weir is an invaluable ally of Palestine -- and in no way a defender of "white privilege", which is an absurd characterization in her case.

      As for supporting a Zionist presence in Palestine, I don't believe that JVP has ever done that. Perhaps Chabon and Waldman have; it seems that they are recent converts to the Palestinian cause, so I'm prepared to give them a little leeway for the time being. The state of "Israel" is certainly an illegitimate political entity, starting with its inception.

    • When American Jews like Rebecca Vilkomerson, Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman publicly proclaim their support for BDS and their horror of Israeli behavior and policies, how does this "privilege" Jews? The problem here is that the United States supports Israel financially and diplomatically. Those who are attempting to redress this problem are trying to convince the U.S. population that Israel should not be supported by the U.S. How best to reach the U.S. population?

      Many U.S. supporters of Israel are Jews who reflexively support "the Jewish State" -- never mind that there is little about Israel that is Jewish. Many U.S. supporters of Israel are Christians and others who support Israel publicly because (1) they don't want to be thought of as "anti-Semitic" or (2) they feel guilty about the millions of Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis or (3) they honestly believe that Israel must be supported because the Bible says so or (4) Jews deserve a country after the Nazis murders during the WWII era or (5) supporting Israel will hasten the Second Coming. The United States supports Israel because they perceive support of Israel in their hegemonic interest to control the Middle East and its resources.

      What the Vilkomersons, the Chabons and the Waldmans are trying to do is to undermine the popular perception that supporting Israel is a good "Jewish" thing to do. They are saying that criticism of Israel is NOT anti-Semitic. They are saying things that -- like it or not -- many people will not accept from people who are not Jewish. Yes, this is a type of privilege. We may not like it or approve of it, but it's a reality. And the best way to deal with privilege is to USE it in the best ways possible.

      So rather than criticizing Vilkomerson et al. for "speaking from privilege" we need to support them and appreciate what they are trying to do. Because none of this is about Vilkomerson, Chabon or Waldman. It's about Palestine. It really is.

  • Two establishment Jews (Harvard and Microsoft) endorse boycott of Israel and 'single state' in Washington Post
    • Phil, you wrote:

      “I don’t believe that Palestinian solidarity activists will embrace this move, because it largely ignores their struggle; but for anyone who wants to transform the U.S. discourse and liberate the Jewish community from blindness, it’s welcome.”

      As a Palestinian solidarity activist, I find your remark unbelievably insulting. Do you not think that we Palestinian solidarity activists want to "transform the U.S. discourse and liberate the Jewish community from blindness"? Just what do you think we're working toward anyhow?

      Shame on you, Philip Weiss. With this alone, you give journalists a very bad name.

  • Pappé on apartheid, ideology, Chomsky, and the contradictions of "liberal Zionism"
  • Leading American writer Abulhawa is denied entry to Palestine
    • Great coverage, Annie!

      It's literally beyond belief that the U.S. tolerates this treatment of U.S. citizens from a country that is allegedly our "ally". It's hard for me to decide which country is worse -- Israel who commits the behavior or the U.S. who condones it by not calling Israel out on it.

      I agree completely with msross who said that "Israeli culture is so debased that they are not simply irrational, they are delusional and dangerously so".

      This REALLY needs to stop.

  • Chris Hughes brings down the curtain on neoconservative New Republic
    • To Bilal A: I cannot speak for Open Hillel or YJP, but I can say unequivocally that JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace) is NOT racially or religiously exclusive. Among JVP's active members are Muslims, Christians, Blacks and Asians, some of whom are in their 60s and 70s. "Diversity" is not only for the young.

  • Activists stage die-in at HP headquarters to protest complicity with Israeli attack on Gaza
    • Wonderful action protesting Hewlett Packard and powerful statement by Susannah Nachenberg! As Israel's sadistic behavior becomes increasingly well known, the numbers of U.S. Jewish activists like Nachenberg are also rising. Enough is enough, indeed, and has been for a very long time. Jews must no longer remain complicit in mass evil.

  • 'NYT' correction privileges Israeli military investigation over firsthand Palestinian accounts
    • For an excellent blog on how The New York Times deliberately gets it wrong ("What the New York Times doesn't tell you about Palestine and Israel"), visit TimesWarp.org, created six months ago by Berkeley, California journalist Barbara Erickson.

  • Reports: Abbas faults Israel for 'procrastinating,' says Palestine will move to join int'l organizations
  • 10 ways to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Americans
    • "We’ve been using military action for over a decade; it’s time for another approach."

      This country and the colonies that preceded it have actually been using military action for ALMOST FOUR CENTURIES, resulting in widespread destruction of nations, human beings, cultures and economies, including our own. What's stupendously incomprehensible is that alternative approaches have never been deemed acceptable by the U.S. "leadership". Plus ça change . . .

  • Let's have an election-year debate over US 'complicity' in Israel push for war
    • American, I'm asking. What in your view is the way to bust the US media wide open on the Israel issue? (A serious question.)

  • Famous Gaza killing featured in 'New Yorker' broke the ceasefire that led to 'Operation Summer Rains'
    • Taxi, I agree with everything you say -- and say so well -- except that Shani Boianjiu published her piece in The New Yorker and not in The New York Times. Suing The New Yorker . . . now there's a thought: if only I had a law degree.

      Many hats off to Annie Robbins for so eloquently challenging Shani Boianjiu and The New Yorker on their shameful and blatant denial of Israeli atrocities and Palestinian suffering and erasure. Annie is right: We cannot and will not forget.

  • A mother sends 'a message to the whole world' about the Palestinian will
    • It seems and has seemed to me that the one word that best describes Israeli attitudes and behavior vis-à-vis Palestinians is: SADISM. What's wrong with us that we tolerate and encourage this behanior? If Israel were a person, it would long ago have been confined to a psychiatric institution because it is a danger to itself and to others. Brava, Annie Robbins, for this inspiring account!

  • Olmert says 'superior powers' -- U.S. Israel lobby-- took him out in 2009
  • Knesset members celebrate latest E. Jerusalem settlement by posing on evicted Palestinian family's sofa
    • Woody,

      Thank you for your apology, but an apology is absolutely unnecessary!

      I think that it is incumbent upon all of us to support each individual's right to his or her property, whether that property is lost by war, by other types of theft, or by whatever means. And for sure, the cynical and manipulative use of the memory of the Holocaust by Israel and the Zionists is reprehensible.

    • Woody, it's important not to conflate Israel and Israelis with Jews. My Jewish family (and by extension, my daughters and their families) lost property during the Holocaust. And not only do I not support Israel, but I consider the self-described Jewish country of Israel an illegimate political entity ever since its "creation" in 1948 -- or from whenever one wish to count. Jews and Israel are not the same thing!

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