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  • The List: Cuomo's anti-BDS executive order is a first amendment nightmare
    • I love how through this entire piece you take it as a given that the executive order will be found unconstitutional.

      Other states have enacted similar anti-BDS provisions—although admittedly through state legislatures, not executive orders—and so far no legal challenges have managed to stand up.

      The reason is simple. The order doesn't infringe on your 1st Amendment right to a boycott. It simply says that if you actively avoid doing business with Israel, New York won't do business with you. A company does not have a right to a contract from the state of New York. Refusing to do business with Israel isn't a form of "speech," it's an action that the government has decided is harmful to American interests.

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • She was sent to the principal for threatening to send out the name of a classmate who unfollowed her.

      While her tweets are vile and perhaps not surprising from a high school girl who wants to be fed "fascist tears," that's not what landed her in hot water.

      She is clearly desperate for attention, and guess what, she got it. I'm sure she's laughing about how easy it is to get 15 minutes of fame.

  • Trump proposal to ban Muslims from US relies on debunked poll from pro-Israel think tank
  • 'Replace' the mosques? Once again, 'NYT' soft-pedals Israeli extremism
    • I'm surprised Annie didn't know that. Doesn't she read every word of my posts before letting them through moderation?

    • Their scriptures mention it because of the Jewish connection to the place as the site of the Foundation Stone.

      It's all crude plagiarism.

    • It is you are dishonest and soft-pedaling the Islamist supremacism behind this "dispute."

      The only reason that the mosque stands there is because the Temple did at one point. That spot would have no significance to anybody were it not for the Jewish scripture's sanctification of it.

      I don't get you Phil -- regardless of what you would like, you are a Jew. Why do you defend people's right to discriminate against you? What's in it for you to demean yourself so pathetically as to urge others to exclude you from your own religious heritage?

      All the principles of "tolerance" and "freedom" about which you sermonize tri-weekly are hollow tripe: you don't even expect them to applied to yourself and your compatriots.

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
    • Probably the only time I have found myself agreeing with Philip Weiss.

      WASPs are the only group it is socially acceptable to be prejudiced against or mock. WASPs are much more vulnerable than Jews in this respect.

  • Long Island synagogue marks High Holidays with thanks to Israeli soldiers in Gaza war
    • Mr. Roth writes,

      "By any objective measure, this “operation” was a veritable massacre"

      Hmm, what is an "objective measure"? I'm not sure exactly, but it sure as hell isn't your personal opinion.

      If adopting a pro-Israel stance keeps away Israel-revilers like Mr. Scott Roth, that is a compelling reason for all synagogues to drape their foyers in Israeli flags.

  • Meet the teenage girls behind the viral photo from Nabi Saleh
    • Funny. They look whiter than most Israelis. A lot whiter, really.

      Certainly upends the "evil white colonizer" versus "poor brown victim" paradigm.

      This must be disappointing to their many fans around the world!

  • It's not bigoted to call out the Israel lobby over Iran Deal
    • You are absurd. Of the 54 automatic votes against it, none of them are Jewish. Some of the biggest supporters of the Iran Deal are Jews -- Feinstein and Sanders are Jewish. In the House, the longest serving Jewish member backed it.

      Schumer being Jewish has nothing to do with it; he is no more susceptible or not susceptible to the Israel Lobby. Tablet was referring to the ugly social media eruption tarring him as loyal to Israel instead of the US.

  • University of Illinois Chancellor steps down as judge upholds Salaita lawsuit against school on 1st amendment grounds
    • I agree that all those departments should be removed, not just American Indian studies.

    • Sorry: I meant pragmatically helpful up there :P

      If you could publish this comment, or better yet, just make the correction to the original, I'd be appreciative.

    • University of Illinois is not responsible for tanking the American Indian Studies Department. First of all, it goes without saying that such a department is utterly useless and does not teach students anything pragmatically wasteful or intellectually worthwhile.

      It is a crime against the Illinois taxpayer that "Dr." Salaita was going to be paid $85,000 per year to rant against Israel and the United States.

      But what harmed the program most of all was the retaliatory boycott of UI! Yes, that's right. The UI American Studies department was harmed by its own colleagues who sought to somehow punish Chancellor Wise and the Board for their decision!

      This backfired, as one UI professor wrote about on Savage Minds (an anthropology blog):

      "It is important to note that the boycott has not harmed the vigorous exchanges in the STEM departments and colleges. Instead, the boycott has hit hard on vulnerable humanities and humanistic social sciences, especially those in the interdisciplines such as gender, women’s and ethnic studies. Now the former university system president Bob Easter has forecast new austerity measures, telling us: “Some programs will not survive.”"

      http://savageminds.org/2015/07/28/waiting-in-the-neoliberal-university-the-salaita-case-and-the-wages-of-an-academic-boycott/

  • Palestinian forced to strip to underwear before attending briefing at Israeli Embassy in Washington DC
  • Sanders risks losing left over unprogressive views of Palestine -- Washington Post
    • Yeah but it doesn't matter whether Sanders in particular is representative of his base on Israel/Palestine. If the base really turns against Israel, it will eventually spawn a winning candidate who shares that view.

      However, I don't think anyone except the extreme far-left is really turning so decisively against Israel.

      Against the occupation maybe, but against Israel I don't think so.

  • 'This is our Israel, this is for the Jews. No Palestinian should come to Israel': A Palestinian-American's story of being detained at Ben Gurion airport
    • Correct me if I am wrong, but Israel and the US do not have an automatic visa agreement. You are not automatically entitled to enter Israel because you have an American passport, just as an Israeli cannot automatically enter the US with an Israeli passport.

      Mr. Kourey did not get a visa from the Israeli consulate in the US, and thought that just because he had an American passport he was "entitled" to enter the country. Well, not so.

      Even from Father Kourey's own testimony here, he basically just started waiving the American passport in their face and throwing a temper tantrum.

      "Agent: “No no, you belong with the Palestinian people. This is our Israel, this is for the Jews.""

      No Israeli talks like this. This story has BS written all over it.

  • In wake of January attacks, French Muslims have been demonized in manufactured 'clash of civilizations'
    • I do enjoy many of the comments I read. A lot are personal attacks and recycled tropes about Hasbara and Zio-bots and more childish terms, but many are really well thought out and offer a perspective that, while I don't agree with, at least helps me see the other side.

    • I don't understand. Yes, the West has killed a lot of people. There is no denying it.

      But would these peoples in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have done any differently had they been strong enough to do so? Let's be real -- it wasn't that they were more moral. They were just too primitive to figure out how to effectively organize and wage war.

      I think you are being unfair to the West. People are animals at bottom, and the strong trample over the weak. Food chain stuff and all.

      There is nothing inherently evil and violent about the West. The West was just the most powerful, therefore it used violence against inferior civilizations.

    • They are a demographic problem if you want to maintain a liberal democracy.

      You can't have a liberal democracy if a majority of the public thinks that making fun of a religion gets the death penalty.

      Continue to bury your head in the sand. In the end, the people whose barbarism you defend will turn on you once you are no longer useful to their cause.

    • I am aware of the demographic problem, obviously.

      Europe's demographic problem is more of an existential threat than Israel's demographic problem, in my opinion.

    • You support criminalization against making fun of someone who has been dead for 1400 years?

      You are just making my point.

    • Care to elaborate?

      The West certainly oversteps its bounds sometimes, but there is no comparing the level of enlightenment and sophistication of Western culture to any other civilization in the world.

      I view radical Western Civilization as a potentially salutary phenomenon.

    • Oh lol. I didn't notice. Nice one.

      You win this round Annie.

    • I'm not entirely sure what I should gather from that :). You have no idea how annoying it sounds to preface all of your comments with some inflection of "hasbara."

      As if calling it a particular name somehow makes it more or less valid.

      You guys are not nearly as appreciative as you should me. Would you prefer that no Zionists comment on this page?

      That it be an echo chamber where you guys just tell each other that you are winning and the Zionist entity will fall any day now?

    • I am sneaky like that, I admit it. So the way to beat me would have been not to comment.

    • What you call "hatred," we evil Zionists call intelligent self-preservation.

      You guys could learn a thing or two from us.

      I am not concerned that you will support the Palestinians against Israel.

      A populist uprising means a revolution grounded in mutual understanding of the dangers that radical Islam poses to Western civilization.

      Israel is on the frontline of that fight. That is why India and the far east are interested in Israel. Countries that are resisting Islamization support Israel. Countries that are embracing their own destruction revile Israel.

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • Abigail asked me to respond to the history of the founding of Israel. So here:

      I am familiar with the whole "ethnic cleansing" argument. I buy parts of it, parts of it I do not. The evidence is conflicting, and it seems likely to me that in some cases yes, the Zionist founders expelled segments of Palestine's Arab population. Ilan Pappe is an extremist, fanatic anti-Zionist whose work does not merit discussion. He is not motivated by the desire for historical truth but by a zealous impulse to disconnect himself from his people.

      I regret that it happened, and think that compensation to those who lost property is in order. I would also support a right of return for those 1948 refugees who are still alive.

      That being said, other countries have been founded through violence and dispossession far more severe than that perpetrated by the Zionist visionaries. Do you not see the rich irony in leaving Israel to go to Australia? How exactly do you think Australia became 95% European?

      That doesn't mean Australia isn't a normal country. Israel is not abnormal either. Its circumstances are abnormal not because of the "original sin," but because we brilliant Jews chose to a establish a state between the peaceful states of Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan. I think you discount how much theological opposition there is among Arabs to the state of Israel, independent of the Palestine question.

      Israel is a necessary historical justice, and the injustice that was required to create it does not undermine its fundamental claim to legitimacy. There are ways to make amends for 1948 without fundamental reconceptualization of Israel (i.e. making it a one-state of all its citizens).

      I think that Israelis should try to be more conscious of defining historical events like Deir Yassin and Lydda, the way Americans are aware of the Trail of Tears. But Israelis are sensitive to these issues because they are generally exploited by far-left extremists to deny the state its right to exist. It is more comfortable to deny your own shortcomings when there are so many people who think you have no right to exist.

      I look forward to a response.

    • For Abigail: how do you know English so naturally?

      Most Israelis know a fair amount of English, but yours is extremely proper for someone who didn't learn it as a first language.

      I don't think that you should hold your ideas in and not discuss your experiences in Israel. But you should write them in Hebrew for Israelis to read. I'm sure you've heard of Sicha Mekomit.

      I think it is wrong to be a "moser" and jump to tell the West about what a unique cesspool of morality the Jewish state is. Even if you think it, there is something valuable in sticking up for the tribe.

      I don't think tribal loyalty trumps moral conscience. But you can keep that moral conscience by trying to call attention to Israel's moral shortcomings among Israelis. Not by "going over their heads" to the bosses in the US and Europe.

      My goal isn't to insult you or stoop to the petty level of calling you a "traitor." I don't want you to take it that way. I'm more sad and disappointed than angry to see an Israeli describe her country as uniquely deserving of destruction.

      It just seems to me that you have some psychological need for acceptance and affection from non-Jewish world. You sneer derogatorily at the "Jewish ghetto," but there is a reason that this Jewish ghetto was created.
      The world hasn't always been *so* accepting of Jews. It is historical shortsightedness to think that our gains from this newfound tolerance-culture are necessarily permanent. Things can change.

      The non-Jewish world has always been happy to listen to Jews report on how evil their fellow Jews are. It's just a shame to see people reviving this historical phenomenon in the 21st century.

    • My complaint is not that she moved to Australia/UK. If she didn't like Israel, then she can leave. B'simcha.

      I just think that it really is something to leave your country and then go around agitating for it to be dissolved. It's disgraceful to do that if you live there, but when you have indemnified yourself against the consequences...that's just plain cowardly.

    • That is the paradox of the Israeli condition. Unassailably strong but on the brink of elimination.

      It is a paradox, but not a contradiction.

    • Why are you so sure that there won't be another Holocaust at some point?

      Wishful thinking or historical blindness?

    • You don't have to live in Israel. It's obviously your choice where to live. But you also don't need to write pieces defaming it.

      "It’s not too late for Israel to begin to redeem itself if the will, the compassion and the courage were there. "

      In your piece you implied that the foundation of Israel is violent and illegitimate, therefore the state can never be normal.

    • Wow. You acquire citizenship in a country that faces no threats, abandon your birthplace, and then compose screeds slandering your homeland to anyone who will listen.

      Aren't you brave, Avigail?

  • Christian Zionists expose their anti-Semitism at conservative summit in Iowa
    • I don't think they said anything anti-Semitic. I am Jewish and obviously don't believe that we are going to convert to Christianity in the end. But if they want to support us because of that, who am I to argue with their beliefs?

      I think history testifies persuasively that we are the Chosen People, but hey -- maybe they're right and I'm wrong.

      Besides, it's insulting to act as if anti-Israel zealots are just rending their hearts over the possibility that some Christians are anti-Semitic.

      Anti-Israel zealots are the primary perpetrators of anti-Semitism in the 21st century.

      This article reads like Charles Manson turning in O.J. Simpson to the police.

  • If Americans support Iran deal, 56-37, what gives Israel the power to 'croak' it?
    • Well, China and India and Russia want to import oil from Iran. But the US and Europe have total control over the world banking system, and don't have to lift the financial sanctions that have been imposed by Congress.

    • You're welcome. That's the first time I've been thanked for anything on this blog, so I will savor it.

      Yes, opposition is not THAT strong -- you are correct.

      But that's also because the media has fed a very simplistic narrative to the public. It's basically told people "you have 2 choices: this or Iraq II."

      I don't think that war is the only alternative to this particular deal. I think if people were informed that sanctions can be ratcheted up and Iran can be forced to make more concessions, then more people would be opposed to the deal.

      Overall, I don't think the deal is really so awful for Israel. In some senses, it may be better than just letting this whole thing fester. It's difficult to tell.

    • Annie wrote: "now, with only 27% expressing their opposition to the deal, is it really fair for pew to say there is widespread skepticism about aspects of the agreement?"

      I don't see how 27 percent makes any sense.

      79 percent responded, and of that 79 percent, 48 percent opposed deal.

      So that gives 0.79*0.48 = 38 percent. So at least 38 percent of the American public opposes the deal based on the Pew Results.

    • The WaPo/NBC poll is trash. It is partisan, while Pew's is not.

      And why would you poll people who haven't heard about the deal? Only people who have heard of it can tell you what they think of it.

    • Mr. Weiss: The Pew study released yesterday says people oppose the deal 48-38. Independents and Republicans are solidly opposed and Democrats solidly support. A partisan gap is to be expected.

      http://www.people-press.org/2015/07/21/iran-nuclear-agreement-meets-with-public-skepticism/

      Now, even if the American public does in fact oppose the deal, that doesn't mean Israel has the right to torpedo it. Israel has no right to control US foreign policy. It is welcome to make its case and try to present its interests, but that is it. That is all it did before Bibi came along, and that is what it will do when Bibi is out of office. His heavy-handed approach is unusual.

  • I believe I can make a difference in my lifetime
    • From Israel's POV, the best option is to wait. To wait for geopolitical shifts to remake the Middle East.

      At the moment, the status quo is safest for Israel.

    • Smoke-screen for what?

      Even if we forest the West Bank in settlements, where does that get us? The people are still there, whether we build around them or not.

      To call Zionists disconnected from reality is laughable. Finkelstein -- hardly a friend of Israel -- likened one-staters to a religious cult.

      The one-state solution is ridiculous when you look at Lebanon and Iraq. The Middle East is too sectarian a place for multi-ethnic societies.

    • I would love nothing more than for the Saudi Peace Plan to be fully implemented. Israel disconnects from the Palestinians, and the Palestinians disconnect from Israel. Israel gets fantastic trading agreements with Europe and the standard of living becomes equal to that of the US and Britain. It's the dream.

      Problem is: the Saudi Peace Plan, even if given in good faith, won't last forever. The people of the region don't believe in it, and populism is rising across the Middle East. The US-backed dictatorships can't last forever.

      In the Israeli public's calculus, it's more dangerous to make the state geographically indefensible and put Ben-Gurion airport within the range of West Bank rocket fire than it is to take our chances with BDS and "delegitmization."

      The Arab world is too unstable and sectarian for promises and commitments to be honored for a long time.

    • We do support every citizen being equal under the law. But not every single Palestinian being a citizen of Israel. All of us understand that the Zionist dream is impossible without some form of Palestinian political autonomy.

      Equality under the law is reconcilable with a state that has a Jewish character.

      A Jewish state that isn't a true democracy is no Jewish state at all, and was not the vision of the Zionist leaders.

      However, given the way minorities are treated in Arab countries, we are not willing to forfeit control over the country we built.

    • It's not like other ME states. Are you seriously saying there is no difference between life in Israel and life in Iraq, for instance?

      I'm saying that there is a lot of injustice and inequality in the world. There is more injustice in the world than there is justice.

      On the scale of injustices, Arabs having the ability to practice their religion and work freely in a country that self-identifies as Jewish hardly even registers. A state that identifies as Jewish is naturally going to offer some perks to Jews, even if it offers full civil rights to non-Jews. But it's a necessary historical imperative, and the Arabs are not prisoners in Israel. There's a door.

    • Come on. It's pure coincidence that Israel just happens to be the paragon of pure evil?

      It's anti-Semitism reincarnated for the 21st century.

      Jews have always been accused of being the greatest violators of a society's particular moral values. When it was religion, we killed Christ. When it was science, we were racially inferior. When it was nationalism, we were impossible to assimilate.

      Now that it's human rights and equality, the Jews are running the most racist state in the world.

      It fits the pattern so snugly. I'm surprised you aren't persuaded, to be honest.

    • Yep. We're entitled to a Jewish state. Taste the words: WE. ARE. ENTITLED. TO. A. JEWISH. STATE.

    • Evidently it is, since there is no equivalent of Mondoweiss or Electronic Intifada for any other political situation in the world.

    • Such is the nature of a Jewish state. As Beinart says, non-Jewish citizens of a Jewish state can never be truly equal since the state's framework is identified with an identity that is alien to them.

      I'm OK with that. No Arab state in the Middle East treats minorities properly. It's not a big deal if a few million Arabs have to live in a state that gives immigration preference to Jews.

      Once a peace deal is signed, a lot of these discriminatory laws would disappear anyway. There would be no objections to Arabs doing the army or national service, so they would get the same benefits as Jews who served in the army.

      @talknic

      Are you saying that only original refugees actually have the right to return?

    • It wouldn't destroy Israel unless you are insisting that be done in one-state, or unless you're insisting on the RoR.

  • A racist country with too much influence over US -- Israel's new image among Democrats
    • Krauss, don't worry.

      Nobody here could possibly mistake you for a Zionist sympathizer!

      Attempting rational analysis of the facts and arriving at an undesirable conclusion does not make you sympathetic to that conclusion.

    • http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/US-Israel/poaid.html

      From the looks of it, the public has been against foreign aid to Israel for 3 decades now. Why shouldn't they be? Why should US tax money be handed over to another country (not just Israel, btw)?

      Public opinion isn't the only thing that dictates foreign policy. The people in Congress and the people in the State Department understand the benefits of foreign aid to Israel, even if the general public is reflexively against it.

    • Israel is friends with whomever can help it, and with whomever it can help.

      It is a normal country like any other, with interests, needs, and goals.

    • The US federal budget is how many trillions of dollars? What's 4 billion a year in subsidies to US arms manufacturers?

      That's all foreign aid really is: free money to the American defense industry to help Israel. It's not a blank check for Israel to just spend however it sees fit.

      You wouldn't know it from the intellectual elite in this country, but the average American -- white and Hispanic alike -- does not have a very positive view of the Arab world or of Islam.

      @broadside

      As for "empire" and US-instigated wars in the Middle East, I don't think the broader public blames Israel for those. This is owing to the fact that the average person has much more common sense than does the average leftist elite.

    • This whole "poll" is kind of strange. How exactly does the pollster define an "elite"? That much is not made clear.

      I'm not sure professors count as educated elites. Among very wealthy people who I know in the United States, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, sympathy for Israel is almost universal.

      It's mostly among the "progressive" base that I find committed Israel-haters.

    • You're delusional. Most Americans couldn't tell Iraq from Iran. Israel has a reasonably positive image in the minds of average Americans, and a case for a few billion dollars in foreign aid can be made easily.

      They are seriously going to be upsetting a candidate over his support for foreign aid to Israel -- along with 530 other members of Congress?

      It's a good joke. I'll give you that.

  • United Church of Christ votes to boycott & divest from companies profiting from Israel's occupation
    • So my original question: is something a "BDS" victory if it declares support for the two-state solution? What matters more regarding BDS: embrace of the tactics or embrace of the goals?

    • As for Abunimah and Barghouti opposing a Jewish state:

      https://twitter.com/aliabunimah/status/430888024864342016
      https://electronicintifada.net/content/boycotts-work-interview-omar-barghouti/8263

      If they oppose a Jewish state within the '67 lines, then they oppose it in principle. Israel was created legally within those lines.

    • I believe all the land legitimately belongs to Israel. The Mandate originally provided for Jordan too until the British went back on it.

      In any event, Israel acquired it in a defensive war. It belongs to Israel unless it voluntarily chooses to cede it under a peace agreement.

      No security council resolution has ever called for unconditional withdrawal from all of the '67 lands.

      And it's not double talk lol. The leadership of the organization is left-leaning. Most of its (very few) members are not involved. The church has been moribund for many years now.

    • Wait no further. I'm glad to have such name recognition though!

      It's a historically leftist Church with a membership of 1.1 million people, most of whom are politically disengaged. Its members drop off by the year.

      And the Church establishment is one of the last bastions of anti-Semitism in the United States. Many of the evangelicals are anti-Semitic too, but their religious philosophy happens to prioritize the safety of Israel. But many are also "philo" semitic in that they think Jews are the key to Jesus' return. But outside of the evangelicals, pretty much all Church clergy are anti-Semitic at bottom. Christianity as a religion is pretty much incurably anti-Semitic, even though most Christians (in the West) are not.

      Besides, BDS is kind of inconsistent: is something considered "BDS" even if it specifically supports two-states (as did this resolution)? BDS is anti-2 states in principle. Just ask Barghouti and Abunimah. The thought of a Jewish state on one square inch of territory anywhere in the world gets them foaming at the mouth.

      How can they rejoice at something that calls for a Palestinian mini-state on 22 percent of Israel's land?

  • In op-eds, church leaders say BDS is moral response to Netanyahu's rejection of Palestinian statehood
    • Judith Butler is hardly a respected scholar. She isn't even a scholar in anything academic.

      Academics are things like math, physics, history, literature.

      The study of how European culture is inferior and white people are responsible for all the problems of the world is not an academic discipline.

      How do you know there are millions of people in it? How do you define who is part of it?

    • Take a look at religious minorities across the Islamic world and you have your answer.

      BDS is no human rights movement. History is on the side of the Jews; BDS will go the same way as Hitler and every other group that has persecuted the Jews.

    • Their arguments don't deserve to be countered. Those who support the Palestinian cause against Israel are either

      (1) anti-Semitic
      (2) masochistic (like the Church)
      (3) just plain stupid
      (4) any combination of the above

    • These people are abject fools. The people they have such a soft spot for would enslave them as dhimmis in a moment if they could.

      It's no wonder Christianity is declining everywhere with such morally bankrupt leaders.

      They should concern themselves with the plight of ancient Christian communities throughout the Middle East rather than well up with tears over how Israel handles terrorists.

      They could only dream of having a faction of Israel's moral clarity.

  • Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 50% in 2014 and expert says it's due to the Gaza war and BDS (Updated)
    • "you make this same comment every time a so-called “hasbara central” comment points out serious flaws in MW ‘analysis of data-be it economic, personal or social. "

      +1

      And those flaws are numerous in quantity and egregious in nature.

    • It's more confusing that way, but yes -- you are just quoting.

    • The 50 percent drop you quoted means 50 percent from last year (2013).

      It wasn't an accusation.

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