Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 14 (since 2009-09-02 15:06:24)


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  • Why I support a one state solution and still consider myself a Zionist
    • I think you may wish to use another example other than Japan. I rather suspect that the nationals of Japan are not the majority of citizens one normally sees.

      I think that there is a subtle difference between ethnic nationalism and a society with a very hight amount of ethnic/cultural/religious similarity. If a country is open to ethnic/cultural/religious change as the population changes then it is not the same thing as the Zionist project and what Becca Strober seems to be getting at. I don't know for sure, but I suspect Japan is open to change as the population changes - though I don't know what their relationship with their native population is, other than from small bits that I have read.

    • "Jewish self-determination is just as legitimate as other peoples’ desire to self-determine..."

      The idea that "Jews" are the same as "Americans" or "British" is not true. British is a descriptive of people living in Britain. It includes people of any faith or no faith. It includes people of any ethnic identity. It includes people of any culture. A person who is British is a person from Britain. Jewish self determination effectively denies the right of some people to be American or British. It also denies people to join "Jews", hence Israel's denial of the existence Israeli citizenship.

      "A group of Jews and Arabs are fighting in the Israeli courts to be recognized as “Israelis,” a nationality currently denied them, in a case that officials fear may threaten the country’s self-declared status as a Jewish state." link to

      Jewish self-determination is not just as legitimate, and the supreme court of Israel agrees. Jewish self-determination is a mix of ethnic, religious, and cultural expectations, and is not a description of location. It is a combination of the white South Africa and Saudi Arabia - an attempt at all of racial purity, cultural purity, and ethnic purity. That is not the foundation of western nation states. Jewish self-determination demands conformity of the younger generations. In that sense those who jump up and down and scream antisemitism whenever someone criticizes Israel are more correct than you are. Jewish self-determination comes at the price of individuality. You can't have a cohesive ethnic, racial, and religious state and have an open vibrant multi-ethnic multi cultural state at the same time. The crimes of Israel are absolutely necessary to the foundation of Jewish self-determination. More crimes of similar nature will be required to keep the dream on track.

      If your vision of Jewish self-determination is a community center and weekly pot-lucks then go for it. Otherwise, it is not the same as other people's desire to self-determine, and it is no more legitimate than any other theocracy or racist state.

      The invasion of North America started off as a desire of people of various religious groups to self-determine. Over time the extreme oppressive nature of this stance has given way to what we hope is a post colonial world founded on the notion that religion, culture, and ethnicity are private matters of no interest to the nation state. That is what makes Trump so deeply offensive.

  • Tel Aviv housecleaning service advertises higher rates for European help than Africans
    • Herchel - I thought that Israel was suppose to be a democracy. You are saying that we should judge Israel not on first world standards, but on (I assume) third world "Arab countries". Not only that, but you used a racist formulation to make your point. "Arab" indeed.

      So you first stated that the correct way to judge Israel is not on the basis of democracies, but on the basis of theocracies and dictatorships. I'm with you so far - in spite of using racist slurs against "Arabs".

      Then you justify the racism by bringing up the actions of Abu Mazen. shorter: "Well look - someone else is doing it. Why don't you leave poor Israel alone and go pick on someone else."
      With this type of attitude the US would still be practicing slavery. You lost my support here.

      You say a single private company - but your argument is very different. You in effect support what you claim to oppose by bringing up whataboutyry. You recognize that Israel is not a democracy, but a theocracy and a dictatorship and should be judged accordingly.

      Someone else is worse than Israel so what Israel does is ok by you.

      No, it is not just a single private company. It is a country that should be judged on the basis of other totalitarian regimes - preferably "Arab" ones - I assume like Saudi Arabia. It is Herchel who despite finding it despicable, holds their nose and supports it through obfuscation anyway.

  • 'New York Times' picks up Bernie Sanders's 'socialist' kibbutz but leaves out the ethnic cleansing
    • The Highland Clearances come immediately to mind. Another example - not quite the same, but with a resemblance - would be the treatment of Francophones in Quebec.

      In fact, what is a misuse, is the belief that through some form of technicality, or through carefully concocted definitions, what Israel does can be made to be ok.

  • Suddenly, comparing Jewish state to ISIS is OK
    • Your sentence is confusing.

      If I understand you correctly, I would have to disagree. Oppressor people terrorize those they oppress. A quick example would be the KKK. The treatment of runaway slaves would very clearly fall under terror, as would slavery itself. The massacres of the native populations of many countries wold be yet another.

      I'm afraid I don't see too much that is unique about Israel - 19th century colonialism within a 21st century planet.

      What is interesting to me is the rise of BDS, coupled by its support of Jewish Voice for Peace. That seems to me to be something new.

  • Beinart urges young Jews to get arrested in the West Bank for the sake of Zionism. Will they?
    • That was my thought too.

      Beinart does fake civil rights. Sure it can lead to the real thing eventually though I got news for him - Zionism does not do equality - for that you need a secular society where religion, ethnicity and race are private matters and of no interest to the state.

  • Risk!
    • In all fairness, the "symbolic" acts that are now being discussed is political speech against Israel's occupation. Sure, a lot more, and a lot more specific can and should be done. We know what the political risks are of daring to challenge Zionism. Lets recognize that there is a certain amount of courage and significance in these rather tepid squeaks that first meets the eye.

  • Tony Blair's Middle East speech: dangerous and anti-Muslim
    • The Iraq war, which started in 2003, has caused the deaths of between 100,000 and one million people, depending on whose estimate you believe. Two men were ultimately responsible for the decision to start it: George W Bush and Tony Blair.

      Bush and Blair claim that they were provoked into starting the war by the imminent threat Iraq presented to world peace. They further maintain that the war was legal. A series of leaked documents shows not only that these contentions are untrue, but that Bush and Blair knew they were untrue.

      link to

      Blair is definitely a nasty piece of work.

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • I blame the Naderites for the Iraq War as much as I blame Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. They did MUCH more harm than good by fleeing from the tent.

      How dare they attempt to present their own positions on the US! The role of US citizens is not to be seen, nor heard. Dan Fleshler does not seem to understand what democracy is, and doesn't seem too supportive of the basic concept. He could have talked about a system that was anti-democratic, creating the position that someone attempting to support their democratic rights actually ended up supporting exactly the opposite of what they believed.

      Instead we have "liberal" zionism as an anti-democratic institution - where change is carefully managed and controlled and deviation is the absolute evil -- as bad as "Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz". It is not the system that he rails against, but those who seek the right to be heard.

      Evelyn Beatrice Hall's quote (Voltaire's biographer) "I disagree strongly with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." is probably not going to pass his lips any time soon.

      Like those he breaks bread with he is profoundly anti-democrat, and liberal is a sorry adjective to use in connection with his views. The problem is not that he believes in working from within, but rather the extreme conformity and profound anti-democratic stance that he demands of others.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
  • An open letter to J Street: Let's talk
    • Well Brian - after that wonderful one sided fact free swipe at Jeff Halper and the "PalArabs" you have convinced me of the rightness of your position.

  • Both Sides: Anti-BDS concerns on campus vs. life in the occupied territories
    • Oh all right.

      A torturer doesn't get to claim he is being attacked when the victim scratches him during the torture session.

      link to

      JeffB -
      "A wonderful example of the sort of rhetoric that’s not normatively part of political debate"

      It was part of the debate over Israel's best friend - Apartheid South Africa. It happens all the time when debating human rights issues with extreme human rights violators. What rock have you been living under?

      "Rhetoric like this is not part the normative discourse when discussing an investment portfolio."

      What are you talking about? Are you out of your mind?

  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
    • from your comments:

      <i.Please explain also how BDS is seeking to restore “dominance to the authentic people” rather than institute universal rights for all people.

      It think BDS-ers want to recreate an Arab majority in Israel and that trumps everything else. If it is actually a set-back for the libertarian human rights--freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, that sort of thing--they will still be deliriously happy. If the Helen Thomas vision of the future is realized and large numbers of Jews become refugees, well, too bad, a guy named Chaim born in Tel Aviv is an usurper by birth.

      I sometimes ask anti-Zionists whether they would support just abolishing all legal distinctions between Jews and non-Jews in the territories governed by the two governments that are supposedly negotiating for peace right now and merging the two territories. That means you would have a completely egalitarian state in what used to be green-line Israel and the West Bank, a country simply for its inhabitants. That new democratic country, let's call it Egalitaria, will have a Jewish majority and will probably not institute an immigration policy designed to reverse the demographics of the country. I even tried asking this question in the comments section of Mondoweiss once. The anti-Zionists always tell me they would not support such a plan. The "right of return" is non-negotiable. It is usually not a good idea to tell one's political opponents what they think--surely they know best what is in their own minds--but I think I'm on fairly solid ground here.


      As point of information - excluding your post traitor appears 10 times. I was actually counting during the time you were posting. There is no question that what is being proposed in this thread by a number of commentators is some form of lynching. (Ah but he is such a bad person!) Even more to the point, people decry the extremely unfair nature of the US justice system and its policies of throw away the key and guilt by association right up to the point where there is someone they do not personally like. At which point suddenly everything is completely different.

      There are worse things though. Your Egalitaria based on first separating people out by religion and ethnicity, then after carefully arranging demographics applying laws that would entrench those demographics would be one of them. Apartheid comes in different forms but they all are based on formalizing who has power and who does not.You are saying that if we commit some crimes at the beginning then set up our egalitarian state everything will be just dandy. Left unsaid but heavily implied is the need for corrective crimes at various points to maintain this wonderful state of affairs.

      People who believe that religion and ethnicity need to be publicly tracked, and that we should set policy and judge people based on religion and ethnicity, like you do, are worse.

    • First, The Israelis have never come clean about what they got and what they did with it. They must give us that information before the U.S. unlocks Pollard’s cell.

      Why? There are two different issues here. One is the actions of Pollard. Two is the actions of what is perceived of the US's closest allie, Isarel.

      I don't think we should be taking revenge on Pollard for the actions of Israel. Pollard is responsible for his own actions and the consequences of those actions. Israel is responsible for its own actions and the consequences. While Pollard's actions led and allowed Israel's actions we need to draw a line here. It is wrong to hold Pollard hostage to try and force Israel's hand. If he should be released (and I agree that he should) then he should be released, regardless of the actions of Israel. It is the difference between being responsible for one's own actions and the consequences of those actions, and being responsible for the actions of someone else. Pollard is not responsible for the actions of someone else.

Showing comments 14 - 1