Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 448 (since 2009-09-02 15:06:24)


Showing comments 448 - 401

  • 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.

  • 'The Nation' should stage a debate between Alterman and Blumenthal
  • MJ Rosenberg owes Ali Abunimah an apology for false accusations of anti-Semitism
    • What the world needs is more ethnically pure states and theocracies. Hitler had the right idea (a state for the Ayrians), perhaps a little bit too extreme though. Too bad about South Africa and Rhodesia. Nothing wrong with Saudi Arabia. We need to bring back the Taliban as well. If only Europe had maintained itself as Christian. I don't know what country you live in, but I can only hope it is Israel. It is a horrid imposition for you to live anywhere else. If you don't have the decency to move, then hopefully the country in question will do the right thing and expel you.

      Don't know where we took the wrong turn and started to embrace secular democracies. It is nice to know that you don't support that.

      I am a bit confused though - who is and who is not Jewish? Do you know one when you see one? How do we prevent miscegenation? How many times a month must you attend synagogue in order to maintain yourself as a Jew in good standing? Is it ok for a Jew to eat their ham sandwich with cheese? How do we keep our state pure? What is pure enough?

      What do we do with all those dark skinned people in Israel? I am not unsympathetic to their plight, but I am not willing to see the only Jewish nation on the planet dissolved in order to fix the problem.


  • The young flee Israel because it is a 'failure' and 'xenophobic theocracy' -- 'Haaretz' columnist
  • There Are No Facts: Excerpt from Max Blumenthal's 'Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel'
  • Israel refuses to recognize its own nationality: Israeli Supreme Court says 'Israeli' nationality could endanger idea of Jewish state
    • Mike K. You need to provide a link. A quick search seems to indicate that this is not true.

      It does look like Saudi Arabia does discriminate against non-Muslims in citizenship, but it is not forbidden. Similarly I haven't seen anything on striping one's citizenship when one ceases to be Muslim.

      Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, and as such the Monarch has the power to, for example, grant citizenship.

      In any case, we've come a long way since the time that supporters of Israel were declaring that Israel is a democracy like any other. Now it is a racist state just like any other racist state.

  • State Dept: No US aid to Israel until budget deal is reached
  • J Street leaders praise IDF, but audience cheers BDS
    • Pogo (out of context).

      link to

      It sounds from this article that there was an audience that was willing to listen for Palestinians to speak to. This is the best that any speaker can ask for. The alternative for Palestinians to speaking when and where one can is to be silenced.

      If you are never heard then nothing will change. This is part of what is so upsetting about the success the Zionists - they have succeeded in silencing. Debate in any form or location is not what they want.

  • AIPAC gears up for war with Obama
    • Is that a subtle message that these 3 areas will ultimately form part of Israel, or does it imply that these 3 parts still contain undesirables and need to be cleansed?

      You repeat yourself.

      Actually, I suspect that they draw these maps up without much thought at all. You probably exceeded the amount of thought originally behind the map with your post.

      Israel is for foreign public consumption whatever the popular view is at the moment and that is what is displayed. In the only country in the world without fixed borders it is all elastic. Hell, i didn't know about Ghajjar and Kfarshouba Heights. Why cause problems and headaches trying to figure out what is and is not Israel at any given moment?

    • link to

      They should have done their propaganda in German.

  • What if your friend had to die to preserve a Jewish state?
  • Beinart and Shenhav battle it out over the two-state solution
    • “While I can see that there are elements of injustice in this arrangement, I also want to acknowledge there are deeply just claims that the two-state solution does fulfill,” said Beinart. “The Jewish desire to have one state in the world dedicated to Jewish self-protection–given the Jewish experience in the diaspora…culminating in the Holocaust–is just.”

      Why not just come out and support criminalizing sex between Jews and non Jews? Maybe for Beinart the thought is so disgusting as to be unimaginable so that it is not really necessary. All versions of the two state solution leave in place a state that must ultimately control marriage and sex. If you have a Jewish state you must have the means to keep it Jewish and you must have the ability to decide who is Jewish enough and who is not.

      At its very best Beinart is advocating a replay of segregation in the US.

  • Major 'NYT' piece calls two-state negotiations 'phony'--and catastrophic
  • Why Palestine is different
    • Perhaps the reason that Israel never had a decent leader is that anyone decent would turn down the job - or if by some mistake they actually accepted the job they would be shot.

  • Exile and the prophetic: Israel's original sin
    • Is yet another lesson that no people can be prioritized over another?

      This is not the last, but the first. This is the key from which other lessons can be derived.

  • IDF spokesman posts blackface photo of himself as Obama, then issues non-apology
    • Feeling the love.

      Gilbert Gamesh 2 years ago

      IMO interviewing a bunch of drunks to try to stir up animosity is not only really bad journalism but racist as well. Joseph Dana and Max Blumenthal really terrible work.

      jared 1 year ago

      I hardly see how interviewing drunk kids from america in israel makes any point at all.

  • Counting the Gaza Dead: False equivalences, distorted dichotomies
    • Israel has not always been under the sphere of the US. I think that it is a mistake to assume that the US is the be-all and end all for Israel foreign policy.

      Singling out Israel is anti-semitic, isn’t it?

      In the same way that singling out South Africa was racist.

  • Tensions rise as Iran shoots at American predator drone and covert war heats up
    • Since when did Israel wait until aid ships were within 12 miles of Israel (Wherever the ---- those borders are) before boarding?

      Ops! - Sorry. Wrong topic. :)

  • Obama's victory highlights a bad night for the Jewish right
    • The problem of course is Castro did not get rid of the crooks. He managed to get them out of Cuba and they became someone else's problem.

      On a slightly off topic note - I recently visited Cuba and was extremely surprised to see how small scale capitalistic Cuba is in the tourist industry. It is probably the most capitalistic culture I have ever seen - people really hustle. Very different than my experiences with the US, Canada, Spain, UK. There are definitely class differences in Cuba. For a real taste of capitalism - visit Cuba! Take that Mr. Castro.

    • It is interesting how similar this map is to another map.

      link to

  • Exile and the Prophetic: Red lines
    • Religion molds itself to the needs of nationalism. "Judiasm" is no different than any other religion in this regard. What is needed in Judiasm will be found whether it is truly there or not.

      Jewish nationalism, like all other forms of extreme nationalism are highly immoral. It has nothing though to do with Judiasm, except as it can be mined and perverted to support that nationalism. It could just as easily be Christianity as it is being mined and perverted in the US to support American Nationalism.

      Being a victim in the past has nothing to do with how moral one is in the present. If only people who were abused as children did not grow up to be more likely to abuse than the general population.

      Hunger as a weapon of war. One of the oldest weapons in history. For anyone to use it is a disgrace. For Jews to use it is a disgrace beyond words.

      This seems to me to be a violation of the new guidelines. We do not expect more from Jews, and we do not expect less. The reverse of this statement should be obvious: "For Jews to use it is understandable."

      All religions are creations of people. What is sacred is not not the religion, but the creation of God. Without that we are left with worshiping the golden calf.

  • Changes to the Mondoweiss comment policy
    • As the comment policy becomes more complicated it becomes harder and harder to follow. Probably a reason for refusing a comment would be helpful. (do not allow argumentation over that reason - just delete such posts)

  • Savage Geller bus ad hits San Francisco Muni
    • The add will polarize, isolate, and create a "white" vs. "coloured" siege mentality . It could indeed backfire. I would imagine that most immigrant groups will not be impressed. I imagine that the black community will not be impressed. If European countries notice, they will not be impressed.

      Welcome to the 1930's.

  • New round of Iran sanctions pressures Obama to move closer to Israel's 'red line'
    • Except that the Israelis aren’t going to give nuclear weapons to terrorists.

      You are probably right. Selling them to white supremacists is a whole new ball game though.

      Documents reveal how then-defence minister Shimon Perez tried to sell South Africa's apartheid government the bomb

      link to

    • Canada has the "capacity" to produce nuclear weapons. Which first world countries do not have this capacity? I think that this resolution is an attempt to declare that a first-world Iran is a threat and is unacceptable.

  • Romney bombs at the King David
    • Who's the leader of the cult that thinks for you and me?

      Mit tRo mney e (Barack Obama!)

      - ok so it doesn't quite scan.

    • The question is how far can the average American take obsequiousness before she throws up? I have little doubt that the average American can go all the way when it comes to violence without losing much sleep just as long as the media keeps it down to a dull roar, but the humiliation that Romney exposes the US to is a different matter.

      I don't think he's crossed the threshold yet.

      No one has mentioned what Romney is doing to future relations to Europe. It will be like Bush, but worse if he becomes president. I'm sure that leaders in Europe are cringing right now. He is not helping them at all, nor is he helping the European perception of the US.

  • It's a lie that Ahmadinejad took responsibility for Bulgarian attack
    • War in context has an updated article:

      A Times of Israel article that I referred to yesterday turns out to have been total bunk — surprise, surprise. (At least I covered my ass a tiny bit by acknowledging I had no idea whether the translations of quotes by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were accurate.)

  • Syria watch
    • Canada 1812.

      The US tried to annex Upper Canada and Lower Canada. A series of events leading from that attempted annexation lead to a free democracy. See - the US actively trying to prevent a freedom has managed to sew the seeds of a democracy. Stunning, isn't it.

      Oh - that's not what you meant. Well carry on then.

    • white phosporus is used in smoke munitions. It is used by police forces all over Asia, Africa and the Americas. Including inside the US.

      Zyklon B was used as a disinfectant and used for pest control. What is your point?

  • Krugman's coverup
    • Jewish money or no Jewish money, at some point the United States of Israel is going to upset folks back in the USofA.

      There is a line that can be walked only so far until there is a backlash. It is stupid for the Democrats to be positioning themselves a hairsbreadth to the left of the Republican Party.

      To position themselves to the right of the Republican party leaves them open to being the one to take the fall when the hits the fan.

      Who knows - maybe there will be unintended consequences. Perhaps the Republican Party will go so completely wingy that they will alienate themselves. Or perhaps the majority of Americans will fail to notice or even worse be truly represented? Or perhaps the US will continue its slide into authoritarian "democracy" with no recourse for the majority of the population.

      It is also stupid for mainstream Jewish groups to continue to pray towards Jerusalem. There may be a backlash against recognized Jewish groups as well over the creation of the United States of Israel. There's a reason that separation of church and state is so important.

  • White House refuses to point finger at Hezbollah in Bulgaria terrorist attack
    • One single fact? Attack on Israelis that the U.S. confirms is Hezbollah is more than enough proof for me. Of course, I'm not paranoid.

      Lots of ways to know the attack was Hezbollah

      Of course I read it. It says they aren't saying how they know, not that they don't know.

      You lose the bet. He was Hezbollah.

      "A senior American official confirmed Israel’s assertions on Thursday that the suicide bomber who killed five Israelis in an attack here on Wednesday was a member of a Hezbollah cell operating in Bulgaria."

      Well, if the paranoid fringedwellers say it, it must be true.

      The "paranoid fringedwellers" believe anything that is convenient to their world view, and so do you. There is no skepticism in your analysis. The world is black and white, good and evil. It must be Hezbollah and you have grasped at any straw that indicates that must be true. At the same time you have shut your eyes to anything that indicates there is room for doubt.

      There are a lot of people who always blame Israel for everything. There are people who blame the US for everything. There are people who think that Israel is never wrong for anything, and that Hezbollah is always to blame.

      You have ridiculed the "paranoid fringdwellers", but you have shown yourself to be a "paranoid toady". Have you learned anything from the current backtracking of official sources on who has done it?

      Right above your quote Colin Wright hits it dead on - He doesn't know that it is a false flag. Neither do I. We both know that Israel often uses false flag operations, and if you are not completely blind, so do you. The Lavon affair is the most famous, but by no means the only.

    • Colin: I agree 100%.

      Explicitly avoiding any discussion of the merits of 9/11, the same thing applies there too.

      I think that more and more, Israel and the US are seen as a single country in terms of foreign policy.

  • Netanyahu adopts Facebook strategy to claim sovereignty over Jerusalem for the Olympics
  • 7 dead in terrorist attack in Bulgaria
  • What if an American politician came out for preserving a Christian majority?
    • And yet, the colour of skin of those who are Shas does not matter. What matters is that a Jewish state must define who is and who is not a Jew. You must have your own definition, just as Shas does, just as the state of Israel does.

      Ethiopian Jews must have their culture destroyed (over time) because their version of Judaism is not acceptable. Jews for Jesus are beyond the pale. A Jewish state must be an oppressive state, to among others, Jews - just as a Catholic states originally felt they had to control Christianity.

      The contradictions of Shas and they are voting for a white definition when they are hardly white is indeed funny - but the funny part is that some people are white. The only people who are white are extremely ill. It is not a natural colour for homo sapiens.

      The creation of what is acceptable Jewish behaviour for a Jewish state is no more and no less arbitrary than Shas's desire for white skin. And it is no more nor no less racist.

    • Same enough for all Jews to be covered by the state of Israel according to you.

      Shas - 10% of the vote 2009, 4th largest party in the knesset. There seems to be a very large number of backward nutjobs in Israel who seem to think that only white people can be Jews.

      I'd say that the difference between believing Israel is for Jews and Israel is for white Jews is one of degree not kind.

    • And the truth is that people in US call for maintaining white and Christian majorities all the time in not so many words. What do you think the anti-immigrant sentiment is all about? What do you think the right-wing Evangelicals would like to see? What do you think the election of anti-immigrant politicians in Europe is about?

      I call these people racists. I don't try to emulate them.

      What do you think that right-wing Evangelicals would like to see?


      And I note that a rather large number of Zionists seem to want pretty much the same thing as the right-wing Evangelicals do as they use them as justification for their views.

    • Page: 4
    • Is it kosher to talk about maintaining a white majority? Or a Christian one?

      Or an Aryan one?

      The "white race" is a constructed concept - what the hell is white and how is skin colour the definition of a race? Religion is not a whole lot better - I thought it was anti-semetic to claim that all Jews are the same, and yet we have Israel and its one-size-fits-all. If that isn't bad enough we have Israel is for the white people.

      Christian states worked so wonderfully - think of the long lasting peace christian Europe had. In the end, Christian has also demonstrated that it too is arbitrary.

      It is mind blowing to use dignity and Jewish majority in the same sentence. There is no dignity in telling people who they can and can not marry. There is no dignity in controlling what religion people belong to by punishing "incorrect" religions.

      How about: Later in the day, after I tweeted out news of this latest round of vandalism [against Quakers], I received an e-mail from a self-identified Southern White who wrote, "Which side are you on, the Southern side or the enemies of the South side, like Quakers?" Hagit Ofran, I would only point out, is a self-described Christian who seeks to preserve the South's White majority, and its democracy and at that the same time afford the Black people some dignity, dignity being a Southern White value, of course.

  • The crisis of Jewish identity
    • If we are going to talk about fascism, lets at least throw out a reasonable definition to work with:

      link to

    • ” The Israel lobby does in fact control both the Republican and Democratic Parties on Mideast policy through AIPAC, RJC (Republican Jewish Coalition), NJDC (National Jewish Democratic Council), etc. When is the last time you have seen a major American politician challenge the Israel lobby?”

      When is the last time you’ve seen a major American politician challenge the gun lobby? When is the last time you’ve seen a major American politician challenge China’s Most Favored Nation status? How about the AARP? And on and on.

      I completely fail to see your point hophmi. What are you trying to say?

      AIPAC isn't doing something that no one else is doing. AIPAC is playing by the rules. The US political system is fucked beyond belief. Still what is it you are trying to say? Do you agree with seanmcbride? Do you disagree with him? Are you upset that he didn't provide a detailed statement on what he thinks about the US lobby system? What's up?

    • Ah. I missed this bit of racism.

      The monolithic Christianity and the monolithic Judaism.

      There has been a lot of dead people in the attempt to keep/prevent the monolithic Christianity. There is no monolithic Christianity now. The Catholic church lost.

      And the intermarriage rate for Christians is extremely low (far less than 50%).

      There's an interesting lie for you. Try peddling that shit in Northern Ireland. There is a reason that Christianity has been called a thousand different religions all based on the same book.

      We are forbidden to proselytize

      You choose not to proselytize. Own it and take responsibility for your own actions. Judaism is not the only religious group that does not proselytize (except of course when it does.). There are Christian sects that do not proselytize. I would be stunned if there weren't other religions that did not proselytize.

      Religions come and go. If you don't like it, I understand that ancient Egypt had a religion that is in need of followers, and who better than a people who come out of Egypt.

      However, we still are concerned about the effects of high rates of intermarriage and assimilation on our survival as a people. And our community is working on finding a positive balance between these two values

      Churches are closing left, right, and center. Suck it up like the Christian sects are. The world is changing. Rather than having the highest rate of assimilation, Jewish cultures have the lowest. Talk about sore winners.

      Judaism is not merely a religion — it is a peoplehood, an evolving civilization, an ancestral heritage, and a vibrant ethnic culture with a 3,000 year history.

      That and $2 will get you on the bus. No culture has "rights". People have rights - the right to choose their religion, the right to choose whom they wish to marry, the right to assimilate or adopt cultures as they wish. If you wish to keep the 3,000 year old history going, sell it - make it attractive to new people. Over time all cultures will die, and new cultures will come into being. That is part of life. As someone who has "assimilated" I am quite insulted by your post.

      t is an admirable thing to encourage Jews to love and forge attachments to their culture, promote Jewish marriages and raising children as Jewish while still be welcoming, inclusive, compassionate, and supportive of couples that choose to intermarry.

      Sounds not to hot to me. My parents supported my right to marry whom I wished, without pressure. I also haven't experienced that welcoming, inclusive, compassionate and support of couples that choose to intermarry. Sure as hell didn't happen in our family.

      Because you are a member of the dominant majority culture, you do not see your cultural influence as a segregating, brainwashing imposition. And that, my friend, is called “privilege.”

      As a member of the most successful minority in the history of the US you should know all about privilege. There are Christian sects that have long and bloody histories of being oppressed. I don't think that your holier than thou attitude is at all appropriate.

      One thing is sure - Jewish history of oppression does not provide an excuse to oppress the Palestinians, nor does it provide an excuse to set up a theocracy where there are public penalties for failure to maintain the correct religion or marry the correct person.

      It is not acceptable to rely on the good graces of the Jewish Synagog for those who intermarry, change religions, adopt new cultures, or assimilate. That's why I support a secular society. I don't need the oppression of organized religion on my neck because I have made unpopular choices.

      Try this on for size:

      There is such a massive asymmetry of power between Theists and Atheists that your comparison is rendered meaningless. Theists are the largest group in the world with over 5 billion followers. Theists actively proselyte and are therefore constantly bringing in new recruits. And the intermarriage rate for Theists is extremely low (far less than 50%).

    • It is silly to talk of affirmative action in a system of apartheid. It is imperative to talk of affirmative action after such a system has ended.

      All affirmative action is, is a form of empowerment. Empowerment is quite reasonable to talk about about when talking about resisting apartheid.


    • Perhaps this should be split into a new thread?

      The earliest government affirmative action that I can think of in the US is the 50 acres and a mule. This seems to me to be potentially an extremely effective form of affirmative action for the time it was not implemented.

      Johnrich - I am no sociologist, but I am interested in the differences in affirmative action between Canada and the US in particular and am interested in affirmative action in other countries.

      Affirmative action in the US has generated a lot of hostility. I believe that it is based on a quota system. It has generated less hostility in Canada. I believe that it is based on the availability of qualified minorities. As I said, I am no expert on this, and it is possible that I am mistaken.

      I also think that there is "hidden" affirmative action in Canada - equal pay for equal work of equal value - that has forced wage increases to women to match or to match over time male counterparts.

      I don't know the stats on how bad things are for minorities in Canada vs. the US, with the note that for the Native population things are pretty dire. A native woman survivor of the residential school system has an amazing amount going against her.

      I think that there is something in the US method of affirmative action that has generated this hostility. I don't think that it is necessarily made up. I would accept that any inconvenience that whites in general and white males in particular suffer is miniscule to those that are helped by affirmative action. I do think though, that there is perhaps something to the claim of reverse discrimination that is leveled in the US.

      How we implement a program can have major consequences to how it is perceived and to its success.

    • Can't say, but he apparently considers it extremely important for Muslims in Germany to be able to mutilate their male children before age of consent.

      link to

      The parliamentary resolution was jointly drafted by legislators from Merkel's coalition and opposition Social Democrats and Greens.

    • You find it easy to blame the Jews.

      Link please.

    • I think that Mooser's wife is the candy man.

  • Attack on historical maps ad says Israelis have only gained land thru 'defensive wars'
  • At 'Daily Kos,' a liberal Zionist calls for BDS
    • I am reading about those who were working to abolish US slavery. One of the things that surprised me is that the two state solution to slavery was once very popular. Eventually it lost its popularity when those opposed to slavery realized that it was being used to remove free blacks from the US and not to emancipate slaves.

      This is the problem with the two state solution in Palestine. One side sees it as a vehicle to oppress Palestinians and has no interest at all in actually seeing a true Palestinian state, and never has, and never will. The object is to make the Palestinians go away and keep them subservient, not give them freedom next door. The very best that can be hoped for is that they accept a two state solution through fear.

    • Removing the "forskin" from women will most likely achieve similar health "benefits" for women. It is the same piece of anatomy. Isn't it amazing that the US with the highest rate of circumcision has the lowest highest rate of HIV of europe/north america. A 60% reduction in risk is like the rhythm method. You are going to have children. The question is when. It does not translate into 60% less cases of HIV. It translates into a much smaller reduction.

      Israel must curtail the right to marry whom one wishes, and attend the religion of one's choice in order to create a Jewish state. There are other requirements to keep the state Jewish. One of those requirements is that all boys must undergo at least mutilation, if not mutilation without anesthetic - torture. The individual Jew is required cast aside individual aspirations for the greater good of the Jewish faith. Judiasm first, and personal life second. Circumcision is part of the package of what makes Israel Jewish and theocratic instead of secular and democratic. Circumcision proves the willingness to sacrifice ones male children for the state.

  • What Israeli settlement bus routes teach us about the occupation
    • Shut your mouth and open your wallet.

    • A bomb attack at Damascus gate at 12.40 yesterday morning resulted in the deaths of 15 Arabs and injuries to about 50 more. (...) Riding in a green taxi, three Jews --two of them reportedly wearing tarbushes-- dashed past the Arab National Guard at the New Gate, continued down Suleiman's Way and tossed out a bomb near the bus station. The streets, crowded with Arabs waiting for buses to all parts of the country, were turned into a shambles.

      link to

      he attack on a Palestinian civilian bus travelling from Haifa to Acre on 5 January 1948, proves that Zionist terrorists are a different “kind of people” than the rest of us (1)…

      …Likewise, the Zionist terrorists who attacked the Hebron bus on the Jerusalem Road seven days after that, wounding one Palestinian (1);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the No.5 bus in Elijah Street, Haifa, three days later, killing one Palestinian and wounding eight others (1);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the No.4 bus to Haifa the same day, wounding four Palestinians (1);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked an Arab bus entering Jerusalem two days later, killing one Palestinian (1);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who ambushed farm labourers riding a passenger truck to work in Yazur five days later, killing three Palestinians and wounding twelve (1);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who bombed the Ramle bus as it made a stop at As Safiriya three days later, killing one and wounding two Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the No.22 bus on the Bethlehem Road to Jerusalem the following day (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the bus to Jaffa near Miqve Israel two days later, killing one Palestinian and wounding three others (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the Haifa bus on the road from Tel Aviv three days later, killing two Palestinians and wounding eight others (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the No.6 bus near Tall Waqiya the following day, killing three Palestinians and wounding one other (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the bus from Kafr Yasif near Khirbet Al Aiyadiya the day after that, seriously wounding two Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the bus travelling through Deir Muheisin two days later, wounding five Palestinians (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the Ramle bus on the road to Aqir three days later, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked a passenger truck transporting farmers home from the cattle market at Petah Tiqvah three days later, killing seven Palestinians and wounding five (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who shot at the No.6 bus from Talpoith to Meqor Haim two days later, wounding three Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the bus travelling through Nabi Yusha the same day, killing one Palestinian and wounding another (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the bus to Safad also on the same day, killing five Palestinians and seriously wounding another four (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the bus travelling through Miqve, south of Tel Aviv, the following day, wounding four Palestinians (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who threw a bomb into a bus at Ramle the day after that, wounding four Palestinians, then opened fire on the remaining passengers, wounding another three (4, 5);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who opened fire on the No.21 bus from Jerusalem to Bethlehem five days later, wounding five Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked the bus from Lydda to Rarn el Aqir near Kefar Bilu the following day, wounding five Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who fired on the bus from Jaffa to Ramle two days later, wounding two Palestinians (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked a bus near Beit Jirja the following day, killing three Palestinians and seriously wounding two others (4);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the No.45 (Jerusalem-Ramallah) bus near Neve Ya’acov the day after that, wounding at least three Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who the same day attacked a bus travelling along the Bethlehem Road in Jerusalem, seriously wounding two Palestinians (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who also on the same day attacked the No.6 bus on the road from Haifa to Nazareth, killing one Palestinian and seriously wounding another (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorist who, still on 24 February 1948, attacked the No.4 bus near St John’s Ophthalmic Hospital in Jerusalem, killing one Palestinian and wounding three more (20);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who, in the fifth terror attack on Palestinian buses in a single day, fired on a bus travelling the Jerusalem-Bethlehem Road, wounding one Palestinian (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who opened fire on a passenger truck near Bir El Hilu on the Jaffa-Jerusalem Road two days later, killing two Palestinians and wounding five others (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who fired on a bus near Bab el Wad on the Jaffa-Jerusalem Road three days later, wounding four Palestinians and one Russian (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who fired on the bus travelling the Ramallah-Latrun Road five days later (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who attacked two Arab buses the next day near Jaba on the Haifa Road, killing one Palestinian and wounding three others (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who opened fire on a bus travelling the Athlit-Haifa Road near Mazar, later that same day (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who opened fire on a bus travelling through Beit Shugelman on the Jaffa-Jerusalem road two days later, wounding one Palestinian and one Egyptian (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who, one week later, fired on the No.1 bus from Nazareth as it reached Iraq Street, Haifa, killing one Palestinian and seriously wounding another (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who detonated a bomb on the Safad-Acre Road as the bus to Safad was passing five days later, killing one Palestinian and wounding two others (2);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who fired from Neve Ya’acov Jewish colony at the Jaffa-Jerusalem bus three days later, killing one Greek and two Palestinians (5);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who firebombed a Nazareth Bus Company bus as it approached Haifa two days later, killing one Palestinian and wounding nine Palestinians and one Syrian (5);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who blew up the bus to Beit Hanoun the same day with a landmine detonated near Yad Mordechai, killing one Palestinian and wounding one other (5);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who ambushed a bus at the junction of Allenby Road and Freres Street in Haifa later that same day, wounding three Palestinians (3);

      Or the Zionist terrorists who, in the fourth terror attack on a Palestinian bus in a single day (24 March 1948) fired from Neve Ya’acov Jewish colony on two buses travelling along the Jerusalem-Nablus Road (5)…


      link to

      It could have something to do with all the times Palestinians have blown up civilian buses.

      You might be on to something.

  • NY ads depicting Palestinian dispossession are termed anti-Semitic by 'Jewish community'
    • Persian Jews have lived in the territories of today's Iran for over 2,700 years

      link to

      So Jews come from Israel, except for those that don't.

      Jewish Colonial Trust Assets

      link to

      It is called the Jewish Colonial Trust because that is what Zionism is - a colonial enterprise. When the word colonial became a bad word suddenly all Jewish colonial activities magically became something else.

      If we are going to go to absurdities, Jews come from from Egypt, or more distantly, from Africa.

      The modern world does not have room for such messianic re-births through blood and soil. I would have thought the first time was more than enough. Today we recognize the rights of individuals to religious freedom and to marry whomever they wish. We believe, well most of us, that the rights of an individual are more important than the rights of a religion, or the rights of an ethnicity.

      Judaism does not have rights. People have rights - the right to practice whatever religion they please.

      The ancient "connections" of Judaism to Israel should have no bearing on the modern rights of individuals to run their own lives. That Stonehenge is extremely important to Wiccans everywhere does not give all Wiccans automatic right to British citizenship, nor the right to expel those non Wiccans who live near Stonehenge, and steal their homes.

    • Yes - all those converts to Israel Judaism really secretly came from Israel. So did all those people who were born in England, United States and so forth.

      No - the only people, by your definition, are the Canaanites. Jews come from Egypt or so the fairytale goes.

      As far as conflict goes - most civilized countries have managed to work something out with a form of democracy and guaranteeing equal rights for everyone.

    • Colin, please.

      Zionism and Stalinism are two ideologies. Israel is a state. You are comparing two different things here.

      One can love a state and disavow its crimes. See for example:

      How Would a Patriot Act?

      If one loves Israel as the Zionist State then I would agree with you, even noting that a few Zionists manage to some pretty strong criticisms of Zionism. I would also agree that it is uncommon or even rare for someone to "love Israel" but to see Zionism as a form of extreme nationalism. That does not mean that it can not be done.

  • Department of Gratuitous Favorable References to Israel in US Media
  • American citizens are detained in Hebron for wearing hijab on a 'Jewish street'
    • Should Israel be singled out by people who aren't Israelis?

      Lots of different answers here:

      1. Should South Africans (notice that the Whites is assumed just as Jewish is assumed) be singled out by people who aren't South Africans?
      2. Should I ignore the crimes that the country I live in commits in foreign countries because I don't live in those foreign countries?
      3. Should I ignore the claims of foreign countries, or should I examine and criticize those clams? Eg: Israel has the most moral army. Israel is a democracy.
      4. Should I ignore the crimes of countries because there is an active effort to cover up those crimes, or should I redouble my efforts to expose those crimes?

      Claiming that everyone belongs to a shared humanity and has equal rights and potentials then claiming that people should not single out countries that fail to meet the standards is bizarre.

  • Netanyahu implicated in nuclear smuggling from U.S. -- big story in Israel
    • Yup. And if the US could bury the attack on the USS Liberty, this little teensy thing can be buried too.

  • Presbyterian activist in conservative Pbg paper says 'we will not shrink' when Jewish leaders threaten break in interfaith relations
    • The burning olive trees seem to hold the same value as the buffalo - and the belief that if one killed all the buffalo the Indians would leave.

  • Walt says liberalism and Zionism are difficult to reconcile
    • Liberalism and imperialism is an excellent example of bad faith. I wish I had thought of it earlier.

      The idea that we are enlightened and we can help you too become enlightened is extremely seductive - to place it in the form of America bringing "democracy" to your country is a natural extension of this. Of course it directly contradicts the idea of self determination for all people.

      The difference between supporting people in their own liberation, and attempting to take over that liberation is a fine line indeed. If I understand my history, that was a major trend in early Zionism - bringing enlightenment to the backward natives.

      I think that liberalism has some basic tenants that are not reconcilable with imperialism, or its close cousin colonialism. So, I would say Zionism is not unique or special in its bad faith - though it is special in the power it has managed to array in maintaining itself.

    • A liberal Zionists is someone who is avoiding reality - who is hiding from the truth. They are lying to themselves. A liberal Zionist is not an oxymoron, but rather someone who is living in bad faith.

      This makes liberal Zionists no different than other liberals who find reasons to oppose basic human rights - as has happened in the past over equality for women, gay rights, equality for minorities (slavery for an extreme example).

      I think it is worth arguing this point, because depending on what a liberal Zionist is, the tactics used in dealing with them changes. If they are living in bad faith, it makes senses to repeatedly confront them with their bad faith (politely). I know I don't do the politely very well though I am working on it.

    • I think Beinart understates the tensions between liberalism and Zionism.

      I think we are seeing an excellent example of the tension between liberalism and Zionism in the recent court ruling on circumcision from Cologne. The Zionist line is that Hitler is just around the corner. There appears to be no understanding of what this ruling is about, and why it occurred. It is as if, rather than just tensions between liberalism and Zionism, Zionism has a hard time understanding what liberalism is.

  • Israel's education minister leads $13 trip to settlement for 'advanced' Anglos
  • '$1 million prize intended to fight assimilation'
    • The Jewish family growth in Israel is specifically aimed
      at giving birth to more children and to at least restoring the Jewish population of the world to it’s numbers prior to 1939.

      Ah - Judaism is an obligation that weighs on a person's shoulder like a millstone. Heaven forbid someone have as few children as they please - or even worse marry someone who is not Jewish.

      Given the global increase in Jewish population 2000-2001 of .3% (whatever Jewish means) "restoring" the Jewish population isn't going to happen very soon. Perhaps if your goal is increasing the numbers, Judaism should start recruiting converts.

  • Circumcision deaths are a legalized non-scandal
    • Exactly how risky is the procedure, if done properly?

      We don't know because proper statistics are not kept. That includes records listing cause of death. It has been common to list cause of death as something else other than circumcision. We do know some general information - such as the risks of general anesthesia and local anesthesia, for example. We know that people occasionally die from these - no matter how qualified the people providing them.

      Since the foreskin is the most sensitive portion of the penis (and comprises 40% of the surface area) we know that complications occur in 100% of all circumcisions.

      Of course you can cut the risk of anesthesia by eliminating it - changing circumcision to torture.

      Here is one set of statistics:

      Immediate complications 5.26%-16.17%
      Late complications 5.25%-11.76%
      Adhesions 10.52%-29.41%

      link to

      THYMOS: Journal of Boyhood Studies, Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 2010, 78-90


      - Dan Bollinger

      Abstract: Baby boys can and do succumb as a result of having their foreskin removed. Circumcision-related mortality rates are not known with certainty; this study estimates the scale of this problem. This study finds that approximately 117 neonatal circumcision-related deaths (9.01/100,000) occur annually in the United States, about 1.3% of male neonatal deaths from all causes. Because infant circumcision is elective, all of these deaths are avoidable. This study also identifies reasons why accurate data on these deaths are not available, some of the obstacles to preventing these deaths, and some solutions to overcome them.

      link to

    • At one time similar views were held about female circumcision as well. The world is changing, and as usual, the US is behind the rest of the world.

      I do not know of any other form of surgery where it is left to the parents to make the decision. This is not standard medical practice - and violates medical ethics.

      AMSTERDAM - The Royal Dutch Medical Association on Thursday suggested a possible ban on elective circumcisions for young boys, saying they were medically unnecessary and violated children's rights.

      The 161-year-old organization, which represents more than 46,000 doctors and students, called the procedure "a violation of the integrity of the body."

      The group, known by its Dutch initials KNMG, proposed a dialogue between doctors and religious groups on the issue.

      Most non-therapeutic circumcisions in the Netherlands are performed on religious grounds. In the capital of Amsterdam, parents seeking circumcisions for elective reasons are often referred to a small clinic in a heavily Muslim neighborhood.

      "KNMG sees good reasons for a legal ban on non-therapeutic circumcisions, but fears that this will lead to the operation going underground," it said in a statement.

      In a column on the KNMG's website, chairman Arie Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman said some 80 percent of the group's members agreed circumcision should be discouraged.

      According to a 2007 World Health Organization report, some 30 percent of men worldwide are circumcised.

      (Reporting by Ben Berkowitz, editing by Paul Casciato)

      KNMG homepage (Dutch) (English translation)


      There is no convincing evidence that circumcision is useful or necessary in terms of prevention or hygiene. Partly in the light of the complications which can arise during or after circumcision, circumcision is not justifiable except on medical/therapeutic grounds. Insofar as there are medical benefits, such as a possibly reduced risk of HIV infection, it is reasonable to put off circumcision until the age at which such a risk is relevant and the boy himself can decide about the intervention, or can opt for any available alternatives.
      Contrary to what is often thought, circumcision entails the risk of medical and psychological complications. The most common complications are bleeding, infections, meatus stenosis (narrowing of the urethra) and panic attacks. Partial or complete penis amputations as a result of complications following circumcisions have also been reported, as have psychological problems as a result of the circumcision.
      Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors is contrary to the rule that minors may only be exposed to medical treatments if illness or abnormalities are present, or if it can be convincingly demonstrated that the medical intervention is in the interest of the child, as in the case of vaccinations.
      Non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors conflicts with the child's right to autonomy and physical integrity.
      The KNMG calls on (referring) doctors to explicitly inform parents/carers who are considering non-therapeutic circumcision for male minors of the risk of complications and the lack of convincing medical benefits. The fact that this is a medically non-essential intervention with a real risk of complications makes the quality of this advice particularly important. The doctor must then record the informed consent in the medical file.
      The KNMG respects the deep religious, symbolic and cultural feelings that surround the practice of nontherapeutic circumcision. The KNMG calls for a dialogue between doctors' organisations, experts and the religious groups concerned in order to put the issue of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors on the agenda and ultimately restrict it as much as possible.
      There are good reasons for a legal prohibition of non-therapeutic circumcision of male minors, as exists for female genital mutilation. However, the KNMG fears that a legal prohibition would result in the intervention being performed by non-medically qualified individuals in circumstances in which the quality of the intervention could not be sufficiently guaranteed. This could lead to more serious complications than is currently the case.

      This viewpoint by the KNMG is jointly endorsed by the following scientific associations:

      The Netherlands Society of General Practitioners
      The Netherlands Society of Youth Healthcare Physicians
      The Netherlands Association of Paediatric Surgeons
      The Netherlands Association of Plastic Surgeons
      The Netherlands Association for Paediatric Medicine
      The Netherlands Urology Association
      The Netherlands Surgeons’ Association

      link to

    • I made a response to the entire article which deals with this issue in more detail. It appears to have disappeared into the ether.

      Briefly, I do not make a moral distinction between how we mutilate our children. To claim that we are morally superior because we mutilate our children in a doctor's office seems to me to be a false sense of superiority.

      Personally, I would have thought that hacking off bits of your male children's sex organs was mortifyingly unthinkable no matter how it was done - including in a doctor's office.

    • I think that if a non-consenting woman was held down and the hood of her clitoris was removed without her permission, it would be considered, among other things, rape. So, yes, removing the hood of the penis on a new born baby boy is also rape. The issue of sucking the blood is graphic and obscene, but of minor importance to the entire issue.

    • The anti-circumcision movement is ugly, and suffused with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. This does not belong here.

      We're here! We're Intactivists! It's a human rights issue! Get used to it!

    • In Canada there is a religious controversy with Jehovah Witnesses who do not believe in blood transfusions.

      In extreme cases, where a minor needs a blood transfusion to save their life, the Canadian government takes custody of the child, performs the operation, then returns custody of the child.

      If the requirement of the religion is barbaric enough, that right is not recognized.

    • I am willing to bet that you aren't willing to take the same stand with regard to homosexuality - another topic that breaks down some of the Jewish/Muslim barriers.

      I personally don’t have an opinion here

      Well do you believe in freedom of religion? Is it ok to brand baby boys as Jewish? Do you believe that it is wrong to remove the foreskin from baby girls? Do you believe that women should have the right to control their own bodies? Do you believe that men should have the right to control their own bodies? What do you think about performing amputations without anesthetic? Are you willing to give it a go?

      You should have an opinion here - in the same way that those who do not have an opinion on whether a Jewish state, or for that matter an Islamic state, or a white state is a good or bad thing.

      No - you are probably right that in the short run - or even perhaps the medium run - this isn't going to help the IP issue, though ultimately it is the same issue - the right of every individual to run their own life. The right that one's religion, ethnicity, and one's body are private and not the business of the state.

      As an aside, it is interesting that some of those who have been at the forefront of the anti-circumcision movement have been Jews. In 1843 reform rabbis questioned the need for circumcision. 1869 Approval by 13 Reform Jewish Rabbis who met in Philadelphia that: "... birth, and not circumcision, is the initiation into the Jewish religion." 1885 At the National Rabbinical Convention of the Reformed Hebrew Church in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Dr Kohler of New York, "denounced the rite of circumcision as a relic of barbarism."

    • Is there a medical reason? A dermatologist I know (Jewish but not very observant) insists that there is.

      There has been a concerted effort to find some reason to engage in circumcision. So far the results have not been very convincing. There are three studies that indicate a stunning 60% decrease in adult African males who have been circumcised over males who have not been circumcised. The flaws in the study are many. Immediately, the results make no sense when looking at aids rates in the US vs Europe/Canada and the circumcision rates in the US vs Europe/Canada. The US has the highest rate of circumcision, and the highest rate of aids and other sexual transmitted diseases.

      When looking at rates of aids in African countries, there is no coloration between circumcision and aids rates.

      A number of countries are considering outlawing circumcision, or severely limiting its use, starting with the UK who (i believe in the 50's), after a study of circumcision decided that it was not something that should be routinely done.

      There are doctors and nurses that flatly refuse to engage in routine circumcision. Indeed, it is the medical community that has been driving this issue.

      The idea that FGM is worse than MGM is incomplete. The worst examples of FGM are indeed worse than MGM, but the worst examples of MGM are worse than some examples of FGM. MGM can, and does, lead to death.

      Health benefits of MGM, while illusionary, are completely a side issue. First of all, newborn babies do not engage in sex. Secondarily, we do not remove healthy tissue from baby girls to prevent breast cancer.

      February 20, 2002.

      TO: Members of the College

      FROM: Registrar [College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan]

      RE: Caution Against Routine Circumcision of Newborn Male Infants

      The practice of medicine is increasingly becoming evidence based. There is a strong and growing consensus that medical intervention should be based upon sound evidence of expected benefit that outweighs the potential risk of any such intervention.

      Where there is little evidence of expected benefit from a surgical procedure, but well recognized risk of surgical complications that may cause harm, it would generally be considered imprudent if not improper for a surgeon to perform such a surgical procedure.

      Notwithstanding these fundamental principles, 27.6% of newborn males were circumcised in this province in 2000-2001, in spite of the fact that the Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has for two and a half decades explicitly cautioned against routine circumcision of newborn male infants.

      Since August 1996, infant circumcision has not been a publicly insured service in Saskatchewan. The decision to de-insure the service was based partly on the lack of valid medical indications for the procedure.

      Even though citizens must now personally pay for this service, the incidence of routine male circumcision has dropped only moderately over the past five years.

      The relatively high rate of newborn male circumcision in Saskatchewan stands in very sharp contrast to that in some other regions of the country. For example, in Nova Scotia the rate has dropped to 1.5%, while in Newfoundland/Labrador it has dropped to 0.6%.

      Such high infant circumcision rates in Saskatchewan in the face of an explicit caution from the CPS is of great concern to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and ought to be a concern to all physicians who perform the procedure.

      Is it possible that so many Saskatchewan physicians are totally unaware of the position of the CPS, and the research evidence that supports that position?

      If physicians are unaware [sic] of the evidence against routine newborn circumcision, why do they continue to practice in a manner that ignores this evidence?

      In my dialogue with Saskatchewan physicians about this issue, I’ve encountered many who claim to be “neutral” in their opinion about routine circumcision, but perform the procedure strictly on the basis of parental preference.

      On the surface, that approach might seem commendable as it seems sensitive and responsive to parental values. However, it begs the question as to whether the parents are appropriately informed about the benefits and risk of this procedure. Even more importantly, it begs the question as to whether physicians are providing accurate and adequate information to parents that is likely to yield a truly informed decision on their part.

      Informed consent to any surgical procedure relies on an assumption that the decision maker possesses full and accurate information about both the benefits and risks of the procedure. The onus is cast upon the surgeon, who might perform the procedure, to ensure that such information is not only conveyed to the decision maker, but is understood by the decision maker.

      It is difficult to identify any other domain of medicine in which physicians would feel comfortable playing such a passive role in a decision pathway culminating in surgery. It is also difficult to identify any other domain of medicine in which practice patterns stand in such stark contrast to research evidence.

      When the Council of the College of Physicians and Surgeons reviewed this issue at its last meeting, it directed the Registrar to initiate an effective educational strategy to raise professional and public awareness of this issue. The first step in that strategy is this memo, which is directed to all members of the College who perform circumcisions, or are likely in a position to influence parental decision making on this issue.

      These are my recommendations to you:

      (1) First, be sure that you are fully and accurately informed about the research literature on this subject, which serves as the basis for the CPS position against routine circumcision of newborn male infants.

      You can obtain a copy of the CPS Position Paper, and a succinct summary of the relevant research evidence by logging on to the CPS website at

      If you are not able to access this information from the CPS website, please give Ms. Jo-Anne Wolan a call at the College. We will be pleased to send you a written copy of the CPS position paper.

      (2) In any dialogue you have with patients about potential circumcision of their newborn male infants, be sure that you accurately and effectively convey the message that this is not a recommended procedure.

      (3) If parents remain adamant in their preference that circumcision be performed, notwithstanding their awareness of the research on the subject, remember that you are under no obligation to perform any surgical procedure for which there are not valid medical indications. You can, and should, respectfully decline to perform the procedure just as you respectfully decline to carry out other requested medical acts that you regard to be inappropriate.

      (4) If the parental request for infant male circumcision is based exclusively upon religious beliefs and values, and you are inclined to act in deference to those religious beliefs and values, you would be prudent to require parental signature of a consent document which clearly stipulates that the circumcision in question is not medically indicated and is being performed in accordance with parental religious practices.

      In such cases, physician would be prudent to consult with and seek advice from the Canadian Medical Protective Association before proceeding.

    • Within the context of Judaism, circumcision implies that Judaism is an obligation not a choice.

    • Male circumcision on no way impairs the sexual enjoyment of the eventual adult.

      You are randomly guessing. Imagining that evolution would create a unique structure to the human body and provide it with 50% of the skin of the penis and give it no function is astounding.

      If you want to know the function of the foreskin - you can go here.

      link to

      There seem to be hygiene benefits and lower transmission of disease. Female circumcision, with no health benefit and ofter infections, is done to prevent the woman from having sexual urges and orgasm as an adult, making her easier transferred property.

      In fact Dr. Kellog and other early doctors used circumcision to prevent masturbation. In this case, anesthesia was not used as the pain of the operation was considered to be a bonus.

      Dr. Hatem al-Haj, PhD, MD, a senior committee member of the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA), has recently published a 41-page Arabic-language paper titled “Circumcision of Girls: Jurisprudence and Medicine.”

      Modern circumcision of women is more and more being justified by male circumcision, and is sometimes performed with the identical operation as with males - removal of the foreskin.

      The question is would the western universities be willing to conduct impartial studies to look for the possible benefits of female circumcision? And until the westerners had well structured and done studies on the benefits and harms of the removal of the female prepuce (AKA clitoral hood) which is analogous to the male prepuce commonly cut in the widely practiced male circumcision in the west, until they have done that, all of their propaganda about female circumcision is no more than bigotry. Once they have impartially studied the matter, they may then address the issue intelligibly. Then, we may listen to what they have to say, and reserve the right to choose for ourselves what we elect to espouse.

      I believe that the part that needs to be removed in female circumcision is that which corresponds to the foreskin in the male, and that is called “the clitoral hood”. It was noticed that the same harmful smegma that accumulates under the foreskin of male infants does accumulate under the clitoral hood of the female.

      link to

      The health benefits of circumcision are quite debatable with an amazing list of diseases listed that circumcision cures. There is a simple operation that can be performed on baby girls that would solve one of the major diseases that women get. We could remove the breast buds from all baby girls. Is that acceptable?

      Here are some of the diseases circumcision "cures":

      homicidal rage
      irritated the nervous system which hampers digestion
      phimosis and hence masturbation
      cancer of the penis
      smegma causes cervical cancer
      spina bifida

      When you talk of the benefits of circumcision, which diseases are you referring to - or perhaps you have some others to add to the list?

      It is fairly easy to document that the US has a higher rate of circumcision and a higher rate of diseases like aids compared to other western countries in general and Europe in particular. Disease rates for aids for circumcised and uncircumcised males are known for several African countries. The results are all over the place and do not show that circumcision prevents aids.

      Circumcision does siphon money from all other areas of heal care in Africa causing problems for emergency health procedures like caesarians.

    • Israel is based on the notion that Jews, collectively, have rights, but Jews as individuals must give up rights for the greater good of the collective. Circumcision helps to normalize this type of view both in Judaism and Islam, (and currently an attempt to expand it through out all of Africa.) To challenge circumcision is to challenge the notion that the individual must subordinate themselves to the majority. It is to insist that rights belong to the individual, not to the collective.

      I support Palestinian rights as an individual initiative. It is for each individual Palestinian, not for Palestinians as a collective. I am not beholden to the policies of Hamas or any other governmental or quasi-governmental body.

      Circumcision of newborn babies is the identical formulation. An operation is performed for religious or cultural reasons with the individual having no say in it at all. It violates all medical ethics.

      As with any operation there are risks, including death. This is amplified when an operation is performed on a newborn child.

      My impression of the anti-circumcision movement is that the mainstay has been the medical community. Here is a site that may be of interest. link to

  • C-SPAN is ravished by neocons
    • A video they produced shows some of them with an AlQaeda flag declaring the place to be an Islamic state. Arabic speakers told me that the accent in the video is not Syrian. These foreign fighters also looted and burned Turkish trucks.

      link to

      So anan - the enemy of my enemy is my friend?

  • 44 Senators, including many Democrats, sign AIPAC letter to Obama against Iran negotiations
    • Wisemanw1 - here is a list of Jewish Anarchists:


      Jacob Abrams[1]
      Paul Avrich[2][3]


      Aaron Baron[4]
      Fanya Baron[5]
      Julian Beck[6]
      Alexander Berkman[7]
      David Bernstein[8]
      Walter Block[9]
      Abe Bluestein[10]
      Mykel Board[11]
      Dmitry Bogrov[12]
      Murray Bookchin[13]
      Martin Buber[14]


      Noam Chomsky[15]
      Selig Silberstein (Selig Cohen)[16]
      Daniel Cohn-Bendit[17][18]


      Sam Dolgoff[19]
      Eric Drooker[20][21]


      David Edelstadt[22]
      Carl Einstein[23][24]


      Senya Fleshin[25]
      David D. Friedman[26][27]
      Abraham Frumkin[28]


      Allen Ginsberg[29]
      Emma Goldman[30]
      Paul Goodman[31]
      Abba Gordin[32]
      V. L. Gordin[32]
      Philip Grosser[33]
      Iuda Grossman (Grossman-Roshchin)[34]
      Mark Gunnery[35][36]


      Abraham Hartenstein[37]
      Paul Hefeld[38][39]
      Julio Herschenbaum[8]
      Hirsh Hershman[40]
      Abbie Hoffman[41]


      Franz Kafka[42]
      Pablo Karaschine[43]
      Maria Korn (Marie Goldsmith)[44]
      Tuli Kupferberg[45]


      Hyman Lachowsky[1]
      Gustav Landauer[46]
      Bernard Lazare[47]
      Jacob Lapidus[38][39]
      Philip Levine[48]
      Samuel Lipman[1]
      Sofia Lisichsky[43]


      Albert Meltzer[49]
      Ida Mett[50]
      Mark Mratchny[28]
      Erich Mühsam[51]


      Rose Pesotta[52]
      Jonathan Pollak[53]


      Simon Radowitzky[54]
      Maksim Rayevsky[55]
      Murray Rothbard[56]
      David Rovics[57][58]


      Alexander Schapiro[59]
      Sascha Schapiro[60]
      Jacob Schwartz[1]
      Sholom Schwartzbard[61]
      Bernardo Sernaguer[8]
      Karl Shapiro[62][63]
      Moishe Shtarkman[64]
      Daniel Sieradski[65]
      Toma Sik[66]
      Mollie Steimer[25]
      Vladimir Striga (Vladimir Lapidus)[67]


      Olga Taratuta[68]
      Moishe Tokar[69]
      Alexander Taranovsky[70][verification needed]




      Chaim Leib Weinberg[72]
      José Weisman[8]
      Rose Witcop[73]
      Milly Witkop[74]


      Saul Yanovsky[75]


      Yankev-Meyer Zalkind[76]
      Howard Zinn[77]

      Just saying.

  • One state, two states and the art of the possible
    • If we put aside Palestine for a moment, Israel is in deep trouble. It is a society with declining education with a privileged class that could become too large for the society to support.

      Demographic changes, haredi refusal to teach core subjects, lack of investment in Arab education, poor teaching quality, disciplinary troubles in the classroom, brain drain, eroding budgets for academic research. These are just some of the severe problems facing Israel's education system, threatening country's existence

      link to

      Israel seems to rely on conflict and racism in order to hold itself together. Even ignoring the I/P conflict, it seems that the country is not sustainable in the long run.

  • Knesset member and J14 advocate: Jail all human rights activists who support African migrant workers and send them to work camps
    • In the video the minister said she did not intend to compare the "infiltrators [African migrants] to people."

      She's a really nasty piece of work.

  • On the sidewalk in Hamburg-- 'Hier wohnte'
  • Watching propaganda in a Missouri synagogue
    • Circumcision - a form of torture - usually practiced on newborns or children, is probably almost universal in Israel.

      The psychotic split between a country that tortures its infants and bans spanking is I suspect similar to the behaviour on one side of the wall versus the other.

    • You forgot the bit about "And you can't criticize us if we are not the worst because that would be anti-Semitic!"

  • 'Let go of two-state solution insanity' -- says Illinois congressman who supports transfer
  • Shmully and guilt
    • Keith - I don't think that you have disproved the notion of the Protocols are a best seller, and similarly, Tokyobk hasn't proven that they are.

      On such an issue I would like to see some real backing - including who is reading the Protocols. A certain number of readers, may well be Jews . It matters if the readership has shifted from Jews to Muslims, for example. There is a difference between those who are on the receiving end being racist against those who seek to oppress them, and Israel does what it can against all Muslims, it claims in the name of all Jews. The ongoing attempt at a war against Iran being an example.

      Of course, who is oppressed today, may be on the giving end tomorrow - just as has occurred to Jews under the racist philosophy of Zionism.

      There is a second part has not been discussed - and that is when evaluating the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, are Jews any less racist than Gentiles? Is this pamphlet unique? Are Jews better than that?

      You would think that after Nazi Germany there would be no Jews who supported Hitler.

      link to

      There is also the feeling the love series by Max Blumenthal.

      link to

      No matter how much we wish otherwise, there is no difference in the racism of Jews and everyone else. Neither more nor less, the Protocols of Zion not withstanding.

    • In itself a Jewish state is no more or less odd or improper than a Muslim or Arab one. Jews on a small piece of land that once housed Jewish communities throughout is not in itself an evil.

      I'm not sure how many people here would think that a Muslim state is proper or acceptable. I don't. Ultimately, a Muslim state must be willing to enforce religion, and marriage or it becomes a secular state with a Muslim majority, or in the long term, not even that. I believe in freedom of religion, and ultimately a Muslim state must deny this. I believe that religion is a personal, private activity. A Muslim state must deny this as well. There is no problem with Jews inside any country, but in context, that is not what you said.

      When you finish with "Jews on a small piece of land..." you are moving the goal posts and engaging in racism at the same time. Either Jews are just another religion or Judaism is "special" and should be treated differently than every other religion. I think that people anywhere in the world have the right to their own faith - Judaism included. That does not give them the moral right to move to another country. Nor does it make it acceptable to officiate on who is and is not a Jew.

      In my dreams there is a secular state that protects religious minorities and welcomes exiled refugees and welcomes Jews who want to be close to their holiest sites and the land that figures in all of our liturgy.

      I am glad that you wish to protect religious minorities, and would welcome exiled refugees. This is, in my mind, where we draw the line between civilized and barbarism. I think that this is the key to a non-violent future from the Jewish side of the conflict. Similarly, the stated goal of not expelling Jews from even occupied Palestine, is the Palestinian side of this - recognizing that it means more for the victim to say this than the oppressor.

      Still - you have a need to see Jews as "other". You did not say that you would welcome exiled refugees and welcome all those who want to be close to their holiest sites - Christians, Jews and Muslims. Ultimately, you must be willing, as the Catholic church tried to do with Christianity, decide who is worthy - who is a good Jew and who is not worthy, and who is a bad Jew. Ultimately, you resist freedom of religion, feeling that state privileges and penalties should be assigned based on religious belief. When privileges and penalties are applied to religious beliefs at the state level, there is no true freedom of religion.

    • I was interested in Aaron Levitt's comments and experiences with Chabad and Shabbat in Jerusalem.

      Reading Phil's post and hearing tokyobk's comments reminded me of the article.

      link to

  • Israeli police barricade and arrest activists attempting to commemorate the Nakba
    • 2. What wud you rather – (i) live in an ethnocratic regime, able to protest, however imperfectly; or (ii) be shot, raped and tortured?

      Hmmm. There are a whole lot of Palestinians who are shot and tortured. Don't know any statistics about rape though. Israel actually has legalized torture - I think that makes it the only country in the world with torture legalized in some circumstances.

      The primary opening is the "necessity defense" which, under certain circumstances, exempts interrogators who employ illegal interrogation techniques, including physical violence, from criminal responsibility.

      link to

      asherpat, I think that this is known as a false choice.

  • Fighting Jews-- then and now
  • Sequestering young people in religious/ethnic schools breeds alienation and hatred (Magid takes on Beinart)
    • Jews for Jesus - Met one who studied under a Rabbi as part of a group for a while until the Rabbi kicked them out.

    • Elliot/Johnrich: Religious Society of Friends (British style) has had a component of Jews for a very long time. The Religious Society of Friends, while Christian, does not have a creed. They also do not do conversion. Perhaps Christianity is stranger than you think.

      Perhaps you are borrowing trouble. Religions are not cast in stone. Religious beliefs are not cast in stone. People can be whatever they wish to be.

  • On anti-Semitism, war crimes, and old poets
    • What is it with Gunter Grass and the SS?

      I understand that he was drafted into the SS, in a country where refusal to serve often led to death. Did he make a mistake or did he have little option - far less option than those who serve in the IDF.

  • StandWithUs manufactures boycott of Jewish deli in Olympia
    • So she has failed to do proper market research on what her customers want and is pissed because they aren't buying and because she must cater to their desires or suffer financial consequences.

      Knowing your customers is part of running a business. If your customers are critical of Israel and you bombard them with pro-Israeli messages, they will go somewhere else. If your customers are pro Israel and you bombard them with BDS messages, they will go somewhere else.

      Mixing politics and business is always a dicey proposition - a certain percentage of people are going to be pissed. That's just the way it goes - and scheduling StandWithUs is highly political.

      The time she is putting in to make a new business work sounds just about right. It sounds like she picked an excellent choice for type of food. Sounds like it was a big initial hit. Unfortunately, she missed the ambiance that her potential clientele wanted. It is not the fault of her clientele that she does not know what they want. It is also not the fault of her clientele that she does not wish to provide the ambiance that they want. Maybe she should have checked these things out before opening up her business - instead of whining about it now.

      One last comment - if it was an anti-Jewish sentiments - either boycott or otherwise - the initial success would not have been there.

  • Beinart's 'Zionist BDS' will only help entrench the occupation
    • Countries come and countries go, and in between times everyone thinks of these countries as being eternal and their existence ordained by god.

      No - Israel is not threatened by full ror- whatever the hell the borders of Israel are.

  • Rendell (of MSNBC and Friends of IDF) is under investigation for ties to Iranian terror group
    • I think that technically Galloway wasn't banned - he was threatened with being banned and did not actually test the waters.

      Justice Mosley found that the government’s preliminary assessment of Mr. Galloway’s admissibility to Canada did not amount to a “decision” that could be reviewed by the Court and that a real determination could only be made if he actually attempts to enter the country. While the Court dismissed the application on this basis, Justice Mosley went on to criticize the government’s approach to this case, saying that if Mr. Galloway had shown up in Canada and a border officer was asked to determine his admissibility, the process followed by the government prior to his entry would have interfered with the officer’s ability to exercise his/her discretion and demonstrated a reasonable apprehension of bias. Justice Mosley also found that the government’s interpretation of the meaning of “member” of a terrorist organization, as applied to Mr. Galloway, was overly broad and that, had he found the preliminary assessment to be a reviewable decision, he would have found it unreasonable.

      link to

  • Chair of DNC says: 'Israel is our rightful place... a place for us to go'
    • Sydnestel: I don't think I would be willing to say exactly what Quebecers want, though I have never lived in the province.

      The collapse of the Bloq during the last election tells us something important. From my distance I do not know if Quebecers are tried of sovereignty or tired of the issue of sovereignty.

      From the short term I can not say if Shingo is correct.Still I would be very reluctant to state that sovereignty as an issue is over for Quebec.

      It is worth noting that the campaign for sovereignty was tinged with racism -

      "It's true, it's true that we have been defeated, but basically by what? By money and ethnic votes, essentially. So all it means is that, in the next round, instead of being 60 or 61 per cent to vote YES, we will be 63 or 64 per cent and it will suffice.

      "C'est vrai, c'est vrai qu'on a été battus, au fond, par quoi ? Par l'argent puis des votes ethniques, essentiellement. Alors ça veut dire que la prochaine fois, au lieu d'être 60 ou 61 % à voter OUI on sera 63 ou 64 % et ça suffira.

      There are some very good historical reasons for french speaking people to desire separation. Still it is worth noting that the native vote was a jaw dropping 96% opposed. I think that nationalism and racism tend to go together.

      Rather than blaming the loss on immigrants, he should have blamed the loss on the incredibly bad relations Quebec has with its native communities.

      I think that one of the take-away lessons from Quebec is that "Nationalism is an infantile disease" as stated by Einstein. Israel is not immune.

    • When talking to Zionists it is complicated. Judaism becomes exactly what is needed at the moment morphing between religion, culture, ethnicity, race and whatever else as needed to make the argument of the moment.

      Ultimately, though, Judaism should be private, and not of anyone else's business - especially the state.

      but for secular jews ‘their culture’ is not judaism. secular people are not, for the most part, part of religious culture.

      Excellent use of a qualifier in there.

    • Shingo: Even the concept that nation states in general and borders in particular are problems is not allowed. We frame the debate in terms of "nations" because that is how field has been described to us. We don't have to, if we do not want to.

      As a person in Canada, does it bother me if an elected official is a dual citizen of France or the US? No. I don't believe in such knife edge distinctions. I don't accept the "enemy within" that is hidden in such distinctions. We are an international community these days and we need to break down nationalism not reinforce it. I'm not interested in the direction that the opposition to dual citizenship leads - to can a person who only has been in the country 2 generations be sufficiently loyal to run for state.

      Those who accept an illegitimate citizenship - such as Jewish nationality - I do mind very much, but I don't mind because they are dual citizens, but because they have chosen racism as an integral part of who they are. I mind in the same way as someone who believes in white power being elected in office. It is not a question of dual loyalties, they have bluntly stated that they do not represent all of their constituents.

      The chair of the DNC does not represent Palestinians in particular, and Muslims in general (recognizing that not all Palestinians are Christians). She prefers to be around her own kind. At one time the local white racists were handing out leaflets at subway stations expressing exactly that. It is not that she has dual loyalties. She does not. She has exactly one loyalty as far as I can see, and that is to the "Jewish Race" - and that is the problem. It is a problem whether she lives in Israel or in Florida. Her views are violent and she will leave a trail of violence behind her.

  • Reflections After the Harvard One State Conference
    • So you believe in the big Jewish conspiracy. Jews are a race and speak with one voice.

      So much for freedom of religion and so much for the right to marry as one chooses.

      So tell me - is a half jew really a Jew. How about a quarter Jew? How about an octoroon? How about a Jew who converts to Islam?

  • @IDFSpokesperson tweets inaccurate video and fake civilian casualty statistics
    • Your middle image is to small for some of us to read. You need to either make it bigger or to link it to a larger version.

  • Liberal American Jews are giving themselves permission to say goodbye
  • 'I refuse to join an army that has, since it was established, been engaged in dominating another nation': Interview with Israeli refuser Noam Gur
    • /Let’s see – right of return./
      We are talking about Israeli citizens where would you want them to return to?

      The Nationality Law automatically grants citizenship to all Jews who have done so, and also to their spouses, children,s grandchildren, and all their spouses. This privilege is for Jews only. Palestinian Arabs can only get citizenship by birth, residence (after meetinga cumulative list of conditions) or naturalisation

      And so it goes on and on.

    • They are not alien neither inside nor outside.

      And yet you use the language of the colonial master. They are Palestinian.

      Inside they are in a weird situation due to split loyalties ,
      but nonetheless they have full rights by the law even though their situation and integration into Israeli society must be improved.

      Full rights: Let's see - right of return. Nope. I guess they don't have full rights.

      Military Service: Many government preferences and benefits in Israel are conditioned on performing military service. Whilst military service is technicallycompulsory for all citizens, by discretion the vast majority (90%) of Palestinian Arabs are not required to serve; whereas the majority of Jews do. As a consequence, they do not receive the wide range of benefits, including larger mortgages, partial exemptions from course fees, and preferences for public employment and housing. The discriminatory factor is that in many cases the link between the benefit offered and the requirment for military service is tenuous, often as in employment opportunities, and that government offices provide benefits beyond what is legislated. The most celebrated example of this was the level of state child benefits, which until 1997 were conditioned on military service, rather than more obvious socio-economic factors. The impression that this is a mechanism for privileging Jews is borne out by the fact that Jewish Yeshiva students, who like Arab citizens do not serve, are granted the benefits anyway, a policy which has been upheld by the courts.(6

      link to

      They have changed and became a lot more like the rest of the Israeli
      whether they want to admit it or not.

      Outside they are in an ongoing national conflict with us which is yet to be resolved.

      They, they, they - Somehow I think that "they" get the point. Palestinians are second class citizens whom you, and Israel society view as the "other" to the point where you can't even speak the word "Palestinian".

      You have taken up the white man's burden - as you have "changed" them for the better.

  • Israeli right wing's vision for West Bank annexation (to 'pull the rug out from under apartheid accusation')
    • There is always the "demographic threat". Israel can never give equality to the Palestinians inside Israel because of it. There is no peace on the horizon because of it. Crimes must be committed and diversions to these crimes must be found.

  • ‏A letter from under attack
    • As with South Africa and as with the United Sates, we know what is required for peace.

      Separate is not equal. No special laws for Jews. Justice must no longer know what someone's ethnicity and religion is. Justice must be blind.

      Jews have the right to return - well the problem must be that Justice is unable to see who is and who is not a Jew.

      Israel is not the first country where the law carefully provided one set of rules for Jews and another set for other people. In each case the result has been horrendous abuses of human rights. You don't get peace when you have horrendous abuses of human rights.

  • Freedom Funnies: ‘You Can’t Just Continue’ Part II
    • I think that is in part a function of the internet. As a medium it promotes debate or conflict. Nuances are much better done face to face.

      Interestingly I kind of agree with both of you - the need to tone down the attacks, and the frustration Chaos expresses.

      In one sense I know that Chaos is wrong. It is possible to discourse with Israel's supporters - especially "liberal" Zionists. On the other hand it can be a project measured in years - and in a confrontational setting like this is just is not possible at all. So for all practical purposes I guess I fall into Chaos' camp. It is interesting that I often seem to find myself there. An yet I have found myself quite put off by the easy tendency to attack anyone.

      The one area that I've seen very little on in the Palestinian conflict is what drives the supporters of Israel. What do they believe, and how do they think.

      link to

      provides some insite into what Chaos is saying - but I think that the comments

      DC: The right-wingers are more honest?

      GL: Exactly.

      should be a starting point, not an ending point. I don't think we understand what liberal Zionists believe and why they are less honest than the right wing. The right wing will never ever be in our camp, but the liberal Zionists... one would think that we should be able to reach out - but it is as if a wall is there.

      My impression is that liberal Zionists are in a crisis where they are trying to reconcile two mutually opposing philosophies that can not be reconciled. One is obviously Zionism and the other I think can be called liberalism - universal human rights centered on the individual with the individual more important than the state.

  • Friedman warns war could hurt American Jews
    • It is always the way with the extreme right. The Republican party cares very little about regular Americans as well - and for all their posturing about soldiers, they care nothing about US soldiers as well.

  • A Palestinian student asks, 'Can I go on Birthright?'
    • Mayhem - I'm a bit confused here. I thought that there were several strains of Judaism. I wasn't aware that all Jews were the same and spoke with one voice. Jewish state? ... Really?

      I see you believe in punishing Palestinians because of their ethnicity. Do you think that the intransigent and recalcitrant nature is in their blood? Do you think I can judge all Jews based on your behaviour?

      There are a lot of anti-zionist Jews these days. I think that intransigent and recalcitrant may be quite good adjectives in describing them too. Perhaps we should punish all Jews for their intransigent and recalcitrant behavior because of the actions of the anti-zionist Jews.

      The issue is - are we talking about individuals or are we talking about races? You have framed the discussion in terms of the denial of the individual in favour of the group. Judiam is no longer an individual choice, but an obligation to the greater glory of the state. One true religion. One true state. One true people. Palestinians have no rights as individuals, but shall be judged and punished as a race, and more so - punished for failure to know their place amongst their betters.

  • Hasbarapocalypse at Ynet: 'Zionism will only cease being demonized when the West stops demonizing colonialism'
    • Holocaust is a long standing human activity. Possibly the first were the Neanderthal.

    • Rafael Castro does not show up except for this article when searching YNET either. I found myself carefully checking to make sure that today wasn't April 1 as well.

      I guess that means I'll go Onion as well - though it is becoming more common for Onion articles to be indistinguishable from what can be found in other quality newspapers.

    • I vote "Onion"

      I think I'm going to cry.

  • How Tony Judt broke with exclusivist ideology
  • California congresswoman: 'Some would call that apartheid'
    • I'd hunt for the blog policy on comments. I think you will find it on the very first line in the center of your screen. It is labeled Comments Policy

      Hope that helps.

  • Scott Brown tries to score points on Elizabeth Warren by calling on Harvard to cancel One State conference this weekend
  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • Let's add to the excuses for the Nakba - They made us do it.

    • I’M NOT SURPRISED that he’s friends with Witty.

      That is quite unfair and quite rude. I think you owe an apology for this.

      I would agree that Nakba denial gets at least a partial pass. I don't know what is moderated. Part of the problem, as I see it, is that Mondoweiss is in an impossible situation.

      It claims to oppose racism and support discussion between Zionism and anti-Zionists. Zionism is a philosophy that believes that Jews should have their own state. This leads to obvious questions of who is and who is not a Jew and how can we prevent Jews from marrying non Jews, or converting to other religions. It gets worse as Israel claims the right to speak for all Jews, and believes that Jews who marry out are doing the work of Hitler. In other words Zionism is a form of racism - the dividing of people into identifiable races, or other distinguishing groups that must be kept pure. On some level it is unavoidable for a Zionist to descend into racism and violence. If you believe that a Jewish state must exist, you must believe in the means to keep it that way - and that on some level that means violence. The most progressive Zionists engage in heavy denial in order to hold two diametrically opposing views in their heads at the same time.

      You can't have a non-racist discussion when one of the sides fairly explicitly supports a definition of Jew that for all practical purposes is a definition that divides people into separate races

      When it comes to the Nakba, Zionists don't have a lot of choices. 1. It did not occur. 2. Too bad we didn't finish the job properly or 3. So sad, too bad.

      Frankly, denial may be the best of a bad set of options. At least there is some minimal connection to the concept of right and wrong.

    • Whom you have and whom you don't will set the tone of discussion or argument.

      RW would definitely set the tone towards argument. In my impression, there is more discussion with disagreement of course without him.

      Banning/not banning clearly sets the tone for what and how things are discussed. With RW, the blog changes considerably.

      We preserved Witty’s presence here over the years because he was a stand-in for American Zionist opinion

      Ultimately, the choice is yours as to how and what you wish your blog to be. I will not say one is better than the other, though I have my preferences.

      If you want discussion with less argument, then you probably have little choice but to moderate.

      I think that if there is fairly heavy moderation, it probably would in the long run help to actually remove a person's post and say why it was removed as part of the moderation process. Hopefully people would learn over time - as opposed to just complaining. Eventually, perhaps as people get a better feel for what is allowed, you may be able to move to a flagging process - trusting some users to flag comments that potentially cross the line - speeding up the moderating process by not requiring that all comments be moderated directly.

      While I haven't posted that many comments under the moderation process, I can't think of any that have been rejected - so I don't have a feel of how heavy the moderation process is.

  • Judge strikes down lawsuit against Olympia Co-op boycott of Israeli goods
  • MSNBC: Israel trains Iranian terror group to kill nuclear scientists
  • New York's Muslim community fights back against NYPD Islamophobia
    • With $14.9 million, or about 80 percent of the NSGP [Homland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program] allocations, going to Jewish institutions, Jewish groups across the country received security dollars disproportionate to their numbers in the general population.

      link to

  • Why Christian Zionism is nothing short of outright heresy
  • Contextualizing the Holocaust
  • Gorenberg says a one-state solution would produce another Lebanon
    • Hostage: Turnabout is not fair play. I think that we should be trying for a state is more moral than Israel. It is not just more moral than Israel - that bar is so low as to be a complete embarrassment. It is a state that is much more moral than Israel.

      As far as NATO goes - be careful of what you ask for.

  • Ross's departure will hurt Obama's reelection hopes, Abrams explains
    • The reality is different. Christian Zionists are more than 1% of the electorate. Also, in the US support for Israel is, while cracking, truly impressive.

      To tie this in with your previous comment - the lobby is effectively working, along with the Republican Party to produce what looks to me like a classic fascist state. (link to

      In some ways, I believe that the issue isn't Zionism at all in the US elections. The fight is about the political future of the US and what type of political system the US will have. Zionism is a symbol of that alternative future, the best wedge issue of that system.

      Obama, in this sense, has already provided his adversaries key victories as you note. In fact, no matter what Obama does, it will never be enough because he is not a true believer. In this, by trying to placate the opposition, I think he has erred greatly.

  • Will calls for military confrontation with Iran develop their own momentum?
    • I haven't heard much about the possibility that Iran has biological weapons. Even with the assurance of Uri Avnery's Column this is still a very dangerous game. It could become the war that no one wanted.

  • Tom Friedman pushed Iraq war as 'radical liberal revolution' to 'install democracy in heart of Arab world'
  • Threatening letter to Obama on chilling Turkey is signed by 7 Jewish House members, says Peace Now
    • Krauss:

      This is not a liberal country and it’s turning it’s face away from modernity at a brisk clip. If Jewish Americans see this, even if it is in part out of concern for Israel, then frankly they do us all a favour. And although it is true that Israel’s and America’s interests do not always intersect; they are still likely to do so more often as both are much more similar than an increasingly anti-democratic, islamist and repressing regime that is Turkey of today.

      I read what you wrote. You believe a Jewish and Christian theocracy is better than a Muslim one. The anti-democratic nature of Israel does not seem to bother you very much at all, neither does the US, but you are quite afraid of Turkey.

      Perhaps the problem comes from an inability to see problems within your favourite country while seeing the problems in countries you do not like in exquisite detail.

    • It's not that you are wrong about Turkey - I really don't know enough about the country - it's that you are wrong about Israel.

      Israel is how you describe Turkey. The democratic bus is grinding to a halt in Israel, and everyone is getting off the bus. Israel has found its stop, and it is none to pretty.

      Similar, the US now is in a situation where the Republican Party has contempt for democracy, and the Democratic Party really does not care much one way or the other. Of course Israel and American interests intersect.

      I hear you say that a Jewish theocracy and a Christian theocracy are better than a Muslim theocracy, and frankly you are wrong. Each one is worse than the others.

  • Occupy Wall Street responds to controversy over Gaza flotilla
    • Yes - that is what I was thinking too.

    • However, since we have grown very quickly as an organization, we have not been able to come to consensus on certain issues that are outside the scope of the original message of OWS, which has dealt with the American financial crisis, democracy and wealth inequality.

      OWS is developing a platform - a set of policies and demands! If you are in OWS because the environment is being destroyed by corporate greed, you are in the wrong movement. If you are in OWS because the military industrial complex has become just about the only tool in the US foreign policy kit and it is creating extreme poverty and death throughout the world and bankrupting the US, you are in the wrong movement.

      American Financial Crisis - yes this applies - current total "aid" to a first world country is approximately 140 billion and rising.

      Democracy - yes this applies - the money is being used to prevent democracy - one person one vote in Israel. Israel is the guiding light of the Republican party and its attempts at destroying democracy in the US.

      Wealth Inequality - Massive sums of money for wealthy heavily militarized countries at the expense of poor countries, and at the expense of health care for poor Americans. If the US were to give a $500 gift to the poorest 6 million or so Americans it would make a huge difference, instead of providing bullets and guns to a first world country that does not need the money.

      Say it like it is - freedom for everyone is just too hot to handle for OWS.

      Whether OWS likes it or not, the US as a country is part of the "1%" of countries. So are you going to stick it to the poorest of the poor in order to maintain your economic privileges? Is this issue outside OWS too? You really need to get a list of formal demands going so those who have incorrect demands can go somewhere else.

      [ ops - this is not a comment dirrected at witty ]

  • Flotilla controversy within Occupy Wall Street shows Palestine continues to be a fault line
  • Times readers respond to Goldstone
  • Germany takes a toy away from the spoiled child
    • Hey! What about Canada? We're being absolute pricks too! Isolate us.

      Damn. No body ever pays any attention to Canada.

      (and a big f-u to Dear Leader Steven Harper.)

  • Goldstone sugarcoats persecution to try to save Israel
    • dimadok - I see you haven't bothered to provide a source for this "quote".

      Facts don’t even matter to these neoconservative war mongers.

      Why bother with facts when you can make up your own.

  • Romney promises to abdicate American foreign policy towards Israel . . . to Israel
    • Obama has screwed himself. He needed to provide an alternative to the Republican vision. Instead he pushed compromise. He needed to stand up for civil liberties and justice. Instead he counselled "look forward" and don't look back.

    • I don't think that there is much argument over whether the dog wags the tail or the tail wags the dog anymore.

      This obsequious behavour is actually embarrassing to watch.

      I would still be interested in if Noam Chompsky believes that the the dog wags the tail, why.

  • Oktoberfest in Palestine

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