Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 75 (since 2010-09-05 16:15:02)

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  • 'I mourn my Jewish community, which seeks to justify these inexcusable acts'
    • Wonderful article, wonderful action. As a Christian, I want to echo your sentiment, I am "...also mourning the state of my American [Christian] community..." many of whom also "[seek] to justify these inexcusable acts, straying away from the social justice spirit of tikkun at the foundation of Judaism"AND Christianity. Nothing separates people more than "religion." Nothing brings people together than recognizing every individual's humanity.

  • Video: If you voted for Hamas, Israel has a right to kill you, says president of NY Board of Rabbis
  • How can Human Rights Watch conclude an Israeli didn't want to kill 4 boys on the beach?
  • Caught in a lie: E-mails prove right-wing pro-Israel donor Adam Milstein gave money to California student candidates
    • Hoppy, not sure what your demand for "actual English words" reflects, but I guess it means you would have hated Shakespeare. Language is dynamic. Words are invented all the time. Zionism, Zionist, etc. are invented words, as was "American" at some point. Your protest is nothing but a deflection.

  • 'Washington Post' conflates anti-Semitism with anti-Zionism
    • Here it is:

    • We who call actions and ideas of Israel, Zionism, Israelis, etc. objectionable/sinful/evil are objecting to just that, actions and ideas. To call that "anti-Semitic" is to say that those actions and ideas we find objectionable/sinful/evil are immutable characteristics of Jews. You don't get any more anti-Semitic than that.

  • Neoconservatism is 'vindicated' in fawning 'NYT' piece on power couple of Kagan and Kristol
    • First Tommy-boy "Suck on this" Friedman, now this?? Why would anyone subscribe to the NYT anymore? Reading the NYT is like smoking in the 50s: it's the popular thing to do but very damaging to the health of the nation. Those who really think about it realize how unhealthy it is and so don't.

  • Hillary Clinton's flipflop: We were wrong to take hard line against settlements
  • 'Washington Post' reports that funders have excommunicated Jews who don't believe in Zionism
    • “You have to push the envelope, you have to challenge,” says Gil Steinlauf, senior rabbi at Adas Israel Congregation in the District. “This is the essence of what it means to be Jewish...."

      I wholeheartedly salute the first sentence. But I'm troubled by the second one. I realize it's said in the context of what may be desribed as the struggle for Jewish identity. But therein lies the problem, because "pushing the envelope" is actually the essence of what it means to be a thoughtful (dare I say righteous) person. Being Jewish means no more than being Christian, Muslim, Pastafarian, Druid or atheist. Thoughts?

  • Kerry's cowardly apology on 'apartheid' is giant blunder for Israel's propagandists
  • 'Poof' -- Kerry blames Israel for breakdown of talks (Updated)
    • Hophmi, while I unfortunately must agree with your assessment of the impact here, your smugness reveals your tribal, fear-of-the-other pathological mindset. No doubt that the support in Congress for Israel is a rousing success for Zionists! But the true depth of that support is likely no thicker than a $100 bill. Money talks in American politics like never before. An objective measure of right and wrong doesn't matter to you because Israel IS the very definition of "right" to you. To you and the Zionistas, "a few [sic] houses" built on stolen land are not nearly as bad as the attempt by Palestinians to gain recognition of their unalienable rights. 'Nuf said.

  • Shira Robinson explains the DNA of Israel
    • Thank you, Jackdaw, for acknowlegding that Palestinians "became second class citizens and were...forced to flee their homes". Because if you are (rightfully) concerned with what happened to Jews then, you must also know that the actions of Arab states was warned about (then directly precipitated by) the partition and the treatment of Palestinians by Zionist Jews. Two wrongs don't make a right - but the second wrong wouldn't have happened without the first.

  • Wesleyan president slams NY Jewish community for suppressing differences over Israel
    • Dare I suggest he's objecting because Butler is Jewish and the debate would take place within the Jewish community? ASA, on the other hand, is not exclusively Jewish (though many members are). So he seems open to ideas/actions that challenge Zionism from within the community but not from the outside. Sounds like a "moderate" white Southerner, circa 1963, complaining about Yankee agitators.

  • In response to ASA boycott vote, Lawrence Summers calls academic boycotts 'abhorrent' and then calls for a boycott of the ASA
    • What Summers is "in effect" saying is that those actions by Israel which the ASA is protesting in their resolution, "profiling, surveillance, and civil rights violations...pervasive deprivations affecting health, education and overall security...restrictions on movement and travel...restrictions on education, scholarships, and participation in campus activities" etc. are racially-based and/or racially-entitled behaviors of all Jews. Now who's the racist here "in effect, if not necessarily in intent?"

  • 'The Israeli sniper shot my son as if he hunted a bird': Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahi, 14, killed while standing outside of West Bank school
    • With the history of apartheid now in the spotlight, the parallel between this murder and the murder of children in The Trojan Horse Massacre in South Africa is compelling and undeniable. Yet sadly, the perfidy of Israel will continue all but unchallenged.

  • George Bush set to speak to Christian End-Times group that calls for conversion of Jews
    • What this highlights to me is the "useful idiot" status of Bush and the Christian Zionistas to Israel and her Jewish supporters. Let the nutjobs think all that end-times BS -- even if it could be seen as somehow threatening to Jews -- because 1) it will never come to pass and 2) their support buttresses Israel's impunitous behavior.

  • Netanyahu says Rouhani denies the Holocaust. But he doesn't
    • Foxman's criticism/semi-denial of the Ukranian holocaust (notice the small "h") was necessary in his world because Zionism rests entirely on the moral copyright claim of The Holocaust (TM) as something unique in history and exclusive to the Jewish people. Maintenance of special victim status is mission critical to justifying the criminal conspiracy in Palestine. As a Gentile, I was also saddened -- and enlightened -- to find, in my attendance of bar/bat mitzvah services for friends' children, that uplifting victimhood is a central tenent in much of American Judaism.

  • Stateless and in Exile: One Palestinian family's story of being expelled from their Jerusalem home
    • I see what you did there. A clumsy lie -- changing the subject from "residents of Jerusalem" to "Israeli citizens." The Mahshi family aren't Israeli citizens, but as the article points out, under "international law... Palestinian East Jerusalemites are not merely 'residents' but are also 'protected persons' who are entitled to continue living in their country." But since when has international law mattered to Israelis.

      Second, Arab citizens of Jerusalem are denied citizenship part of the lie is the statement itself, that "All Israeli citizens have the same certainty regardless of religion or background." See the treatment of the Bedouin as just one example.

    • What a repulsive racist state. I would expect the Israeli Ministry of Interior documents were produced by a chain of actions by bureacrats, most if not all of whom would vociferously deny their racism. A textbook "banality-of-evil" action.

      And please don't ascribe a level of blame to the PA. They're powerless in this, like co-opted prison trustees who get extra privileges if they play the warden's game. And their crime that put them in prison was - as with all Palestinians - being born in Palestine and not being Jewish.

  • 'AIPAC must be kept for consensus issues only': Israeli diplomat slams Israel lobby for engaging on Syria
    • Well whadya know... AIPAC's gone rogue?? Or not. I'm thinking they just see the error of the strategy, that Americans aren't buying their shinola this time and so he's cutting them loose. The phrase "AIPAC must be kept..." is a stark admission of its role as Israel's operative. Maybe someday they will have to register as the foreign agency they are.

  • On NPR, All Trivia Considered
    • Have felt the same way in the last year or so. I'd think rather listen to Top 40 or watch TMZ than listen to NPR. At least those don't claim to be anything other than junk food for the mind.

      My impression is that NPR, like almost all legacy US media today, has been neutered by the loud voices and dollars of the rightwing and/or The Lobby. To stereotype a bit, NPR listeners are urban liberals who are either PEPper or non-Jewish. Those who are PEPpers react sharply whenever anything pro-Palestinian is aired, while the non-Jewish listeners can be satified with the mundane, like talking about barbeque for 7 minutes.

  • Reaching the age of entitlement
    • Here comes hopmi with false equivalance again. There certainly are "over-the-top sweet-16" parties. There is even an MTV reality show called "My Super Sweet 16" that has run since 2005. But they are objects of ridicule by any reasonable person. I can't easily find evidence of "over-the-top" communion parties. And in my personal life -- as a nominal mainline Christian with two teenage children -- I can say I have never experienced either one.

      But I have personally experienced more than a dozen "over the top" bar/bat mitzvahs. It is not only de rigeur, I have had Jewish parents who couldn't afford one speak apologetically about their lack of excess.

      So contrary to what Hophmi claims below, empirical evidence suggests to me that this IS at least somewhat representaive of Jewish America. It's not the whole, but it's a revealing part. I'm not sure I understand why it seems to be a part of the culture. And much as hophmi et al like to play the "racist!" card, it IS cultural, not racial.

  • Syria wrap: Grumbling This won't be easy, NYT's Bill Keller suits up for another Mid-East war
    • "Kill Bill" Keller at it again, huh?
      "It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry for blood, more vengeance. More desolation." -- William Tecumseh Sherman

  • Hea culpa: 'New Yorker' editor backed Iraq war because Saddam had WMD and wanted to liberate Jerusalem
    • It's a gentleman's agreement, seafroid. If they acknowledged their nukes, US law dictates that we couldn't subsidize them, and in fact could impose sanctions on them. But heaven forbid the US actually adhere to it's ideals when it comes to foreign policy in the Middle East.

  • NY synagogue banishes panel on Israel, saying BDS discussion is 'forbidden'
    • From the Ansche Chesed website, it sounds like the prototypical PEPper synagogue (my edits in parens): link to anschechesed.org

      [We are] an egalitarian, participatory Conservative synagogue, filled with learning, prayer, celebration and social action (as long as it's not about about Israel/Palestine).... We are a diverse community that comes together to pray, to learn, to laugh and to cry (except about Israel/Palestine).... There is something for everyone here (except those who want to discuss Israel/Palestine): Shabbat, holiday and daily services, organic vegetables in our lobby, writers reading on our roof, opportunities for social action, and classes for people of all ages all backgrounds.

      We welcome you! (as long as you don't criticize Israel)

      "Ansche Chesed is home to thoughtful, questioning Jews dedicated to prayer,
      learning and action (unless it's about Israel/Palestine). It's a synagogue where tikkun olam is not just another mantra; it's a place where Jewish values are taken seriously (as long as it's not about Israel/Palestine) and where I feel proud to belong." --Michael Wise

      (Then Wise breaks out in song:
      "I'm a PEPper, he's a PEPper, she's a PEPper, we're all PEPpers, wouldn't you like to be a PEPper too?....Be a PEPper, drink Zion PEPper..." link to youtube.com

  • Covering Hamas and Palestinian society: A response to Peter Beinart
    • Back up two sentences, hophmi: "If the U.S. government were funding Hamas we'd feel differently, and if there was a propaganda and lobbying effort in the U.S. to justify and promote oppressive Hamas practices we would cover it. But this isn't the case."
      As Americans, we subsidize Israel's behavior and are therefore responsible for it. Such is not the case with Hamas. Your unwillingness to comprehend the difference is inevitable given your loyalty to the cult of Zionism.

  • 'Emergency Committee for Israel' can dish it out, but it can't--
    • You're right, Lysias. It's a paraphrased quote widely misattributed to Thucydides. Actual quote is from British historian Sir William Francis Butler: "The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards."

      Still fits Bill the Bloody like a glove though, regardless of the authorship.

  • Hagel news: Abrams says lobby is mostly Christian, JVP wants Americans to say 'apartheid'
    • Interesting tack by Abrams. He must fear that the gig is up. To paraphrase the Luther character in the movie "The Warriors": "No. No... It wasn't us. It was them. It was the [Christian] Warriors."

  • Sen. Graham is merely enforcing Sen. Schumer's 'behind the scenes' deal with Hagel -- Fineman
    • Matthews is a Beltway cocktail party coward. You can tell which way "progressive" thought is blowing by what he's saying. In a recent commercial for his Hardball show, Matthews says he's no hawk but we MUST do something about Iraq, err I mean Iran.

  • Bloomberg backs Brooklyn College over BDS event as another official withdraws funding threat
  • Israeli army releases video of Dec. 12 killing of Palestinian youth at Hebron checkpoint
    • Far too grainy to see much of anything. What we do see conflicts with the story that the IDF told that "he pulled out a gun and pointed it at the head of one of the soldiers.” Salayme looks more or less calm, swinging his bag as he waits -- though perhaps understandably frustrated by the whole process as any rational human would be. But that changed in an instant after the soldier approached him, and said something to him. Salayme then starts punching. Also, I see other soldiers moving to help, but doing so quite calmly (arms swinging) as if there was no real threat. Then the heroic lioness Nofar puts the Lieberman doctrine in action: “It is unacceptable that Palestinian[s] slap and punch IDF soldiers and stay alive.”

      I guess the vaunted Israeli technology hasn't made it to their border cameras, which seem to be have night vision technology circa 1985. Stone Age technology allows Israel to release a video that shows some level of hostility by the victim so Obsidian, dimadok et al can see what they want to. Perhaps someone can digitally enhance this to get better information.

  • One day later: B'nai Jeshurun leaders regret voicing support for Palestine UN bid
    • "a fellow democracy [sic] with which they share values"
      How true! All four Pacific nations (with a combined population of under 200,000) are protectorates of the US and recieve billions in "aid." Marshall Islands is a haven for US manufacturers because we imposed a "no minimum wage" law there. So the "shared values" is the subjugation of an indigenous population by "democratic" immigrants. One big difference: the US is the dog who wags the tail of those four nations, but Israel is the tail who wags the US dog.

    • Another example of how Zionism is a collective cult, in which "questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. The collective "dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel.... The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment... and regards [its] belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law. " The parallels are eerie. More here: link to csj.org

  • No balance: CNN slobbers over Peres, grills Meshaal
    • Wolf Blitzer is a product of his environment. His parents fled the Nazis from Poland, he spent early career in Israel where he worked at the right-wing Jerusalem Post. He also wrote for AIPAC. Jonathan Pollard thought so much of him he contacted Blitzer to write his side of the story, a book which reviewer Robert Friedman called "a slick piece of damage control that would make [Blitzer's] former employers at AIPAC (not to mention Israel's Defense Ministry) proud."

  • On crossing cultures as a western visitor to Palestine
    • Sash, I applaud your recognition and your journey. But I think it depends on how much baggage you come in with. It seems that so many Americans are totally brainwashed vis-a-vis the humanity of Palestinians, Muslims or Arabs. So if you have that mindset to begin with, it's a heavy load to lose. But, if like Pamlea or myself, you never were indoctrinated or somehow threw it off, there isn't much you need to get over, other than the fact that you can't fix over night conditions that are so clearly and maddeningly unjust.

  • 7 Palestinians, including 3 children, killed and 52 injured as Israeli attack on Gaza continues
    • They intended to perhaps kill someone by chance, but as they are unguided, more to terrorize. There your question is answered. But ParkSlopeGuy, what about the Torah? Will you answer THAT question?

      “If men quarrel and one hits the other with a rock[et] or with his fist and he does not die..., the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around..."

      Unguided rockets are usually just scaring, sometimes injuring, sometimes killing. Israeli missles are usually killing and injuring and always scaring.

    • Good point, because as the Torah says, "ten eyes for the fear that an act might take one eye" Oh wait, no it doesn't. Israel is like every other bully state in human history. It's a self-righteous thugocracy.

  • Romney's 'no daylight' pledge between US and Israel means that Israel will lead us -- Dajani
  • Free Gaza Movement Twitter controversy leads Jewish Voice for Peace to distance itself from group
    • I agreee totally, at least based on what is posted here. Having a hard time seeing "racism" in a critical claim -- no matter its veracity -- about a political movement. How is this not buying into the (totally racist) Zionist mantra that any criticism of Zionism is anti-Semetic?

  • David Gregory walks back bow to Netanyahu as 'leader of the Jewish people'
    • How about this exchange starting right at the 4:00 mark. Has to be a world record for totally contradicting onself and lying about doing so:

      NETANYAHU: ...Come on. We know that they're working towards a weapon. They're not -- we know that. It's not something that we surmise. We have absolutely certainty about that. And they're advancing towards that nuclear program.

      CROWLEY: Do you mean you and the U.S. know that, because I don't from what I read, from what I hear, I don't get the sense that the U.S. has the certainty that you do or the urgency that you seem to have. Is there a disconnect there?

      NETANYAHU: First of all, I talked about the certainty of their enrichment program, and I didn't talk about the other elements. And I spoke about the difficulty of knowing other things...

    • Interesting. Over the past few years, Gregory studied Judaism with Erica Brown, who from what little I read seems to be a mainstream liberal American Jew, i.e. progressive except when it come to Israel and Palestine. Her Rosh Hashanah message barely touches religious wisdom or faith before plowing into a litany of Judeo/Israeli-centric celebrations or claims of victimhood. There is literally nothing in her message that connects Judaism to the rest of the world -- but plenty that separates it. I find this urge for separateness chilling. If this is who Gergory has learned his "faith" from, no wonder he sees Bibi as the leader of the Jewish people. link to shalomdc.org

  • Video: Israeli youths violently detain Palestinian under eyes of soldiers
    • I hear ya Ranjit, but I wanted the comparison to hold up over several categories, e.g. children killed by "terrorism" vs God's chosen army. link to ifamericansknew.org

      That's why I did say "at least 10x".

    • Yeah, right gildag. Can't determine much from the short clip but Elfakhouri is not seen doing anything to warrant what he receives-- all the force comes from the brown-shirts, err I mean Israelis. I count 10 Israelis against one Palestinian. Says a lot about you that you view it as "reasonable".

      It's a great metaphor. Evidence suggests Zionists values their own lives lives at least 10x more worthy than Palestinians based on comparative prison sentences, number of civilians killed in conflict, etc. "An eye for an eye" is now 10 eyes for an eye. "Beacon of freedom" indeed.

  • Paul Ryan describes Israel as issue of 'Homeland Security'
  • Foxman in American translation
    • But Israel is more than a hometown. It is a manifestation of an ideology. A better analogy would be to the defenders of communism in the face of the horrors of Stalin & Mao. “My love and support for the Soviet Union is unconditional, it does not depend on the the Kremlin's acceptance of my ideas. My Communism is not in crisis because my Communism is not conditioned on an embrace of an idealized view of what I’d like the Soviet Union to be.”

  • Military dictatorships are good for Israel
    • Hophmi , your last 5 words (or really the last 2) say it all. "[S]elf-determination" not for the Israeli people, but for the "Jewish" people. No self-determination for Arabs, Palestinians, etc. Only for Jews.

  • The things I miss (confessions of an activist)
  • State Dep't official's 'Are you Jewish?' question to US citizen keeps rattling Foggy Bottom
  • Israel's reliance on US has turned it into a 'global pariah'
    • Amen. Clearly, we are Israel's ally. Clearly they are not ours -- and it can be argued they are our enemy.

  • US Embassy to American in trouble in Israel: 'You're not Jewish? Then we can't do anything to help you'
    • You make a very good point, Fred, but that leaves the elephant in the room: Israel is an openly racist state, our government knows it, and not only does not care, it actively protects and subsidizes them. Sorry for stating the obvious, but thought it bore mentioning.

  • 9th grade Palestinian boy arrested at 3:45 am, soldier leans close and whispers 'F*ck your mother' as they haul him off
    • Not sure if this will make it through or not, but reading about the Silwan 9th graders, I must ask how far must things go before the right-wing Israelis can be compared to Nazis? They didn't start out with death camps, only got there over time.

      "If the last and worst act of the whole regime had come immediately after the first and smallest, thousands, yes, millions would have been sufficiently shocked—if, let us say, the gassing of the Jews in ’43 had come immediately after the ‘German Firm’ stickers on the windows of non-Jewish shops in ’33. But of course this isn’t the way it happens. In between come all the hundreds of little steps, some of them imperceptible, each of them preparing you not to be shocked by the next. Step C is not so much worse than Step B, and, if you did not make a stand at Step B, why should you at Step C? And so on to Step D.

      "And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all." -- Milton Meyer, They Thought They Were Free -- The Germans, 1933-45
      link to press.uchicago.edu

  • Bill Kristol celebrates Republican Party purge of 'oldfashioned Arabists' Scowcroft, Baker and Bush I
    • "...the Jewish success in America that you so often boast about was due above all to a ruthless combination of maintaining Jewish cohesion whilst shattering the cohesion of the rest of America. "

      I've come to this sad conclusion as well. After WWII, America was forced to open its eyes to anti-Semitism in Europe and at home and slowly began to work to right those wrongs. But I can't help but feel that, in a classic example of "give 'em an inch and they'll take a yard", we have experienced a real-world version of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" within the power structure of our nation. This is simewhat simplsitic, but the old guard Mainline Protestant patricians of the 50s and 60s (who rightfully imposed an arms embargo on Israel) were gradually swept away and Zionism emerged to rule our foreign policy with no room for those who view all people equally (aka "Arabists").

  • 1200 rabbis threaten an end to interfaith harmony if Methodists support divestment
    • I'd like to congratulate the rabbis for reaching a pinnacle of power previously held by Chrisitan clergy, aligned with the power structure and standing against basic human freedoms. We saw it in South Africa in the 70s and 80s, the South in the 50s and 60s, etc.

      "In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot... they have perverted the purest religion ever preached to man into mystery and jargon, unintelligible to all mankind, and therefore the safer engine for their purpose." -- Thomas Jefferson to Horatio Spafford, 1814

  • Jewish press concoct threat against 200 Jewish students in Florida university
    • Let me agree -- just excellent reporting. Sad to say but today's Judaism seems to be steeped in the tradition of Jews scaring Jews. A Jewish friend once told me in jest, "All Jewish holdidays are the same. We say 'They tried to kill us...we survived...let's eat.'" At the time, it struck me as humorous, and yes, I get the historical context, but I have since come to see the pernicious side of that mindset.

  • 'I didn't say I liked Beinart's book' -- J Street head sells his star guest out to his antagonist, Goldberg
    • True dat, WB. Or for that matter, Palestinians. But of course, if - and ONLY if - he doesn't think Iranians or Palestinians are "people" his logic holds. Herein is exposed the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Zionism.

  • The video that pushed Peter Beinart to speak out against the occupation
    • Yeah, I get it guys. While not Jewish, "some of my best friends...." And being raised a conservative Southern white boy in the 60s & 70s, I lived in the midst of an oppressor-as-victim society. But like Mooser, I started to question it all at a pretty young age and by the time I was in college I knew the score. But I'm not keeping score -- I'm always happy to see progress regardless of when it comes. And my society certainly had no historical reason to see itself as victim, so I understand that can make the Zionist narrative harder to overcome.

    • I'm not one to question motives, but Beinart really had to commit willful ignorance (imbued by his tribal bias) to not know this kinda stuff has been happening for years, if not decades. It seems "the internets" has made it too obvious to avoid anymore. Despite this criticism, I welcome his evolution, though his attempt to modify rather than reject the cult of Zionism shows he still has a way to go.

  • Pentagon fears Israeli strike on Iran would drag US in
    • Maddow took the spot Cenk Uygur should have. Now we know why -- yet another PEPpy (Progressive Until Palestine). She's pretty damned intelligent otherwise so it seems a concious choice.

  • Iran's Oscar win reveals Israeli movie-goers to be brainwashed bumpkins
    • Of course, American Zionists no better. At the party I attended to watch the Oscars, one guy was rooting for the Israeli entry desite never seeing it (or "The Separation"). When "The Separation" won, he quipped that the movie was about "separating uranium." I quipped back that the Israelis had already won that award.

      Stone...cold...silence...

  • Assault on Beinart begins with poll claiming young American Jews love Israel
    • Ditto Annie. As one of Southern WASP heritage, I can empathize greatly. I grew up in the 70s as Jim Crow was fading, but grew repulsed by its remnants that remained through the 80s. So when I moved to LA, I thought I would escape it (and the humidity). Yet, over the years, as conversations with some (though certainly not all) Jewish friends and acquiantences meandered to Israel, I was truly shocked to find attitudes even more racist that what I left in Tennessee -- and even more shocked that it seems socially acceptable to this day.

  • Video: right-wing groups attack U.S. professors over Ilan Pappe speaking tour
    • "They are a cult." Sad but true. See below a few of the the charactersitcs of a cult -- all you need do is change "leader" to Zionism or Israel and these all fit well.
      link to csj.org

      * The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

      ‪ * Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

      ‪ * The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members .

      ‪ * The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

      ‪ * The leader is not accountable to any authorities .

      ‪ * The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group.

      ‪ * The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

      ‪ * The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

      ‪ * Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

      ‪ * Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

      ‪ * The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

  • New book explores the history of 'New Jewish Agenda'
    • But that doesn't take into account the historical context of Zionism. For that we need several paragraphs of hand-wringing to excuse what is plainly wrong. (snark)

    • Good on ya, mate.

    • Admittedly few if any of us know Ezra, and we could be misinterpreting the author's mindset. But rather than using exclusionary language by calling people "fools," perhaps you would be more effective in simply testifying to Ezra's character. I'm infintely more likely to respectfully consider someone's opinion if they are also respectful of mine. Ironically, your outright rejection of what has been a pretty logical discussion is akin to critics of Israel being called anti-Semitic.

    • Worthy point. More detail from Ms. Nepon would be helpful.

    • See above. I definitely agree with these refinements. But my overgeneralization doesn't invalidate the arguement. So to repeat, now that we've trimmed that tree, how does the forest look?

    • Now that we've trimmed the tree, how's the forest look?

    • Point taken. I like your wording better.

    • Not to mention that any right claimed by Jews should not be at the expense of rights of the current inhabitants of the land for which they claim a right of return. Any moral concept of "right of return" cannot include "right of expulsion" or "right of majority status."

    • Not sure what you mean by "uggh". Open to criticism though.

    • Small correction: I should have said "However in my opinion, Zionism in it's current form is patently racist". I'm not well versed in historical Zionism, but very comfortable commenting on the modern day version based on 30+ years as an observer.

    • Annie Robbins struck me when she wrote above that she "still would not define zionism ‘as racism’ because there is plenty of racism that doesn’t involve zionism." It was an "ah-hah" moment for me. "Zionism = racism" is not true logically because "racism = Zionism" is not true. However, Zionism is patently racist, if not in its ideology then in its effect. Like Jim Crow laws were racist here in the US, some policies are blatantly racist, others are so only in their effect.

      But that is difficult to see if you've been raised Jewish, I guess. From my experience attending a dozen or more Jewish services over the years (each at a different location), it seems to me that Zionism and victimhood are part and parcel of American Judasim (not unlike fundamentalist Christianity, but that's another topic). There was not one service I attended that did not highlight both Zionism and victimhood. Combine that with the unique fact that the Judaism is both religion and race, and it's easy to see why any objection to Zionism is seen by many if not most Jews an objection to Jews themselves. Sad.

  • JTA wonders why 'Jewish influence' is so 'pervasive' in our politics
    • Before the '08 election, a friend of mine said "I always vote for whoever is best for Israel." In a discussion with another friend, I backed him into a moral corner where his response to the inhumanity of the Israelis toward Palestinians became, and I quote, "I don't care." Every Jewish service I've been too (bar/bat mitzvahs for friends' children) has included a somewhat militant prayer for Israel in their fight against their "enemies."

      As a non-Jew, it seems to me that for many if now most Jews in the US, Judaism means blind, fervent support of Israel. Of course, they are supported in this view my the Zionist Chrisitans in the fundamentalist sects. But until and unless this is challenged, I hold out little hope for a change in US policy or in Israel's direction toward moral decay.

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