Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 70 (since 2009-08-02 14:51:36)

Ethan Heitner


Showing comments 70 - 1

  • Proposal for a Direct Action, Yom Kippur 5775
  • 'Israel today, Israel tomorrow, Israel forever,' Rep. Hakeem Jeffries says at NY rally
    • Holy shit. I can't believe I'm still shockable, but I'm shocked at that speech by Hakeem Jeffries. Is there a list anywhere of electeds in attendence at this event?

  • Diaspora Jews must speak out against the Israeli Law of Return
  • Remembering the Warsaw Ghetto uprising
    • Fascinating indeed. In the Zionist history I was given growing up, we were always told that with the notable exception of the Vilna partisans, Jews were not welcomed in Polish anti-Nazi partisan units--- that in fact they turned over Jews they found to the Nazis, even as they were fighting the Nazis.

    • Also caught my eye in the NYT today was this review of what sounds like a very interesting art exhibit exploring themes of Zionism, counterhistory and the fates of Polish Jewry, from Israeli artist Yael Bartana:
      link to
      "The narrative that unfolds among the three videos concerns a kind of reverse Zionism, the Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland, initially a fictive campaign to rebuild the Jewish population of Poland that Ms. Bartana is apparently turning into a reality.

      In “Mary Koszmary (Nightmares),” a youthful leader stands before a microphone in the abandoned National Stadium in Warsaw exhorting an invisible audience to return, build new settlements and plant trees. Upon finishing, he is greeted by a small delegation of children and teenagers, wearing red neckerchiefs, who could be Israeli, German or Soviet.

      In “Mur I weiza (Wall and Tower),” a horde of wholesome-looking young men and women, redolent of 1930s propaganda films, build a ’30s-style kibbutz in a once Jewish neighborhood in Warsaw, complete with watchtower and barbed wire that also conjure concentration camps. From the tower they unfurl a red flag whose motif resembles the German eagle.

      “Zamach (Assassination)” occurs after the assassination of the young leader in the first video: an enormous bust of him worthy of Lenin is dedicated in a city square as hundreds of demonstrators and helmeted police look on. "

  • Freedom Funnies: There is a checkpoint around this center!
  • In three cities, pension fund TIAA-CREF urged to end complicity in Israeli occupation
    • What do you propose to replace it? Nonrhyming blank verse? May have more literary sophistication but works much less well to keep a crowd together and active. I'd much rather chant (especially if the chants are funny and innovative, as Adalah-NY's tend to be) than listen to boring speeches or stand around in stony silence.

    • It is in my anecdotal experience especially those BDS activists who are union members who would like to work on making their union pension funds more ethical by divesting from Israel, but most of the strategic discussions I have witnessed have focused on the fact that it is not practical yet. It is precisely because most union leadership in this country is so "staunchly pro-Israel" as you point out that any divestment campaign within the union would be extremely difficult. The TIAA-CREF campaign has been a massive undertaking and is still going to be a long road until victory. I'm not saying those union campaigns won't come-- but it's going to be a tough fight that we want to be well prepared for.

  • Pro-Israel activists break new ground -- an anti-Arab hate video
  • The things I miss (confessions of an activist)
    • First off, I want to start with a salute to Sarah and all the many activists who are out there sacrificing their time, their energy, and so much more for the cause of justice. It was hearing my roommate's stories of the struggles she faced at SJP that inspired me to turn her stories into a comic. Part of that story, Phil, is learning when engaging with the enemy is actually just a drain of your time, your resources, your spirit.
      What do we get out of it?
      The comic is called "Nothing Normal About It" and addresses the idea of "normalization." You can read it in full here:
      link to
      Of course, the stories that Sarah and other activists I know share are not addressed: after all, we want to have fun, we want to be able to enjoy our life, we want to do things the easy way out, but for many Palestinian activists (and their allies) they choose to take on the burden of doing something to make this world better.

  • Aharon Appelfeld's rage at the German language (and Arendt's need for it)
    • I don't know what this is supposed to prove. "There are varying degress of anti-gentilism among Jews"-- so what? Does that in any way lessen or excuse what happened in Europe? Let us also remember that the Nuremberg laws which codified racism were passed well before the start of the war. Many disgusting scenes of anti-semitism were quite public well before the war-- making elderly Jews wash the streets with a toothbrush or their beards, forcibly expelling Jews from universities and places of employment. I do not know what your intentions are, but the sum of your arguments seems to me apologist.

      For that matter, why should non-Palestinians care about Palestinians? Why should anyone stick their neck out for anyone? But plenty of people do. And we know from their example that it was perfectly possible for others and for us.

    • Anton Shammas writes in Hebrew (beautifully). Several Israeli Jews from Arab countries continued to write in Arabic (there was one, an Iraqi, who died a few years ago who I remember reading insisted on continuing to write in Arabic only).

  • RIP MCA: Yauch challenged Islamophobia and US militarism in the Middle East on MTV in 1998
    • Clinton sent cruise missiles to destroy a civilian pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, in retaliation for the Kenya embassy bombings, which remains an oft-cited example of pre-9/11 state terrorism perpetrated by the U.S. for those of us who remember. Many, like Chomsky, cite a figure of thousands of deaths caused, not by the strike itself, but by the lack of vital medicines that the plant produced for a very poor nation.

  • Netanyahu goes looney tunes on Israeli Independence Day
    • I didn't catch all of it, Bibi is talking about the many great things they have accomplished in 64 years of independence, technology that the whole world uses, computers, cell phones, etc. etc. standard talking points, then he says and the parrot and cat repeat the popular shabbos song from the beginning of Psalm 133, as King James translates it: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

  • Freedom Funnies: ‘You Can’t Just Continue’ Part II
    • @Denis-
      Yeah, so, in the past 30-40 years most people have realized that comics, as a medium, are not an inherently "simpler" or "easier" artform suitable only for children or simpletons. There have been a staggering number of beautiful counterexamples of adult, intelligent, complicated comics and it's a little silly to still have to be making this argument in 2012. Suffice to say I recommend you get yourself to a library or bookstore. You'll have to figure out what your tastes are, but some of my favorite complicated, adult cartoonists are:
      Chris Ware, Eddie Campbell, David B. (French cartoonist), David Mazzuchelli (Asterios Polyp), Seth Tobocman (check out his War in the Neighborhood), Joe Sacco, Art Spiegelman, etc. etc.

      Really, check them out, you'll be doing yourself a favor. I'm not going to make any claims about my work in particular, but again, you aren't talking about my work, you are making very broad assertions about the medium I work in.

      Unrelated is your question of propaganda.

      Propaganda can also be for adults, you know.
      I think you are raising interesting points about fiction vs. documentary nature. It is true: I am taking the recorded words of an interview with Annemarie Jacir and adding a layer of interpretive drawing in order (I hope) to augment, clarify, and add visual impact to her words.

      I don't think that's a bad thing tho. I don't think propaganda is necessarily a dirty word. I'm really dedicated to the idea that visuals can make complicated ideas easier to understand, can add clarity, can make things memorable, beautiful, etc. I think that is the basic principle behind all graphic design, and I think it is sort of inescapable:
      you actually literally cannot present "just the truth," "the bare facts" without embedded it in some sort of style, some sort of presentation-- even a plain sheet of white paper with words printed on it is a visual presentation that haselements one can make conscious choices about. As we used to say in my lit theory classes, the thing about "style" and "content" is that that they are the same. You cannot separate them cleanly.

      To me, the problem with Captain Israel is not that it is propaganda. The problem is that it is poorly done, aesthetically ugly propaganda espousing a hateful rhetoric.

    • Ok, now I don't understand you. At first I thought you were in favor of "Doonesbury"-style satire and I was like, yes, it would be awesome, I'm just not the artist to do it.

      Now you are rejecting fiction entirely as a medium for artistic expression regarding politics? I'm not even going to engage with that, it seems too absurd on the face of it. Suffice to say I actually credit much of my development as an anti-Zionist Jew to reading Hebrew and Arabic literature, from A.B. Yehoshua's "Facing the Forest" to Anton Shammas' "Arabesques" to Elias Khoury's "Gate of the Sun." I think fiction is incredibly powerful, precisely because facts can be contested.

      But I'm not even sure why you bring that up in this discussion, because these particular "Freedom Funnies" comics are non-fiction interviews with actual people. It leads me to suspect that you took one look at the word "Funnies" in the title, immediately lept to your pre-conceptions of what a comic is, and failed to read the comic in front of you.

      And then you end by pissing on my entire medium. Of course, if you believe that "'funnies' appeal to half-functional, lazy minds that can’t be bothered sorting it all out" I'm not sure why I'm bothering to talk to you. You're the literary snob version of a Zionist claiming that all Arabs are racist bloodthirsty savages ;).

    • Man, I was also pretty pleased with the drawing of the Israeli soldier using one hand as a hand-puppet with the tragedy and comedy theater masks. Tho maybe that was a stretch as a metaphor for how Israel uses cultural institutions to whitewash or distract.

    • Chaos4700-
      Who is the Israel supporter you are referring to? I'm hoping not Denis, but all I read in their comment was a critique of the comics' manner of presentation, not of the politics.
      I have been around these forums long enough to note that there may be a tendency to leap to attack anyone who offers dissenting viewpoints, which I think is unhealthy.

    • Hi Denis-
      Hopefully you see more differences between my comics and Captain Israel than just which side of the debate we are on. While I agree that satire is a great weapon, it's not one that I always feel I have in my arsenal.

      Anyways, I'm using "funnies" a bit sarcastically and a bit in the sense of the word "comics"-- they are not funny, they are not comic. But that's what the artform is, from Joe Sacco and Chris Ware to Mutt and Jeff. Cartooning can have a wide variety of registers, targets, modes, just like writing prose. I thought it would be interesting to use my platform at Mondoweiss to interview Palestinian artists, and talk to them about making art under apartheid.

      I also really hate the use of "graphic novel" to mean comics that are serious.

  • Responding to commenters on recent bannings
    • Thanks for these clarifications and honestly for taking tough choices. Mondoweiss readers, remember, nobody is owed a platform and your rights of free speech don't mean you have the right to be given one. The job of an editor is, in part, to decide what speech to feature in a publication, and what the limits of discourse are to be, and that is perfectly appropriate.

  • Bachmann comes to Manhattan for Zionist org's Brandeis dinner
  • Needed: 'worldwide external pressure'
  • In 1950, Avnery offered first Israeli corroboration of 'the Palestinian narrative'
    • Avnery was not alone.

      I would also recommend, in this genre, the novella 'Khirbet Khizeh' by S. Yizhar, published in Israeli in 1949, which offers a very similar account based on the author's experience of expelling a Palestinian village. It used to be taught as part of the Israeli Jewish high school curriculum. It, like Avnery's book, was only translated into English recently:
      link to

      There is also a recent collection of poetry, edited by Hanan Hever and published by Zochrot, called 'Al Tagidu B'Gat' which is a collection of Hebrew-language poetry about the Palestinian Nakba by diverse authors all published originally between 1948-58.

      Which just confirms, of course, what is very logical-- the first generation of Israelis did not deny what had happened, because they could not. They did it. It wasn't a secret. It was public.

      It was only later that those memories could be surpressed. And of course, here in the States, it's the American Jews who remained ignorant for the longest time.

  • Encountering Leonard Cohen in an L.A. pizzeria
    • I am glad that our movement will not be held hostage by "the Israeli left." We are not going to waste more decades than we already have trying to placate your fickle demands or salve your wounded pride. We are moving forward, and have extended a hand to you to join us in sharing a vision of peace built on justice for everyone. Many Israelis have joined us. The choice is yours. We would love to work with you to build a better future for everyone, but we do not need you.

  • Brooke Gladstone is hip
    • I was browsing through her book, illustrated as it is by the fabulous Josh Neufeld, one of my favorite cartoonists, until I came to the section on "objectivity." Wherein she interviews Ethan Bronner, NYT Jerusalem Bureau chief, as a paragon of how to put one's personal feelings aside to report "just the facts, ma'am." I was not interested in the book after that.

  • Palestinian boycott committee welcomes statehood resolution
  • BDS flashmobs are largely led by women (who must contend with misogyny)
    • Yes, her primary agenda is being safe among people she considers friends, as all of us have a right to be. We cannot ask people to confront the hatred and physical threat of Zionism if we do not do our best to work for safety within our own group for all members. It is the responsibility of all of us to make sure we are keeping each other safe, it is NOT the responsibility of the victim to confront someone alone.

      We are talking about violence (whether physical or implied) and assault here. Even if it is only disrespectful language, it should not be trivialized, as you did. Many examples have been posted on this site of the disrespectful language Zionists use to talk about Arabs or Palestinians--should we condone that sort of behavior in our own groups when directed toward women? It is "rude" but it is also dangerous and if not confronted, time and time again has been shown to only escalate.

      To the below commenter: yes, if by the "current values of the Bay Area" you mean respect for everyone, that is what I demand of any movement I am part of. And Palestinians I work with demand the same.

      Thank you, Ms. Mizrahi, Ms. Feldman, and others for being brave enough to step forward amidst and start this discussion, which is clearly necessary.

    • I am glad that the BDS activists I work with in real life are not like some of the commenters of this post. They acknowledge the responsibility of their work, which means accepting criticism. They are mature enough to not confuse political disagreements with criticism of methods, strategy, or fact. They certainly do not stoop to accusing other people of insufficient "devotion to the cause" merely for having criticism. Our activities grow stronger when we factcheck, when we do the hard work of internal critique, when we can discuss things openly without namecalling.

      But more importantly, no group I would ever organize with would condone the misogyny of telling a woman who is reporting having her physical boundaries violated by a fellow activist that she is just repeating "the tired old clichés of the seventies" and trying to "weaken" the movement. The disrespect of saying K. Feldman is upset because she was "hit on" inappropriately should not be tolerated.

      I normally would ignore this as "merely" the anonymous trash talk of the internet, but I think its very important that these comments, even if they are just comments on a message board, do not go unchallenged.

      The only way for women (or queers, or people of color, or anyone who is in a relatively less privileged position) to be safe is for them to be able to trust that when they come forward with information they are met by a supportive environment that respects them and their testimony. The only way for our movement to lead to equality is if we mean equality is for everyone.

  • Agnon and Joyce on the cruelty of community
    • Thank you for doing that research. I should have, and I'm glad I included a caveat in my initial statement, but I apologize for my laziness. Of course, books printed in Israel are boycottable.

    • Mooser, why the attack? You don't know who I am or my politics. Not that my politics or personal identity should be relevent-- reread the comment I made and identify the problem you have with it. I am an active BDS organizer in New York City. You are being anonymously rude.

    • So, Mondoweiss friends, what Jon is linking to here is important: apparently some councils in Scotland took it on itself to ban books by Israeli authors from libraries.

      That is not part of the BDS call put out by Palestinian civil society and I think personally has no place in the BDS movement. The ,BDS call for cultural boycott comes with very specific guidelines and clearly stands against boycotting individual Israeli artists or authors, or cultural producers. It calls for boycotting cultural institutions, which include the tours of Israeli artists funded by the Israeli foreign ministry, but not the cultural output of individual Israelis.

      If the Express article is accurate, it is NOT an accurate application of the boycott call and I think can be denounced reasonably. Personally, not speaking for anyone other than myself, I think it is important to denounce such overreaches. The goal of BDS has never been to blacklist individuals.

      Haytham, I entirely agree with everything you have said. Just because Israel does have its own cultural contributions doesn't mean it also doesn't engage in cultural appropriation, and the felafel/hummus/"israeli salad" stuff annoys the hell out of me.

      I'm just saying that negating the contributions of Agnon, Yizhar, Bialik, or Rutu Modan or Assaf Hanuka, wholsesale is as much an anti-human position to take as Zionism. We are not here to dehumanize Israelis.

    • Eatbees comment doesn't explain why xe feels Agnon stole his story from Qais wa Laila, true. I am making the assumption that it is meant to be a critique of implied Zionism, which seemed fair to me given the context of this website and the general tone of comments on it. Which I also don't have any sort of problem with in general. I similarly don't know why you are assuming I am resentful of anything. I am merely calling out what I saw as an (admittedly implied) assumption of anything Israeli=Zionist=stolen from Arabs. I saw a comment elsewhere that "Israel has no culture, how can it, it is only 60 years old" and I think that sentiment is very wrong, even from an anti-Zionist perspective.

    • "Stolen his story from the classic Arabic"-- uhm, just because he is Israeli doesn't mean everything he did was stolen from Arabs. The story is a near universal one.

      Phil, if you want some classic Israeli literature I highly recommend 'Khirbet Khizeh,' by S. Yizhar. I would be interested to hear your thoughts on it. It is a beautifully, poetically rendered tale of the expulsion of a Palestinian village from the perspective of the Israeli soldiers doing the expelling, written in 1949 after Yizhar had personally witnessed such events. It used to be part of the core curriculum of all Israeli high school students.
      link to

  • I left the corporate bubble -- and am now trying to give a voice to the scores of Palestinian Gandhis
    • Dear Pam-
      I would strongly urge you to partner with organizations, especially Palestinian-led ones, that are already doing some of this work, rather than 'reinvent the wheel.' I recommend to your attention the IMEU, the Institute for Middle East Understanding, as a project already committed to doing much of this work in the long term. It is important to realize that our relative privilege, which allows us to parachute into an issue, even in a way that we feel is life-transforming for us, also can also blind us to how we operate. Being accountable to Palestinians is important, because they are the ones in whose name our struggle exists and for whom we act. While "acting as a megaphone" may seem like you are merely stepping out of the way and allowing their voices to speak, your editorial vision and voice will of course be dominant in a documentary you make, and as a recent "convert" I worry that you may get caught up in the heady rush wanting to do something, anything, without worrying about accountability and responsibility. I would have made this a private message to you, but could not find your contact information anywhere. Respectfully yours.

  • Past is Present: Why settler colonialism still matters
    • Settler colonialism is not immigration. It is not about "residence." Go to the conference and you might learn something!

  • Moroccan activists look to join protest wave this Sunday
    • Tamazight is one of the languages of the native people of north Africa, who are also called Berbers. They call themselves Amazigh. They make up a large percentage of the population of Morocco, and sizeable percentages in Tunis, Algeria, Mauritania and other parts of North Africa.

  • Out of answers on how to confront BDS, StandWithUs comic book portrays Palestinians (and allies) as vermin, reminiscent of Nazi propaganda
    • If you're looking for something to wash the taste of that out of your eyeballs, and enjoy some bitingly hilarious satire of zionist propaganda, may I suggest the cartoons of Eli Valley?
      Specifically, the antidote to this one would be
      "Israel Man and Diaspora Boy"
      link to

      Also, humbly, my own contributions to the fine art of comic books for justice, the story of Abdallah Abu Rahmah:
      link to
      (toot toot)

  • Israeli spoof of brainwashing -- in kindergarten
  • Omar Barghouti is on the Mondo Awards Panel of Judges
    • It would greatly enhance the value of the conversation if you did some research, Michael W., before you ask these questions. The guidelines for boycott are available at and Particularly you might find enlightening PACBI's guidelines for implementation of the academic boycott and guidelines for implementation of the cultural boycott.

      I will take a swing at answering some of your questions, tho:
      1) there is no call for a boycott of individuals, either academics or artists, there is only a boycott of institutions. individuals would probably be subject to a boycott call if they were representing an institution in an official fashion.

      2) the economic boycott of israel is a central part of the BDS movement and includes a call to boycott all israeli companies

      Those things being said, it is worth noting that BDS is a tactic and a tool, not a dogma, and it is encouraged to go after egregious violators of human rights first, or targets you feel your local context would make ripe for an effective campaign, rather than willy-nilly after any and all israeli institutions. It is also important to note that Israeli institutions that take a firm and unqualified stance against the violation of Palestinian human rights are not subject to's just that there are very few of those.

  • Schnabel says 'Miral' was delayed because 'the world' isn't ready for its message
  • My conversation with an Israeli leftist
    • So? It was effective in changing that perception. It works. I specifically avoided any claim of "authenticity."

    • I have heard many native peoples of this North American continent, and their allies, refer to it as "Turtle Island" rather than "America" (some Italian dude) or other Europeanish designations or nation-state names they are not part of and were built on their stolen land.

  • Is Lev Leviev out of the settlement building business?
    • Just to emphasize, Adam and Walid and others, that Adalah-NY is NOT claiming that Lev Leviev is out of the settlement-building industry. Africa Israel Investments, which is his largest company, and the one with the most international investment, seems to be for the moment, and it was AFI that was the target of the Norwegian divestment, etc. etc. as the largest and most easily targeted of Leviev's companies. As far as we know, and as we noted in our press release, another Leviev company, Leader Management, is still building on the land of the village of Jayyous.

      However, this is still a victory, because AFI was the target of substantial pressure, and seems to be the first company to have acknowledged that pressure.

  • Look, a mall where Palestinians and Jews shop side by side
    • Hey, you know where there are many malls where Arabs and Jews shop together side by side (and even Israelis and Palestinians)?


      Flatbush Avenue.

      Now that you have discovered that not all Palestinians brim over with bloodlust to lynch the nearest Jew, you can perhaps start talking to these "Others" whose presence in "your" shopping mall you find so strange and listening to them when they tell their stories of displacement, of discrimination, of apartheid.

      In '48, no less!

  • Yonatan Shapira, a moral giant
  • CARE USA drops board member over ties to Lev Leviev's settlement building empire
    • Its very important, from an activist perspective, to have a target campaign that focuses on a specific, achievable goal. You can't go after every target all the time-- the list of companies complicit just in the occupation, much less in Israel in general, is giant. Its overwhelming.

      The Leviev campaign has gotten these victories because we try to be laser-focused.

  • Poor schmuck Harvey Pekar-- gets to be censored on Israel posthumously!
    • Uhm, he's Harvey Pekar, son. Get an education before you open your mouth.

      Here's the Cleveland Plain Dealer quoting R. Crumb on Harvey Pekar and Cleveland:
      "He's the soul of Cleveland," Crumb told The Plain Dealer in 1994. "He's passionate and articulate. He's grim. He's Jewish. I appreciate the way he embraces all that darkness."

      In the same obit they quote the NY Review of Books:
      "In 1989, the New York Times Book Review said, "Mr. Pekar's work has been compared by literary critics to Chekhov's and Dostoevski's, and it's easy to see why."

    • I know Phil frequently likes to make links between anti-zionists and the civil rights movement.

      According to this story, Harvey Pekar travelled with an interracial couple who were civil rights activists from Cleveland to Detroit so he could be a witness to their at-the-time highly controversial wedding. Not a Freedom Rider, but definitely a sympathizer?

  • These 'Times' demand Robert Mackey
    • Man, have you seen Mackey in the trenches, responding to commenters, pointing out blatant factual inaccuracies? What a mensch, as Phil would say.
      What a good reporter. What a decent human being trying to do a tough fucking job.

      Admittedly, the heroic reporter in the trenches of the blog commentary is a little less romantic than the actual trenches of the war zone, but still, the man might be up for a journalistic silver star for bravery.

  • Reports - 19 people killed, 30-60 injured in Israeli attack on freedom flotilla
  • Naomi Klein calls out an Israeli thinktank for misrepresenting her views
    • Again, you're not trying very hard.

      While I dispute pretty much everything you just said as being clearly and unambiguously factually wrong, it is all irrelevant to your first two posts which claim that :

      a) Naomi Klein linked BDS to the Toronto protest


      b) that it is reasonable to assume that BDS supporters and Hamas/Hezbollah Islamists are working in tandem.

      both of which are laughable claims that if you continue to assert deny your claim to be allowed to participate in a reasonable conversation. If you want to be taken seriously, you're going to have to stop spouting random nonsense.

    • Dear Richard-
      You don't know what the individuals Weiss is reporting on are saying....because you haven't read the post you are commenting on?

      I think it is a very reasonable assumption that Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, the Iranian Ayatollahs all relished the appearance of a military invasion of Saddam Hussein's secular Ba'athist regime, which was an enemy to them all. That doesn't mean George Bush was working with them, or that they were working with each other.

      The BDS call is centered on international law and human rights. Hezbollah and Hamas are movements centered on Islam. Just because Israel offends advocates of both doesn't mean they are working together.

      P.S. here is Naomi Klein stating very clearly that the Toronto protest was not a boycott:
      link to

      I don't know why I bother responding to you, but it would be nice if you tried a little harder as the resident "loyal opposition" around here.

  • Deafening silence from corporate media (on silent IDF dinner protest)
    • Media spokespeople for the event said that they gave a lot of interviews for cameras, both English and Arabic-language. Keep in mind that a 30-second spot on the local news (which is great!) is going to be harder to find on an internet search.

  • How do you aim BDS at the Israel lobby?
    • I don't think there is any evidence Marwan is a leftist or a liberal, I think he is pragmatic and dedicated. I'd be interested in seeing more evidence, though, if you have it.

      You might want to add to that list Riham Barghouti, one of the pillars of BDS and Palestine activism here in NYC.

  • my wife and I have an intellectual disagreement about peasants
    • I disagree completely. I don't think Jewish peasants had "Jewish privilege" at all. I don't think they were protected in any way. You'd have to come up with some real history to back up that claim.

      P.S. Solzhenitsyn was an anti-Semite in the true sense of the word, in that he believed "world Jewry" had a nefarious ideological purpose for the world and for Russia. He tried to refute the idea that he was anti-Semitic but it's there. I wouldn't trust his 200 Years as a history.

    • I think this conversation is veering off into a bit of extremism. It's hard to take a blanket like "there were no Jewish peasants in Europe" very seriously. European history comprises a wide variety of societies and social relations, and Jews functioned differently in different parts. While they may have served as middlemen for Ukranian nobles and their serfs at certain points, at others, in the Pale of Settlement, they comprised entire towns and villages and occupied every rung on the economic ladder, including farming the land.

      Jews occupied some privileged positions in some parts of Europe at certain times, and at other times and other places were quite discriminated against.

  • Somehow I doubt it's a hatchet job
    • Just wanted to voice my opinion that BenjaminGeer is making very responsible statements that to me as one who studied the region academically and lived there seem to be pretty spot on.

      In my earlier comment I was treating this with a bit of a laugh, and it is true that I never personally experienced animosity from individual Egyptians regarding my Jewishness, but I also know that German friends of mine, when visiting, were told by cab drivers and such how much the cab drivers admired Hitler.

      Moral of that story is just that Egyptians are really polite and like to agree with their guests.

      Anyways, I think there is real anti-semitism in the Arab world. Asad Abu Khalil, the Angry Arab, often points out that it is frequently found among those who are perceived to be the most "friendly" to Israel-- Anwar Sadat, Mahmoud Abbas, the Christian Lebanese fascist movement.

      You are not helping Palestine or Palestinians by denying it.

      One more thought: many in post-colonial states like the Arab World and India see in fascism a project of a) anti-colonialism (fighting the British and the French empires) and b) nation-building (constructing a genuine national identity and strengthening it through recreating a mythically pure past culture). It is the same elements which drew Jewish Zionists to fascism.

    • It is a test book and study guide for the International Computer Driving License.

      Oh, you mean the other one?

      I lived in Egypt for a year, saw copies of Mein Kampf everywhere, but also never experienced any problem telling everyone I was a Jew. Got much more of a reaction out of telling people I was an atheist.

  • A new generation of giants
  • You'd think a NY politician urging West Bank colonization to defy Obama would be a big story in the NY papers
    • Dov Hikind, not surprisingly, also has come out in favor of the Hebron Fund and racist, settler violence:
      New York Daily News covers the Citi Field debacle, quotes Hikind:
      link to

      Remember to come out tomorrow to Park Avenue and the Major League Baseball Commish's office, lunchtime, 12:30, for the protest....

  • Anthony Weiner goes from right-wing stiff to brilliant populist in a New York second (guess the issues!)
    • I'm deeply regretting skipping this event. I live in Weiner's district in Brooklyn, and my grandparents moved to Flatbush, also in his district, from Israel in the 60s. My grandmother remembers my grandfather arguing with Schumer's dad in the middle of Kings Highway over politics.

      Anthony Weiner is a lost cause on these issues. He was the member of congress who was calling for Columbia to fire Professors Joseph Massad and others over their support for Palestine years ago.

      But I would have liked to at least raised a Palestinian flag deep in that hostile territory, for what it would have been worth.

  • Alternative endings department (Obituary, Edward M. Kennedy, 77)
  • Israeli university president says prof's article is 'destructive blow' to her fundraising efforts with US Jews
    • Michael, the money is used to sponsor, arm and train religious militia groups in the settlements. Every settlement is entitled to a "civilian defense" which includes carrying machine guns etc.

      Israeli is a religious entity because it defines itself as such--a "Jewish state" much the way Iran defines itself as an "Islamic republic."

    • I'm a big fan of "friends, I am not discussing the content of this letter." Right, because that would be intimidation of a tenured professor and would violate one of the holy trusts of the Western academy. But you are basically telling Professor Gordon's colleagues that if their project doesn't get funded, if their grad students can't get money, its his fault.

  • Learn the latest on Bil'in and what you can do to help
    • Just an update:
      Word from the ISM is that Mohammed Khatib has been released on the condition that he report every friday to the security forces to ensure he does not participate in the protests. Adeeb Abu Rahme, another organizer, is still in detention, where he has been since July 10th. To date more than 20 villagers from Bil'in, most under the age of 18, have been arrested in the past two months.

      Tonight's screening is at Alwan for the Arts, which is located at 16 Beaver St., on the 4th Floor, in the Wall Street area of Manhattan. The screening starts at 7pm and is free. We will be collecting donations for Bil'in's legal fees, which you can imagine are mounting.

      Readers of this site might also be interested in an extensive report about the crackdown on non-violent organizing in Palestine put together by the Stop the Wall Campaign:
      link to

      It's over 100 pages and goes into the repression non-violent organizers have faced for the past 9 years or so....

      Hope to see you there tonight!

  • Ahava is on the run, in publicity fiasco
    • Oxfam had better start getting more careful about doing due diligence with their partners. This is coming after they already got burned over Leviev.

  • another sign of change in the discourse
    • Jews introduced indiscriminate terror attacks against civilians to the Palestine conflict. Say what you will about the King David, but it was "kind of" a military target. But long before the King David, from the thirties, Jewish terrorists planted truck bombs on city streets, hurled bombs into crowded markets, and blew up Arab homes. They killed dozens, sometimes twenty or thirty at a time.
      You can start reading a long list of terrorist attacks in Palestine as reported by the British police at the Encyclopedia of the Palestine Problem here:
      link to
      (thanks to Lawrence of Cyberia for the link)

  • Israel arrests Mohammad Khatib, leader of Bil'in non-violent protests
  • How Will Israel Respond To Anti-Gay Terror?

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