Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 693 (since 2010-12-04 06:20:57)

I'm an English-speaking Bretonne. Bretons are a minority people in France. We are French Celts who speak a language related to Welsh. My work requires that I live part-time in the UK, and that I travel through Europe, Ireland, the ME, and the US. I deeply care about peace and justice as I know that the damage done to my family, neighbours, and friends from trauma inflicted two generations ago continues today in places like the ME.

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  • Marty Federman, a quietly-inspiring leader, passes on
  • Sleazy spat revives Paul Berman's role as 'liberal intellectual who whored for Bush’s war'
    • Yonah :: ... the friction between Israel and the Palestinians...

      'Friction' ? That's like calling the holocaust 'a minor point in the history of the Second World War'. (Jean-Marie Le Pen)

    • That is an excellent essay.

  • Pro-Israel group bullies Church of Scotland over its 'sensitive' commemoration of Balfour centenary
    • It looks to me as if the Board of Deputies of British Jews have been taking their training from Crif.

    • ...the Church talks about “justice, equality, dignity, equal access to natural resources and freedom of opportunity for all”....

      Can't have that now.

  • Norway’s largest trade union federation endorses full boycott of Israel to advance Palestinian human rights 
  • Netanyahu gov't mulls bill to ban Israeli rights groups from bringing legal cases on behalf of Palestinians
    • A bill that would bar nongovernmental organizations from petitioning the High Court of Justice on behalf of Palestinians will be debated by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday. The bill is being proposed following the wave of court petitions filed seeking the evacuation of settlements built on privately owned Palestinian land in the West Bank, notably Migron, and more recently, in February of this year, the outpost of Amona.

      The only democracy in the Middle East... huh !

      BTW, thank you Kate for all the work you do.

  • Charges against 'Israel Victory Caucus' protest show dissent is being criminalized under Trump
    • Stogumber :: Now what’s “total defeat”?

      In real-world terms, 'total defeat' means being in a position where others have the power to define what a person or people are, and those others are in a position where they get determine what a person (or people) are permitted to do.

      This is a very general description, of course.

    • Ariel, you have my complete admiration and respect. Please know that people all over the world are with you, doing everything they can for justice.

      Froggy, in France

    • amigo :: they will be second class citizens who will learn who their betters are and keep their eyes cast downwards , lest they make their betters uncomfortable.They will learn to speak the language of their superiors and speak when spoken to .They will cross the street when their superiors are approaching and spare them having to inhale that Arab stench.

      Like Jews were treated in Nazi-occupied countries. The Zionist-Fascists learn from the best.

  • Jews made America great so 'we deserve our influence' on Israel policy, Dershowitz tells Scarsdale synagogue
    • Keith :: That which is supported by empirical data.

      Whose data ?

      (I agree with you BTW.)

    • Oh GOD ! He's brilliant. Hilarious, and brilliant. I love his take on BHL, and he's spot on.

      The French know that BHL is a fraud. It's obvious. But then I have become convinced that the French keep poseurs like BHL and his ilk around for their own amusement. It's fun to see what complete rubbish he can come up with.

    • RoHa :: As far as I can tell, truth is no defence in cases of “hate speech”.

      What then is Truth ?

    • You guys are hilarious !

      Since my ancestors came to France from the West Country I figure I'll just row on over to the land of my fathers and claim a nice house in Sandbanks. The English won't mind. They still have Dagenham, and It's what God wants after all.

      We've been there before. Like back in the year 431 when, according to legend, my ancestors crossed Mor-Breizh to make a stealth raid on the Welsh. That is when nicked most of their vowels. We kept the vowels we needed, and sold the rest to the French.

    • RoHa :: A Celt is a stone axe.

      Meh. I've been called worse.

      :)

    • Hello fellow Celt ! (If you ever figure out what a Celt actually is, do let me know. No one, it seems, has a clue. I certainly don't.)

      We are still here and still part of the European family. (Pity the poor Brits though. My English husband is desolate. But then, he always saw the British as being both British AND European.)

      We may even have to erect “hard borders” to protect the other 26 Member states from the Saxon hordes and their fearless leader “Madam (get the best deal for the UK ) May.

      Too late. The EU is where Brits go to get old. Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Greece, and Crete are full of them.

      Holding on to the notion that identity is a matter of race is always a losing battle. Amigo, you have to keep in mind that Dersh and his ilk are a lost people, a people without a present identity that ties them to their past, and as such are more pathetic than disgusting.

      You might find this of interest -- I certainly did :

      http://reubenroth.com/papers/Short%20Version%20-%20Roth%20Yiddish%20Paper%20.pdf

    • Jews made America great so ‘we deserve our influence’ on Israel policy, Dershowitz tells Scarsdale synagogue

      I can only wonder at any Jew making such a speech. If a gentile had made a speech claiming that a substantial number of Jewish Americans believed that they, as a community, have the degree of control that Dershowitz claims they do, and that they had a right to use this control over their fellow Americans for their own purposes, that person would be accused of being an anti-Semite for hauling out all those stereotypical accusations.

      Weren't we taught that these old stereotypes were stories that bigots made up to slander the Jews?

      What is Dershowitz trying to achieve? Are Jewish extremists like Dershowitz (and our own 'Betty') really that tone deaf? Or is there something else at play here? I find myself wondering whether for some reason there is this group of extremist Jewish propagandists who are trying to resurrect the old anti-Semitism, the kind that was prevalent in American society from the 1920s through to the 1970s, and though slowly dying, was still a factor in the 1980s. Why would any Jew want to do this? What would there be to gain?

      In those days it wasn't unusual to hear people claim that there is a Jewish international conspiracy, and that Jews were secretly influencing the United States government either in collaboration with Israel or for the benefit of Israel. They used to point to examples of wealthy Jews in the business community and the financial sector, accusing them of using their money to manipulate the US government, American institutions, and, through Jewish control of Hollywood and the media, American public opinion, for their benefit. As late as the 1980s a number of non-Jewish Americans still held to a common belief that Jews, including Jewish American citizens who had been born, raised, and educated in the US, didn't quite 'belong' in American society.

      The American psychologist David J. Schneider quotes sociologist Robert Wuthnow as writing that 'three large clusters of traits are part of the Jewish stereotype' (Wuthnow, 1982).

      -- First, Jews are seen as being powerful and manipulative.
      -- Second, they are accused of dividing their loyalties between the United States and Israel.
      -- A third set of traits concerns Jewish materialistic values, aggressiveness, clannishness.

      [Schneider, David J. The psychology of stereotyping. New York: Guilford Press, 2004. p. 461.]
      [Wuthnow, Robert. "Anti-Semitism and Stereotyping." In the Eye of the Beholder: Contemporary Issues in Stereotyping, ed, by Arthur G. Miller. NY: Praeger, 1982. pp. 137-187.]

      I'm no expert at this stuff. However, I am old enough -- just -- to remember when this particular prejudice was still, to quote my old tutor, 'in the air'.

      Amigo pointed out that 'Jerks like dershowits , who never have enough ,get decent Jews a bad name', which makes me wonder whether a number of Americans who themselves have never been anti-Semitic will read what the zionista extremists have been saying and begin wondering whether their bigoted grandparents may have been right after all.

      Finally, if the accusations are true is it anti-Semitism?

      Froggy... who knows better

  • A Republican plan for peacemaking: 'break the will' of the Palestinians and force them to 'accept defeat'
    • Israel should “convince the Palestinians that they have lost,” said the head of the Middle East Forum Daniel Pipes, who spoke at the event.

      The caucus says it will not focus on historical compromises or division of territory. Instead, it asks Palestinians to accept Israel’s goals. “Victory means imposing you will on you enemy so that he no longer wants to fight, and I think that’s the essence here,” Pipes said.

      Yeah. Like THAT'S gonna work ! LOL

  • Jake Sullivan seeks to rebrand 'American exceptionalism'
    • Keith :: The European Union is to a significant degree controlled by the European Central Bank run by Goldman-Sachs alumn Mario Draghi who represents global capital. It is, in effect, the codification of financial control of the political economy. Neoliberalism is the order of the day, eventually leading to massive debt servitude and neofeudalism....

      You may not believe it, but I'm with you on this.

      So I have a question : What makes you think that the situation would be any different under Le Pen and her party?

    • Kaisa :: And about Macron, allthough he won, the second was not Le Pen, but those who did not vote or voted empty, so, because France is a democracy, Macron needs a functionig parliament and he can not alone decide for the future of France or the EU politics of France. So if to choose between a racist or a banker who is not, I’d choose the banker. As said, alone, he can’t do anything.. (He was an independent candidate without a party behind him.)
      (Froggy may correct me, if I have understood something wrong..)

      No, you are right in everything you say. The June election will determine who controls France and what gets accomplished.

      Like you I am prefer an intact EU with France as a supportive member. I don't see EU membership as any threat to national identity.

      I have no use for identity politics. We Bretons experienced identity politics during WW2. We don't want to go there again.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breton_nationalism_and_World_War_II

      As you say :

      I wish to keep an open, but “multicultural/multilingual” EU in the future too and if you ask me, I’d rather wish EU would have it’s own defense politics without NATO and U.S.A. since U.S. and NATO means certain politics in the Middle East and as we see in the case of I/P, Afganistan, Irak.. What has come out of that.. I am only happy we have been out..

      Anyway, it is hard to achieve anything, if you have already decided things won’t work. Without an open mind, you have already lost the case..

      So I hope all these right-wing movements and Brexit negotiations will push the leaders to keep the “average citizens” in mind, when talking about the future of EU..

      Look, I'm a Breton nationalist wrt culture, language, music, and such. Our traditional cultures and languages won't die, if our political alliances go beyond the boundaries of our little provinces and little countries.

      Culture will change, but it will never die : Gortoz a ran

    • Kaisa, in answer to your question. Keith is American. He opines with all the assurance of the uninformed, as far too many Americans do.

      That said, I agree with every point you made.

      Keith, that Diana Johnstone woman is a poseur. She may be a fixture amongst the Paris intellectual clique, but she knows nothing about the French. Neither does Keith, for that matter.

    • Keith :: andidate that is backed by Putin.”

      Scared you with Putin, did they? And he is the only sane one of the bunch!

      Not even slightly.

      Please re-read what I wrote. It was the qualities I saw in the woman herself that caused me to vote for the other guy.

      I see Putin as no more than a potential complication, but for all that a complication that we just don't need.

    • Keith :

      In the dabate Le Pen showed herself to be ill-informed to the point of incompetency about a number of important issues. (Like who did what and who was in control of what, and when.)

      Furthermore, Le Pen and her band of Flying Monkeys ran a dirty campaign, one example being her accusations of Macron having an off-shore bank account. In the end she couldn't even carry Brittany, despite her father having been born in a little Breton fishing village and 'Le Pen' being a typical Breton family name.

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/07/world/europe/france-election-results-maps.html

      I agree with you about keeping an open mind. However, I wouldn't trust any candidate that is backed by Putin. Reports of Russian hacking Macron only sreved to further hurt Le Pen.

    • RoHa :: The bankers have won in France.

      Aye. But the Other One would have been worse.

  • 100 senators throw their bodies down to end UN 'bias' against Israel
    • bettyberenson :: But you have no compassion for Israelis.

      I have as much 'compassion' for the Israelis as I do for the Germans who occupied our country between 1940 and 1944.

      Occupiers get what they deserve.

  • True independence on Nakba Day: accountability and healing as an Israeli aggressor
    • Annie :: just wow.

      'Commute #1954' actually brought tears to my eyes. How well I remember.

  • 'I'd rather die than live as a servile slave,' Omar Barghouti told his daughter
    • Keith :: Power and control.

      In France? Good luck with that.

      A la base de notre civilisation, il y a la liberté de chacun dans sa pensée, ses croyances, ses opinions, son travail, ses loisirs.
      General de Charles - 25 November 1941.

      Boomer :: It is not only in France that Zionist power is seen in legal efforts against BDS. The Texas State government is as firmly controlled by Republicans as is the U.S. government, but a similar deadlock exists, caused by disagreements between conservatives and those who are even more conservative. Not much is getting done in Austin, but they can agree to do what the pro-Israelites want. Thus, as reported by the Houston Chronicle:

      “Even lawmakers who are less pessimistic acknowledged that having hundreds of bills awaiting action in both legislative chambers has started the nail-biting. That urgency was underscored by [Gov.] Abbott signing his first bill into law on Tuesday, House Bill 89, that prohibits state contracts and investments with companies that boycott Israel.”

      ~LOL~ Texas... huh. Very funny, for reasons I won't disclose here.

      German Lefty ::Beautiful song! We’ve often sung it in music class at school.

      During the occupation my grandfather hid a French Jewish adolescent (amongst other people, most of whom he passed on to other safe places). My grandmother continued to hide these people after my grandfather was taken away and sent to Neuengamme and later Dachau. After the war the young man went off to search for his family. As he was leaving my grandparents told him that if he could find no family left alive, he must return home to us for he would always have a family here. He did return, and my grandfather sent him off again this time to Paris for his education. He returned from Paris with a degree, and, of all things, a German wife. Throughout my life I have thought of them only as my uncle and aunt. It was his wife who taught me that song.

    • Keith

      Indeed these are recent laws. I have to admit that I don't see what they hope to accomplish by passing such laws.

      Brings to mind a song which a German relative taught me when I was very young, and which I in turn taught to my children :

      Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten,
      sie fliehen vorbei wie nächtliche Schatten.
      Kein Mensch kann sie wissen, kein Jäger erschießen
      es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

      Ich denke was ich will und was mich beglücket,
      doch alles in der Still', und wie es sich schicket.
      Mein Wunsch und Begehren kann niemand verwehren,
      es bleibet dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

      Und sperrt man mich ein im finsteren Kerker,
      das alles sind rein vergebliche Werke.
      Denn meine Gedanken zerreißen die Schranken
      und Mauern entzwei, die Gedanken sind frei!

      Drum will ich auf immer den Sorgen entsagen
      und will mich auch nimmer mit Grillen mehr plagen.
      Man kann ja im Herzen stets lachen und scherzen
      und denken dabei: Die Gedanken sind frei!

      Despite all attempts to silence opposition, BDS is growing in France.

    • Elizabeth Black :: And btw: Why does just about everyone else use a pseudonym?

      I'm French . Openly supporting BDS is illegal in France . Indeed, any criticism of Israel tends to be labelled an expression of «antisémitisme» which is also illegal .

      http://www.france24.com/en/20160120-france-boycott-israel-bds-law-free-speech-antisemitism

      ~shrug~ I'm not about to use my real name on a message board making it easy for assorted nutters to track me down .

      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20170206-bds-is-the-french-exception-to-international-boycotts/

  • The bulldozers of Shavuot, 1967
  • Why was the Clinton campaign obsessed with fighting BDS?
    • captADKer :: care to factor terrorism into your “myopic” generalizations?

      You make a good point.

      By 'terrorism' do you mean people who join and are active in organisations like the Leumi, the Haganah, the Irgun, the Palmah, and the Stern Gang? These terrorists were Jewish, if I remember correctly.

      Now there is settler violence -- terrorist acts -- against Palestinian civilians including Palestinian families who are out tending their crops, children who are walkinbg to school, or families who are asleep in their beds.

      You lot are in no position to point fingers.

  • When Sanders changed political reality. And hasbara culture slapped him down.
  • Israeli military takes computers and servers from Palestinian NGO in night raid
    • eljay :: "Whether it’s computers, territory or lives, taking is what the Israeli military – and Zio-supremacists – do best."

      Called 'stealing' in the world's civilised countries, (where taking lives is called 'murder', of course.)

  • We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution
    • Keith :: Prior to Obama winning the 2008 presidential election, a number of Brits remarked that Obama reminded them of Tony Blair.

      Progressive rhetoric only, his actions were overwhelmingly in favor of war, corporate rule, assassinations, militarism, domestic surveillance and incarceration, expanding the nuclear arsenal he promised to eliminate, neoliberal globalization, etc.

      Indeed. Very much like Tony Blair.

      It will be interesting to see what Obama does once he is out of office. Who he hangs out with, and who pays him lavish 'speaking fees' and bloated 'consultancy' money.

  • Fighting BDS, one Upper West Side synagogue at a time
    • Amigo ::

      My response was to immediately set up a monthly standing order through the new bank (also mine ) and hopefully many others will do likewise with the aim of showing those who would attempt to shut us up , that they are shooting themselves in the foot.

      Good suggestion. You're right about the anti-BDS zionistas shooting themselves in the foot. The BDS movement is growing. People know what they are seeing/hearing/reading when news reports come in.

      As ever, you're a mensch, Amigo.

      Froggy, marooned in Palm Beach, in the middle of a hurricane

  • Family fights to free disabled Palestinian man in Israeli prison
  • Huma Abedin dumps Anthony Weiner, occupation denier
  • 'Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong' -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)
    • We have an emergency to deal with in the US and are preparing to fly out. We'll be there about a month. Maybe more.

      On reading this informative piece my first reaction was to print it out and pack it in my hand luggage so my husband could read it on the plane.

      This was immediately followed by the thought that having something like this in our possession as we entered the US would not be a good idea. We are foreigners, after all.

      He will read it though. I'll make certain of that. So will a lot of other people we know.

      The second reason they cited, I think in this order, I believe was the sanctions on Iraq which led to the deaths of indisputably 500,000 children, which Madeleine Albright said was worth it, and they obviously disagreed. She was asked about it on 60 Minutes, and I think Lesley Stahl said well we hear there’s been 500,000 children that died as a result of sanctions, Madame Secretary. “Well, we felt it was worth it.” She later said it’s not what I meant. But that’s what went out, as her response.

      Albright's statement speaks for itself, a testament to evil.

      I find myself wondering whether a Trump presidency would cause this source of so much murder, suffering and destruction to crumble.

      The Laws of God, The Laws of Man
      by A. E. Housman (1859-1936)

      The laws of God, the laws of man,
      He may keep that will and can;
      Not I: let God and man decree
      Laws for themselves and not for me;
      And if my ways are not as theirs
      Let them mind their own affairs.
      Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
      Yet when did I make laws for them?
      Please yourselves, say I, and they
      Need only look the other way.
      But no, they will not; they must still
      Wrest their neighbor to their will,
      And make me dance as they desire
      With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
      And how am I to face the odds
      Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
      I, a stranger and afraid
      In a world I never made....

  • Critiques not fit to print: Students and allies respond to 'NYT' coverage of Palestine activism on campus
    • jon66 :: Froggy,
      You know Dershowitz defended the rights of the Nazis to march through the Jewish neighborhoods in Skokie.

      Yeah... I heard that the Dersh used to be a lawyer.

      I don’t see where I have accused anyone of anti-semitism. I do think that the student protesters are antagonistic to free speech.

      Oh... please! It's SOP. If someone gave me a dollar for every time I've heard or seen a perfectly reasonable commentator called an anti-Semite I'd be able to buy a waterfront condo in Boca.

    • @inbound

      With respect, I think Stephen was being sarcastic.

    • @Stephen Shenfield

      And in France the dreyfusards made half the country 'uncomfortable' before France could finally see through the web of lies and free an innocent and honourable Frenchman.

    • jon66 :: Protest should be peaceable and allow the speakers to present their views.

      Like you or any other zionist apologist would have a calm discussion or debate with a real anti-Semite, the kind that would argue that Jews are inferior, or an Islamist extremist. Oh, aye.... Tell me another one.

      No. Gaza and the WB are in ruins.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.713215

      We speak up in protest, only to be accused of being anti-Semites. Zionist lies are transparant, and hasbara's only success lies in making the Jewish propagandists look bullshitters.

      There is nothing left to discuss. To quote that eminent Jewish philosopher, Judge Judy, don't pee on my leg and tell ME it's raining.

    • Why eljay. Thank you.

    • silamcuz :: Students have the right not be exposed to violence when they are in the confines of the university. Violence in the context of safe spaces is not just getting bashed in head with a stick but also include words, behaviors and actions that induce psychological trauma and hurt.

      For example, people openly and brashly denying holocaust to a bunch of visible or self-identified Jews on campus is a form of violence that people ought to be protected from.

      The brats need to grow up. These pampered babies need to experience some real problems. Then they would know what 'psychological trauma and hurt' really are.

      But many of the violence faced by students is due to microaggressions that are subtle enough for perpetrator to plausibly deny any ill-intent but still manage to induce harm on the victim.

      Aren't they ashamed to let other people see that they are so weak and whingy.

      Actually, this looks like an attempt by a bunch of self-indulgent spoilt brats to shut down debate and free speech on campus by playing the victim and accusing others of causing them harm.

      I hope that Americans see through this charade.

      I have enormous regard for those Jewish kids who stand up to this manipulation to openly speak out for justice. It can't be easy.

  • Liel Leibovitz wants to excommunicate most American Jews, beginning with Beinart
  • Video intifada
    • Bookmarked.

    • Marnie :: “Palestinians are not like the English speaking viewers Netanyahu was addressing, he said. “They” just want their children killed.

      That thought always makes me laugh.

      One might respond by pointing out an obvious truth: if Jews didn't want their children killed, they wouldn't move their families to the settlements.

  • 'Democracy' and 'terrorism' and the parameters of thinkable thought
    • Raphael :: When I was living in Israel, as a half Jew; I had to become a Zionist because I fell in love with Israel.

      The French used to call people like you 'collaborators'.

      I know what they tell the pupils in those execrable 'holocaust' courses taught in British and American schools. They teach the kids that people in occupied countries informed on Jews they because they were anti-Semites. That wasn't it at all.

      The truth is worse. These traitors made a choice to assist the Nazi occupiers in destroying Jewish lives, and the lives of the people who were assisting them, because they knew the Nazis would reward them for their information. IOW, they traded human lives for their own enrichment.

      The man who turned in my grandfather was rewarded by being given my grandfather's large and very valuable farm. Other collaborators were rewarded by being given money, food, clothes, jewellery and other property.

      This peculiar notion that most people have that the terrified and beleaguered citizens of occupied countries would expose themselves to the Germans with no expectation of reward just because they hated the Jews is both ignorant and naïve. The collaborators were opportunists who were happy to turn in Communists, homosexuals, Jews, Slavs, Roma and Sinti, and all the other people that the Nazis deemed undesirable.

      You sold yourself cheaply. You didn't even get a watch. You embraced Zionism to make yourself feel good.

      Do you have any idea how pathetic you look?

  • France's burkini ban is a dangerous, Islamophobic assault on feminist values
    • @Kathleen

      This has nothing to do with 'feminism'. The burkini ban is a misapplication of Laïcité, which is is a core concept in the French constitution.

    • silamcuz :: It is beyond doubt that France is an embarrassingly Islamophobic country as proven by its recent enforcement of laws against the wearing of burkinis in public.

      What enforcement? Those were local laws that banned the burkini and these laws were overturned by the French higher court, the Conseil d'Etat. The Conseil's decision voids these ill-considered laws making the enforcing of them illegal under French law.

      http://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/politique/2016/08/29/31001-20160829ARTFIG00148-burkini-au-conseil-d-etat-le-peuple-est-trahi-par-ceux-qui-rendent-la-justice-en-son-nom.php

      Do try to keep up.

      The French tend to be uncomfortable with any public religious expression that goes beyond the wearing of a symbol, like small cross, a star of David, or something a Muslim might wear, on a chain. This includes the Jewish ultra-orthodox dress for men, kippas worn by the MO, a Sikh turban, along with hijabs and other forms of Islamic dress.

      Many of the French make a big distinction between the public sphere and the private sphere. In France religion is considered a private matter.

      I'm not claiming that there aren't significant anti-Muslim attitudes amongst the French. I simply don't know how much is truly anti-Muslim (against the religion itself), or people who feel uncomfortable seeing individuals who have chosen to live in France (or were born there) wearing this religious/tribal dress in the street.

      (Religious/tribal dress doesn't bother me, but then I lived in New York for many years.)

      I will say that I find it a relief that religious expression is prohibited in French public schools. I got fed up with the overwelming religiosity that infested my children's public schools when we lived in the US. There were times when the public square wasn't any too pleasant either as we tried our best to avoid the in-your-face evangelism that springs up all over the place like a fungus.

      I would LOVE to wear a full burkini on one of those beaches where these women were harrassed. Anyone who would demand that I remove the burkini would be in for a real shock.

      Just for the hell of it.

    • That feministing article has to be the most stupid, uninformed, brain-dead screed I've read in a long time.

      I don't have the time to respond more thoroughly. The writer doesn't have a clue.

    • One would think that in a country like France, with all her achievement and her historic genius, the French could find something better to use to define Frenchness than what women choose to wear at the beach.

      We have shown ourselves to be shallow and trivial.

    • You genius! I LOVE it.

  • Israel bans entry for two more US activists
  • Scottish football fans raise over 100,000 pounds for Palestine following flag controversy
    • inbound39 :: "The Israeli’s are now concerned about Palestinian flags being flown at the match in Israel and Israel Authorities have said it won’t be tolerated."

      The thing to do is take the Scottish Saltire and paint/dye the Scottish flag using the colours of the Palestinian flag., replacing the blue background with green, keeping the white cross, but adding a black line along the outer edge of the cross, and a red line down the centre.

      Or was the Saltire banned too ?

      Some democracy !

    • Ye're nae sae glaikit. ;)

  • A French, a Palestinian, and a black woman all wade into a pool
    • @catalan Women should wear whatever they want. I can't see what business it is of the authorities if a woman chooses to wear long sleeves and/or trousers on the beach or a headscarf to go to the supermarket. What others think of a woman's choice is irrelevant.

      We need more of this :
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/20/french-students-wear-headscarves-for-hijab-day

    • @inbound39

      I'm surprised at you ! This comment isn't like you at all.

      No one is demanding, or even requesting, that French women wear burkinis instead of the usual swimwear. I'm French, and if I can wear what I want I don't see a problem with what other women choose to wear.

      "There is no requirement for a foreign nation to adapt to another culture which is foreign to it.

      Other women are wearing the modest swimwear. We aren't. There is nothing for us to adapt to.

      Think about it.

      I agree with NZ about the driving licence photos. Silly idea.

    • Krauss :: "The burkini is driven by the same impulse as the one behind the niqab and the burqa. It’s about creating taboos around women’s bodies – and has Nida ever considered that it is ONLY women and never men?"

      Some women are very uncomfortable being stared at. The reason may be based in religion or tradition, or it may be extreme shyness. Women have their reasons.

      The issue isn't the niqab or the burqa which cover the face and hide identity. The burkini covers no more than a standard wet suit.

      Marks & Spencer sells burkinis, for cripes sake ! You can't get more middle class than M&S.

      As for the men, neither my buff sons nor my still-athletic husband would be caught dead in Speedos, even though that is what men wear on our beach. It is what the local boys and men wear, but my lot don't. It's their choice.

      Are you against these too ?

      Modest Swimsuits for frum women

      Since becoming frum (Orthodox Jewish), I have not really been swimming. I hadn’t quite figured out how to be tznius (modest) and swim. During one vacation to Florida when our oldest was about 2 1/2 , I wore a light skirt and long-sleeved cotton top with my sleeves pulled up. I was miserable! When he was older, I sat to the side watching him and my husband at swim lessons because I had nothing to wear to join him in the water. I have heard of friends who wear a swimsuit and a very long big T-shirt, but that is not comfortable and doesn’t really cover enough.

      Thankfully, over the past few years, a crop of modest swimsuit companies have sprung up. However, if you do a Google search for modest swimsuits, you get not only the ones geared for Orthodox women, but also those for Christians and Muslims, which follow different standards and look a bit different.

      So I thought it would be nice to provide a review and listing of the modest frum swimwear lines available today in the United States. Let me know if you are aware of any that I missed! Now if I can only find a way to save up enough money to buy one! This year I do not want to miss out on getting to go swimming with our boys, even in the kiddie pool in our own backyard!

      https://survivingonatightbudget.com/2012/06/07/modest-swimsuits-for-frum-women/

      Should the French ban these as well ?

    • Well said !

      Right now I am very ashamed to be French.

      Burkinis make good sense for many reasons. I say this as a woman who lost both a husband and a cousin to malignant melanoma.

      As for the head covering, until recently ordinary women routinely wore caps to go swimming. I don't see the problem any more than I would see a problem with a frum woman or a man in a kippa. No problem at all. What other people wear is none of my business or anyone else's.

      Common practice has it that there are places where laïcité is required, such as in government and in the public school classroom. I agree with that. However, public beaches and pools are not part of government or education. Neither are areas which the public use in common, such as the streets, parks, museums, arenas, or other venues. Yet I understand what is behind such thinking.

      France is a strange place. For all that the French value creativity, especially in philosophy and literature, thought and the arts, the French simultaneously place more emphasis on public conformity than I have ever seen in any other western country. In France, to be noticeably different is thought to be a threat to the cohesion of French society.

      It is this narrow way of thinking that has been the force behind France's traditional prohibitions against native ethnic cultures, like the Bretons, as well as immigrant ethnic and religious minorities, along with groups that make themselves stand out in the public square, especially in matters of religion, the practice of which is considered a private matter.

      Note that I said 'the practice of which'. The identification isn't the problem (except amongst bigots). It is the public display of religious dedication (religiosity) that French society sees as the problem, not the identification or self-identification in itself.

      So the lady in the nicely-styled dress or decently-cut trousers, with the neatly-tied neck scarf, and well-arranged hair walking along the streets of a French town has conformed to a certain level of Frenchness. Her religion doesn't matter. Nor does it matter how devout she is, as that is a private matter and she has kept it so. The frummie or the lady in the hijab will find herself looked on as choosing not to integrate into French society.

      http://faculty.georgetown.edu/spielmag/docs/france/primer.htm

      I hope this makes sense to anyone reading it.

  • A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics
    • Not everybody is a sell-out.

    • JustJessetr :: "They’re obviously afraid of the Israelis sports ability...."

      -LOL- And just where did the Israelis stand in the Olympics medals table ? Two Bronze....

      Add to that Hapoel Beersheba FC, Israeli League champions, getting trounced by Glasgow Celtic. By a score of 5-2.

      Nothing to be 'afraid of' there.

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
    • @catalan

      Froggy,
      I do not know what is a bona fide immigrant.

      By your admission you don't believe in the rule of law.

      I also do not think that all immigrants have the same desires or expectations.

      That much is clear. Some come to take over and displace the occupants who already live there.

      Now imagine what would happen if tens of millions of people throughout the world who have seen too much American TV decide to move to Southern California. Millions and millions of them arrive.... No jobs. No housing. Insufficient room in schools. Insufficient transportation. Insufficient social services. But it's OK with catalan because these people WANT to be there.

      How old are you ? Didn't your parents ever teach you that you don't always get what you want ?

      Citizenship /residency is a social contract. At least, that's the way it is in civilised countries.

      Those Hispanics you refer to haven't changed the form of government, have they ? (You still have elections over there, don't you ?) So they open some bodegas.

      The Hispanics haven't come with the idea that they would change the basic social contract.

      Do you think that Israel has the right to restrict the Palestinians entry to 'Israel' ? You seem to be in agreement with the Palestinians' right of return.

    • Excellent article, Avigail.

      "antisemitism" and "specialness"

      What I don't understand is how (supposedly) intelligent people permit themselves to be taken in by these specious arguments.

    • @catalan

      People don't have the right to take what doesn't belong to them.

      Individuals who come to a country as bone fide immigrants don't expect to overthrow the existing orderso they can appropriate property, establish their own govenment, and impose their culture. People who do that are called 'invaders' or 'occupiers'. The Nazis did that when they occupied our village.

  • The endangered white cucumbers of Battir
    • Beautiful, and very moving.

      Reading about Battir was especially meaningful to me. I will forward this to my children, who were given heirloom seeds by local farmers when we moved my grandfather's old farm in Brittany. Growing those seeds tied my children to the land and the community far more powerfully than I ever could have imagined.

      As for those goddamn pine tree seedlings. Stomp on 'em!

      http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1492

  • Defying Scottish law, football fans fly Palestinian flags during match with Israeli team
    • @Elisabeth

      What do you know about Glasgow? You really don't have a clue.

      Do you have any idea how much a fool you look?

    • Big yawn indeed. In my experience, Scots are immune to intimidation.

      The Declaration of Arbroath (1320) was written by Bernard, Abbot of Arbroath (Scotland), the King's Chancellor on behalf of the barons and community of the realm of Scotland, which was delivered to the Pope in Avignon in France.

      The letter, which can be thought of as Scotland's Declaration of Independence, sets out Scotland's determination to fight for both her king and her independence. The nobles offered help in a future crusade if the Pope would urge England to make peace with Scotland. Eight earls and thirty-eight barons put their seals to the Declaration. Their names were written by a clerk at the foot of the parchment.

      Included in this medieval document is the following statement: "... cum non sit Pondus nec distinccio Judei et Greci, Scoti aut Anglici" [Translation: "....there is neither bias not distinction between Jew and Greek, Scotsman or Englishman...."] It was a declaration of civil rights.

      At a time when the Christian world believed it was right, just, and even holy, to slaughter Jews, only the Scots were brave enough, and sufficiently far-seeing to draft a declaration of nationhood which included the rights of Jews to dwell in peace in their country, and then deliver this declaration to the pope, of all people.

      Through the centuries the Scots never violated the declaration made in 1320. There is no history of anti-Semitism in Scotland.

      The zionistas and hasbarists would do well to pay a bit more attention to Rabbie Burns, the great Scottish poet, who wrote :

      O wad some Power the giftie gie us
      To see oursels as ithers see us!
      It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
      An' foolish notion:

      With their lame arguments the zionistas just further expose themselves even for being what they are.

    • @JohnO

      -LOL- It won't help if you don't understand Scots.

    • @oldgeezer

      Scots is often described as being a dialect. It isn't. Scots, also called 'Lallans', is a language of its own.

      http://www.scots-online.org/grammar/index.asp

    • Annie, anyone who knows Glasgow would immediately pick up on this man's ignorance.

      Glasgow is a poor city, and it would be highly unlikely that the Celtic supporters flying those Palestinian flags would ever have the means to fly to Israel for any reason, much less to watch a football match.

      Add to that, the sectarianism that even now divides the city. It's brutal, though it isn't as bad as it used to be.

      Among Proddy Dogs and Papes :

      As a child I was raised on salted oats
      And tales of the savage past
      I learned to love the drifting rain
      And winter's icy blast
      And all day long on the Holy Isle
      Far out in Lamlash Bay
      I walked the hills in creaking shoes
      Where the bones of the old ones lay
      And at night the head of Wallace bled
      On solemn floral drapes
      And the flower of Scotland bloomed again
      Among Proddy dogs and Papes

      I was taught in school how Britannia's rule
      Was forced on the Scots of old
      Bought and sold by a parcel of rogues
      For a handful of English gold
      Till our fate was sealed on Culloden field
      When the blood of the clans ran down
      Through the twisted sea of history
      To the streets of Glasgow town
      Where at night the head…

      On the long summer nights when the northern lights
      Burned the sky like acetylene
      The prods and tykes they fought on the dykes
      That ran round the housing scheme
      With sticks and stones we broke our bones
      For the sake of the good old cause
      That has kept our country bound and chained
      Under English laws
      But at night the head…

      And the old men lilt how the blood was spilt
      On the banks of the river Boyne
      Three hundred years of hate and fear
      Clutched like a miser's coin
      And at Ibrox and at Parkhead too
      On the first day of the year
      See full-grown men drag it all out again
      While the fans on the terraces cheer
      And at night the head…

      (Parkhead is where Celtic FC have their stadium. Ibrox Stadium is home of the Rangers FC. Of course, Celtic is the Catholic club and Rangers is the Protestant club.)

      Even now most children are divided by attending denominational schools.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2004/jan/30/schools.faithschools

      From my own experience I could tell you some very ugly stories.

      A lot of it wasn't so ugly or hostile as just plain weird. For example, when discussing a project the other engineers might say something like 'the architect is from Kelvingrove. Nice bloke. Protestant. Does only commercial work. Specialises in....' I never could figure out where the 'Protestant' (or Catholic) fit in.

      Oddly enough, I never saw even a hint of anti-Semitism. Both my late husband and older Jewish Glaswegians assured me that it didn't exist. My husband's best and oldest friend was Jewish. They were boys together and remained friends throughout their lives.

      If you are ever in Glasgow be sure to go to the magnificent Grade A listed Garnethill Synagogue. It's well worth seeing.

      http://garnethill.org.uk/

    • pabelmont :: ...interesting Scots law....

      It's a very ugly story.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sectarianism_in_Glasgow

      I lived in Glasgow and was married to a Glaswegian who had lived through the worst of it.

    • With songs and poetry like this as part of the school curriculum, it's no surprise that so many Scots think as they do :

      http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandssongs/secondary/thefreedomcomeallye.asp

      For those who find the Scots language incomprehensible...

      http://www.dickgaughan.co.uk/songs/texts/freecaye.html

      Sung by the brilliant Dick Gaughan :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nLGKFTH5sw

      Then there's always the poet, Robert Burns :

      A prince can mak a belted knight,
      A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
      But an honest man's abon his might,
      Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
      For a' that, an' a' that,
      Their dignities an' a' that;
      The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
      Are higher rank than a' that.

      This Neil Cameron is an ass.

  • The breathtaking arrogance of Alan Dershowitz's 'advice' to Black Lives Matter
  • 'It's like we're born with guns in our hands': Young Israelis face prison as they resist military conscription
  • The last Gaza war worried Scotland's Jews-- for all the wrong reasons
  • When the language of genocide offends us more than ghettoizing another people
  • Anti-occupation activists stand with Black Lives Matter as Jewish orgs attack movement over Israel criticisms
  • On Jewishness and criticism of Israel
  • The sensitive Zionist -- a review of Natalie Portman's new film
    • Like you, I also refuse to watch Holocaust-themed films, and for the same reasons as you.

      There is one exception though. I'll always watch The Pianist, an historical drama based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the great Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman.

      I also have Szpilman's book.

  • 'Does he believe in a God'? -- DNC leaders wanted to undermine Sanders
  • Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of 'comely gentile women' during war becomes chief army rabbi
    • Vera :: "This guy should be circumcised one more time to the point of rendering him ineffective.

      I'd go along with this.

  • In latest pander to Israel lobby, Clinton smears Max Blumenthal's criticism of Wiesel as 'hateful'
    • Most people who read MW don't have the habit of labelling people who tell the truth as 'liars'.

  • Elie Wiesel is Dead
    • silamcuz :: Good riddance.

      You must long for the good ol' days when white supremacists used to get rid of those bothersome white progressives for you. Like back in 1964 when they murdered the civil rights workers Schwerner and Goodman, two nice (white) Jewish boys. Or the (white) UU activists James Reeb and Viola Liuzzo, killed in Selma. Were they racists?

      (And no, I haven't forgotten about Chaney.)

    • MHughes976. Good question. I really don't know, and having used the quote I should know.

      I never use quotation websites. I found the quote in articles I read, articles published in reputable newspapers and journals. One of them was in the Independent. However, these publications just make the claim and the attribution, but (like me) don't give a reference.

      That was sloppy of me. Lacking a reference I never should have used that quote. After you asked I looked for a reference but couldn't find one.

      Funny thing though... it sounds like the kind of nonsense that Wiesel would say. God knows, the man lies enough. Still, it's no excuse.

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