Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 9 (since 2011-11-22 03:09:17)

A lifelong NYC resident, from a progressive Jewish family - civil rights, labor, anti-war movements - who finds it appalling how so many otherwise progressive people start sounding like Netanyahu as soon as Israel/Palestine comes up.

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  • No Palestinians need apply to new Israeli government-- and American liberals don't notice
    • Honestly, even if Netanyahu and his coalition weren't flaming racists, I wouldn't expect the Joint List to either be considered to join the coalition, or to have any interest in joining it. A right wing government would never be expected to include a truly progressive party. Now, if Herzog had won more seats, and had he been in a theoretical position to form a so-called "center left" government, the failure of the press and of Herzog and his other potential partners to consider them would be a different story. Personally, I am hoping that somehow Netanyahu and Herzog form a "unity" government. The idea of the Joint List being the official opposition, with all the perks that are involved, is quite delicious! As it is, they are already making people take notice of the plight of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.

  • Mamdani's 'holistic' challenge: Anti-Zionists must persuade Jews they can only be safe by dismantling the Jewish state
    • One difference between Barghouti and Abbas might be that unlike Abbas, Barghouti seems to have credibility among the Palestinian population, as one who is both part of the resistance and who understands and is capable of dealing with the Israelis. Part of the problem is that both Israel and the PA see it in their best interests to suppress the democratic process. Pamela Olson relates in "Fast Times in Palestine" how during the last Palestinian Presidential election, Israel and the PA conspired to keep Mustafa Barghouthi (who Pamela was working for at the time) from campaigning. This kind of thing has to stop if there is to be any sort of credible government in waiting.

  • Elizabeth Warren visits Netanyahu, even as he undermines US negotiations with Iran
  • Defending Apartheid: Then in South Africa, now in Palestine
    • "Apartheid was based on racism; Israeli Jews are not racist. They may occupy, persecute and discriminate Palestinians, but they act out of misguided patriotism and a hundred years of bloody conflict. Not out of racism."

      Back in the '80's I saw a political cartoon, I forget by which cartoonist. It portrayed Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Reagan's UN ambassador, who had recently defended US support of "authoritarian" (right wing) regimes as opposed to "totalitarian" (Communist) ones. The totalitarian systems, the cartoon Kirpatrick says, murder, torture and imprison. Authoritarian systems, on the other hand, leave many of these functions to the private sector." We need an updated version of this cartoon for David Landau: "In a racist system, individuals occupy, persecute and discriminate. In an apartheid one, many of these functions are left to the government."

  • Brant Rosen's prophetic voice elevated him beyond the rabbinic politics of our day
    • Thanks, Marc, for this wonderful testimonial. I have never heard any of Rabbi Rosen's sermons personally, but from reading the holiday sermons that he has posted on his blog over the years, it seems that he has been able to manage to walk a fine line by weaving in progressive Jewish values without any overt political references. And he makes it abundantly clear on his blog that the views expressed are his own. So it is ironic that people should feel that he has crossed any lines between his personal and official roles. As I emailed him the other day, I have held him up as an example in my own synagogue, where our Rabbi has offended a lot of people by the way he has blurred those lines. It is also ironic that when a Rabbi preaches the right wing line from the pulpit, there never seems to be a consequence. A year or so I attended a Bar Mitzvah in a synagogue where the Rabbi, from the pulpit, explicitly defended Israel's right to all of what he considered the "land of Israel", told us the God gave us the land, and should we magnanimously decide to give some small portion of it to the anyone else, that is totally our decision and nobody can tell us otherwise. That certainly offended me, but whatever I said to some of his congregants afterwards, it not only fell on deaf ears, it was made clear that nobody felt there was anything inappropriate in what he said.

  • Rabbi Brant Rosen steps down from Jewish Reconstructionist Synagogue saying his activism on Israel/Palestine has been 'lightning rod for division'
    • This is discouraging on so many levels. As a progressive Jew, I have come to see Brant Rosen as one of my spiritual as well as political heroes. That he has been able to lead a major congregation for all this time had been a source of optimism that holding progressive views on Israel/Palestine might not necessarily be a career killer for a pulpit rabbi. So much for that. On the other hand, as Brant said, change leads to new possibilities. I am sure that he will continue to provide his inspiring brand of spiritual and political leadership through JVP and perhaps other new vehicles that he will play a role in developing. And I look forward to continuing to read his marvelous blog, Shalom Rav.

  • Take the right position on Israel and you can raise 1/4 million, Senate candidate is advised
    • Ellison just redeemed himself on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show. He came out strongly not just for a cease fire but also for an end to the blockade of Gaza.

  • Feinstein, Baldwin, Kaine, Paul among 12 senators who didn't sign AIPAC letter blasting Palestinian gov't
  • Anti-Cantor coalition included Tea Partiers, Independents, Democrats
    • Thanks, Annie, I didn't know that independents can vote in Virginia primaries, so that certainly puts a different spin on the result than we've heard from the mainstream media. My other take on this race: Cantor had the big bucks behind him and Brat had very little to spend. Whether it was the Tea Party, people like Beq, or as is likely, a combination of both, the candidate who spent the most by far was defeated. Kind of gives one hope that maybe it's just possible, even under this corrupt political system, that another big monied "lobby" can be defeated!

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