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Total number of comments: 6484 (since 2010-04-19 03:21:04)

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  • Judaism's hijacking by Zionists drives 70% of secular Jews to marry non-Jews-- Koppman at Huffpo
    • The notion that Zionism is driving Jews away from Judaism is baseless, and the claim is hypocritical coming from Phil, who has long argued in favor of intermarriage.

  • Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade
    • Well, Shmuel, no, because according to people here. Israel already gets lots of attention. And no, I don't think the media focused very much on the sirens and rockets, certainly not internationally. They were much more concerned with comparative casualty counts, as if the rockets were benign.

    • "so why do you believe it?"

      Because it's plainly obvious that this is Hamas's strategy. Civilian death gains Hamas media attention and sympathy that they are otherwise denied. And it's not hate speech to say so. There are historical precedents for this, but there's no question that it's an enticing strategy in this media environment.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
  • 'Ads Against Apartheid' is going national
    • Won't work. All of the social science research shows that people are turned off by confrontational stuff like this. If you can't find anything positive to say about the Palestinians, you will not succeed.

  • 'Absolutely not!' -- Young Colorado Jews meet hostility when they try to talk to organizational leaders
    • I'd like to know how many of these people are genuinely interested in Federation programming. Perhaps they are interested in taking part in one of the many charitable programs Federation has, programs which benefit Jews and non-Jews alike.

  • Salaita’s stellar teaching record exposes political motivation behind his firing
    • There is still not a scrap of evidence that Chancellor Wise acted at the behest of pro-Israel groups. It is the reverse of what you say. The anti-Israel orientation of so many Salaita supporters and their failure to speak out against the violation of academic freedom of Israeli academics by those in the BDS movement or the academic freedom of conservative professors who have been disciplined for speech made outside of the classroom plainly indicates that their support of Salaita is wholly political.

  • Witnessing Gaza
    • ":The end of Jewish history as we have known and inherited it – I think that’s what you’re witnessing. Whatever ethical values were present in our tradition – what both of us consciously or subconsciously draw upon – are gone."

      Right - Jews have no ethical traditions now. And you wonder, Marc, why people consider anti-Zionism an antisemitic movement.

  • UPDATED: Bay Area demonstrators succeed for **fourth** day in 'Blocking the Boat for Gaza'
    • "Palestine will be free from the river to the sea."

      Will that Palestine be a democracy in which the UN-recognized right of Jews to self-determination is recognized? Or will it be a state of genocidal backwardness like the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq? What assurances can you give that the Palestinians will not simply replace the Jews where they currently are?

      "No Gaza airport, no Ben Gurion airport. No Gaza seaport, no Haifa seaport. "

      You're advocating terrorism with a statement like this. The only way Ben-Gurion airport could be disabled is through the targeting of civilian infrastructure by Hamas. That's terrorism. Suicide bombers have murdered people in Haifa.

  • How to respond to thoughtful people who can't help saying 'but Hamas'
    • Talknic defend the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Arab countries after the 1948 War thusly: "Quite NORMAL for countries who’re at war to expel or inter possible enemies of the state and freeze their assets."

      Wow. Actually, these expulsions of Arab Jews occurred after the 1948 War. They were retaliatory. But I never thought I'd see talknic offering a strong defense for why Israel should have expelled all of the Palestinians in 1948, a la Benny Morris.

    • Or better yet, particular if you're addressing Israelis who have spent the last month in and out of bomb shelters, maybe you should just acknowledge that they have a point, and that regardless of justice of the Palestinian cause, Hamas isn't making things better.

    • "1. To create the Jewish state, the Zionist movement destroyed more than 400 Palestinians villages and expelled 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and land. Palestinians who remained in what became Israel were relegated to second-class citizenship, had much of their property confiscated, and, to this day, have fewer rights than Jewish Israeli citizens."

      To which I answer that there were quite a number of Jews expelled from their homes as well, that the war was a civil war, that the Palestinians were not innocent, that the Arab armies that invaded Israel were certainly not innocent, that the rhetoric from Arab leaders during the war was genocidal, and that this was 66 years ago and provides no excuse for why the refugee problem has been stoked for years by Arab governments, who have not treated the Palestinians well and no excuse for the expulsion of Jews from Arab countries afterward, in the hundreds of thousands.

      "2. In 1967, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem and still occupies them until this day."

      After 20 years of terrorism from those places and after a war in which Arab armies massed on their border and threatened to throw the Jews into the sea, and after 20 years in which these places were occupied by others who brought the people no closer to statehood.

      "3. Over the past 47 years of occupation, Israel has illegally confiscated more and more Palestinian land; built an apartheid wall; systematically denied Palestinians basic human and civil rights and engaged in state-sponsored violence; and forced the Palestinians in Gaza to live in appalling conditions that make it increasingly impossible to survive. Israel’s latest bombing campaign, Operation Protective Edge, has killed over 1,900 Palestinians, at least 450 of whom are children, and has displaced hundreds of thousands more."

      It built a security fence after years and years of suicide terrorism that came during the time Israel and the Palestinians were engaged in peace negotiations, and blockaded Gaza after it was taken over by a terrorist organization who has fired rocket after rocket at Israeli civilians. The Egyptians are more responsible for the appalling conditions in Gaza than the Israeli are, and there's little question that with the level of international aid pouring into Gaza, there is no reason the people there should be in appalling conditions.

      A large chunk of those 1900 were militants, who purposely fire rockets from civilian areas in order to draw fire that will inevitably kill civilians. Hamas actually used Shifa hospital as a media center during the War. That tells you all you need to know about Hamas.

      Try harder, Donna.

  • Reading Salaita in Illinois—by Way of Cary Nelson (part 1)
    • I'll response to the entirety of Phan's analysis.

      Introduction

      "Despite the attempts of Nelson and others to spin this as apologetics for anti-Semitism, many people, such as political commentator Marc Lamont Hill and CUNY professor Corey Robin, have interpreted the tweet to mean just the opposite."

      So, if Salaita had tweeted out something like "The Congressional Black Caucus: making racism an honorable thing since 1970," because he felt that they were not militant enough in demanding equal rights for African Americans, would you then go back through his twitter history to explain how he meant something different? How about if he tweeted out: "The Equal Rights Campaign: making homophobia an honorable thing since 1948." How about: "the al-Saud family. Making Islamophobia honorable since 1920."

      If your answer isn't yes, then you're a giant hypocrite, and you're certainly not defending academic freedom.

      1. Even if Salaita's tweets can be placed in context, so what? The accusation that Zionists label all criticism of Israel antisemitic is a nonsensical straw man that has never been accurate, and the accusation far outpaced the regularity of this happening. A close (and even not so close) examination of the rhetoric here indicates that, in fact, it's the anti-Israel BDS movement that has worked hard to devalue the meaning of antisemitism by trying to legitimize it as a part of public discourse. This site has devoted itself in part to blaming the Jewish community for the Iraq War, a conspiracy theory that dredges up classical antisemitic tropes. It has promoted anti-Jewish screeds calling neonatal circumcision barbaric and calling for an end to kosher slaughter. It has publicly questioned whether there are too many Jews on the US Supreme Court. It has blamed the Jewish community in advance for the war in Iraq. It is perfectly common to see citations to blatantly antisemitic websites like Veterans Today, where Jews are blamed for the 9/11 attacks, and to neo-Nazi websites like Rense. It has been nearly silence on incidences of antisemitism in Europe; far more voices here have been heard claiming Jews make up these events than heard condemning them. So let's place Salaita's tweets in context. The context is the legitimizing of antisemitic discourse within the BDS movement.

      Does it really matter a great deal that Salaita has issued condemnations of certain clearly antisemitic events at times? This is a site where comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is routine, and where people defend these comparisons by claiming that one need not put the Palestinians in gas chambers in order for them to be compared to Nazi Germany. Similarly, Steven Salaita need not be a white-hood wearing KKK member in order to engage in antisemitic activity.

      With regard to your point about Salaita's use of the word "honorable," your argument is absurd. When Salaita says that FIFA is an honorable organization, he's clearly using the word "honorable" sarcastically. When he says that Zionism has made antisemitism honorable, he's speaking sardonically with regard to Zionism, but not sarcastically with regard to the word "honorable." In fact, Mira Sucharov's response was quite right. Just as Geller might say that hating Islam is honorable because of the acts of Muslim fanatics and the relative silence of non-fanatic Muslims, Salaita is saying that hating Jews may be now an honorable position because of the acts of Zionists and the general support those acts draw from other Jews. After all, this is the same man who tweeted that he saw little difference between the Israeli people and their government, and tweeted that supporters of Israel, a group that includes most American Jews, were "awful people." Perhaps he says so with more comparative regret than Geller would. But that he said it nonetheless is inescapable.

      2. All of us understand that retweets are not endorsements. Nevertheless, that does not mean that retweets are never endorsements, and anyone who has spent time on twitter knows that most tweets that express a political opinion are retweeted by people who agree with that opinion. There is overwhelming evidence, namely, Salaita's other tweets, to suggest that Salaita retweeted a nasty tweet about Jeffrey Goldberg because he agreed with the sentiment, and not because he disagreed with the sentiment or because he wanted to educate others on the depth of anger in the pro-Palestinian community. In the context of Salaita's other tweeting during the Gaza War, in which he referred to supporters of Israel as "awful people," and wished all West Bank settlers would go "missing," it is very much in line with Salaita's viewpoint that he should wish that Jeffrey Goldberg, a journalist regularly pillorized by the BDS movement in ad hominem terms, meet the pointy end of a shiv.

      In sum, it is very easy to believe that Salaita wished Jeffrey Goldberg ill because he had repeatedly personalized his hatred of the people who support political viewpoints different from his own. Consequently, Nelson's interpretation is perfectly reasonable. You can't cite context to explain away Salaita's tweets in one instance, and then ignore context in another when it doesn't serve your purpose.

      3. It's exactly the same with your reading of Salaita's tweet regarding the West Bank settlers. You ignore the context in order to massage an alternative reading of the tweet so that you can discard the plain contextual meaning. The man tweeted this right after three Israeli teens were kidnapped. The plainest meaning is that he wishes the same thing to all West Bank settlers. It matters little what Salaita's intention was. The statement stands on its own because it's quite clear. If Salaita's intention was otherwise, then he is at best frighteningly irresponsible, and this level of irresponsible is surely something that institutions should take into account when evaluating the candidacy of an employee for a teaching position.

      4. With regard to Salaita's responses to others on the subject of the Gaza War: it is the personalized tone, not the intensity. If a professor is constantly tweeting out anti-GOP arguments, we can make a fair assumption that he's referring to ideas, not to people. But if the person has a record of tweeting out personal attacks on Republicans, such as "If you defend the GOP now, you're a terrible person" or "The GOP makes hating gun owners honorable," and he's being hired because of his work on the American political system, it's fair to wonder about whether that person can be fair to students who are members of the GOP or may express arguments against gun owners. As I've said elsewhere, I might be inclined to sympathize with some of the pro-#Salaita arguments if it could be shown that Salaita keeps his personal opinions out of the classroom and if, as a professor, he does not use his classroom for political organizing or for browbeating students into accepting his political opinions as a requirement for getting good grades.

      5. On Nelson's report regarding the Morris affair: Your characterization is completely disingenuous, and conveniently omits the details. Nelson reported that an academic was penalized for arguing in favor of hiring Benny Morris over a pro-Palestinian scholar favored by his department in a section of his book that argued that while the line between polemical writing and scholarship drawn in the service of campus collegiality was false, the manner in which colleges were sensitive to and enforced against hostile environments on campus was "Orwellian." Nelson gave as examples the months-long investigation of a white graduate student who had told a black graduate student that he was upset that a student had used the n-word in class and wanted to find a way to handle the problem; the white graduate student was reported by the black graduate student for creating a hostile environment by telling the black graduate student the story.

      Nelson gave as a second example the story of a faculty member who was severely penalized personally and financially for favoring the hiring of Morris, who is one of the world's foremost scholars of the Palestinian refugee problem and of Israeli history, over the pro-Palestinian scholar the faculty favored.

      link to books.google.co.uk

      Predictably, you defend the violation of this scholar's academic freedom because you disagree with his politics; you make a series of political judgments about Morris's political views that do not come close to constituting a coherent case for why Morris's politics should serve as a bar to his being hired as a historian, and certainly make no case as to why the academic freedom of a professor should be violated for the act of advocating Morris's hiring. That's not to mention your complete failure to mention Morris's stature as one of the world's foremost scholars of Palestinian refugee history and Israeli history.

      Because you apply an apologetic standard to Salaita's tweets that you would not apply to other scholars who tweeted similarly on other political controversial issues, because you use context when it suits you, and discard it when it does not, because you ignore the plain meaning of Salaita's writing, because you mischaracterize Nelson's position on Benny Morris and omit basic details of the episode Nelson described, and because you have a long history as a partisan BDS activist who has called for the violation of the academic freedom of Israeli academics many times, the clear conclusion here is that your advocacy of Salaita's cause is purely political, and not based on your advocacy of academic freedom.

  • Watch: Young Israeli Jew at Western Wall calls for 'another war and another war and another war and another war'
    • "And you did deny it, right on schedule. You are so predictable."

      Thanks. I'm glad that the rules here allow people to purposely lie about others just so that they can be heard denying it. Some might call that a fun activity. Others might say that the people who engage in it are by definition deeply dishonest, and thus, lack basic credibility.

      Mooser, when it comes to predictability and predictable dishonesty, nobody takes a back seat to you.

    • "The only thing that could ever change Hophmi’s deepest feelings is a larger check. When he’s bought, he stays bought!"

      For what must be the thousandth time, no one is paying me. Is anyone paying you, Mooser?

    • "I normally don’t sugar coat anything unless I’m talking to a child. Okay?"

      Judging by your comment here, you ARE a child.

    • Tod77, the difference between me and most here is that I have little trouble condemning these views expressed here, have done so since I became politically conscious in high school, and know well how easy it is to find Jews who express them, and how easy it is to find the much more plentiful Jews who would vehemently disagree with the views of those in the video. Westerners in the anti-Israel camp not only do not condemn the Palestinians and the Arabs in the Middle East who express similar views (and express them much more often and in much greater number); they actively encourage the hatred from Western sidelines, much in the way I see rightists in the Zionist community do the same, and they seem, just like those rightists, to think that people like me are the enemy.

    • "I find you’re analysis of this video infuriating"

      I think what you find infuriating is that I don't agree with you.

      "Nu? They have sirens to alert them, shelters to run to and apparently still have their legs so they can run."

      So, in wherever it is that you live, if you're in the middle of a long, violent conflict, and the side you're fighting is weaker militarily than you are, but they makes your life hell by firing rockets into your neighborhood on a daily basis, and have made your lives hell in the past by killing lots of your kids in suicide bombings, do you think you and all of your neighbors are going to love them?

    • " I don’t see how he can have Palestinian friends when his greater family is occupying Palestinian lands."

      You don't? Really? It's impossible for people to be friends when there's an existing political conflict? I think you're, once again, projecting your radical left orthodoxy onto other people who don't hate as much as you do.

      Despite extremists around the world who love to set people against one another, there are Palestinians and Israelis who are friends with one another.

      "It’s doubtful that the uncle has Palestinian friends, but not really the issue here. What matters is the footage of the people at the Western Wall. Can you even condemn what they are saying is racist and very disturbing? I think you’ll defend them, because your views are their views."

      Who are you to say whether the guys has Palestinian friends or not?

      I condemn the views expressed, if I did not make that clear when I said that they disturbed me, and you know damn well they are not my views, Chu.

    • No one is trying to hide in Israel. Whether there are some teenagers who say nasty stuff or not, it does not change the fact that Israeli civilians are regularly targeted by Hamas rockets and does not change the fact that before that, it was suicide bombings.

    • This is also a video of an Israeli, one who lost a teenage nephew no less:

      link to youtube.com

      "I have no doubt that we can live in peace. I have no doubt that we will live in peace."

      This is also a video of an Israeli teenager.

      link to youtube.com

      So stop with the hate and the anti-Israel sensationalism.

    • "That was state- supported incitement, bigoted hatred, and support for the genocide of the Palestinian people, all done with smiles on their faces and wild (bad) dancing and singing."

      State-supported? If some Minuteman here says we should throw out all of the immigrants, is that state-supported?

      " all done with smiles on their faces and wild (bad) dancing and singing."

      Yeah. They're teenagers. Teenagers are not known for being thoughtful and rational.

      "Israel might be able to lure some numbskull tourists, but I bet that the numbers will drop."

      Yes, I'm sure targeting Israeli civilians was meant in part to hurt the tourist industry.

    • Of course, these kinds of comments are always troubling, much as I know Israelis well enough to know that they are not educated at the American School of Proper Political Correctness, and that they often speak hyperbolically. These are people who have been running into bomb shelters on a daily basis for the last month. The answer is that it's a conflict, and that people on one side of the conflict don't like the people on the other side. You can find the same attitudes throughout the Arab world, only more plentiful.

  • The academic/political context of the Salaita affair
    • "Institutionally, this campus remains under Zionist lockdown."

      This is just complete nonsense.

      This year, the Israel Studies program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is bringing Sayed Kashua as its visiting scholar. Kashua is not a Zionist. He's the guy who just wrote that piece in the Guardian about why he's not coming back to Israel. He didn't mention that he was being paid with Federation money, if I remember correctly. Wouldn't fit the narrative I guess. BDS has to boycott him, I guess. Awkward.

      The "undistinguished Israeli" Green refers to must be Rhona Seidelman. She is no longer there; she was a visiting professor. She taught courses on the history of Israel and on debating Israel, and not, from what I can see, on the conflict itself.

  • Boycott Israel?
    • This is seriously one of the dumbest columns I've ever read. It is the apotheosis of leftist stupidity.

      Yes, Marc. Yes. Let's remove all humanitarian workers from the territories so that it will be easier for you as a Westerner to show how evil Israel is, since Israel will have to fill the breach (or Egypt in Gaza, but never you mind), and in forcing Israel to do so, it will make the occupation plainer. Of course, let's not waste a single word on the corruption that is endemic in the territories, which has received more international aid per capita than anywhere else.

      By all means, Marc, the most important thing to remember these days is that life for Western left-wing anti-Israel activists should be made easier. They are suffering SO badly.

      Just disgusting. One of the most disgusting columns I've seen printed here.

  • The West Bank insurrection
    • "Hamas is holding its own against Israel."

      Another Westerner who mistakes anti-Israel activism for pro-Hamas activism. In no sense is Hamas holding its own against Israel except by the crazy Middle East standard of not being completely wiped out. Indeed, this is exactly what Hamas counts on in the West. No matter how decimated its people, no matter how decimated its infrastructure, no matter how many men it loses, no matter the insignificance of its weaponry, useful idiots will declare them victors while simultaneously arguing that they are defenseless. So Hamas always wins. If civilians die, it wins. If it kills a couple of Israeli soldiers, it wins. If Israelis kill them, they win because they get sympathy from useful idiots who declare everyone a civilian. If Israelis don't kill them, they win because they "held their own." Continue to think this way. More Palestinians will die so that you can declare victory on behalf of their oppressive rulers.

      It's no wonder that many anti-Israel activists in the West now celebrate Hamas's right to violent resistance, even if the expression is completely illegal under international law. It's just the next logical step when you think like this.

  • A Palestinian defends violent resistance to occupation
    • UNSC 1515 enshrines the 2SS as the solution preferred by the international community, and cites 242 as a basis, and UNSC 1515 was itself cited by the ICJ decision in 2004, which recognized Israel's right to exist, be recognized, and live in security.

    • "The Palestinians wanted a single democratic state from the start. "

      Based on what? That's nonsense.

    • The rockets have chiefly military targets?

      I don't think even the anti-Israel movement believes that one.

      Let's be clear: Hamas rockets target civilians, and there is no internationally-recognized right to resist occupation by targeting civilians.

      That this fatuous statement found an audience only confirms that the anti-Israel movement has no respect for international law, just as Norman Finkelstein said, and that they support violence.

  • With friends like these...
    • "The Ebola story is a reminder of the fact that Leon Wieseltier now finds himself queasy about Israeli society and that Max Blumenthal documented fascistic trends in that society. "

      And this post is a reminder of the orientalism you engage in when you analyze Israeli discourse.

  • Even Wieseltier is upset by 'indifference in Jewish world' to Gaza slaughter and wholehearted Israeli support for it
    • "Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch said on Democracy Now yesterday that Palestinians should end the “charade” and go to the International Criminal Court to have Israel hauled up on war crimes. "

      It will never happen, because the US won't allow it, and because the day the Palestinians try to use the ICC as a political tool, the entire leadership of Hamas will be placed in the dock for ordering attacks on civilians. The PA will not give up its funding just to pursue a fruitless criminal case against the Israelis.

      Wieseltier's criticism is the same as Beinart's. Israel has a right to defend it, Hamas is terrible, and the problem is that there's no strategy for peace. But the notion that Wieseltier is distancing himself from Israel and Israeli society is something you're reading into the piece. To the extent that Wieseltier questions high levels of Israeli Jewish support for the war, he's not being honest with himself. Americans faced no threat from Iraq, and supported the war in large numbers at the beginning. In 1990, support for the war in Iraq was over 90%, and again, Americans faced no direct threat. Why should it be surprising for people who actually do face a daily threat on their border to support a war against the perpetrators of those attacks in large numbers?

      As far as Bromwich: Bromwich uses the 80% figure advanced by Palestinian HR organizations. That figure is very much a matter of debate right now.

      "You do not kill unarmed people in such numbers, and you do not kill women and children on such a scale, when the constantly considered aim of your forces is not to inflict unnecessary injury on civilians. "

      Don't you? How many civilians died in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars? Is it Bromwich's contention that they died in large numbers because the US targets civilians? Has Bromwich conducted a study on this matter? Is it part of his portfolio as a lit professor?

  • Former Israeli ambassador Michael Oren dropped as CNN 'analyst'
  • Steven Salaita-- unremitting in criticism of Zionism and Gaza slaughter-- loses a job at University of Illinois
    • "That is incorrect. Of the 39 signatures, out of somewhere around 300 faculty members at Vassar (I’ve seen a 290 number, but also saw a number of 331 Vassar faculty members), 12 of them were full professors and 15 were associate professors (tenured), 9 were assistant professors (tenured-track but not yet tenured), one was an adjunct associate professor (untenured), one was a lecturer(untenured) and one was a postdoctorate fellow. It is less than 15 percent of the faculty members there, even if you take the lower number of 290 faculty members at Vassar."

      Uh-huh - and which part of this is different from what I said? How many signed a pro-Israel letter?

      "As to complaints from pro-Israeli students, while their feelings may be accurate expressions, the fact of actual intimidation is not proven."

      I'm not sure what you regard as proof. Phil's reportage on this issue is plain to see. Disagreement is different from being shouted down. And by the way, the students who were shouted down were shouted down for calling for dialogue, not for expressing support for the Netanyahu government. I believe they were part of the campus J-Street organization. You also may be unaware that the campus SJP was invited to participate in the meeting, and declined specifically because J Street was also participating.

      I'm not exactly sure what you think you're accomplishing by posting these couple of anecdotes; the one regarding France is hotly disputed, and now that there have been multiple attacks in Jewish neighborhoods, I think the notion that the JDL was responsible for a protest crowd storming a synagogue looks more and more like nonsense with every passing moment.

      Your characterization of Jane Eisner's piece is not even close. Eisner quoted Deborah Lipstadt, one of the world's most prominent Holocaust historians, as saying that while what we were seeing was certainly not 1939 Germany, it might be like 1934 Germany, and her basis was the proliferation of Nazi imagery at anti-Israel rallies and the rhetoric from Erdogan that the Israelis were worse than Hitler, and her entire piece was written in the guise of one who had always rejected the equation of anti-Zionism with antisemitism and was now reconsidering her position.

      So basically, all you got, chief, is one woman who went nuts on a plane.

      You make no case that Salaita is being punished for his views. It's the way he expresses himself that's the problem. Your citing of a tweet where he mentioned Israel does not make your case. He said supporters of Israel were awful people. Well, guess what, chief; lots of Americans are supporters of Israel, and not all supporters of Israel are supporters of the Gaza War or the Netanyahu government. And I'm not bringing someone to my campus who is incapable of holding a political view without personalizing it and judging those who disagree with him to be awful people. Salaita is more than free to think that Zionists are awful people. He's not free to have any job he wants, or to escape the consequences of what he says. But there are a lot of Salaitas in the academy, it's true. There are a lot of people, particularly in critical studies fields, who have a lot of trouble seeing things in any way but their own. Many don't, and they are just as important as Steve Salaita, just as beloved by students, and they have tenure too. Maybe now, Steve Salaita is sitting somewhere and asking himself whether having being famous in the anti-Israel community as a bad-ass tweeter was worth an appointment at a major university. Maybe he'll shut out the parade of toddler-like supporters who think speech has no consequences and realize that no one is keeping him from researching Palestinians, American Indians, or anything else, but that his obsessive nastiness on twitter is something he needs to work on. Maybe he'll also realize that student love does not mean that you taught a great class. It means that you were entertaining, and I can tell you from my college days, students love a guy who rants and raves, because it makes them feel extra-super righteous about themselves.

      I think the ability to disagree about politics and to recognize the common humanity with your political opponent is a measure of a person's character. Of course, when your worldview is that everyone who disagrees with you is a Nazi or a fascist, then that's hard to do. And that's the worldview in much of the radical community, whether it's Israel, or American domestic politics, or whatever. It's also the view on much of the right. But it's bad for everybody.

    • "There are 290 faculty members at Vassar. 39 out of 290. Do the math. Again, this doesn’t even prove your point as regards to Vassar."

      All of the ones who signed were tenured. Not a single professor submitted anything in defense of Israel to the paper. I know for a fact that there are professors at Vassar who are not supportive of the BDS movement who are afraid to speak out in favor of Israel. And again, Norman Finkelstein said not too long ago that it's become taboo to support Israel on campus.

    • Simply name a pro-Israel professor who applied for and was given a job in Middle East Studies who tweets similarly.

    • Unsupported? It's like saying the sky is blue. Khalidi, LeVine, Schreier, Boyle (at U of I), Beinin, Cole. All are tenured profs in Middle East studies. All are outspoken pro-Palestinian activists. Go outside the field. 39 professors at Vassar signed a pro-Palestinian letter. This is one of those times that I don't understand why you bother denying this. It is routine for professors to express pro-Palestinian viewpoints, tenured and untenured. You feature them here all the time.

      Salaita's work compares the American-Indian and Palestinian experiences. He's not Middle East Studies, but his work touches upon the field.

      What unsupported allegations have I made against Vassar? The SJP twitter account at Vassar tweeted out a Nazi cartoon at the end of the semester. It got itself suspended for that. Jewish students have reported to me, personally, that they feel intimidated on campus and that they are afraid to express their views. I also know Vassar parents whose children have confirmed this. Phil himself has written about how pro-Israel Vassar students were shouted down at an all-campus meeting.

      Several students have reported on Joshua Schreier's closed-mindedness in his Israel-Palestine conflict class:

      "Schreier is extremely intelligent and just as closed-minded. Ostensibly, he allows you to hold any opinion, but rest assured if you don't hold HIS opinions your grade will suffer. Schreier is vehement in his views and has no qualms about attacking students who attempt to bring their own to the table. "

      "For many students, he provides just the spark of enthusiasm they are looking for on the fiery subject of the Middle East. But I quickly grew tired of the monochrome class discussions. Once, mid-semester I attempted to play the "devil's advocate" a bit, and he viciously attacked me in front of the class. I didn't attempt that again."

      "The best thing that I can say about Schreier is that I may be the only person at Vassar that didn't like him as a professor. He is a very engaging and energetic lecturer, but he presents his views as historical fact. There isn't much room for disagreement or discussion."

      link to ratemyprofessors.com

    • Thanks for the response, just. I especially enjoyed the video of yourself that you included.

    • Please indicate your evidence that in the field of Middle East Studies, that there are more pro-Israel professors than there are pro-Palestinian ones, with tenure. I think you know I'm right.

      If you don't have evidence, go back to the barn and continue playing with Mooser and the other dirty animals.

    • As Nelson made clear, it is not Salaita's views that are the problem. It is his nasty social media persona. The academy is full of tenured pro-Palestinian professors who have no trouble expressing pro-Palestinian viewpoints and getting tenure; in fact, there are far more of them than there are tenured pro-Israel faculty in academia. Salaita's problem is the same as Norman Finkelstein's. He's regularly nasty to others in public, and universities do not just give jobs to people who are uncollegial and uncivil. But Rashid Khalidi, Joel Beinin, David Palumbo-Liu, Charles Smith, Mark LeVine, Joshua Schreier, and Corey Robin himself, just to name a very few, are all examples of professors who have full job security and are free to express anti-Israel viewpoints regularly. So the notion that it's Salaita's views that are the problems, rather than his incivility and nastiness, is nonsense. If anything, the situation is exactly the opposite; left-wing, pro-Palestinian departments collude to keep pro-Israel personnel from being hired; at Vassar, pro-Israel professors and students alike are frightened to express themselves because they have been repeatedly intimidated by pro-Palestinian students who do things like tweet out Nazi literature, professors who teach classes on the conflict who sign anti-Israel letters and then create an atmosphere of intimidation in classes where students who disagree with their politics are berated. Norman Finkelstein has admitted as much in interviews.

  • What I said to the couple holding a banner with a swastika on it
    • "He has no interest in jazz organ."

      He's right. My piano training was all classical, and despite several entreaties, I never took up the organ. I've played a Bach-Busoni transcription; that's about as close as I've gotten to organ playing. I've also played music of Cesar Franck; he was an organist, and his piano music is organ-like.

    • I wonder what Jordan Street thinks of the fact that most people find fault with him for doing the right thing.

    • "No, Mooser, you can’t. Hophmi does not lead a rich, full, life in the way we do. He has no interest in jazz organ. He doesn’t really care about commas. If he didn’t whine about anti-Semitism and Jewish self-determination, his life would be totally empty. He won’t give it up."

      LOL. You're projecting, my man. This is a small bit of what I do in life. I just type really fast.

    • The responses here indicate two things:

      1. Most people at Mondoweiss not only do not reject the presence of swastikas at pro-Palestinian rallies; they welcome them.

      2. Most at Mondoweiss not only fail to condemn the huge rise in antisemitic attacks; they question whether they've actually occurred.

    • No, you implied that there was a pattern of falsified antisemitic incidents in reply to another person here who made the same claim, all in response to a post from someone who criticized the proliferation of Nazi emblems at pro-Palestinian rallies.

      You're underplaying antisemitism, which is a theme here.

    • No one's making anything up. You're just a denier.

      link to nytimes.com

    • Surely you have been around long enough to know that the response of antisemites to antisemitism is always to claim that Jews are falsifying incidents of antisemitism.

  • Israel, your brand is tanking
    • "You run away while Israel is shelling hospitals and kids in Gaza, and then waltz back in like it never happened, and demand you be taken seriously? Not gonna happen, cupcake. Anyway, if it bothers you, complain to the management."

      Doesn't bother me a bit. Several people here devote themselves to dealing with me almost exclusively, and the moderator is great about letting through every abusive comment directed toward me, no matter how non-substantive. If it really bothered me, I'd have left a long time ago.

      It says far more about you and your movement that you and several others here get your rocks off by making non-substantive clownish comments about everything I say than it says about me.

      So bring it on, clown. I'll continue to ignore the vast majority of what you say, but if helps you feel better, go right ahead.

    • You mean that there are extremists in Israeli society? So, we're judging societies by their most extreme elements now? I've never seen you do this with regard to the Palestinians. The equivalent would be the suggestion that all Palestinians subscribe to the tenets of Al-Qaeda.

    • "Frankfurter and Brandeis were both secret active traitors sitting on the supreme court . amazing."

      And you wonder why Jews find the pro-Palestinian movement to be antisemitic. You pick prominent Jews from the past and call them traitors for advocating the liberation of their people from oppression.

      Disgusting.

    • "Could you please cite the documents with the actual statistics numbers, sample size and reference questions. Then, for those of who struggle to match statement to number – it would be very, very helpful if you could attach the actual numbers to your statements. As well as explaining exactly how Mr. Weiss takes them out of context."

      Here's a link to the Gallup poll Phil is discussing:

      link to gallup.com

      Phil's gambit is to read more into the poll than it says. It is wholly incorrect to say that US youth "supports Palestine"; Phil cited an advocacy piece, not the poll, for that statement. The polling does not show that US youth support Palestine. It shows that they think Israel's actions are unjustified. In fact, actual support for Hamas action is about 11%. It was 17% for Palestinian actions in 2002, actually.

      People with a postgraduate education found Israel's actions in Gaza justified by 53 to 27, higher than any other group with regard to educational attainment.

      The point that I have made repeatedly is that you can turn people off from strongly supporting Israel, but turning them on to supporting the Palestinians is another matter entirely. Most of the country is really supportive of neither perspective; they're either unengaged, or they're on neither side. Most people don't care, and the people that don't care don't tend to figure in policymaking. But of the ones that do care, the overwhelming majority support Israel.

      And if pro-Palestinian activism continues to be defined by the BDS movement, which is an outgrowth of long-marginalized leftist movements, can't bring itself to condemn terrorism, and is characterized by angry people who won't even engage in dialogue with those it disagrees with, it will not gain much traction here in the US.

    • It's not an awful country. It's just not as good at preserving the lives of civilians as Israel is.

      But the US is a liberal democracy, and most Americans assume the humanistic values of the US carry over into its military action. The rest of the world, not so much.

      Let me know when you're planning to actually respond to something I actually said, Mooser. The clown act was old a while ago.

    • There will be calls, but AIPAC will never take the position that Congress should defund UNRWA.

    • "this guy Walzer is DUMB…US engagements in Afghanistan and Vietnam are in no way analogous to the genocide carried out by the Israeli Goons"

      You're right. In Afghanistan, the US killed about 30,000 civilians, and in Vietnam, millions died.

      "The Jewish Nazis in Israel are exactly like the Nazis of European Fame"

      Yeah, it's the same thing, if you believe up is down and that the Holocaust didn't happen, which maybe you do, since your statements tend to be like this:

      "all the anti semitic crap is bullshit...just tell them to go fuck themselves"

      link to mondoweiss.net

      "there's no business
      like the shoa business"

      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Well, the idea is that Israel's liberal democratic values should suggest to you that maybe there's a reason the occupation hasn't ended, and that that reason is not exclusively Israeli in nature. It should also cause you to pause, at least a little, before trumpeting some utopian solution to the conflict that depends on the goodwill of people who may not see things as you do, because they have little tradition of democracy or basic respect for civil liberties that Westerners take for granted, like women's rights, gay rights, voting rights, a free press, etc.

      "I wonder if that poll was to be taken again if Israel would now be last, I’d put money on it!"

      And yes, and rather than regarding that as a triumph, you should be drawing the obvious conclusion, which is that it's a byproduct of media saturation in Israel, and not a byproduct of any reality or truth.

    • "The Israel lobby doesn’t have a clue what is happening to it."

      Believe me, they have a very good idea. They understand that it's principally a function of social media, which is why the numbers among 18-29 differ so much from other demographic groups. But they're used to this, and since they don't spend their time finding new ways to hate people or invent new antisemitic terminology based on the word as Nazi as BDS proponents do, they'll find a way to move forward.

      Younger people think the war is unjustified because they don't like the pictures on Twitter. It doesn't mean that they support Palestine or that they're "over Israel," as BDS organizer Professor David Palumbo-Liu argues (and you should credit him, rather than disingenuously suggesting that Salon Magazine holds that view). The same poll shows that people who follow the news closely overwhelmingly support Israel, shows a correlation between educational achievement and support for Israel (those with postgraduate degrees find Israel's response justified 53-27).

      Most crucially, these polls show next to no support for the Palestinians. 11 percent think Hamas's actions are justified. 17 percent think Palestinian actions are justified. Moreover, support for Israel from 18-34 year olds has been remarkably consistent since 2000; in 2014 it was 52%; in 2000 it was 49%. Israel retains, by far, the highest favorability ratings in the United States of any Middle Eastern country. As I've told you so many times, whatever misgivings people may have about Israel, they will not translate in support for the Palestinian cause unless there's something BETTER about it than the highly attractive image Israel presents of a liberal democratic high-tech society presents.

      As usual, you're spinning the poll results to fit your agenda, and you're taking them out of context. The truth is that most Americans actually have a bigger view of the region than you do. And they see a group worse than Al-Qaeda taking over Iraq, massive carnage in Syria, Brutal dictatorships in Egypt and Iran, and similar trends within the Palestinian Authority. So much as the pictures on social media may make younger people squeamish (and they are doubtless a big part of polling result for younger people), you're not going to get anywhere until this translates into actual support for Palestinians, rather than revulsion at carnage.

  • Seven congresspeople go to Israel on AIPAC's dime-- and one gets defensive about it
    • "Better yet, there will be a constitutional democratic republic of Isratine based on a bill of rights and compensation for decades of dispossession and displacement."

      Yes, like the constitutional democratic republics in the rest of the Arab world, because if there's one thing that's traditional in these societies, it's constitutional democratic republics.

    • "I am sure that you know there are approximately 500,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria who are caught in a dangerous situation and over half have fled the refugee camps there. "

      Why have the Syrians kept them in refugee camps this long?

      I guess for the same reasons the Lebanese have. And that is because they hate Israelis more than they love Palestinians.

      "As a reminder Hoppo, you can make all the arguments you want, you can deflect til the moon howls back, at the end of the day the conflict is always about the injustice created by a colonial-settler state that stole the land and livelihoods of the Palestinians, and all the subsequent crimes and violence against Palestinians in order to sustain the dystopian dream that is zionism."

      At the end of the day, Israel will remain the expression of Jewish self-determination, and the Palestinians will either have a state or they won't have one. But they won't have Israel as part of it.

    • "That’s disingenuous, hophmi. Congress lines up to support Israel no matter what–that’s the point. I almost said that Congress treats Israel as though it were the 51st state and then changed it, because Congress treats Israel with more deference than it treats the US. Liberals used to criticize the US when it supported war criminals amongst its allies, but not Israel."

      Israel needs more support more often than other US allies. It's in a hostile region. But in general, Congress treats allies with more deference than it does the US. That's basic enough. There's a general assumption that they can handle their own affairs better than we can.

    • So far, that number includes 2,245 Palestinians, including 840 in Yarmouk alone.

    • Who is responsible for the jihadis in Syria? You know who. It's the US, who created a hub for them by going into Iraq. How much money did we spend on that? I think it's up to about $2 trillion dollars. But you're into this argument that because we give a few billion to Israel, everyone else should obsess over it.

      "You’d have to ask the European left, hophmi."

      I have. It's clear that they see Israel as an extension of the US, whom they hate for winning the Cold War and putting the kibosh on the socialism they were hoping would break out all over the world. It's also clear that they've been heavily lobbied by Muslim communities. But I don't know how they justify seeing Israel as worse than Iran and North Korea and Russia.

      " In fact, I think Congress people are more likely to be critical of US war crimes like torture and maybe even drone strikes (though that last one is tougher politically since Obama is responsible and on this one issue most Republicans probably support him) than they are of Israel."

      I should hope so, since they are US Congresspeople, not Israeli ones. I should hope they're more critical of their own societies than others are.

    • Estimates range from 110K civilians to 170K civilians.

    • Oh, are we doing these analogies? Then Westerners should think about what it would be like if 80% of their civilians were constantly under threat of rocket fire. They should also ask themselves what they would do if they had experienced the equivalent of hundreds of 9/11's, given the percentage, relative to population, of Israelis that have died in terrorist attacks.

      In any event, Syria has around 22,400,000 people. 170K civilians is about 15 or 16 times the civilian death rate in Gaza, and they have died to protect the tiny Alawite minority. That's not counting the tens of thousands that died before the civil war, dating back to when that bloodsucker, Hafez al-Assad, was in power.

    • "Syria has come up at this blog and some of us who are very critical of Israel have yelled at each other regarding Syria."

      You know that most people in the BDS movement are not supporting any military intervention in Syria. They will not support US military intervention. They're up in arms about Israel primarily because they see it as a US client state; their answer is always that Israel is different because it is supported by the US.

      " But nobody except the geniuses (like you)who favored the Iraq War wants the US to go into yet another Middle Eastern country with ostensibly humanitarian goals."

      No, nobody does. But if it's about human rights and civilian casualties, why is a conflict with relatively few civilian casualties getting more attention than conflicts in the same region with exponentially more of them?

      Because it's not about human rights and civilian casualties. It's about politics, and it's also about the Western obsession with the Holy Land.

      "In the case of Israel, the US has the blood of innocent Palestinian civilians on its hands–the Obama Administration keeps endorsing the right of Israel to defend itself and Congress even objects to the diffident admonitions to avoid civilian casualties."

      Does it? I would think that the Europeans have just as much blood on their hands. It's the British that left the mandate with two warring parties in it. And by the way, the US-tax-dollars stuff doesn't apply to Europe. So what's their excuse for obsessing over Israel in a way that they never obsessed over even Bosnia, which was in their own backyard?

      Roth's tweet is just morally noxious. Congress isn't enabling the slaughter in Syria? I guess no one enabled the slaughter in Rwanda by doing nothing about it.

      "Anyway, it’s a lot more than 2000. Zionists have been doing this for more than 60 years."

      In the entire history of the conflict, the number of Palestinians that have been killed is a small fraction of the number of Syrians that have died in the past 2 years.

      I care whether the casualties are Israeli or Palestinian. At this point, I'd say the obsession of the media with the Holy Land is causing more death to occur, not less. Hamas is emboldened to attack Israeli civilians by this obsessive coverage.

    • 1 million people were killed in Bosnia. 800,000 were killed in Rwanda. Around 170,000 civilians have died in Syria. But what people care most about is a conflict in which under 2,000 people have died. The comparison of these conflicts with the I-P conflict is absurd on its face, but what else can you expect from these losers? They've compared the I-P conflict to the Holocaust, in which tens of millions of people were killed.

      Steve Israel's point is well taken to any honest, intelligent person.

      The U.S. enabled the slaughter in Rwanda by doing nothing about it when it happened. It enabled the slaughter in Bosnia by doing nothing about it and by leaving Slobodan Milosevic in power. In fact, in that case, the same people supporting BDS now were militantly OPPOSED to intervening in any form in the Balkans and doubtless would have opposed any US action in Rwanda.

      The same people are also militantly OPPOSED to intervening in any form in Syria.

      Moreover, the complicity of the Europeans and UN in these slaughters is even deeper, particularly in Bosnia.

      So Scott Roth can tweet his ridiculous non-sequitor about enabling, as if Israel were not capable of using weapons without the US support, as if depriving Israel of military support would end the conflict, as if Hamas weren't enabled by Iran and Qatar, and as if it weren't enabling to allow despots like Slobodan Milosevic to kill people wasn't much worse.

  • ‘Lone soldiers’ and young ideologues from around the world contribute to Israeli war crimes
    • You people go for the silliest stuff. Do you really think that Israelis don't apologize?

    • "and what about what they are chanting? Just the Israelis letting off steam chanting ‘“There’s no school tomorrow,there’s no children left in Gaza! Oleh!”’

      They? A few are chanting that. There are also Israelis protesting the war. Most are not in the streets chanting; most are inside to avoid being hit by rockets.

      "You only find criticism of Israel’s critics, but you ignore ugly realities like the video and their chanting messages. "

      I'm not ignoring it at all. I am rejecting the comparison of an entire country with a fanatical terrorist organization more extreme than Al-Qaeda.

      "Annie didnt even mention the word jew."

      So what? These kind of ridiculous, inflammatory comparisons are being used as justifications to attack Jews all over the world. And Annie knows that.

      "hops, i was referencing the genocidal video."

      It's still inappropriate. Even the Israelis chanting are simply the extremists in a society that has been attacked. No one attacked Boko Haram. They are simply another part of a worldwide movement that would like to take the world back to the Middle Ages.

      "that and the sderot cinema cheering on the slaughter of gaza."

      Another example of your ridiculous distorting. You'd rather focus on 50 people sitting outside rather than the town of 25,000 people staying indoors because they're afraid of being killed in a rocket attack. The story is the 25,000 people inside, not the 50 people sitting outside.

      50 people in lawn chairs watching a bombing bothers you. Have you ever been bothered by the Palestinians who go around handing out candy when Israeli kids are murdered?

    • Don't use words you don't understand, Giles.

      And Mooser, these are two people I know personally, one of whom I went to high school with.

      So, Giles, you just called a US Army veteran who served in Iraq a traitor. Guess that makes you a piece of garbage.

    • An Annie special. A country that defends itself from rocket attacks is the same as a group of fanatics who kidnap 200 girls to use as sex slaves.

      Another ridiculous comment meant to dehumanize the Israelis and justify violence against Jews who support them.

    • I personally know of at least two who served in the IDF and then came back and served in Iraq. The notion that anybody who goes is a criminal is ridiculous. These are not mercenaries, as the writer concedes.

  • Gaza-- and 'Guernica'
    • "Hey hophmi– what do you think about the worrying rise of anti- semitism and violence against Israelis in Israel by the inciteable/exciteable right- wingers that are obviously out of control and growing in numbers?"

      I've written about it. It's disturbing. I'm not surprised. This is the consequence of having no political horizon. I've always told my friends in Israel and here and that there needs to be a political endgame, not just war after war, for things to improve long-term.

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