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Total number of comments: 7521 (since 2010-04-19 03:21:04)

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  • 'NYT' reporters parrot Israeli claims re cherry tomato
    • Thanks, all, for admitting that you were wrong, and for childishly changing the subject.

      As usual, you've shown that you'll lie and lie even about a small thing like this. That's how much you guys are motivated by hate. So very sad.

    • Not a single claim you make here is accurate. Maybe you should do your research a little more carefully.

      First of all, Netanyahu didn't claim that Israel "invented" the cherry tomato. He said the cherry tomato was "perfected" in Israel. Nothing you've posted here undermines that claim. Second, you've parroted Angry Arab's completely disingenuous piece on Ethan Bronner's 2010 article, which was about Diaspora Ministry efforts to give Israelis some information to counter misperceptions about Israel abroad, and not about Israeli genetic engineering or inventing: "One main message of the campaign is that Israel is a technically advanced and diverse society and that its government policies are not the source of regional conflict. It notes that a number of important agricultural breakthroughs have occurred here, including drip irrigation and the development of the cherry tomato."

      Bronner wasn't "parroting" anything. He was simply reporting on the claims of the Israeli government's campaign, in a mostly negative article that extensively quoted Shlomo Avineri's criticism of the campaign as "puerile" and displaying a "Bolshevik mentality." The claim, by the way, isn't inaccurate either; Israeli innovation has contributed mightily to the development of both drip irrigation and the cherry tomato. Claiming to have developed a technology or a product is not the same thing as claiming to have invented it. If I invent a bicycle, and I sell my idea to Schwinn, and they create my idea, they've developed the bicycle that I invented.

      Drip irrigation was not invented in the United States; Angry Arab is incorrect about that too. It has been used in some form since ancient times and was probably invented by the Chinese. The main Israeli development was the use of a plastic emitter, which allowed water to be carried through long passageways and overcame the clogging and cost problems that plagued earlier systems. The Blass emitter was patented by Symcha Blass, an Israeli hydraulics engineer, in conjunction with Kibbutz Harzerim in 1959. It is this system, which greatly lowered the cost of the technology and utilized the cheap plastics that became available in the 20th century, that spread all over the world, and it is why Blass is credited with the discovery of micro-irrigation, or modern drip irrigation, today.

      link to
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      As far as the cherry tomato, Hazera Genetics created a GMO version that doesn't rot in shipment and that is a best seller around the world; it's one of many varieties of tomato that they've created. That's what Netanyahu was talking about. Here's an article from the LA Times that is original reporting and is not based on any article from the Jewish Week, not that anything is wrong with the Jewish Week's reporting, which is generally excellent.

      link to

  • Netanyahu's 44 seconds of silence at UN are being widely mocked -- 'pathetic,' 'creepy'
    • As usual with people who criticize Netanyahu speeches at the UNGA, they seem not to be aware that this is the UNGA we're speaking about, a place that is not in any way a serious or relevant player on the international scene today, whatever image of self-importance it tries to project. Each year, every head of state on Earth, regardless of how shitty their country is, regardless of how failed a leader they are, gathers at this charade. They repeat the same nonsense year after year, and the UNGA does nothing about nothing, except pass a few resolutions that reflect the collective sentiments of their mostly authoritarian members. Nobody cares, and nobody listens to the UNGA anymore, and nothing important has taken place in that chamber for a long time, though plenty takes place outside of it.

  • As Palestine's flag is raised at U.N., Abbas dumps Oslo security obligations
    • "That’s got to be a nightmare scenario for Israel, not relying on Palestinians to participate in securing their own imprisonment."

      Actually, I don't think it is, at least not for the Israeli right. Israel was subject to much less international criticism when it was controlling all of the West Bank than it is now. Really, what's the big nightmare? When Israel was there day-to-day, the Palestinians weren't murdering Israeli civilians with suicide bombs, the Israelis weren't the targets of an international campaign to delegitimize it, there was no need for a wall, and there was no need to invade the West Bank periodically. The Palestinians were a lot safer with the Israelis in charge than they are now, with a protection racket in charge and subject to an IDF invasion every time terrorist organizations grew too strong. They were also able to work in Israel, and Israelis were able to go to the West Bank, meet Palestinians, and spend money, helping the Palestinian economy. I think, particularly on the right in Israel, this is exactly what they want, because it will be an invitation for Israel to annex the West Bank. The history is that when Israel withdraws from a place, the criticism is worse, not better.

      For the Israeli center and left, it remains to be seen. If the Palestinians suspend security cooperation, they will lose billions in aid. If the Israelis do not take the bait, the PA will probably become a lawless place, terrorism against Israeli civilians will increase, and the Palestinian economy in the West Bank, which has been growing at a good pace in the last few years, will fail.

      In any case, there's little evidence that this is any bombshell announcement; Palestinians have been threatening to suspend security cooperation for a long time, and this is not a big change in the rhetoric. link to

  • Israeli embassy's attack on Rosengarten just made her stronger
    • "because hophmi is not content to use his own imagination wrt to why Rosengarten’s grandfather and father both committed suicide, he wants the excruciating details about how that might have impacted the author, activist and speaker."

      LOL. Make stuff up much? I think I made my point. When you have a pro-Palestinian Holocaust survivor, you'll make sure to prominently mention her past, without acknowledging that most Holocaust survivors see things very differently from the way she sees them. Clearly, you've never heard the saying that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

      "i didn’t make a big deal about it, you brought it up."

      I think that the BDS movement never misses an opportunity to highlight Ms. Rosengarten's past. It's the main reason they tokenize her.

    • Sure, according to Bertelsmann poll from 2013, a solid majority of Germans reject the Nazi-Israel comparison. See page 36.

      link to

    • Sorry Annie, but your act is not convincing. Either you acknowledge that survivorship matters or you don't. What you can't do is make a big deal out of it only when it serves your particular political perspective.

    • You've never quite explained why Rosengarten's survivor background is relevant, particularly when there are hundreds of thousands of people who are survivors, the vast majority, who disagree with her perspective.

      In addition to facing a growing anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish movement in PEGIDA and an assortment of other neo-Nazi groups, Germany is a place where people really do take offense at people who like to throw around Hitler comparisons as if they're going out of style, including when they're Jews being used as fig leaves to cover the BDS movement's antisemitism.

  • Anti-WASP tropes in the 'NYT'
    • Lol, brother, please. This is more nonsense; Phil saw a Jewish name in the byline and drew aa ridiculous conclusion for which he provide zero evidence.

  • For the 'New York Times,' #PalestinianLivesDoNotMatter
  • It was heroic to throw a brick at Stonewall but Palestinians who throw stones can be shot
    • Why is it different? Because Palestinian stone throwing actually kills and maims people. The Palestinians at Al-Aqsa have a long history of throwing stones at the worshippers below, well before there were any checkpoints or restrictions on who could pray at Al-Aqsa. In the West Bank, it's killed families driving on the roads.

      If you don't believe me, Phil, stand at a 20 foot distance and have a Palestinian slingshot a stone at your head, and let me know if you still have all of your senses after the stone hits you. Or stand at the Wailing Wall and experience stone throwing from a few dozen feet above. Generally, when people drop large, heavy objects on the heads of crowds below, people get injured.

      Since you're critical of the Israeli response, you would certainly be critical of the American response. In the United States, if someone throws a stone with the intent to kill, as many Palestinians have done, it's a lot more than 4 years in prison. And if they throw stones at police officers, and they don't stop throwing them when they're told to stop, what do you think will happen here?

  • Everyone's kicking AIPAC now that it's down
    • Wow, he's only +22 now. Yeah, I think he'll take that. I'd take that if after making the most controversial decision of my time in the Senate, I still was the overwhelming favorite.

    • "When Zionism crumbles in the U.S., and the New Yorker is questioning that ideology, will people say, Ali Abunimah said this years ago! Tony Judt! And I think they won’t give that credit, partly b/c there is such bad blood now between Zs and anti-Zs."

      When Zionism crumbles? How is it going to crumble, exactly? Forget about the fact that most American supporters of Israel are Christians. The part of the Jewish community that supports Israel most strongly, the Orthodox community, is the part that is growing. So I'm not seeing this crumbling. It's not really even happening amongst Democrats; Democrats may question Israel's policy on settlements, but if you think that they'll endorse the one-state solution you want in any real numbers, you're fooling yourself. No one is going to sign on to the make-Jews-stateless program that you advocate.

    • J Street is AIPAC's "controlled opposition"?

    • It's like you either don't know history, or you do know it and you don't care how silly you sound. When AIPAC loses a battle, there is always a followup like this. And it will end (really, it already has) once there is something else to talk about.

      "The reason the media can run these pieces is that AIPAC’s power is now in eclipse. It is no longer the bully-tyrant giant that could deliver a vote overnight on Capitol Hill. The Israel issue has become politicized at last; and AIPAC finds itself walled off within the Republican Party, with the result something AIPAC has always worked against: broad daylight between the Israeli government and the White House."

      No, AIPAC never could deliver a vote overnight on Capitol Hill unless the issue was something Congress already agreed with beforehand. Do you really think that tomorrow, if they wanted to, AIPAC couldn't get every member to vote on a resolution affirming Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state? Or one that called for Iran to stop supporting terrorism?

      "The Israel issue has become politicized at last"

      We'll see. It's more politicized than it was, that much is true. But there's really very little evidence right now that much has changed other than on this issue. There are a lot of hurt feelings. Fortunately, AIPAC didn't start yesterday, and I suspect that on the fundamentals, they'll be able to patch things up. And there's the other problem. There's no alternative to supporting Israel. People are not going to turn around and support the Palestinians. There's nothing to be gained from it, and there are nowhere near enough progressives who care enough about the issue to base their vote on it or to primary candidates who support Israel's right to exist. The anti-Israel movement is still largely a radical movement.

      There is daylight with the White House on one issue, not every issue. And it's far from the first time that's happened. There was daylight between AIPAC and the White House in 1991. There was daylight during the Clinton Administration. There was daylight toward the end of the Bush II Administration. There was daylight between Reagan and AIPAC on AIPAC. There was plenty of daylight between AIPAC and Carter.

      You can't really make a decent argument that there's this tremendous daylight when all anybody is talking about right now is how big a package Israel is going to get.

      "The liberal Zionist group J Street is the white knight of the NPR piece and the New Yorker piece; but as the head of J Street makes clear in NPR’s story, he doesn’t want aid to Israel politicized. Jeremy Ben-Ami is all for more aid to Israel."

      That's no surprise. J Street is an amalgamation of several smaller dovish pro-Israel groups. That's really all it is.

      "The Institute for Research Middle East Policy has filed a request with the Justice Department to regulate AIPAC as a foreign agent."

      Big yawn. Not the first, and will not be successful. The day that happens, NIAC will be next, followed by every organization in the BDS movement, especially since all of them claim to be acting at the direction of the Palestinians, and have never argued, as AIPAC does, that the policies they favor are best for America, as opposed to being best for the Palestinians. Much stronger case there than for registering AIPAC.

      Believe it or not, organizations are allowed to argue that strong support for Israel is in the American national interest without having to register under FARA, and if you understood FARA, you'd not only stop raising this always completely nonsensical argument, but realize that the organizations on your size of the fence are far more susceptible to it than AIPAC is.

  • Bernie Sanders is 'radical' on economic policy but a pussycat for Israel
    • Listen, you guys are obviously part of the 3 or 4 percent of Americans for whom Israel is the most important issue. If you don't like Bernie Sanders, don't vote for him.

  • Iranian president issues New Year greetings to Jews
    • You can believe whatever BS you want. It fits the Mondoweiss mold here; every time a Jew dies in this world, some idiot posts a factless conspiracy theory blaming other Jews for the death. It's a great way of blaming the victim, and it's antisemitic.

    • "The Iranian leader merely said that the Zionist regime will eventually vanish (as others, such as the USSR, have done). "

      Completely wrong. You obviously don't follow him day to day. You act like the only time an Iranian leader ever mentioned the issue was when Ahmadinejad spoke about it in that speech.

      This is what the Ayatollah tweeted on September 9, in English, which was a quote from a public statement the day before:

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      "After negotiations, in Zionist regime they said they had no more concern about Iran for next 25 years; I’d say: Firstly, you will not see the next 25 years; God-willing, there will nothing as Zionist regime by next 25 years; secondly, until then, struggling, heroic and Jihadi morale will leave no moment of serenity for Zionists."

    • "If you’re an anti-semitic regime that wants to annihilate Israel, then why would your president be tweeting New Year’s greetings to the world’s Jews? In Hebrew, no less. "

      I don't know. If you're NOT an antisemitic regime that wants to annihilate Israel, then why would your Supreme Leader talk incessantly about ending the "Zionist regime," support terrorist organizations that target Israeli civilians, and allow his President to hold Holocaust denial conferences? Are you stupid, or are you not aware of the concept of PR? I mean, if Bibi Netanyahu really hates Iran so much, why did he send them a Norwuz greeting?

      And are you trying to suggest that Iran is some paragon of religious tolerance? Maybe you need to ask the Ba'hai about that. link to

  • Video: Israel's celebrated Labour Party 'is the mother and father of racism', says member of Knesset
    • LOL. The only difference between Israel and the other countries in the Middle East is that if Zahalka ranted and raved like this from a Parliament podium elsewhere in the Middle East, he'd be arrested or killed.

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  • This high holiday season, expect few words about Palestinians, and even less concern
    • Yeah, Gershon Baskin is patronizing, but you, of course, aren't. You must never actually read what you write here, with its patronizing tone of self-righteousness.

      Gershon Baskin actually does on the ground peace work. He accomplishes something. What have you done that is remotely in his league?

  • 'NYT' misrepresents Iran's prediction about 'Zionist regime' to mean 'Israel'
    • This is a great example of the basic dishonesty in the BDS movement that Norman Finkelstein has talked about. You're splitting hairs. There is no difference between saying you want the "Zionist regime" not to exist and saying you don't want Israel to exist. They're functionally the same statement.

  • Buy tickets now! Only $360 to hear Elliott Abrams and Dennis Ross!
    • Thanks Piotr. Next time, maybe you can focus on the discussion.

    • I agree; it's a little irrelevant. But for the record, Meir Soloveitchik is 38, and an extremely important voice in the Modern Orthodox community, and Leora Batnitsky is a tenured religion professor at Princeton and graduated from Columbia in 1988, so I'm guessing she's under 50.

      The truth of the matter is that for conservative outlets like JRB, the highly-assimilated voices of young Jews don't matter a whole lot to the Jewish future, because with a 70% intermarriage rate and little will on the part of assimilated young Jews to give their children a Jewish education, there really won't be very many Jews among them in a couple of generations. I think that that's sad, but perhaps that's part of your goal; for Judaism to evaporate into melting pot. I remember that years ago, when Alex Cockburn launched his ridiculous book on the politics of antisemitism at NYU, Lenni Brenner talked about how assimilation would thin out the Jewish population in the United States, and the whole room erupted in applause.

  • AIPAC is going out with a whimper not a bang
  • The Star of David is fair game
    • "let that Star be an object of contempt"

      So does this mean that it's OK to use the crescent in criticism of Muslim countries and Islamic extremists since many Muslim countries include the crescent on their flag? I challenge you to print on this blog a piece by a Muslim who supports letting the Crescent be an object of contempt.

  • Why do Jewish legislators carry more weight on Iran Deal?
    • Annie has a point?

    • Hey Marnie! Try to follow the discussion, and try not to get me confused with Schmuley Boteach. Just because he's Jewish and I'm Jewish doesn't meant that we're the same.

    • "I don’t trust Jewish politicians on Israeli defending the US first on policies where Israel is involved."

      I think that's an unAmerican point of view, but regardless, Harvard graduate, Fulbright scholar, and career financial crimes prosecutor Adam Szubin is not involved in making policies involving Israel.

    • What Annie is really saying is that she's unable to respond to the argument that Adam Szubin's qualifications are the reason he became Under Secretary, rather than his religion. She's also unable to respond to the reality, which is that members of other minority groups have held the same job, including two African-Americans and one Hispanic. Coincidentally, they were all lawyers with criminal law backgrounds. She'd rather assume that when Jews get important jobs in government, it's because they're Jews, rather than because of their accomplishments.

      What a bigot she is.

    • "What has that to do with having so many Jews in positions of power."

      Why do you have a problem with Jews in positions of power?

      "They have that power due to the interference of Jewish mega donors."

      Sorry, which ones, please? Provide evidence that Jews in positions of power have them due to something else than their credentials. Adam Szubin went to Harvard Law, clerked for a federal Circuit Court judge, won a Fulbright, worked in the Civil Trial Division at DoJ doing terrorism financing cases, and was Director of OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Controls) at the Treasury Department.

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      Naw, must be just some Jew donor, rather than his stellar resume and years and years of working on terrorism financing cases, right, Amigo?

      What an ignoramus people like you are.

    • "Szubin is Jewish, in an anti-terrorism job that has been held by three Jews, in an obvious gesture by the White House to placate Jewish opinion."

      "The reality is that the position of counter-terrorism czar is an Israel lobby job"

      You're Jew-counting again, and you're just wrong. The job, which is Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, is just a new name for an older position, which is Under Secretary for Enforcement. It's a law enforcement job. It's been previous held by people like Jimmy Gurule, Raymond Kelly, James E. Johnson, and Ronald Noble, none of whom are Jewish. It's nothing more than a coincidence (and you offer no evidence to suggest otherwise) that the past three office holders were Jewish, and it could hardly placate anybody, since I doubt that the vast majority of American Jews could tell you who the Under Secretary was if you asked them.

  • 'Jimmy Carter's cancer is God's punishment,' says leading Israeli newspaper
    • C'mon. The J Post did not say that. It reported that some fanatics had said it, and then spent six of the seven paragraphs of the story quoting Rabbi Ben Blech's criticism of the idea.

  • The Iran Deal is an African American achievement
    • I find the idea of viewing American foreign policy achievements or failures as the achievement of one racial or religious group to be a form of bigotry. It's an American achievement. Period. And if it fails, it will be an American failure.

    • "A rightwing Jewish foreign policy coterie –that had “inexcusable prejudice” against the black president, in Sandy Berger’s words"

      I see you're going to try to turn this into a Big Lie, even though you know well that this is not what Berger said.

      If the Iran Deal is an African-American achievement (a claim which I find racist), does that mean that you'll be blaming the African-American community if Iran cheats and gets a nuclear weapon? Or do you just level those kinds of hateful accusations at Jews?

  • Vicious 'NYT' article attacks Palestinian for bending rules to get out of Gaza 'to see her children'
    • "no, this is about grafting doctors and lying patients."

      No, it's about the fact that a lack of permits is leading to an industry of grafting doctors and lying patients.

    • Only you would read an article like this as vicious, James. The article is about how Palestinians can't get enough permits to leave Gaza. That's clearly the focus. You're like CAMERA on crack.

  • 'Turning point' -- Obama defeats Netanyahu and 'destroyers of hope' on Iran Deal!
    • "Seems like in general your standard for what makes a senator or political representative adequate is pretty predictable and pretty gross."

      Israel is not my top issue, Krenner. It is clearly the top issue for people here, and the sole standard is whether a candidate votes against something Israel wants. I'm simply pointing out the irony of promoting Dick Durbin over Schumer, since Durbin has a strongly relationship with both AIPAC and the Jewish community in general, and is considered one of the more pro-Israel members of the Senate.

    • "Should be Senator Durbin."

      No problem with Dick Durbin, one of the Senate's most pro-Israel Senators over the past 18 years.

    • I didn't say that the lobby would be stronger forever, but the notion that it will collapse because it won a Congressional vote on Iran that it helped force in the first place, but couldn't get a two-thirds majority, is really silly.

      It really all depends on your perspective. AIPAC can claim a lot of credit for helping to bring Iran to the table in the first place by endorsing tough sanctions. It can claim credit for giving Congress a voice in the process in the first place. The President spent an hour last week talking about how after this all blows over, things will get patched up with Israel. Everyone expects the US to give Israel a huge weapons package. Because of AIPAC, oversight of this deal will be tremendously robust.

      So how is it a loss for AIPAC again? See, when you lose and lose and lose, and score against you is 1000-5, and then you win a battle that you were always going to win because the bar was so low (34 Senators supporting an Executive agreement, wow), and the score becomes 1000-6, you're still losing big. You're still a loser, Krauss.

      What the Iran deal did show is that one of the main theses of this blog, which is that AIPAC is this all powerful organization the controls US foreign policy, is a complete lie. It has an influence, like any organized group with positions that are overwhelmingly supported by the American people would. But it doesn't control policy, and never has.

    • The biggest defeat AIPAC ever had was probably over the AWAC's in 1981. Did AIPAC get weaker or stronger as a result?

  • Pro-Israel Jews have 'inexcusable prejudice' against Obama -- Sandy Berger
    • Well Mooser, it's a fact that Berger wasn't referring to Jews only when he talked about right-wingers. My statement is an opinion. You can disagree with it. As for Phil's take on Berger, it's a blatant mischaracterization.

    • "What member of the administration, where and when claimed that sanctioning Iran was wrong (perhaps it was, but you made a claim about some alleged statements)?"

      The Administration was not in favor of a tough sanctions regime.

      "I am all for applying a similar treatment to Israel, say, forbid all money transfers to and from Israel until it removes all settlements illegally created on the territory occupied after 1967 and lifts oppression of Palestinians, like prohibiting construction, movement of people and goods, etc. Foreign banks engaged in prohibited transactions could be fined, as we did in the case of Iran."

      So you favored the sanctions policy vis-a-vis Iran?

      "The chief reasons sanctions against Iran were criticized were that they were a response to alleged violations of NPT, in part on the basis of dubious and malicious intelligence."

      Criticized by whom? Other pro-Iran radical leftists who think the Iranian program is all peaceful and are happy with the Iran deal because they think it will lead to Israel's destruction as a Jewish state?

    • Still waiting for Phil's correction vis-a-vis his mistaken definition of Berger's comment as referring to Jews.

    • I think he'd maybe lose ten points, but he'd still get an overwhelming majority. A very small percentage of Jewish Americans vote on the basis of a President's position on Israel.

    • "this could all be so much more simplified if we just centered everything around catering to netanyahu’s psychological predilections. "

      Not what I said. Try to read next time. It's fundamental.

    • "i didn’t mention antagonization, nor did indyk."

      Nobody's moving goalposts. Israeli leaders generally don't have the political space to move if they don't feel like they have the support of the United States. You can use whatever word you want; I call it antagonization, but maybe we'll just call it public disagreement.

      The bottom line is that Israeli political leaders are far more cautious about Israeli security than Americans are, and basically, that's what the debate between Israel and America over the Iran deal is all about, and why, despite seemingly being destructive of the fabric of the relationship, Bibi continues to press his case. Understanding that psychology is important to devising a policy that brings Israel to the table to negotiate. Diplomacy and negotiation is often about understanding the psychology of the protagonists.

    • Indyk's advice echoes other Middle East policymakers, like Aaron David Miller, who have argued that the United States needs the trust of both Israelis and Palestinians to make peace. He's correct on this point. Antagonizing Netanyahu hasn't led to more peace in the Middle East. It's only empowered people on the right in Israel.

      As usual, you're a little too blind to see the hypocrisy in your philosophy here. Because coddling, rather than antagonizing, is exactly the approach you would counsel for Iran, and it's one defense of the Iran deal offered by the Administration, which argues that sanctioning the Iranians, far from leading to a diminishment of their nuclear capabilities, has only led them to further pursuit of nuclear protection.

    • "So what Berger, who is Jewish, termed “the domestic Jewish constituency” has “inexcusable prejudice” against Obama."

      I think you're reading the statement incorrectly here. It's not clear that Berger was referring to the Jewish community when he talked about "inexcusable prejudice" against Obama"; there's no reference to the Jewish community in that paragraph. And if he were, it wouldn't be remotely accurate, given that Obama got around 3/4 of the Jewish vote and that racism that was directed toward Obama during his first term came from elsewhere. Likely, Berger is referring to right-wingers in general, not the Jewish community. Clearly, you can admit that there are many other Americans who care about Israel other than those in the Jewish community.

  • Young, Muslim and Zionist?
    • "But unfortunately, her entire intellectual journey seems to have been one-sided"

      Completely untrue. She attended an SJP meeting in college and was turned off by the one-sided rhetoric she heard.

      "This ‘crisis of Zionism’ is a fact that Farooqi completely misses to acknowledge or chooses to ignore."

      Has this writer read ANYTHING that Amna Farooqi has said?

      "There is reason to celebrate – to the limited extent that a progressive Jewish organization has made it possible for a young Muslim woman to become its youth wing’s president."

      J Street isn't really a Jewish organization. The J doesn't stand for Jewish. It's an organization with a mostly Jewish membership. But yes, it's an accomplishment for an organization with a mostly Jewish membership like J Street to elect a young Muslim as one of its leaders, and it is reflective of the open-minded of the American Jewish community. Other organizations with an ethnic profile like J Street's should emulate its example.

      "By conflating Jewish and Israeli identities, she is furthering the divide between those Muslims who seek to engage with Jews who oppose Israeli policies. "

      She hasn't conflated Jewish and Israeli identities. If she complicates the campaign among some Muslim organizations to boycott those Jews who don't agree with them on every political issue, tough. Maybe you should drop that campaign.

      You seem really uninformed on this topic, Sabith.

  • Obama and the Zionists
    • "Jews with power and influence in the U.S. have been successful at promoting wars on Islamic countries, creating massive death and suffering for Muslims. As well, these neocon Jews and their supporters have been successful for many decades at enabling Israel’s slow-motion genocide of the Palestinians."

      More antisemitism. These are American policies, not "neocon Jew" policies. They were promoted by Americans of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the President and Vice-President, neither one of whom was Jewish.

    • "There I corrected your omission hoppy.

      Your welcome.Hate to see you open yourself up to derision."

      Thanks. Don't "correct" me again.

    • I've conclusively documented that antisemitism is a serious problem in France, that synagogues have been attacked, and that Jews are leaving France in significant numbers because they're frightened for themselves and their families, and I've provided you documentary evidence of violence and of the statements of French Jews on the matter.

      I never said that all Muslims were attacking Jews in France. I agree that it's a small minority, but that doesn't much matter in terms of safety. None of that has anything to do with the fact that antisemitism is a serious problem in France, that the number of antisemitism incidents doubled from 2013 to 2014, and that Jews are 40% of the victims of violence incidents in France. Whether you want to accept the 40% number or not, and it is a number based on police reports and incident analysis, you must admit that antisemitism in France is an extremely serious problem that has caused tens of thousands of Jews to leave because they fear for the safety of their families, and you also must apologize for suggesting that they were leaving because they didn't feel European enough, a rather disgusting and frankly racist lie, as shown by the interviews with North African French Jewish families that I posted.

      I've also never denied that Islamophobia is a serious problem in France, so I don't know why you feel the need to quote Islamophobia statistics. There are 6 million Muslims in France, and Islamophobia is definitely a serious problem. With regard to underreporting, there is no question that antisemitism is also underreported for similar reasons. Things like verbal threats are not always going to be reported to the police.

      It should be no surprise that attacks on Muslims went up after the Charlie Hebdo killings, as they did in the United States after 9/11. I find it strange, however, that you would compare that to the situation of the Jewish community, which is much smaller and thus much more vulnerable, and which has no radical fringe that is committing or supporting acts of terrorism in France. As far as public opinion statistics on how Jews are viewed, it really is beside the point.

      Whether Islamophobia is a "worse" problem is a matter of perspective. There are far more Muslims in Europe than there are Jews, and in many of these countries, Muslim radicals have attacked Jews, including in France, Belgium, Sweden (where Jews have basically been driven out of Malmo, one of Sweden's largest cities), and Great Britain. That certainly doesn't excuse Islamophobia against the overwhelmingly peaceful Muslim communities in these countries, and some of this radicalism that results in attacks on the Jewish community is doubtless the result of societal Islamophobia. But it's high time people stop denying the scope of the problem, and also stop excusing it by blaming conflict in the Middle East.

      Jews in Europe are really frightened. They don't feel safe. You should acknowledge that, rather than apologizing for it, claiming it's not so bad, and blaming the LDJ.

    • "hops, allegations such as these don’t ever seem to be accompanied by video or recording"

      Are you kidding? So now, if a rabbi who is shocked with a taser doesn't videotape the incident, it doesn't exist for you. They're all making it up. It's all a big Jewish conspiracy, right?

      There are many videos on youtube. Did you bother to look?

      Here's one from Paris.

      link to

      Here's the France 2 report on Sarcelles from the day after the attack on the synagogue there:

      link to

      Here's a feature on antisemitism in France. The French family at the beginning - did they say that they were leaving because they didn't feel European? Because of the bad economy? They have a thriving business. They love being French. They're leaving because they don't feel safe. They're leaving because their son can't wear a Yarmulke without being harassed. They're leaving because they see anti-Jewish graffiti on the streets.

      link to

      Here's another from PBS Newshour:

      link to

      Is the Maloul family leaving because of the economy or because they don't feel European? No, he's giving up a successful practice as a dermatologist. He's leaving with his family because HE DOESN'T FEEL SAFE.

      Another, from Al-Jazeera: link to

    • "In Malmo, there is extremely high unemployment for Muslims"

      So by all means, solve the problem by driving out the few Jews who live there.

      "Another way to say it is that you reap what you sow."

      Tell me, how many Jews have attacked Muslims because ISIS and Al-Qaeda claim to act on behalf of Islam?

      Another way to characterize your ridiculous argument is to label it blaming the victim.

    • "i said a crime is not always evidence of a racist crime."

      Certainly true. What does it have to do with the documented 15 year rise of antisemitism in France?

      " remember, france is a country that hauls bds activists in to court on charges of anti semitism/incitement"

      Whom are you talking about? Which ones? Jews are 40% of the victims of racist incidents in France. Are you asserting that BDS activists are being hauled into court for incidents toward Jews that were not antisemitic? Do you have documentation for this?

      " i don’t think victims of a crime are necessarily the most unbiased judge of the motive."

      So what you're saying is that Jewish organizations aren't reliable reporters of antisemitism because Jews are the victims. Would you ever say this to an historically African-American organization like the NAACP? Or a Muslim organization like CAIR? I doubt it.

      "other than that, it’s not just one or two. here’s another link to and another (famous in france), “victimhood competition."

      So you sent two articles about two anecdotal incidents, and a French wikipedia entry about the SPCJ with a section about a "victimhood competition." What does that mean? The article says that the victimhood competition is not because of the SPCJ, but because the Muslims are upset that the French media covers antisemitism more than Islamophobia. As a result, the Muslim community started an organization based on SPCJ, called the CCIF a "mirror," to report on Islamophobic incidents. That was in 2011. My numbers are from 2014. I don't see how this undermines the argument that there is a serious antisemitism problem in France.

      In other words, the victimhood competition is something that people engage in because they resent the Jewish community for being organized enough to issue reports on antisemitism, not something the Jewish community engages in.

      "The reputation of Commissioner Ghozlan of the National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), is compromised."

      Still clueless. Ghozlan was suspended from the Steering Committee of CRIF because he publicly criticized CRIF. The notion that the guy and his entire family would leave France, where they'd lived for 40 years, because he was suspended from the Steering Committee of CRIF is so ridiculous that I can't seriously believe that you believe it. As I've told you before, Ghozlan has never had great relations with CRIF (read Marie Brenner's Vanity Fair piece from 2002), because he's frequently criticized them for not taking antisemitism seriously enough. He was right in 2002, and he's right now, and leaving France hasn't stopped him from working on the problem. And for the sixth time, it's not Ghozlan's numbers that CRIF is relying on.

      "again, it doesn’t mean there’s not a problem w/racism against jews in france, it means just because someone makes a claim doesn’t mean it’s true from their perspective (google paranoia)."

      So you think that these incidents are unsubstantiated claims?

      You know what? Here's the report from 2014. You can read it. It includes a long list of incident descriptions. You can tell us which incidents you take issue with as being not antisemitic.

      link to

      Is it the one where an orthodox man received an electric shock from a Shocker as he was entering a shul?

      Is it the one where a 59 year old teacher wearing a kippa and tzitzit was attacked by three men who screamed "Dirty Jew, death to the Jews, we're going to fuck your race" and drew a swastika on him?

      Was it this one from Nice? "A young Jewish woman in her car with her mother was attacked by a driver who slapped, insulted, and threatened her. "Dirty sh***y Jews, dirty French girls. We're gonna blow up everything, watch
      the news, synagogues are going to blow up, it is war!" He also tried to pull the victim out of her car and added: "I know where you live, dirty Jew, I'm gonna kill you!"

      This one? "A man was pushing the wheelchair of his son with Down's syndrome when he was insulted by an individual who said: "You kike, you Jew! Ah, the Jew!" A second individual appeared and punched him two or three times on the right side of the face, and escaped."

      Maybe this one: "Three masked men forced their way into the apartment of a Jewish family; they sequestrated one of the sons and his girlfriend for an hour. The attackers demanded money, ATM cards, and jewels, and said: "You Jews, you are rich. You're gonna tell us where the money is." The young man was tied up, the young woman was raped, and the apartment was burglarized. The three attackers were arrested and placed in custody. One of the attackers had identified the victims' apartment a month earlier and came to ask for some sugar."

      Or this one: "During a bar mitzvah, an individual shot numerous lead bullets towards the synagogue from his balcony. A worshipper was hit, but not wounded. The congregation has been the target of Antisemitic attacks by this neighbor for a year. The police were called and the man was held in custody.

      The incidents, by the way, are all incidents that were reported to the police by the victims, so enough of your red herrings about who can bring prosecutions.

      Maybe they're all coincidences, because as Froggy says, who can tell which people are Jews and which are not? It's just a coincidence when someone calls a Jew a dirty Jew or a kike. It would be funny if it weren't so sad.

      and therefore if an incidence not supported by enough convincing evidence by the police, it should not be included."

      Right, so for an incident of antisemitism to take place according to an NGO, there has to be a full police investigation and a finding of "enough convincing evidence", because Jews in France can't be trusted as witnesses and because otherwise, people like you will assume that 851 antisemitic incidents didn't really happen as antisemitic incidents because the Jews of France are just "paranoid." Do you ever listen to yourself? Would you ever use this standard for hate crimes reporting for anyone else?

      "i’m sort of done w/it."

      Yeah, that's your general approach when someone highlights what nonsense you're peddling.

    • "I think a lot of Americans are seeing this and disgusted, per Paul Pillar."

      Maybe a few progressives are disgusted by the intrusion of the Israeli Prime Minister into the political system. But I don't believe that they're disgusted by the argument, made by virtually all of the Iran deal's critics, that the deal is bad for US interests, principally because it would empower an enemy and set off an arms race in the Middle East. I think most Americans understand those concerns.

      I also think that most Americans understand the concerns of American Jews for fellow Jews in Israel. There are 15 million Jews. 6 million of them live in Israel. Iran is led by religious fanatics who regularly say nasty things about Jews. People on your blog seem not to care about that; look at the disingenuous acrobatics your moderator is going through to deny the seriousness of the antisemitism problem in France. And you keep letting her do it, even though you doubtless know that she's full of it.

    • "If they will not, or cannot, become part of the majority, then the sensible course is to put effort into developing and maintaining that good will."

      Then you're either against the concept of minority, or you're missing the point. In America, we don't require minorities to give us their identities to join society. And you are beyond clueless if you think that Jews haven't put tremendous effort into developing and maintaining good will with the majority cultures in the societies in which they lived.

    • "it’s just that what CRIF thinks isn’t necessarily the same as what the police think."

      So, your rejoinder to my statistics is to cite (for the umpteenth time) the minority opinion on a story about a riot in Paris from 2014 that has nothing to do with the statistics themselves. Sorry, that doesn't undermine anything that I've said here.

      "this incident was a case of a bunch of jdl thugs instigating a riot."

      It was not. And even if it were, this is A SINGLE INCIDENT, and the narrative you've tirelessly promoted here, of a few dozen LDJ members "inciting a riot," with several hundred protesters, and it is controversial; the pushback by LDJ members is reported here because it's UNUSUAL. The narrative blaming the LDJ has only ever been the narrative of one party - the anti-Israel protesters who stormed the synagogue. Just about everyone else tells a different story, which is that pro-Palestinian protesters were rioting and out of control, and that a few LDJ members came to protect the synagogue. There is a long history of this revisionist history, and unfortunately, Annie, you're a part of it now. When you were supposedly speaking to all of these French people, did you speak to any of the eyewitnesses quoted in these articles?

      link to
      link to
      link to
      link to

      "Bernard Abouaf, a journalist for the left-leaning Radio Shalom, was with friends nearby when he received a call on his mobile that the synagogue was being attacked. He rushed to the scene. 'There were a hundred or so pro-Palestinian activists rushing towards the synagogue. There were 40 Jews outside defending the 160 people who were trapped inside. Let me tell you, I have never in my life defended the JDL [Jewish Defense League],' he said. 'But that evening, if they hadn’t been there, the synagogue would have been destroyed, with all the people trapped inside.'

      "Abouaf insisted that I sit with him to watch a video that had spread widely after the incident, under a headline announcing that Serge Benhaim – the president of the synagogue – denied any attack had taken place. The video shows a young journalist, Julien Nény, repeatedly asserting in an interview with Benhaim that the violence had been instigated by the notorious Jewish Defence League; his questions to Benhaim focus on the reputation of the JDL for violence rather than on the events of the afternoon. Under Nény’s insistent questioning, the quietly spoken Benhaim repeats that 'that version of events is wrong.' Eventually, the spooling, repetitive question-and-answer becomes hard to follow. It was only after watching the video four times that I understood: Benhaim is repeatedly denying, in the same phrase, Nény’s repeated suggestion that the violence had been provoked by the JDL. His endlessly looping denial ends up being twisted by Nény’s bullying persistence into the opposite of what he is saying – it sounds as though he is denying that the synagogue was attacked. It’s an impressive journalistic sleight of hand, so successful, indeed, that it made its way round the world, written about by journalists who may have simply read the headline and not even bothered to watch the video – evidence, perhaps, of a surprisingly widespread taste for the notion that antisemitic violence is a chimera, faked by Jews and supported by the government as part of a strategy to demonise Muslims in France and elsewhere."

      "there’s a guy operating out of natanya, israel directing the anti semitism hot line in france."

      We know who Sammy Ghozlan is; he was featured in Marie Brenner's article. It's interesting that you say he's "operating out of Netanya" while omitting the reason why: he lived in France for 40 years, and left last year because he no longer felt safe. Gee, maybe he sold his house because he didn't feel European enough.

      The numbers are from CRIF, which got them from the Interior Ministry. They're not from Sammy Ghozlan. Again, CRIF's statistics are based on the records of the French Interior Ministry.

      You're still braying on about the right of NGOs to report crimes, as if this had anything to do with the numbers, which have been consistently rising for the last decade and a half, and on which there is really no disagreement.

      "and the reason it matters how much crime their is in france is because if 98% of the violent crime in france is carried out against people who happen to be christian, but none of it is categorized as a “hate crime”, but all crime perpetrated against jews is, then of course the incidences of “racist crime” are going to tilt towards being anti jewish."

      I'll ask you for the fifth time now. Do you have any evidence to show that all violent crime committed against Jews is being classified by CRIF as hate crimes? You don't, because they aren't doing that, and because if you did, you would have presented it by now, instead of posting the same Telegraph article for the umpteenth time.

      "and there have been famous cases in france of falsely reported anti semitic crime — based on lies."

      Another ridiculous line you keep repeating. Because there were a couple of incidents where people made up stories, the entire decade and half of rising antisemitism in France is somehow a made-up story. It's so disgusting and so hypocritical. It's like saying that because Black people sometimes fabricate hate crime reports to the police, there's no racism against African-Americans, or because Palestinians sometimes fabricate incidents with IDF soldiers, there's no discrimination against Palestinians in the West Bank.

      No one is denying that there are one or two incidents that have been fabricated; there are always a few incidents like that, and people like you always spend more time on them than the overwhelming majority of incidents because you want to diminish the reality. There were 823 antisemitic incidents in 2014, according to CRIF. Do you have evidence that they were all fabricated?

    • "eljay, hops keeps making this 40% claim."

      It's not my "claim." It's CRIF's statistics, which rely on hate crime stats from France's Interior Ministry. Here's a piece from a source that is not especially pro-Israel. The rate of antisemitism in France is 7 times what it was in the 1990's, and that's regardless of whether the conflict in the Middle East is hot or not.

      link to

      "a country where the law allows recognized anti-racist associations to initiate criminal proceedings even when the public prosecutor declines to do so . "

      This has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with the statistics.

      "nd what happens to people who make racist charges against jews in france? they have a private militia (JDL) that meters out retribution as they see fit."

      Do you have a SINGLE IOTA OF EVIDENCE to back up your ridiculous claim that the LDJ systematically takes revenge on people who make accusations against Jews in France? Even if you did, how on Earth is that a response to the fact that Jews in France are the victims of racist violence out of all proportion to their percentage of the French population?

      "of all incidents of violent crime in france, what percentage are jews the victims? do you know? – he doesn’t think it’s important"

      That's because the question is offensive, ridiculous, and completely beside the point.

      ", nor is he even curious.

      of course there is racism against jews in france"

      What? I'm not curious because it's an established fact that there is racism against Jews in France. They're 40% of the victims of hate crime violence! Antisemitic acts doubled from 423 to 851 from 2013 to 2014. Thousands of them are leaving the country every year! What the hell is wrong with you? Why is it that you think being pro-Palestinian means denying antisemitism?

    • "I believe that the solution to acts of injustice and immorality committed against Jews is the universal and consistent application of justice, accountability and equality."

      Are we anywhere close to this? No. We are not remotely close, and Jews should not have to wait until then and be asked to live as if this era was already upon us.

    • "Even as he protests that he loves Israel and will do nothing to damage the special relationship between the countries, the average American is getting to see a sickening spectacle, the political access granted to groups that only care about Israel’s security"

      Which average Americans watched the webcast and were sickened? Is there polling on this?

      "The State Department warned Roosevelt and Truman that setting up a Jewish state would lead to endless unrest in the Middle East"

      They did not predict that it would lead to endless unrest everywhere in the Middle East, and even if they had, the unrest throughout the Middle East is a legacy of British and French colonialism, not of the creation of Israel. Without the creation of Israel, do you know what we'd have? A bigger Jordan and a bigger Egypt, and no complaining about Palestinians.

      "How much of the turmoil in the Middle East is a result of Israel’s presence?"

      None of it.

      "I believe"

      You can believe what you want. The President has a difference of opinion with the Israelis on Iran. In just about every other way, the President has been deeply supportive.

      "I see Jews as empowered actors on the American stage."

      You have trouble dealing with anyone who isn't visibly downtrodden because you have a black and white view of the world. At the end of the day, whether Jews are "empowered" or not, and I think that this Iran deal has shown that they are not nearly as empowered as you've suggested they are, they remain a tiny minority. Jews are quite "empowered" in France, and yet, they're 40% of the victims of racist violence there. Jews in Sweden have been essentially forced out of Malmo, Sweden's second largest city. Throughout Europe today, Jews are advised not to walk around with their heads covered because it's dangerous. You've written nothing on this topic, and the followers of your blog have denied that there's a problem.

      Minorities are necessarily dependent on the good will of the majority to survive. Jews have learned from history that they can never depend completely on that majority for their survival.

  • Ben and Jerry won't tell you who's trying to kill Iran Deal
    • Not sure the $100 million number is correct. It's not sourced in the articles you linked. Jacob Kornbluh's article is the only one I've seen that makes the claim, and he hasn't provided a source for it.

  • The 'Pallywood' smear: Viral images of Palestinian boy's brutalization brings backlash
    • "Palestinian is as much an ethnic group as any other and by the way would certainly be a nation as well, if Israel would let it. "

      So what you're saying is that all criticism of the Palestinians is racist because they're an ethnicity. Got it. As long as you admit that this means that all criticism of Israel is racist, since, by the ridiculous definition you're using, the Israelis are also an ethnicity.

      "but that the entire resistance of Palestinians is a farcical invention."

      C'mon. No one has said that all Palestinian resistance is an invention. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most covered conflict in the world. It's natural for parties to that conflict to play to the camera.

    • Anyone remember the last Ahed Tamimi video? Me neither. It was also a viral sensation.

      What you guys never get is how cynical most people are about the conflict. They tune this stuff out.

    • "Daniel Traegerman was in territory not declared as Israeli and never legally acquired by Israel."

      Daniel Traegerman was from Kibbutz Nahal Or, which is very much part of Israel. And even if your nonsense was true, describing his death at the hands of a civilian-targeted rocket attack as "collateral" doesn't pass the laugh test.

      Mohammed's alive today, and he was throwing stones. Daniel wasn't throwing anything at anybody, and he's dead, the victim of a terrorist attack under international law.

    • "we will teach our children to HATE the occupation, the IDF and Zionists like you with all their hearts.We will teach them that even before they are born. and we will teach them that” the eye defeats the needle “, and we will keep the flame in them, so if we could not see our home free again maybe at least they will do one day. "

      When James Bevel led the Children's Crusade in 1963, Malcolm X criticized him, saying: "Real men don't put their children on the firing line."

    • You're deliberately confusing ethnicity and nationality to define criticism of the Palestinians as racist; based on your simplistic definition, Israelis are an ethnicity, since they have a shared cultural, social and national experience. You're doing exactly what you accuse Israel of doing with regard to Jews. You're trying to shut down any criticism of Palestinians by calling such criticism racist.

      When people talk about Pallywood, they're very clearly talking about the Palestinians as a national group, not the Palestinians as an ethnic group; otherwise, Palestinian-Israelis would be included in this definition, and they are clearly not.

      "please explain how/why the soldier would play this part in a reality play."

      Because, believe it or not, stones do hurt people.

      "are palestinian parents not allowed to cry when their children are stolen away? "

      Sure they are. But why are children always placed on the front lines of these protests? Would you send your six year old out to protest like that?

      "political theatre is Schindler’s List."

      Are you crazy? Schindler's List is a movie about the Holocaust. It's not political theater in the sense that we're speaking about here. Neither is Sophie's Choice. It's just important that people understand that these protests are carefully choreographed to play to the world's media, and to draw a response from the soldiers. Political theater is simply a protest that has theatrical quality to it. Like dressing a six year old in a Spiderman costume and then sending him out in front of the cameras. Or like instructing your 11 year old daughter to run out, scream at the soldiers, and shake her fist, and then deliver canned lines to the press.

      "you just do not like what you see so when it is slandered in a racist way"

      I don't like using small children to front adult protests, no. But while I find the term "Pallywood" derogatory, I regard it as a criticism of the tactics of a national movement, and not as a criticism of an ethnic group.

    • "Where is the evidence that the Tamimi children throw stones, let alone that their parents “send them out” to do it?"

      Are you kidding? The parents have been sending them out to protest for years; some of these kids are as young as six.

      link to

      The whole idea is to provoke the soldiers into responding, and then capture them on camera.

      link to

      "Bad things are happening elsewhere in the Middle East. In no way does that justify Israel’s behavior in Nabi Selah or anywhere else in the occupied territories. "

      You're right. Except that by covering places like Nabi Saleh obsessively, you make it easier for barbaric people in Syria to murder hundreds of thousands. So it's a choice. And it's not free of bias. Clearly, Palestinian lives in the West Bank are worth more than Yazidi lives in Iraq or Syrian lives in Palmyra.

    • "Once again, you are being dishonest. The word “hasbara” is used widely by Israelis and their government. “Pallywood” is a racist slur. The words are not equivalent. "

      How is Pallywood a racist slur? What race/ethnicity/religion are the Palestinians? They're none of these things. They're a nationality, quite clearly so. I'll give you that it's a not-nice way of describing Palestinian propaganda, but it's not in any way racist.

    • Pallywood is the equivalent of Jewywood? Please. The Palestinians are not a religion or an ethnic group. They're a nationality. The equivalent term for the Israelis is hasbara, which you throw around here all the time.

      The reality is that this is all political theater, and that international activists do indeed encourage the kids not only to protest, but also to throw stones. (Followers of Gandian non-violence don't throw stones, by the way.) That's the problem with international activists - they not only call attention to the conflict; they take part in it and stoke it. And they do it from a position of privilege; if this were the US Army at an Iraqi checkpoint in 2005, Mohammed Tamimi would be dead right now. The Tamimi family has long used their children as tools for the their agenda, coaching them on what to say to journalists, and sending them out there to endanger their lives by throwing stones.

      The question is this: if Nabi Saleh wasn't saturated with journalists, would these encounters happen? Probably not. Why is Nabi Saleh saturated with journalists when, right next door to the West Bank, hundreds of thousands of people are dying in the world's bloodiest conflict? Because covering Nabi Saleh is much easier than covering just about any other place in the Middle East right now, including Syria, where Palestinians actually are dying in droves.

      You're also fooling yourself if you think that this video is going to have some long shelf life; the last Ahed Tamimi viral video is barely remembered today. Most people understand that there is a conflict in the Middle East, and that, unfortunately, that conflict hurts children on both sides, whether they are Mohammed Tamimi, or Daniel Traegerman, who never threw a single stone, and was murdered by mortar shell fired from Gaza.

      link to

  • U.S. is even more implicated in Israeli settlement project than we thought
    • "Since when are you speaking for “most Palestinian leaders” about what they will “swop out?"

      Since the Clinton parameters and since the Abbas-Olmert negotiations. Since when do you deny that Palestinian leaders are amenable to a solution?

    • "Wtf does it matter where these Americans are going?"

      Because there's a difference between places like Modi'in Illit, which is right near the Green Line and which most Palestinian leaders have no problem swapping out in the context of an agreement, and Kiryat Arba, which is in the middle of the West Bank.

    • No, Fritz, you're incorrect. Non-Jews would are the spouses of Jewish aliyot are eligible for citizenship through the Law of Return. Otherwise, non-Jews can and do apply for citizenship in Israel through naturalization. Citizenship is available to non-Jews who have been residents for three out of the previous five years.

      As far as the determination of who is a Jew for purposes of the Law of Return, it's not the Rabbinate, but the Jewish Agency who makes the recommendation, where it is acted upon by the Interior Ministry. The requirement is simply a letter from a congregational rabbi. The rules are liberal, and meant to mirror Nuremberg Laws, which classified as a targeted Jew anyone with a Jewish grandparent; the idea is to provide protection for the same class.

      Most of the issues olim have with the Rabbinate occur with regard to issues handled by the rabbinate, such as marriage, but not to citizenship. This is beginning to change in Israel, as more and more people, including Modern Orthodox Jews, bypass the rabbinate.

    • That is not why there is a strong Azeri-Israeli connection, Piotr. There is a strong Azeri-Israeli connection for many reasons, including the fact that Azerbaijan has a large Jewish population that has been treated exceptionally well by the Muslim majority in Azerbaijan.

    • Nah, you're just uninformed. The Israeli rabbinate's rules on conversion have nothing to do with who is accorded citizenship. All that is required is a Jewish grandparent, or marriage to someone with a Jewish grandparent.

    • I'd like to see the breakdown in her numbers in terms of which settlements Americans are going to.

      As far as American settlers coming from an idealist left-wing background: that may have been true a generation ago, but it's hard for me to believe that that remains the case. Most of the people I know who are making aliyah from the United States today are Modern Orthodox. They usually make aliyah either at the end of high school or college, or they are make aliyah when they are young families. Single people often go to West Jerusalem neighborhoods, and they span the political spectrum; I know a few who are left-wing social activists. As far as the young families, while there is an ideological bent to their aliyah, they tend to be motivated more by the high cost of living in the United States, especially by day school tuition. Many of them are moving to places like Modi'in. Meirav Zonszein complained about these American aliyot; American aliyot have helped to make the cost of living in Israel unaffordable for many Israelis. link to

      If Phil Weiss wanted to reduce the flow of young American orthodox Jews to Israel, he'd propose a workable education plan; day school tuition today is probably the biggest motivator of aliyah among young Modern Orthodox families. And no, calling for people to assimilate isn't going to cut it.

  • Israeli minister says IDF should have fired on unarmed Palestinian protesters for humiliating a soldier
  • NY's Center for Jewish History to host Ayelet 'Little Snakes' Shaked in conversation with Bret 'Hiroshima' Stephens
    • You could display an iota of honesty and journalistic ethics and mention that she's coming as part of an exhibition at CJH on Shmita to discuss Israel's approach to the Shmita year, and not to discuss her political activism.

      You could also do some background research, which would enable you to learn that CJH is actually five separate institutions, one of which is Yeshiva University's Museum, and that it's that institution that is bringing her to speak.

      You're not interested in seeing any antidote. You just want another platform for Max Blumenthal, who has more than enough platforms to spout his vitriol about how Jews and Nazis are the same without being given another one within the Jewish community.

      And despite what you say, Walt and Mearsheimer's antisemitism isn't mainstreamed, not remotely. If it were, you wouldn't devote post after post on this blog to raising BS complaints about the New York Times.

  • Jewish community is Humpty Dumpty-- it won't come back together again, and shouldn't
    • "and he wonders why we don’t believe 40% of the racism in france comes from anti semites."

      Who said that 40% of the racism in France came from antisemites? I said Jews were 40% of the victims of violent racist incidents, not that 40% of the racism in France came from antisemites.

      It really makes no difference whether you choose to believe in reality; reality doesn't care.

      It does make a difference when people of privilege have trouble seeing the difference between their concerns and the concerns of people who are part of a small minority. That's a serious problem with some here. As I've said before, it's really not that different from what the Catholic Church used to do with Jewish converts to Catholicism, using them as the most strident critics of other Jews. The same thing happens with the African-American community; conservatives love to celebrate Black people who sound white and take positions against affirmative action (see Connerly and McWhorter). So, yes, Jews have many reasons to be cautious when division exists in our community not because disagreements are inherently bad, but because there are lot of bad people out there who would like nothing more than to exploit them for their own purposes, whether they are partisan people who confront inconvenient statistics by disbelieving them, or evil people who simply which the Jewish community ill.

    • Oh please. The way antisemites like you react is the reason Jews get uneasy when there are public disagreement. Vultures like you exist to exploit those divisions.

  • Why did a Jewish Day School student cry hysterically when she learned about the Deir Yassin massacre?
    • Not when he reads it out of context, he isn't. Do me a favor, before you respond, actually read what I write.

    • "A Holocaust survivor is someone and -only – someone who was in the camps and who lived through it. Period."

      OK. I think you're very wrong. We wouldn't refer to a survivor of the Rwandan genocide as only people who survived machete attacks. The category encompasses Hutus who were in Rwanda at the time of the genocide, because they were the targets. And that's because the event caused them to behave in survival mode - to hide, to smuggle food, perhaps to join an underground movement, perhaps to watch as others, including close family members, were murdered or taken away, and maybe most damaging of all, to feel the guilt that survivors often feel for being alive when those close to them were killed. All this was part of the experience of Jews living in Nazi-occupied lands who were not in concentration camps or death camps.

      Of course, the experiences of those who were in the camps are incomparably worse, as books like Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz illustrate.

      "I don’t know one Jewish person I have ever met in my life in any capacity, even for a fairly minimal length of time who has ever 1) not brought it up and made the claim or 2) waited for the topic to come up and if it did, say, “I really don’t know,” or “No one in my family was was in a camp”. or “All my family had already emigrated to the US.”

      I don't even know what to do with a statement like this, it's almost beyond ridicule. I have met very many Jews in my life, and with the vast majority of them, I have not discussed their family's experience during the Holocaust, and with those I have had such a discussion with, I've come across plenty whose families were in the United States before the war, including myself and my wife. I don't know who you hang out with, but if you think that Jews are eager to claim that they lost family members in the Shoah, to the point that they'd lie about it, you are very, very much mistaken, sir.

      It is true that most Jews who came to the United States from Poland, where 91% of the 3 million Jews died during the Shoah, are likely to have relatives who died, though they may be cousins, rather than direct relatives, depending on when they came. That's just the way it is.

      It is really rather obscene, however, to suggest that Jews would lie about having relatives who died in the Holocaust, and frankly, I think it's a form of Holocaust denial and should not appear here.

    • "The children of survivors weren’t there. It wasn’t their experience. Their parents aand grandparents were/are the victims."

      Really. So what is your experience with the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors that you're able to opine on how they feel and what they experience? Have you read the literature? I grew up with a number of the grandchildren and know some of the children. You think that when someone is asked to shovel a dead body into an oven, or watches his friends die of starvation, or watches children marched into a gas chamber, or goes through living in a Nazi ghetto, that it doesn't have an effect on the way they raise their children?

      Mooser: a Holocaust survivor is generally defined as any Jew who lived for any period of time in a country that was ruled by the Nazis or their allies.

      Keith: Goldberg is not a sociologist. He's a journalist. And journalists are not great with statistics. This is one example.

      An analysis of pretty much the same studies Goldberg uses suggests that Jews in the 1980s were worried about future antisemitism, because at that time, while antisemitic attitudes were down, antisemitic incidents had risen. They also note that the statistics have to be taken in context; the statistics show that Jews worry about antisemitism, and not that they think that there is a great deal of antisemitism. Antisemitism was certainly not at the top of the list of concerns for most Jews; most ranked church-state issues higher.

      link to

      "but have no compunction about trotting it out at a moment’s notice to counter any and all criticism of current Israeli government policy or actions."

      Nonsense. Jews do not "trot out" the Holocaust to counter criticism of the Israeli government and its actions. But if that bothers you, then maybe you should criticize the far more common practice of anti-Israel activists trotting out the Holocaust to justify their critiques of Israel.

    • "And when a group of Americans regards themselves as a separate 'us'"

      So, RoHa has a problem with every minority group in the United States, since they all speak collectively,

      "with a history that is not only distinct from that of other Americans"

      So, RoHa isn't reading, because I clearly linked the history of the Holocaust to American history, which includes World War II, participation in liberation of concentration camps, and the experiences of Holocaust survivors who emigrated to the United States,

      "and peddled in the service of a foreign country"

      Nonsense, since the only people who believe that Holocaust survivors who tell their stories are doing so in the "service of a foreign country" are bigots,

      "I am inclined to think that this is the sort of behaviour that will give other Americans a poor impression of the group"

      Something which heretofore hasn't happened.

    • "Hold on, there. Aren’t these supposed to be Americans speaking? If so, why is just one (distorted) bit of European history “theirs”?"

      Because a lot of these kids have grandparents who are Holocaust survivors, maybe. Or maybe their grandparents were Americans who helped liberate the camps. Or maybe the lesson many Jews took from the Holocaust and legacy of European persecution is that Jews are never completely safe as a minorities, even post-Enlightenment.

      Go on, RoHa. You've wondered out loud many times whether Jews in Europe should be held responsible for their own persecution. It's no secret.

    • The premise is misleading. There are many American Jews who were Holocaust survivors, and many more whose parents were, so the notion that American Jews experienced the Holocaust vicariously is just utterly, completely wrong. As of 1990, eight percent of American Jews were either survivors or children of survivors (the number obviously diminishes as time goes on), and close to 30 percent of those children suffered depression or PTSD during their lives.

      Survivors also tend to come disproportionately from the religious Jewish community, which is the community most likely to send their kids to day school.

      Nevertheless, the notion that it is at the center of American Jewish identity is also completely incorrect. I went to day school just like the kids in the documentary. We certainly did commemorate the Holocaust, which for many, if not most, of us meant commemorating an event that took the lives of our direct descendants. But it was not at the "center" of our education.

      Like a lot of collectively-experienced traumatic events, there's always a school of people who push for deemphasis in order to avoid a communal focus on victimhood. I frankly think the notion that Jews focus overmuch on victimhood is silly; we don't sit around discussing the Holocaust all day, and as I and other here have shown many times, the reaction of most young Jews to the collective memory of the Holocaust is to engage in general social activism, Tikkun Olam. But I wonder whether people here would ever dare to tell African-Americans not to talk so much about Jim Crow, segregation and slavery, since it's "the past," and since it cultivates a victimhood culture. I frankly doubt it, though it's a conservative trope and we hear it all the time. I certainly wouldn't.

      link to
      link to

    • I can, unlike most here, admit when my own community is doing something wrong. When it comes to Israel education, most Jewish secondary schools do not take an academic approach to the conflict.

      If you believe, however, that it's any different in the Muslim community, you are either truly fooling yourselves.

    • "The reason for this is simple – it’s an absurd claim."

      It's actually not absurd at all. It's common sense. Why would it be surprising? Palestine is one of the most important issues in the Muslim community. Why wouldn't they teach their kids to be active on the subject? Maybe next you'll tell me that Imams never talk about Palestine in their sermons.

      "Palestine is not a mere Muslim issue"

      No one said it was, but for Muslims, it clearly holds a special significance. I'm not sure why you would deny that.

      "Being an activist for Palestine is siding with an oppressed disenfranchised people trying to resist being wiped out from history."

      Right, I get that think your side is right is that the other side is wrong. That's sort of the point. Real education means teaching complexity, rather than indoctrination. Clearly, you think that the right path is to indoctrinate students to be activists for Palestine.

    • It's informative and largely accurate. Now tell me when Muslim day schools are making their documentary about how they were educated to be activists for Palestine. Because exactly the same thing happens there. But I doubt you'll write about it.

  • Calling Herzog and liberal Zionism ‘racist,’ Gideon Levy instigates a reckoning
    • "[Levy] wants the Jewish minority between the Jordan and the sea to be swallowed up by the Arab majority, so that after 67 years we turn the lights out on the state…
      And if the Islamic State decided to run for the parliament of Isra-stan, then what? One man, one vote? Why not? If we’re talking democracy, then democracy all the way, no?
      That doesn’t sound like a captivating idea or vision that sparks the imagination. It’s the dream of the messianic right wing and [Hamas leader Ismail] Haniyeh.
      What Gideon Levy proposes is not hope. Which sane Israeli would choose to live in a state with an Arab majority?"

      So lovely for you to be able to stand back from a position of privilege and call statements like this racist when the truth is, Matthew, that you wouldn't live in a state with an Arab majority either, particularly if that Arab majority was represented by a party dedicated to the murder of Jews. If I've said anything incorrect, Matthew, let me know by affirming that you would, in fact, live in an Arab majority state as a Jewish minority. Perhaps you can signify your willingness to do so by moving to a state with an Arab majority. Let me know when you have your bags packed. What? You're not leaving the United States? But I thought you were so eager to live in a state with an Arab majority. Guess you're just a racist.

      In Europe today, people can't seem to live with an Arab minority of 5 or 10 percent. That small minority has led to the rise of the far-right in Europe, and policies meant to keep out a few hundred thousand migrant refugees from the Middle East; I hear Hungary is building a wall and that a few dozen refugees died in truck in Austria yesterday. We'll see if that gets 1/10th the coverage Israel's treatment of African refugees gets here. In the United States, the Republican frontrunner speaks about expelling 11 million brown people from the United States, or about 3% of the US population. Even the Democratic Party here can't seem to find it in their hearts to just do the easiest and most commonsense thing - have a general amnesty and get these people on the books.

  • A year after Shipman lost his Yale job for speaking out on Israel's actions, some Jews say the same thing
    • "The fact that so many Jews can address this question without any career damage, and it’s kryptonite for a non-Jewish clergyman (of considerable experience and gravity) is a sad reflection on the American discourse. In fact, it’s a form of ethnic discrimination. And it’s unfair. It’s one thing if only members of a persecuted minority get to comment on that minority; I understand that ancient prohibition. But when you have power– a lot, I say; or a “modicum of power,” as Foxman says — then you should be able to take some criticism."

      You're simply incorrect on this. Jews don't have "a lot" of power as a community, and even if they did, their situation is completely different from that of a majority with power. Jews constitute roughly one-fifth of one percent of the world's population. Muslims and Christians each constitute over 20 percent of the world's population. Surely, both have far more power than Jews do.

      In the United States, Jews are less than two percent of the population. In France, they're less than one percent. In Great Britain, they're roughly three-tenths of the percent of the population. Criticism of the kind you level leads, rather directly, to violence against Jews in those countries, regardless of what power they have; in France, Jews are the victims of 40 percent of racist crimes in France, 40 times their proportion of the population. Criticism of Jews as "too powerful," an old antisemitic trope, will also lead to violence against them here.

      Real human rights activists would speak out against these outrages. Here, they're denied.

  • Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel clarifies position on campaign to cancel Matisyahu show
    • Still waiting for that list of Rototom performers whose political affiliations were examined and who were asked to sign statements regarding their political views. There isn't one.

      This is a defense of antisemitism, pure and simple. And it will hurt the BDS movement in a major way.

  • Videos: 'Vanity Fair' story about anti-Semitic pogrom in Paris is falling apart
    • Actually, it isn't. Communal organizations work differently in Europe than they do in the US. Like other countries in Europe, Frnace funds religious and communal institutions. So CRIF has an interest in muting criticism of the state.

    • I have no idea, but why don't you explain to me why it's relevant? Jews are 1 percent of the population and 40% of the victims of the racist violence. That should shock you, rather than inspire you to ask non-sequitor questions.

    • "When you lie about people, slander them, make accusations against them (and others) that are exagerated or untrue, and diminish the sufferings of others, don’t expect people to like (or trust) you."

      When you write stupid things about how Jews couldn't be experiencing antisemitism because they look like other French people, don't expect to be taken seriously anywhere else except Mondoweiss.

    • "The vast majority of those Jews who leave are immigrants from North Africa and their children."

      Yeah, I think I've said that many times. The Jews from North Africa didn't arrive in France yesterday. They've been there for a long time. So the notion that they are leaving because they "don't feel European" is extraordinarily offensive.

      The North African Jews also happen to be the Jews who are most likely to attend Jewish schools and synagogues in France and also the ones most likely to live in or near Arab communities in France.

      "Looking at a bunch of kids walking home from school, how can anyone determine which kids are Jewish and which kids are goyim?"

      Maybe they wear kippot. Maybe they're the ones leaving school. Maybe they have a mezuzah on their door. Maybe they live in the same community as Muslims, and their attackers know they're Jewish, in the same way people in Vichy France knew which people to turn over to the Nazis. Maybe the attack is on a Jewish institution, like the Molotov cocktail that was thrown at the synagogue in Garges-Lès-Gonesse. You said the same thing before. Do you think Jews in France are making all of these attacks up? Do you think that it's all just a big coincidence? What on Earth is your point?

      I read the Guardian article that you linked to. It's true enough to say that people leave France for multiple reasons, but you've got your head up your behind if you think that there's no correlation between the huge rise in antisemitic incidents in France and rise in emigration. The linkage is really very clear. Tens of thousands of people don't suddenly leave a country like France over the economy.

      "of all incidents of violent crime in france, what percentage are jews the victims? do you know?"

      The statistic I cited are violent crimes. Jews are the victims of 40% of the violent racist attacks in France. Read the article I linked to.

      "i’m not really in the mood to focus on his obsession. he’s never going to consider any agency for anyone in the jewish community (in france or israel or anything) for any of the racist violence going on. ever."

      So, let me get this straight. According to you, because a few JDL thugs chanted racist slogans, Jews are responsible for the fact that they're experiencing 40% of the racist attacks in France. Do I have that right? And the 40% isn't the Jewish community's number. It's France's number.

      link to

      You go on and on about the JDL, known in France as LDJ. According to the numbers I've seen, there have been 115 violent incidents involving LDJ members since 2001, mostly vigilante responses to antisemitic incidents. But of course, still completely wrong and deplorable.

      That would work out to an average of about eight a year, or less than 1/6 the violent racist incidents Jews experienced in 2014 alone. So I have no problem at all acknowledging LDJ or the horrible things they do, but it's not the main story here.

      As far as your changing the subject to the IDF, it's typical enough that you'd hold European Jews hostage to your views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That's your moral cowardice.

    • " but i think it’s very possible (if not probable) that the ones who are leaving may just not feel that european or may feel out of place. "

      Yeah, that's why. It couldn't possibly be the fact that their neighborhoods have become unsafe places to live. No, it's just because they just don't feel very European. Suddenly, tens of thousands of people from families who have been in France for decades, including nearly 7,000 in 2014 alone just leave France because they "don't feel European." Amazingly enough, the number of those leaving seems to go up as antisemitic violence goes up. Do you ever listen to yourself, Annie? Do you realize how stupid you sound and how offensive you are?

      Maybe, just maybe, it's because Jews are the victims of 40% of the racist incidents in France. Maybe's it's because they're afraid their children aren't going to come home from school alive. Maybe you should stop living in denial.

      link to

    • "You are completely callous regarding the French lives that were lost, unless those French lives were Jewish lives."

      Oh please. Give me a break. No one is ignoring the fact that other French lives have been lost or that Mohammed Merah killed other people before killing Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi in Toulouse. We're talking about antisemitism here. Is it supposed to change reality somehow if Merah attacked Jewish schoolchildren allegedly because he couldn't find a soldier to kill? The man shot three Jewish children at point blank range, including one as he crawled away on the ground. Are you honestly trying to tell me that he attacked the school by coincidence. Yeah, it's all a big coincidence. Toulouse is a coincidence. Hyper Cacher is a coincidence.

      You're unable to accept the reality of antisemitism in France.

    • Froggy, maybe you should stay silent, since the last time you got involved on this issue, you made a giant fool of yourself by claiming that the North African French Jews who were leaving were "Maghribis" who didn't want to be "French" (both antisemitic and racist at the same time), link to

    • The same people, included the Jewish Establishment in France, which is supine and beholden to the French government, denied that France had an antisemitism problem when Marie Brenner first wrote about it in 2002. They were wrong then, and they're wrong now. What you don't understand is that there are really two Jewish communities in France. One is the official community as represented by CRIF, a group of highly assimilated Jews who are interested in preserving their close connections with the French government, and the other is the North African community, which actually has experienced most of the antisemitism because they live in the banlieues alongside poor North African Muslims. It's primarily Jews from the North African community who are leaving.

      Brenner's source for a lot of this is Sammy Ghozlan, a North African immigrant who was also featured in her 2002 article. Ghozlan runs an organization that actually records antisemitic incidents.

      Do an image search for hypercacher and quenelle, and you'll find pictures of people standing in front of the market sticking up their middle finger with the caption, "Allahu Akbar," and another with a picture of the ISIS flag.

      The quenelle has also been performed in front of the Toulouse school where several Jewish children and a rabbi were murdered in 2012. link to

      There are, to date, zero instances of Jews from the JDL or any other Jewish organization in France, killing Muslims, and precious few of Jews attacking Muslims in any way. The story in France is crystal clear. It's the Jews who have security issues, not the Muslims.

      You've either been completely silent here on French antisemitism, or, when the subject has been raised, you've questioned every account. It's just another example of your callousness toward the lives of Jews in Europe.

      In any event, even if activists like you are too cowardly to do anything about it, the French government seems finally to have gotten the message (of course, it took terrorist attacks targeting French citizens, rather than just Jews for it to happen, but better late than never).

  • How my return to Zimbabwe redoubled my enthusiasm for BDS in Israel/Palestine
    • It is not an exaggeration. And your over-the-top attempt to suggest otherwise is indicative of your lack of care for the lives of Israelis. You don't pay attention unless and until people die. Perhaps more Israelis need to die for you to care. It would explain the support here for Hamas.

    • How callous people here are to refer to the murders of thousands of people as "superhuman restraint." Wonder what the Palestinians have to do to be human to all of you, or to show non-restraint.

    • "Wikipedia offers a summary total of 804 killed in the entire history of suicide bombings (which of course included foreigners and non-Jews) and a summary total of 33 killed from rocket attacks in their entire history (which again includes non-Jews) so Hophmi again exaggerates more than ten-fold."

      I said thousands, and it is no exaggeration. The Palestinians successfully murdered well over 800 people, but they've attempted to murder many times that number. James North apparently thinks that these murders are an example of "superhuman restraint."

      And although others died (including non-Israelis), the dead were overwhelmingly Jews, and Jews were (and are) the target. So let's cut the BS about that.

    • "I do know that the Palestinian people have demonstrated superhuman restraint in their fight for freedom."

      LOL. Killing thousands of Jews with suicide bombs and firing rockets into Israeli civilian areas is "superhuman restraint"? What does it look like without superhuman restraint, James? Are the Palestinians other than human for you, James?

      You seem dedicated to be the stereotype of a Westerner who thinks that it's his business to be more radical than the radicals he apologizes for.

  • Beinart's fear of 'Israstine'
    • Constitutions don't usually talk about borders, but since Constitutions have to be ratified, why wouldn't Palestinians be entitled to contribute and vote on it as they do with other questions in Israeli society?

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