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Total number of comments: 5728 (since 2010-04-19 03:21:04)

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  • Israel lobby group compiles secret dossiers on pro-Palestinian speakers
    • Writing a dossier based on publicly available information is spying?

      OK, then . . . You people really are like little children with stuff like this. You need to grow up. Your people do exactly the same thing.

    • OMG, Alex, are you saying that political groups keep track of the opposition? Are you saying that pro-Palestinian activists do not keep track of their Zionist opponents and do not create informational literature about them for use by their activist communities?

  • Jewish day school student first learned about 'occupation' when he got to college
  • Meet the Jewish students who are taking on the Jewish establishment
    • "My only objection is that Phil once again is trying to make it appear that these young students are out on the front lines of this issue as some of the Jews who were involved with Freedom Ride’s."

      And like clockwork, Galt spews forth some more of her self-righteous nonsense.

      "Again great that this is taking place but trying to compare these students who are finally taking constructive and needed steps to confront these restriction to those involved with the Freedom Rides is ridiculous."

      And like clockwork, she repeats herself again and again. We get it, Kathleen. Here's a blue ribbon that says "I was FIRST on this issue" and a hat that says "I'm #1!".

    • "I think you will find that US Law and US society will want to help you with that."

      I think you'll find that I'm under no legal or societal obligation to support a pro-Palestinian political agenda.

    • "The whole concept is wrong."

      In what way? Are you against Jews identifying as a group on campus? Do you feel the same way about gay people and African-Americans?

    • "These activist “young Jews” are obligated as American citizens, not as “Jews."

      And you presume to dictate to me what my obligations are as an American citizen, is that it?

      I'll define those for myself, thanks.

  • Do Americans want to know that Israel is waging war on Africans?
    • "Do Americans want to know that Israel is waging war on Africans?"

      This is great question. The answer is that if the best story you can find about African problems is one about the treatment of African migrants in Israel, you've pretty much established yourself as either a racist, or someone who suffers from the world's worst case of myopia.

  • Mayor of Canadian city invites Ehud Barak to economic summit
    • "With this statement, Watts echoes the standard and oft-debunked Zionist narrative that we must engage in 'dialogue.'"

      Engaging in dialogue is a Zionist narrative? Wow. Somebody should tell Sari Nusseibeh. Heck, somebody should tell Hamas member and Al-Ahram journalist Khalid Amayreh. He engaged in dialogue for years.

      "But Watts seems to be more interested in photo ops and empty jargon coming out of the mouth of a man who has absolutely no expertise in economics."

      LOL. You clearly have no clue what you're talking about. Barak has a masters in economics from Stanford, and he's credited with bringing Israel out of recession and increasing foreign investment during his time as Prime Minister. Barak is sitting on a panel on international economics with two other former heads of state, Julia Gillard of Australia, a lawyer, and George Papandreou of Greece, an economist best known for stepping down to prevent Greece from falling into a depression.

      Gosh, maybe your BDS policy of running away from any dialogue is warping your intellect. It's almost like you're trying to commit intellectual suicide.

  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • "It’s tragic, and embarrassing. The Jewish community is rebranding Jewish culture, from the brave civilization that gave us the greatest minds of the last 100 years, Einstein, Marx and Freud, as my mother used to brag to me, to a community that’s scared of Israel’s shadow. And p.s., it’s a very long shadow."

      I find jeremiads like this to be meretricious, and self-consciously so. I think it's within the interest of the Jewish community to hear from a diverse set of voices, particularly in the academy, but the notion that Jewish institutions must sponsor everybody, or that by not sponsoring everybody, the Jewish community is committing intellectual suicide, is overwrought and silly. These sources are all readily available to anyone who seeks them out, whether Jewish organizations choose to validate them or not. The NAACP is not going to validate critics of affirmative action, CAIR is not going to validate people critical of Islam or of Palestinian violence, and Mondoweiss is not going to offer a guest blog post to a mainstream Zionist. I've not seen any jeremiads from Phil on how these communities are committing intellectual suicide.

      The Jewish community is still providing first-class intellects to the world, and that will continue whether Judith Butler drones on about Kafka at the Jewish museum or not. They were providing first-class intellects when the intellectual space was far more confined than it is today.

  • Breaking: Students rise up against NY Jewish school's 'prohibition' of Rashid Khalidi
    • "He’s busy at hasbara central taking pointers, give him time, he’ll come back with some nonsense."

      Since I gave you the benefit of a extended and candid answer, Adele, I'd appreciate it if you asked the moderator to remove that comment, which was posted before my answer to you, which I sent earlier, was published.

      I think it's really rather unkind of you to leave it up.

    • Putting aside Kathleen's hypocritical nastiness (especially since Kathleen never answers the questions I put to her), I wouldn't read Mondoweiss if I weren't interested in diverse viewpoints.

      "are you in pursuit of “diverse viewpoints” just for the novelty factor or do you actually plan to incorporate that knowledge into your political outlook?"

      I certainly do incorporate them into my political outlook. I'm not sure about others here; the impression I get, and I say this from long experience talking to people who are politically active on this issue, is that most are not especially interested in seeking out diverse viewpoints because they think arguing about the conflict is a waste of time.

      My support of a two-state solution, which offers a measure of justice for both parties to this conflict, rather than just one, is based on my recognition that the Palestinians have legitimate grievances and deserve a state of their own. I don't discount their narrative, in the way the Israeli narrative is routinely dismissed here. The talking I do with people in my own camp is informed in part by what I read here and elsewhere.

      "I imagine that some members of the MW community will be a bit sceptical given your track record on denying basic rights to others, rights that you yourself enjoy."

      Obviously, I'm not looking for validation from members of the MW community. I find that like most political activists, human rights for them is a convenient buzzword that they use to argue for their preferred political outcome, rather than a system of beliefs and principles that they're willing to stand for. Most are unwilling to engage any complexity in the conflict, whether they are complexities of history, geography, or politics, which is probably why they like BDS; it's a solution that rejects the dialogue that might force them to engage that complexity. Most seem satisfied to amplify their own simple solutions, whether it's the "one-state" solution, where pluralistic democracy and civil liberties will simply break out in a region where they are wholly absent, or the Judenrein solution, where the Jews simply leave unless they "indigenize." Most seem relatively uninterested in human rights elsewhere in the world. Some are just garden-variety antisemites who feed the fire of their bigotry with conspiracy-theory websites that reside in the dark corners of the internet. Some shriek on and on about the media, finding bias where none exists, or by parroting every story supportive of their movement as if it were the first story ever written on the subject. Some, like Kathleen, are primarily here to trumpet their own personal activism, and to degrade the activism of others (see her many snide remarks about anti-Zionist Jews). I know all of these tendencies, because they all reside in my camp, and I recognize the same ones here.

      My support for exposing Ramaz students to diverse political viewpoints is consistent with my work in college to do the same for students at Vassar, and my history generally of supporting open and free inquiry, which I view as a personal struggle, and not necessarily an organizational struggle (which is why I can understand Hillel's viewpoint, and argue that they have the right to hold it, while criticizing it as self-destructive). My view is consistent. I support UC students being exposed to the viewpoint of Michael Oren, and I support Ramaz students being exposed to the views of Rashid Khalidi. I also supported exposing Brooklyn College students to Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, and told people in my own community that if it bothered them that much, that they should encourage kids in Hillel to bring more pro-Israel speakers to campus, with poli-sci's sponsorship, and to attend the Butler/Barghouti lecture with an open mind and to ask pointed questions, as I always did as a student when I attended lectures by people like Norman Finkelstein or Norton Mezhvinsky.

      Like many people in activist movements, Adele, you make the mistake of assuming that everyone must arrive at the same conclusions as you have, rather than questioning your own assumptions, as all people who are intellectually honest with themselves must do on a regular basis.

    • Ramaz is not just any Jewish day school. It's probably one of the two or three most important Modern Orthodox high schools in the country, with the intellectual rigor of a top private school. I will sign the petition. As a graduate of a Modern Orthodox high school myself, I strongly support exposing students to diverse viewpoints on the conflict, which were absent when I was a high school student.

  • Hillary Clinton to do NY fundraiser with man whose 'only agenda' is Israel
    • "Nothing about the Jerusalem floor demonstration at the Democratic convention"

      That's because it was a lot smaller than you'd like to believe. It took place in the middle of the day in a half-full auditorium, and even then, it wasn't clear whether the protest was about that or about the addition of God's name to the DNC platform, which is just as divisive an issue. When politicians mentioned Israel that night in their speeches, no one was booing.

  • Vassar Hillel group defies parent org: Your Israel doctrine doesn't represent 'diversity of young Jews'
    • I know a bit about the VJU, which I used to help run years ago.

      Vassar has not been a part of Hillel for very long; VJU was independent, and very proudly so, until about ten years ago; before then it had consciously rejected joining Hillel. We joined at the behest of one board member who thought it was silly not to have access to Hillel grants available for student programming. I honestly don't remember how I felt about us joining Hillel, but I think that if I were on the board today, and enough students came to me and complained about Hillel policies, I would probably support cutting ties with the organization, because Vassar probably never got very much from the affiliation anyway, and because a small campus org like the VJU cannot afford to alienate anyone, especially not at the behest of a national organization that contributes little to begin with.

      Vassar is one of the most liberal campuses in the country, and it has had an active SJP since 2002, when Alison Weir and Steve Quester, an early ISM member, came to campus (Steve, who struck me as the quintessential Western activist who becomes more extreme than the people in the region, told me straight out that Israeli Jews should just leave Israel and turn the place over to the Palestinians ten years before Max Blumenthal said pretty much the same thing, and I had, let's say, a bit of a debate with him about it).

      It is not a surprise that Hillel's policy, which I understand, but think is unnecessary and self-defeating, would cause a serious problem. If the VJU is anything like it used to be, the amount of Israel programming they do is close to none, and on a campus where the just about all of the Poli-Sci international politics staff is made up of post-colonial studies specialists and the head of Jewish Studies is a BDS proponent who teaches a class on the roots of the I-P conflict with a curriculum only a pro-Palestinian activist could love, it's not a surprise that many students would feel the way that they do. Campuses with strong pro-Israel programming do not do Israel programming through Hillel.

      In truth, the VJU has a much more pressing problem that has become common on campuses like theirs where there are lots of Jewish students, but relatively little active participation, which is the opening of several Chabad houses in the area, including one on the same block as the VJU house. As you well know, Chabad doesn't need Hillel to promote pro-Israel views. All it needs is free food and a welcoming, non-judgmental atmosphere that requires nothing of the students.

  • The campaign against BDS is a deliberate choice to maintain the status quo
    • "There is nothing antisemitic about BDS."

      No, in a vacuum, there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, just like there's nothing inherently racist about merit-based college admissions. One's about "human rights" and the other is about "standards." That's in a vacuum. In reality, one discriminates against Jews, and the other discriminates against minorities. It's called institutional racism.

      While there is nothing antisemitic about BDS, there is surely a lot of antisemitic things uttered by BDS proponents.

      "Now, you say ‘the Jewish people’. Is there a Christian people too? A Muslim people?"

      Well, there are almost five dozen Muslim states, and Muslims refer to the Islamic community as the Ummah, so yeah, I'd say that there's definitely a "Muslim people."

      "Are you saying Jews around the world aren’t American or European or Chinese or Indian or Spanish, etc.? They are primarily Jews?"

      Are you saying that one cannot identify with a homeland when they live in another country? Or haven't you heard of hyphens? Like Greek-American? Or African-American? I guess you tell black people that they should choose, lest people like you think that they're primarily African.

      "What does Jewish self-determination mean for the 20% non-Jewish Israeli minority of Palestinian Arabs (mostly)?"

      What does Palestinian self-determination mean for the Christians and Jews living in the West Bank? Most Palestinian leaders say it means that Jews, at least, have to leave. Most Israelis certainly don't say that about Palestinian Arabs living in Israel.

      "If you contextualize the denial of this self-determination on the grounds that a Jewish majority would cease to exist if Palestinian Israelis were given equal rights "

      No one says that, not within the Green Line, and fewer people say it now that the Palestinian birth rate in general has dropped and the haredi birth rate has skyrocketed.

      "would you also say that American Jewish politicians who may support open immigration and other policies that dilute the alleged Christian character of the US, are denying the right of Christians to self-determination?"

      Europeans certainly say that. That's why their countries are around 90% Christian and they keep elevating far-right anti-immigrant parties to power.

      "This is a fight against Jewish nationalism – which is ethnocentric and racist and bigoted."

      But not a fight against Muslim nationalism, which is an established fact in a few dozen countries.

      "Jews, nor any other ethnic or religious group have a right to self-determination. Only the people of a land do."

      The UN recognized the Jewish state, a state founded by people living in the land of Israel, a long time ago, so your argument is silly, particularly in a world with dozens of Muslim states and a European continent that became pluralistic (skin-deep pluralistic at that) in the last 50 years or so.

      "And Jews were not the majority and did not own a majority of the land and property."

      Ancient history. For Americans, anyway. And in the UN borders, they certainly were the majority.

      "Jews in Palestine do not by-definition give Jews outside of Palestine, who may have no tangible ties to Palestine, a by-definition claim to Palestine."

      So do many countries who extend citizenship rights to those living in the diaspora.

      "Denying Jewish self-determination’s apparent intrinsic legitimacy is a moral imperative."

      Denying religion-based states may be a principled point of view. Denying Jewish self-determination only is the view of a bigot.

  • Transcript: Netanyahu calls on U.S. Jews to fight BDS-- 'eerie' anti-Semites 'on the soil of Europe'
    • "The survey is about a self-selecting samples PERCEPTIONS of anti-semitism not anti-semitism itself."

      As I pointed out (again), a third of the respondents said that they had experienced antisemitic harassment. That's not a "perception."

      "Hophmi is an obvious propagandist. Honesty is not in the brief"

      I'm no more a propagandist than anyone else here. You guys simply shield yourselves from any truth that suggests a more complex world than the black and white one in which you live. You're like children.

    • "This result shows that the perceptions have zero credibility. There is no way that this is true."

      You don't think it's possible that 57 percent of those who took the survey had heard or seen someone claim that the Holocaust was exaggerated or a myth? Really? I think you're pretty naive. It's a pretty common view, particularly among European Muslims.

      "If anything, people complain that the Holocaust is mentioned too often (e.g. to justify or distract from Zionist crimes)"

      You're misrepresenting the truth. Germans in particular complain it's mentioned too often because it's such a integral part of the school curriculum, not because it's used to "distract from Zionist crimes."

      "So, either the polled Jews misunderstood certain comments or they entirely made these comments up."

      Yes, you have a record of saying that it's made up anytime Jews complain about discrimination in Europe. You should divest yourself of that attitude, which was all too common amongst your ancestors.

    • "But back to the report – no statistical data on physical attacks, anti-semitic graffiti, discrimination against jews etc."

      One-third of the respondents to the FRA reported experiencing antisemitic harassment in the last five years. The report also showed that most Jews are afraid to report physical attacks to the police because they believe nothing will be done. Go ahead. Keep claiming it's paranoia. How many Ilan Halimis do you need?

    • "I notice that the picture in your linked article is from 1938. Surely, there must be some recent photos of this 'serious problem?'"

      " And speaking of European anti-Semitism, I think an up-tick is virtually inevitable in view of US support for the neo-Nazi hooligans in the Ukraine."

      OK, then. Yeah, that's it. I can't think of a reason why WSWS or Counterpunch would support stronger ties between Ukraine and Russia, or call members of the Orange Revolution neo-Nazis. LOL. Blame Jews for that one too. LOL.

    • "Total bullshit! The survey deals with the perception of anti-Semitism, not with actual anti-Semitism."

      Spoken like a true apologist for bigotry. German Lefty, if you saw a poll that said that 75% of African-Americans feel discriminated against, would you tell them their feelings were "bullshit" because the poll measured perception? Would you say the same to German Turks? "Hey Turks of Kreutzberg! Your feelings of racism are "bullshit!"

      Here's a poll of Europeans:

      Here's a long article about the issue:

      Here is an article about antisemitism in Germany:

    • Did you read the article?

  • Stirring debate on BDS, 'NYT' allows readers to speak out about inequality
    • "Cohen sure tells the truth here. Majority of Jews do not want one state. They do not want a real democracy. They do not want diversity. They do not want equal rights for all. That is very clear."

      As usual, you're cavalier with the lives of Jews, and dismissive of their legitimate concerns. I hope no one is cavalier about your life.

    • Nice try. But you're not boycotting some guy who's torturing minors. You're boycotting the entire country, which includes small, innocent children who have done nothing wrong. And you're boycotting it because of the religion of most of the inhabitants. I don't think you can deny either of those facts.

      Moreover, you're not boycotting anyone else, such as, say, Saudi Arabia, where people get tortured all the time.

      So clearly, it's not about torture, and it's not about the religion of state. It's about the religion of most of the inhabitants of the state. Your target is the Jews.

    • "But the Allies were strongly against the genocide, were generally safe, and certainly weren’t expelling them. "

      You're missing the point. Poland wasn't a safe place;over 90% of the Jewish population in Poland died. France wasn't a safe place. Neither was the Netherlands. And unlike Germany, where Jews had a window of several years in between 1933 and 1939 to experience Hitler and to get out, Jews elsewhere did not have that advantage, and thus, did not flee in great numbers. And much as the United States and Great Britain were safe, they weren't exactly opening their doors to refugees.

      "Why would greater safety be found in Palestine where there was a civil war with Palestinians and the neighboring countries were actively against the project?"

      There wasn't a civil war in 1939-45, and regardless, that situation was surely more safe than living under Nazi rule. In the 1948 War, the Yishuv lost one percent of its population, around 6,000 out of 600,000. In Europe, more the 50% of the Jews lost their lives.

      In any event, I don't believe the case for a Jewish state rests solely on this issue; the case is painfully easy to make once one looks at the entire world in reality, rather than at Israel in a vacuum.

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
    • "How many Jews have been lynched in the US? One, according to Jeffrey Blankfort. How many Blacks have been lynched in the US? I don’t know, but I suspect more than 43. How many Jews versus Blacks have been killed in race riots (pogroms?) in the land of the free?"

      What on earth does this have to do with anything? Do you think the 43 Jews killed in the 1903 pogrom were the only Jews killed in Russian history? There were another 19 killed in Kishniev in 1905.

      " No doubt he focuses on Jewish achievement and Jewish persecution. That is his job as part of the Jewish/Zionist doctrinal system."

      Oh please. Another antisemite on Mondowhackjobs.

    • "you are getting closer phil…
      who murdered anna demidova…
      nothing has changed; tear down and destroy..
      the state within the state"

      What the hell does this mean?

    • "Would such parsing occur on MW about, say, Ariel Sharon and Sabra and Shatila? Or contextualizing the flow chart from leadership on down of Israeli racism towards Arabs or African immigrants? It wouldn’t."

      Exactly. What is Phil's point here, exactly? Zipperstein himself chastises Phil for an obsession with the Zionist angle of the story.

      So what's your point, Phil? Jews were victims of the pogroms. There is no question at all that Jews in Russia faced a hard life and that the government was antisemitic. That's not a debatable point.

      "The point is not to white wash, the point is to understand the dynamics at work in it."

      Oh, really? I think the point is to take another (completely irrelevant) potshot at Zionism, and I don't think Phil gives a rat's patootie about the "dynamics at work". I think Phil is engaged in a softcore form of Holocaust revisionism, the sort that is common here. Either it comes in the form of blaming Jews for not pushing for the memorialization of other groups who were massacred or died in large numbers during World War II (as if we had a special responsibility to promote everybody's memory, and other groups did not), or it comes in claiming that Jews didn't have it so bad in Europe and Russia, and that thus, the Zionists were somehow lying when they said that Jews in Russia and Europe were fundamentally unsafe. These all play into classical antisemitic tropes about Jews caring only for themselves and about Jews using their supernatural power to oppress the rest of the world.

      The gambit here is that if one can take episodes in history like the pogroms, and find some issue with them, one can amplify that issue beyond all reason, and somehow undermine the fact that antisemitism was endemic in Europe and elsewhere, and then claim that Jews had no right to any kind of self-determination, and have no such right today. So, when Phil deals with the Holocaust, in which more than half of Europe's Jewish population was murdered, he doesn't care about the victims nearly as much as he cares about historical curios like the Kastner story or the correspondence between the Stern Gang and European fascists. When he deals with the Kishniev pogroms, he doesn't care that scores of Jews were killed by their neighbors in a country where they faced pervasive discrimination and where many Jews lived in grinding poverty. He focuses on how directly the government was involved. This is called missing the forest for the branches on the tree.

  • Praising Judis, Heer says Jews who abandoned liberalism for Israel are coming home
    • This is really an old story already, but the reality is the vast, vast, majority of American Jewish liberals (including Beinart) support Israel as a Jewish state. They are critical of settlement policy and have been for awhile. They're not going to become anti-Zionists, and if anything, the antisemitism problem in the anti-Zionist movement may do as much as anything else to keep them firmly in the Zionist camp. For them, justice for Palestinian Arabs is a state of their own.

      Liberal Zionist orgs like J Street dwarf anti-Zionist organizations like JVP.

  • 'NPR' praises Israeli assassination program in faulting US one
    • "So you value Israelis over Palestinians, Yonatan responded."

      LOL. I should hope so, when it's a war. I'd say Palestinians fighters value Palestinians over Israelis.

  • NYT obit of rabbi left out his urging Sharon: 'Very simply, wipe them out'
    • "I think he was urging the usual Israeli tactic, where they use indiscriminate firepower without caring who dies."

      No, he wasn't. He was talking about Palestinian militants, the people who perpetrate terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and carry arms.

      "The Presbyterian study guide got it right."

      No, it didn't. It simply took his quote out of context.

  • 'Jews For Palestinian Right of Return' endorse American Studies Association boycott of Israeli academic institutions
    • "Yes always better late than never."

      As you never fail to point out every time there is a story about some Jewish group supporting your cause.

      You really are a petty person, Kathleen. I have no idea what your problem is. You're not honest, either; there have been Jewish pro-Palestinian activists since there have been pro-Palestinian activists. What motivates your petty childish need to make this statement every time Phil posts something about a Jewish group? Were you beaten up by a Jewish person as a child, or something?

      "Retired Prof Tom Mayer mentioned that Gilad Atzmon had questioned his willingness to sign a Jew’s only petition."

      Oh. You're a follower of well-known bigot Gilad Atzmon.

      "Can anyone take a shot at explaining what the purpose of 'Jews only' petitions are all about?"

      Well, see, it's like this. It's a Jewish organization of Jews who take a political view that is at odds with most Jews, so they call themselves Jews for x. Since they are Jews for x, when they sign a petition, the signatories are necessarily Jews. If the signatories of a Jews for petitions weren't Jews, the organization would not be called Jews for. It would be called something else.

  • Derfner: The boycott isn't economic warfare, it's psychological
    • "Israel has nothing."

      LOL. It exports hundreds of billions of dollars of stuff each year and has one of the most dynamic high-tech industries in the world. And it has natural gas now.

      Boy, are you dumb, seafoid.

  • After big loss, AIPAC goes... Progressive!
  • 'Washington Post' runs article denouncing gross censorship by JCC
    • Even though I personally would not care if this guy came to speak at the JCC, I'm still not clear on why the Jewish community owes anyone a platform. I'm not aware of the BDS movement giving mainstream Israelis a platform to explain their views. I'm not aware of Islamic organizations extending invitations to dissidents like Ayaan Hirst Ali or Irshad Manji. I'm not aware of civil rights organizations extending invitations to anti-affirmative action activists. I'm not aware of Evangelical Christian organizations extending invitations to Richard Dawkins. I'm not aware of environmental organizations extending invitations to people who deny climate change. The organized Jewish community, like any social or political community, has a perfect right to make rules about who they will invite and who they will not invite.

  • At Sochi Olympics, Israel is in... Europe!
    • "Michael (Hophmi), To be called ignorant by you, I consider to be an honor. Your posting here only reinforces the points that I and most of the contributors and commenters are making. I would not dignify your comment with an answer, but I will inform you that I permitted it to be posted."

      Well, many thanks. Your post was truly disingenuous, Ira. You could argue that Israel should be rejected from the EOC. That's honest enough. But to assert that Israel is there by choice because it wants to be European rather than Asian, especially when the truth is exactly the opposite, that just discredits you, and of course, does nothing to help the Palestinians.

    • Put through, please. This entire post is completely inaccurate.

    • Israel was a member of the Asian Games Federation until 1981.

      There is one reason, and one reason only, that they are not still part of the Asian contingent, and that is the Arab states, who pressured the Asian Games Federation to exclude Israel.

      After 13 years of belonging nowhere, Israel became a member of the EOC.

      So the notion that Israel is in the European group because it wants to be is your own brand of abject nonsense, and your omission of the reason it's there is your own brand of abject ignorance.

  • France to perform CPR on Scarlett Johansson's image -- award for film career!
  • Canadian groups press Neil Young not to play Israel
    • "i think we can all guess pretty accurately what hophmi’s thoughts might be on the video considering his referring to the BDS movement as “anti-jewish,” which it, of course, is not. "

      Of course, it is. There are dozens of Muslim states around the world with human rights problems. You say BDS is a human rights movement, but apply it only to the one Jewish state. You may not think it is antisemitic. You may not be antisemitic. But BDS is very much an example of institutional antisemitism.

    • "Why ruin your reputation now and for this?"

      Playing in Israel is not going to ruin his reputation. Signing on to an anti-Jewish boycott will.

  • Goldberg and Cohen stoke fears of BDS
    • "often Jewish led Islamaphobia"

      Only an antisemite could take a look at Islamophobia, a disease that afflicts the Evangelical community and the European right, both of which are several dozen times the size of the Jewish community, and call it "Jewish-led".

    • "Thank you. I am sad, but not surprised, to see that hophmi is still peddling this gross distortion of the term self-determination here."

      There's no gross distortion. There's only your political campaign to elevate one national group above the other. Just don't tell me it's about human rights.

    • "So, stop impugning the reputations of BDS supporters because of your own fears. There’s no requirement for a human rights struggle to take a political stance on one or two states."

      Norman Finkelstein said exactly the same thing; you guys aren't honest about what your goals are.

      I have to laugh at these protests that you don't by and large advocate a one-state solution that would bring an end to Jewish self-determination. Anyone who believes that has clearly never read Mondoweiss or the comments here.

      As I've said elsewhere, you can't claim the mantle of human rights if you're not willing to condemn Palestinian terrorism or internal Palestinian repression.

  • 'NYT' concedes Goodman-Kershner relationship has caused some to question fairness of its Israel reporting
    • "If one of those writers was in a relationship with the country the writer is supposedly critically covering, he or she should be disclosed. Or do you favor keeping readers ignorant of potential bias?"

      It's clearly not the usual practice of newspapers to disclose the personal lives of their journalists. And there's a good reason for that. How far does this go? Should the paper disclose whom Kershner associates with, who her friends are? Maybe where she went to school? How about how much money she has? Or perhaps her husband is not enough. Maybe we need to disclose HIS associates, because she might be influenced by them as well. Or maybe it's important to know the friends of her friends.

      Or maybe we should just stop assuming that people can't be professionals unless they can prove that they're hermetically sealed off from any human being who might have an opinion.

    • How many times have you called for the relationships of Arab journalists to be disclosed? How about Arab stringers who work for Western newspapers?

    • "It is pure propaganda for Israel. "

      LOL. Because a Syrian Arab could not possibly like Israel in any capacity, right? No, Syrians have to be like pro-Palestinian Western activists - full of hate no matter what the circumstances. That's what Arabs are, right? Israel-haters. You're quite the essentialist.

      "Many others are helping Syrian refugees, and you don’t see pieces celebrating those countries for charity."

      How many of those countries have fought several wars with Syria and Syrian proxy armies?

  • Free it or f--- it, Palestine comes to Los Angeles
    • I didn't say that they were non-Zionist. I said that their work has nothing to do with Israel. By the way, Shmuel, there's an American flag there too. How do you know that wasn't the reason the mural was displaced? Should Workmen's Circle be held responsible for everything the US did in Iraq and Afghanistan because they displayed an American flag?

      "Really? Have you met many such Palestinians?"


      "Because the ones I meet tend to resent symbols of the ideology/movement and state that have destroyed their lives and the lives of their people, and to be frustrated by the fact that this movement/state enjoys so much support (even “without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy”)."

      Yeah, maybe. But watch the Sheikh Jarrah video that was on the Guardian website last year, the one about the settlers taking over that house in East Jerusalem. The family is amazed that Israelis would try to help them. That's because they assume that the Jews are tribal and care only about their own, just as the Palestinians are tribal and care only about their own. I mean, it makes sense, doesn't it? That's why it's a conflict. Both sides are dug in. Of course, there are moderates on both sides who desire co-existence, but the BDS movement won't have any of that; they're for divisiveness and demonizing.

      In general, I learned a long time ago that it's a lot easier to talk to Palestinians about the Middle East than it is to talk to Western activists about it, on both sides. Activists are always a lot crazier average than the people on the ground are.

    • "I would tend to agree with you, but there’s something about the mural that precludes such an interpretation, and that is the presence of the Israeli flag. If the organisation is non-Zionist, why does it have a Zionist flag on a public artistic expression of its values, and would that, in itself (issues of vandalism aside) not warrant a big “Free Palestine”?"

      Because people take some pride in the symbol and believe in the right to Jewish self-determination without necessarily supporting every Israeli government policy?

      "What is someone sincerely dedicated to the Palestinian cause (for all the right reasons) going to feel (even knowing rationally that generalisation is bad), when even non-Zionist Jewish organisations like the Workmen’s Circle identify with Israel?"

      Hmm. Well, if they're some dumb college-kid Western activist, they're probably feel self-righteous anger, and think that destroying someone else's mural would be an act of glorious revolution. If they're a Palestinian, I'd bet that they understand that Jews take pride in their state, and that they'd hope for the day when they can take pride in a state of their own.

    • "Sometimes a little expression of defiance just helps you to breathe easier."

      Who, you or the Palestinians?

    • The Workmen's Circle is a "liberal Zionist organization?"

      What garbage. This is how you excuse antisemitism in your movement.

      The Workmen's Circle is a social justice organization. It engages in labor activism, protects immigrant's rights, and preserves Yiddish. There isn't a word about Israel in its mission statement.

  • Gaining the 'valuable hatred of their enemies,' boycott movement is educating others

      This is abject nonsense. It's a movement to force a particular political outcome for Palestinians in their quest for self-determination. And it's a movement to destroy the state of Israel. You spend far more time talking about Israelis than you do speaking about Palestinians.

      You people say next to nothing about daily repression of Palestinians by their leaders in Gaza and in the West Bank. You say nothing about the development of democratic institutions in Palestine. Therefore, you cannot possibly claim to care about Palestinian human rights. You care about Palestinian claims, maybe. But human rights are secondary for you.

  • Student who exposed 'leftist' teacher is honored at Knesset, while teacher gets violent threats
  • Revealed: Right-wing group StandWithUs' strategy to combat Israel Apartheid Week
    • Brett,

      I wouldn't bother with this here. I'm sure you're telling the truth, but people here will not believe you no matter what you say.

    • "So what are they going to talk about now that 75% of the content is gone? Calling out Kerry for being an anti Semite?"

      Maybe they'll remind all of you that, in fact, they helped passed several rounds of sanctions on Iran, and that this was pretty much the sole reason Iran came the table.

      You guys always seem to miss the big picture with these stories, because your assumptions are always wrong. The only people who think AIPAC sustained a big loss are the people who think it's an all-powerful cabal. This is an act of political maturity that shows that bipartisanship is much more important to AIPAC than a meaningless sanctions bill.

    • "I find it telling that the chief campus event each year about child abuse is something that references only perverts."

      Your analogy is ridiculous. When the Yishuv was under occupation in the 1930s and 1940s, it did more than just bash the British. You seem determined to learn no historical lesson ever.

    • I find it telling that the chief campus event each year about Palestine is something that references only Israel.

      And to say, that, yes, there are pro-Israel campus organizations that help pro-Israel students organize, just as there are pro-Palestinian campus organizations that help pro-Palestinian students organize.

      We share one thing in common; we both organize around Israel. I hope one day there is a group that actually organizes around Palestine.

  • 'Haaretz' analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel
  • 'NYT' highlights AIPAC's first failure in 30 years, as de Blasio and Hillary jump on Iran bandwagon
    • I'll say it again. AIPAC does not win every battle it fights. You've set up this straw man whereby any battle AIPAC loses is some great calamity for AIPAC because AIPAC wins every battle.

      At the end of the day, we've had years and years of sanctions that ultimately brought Iran to the table. You'd presumably blame "the lobby" for those sanctions in the first place. If this is your POV, you'd have to acknowledge that the "the lobby" is responsible for bringing Iran to the negotiating table.

  • SodaStream stock sinks, and Bloomberg cites 'sanctions over Jewish settlements'
    • "Kind of odd that the best known and hardest pushed product from the self proclaimed “start-up nation” is a low tech gimmick."

      Gimmick? It's a seltzer machine. The company's been around over 100 years. What's the gimmick? Not every product requires TV advertising. This is a relatively small company compared to high-tech ones.

    • Ah, the things you can claim when you dispense with any responsibility to examine cause and effect. You must have caused the snowstorm in NY too.

      In case you missed it, the entire NASDAQ and Dow were down over 2% yesterday. So far today, SodaStream is up about half a point.

  • After all that buildup-- SodaStream ad was flat
    • "Keep telling yourself BDS is fringe, if that helps."

      I don't have to tell myself that. The polling shows it.

      "What Palestinian rights has Birnbaum stood up for?"

      "weren’t you more than a little surprised at the strong language in the Financial Times editorial? "

      No. FT doesn't like Israeli settlements, and its editors are not huge fans of Israel in general.

      " And does it really help a small company like Sodastream to have one of the most powerful voices in the financial world denounce it?"

      I don't think it makes a huge difference. SodaStream's success will be based on the market, like most companies. That's the key thing. And in the long-term, it should be fine.

    • "No one en masse, is going to ever buy SodaStream products."

      Eh? It's about a $900m company with 25 plants. Someone buys them.

      "10 million hits is because its ScarJo and the Superbowl. Not because SS products are suddenly going to take over the world."

      I'm not aware of anyone claiming that SodaStream will be taking over the world.

      "If that were the case, their brand wouldn’t be doing so poorly."

      It isn't doing so poorly. There's more to investing than the stock price.

      "The BDS movement isn’t targeting apartheid profiteers because they are Jewish. Its because they are apartheid profiteers."

      Uh-huh. But you're not targeting Coke, a profiteer off labor abuses and environmental abuses.

      "Not to mention BDS is a Palestinian initiative."

      Except that these Palestinians don't seem to support you. So that would make the SodaStream campaign a Western initiative.

      "And yet, you still call them Nazis."

      Lying is a sin, Cliff. And repeating a lie over and over again, well, that's what the Nazis were very good at. You must have learned something from them.

      "You clearly have no friends other than possibly other cultists like yourself."

      LOL. Project much?

      "I guess it makes it easy for you to hate non-Jews when your cult emboldens you and gives your worthless life meaning."

      LOL. Ad hominem much?

    • "SodaStream Drops Amid Sanctions Over Jewish Settlements"

      Yeah. It doesn't mean the "sanctions" caused the "drop." It just means one happened at the same time as the other. The whole NASDAQ was sharply off yesterday.

      "who scarlett chose at this juncture is irrelevant insofar as palestinians are concerned"

      I know. That was my point.

      " so your allegations about very few people outside the partisan communities is bogus, more and more people are choosing one side over the other"

      I've been around partisans on both sides for around 15 years now. I've seen the media makes lots of noise over something most people aren't interested in. The media has, for instance, made much more noise about Syria than it has about this. Do you think most Americans know much about Syria?

      "swelling those partisan communities (thanks to the publicity) and we are nowhere even approaching the end. we’re just beginning. "

      We'll see. Until I see hard numbers, this is all so much huffing and puffing.

      "scarlett’s ambassadorship has just been launched and her sticking with sodastream is going to provide endless coverage"

      I wouldn't count on it. The national attention span is not that long, and people clearly do not care enough.

      "and your little conniption fit there at the end, the ‘ignorant/ruthless/nasty/nazi’ ending in ‘congrats/i’ll pray for you’… phff. you sound like a very sore looser indeed."

      As usual, Annie, I'm simply pointing out that you're no better than the extremists in my community, who ignore all nuance. I've said many times that people here and the extreme right-wingers deserve one another. You're both deceitful. You both engage in hate speech toward the other side. You both abuse anyone who disagrees with your orthodoxy and advances a more nuanced POV. It's really the times we live in, where ideology is more important than truth, and yelling and screaming is more important than making peace.

      And as I've said many times, you'd accomplish much more for the Palestinians by helping them start companies like SodaStream rather than tearing down those companies in Israel. The entrepreneurial spirit, and the opportunity, is certainly there.

    • "stock keeps plunging, worst since i’ve been keeping track"

      Yes, a stock can go down and a company can still be healthy. The machine and cartridges sell well; so far the flavors do not. It'll stabilize, don't you worry. They're certainly turning a profit.

      "numbers do not lie."

      Yep, and most of the numbers for Sodastream are quite positive.

      "the difference between yours and mine hops, is yours don’t necessarily mean viewers like the ad"

      14000 thumbs up to 3000 thumbs down. The numbers say most people like it.

      "whereas stock prices represent investor trust in the corporation."

      It's a small cap, Annie. They can be a bit volatile. But I don't think you'll find many analysts saying SodaStream is in mortal danger. It's turning a profit.

      As far "who won," most people think no one won.

      Both the Independent and Mail visited the factory, and reported back that the Palestinians working there are against the boycott.

      Oxfam America clearly did not support this decision, and they still haven't put anything about it on their website.

      And the biggest problem for you is that at the end of the day, very few people outside the partisan communities have any clue what this controversy is about.

      I'm also familiar with the way activists always feel the need to claim big victories. It's important for fundraising and morale, regardless of what the truth is.

      You guys are very invested in claiming victory, and in putting down anything Israeli. It's still not clear how this strategy helps Palestinians, especially since the outcome has been to risk the jobs of hundreds of them, but I know it feels good for Westerners like us who live in boring countries without real conflicts to contend with.

      And of course, there's the little problem with the outcome, which is that in the end, Johansson chose Sodastream over BDS.

      But I'll agree with you on this one, Annie. I don't think that there was a way for the BDS movement to lose this one, because it was not outcome specific. You guys wanted to make as much noise as possible to make your small fringe movement seem much bigger than it actually is, to make what is non-controversial for most Americans seem controversial, and to scare others celebrities from doing anything remotely Israeli. And perhaps you've succeeded in that. This was the symbolic victory. You showed that it didn't matter that the head of SodaStream was a peacenik who had stood up for Palestinian rights, or that the Palestinians working at SodaStream were happy to be there, or that most likely, Mishor Adumim will end up in Israel. All that mattered was that the factory was in a settlement. The pro-Israel community did not get very involved fighting you on it, because, after all, Johansson chose to leave Oxfam.

      So, even though a number of journalists do not see this as a BDS win, and even though every indicator shows that most Americans could not care less about it, and that those who like Israel far outweigh those who do not, the ruthlessness you showed in pursuing this issue, the sheer ignorance of any nuance, the nastiness (the way you personalized the issue for Johansson and made it seem like she was some lowlife who favored money above all) - you've probably put the fear the God into a few American celebrities and made a people with a tendency toward paranoia a little more paranoid about the success of a movement that reminds many of them of the Nazi boycott of the Second World War.

      My congratulations to you, and I'm praying for your soul.

    • "Zionism is culturally adrift from the West. "

      Yes, yes, it's Zionism that made this ad unsuccessful! Zionism designed the ad from its offices on Madison Avenue. Yes, that was it.

      Over 10 million hits on youtube and counting.

  • Oppression by consensus in Israeli 'democracy'
    • "Again, no mention of minorities."

      "100,000 students from every part of Israel and every social and economic level, Jews across the entire spectrum, Arabs, Muslims, Druze and Bedouins."

      That would be a mention of minorities.

      "Number two, you’d be up in arms if a US school getting state funds was”fostering” Christian “identity and empowerment”, or alternatively “white” or “WASP” “identity and empowerment” regardless of whether they threw in a sop to “minorities”."

      You're mincing words. ORT isn't teaching overtly religious subjects. They mean Jewish in a secular and national sense. Public schools in America celebrate Christmas and Easter - in a secular sense, just as they instill American values in the national sense.

      "Number three, aren’t you diverting from the main theme of the post, instead choosing to focus on a minor detail from Abarbanel’s analysis?"

      I think it's a major detail. She asserts that ORT openly claims to instill Jewish values in minority populations, and now, admits that the translation is vague and it may, in fact, mean something entirely different.

      But to address it on the merits, how much time do you think Fox News would spend on the story of a teacher who told a high school class that the American Army was not moral and that she was ashamed of it? What kind of reception do you think the teacher would have in, say, in red states like Kansas or Texas, where military service is comparatively high? How long do you think such a teacher would last in town?

    • "ORT was established for Jewish youth originally, and it may well offer education to non Jewish youth as well in the countries in which it operates, I don’t know. "

      I do.

      In truth, most of its services are offered to non-Jewish youth, and if you didn't know much about the organization (it was started by Jews in the Pale of the Settlement to help poor Jews), you probably would not guess that it was a Jewish organization.

      "It’s not clear to me what ‘empowerment of heritages for minority populations really means"

      I would guess it means that they teach minorities about their own heritages. That would be the obvious conclusion, wouldn't it?

      "The ORT system in Israel is Zionist and the rightness of Israel being there as an exclusively Jewish state at the expense of the Palestinians is never questioned. "

      Yeah, but that's not unusual. American schools don't teach the United States as being founded at the expense of Native Americans or slaves. We teach a little about it, of course, but we gloss over it for the most part.

    • "The primary component in the vision of the ORT network, as developed by the network’s CEO Mr Zvi Peleg is that ‘the network will develop in its students social and cultural values – with an emphasis on the values of human dignity, generosity to others, the community and the state, through the implementation of programs to instill Jewish identity and Israeli roots in the Jewish population and through strengthening these legacies in the minority population."


      Google translate says:

      "[T]he network will develop in its students social and cultural values ​​- emphasizing the values ​​of human dignity, the values ​​of helping others, community and nation and in implementing programs of identity Jewish Roots of Israeli Jewish population and empowering minority population heritages."

      Very different ending. translates it as "empowering minority legacies."

      Can we get a confirmation on this? Is it empowering minority legacies or empowering Jewish legacies in minority populations?

      ORT is a worldwide organization that provides scientific and technical education to people around the world, by the way. It's not just Israel or Jews, though the organization has Jewish origins.

  • Shaking up Zionism: A review of 'Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide'
    • "Especially when you make demands that have no legal basis, demand to keep non-Israeli territory illegally acquired by war, illegally annexed, illegally settled, while completely ignoring International Law, the UN charter, relative conventions and hundreds of USNC resolutions giving you the opportunity to have peace by living up to your legal obligations."

      Especially when you repeat the same crap over and over again, talknic, like anyone cares. We got your POV, talknic. You're pro-Palestinian. We get it, dude.

    • "It’s hard to do justice to the extraordinary new booklet Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide in a brief review, because of the breadth of the topics it manages to cover in its 74 pages – from the history of Zionism, to issues in Christian theology and Christian-Jewish relations, to the grim prospect of Israel’s spiral into racism and fascism, to examinations of current Jewish and Muslim attempts to make sense of Zionism’s ill-fated ascendancy, and much more. But one theme runs through the entire piece — the destructiveness of religious and nationalist exceptionalism."

      I get it, Mark, you're a pro-Palestinian activist, just like everybody who wrote praise for your booklet. Hint: It's not hard to get praise from your fellow activists in the movement. What's hard is making peace. Writing polemical booklets is easy.

  • I stayed away from Israel just as I stayed away from Nazi Germany -- Hugh Trevor-Roper
  • The demand for a demilitarized state is telling Palestinians to give away the right to be free
  • Scarlett Johansson's new pals: group that is trying to break Obama's Iran deal
    • "Now you are going to be used for political propaganda by a bunch of swivel-eyed fanatical fundamentalists"

      Irony alert.

      "That cute Hollywood image is about to be mired in some desperate slimeball campaigning, sexist and racist to boot. "

      I believe it was Roger Waters who referred to her as "undeniably cute." He'd be the sexist one there.

  • Scarlett Johansson's new image (grossout alert)
    • "you might be on to something. But do think it is money too."

      She's making $20m for the Avengers movie. According to the Daily Mail, she made around $400K for the Sodastream ad. That suggests that it wasn't about money, even though the Daily Mail suggests that she likes money because she didn't grow up rich.

    • "Had she dumped SS rather than Oxfam, her name in Hollywood would be about a toxic as Mel Gibson’s."

      This is silly conjecture. I doubt it would have affected her in Hollywood, but I do think Fox News would have gone after her.

    • "Henry here’s my question: Two weeks ago SJ surely knew that this was going to be a PR debacle for her."

      But it wasn't Phil. That's what you just don't get, because you insist on drinking your own Kool-Aid. The only people who care about this stuff are the partisans. The vast majority of the public has no clue what this controversy is about; most of them probably have no clue what Oxfam is. They'll just see a good commercial for a seltzer maker with Scarlett Johansson in it. And in the partisan community, the pro-Israel community outguns the pro-Palestinian community by a large margin. This is where the large gap between your decibel level and your actual influence comes into stark relief.

      "Had she dumped SS rather than Oxfam, she would have looked so much better, been excused by everyone but the far right"

      No, she would not have. The right, through Fox News, would have gone after her and Oxfam.

      "the liberal Zionists would have applauded her without saying they were for boycott"

      I doubt it. I think we would have ignored the issue to avoid giving the impression that we supported any kind of BDS movement.

      " I wonder if this had nothing to do with religion, ideology, or money, but she’d painted herself into a corner contractually and didn’t know how to execute the courage turn"

      I think it was actually pretty simple. She worked with Oxfam for eight years. Before this issue was resolved, they publicly criticized her on their website. I would not continue to lend my name to an organization that treated me like that if I were her, particularly not one that takes millions of dollars from Coke. There are plenty of humanitarian organizations out there. Oxfam is not the only one on Earth.

  • The real SodaStream commercial they don't want you to see
  • 'Without doubt, the biggest loser in this well publicized BDS campaign was SodaStream': Reactions to Johansson leaving Oxfam
    • LOL. The reactions of the interested witnesses.

      My reaction: People will forget about this story in a week, and the main goal of this PR campaign, which was to get more Americans in the pro-Palestinian camp, will be frustrated.

      Oxfam America is not even publicizing the news on their webpage.

      As I've said elsewhere, Oxfam, a large recipient of blood money from Coca-Cola, a company with an awful human rights, labor, and environmental record, has little moral credibility to criticize ScarJo for allying herself with a company that has good labor practices, makes a popular product, and does it in an environmentally safe way. The company is run by a peacenik who is an outspoken advocate of Palestinian rights, and most of his Palestinian employees are on ScarJo's side.

      As usual, BDS puts parochial politics above human rights, labor rights, and peace.

  • Scarlett Johansson not only abandons Oxfam but throws it under the bus
    • "I do not see anything bad coming from lots of PR that implies that Oxfam is pro-BDS. Anything that makes link between Israel, illegal settlements and BDS is good publicity, as far as I am concerned."

      It will hurt Oxfam America. And it should. That's the price of putting Palestinian advocacy above human rights, labor rights, and peace, especially when Coca-Cola is your pimp.

  • Lost in Occupation: Scarlett Johansson ends relationship with Oxfam to stick with SodaStream (Updated)
  • 'One state for two people' -- Tom Friedman's crystal ball
    • "You’re insane and there is no legal basis for any of your stupid ziopoop demands"

      And I'm sure you'll continue to repeat that mantra up to the last Palestinian.

      Ziopoop. That's how grown-up people speak. I have no idea why your supporters in the United States are outnumbered 8-1.

    • "They always talk about the one-state solution as if it were the worst-case scenario"

      "My response would be: 'So what?'"

      Yeah, and that's why you don't matter. Because you have no dog in this fight, and thus, you have no regard for the risks to the people who actually have to bear the burden of your utopian ideas.

      The only people I know of who think one-state solutions involving multiple ethnic groups are great ideas are colonial powers, who created one-state solutions through the Arab Middle East and in Africa. It has not worked out very well.

      Oh yes; Russia thinks it's a great idea too, especially where the Chechens and Dagestanis are concerned.

    • "i didn’t hear phil referencing all past “Western societies”, he was referencing the US. why use the “as if” argument anyway?"

      Phil's point is that Jews are doing fine because they've achieved positions of power and influence in the US, as evidenced by Jewish Supreme Court justices. I think that's naive in historical context.

      "why not just say ‘Jews have repeatedly attained positions of power in Western societies so it’s normal for them to do so in the US’?"

      Because my point is that the attainment of positions of power by a minority group is not synonymous with safety, and never has been, for Jews or anyone else.

    • "Hophmi I think that’s absurd; first Jewish S.C. justice was 1916 or so. We have seen a sea change in US society."

      It's not absurd. It's simple history. There were plenty of successful professional German (and French and Polish and Hungarian and Austrian) Jews for a very long time before the Nazis took power. It didn't take much to reverse all of that. Just a bad economy, a lot of latent hatred, and the right leader.

      No one is saying that America and Germany are in any way the same. But to expect Jews to feel collectively safe as Americans because of a couple of generations of acceptance is naive. There's a reason for all the vigilance. It's not just paranoia. The fact that Louis Brandeis became a justice in 1916 only proves that significant societal antisemitism can exist in a society where Jews attain positions of power and influence.

    • " And we’re doing fine in the U.S.; at the last State of the Union speech, most of the Supreme Court Justices in attendance were Jewish. "

      I truly cannot understand why you keep repeating this as if Jews never attained positions of power in previous Western societies. I agree; America is great, but Jews have "made it" before.

  • Pete Seeger on Palestine (in 1967)
    • A great folk singer has died; let's exploit his memory for political purposes.

      Anyway, I'm sure Pete Seeger's words about Jews have no place for 2000 years in which to live as first-class citizens will be ignored by all those here.

  • New York Senate passes bill punishing ASA over Israel boycott
    • "ASA’s members, after informed debate,"

      You keep tellin' yourself that.

    • "but the Zionists are a very small minority who have made many enemies"

      LOL. 56-4 - Yeah, that says small minority. Somehow, I think that if it were 59-1, you'd say we were a really very small minority.

      And we outnumber you guys about 8-1 in American support. So if we're a very small minority, I shudder to think what that makes you guys.

  • Vote at the Guardian: Should Oxfam sever ties with Scarlett Johansson?
  • De Blasio's leftwing base is enraged by AIPAC moment
    • "Hophmi if you think this is about capitalism all I can say is good luck to you."

      It's not just about capitalism, but the movers and shakers behind the pro-Palestinian movement in the West come out of that tradition, and that is one reason why they are obsessed with Israel, (and why the obsession started in 1967) but not with other, much worse human rights situations. Israel reminds them of everything they hate - it's a state that chose the West over the USSR, and a state that is identified as the US's ally in the region. Saddam Hussein could kill thousands of people with gas, King Saud could burn women in schools and forbid them to drive, and the Mullahs of Iran could hang homosexuals, when they're not chopping people's hands off for stealing, but hey, these are all countries that can claim to be victims of colonialism, so who cares?

      "Your assumption that this – anti-Zionism – is about capitalism is similarily stupid."

      I've been around anti-Zionists much longer than this site has been around. I can well understand how Israel's treatment of Palestinians in the territories, in a country with a high media presence, can make the Palestinians a cause celebre, but there's a deeper root cause than that, because without the anti-capitalist background, it's difficult to understand of the human rights community with this issue and the comparative non-focus on much more serious human rights situations.

    • "Zionism won inside Jewish life"

      You're confirming what I've long said - many of the people inside of the pro-Palestinian movement, especially the older ones, are disgruntled over the fact that socialism failed, and that their fight against capitalism has failed, spectacularly. These same folks used to insist, in books like Zionism and Antisemitism, that there was no antisemitism in the Soviet Union.

      "Anti-Zionism is a long tradition. "

      Not really. It's a religious tradition borne out of the belief that Jews are condemned to live under oppressive exile until the coming of the Messiah. The intellectual part of the tradition is largely a reaction to modern Zionism, and grows out of a tradition of naivete toward Communist dictatorship. Neither one is worth preserving.

      "His wife and son and daughter would be cavity searched at Ben Gurion if they weren’t with him on his trips. That needs to be explained."

      You mean, lied about?

      "That diversity has to be brought home to de Blasio. He insulted us."

      Good luck.

  • Truman always opposed a religious state, but caved to 'fanatical' Zionist lobby
    • "Before Zionism placed itself in the Middle East there were no religiously defined states."

      Huh? Are you nuts? What the heck do you think the place was like, exactly? Islam's been the official religion for over 1000 years.

      "And those that are, ie, KSA and Qatar (but even there it is loosening up) only US and British tribal puppets were anointed."

      Iran is not a religiously defined state? Saudi Arabia is not a religiously defined state? Egypt is not a religiously-defined state?

      "Roosevelt promised not to allow a religious Zio state in the region. He knew what that would mean for the region and how destructive it would be for US interests. "

      Yeah, it might hurt US access to oil. But that interest is OK when it hurts the Jews, right?

      "Jews have always had a secure place in the so-called Arab world."

      As second-class citizens paying a protection tax.

    • "Despite the maelstrom of the end of WWII most of the countries in the region were at the time focussed westward, and hoping to modernise in a western fashion."

      Oh please. There are how many countries in the region? And how many "modernized in a Western fashion?"


      "This would never suit Israel, which *wanted* to be seen a s the ‘villa in the jungle’, so democratic and modernising movements were quashed throughout the region"

      Please. Yeah, it's Israel's fault that Saudi Arabia is the way it is. It's Israel's fault that Saddam Hussein was a bloodthirsty tyrant. It's Israel's fault that Bahrain is Bahrain. It's Israel's fault that Nasser was a dictator. Assad is Israel's fault. Blah, blah, blah. The Arabs are never responsible for their own destiny. It's always SOMEBODY ELSE'S FAULT.

    • You've got to be kidding. Do you really think that Truman's support of a binational state would have resulted in a state where church and state were separated? Look at the region. Is there a single state with more church-state separation than Israel?

      As I've said so many times, just because some Westerner wants it does o not mean it had any relationship to justice or to the reality on the ground.

      And by the way, are Jews entitled to any of your justice? Or only idealized Palestinians?

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