Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8176 (since 2010-04-19 03:21:04)

Showing comments 3200 - 3101

  • My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)
    • Peter is not orthodox. He's traditional, from what I understand. I think he goes to Kesher Israel in Georgetown, same as Joe Lieberman. There's nothing really interesting about it.

      Peter's observance is not going to make a big difference. His celebrity comes from his books and journalism; he has focused on Israel and Jewish issues like vouchers only recently. The Establishment welcomed him last year, because his piece in the NYRB was well-reasoned and avoided the polemical language of similar efforts. Most people felt Peter's heart was in the right place. That is why he spoke at major Jewish fora, including the American Jewish Committee's Global Forum in Washington. His op-ed in the NY Times, unfortunately, will make it more difficult for Peter to get his message out, because it appeared in the NY Times, used polemical language, and was more about book promotion than anything else. Thus, the invitation to speak to the Jewish community will be less forthcoming.

      Acts of political courage are rewarded. Acts of political vanity are not. The NYRB piece was the former; the NY Times op-ed the latter.

    • "Any from beyond the green line? There sure are West Bank settlers serving, why no Arabs?"

      Arabs serve in the PNA. No settlers are permitted to serve in the PNA.

      "This areguement is hollow considering the hypocrisy of extending Jewish representaion to Israel proper FROM the West Bank, yet no Arab representation from the SAME land."

      Not really. Arabs have their own representative body and have no interest in being Israeli citizens. Are you in favor of annexation?

    • "How do you know they are welcome to serve in the army? What does that mean?"

      That's the law in Israel. There is no bar on Arab army service. Most choose not to serve, which is understandable.

      "The probable reason why Israel does not conscript the Palestinians in Israel, is the same reason it ruled them under martial law until 1966. They are not Zionists. They are considered a fifth column – and will continue to be viewed (and treated) as such."

      Then why are they not banned outright? Your argument is nonsense, Cliff. Arabs are not banned from the army. There are Arabs who can and do serve, and it is possible for Arabs to become officers. Many, 1,473 in 2010, do national service.

      link to

      "It means absolutely NOTHING that some Israeli Arabs and Bedouins serve. Nothing."

      Of course it doesn't, because it goes against your argument.

      "Until they are treated equally and fairly, and given the same ‘privileges’ as Jews,"

      Arabs who do national service receive the same benefits as soldiers do.

      "no one could give a shit that some of them police the Palestinians in the OT along w/ Zionist Jews."

      And I trust you're willing to endorse a boycott of any country that mistreats its minorities in any way, starting with the United States.

    • "Cliff is destroying you Hophmi. When you’re in a hole, you need to stop digging. It’s not helping your cause when you have these emotional outbursts and then do a poor job of damage control in defending these outbursts."

      I'm well aware of the back-slapping that goes on here. Obviously, I don't think Cliff, for whom everything is a emotional meltdown and ad hominem attack, is destroying me. I'm not surprised that you do, nor that you feel the need to stand up for Cliff in a room where everyone agrees with him, as if he was a small child who needed your, um, strong support, LOL.

    • "By the way, when was the last time you grieved over the 54 million Goyim that died in WWII?"

      I won't dignify this kind of ridiculous argument.

      "And when it comes to ’doing business,’ I’m sure you are aware of Israel’s military exports to various and sundry dictatorships and the training and arms they provided to South American ’death squad democracies.’ "

      Whatever. Again, the subject is not whom Israel does business with. It's the BDS movement who is selectively choosing Israel for a boycott while ignoring human rights violations elsewhere on the flimsy theory that it's because Israel gets US aid, which is not an argument.

    • "How many Israeli Arabs serve in the army?

      How many Bedouins serve in the army?"

      No idea. But that wasn't the claim. The claim was that the army is segregated. That's clearly not true. Arabs are perfectly welcome to serve. Most choose not to; many do national service. Again, is it your position that Arabs should be conscripted like Jews are?

    • "The truth is that the majority of Israeli Arabs – a vast majority – do not serve in the army. What percentage of Bedouins serve in the army?"

      It is by choice. They are exempt from conscription, as are many yeshiva students. There are both Israeli Arabs and Bedouins in the army, and many do national service. Is it your position that they should be conscripted?

    • He's not driving the Establishment crazy. No one is really talking about him right now, frankly.

    • "Israel supported apartheid SA."

      So did the US and UK. Next?

      "Israel does business with China."

      Your point? Israelis are not endorsing a boycott of themselves. The BDS movement is, while remaining silent on human rights abuses in the Arab world and elsewhere.

    • "You are the same clown who denied the racism in a depiction of Palestinian national identity as a snake up against ‘Captain Israel’ – lol."

      Coming from someone who doubtless reads Latuff comics. Hypocrite.

    • "How many Muslims are in the IDF? "

      Way more than the number of Jews in the Saudi Army. There are plenty of Bedouins.

      As usual, you're wrong.

    • "Let’s start with the first item on the list and work our way down, item by item: do you deny that Israel and the Israel lobby have been leading the campaign to try to goad Americans into attacking Iran?"

      Absolutely. I am aware of no such campaign. I am aware of a campaign, supported by a majority of Americans, a public majority of Western countries, and a private majority of Gulf states, to economically sanction Iran and to keep a military option on the table. I am aware of an antisemitic campaign by some in the pro-Palestinian community, most of which seems to oppose the sanctions supported by a majority of Americans and a majority of Western leaders, to blame the Jews for this.

    • "How has it come to pass that so much of the world now associates Zionism and Israel with these themes and images? (followed by a long list of nonsense)

      Stop grafting your antisemitic bigotry onto others.

    • "Respect for human rights is not set at “zero” when a state is founded. "

      Have you taken a look at the rest of the Middle East, where the countries are around Israel's age?

      "The Israelis in 1948 had the same examples that the Americans in 1948 had"

      And a totally different geopolitical reality. America is protected by two oceans. Israel is surrounded by enemies. Comparing the situations is the worst kind of geopolitical chauvinism.

    • "Try again, to the rest of the world you’re just a bit better than Iran and North Korea"

      Most of world stood silent when 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, so I don't really give much weight to world opinion.

      Most of world does business with China, so I can't say most of the world has much credibility when it comes to human rights.

      The UNHCR basically ignores human rights violations in the Middle East and obsessively focuses on Israel, so there's not much credibility there either.

      Phil knows that all he needs to do here is define American identity as mostly a rejection of his Jewish identity to draw tears from people here. Phil could have summed all of this up in one sentence: I like Jews as long as they are leftists like me and I practice Judaism insofar as I find it in accord with my leftist guilt politics. Indeed, he actually says that "the neoconservative project for the Middle East made me Jewish." In other words, what he called Judaism is simply a byproduct of his politics of misplaced guilt, guilt taken to the extreme of self-abnegation.

      Phil's politics are the politics of self-destruction.

    • "I am sick of our media valorizing a democracy that has not had our hard lessons in liberation.

      That has not integrated the armed forces—we did that in 1948.

      That excludes minorities from the governing coalition – we fixed that in 1964.

      That redlines Palestinian home sales—we got rid of the gentleman’s agreement in the 60s.

      That has segregated schools-- we attacked that in 1954."

      You should praise a democracy that faces challenges our never did and has a record of amazing achievements under the circumstances. These American achievements you speak of took nearly two centuries. Israel has achieved most of them in 60 years.

      The IDF has Jewish, Christian, and Muslim soldiers. Most Arab soldiers choose not to serve.

      The Knesset has several Arab representatives.

      If you think we've overcome school segregation in this country, you clearly haven't spent much time in urban school districts, because there is still plenty of segregation. Moreover, Israel is not segregated. There are schools attended by both Arabs and Jews.

      You are a typical chauvinistic American. That you would compare the experience of American democracy, which is not yet complete and took two centuries to get to this point, to Israeli democracy, which is also not complete but has an amazing record for a country that is 60 years old and faces an ongoing security threat shows the depth of your intellectual disingenuousness.

  • Sen. Cardin tells how he and Hillary Clinton muscled foreign ambassadors to block 'anti-American' Palestinian statehood
    • "GDP only reflects the final cost of goods and services produced, not whether a state relies on foreign sources for essential goods and services of a non-self-supporting nature. "

      Aha. Look, Francis Boyle, sorry, Hostage, you and your friends are all free to delude yourselves as much as you please. I don't mind the obvious jealousy of the Israeli miracle. I wouldn't bet on Israel ending anytime soon.

    • "On the water issue alone, your current Prime Minister has admitted that the creation of a Palestinian state along the lines of the 1967 borders would mean the end of the Jewish state."

      I'm glad you believe everything Bibi Netanyahu says. I'll assume you also believe that Iran should be attacked.

    • I mean, you guys just don't acknowledge reality. Israel is a first-world country with a GDP of close to $250 billion dollars and free trade agreements with everybody in the Western world. And this in a country where a substantial part of the population does not work. That's not even mentioning the army.

      What about this says "artificial state that can't fend for itself?"

    • "It is a totally artificial state that is unable to fend for itself. "

      Do you just make this stuff up as it suits you, or do you really believe it?

  • 'We must expel Arabs and take their place': Institute for Palestine Studies publishes 1937 Ben-Gurion letter advocating the expulsion of Palestinians
    • I'm not clear on how this is a response. CAMERA's argument was that the translation was wrong and that the letter said the opposite, and that is Morris's position as well as of 2001.

      It's amazing to me, that, even with this, you continue to take the quote completely out of context to make it seem as if Ben-Gurion simply said under all circumstances, the Arabs will be expelled. This is the full quote:

      "Let us assume that the Negev will not be allotted to the Jewish state. In such event,
      the Negev will remain barren because the Arabs have neither the competence nor
      the need to develop it or make it prosper. They already have an abundance of
      deserts but not of manpower, financial resources, or creative initiative. It is very
      probable that they will agree that we undertake the development of the Negev and
      make it prosper in return for our financial, military, organizational, and scientific
      assistance. It is also possible that they will not agree. People don’t always behave
      according to logic, common sense, or their own practical advantage. Just as you
      yourself are sometimes split conflicted between your mind and your emotions, it is
      possible that the Arabs will follow the dictates of sterile nationalist emotions and
      tell us: “We want neither your honey nor your sting. We’d rather that the Negev
      remain barren than that Jews should inhabit it.” If this occurs, we will have to talk
      to them in a different language—and we will have a different language—but such a
      language will not be ours without a state. This is so because we can no longer
      tolerate that vast territories capable of absorbing tens of thousands of Jews should
      remain vacant, and that Jews cannot return to their homeland because the Arabs
      prefer that the place [the Negev] remains neither ours nor theirs. We must expel
      Arabs and take their place. Up to now, all our aspirations have been based on an
      assumption – one that has been vindicated throughout our activities in the country
      – that there is enough room in the land for the Arabs and ourselves. But if we are
      compelled to use force – not in order to dispossess the Arabs of the Negev or
      Transjordan, but in order to guarantee our right to settle there – our force will
      enable us to do so."

      So even in this translation, Ben-Gurion talks of expulsion only if the Arabs insist of denying Jews the right to settle in the land, even if that land is uninhabited. And by the way, if you read this entire paragraph, the sentence really almost makes no sense, because the entire paragraph is about a place that is relatively uninhabited. The CAMERA translation fits the paragraph much better and makes far more sense.

      As usual, this is a post that massively disingenuous, and using the quote the way it is used - to suggest that Ben-Gurion simply planned the expulsion of the Arabs no matter what happened, is intellectually dishonest in the extreme. I hope the pro-Palestinian movement has the integrity to stop using now that it is clear that even it is genuine (a very big if), it covers much narrower ground than is claimed.

    • "I think that this letter constitutes prima facie evidence of a premeditated plan to engage in offensive aggressive war. It is no different than the crimes for which German leaders were hung at Nuremberg."

      Organizing an army is illegal now?

  • Bloomberg warns BDS will lead to 'massacres' as Park Slope Co-op holds initial vote on boycott tonight
    • Care to say what was error-laden about it? It quoted people from both sides, and it's accurate that BDS is being pushed by a small minority and that mostly Coop members are annoyed by it.

      Once again, you're whining because you're upset your extreme political cause is not supported by any mainstream voice.

      The article is about the reaction of local politicians, who have seen fit to weigh in. It's not biased to present their opinions anymore than it would be biased to write an article entitled, "BDS Proponents Begin Campaign at Park Slope Coop" citing only BDS supporters as sources.

    • Oh please, stop whining. The Times did a long article on this last week.

      link to

      Today's article is called "Boycott Plan at Food Co-op Is Opposed by City Officials."

      It's about the reaction of city officials, all of whom oppose this. The Times has no responsibilities to quote boycott supporters unless they are city officials. Clearly, you've not been able to win over a single politician, let alone any constituency of people to actually vote for discriminating against Israel, which seems to have the effect of simply annoying the Coop members, who do not understand why their time is being wasted over five products by a few loudmouths with a extreme political agenda.

  • Brooklyn’s Park Slope Food Coop to take the first step towards a boycott of Israeli goods on March 27
    • "They’ll be deciding on whether they'll be having a co-op wide referendum about the Coop’s stance on human rights."

      LOL. No, they will not. They will voting on whether to have a referendum on whether to join an extreme political movement that favors discriminating against the State of Israel while doing nothing about real human rights violators around the world. They'll be voting on whether to hold a referendum to boycott companies like PeaceWorks, which promotes Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and works for an end to occupation and the two-state solution, and in the process, hurting the Palestinian farmers the company works with. They'll be voting on whether to hold a referendum to rob Coop members of the right to exercise their individual consciences rather than having political extremism forced upon them. They'll be voting to hold a referendum on whether to make the vast, vast majority of Park Slope's Jewish community feel extremely uncomfortable.

      This IS a vote for many things. Human rights is not one of them.

  • Israeli diplomat chased out of Morocco after mass protest
    • Never has Jerusalem been as open as it is today. Anyone who favors a return to illegal Jordanian occupation, when Jews were barred from the Old City, raise your hand.

  • Barghouti and Waskow debate BDS on Democracy Now
    • I'm aware that the letter has been debunked. But between you and John Lewis, I'm going to go with John Lewis. He knew MLK a little better than you did.

    • "Sorry Hophmi, Phan left you on the floor writhing in agony with a left-right-left logical combination that you could not counter.

      Again, whatever you need to believe. It's not credible when one extremist covers for another in a room dominated by them.

      "Like I said before — it is highly entertaining watching an amateur like you get pummeled by a pro like Phan."

      I'm sure anything anybody writes that you agree with is highly entertaining for you.

    • "Coming from a supporter of one of the most blood-stained countries on Earth, that’s rather pathetic. "

      Which country is that? I'm from the US. African-Americans did not have a long history of killing innocent white people the way Palestinians have a long history of killing innocent Israeli civilians.

      "You say “ending Israel” like it would be a bad thing."

      The negation of the Jewish right to self-determination would be bad, yes.

    • The letter has been debunked. Has the quote? I thought it had as well, but I wouldn't think it would show up in a Mother Jones article. Do you have a source?

      At any rate, John Lewis has no trouble attributing pro-Israel views to King.

      link to

    • "Phan’s wiping the floor with Hophni using iron clad logic is highly entertaining."

      It's Hophmi. Yes, yes, you agree with your fellow travelers. I get it. No matter what Phan says, you'll slap him on the back, and no matter what I say, you'll disagree.

      Phan's argument is not especially logical. It's disingenuous; the argument he attributes to Waskow didn't actually make. Partisan political movements which try to appropriate MLK for themselves while doing things he would never have done, like refusing to condemn rocket attacks on innocents are not all that credible. MLK tried to appeal to the better angels of our nature and bring people together. The proponents of BDS are pushing a divisive policy that really is the opposite of that value, and the demonization of Israelis that is endemic in the rhetoric of that movement is also likely not the kind King would have employed.

      As I said before, it's much more Malcolm X than it is King. The BDS movement employs fairly harsh rhetoric, refuses to condemn Palestinian violence (it's the chickens coming home to roost, right?), and does not promote cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians but boycotts one party to the conflict. Just as Malcolm X found common cause with KKK members he thought were simply honest representatives of what white people thought, BDS members have find no greater advocate and no greater beneficiary than Israeli rightists, who, like them, want a one-state solution.

    • "Wrong. Barghouthi was not “appropriating that mantle of King.” He simply said that he was utilizing the similar tactics as utilized by King and Gandhi:

      Well, BDS is a part of a larger movement of nonviolent resistance in Palestine, civil resistance, very similar to the civil actions and civil activities that were led by Martin Luther King here in the United States against segregation, and very similar to what Gandhi led in India as a nonviolent resistance against foreign dependence of India.

      Whatever. That's exactly what he's doing. Palestinians are not in the same category as African-American Blacks or Indians. They have much too much blood on their hands.

      "Wrong. There’s a difference between saying, “I am using tactics similar to those used by Martin Luther King,” and saying “Martin Luther King would endorse what I’m doing right now.” The former seeks inspiration from King. The latter seeks to put words in King’s mouth."

      Again, you can mince words all you want. It's quite clear that Barghouti is using King as a reference point.

      "Regardless of whether that was really Waskow’s main point, it doesn’t change the fact that Waskow said what I quoted him as saying, and which I then proved to be false."

      Honest quoting would at least acknowledge that Waskow was referring to a point Barghouti made rather than making it seem like Waskow brought King into the discussion out of nowhere.

      "MLK spoke out against Vietnam exactly one year before he was assassinated. He actually didn’t have a chance to take much action against Vietnam beyond making some public statements and endorsing the “Vietnam Summer” campaign. Therefore, using the extent of King’s actions against the Vietnam War as a gauge of what is acceptable protest is both preposterous for activists in general and out of context to what Barghouthi was saying."

      Martin Luther King was a mainstream reformer who worked with white liberals and others to achieve integration (and was pillorized by many political radicals like Malcolm X for it). You know as well as I do that it is extremely unlikely that he would have advocated a policy like boycotting American products, which would have placed him far out of the mainstream). Maybe Malcolm X might have eventually advocated a policy like that, but I doubt it even in his case.

      "King opposed the policies of the apartheid South African government. And his proposed solution was exactly what I quoted: “An effective international quarantine” of South Africa."

      Your point? I'm not disputing King's stance on South Africa, and neither was Arthur Waskow. But you seem to be very quick to respond to Waskow's assertion that King did not endorse a boycott of America by saying that King supported a boycott of South Africa. And you wrongfully asserted that Waskow argued King never supported a boycott anywhere, when, in fact, all he said was that King did not support a boycott of America in the case of Vietnam, a conflict where America killed hundreds of thousands of people.

      King did support sanctioning South Africa, a country with de jure apartheid that they defended. Israel is a democratic country that has tried to negotiate peace for many years. The international community has repeatedly endorsed a two-state solution that would result in two states for two peoples. BDS seeks to nullify that. Otherwise, it would do as Waskow says, and simply target the settlements.

      The BDS cult is about ending Israel, not about ending occupation.

    • "Israel has been on the move rightward, at an accelerating pace, for many years now and the trends are crystal clear. No amount of sweet talking will do when the plan is to annex the West bank and get rid of the Palestinians."

      And what caused this to happen? First, suicide bombing discredited the peace movement in Israel; that was how Netanyahu got elected the first time. Then Intifada II helped elect Sharon. And when Israel actually annexes the West Bank, you let me know. So far, it hasn't happened.

      "As for the left in israel – please share with us your magnifying glasses. We might actually find us a few thousand if we really look hard."

      There are plenty of supporters of the two-state solution who would like to see the occupation end.

      "The israelis – as a collective – along with their zionist/Jewish supporters in the US and elsewhere are long past the point of no return in their approach. they want the West bank – as much of it as they can – preferably with minimal number of palestinians in it."

      Show me a poll that says most Israelis want to annex the West Bank.

      "One of the purposes of BDS is to let Israelis (the collective, forget the government) know that the world has no intention of looking away as they embark on their dastardly deeds. "

      No intention of looking away? It's got the heaviest concentration of journalists in the world. Who are you kidding?

      "BDS is there to clarify that there are consequences."

      What consequences? That the same group of leftists will find common cause with the Arabs as they always did?

      "The israelis already have all the peace they can handle, now they are just looking for a way to get away with what they really want.'

      Tell that to people in Sderot.

      "The corollary that since BDS is about saving a people from expulsion and increasingly brutal persecution, it should be expanded to include all of israel to maximize the effect. "

      Is that what it's about? How many Palestinians have been expelled in the last 15 years? And last I checked, IDF involvement in the West Bank was way down and prosperity way up, no thanks to BDS.

      "Better yet, impose world wide Iran style sanctions on the country of Israel"

      Iran is run by a repressive regime of theocrats, engages in nuclear brinksmanship, and denies the Holocaust. If you can't see the difference between them and Israel, it says more about you than it does them.

    • "I’m thinking the fact that they agreed to let a bunch of immigrant, colonialist Jews take 78% of their country is pretty darned significant.

      They let them? Really. When was that?

    • I don't know why you bother arguing this point with me. You know as well as I do that exterrnal boycotts have the effect of strengthening whomever is in power. That's one argument against bombing Iran; it would strengthen the regime.

      I understand your lack of feeling for the actual Israelis on the ground; I'm aware that to you, they're all pretty much the same. Left, right; they're all evil Zionists.

    • "Coretta Scott King support Mubarek Awad’s non-violent doctrine in the face of his inevitable deportation by the Israeli government."

      She did not support BDS. Supporting the idea that Mubarak Awad is nonviolent is not the same as supporting BDS as a tactic.

      link to

      "Mahatma Gandhi supported the Palestinian struggle."

      Yes, he thought Jews living under Nazi rule should protest nonviolently as well.

      "The notion that King would have been a Zionist and justified ethnic cleansing and the apartheid conditions in the Territories now, is absurd."

      Straw man; no one is arguing that King would have been a far-right Zionist. But given King's close association with the Jewish community and his general political position as a mainstreamer and not a radical, it is unlikely that he would have supported either BDS or an end to the Israel, or that he would have used charged language like apartheid to describe the territories.

      "There is no proof he ever wrote that b.s. letter about anti-Zionism = anti-semitism."

      And I didn't claim that he did. It is apparently true, however, that he did once say that when you talk about anti-Zionism, you're talking about antisemitism to a student who asked him a question about it.

      link to

      "It’s illogical to project the trajectory of MLK’s intellectual awareness on the I-P conflict as you have."

      I haven't. The assertion was that Waskow did, and as I have shown, it was merely a response to Barghouti, who didn't have the right to do it either. King's dead. He can't endorse anything. There are more than enough living figures to endorse political movements without relying on a dead guy, no matter how saintly he was.

      "It is far more likely he would have sympathized and supported the Palestinian struggle as his WIFE did."

      As many Zionist Jews do by calling for a two-state solution. It's a chauvinistic (and silly) to assume that a man's wife agrees with him on all political matters.

    • "I refuse to buy computers with Intel “blood processors”, and instead buy computers with AMD processors"

      LOL. Let me know when that helps an actual Palestinian, most of whom doubtless use computers with Intel chips.

    • It's quite clear that indiscriminate BDS has the result of strengthening the Israeli right by putting the Israeli left on the defensive. It's also quite clear that some of these policies are laguhably self-defeating. One of the products that would be boycotted in the Park Slope Coop is Meditalia, a line of tapenades made by PeaceWorks. link to

      Daniel Lubetsky, the founder of PeaceWorks, is also the founder of the OneVoice movement, promotes cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians and sources his products from Palestinian farmers, and is a strong proponent of ending the occupation and two-state solution. That is who you are boycotting. The Palestinian farmers who work with people like Daniel Lubetsky are the ones who will get hurt.

      I've heard precious little from indiscriminate BDS proponents about how such a policy actually helps Palestinians and much more about how it's a personal matter of conscience for those proponents. I've heard lots of explanations about why Israel deserves this or that, a lot of spurious comparisons of Israel with South Africa and lot of crazy unhinged comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany.

    • Have read the transcript of the debate. You could have been the littlest bit honest and noted that Waskow was responding to Barghouti's appropriating the mantle of King for the BDS movement, marking it as part of the the larger Palestinian nonviolence movement. That's a suggestion on Barghouti's part that King would have endorsed BDS as a tactic here. There's little evidence he would have. Moreover, the BDS movement's refusal to condemn Palestinian violence in any meaningful way makes them unworthy of any association with Martin Luther King.

      Moreover, Waskow's main point was that King opposed Vietnam without calling for a boycott of American products. He opposed the policy, not the society.

      Barghouti had no effective answer to the charge that his campaign is about undermining Israel, not about ending occupation. And that's because the BDS cult hopes to end Israel as a state, not end the occupation. Otherwise, Barghouti wouldn't speak of some fictitious segregation system, which is certainly not the reality inside of the Green Line.

    • And while it's wrong to suggest that King would never have supported a boycott of another country, it's equally wrong to suggest that he would have supported a boycott of Israel.

  • Zionism totalled
    • "you got it right, annie. hence hophmi’s resort to zionist talking point number _, everyone was/is doing it."

      It's not a talking point. It's totally accurate and apropos here, and shows, once again, a double standard. It's also a straw man, because no one ever claimed that there were no Zionist eugenicists. It also does nothing to prove your nonsensical argument that Golda Meir was engaging in eugenics because she tried to get the Polish government to stop sending over elderly and sick people.

      You're not proving anything here other than there was a prominent Zionist eugenicist. We got that already.

    • "it sounded as if you were implying only societies as nefarious as nazi germany were participating in sterilization and outright murder."

      Yes, you're right, sterilization was practiced in many places outside of Nazi Germany (though perhaps not to the same extent). I should have just said murder. Sterilization was unfortunately quite popular, it seems.

    • "there have been a variety of tactics used to maintain the health of ‘the state’, and immigration restrictions have been used to that purpose by a number of states. that is what was being attempted by meir,"

      Yes, there have been many tactics used to maintain the health of a state. Not every one of them is an example of eugenics. This one is an example of immigration policy that is very common. It is not eugenics, and fits no definition of eugenics that I know of.

      "meir, as head of state, intended to restrict immigration"

      Meir was not head of state in 1958. She was a member of a committee. Once again, all that has been proven here is that Meir drafted a letter to Israel's ambassador to Poland. Nothing more. All we have here are the thoughts of Golda Meir in 1958.

      "3. you continually gloss over in your contradictory arguments the implication of meir’s intent to restrict jewish immigration to israel"

      I'm not sure what contradiction you mean, because there are none in my argument.

      And you continually ignore the fact that nothing actually came of this letter, that Israel certainly has not been very selective when it comes to emigrating Jews, and that the policy, or better, idea, would not have been in any way unusual for a first-world state, let alone a struggling one dealing with a massive influx of immigrants in general and with significant manual labor needs.

    • This will be the next nonsense, I see. What's your point, Annie? Is it particularly surprising that there were some prominent believers in eugenics among the Zionists at a time when eugenics was in vogue? According to the article, California sterilized about 20,000 mentally ill people through 1935.

      Moreover, your highlighting the words "history of the health services in the 1950s" ignores the subject matter of the article, most of which centers around the beliefs of Dr. Meir and the views of his colleagues during the Mandate period, not the 1950s.

      As offensive as this form of eugenics is today, it is a fact that it was prominent in theory and in practice in many Western countries up until WWII; as the wikipedia article says, in the United States, eugenicists played an extremely important role in drafting the Immigration Act of 1924.

      link to

      Compulsory sterilization of mentally ill patients was regularly practiced in the US well after the war.

      link to

      Let's keep to the facts. The facts are whatever ideas were expressed in the 1930s, none of this reflects the reality in Israel today or in the past, and none of it makes the Yishuv abnormal given the time period.

    • "immigration in 1958 was unrestricted so far as the poles were concerned."

      You keep glossing over the fact that whether this letter was written or not (and again, we're not even sure it was actually sent), Israel had no restriction on immigration; under the Law of Return, any Jew in Poland could have emigrated. Whatever Meir's letter meant (it talks of a proposal in a committee to restrict Aliyah to able-bodied people), Israel's Law of Return was not changed, and certainly plenty of older people and Holocaust survivors emigrated.

      "oy gevalt. regardless of what the ‘law of return’ provided for, meir was seeking a means of limiting the immigration of polish jews to israel who were ‘sick’ or ‘handicapped’, because the introduction of too many jews who were physically infirm would weaken the state of israel. that is precisely the argument of eugenicists."

      No, it is not. Eugenicists argue for progressively eliminating undesirable physical traits and diseases through gene therapy (controversies arise from those who use such therapies to abort babies who will have mental and physical handicaps), and in more nefarious societies like Nazi Germany, through eliminating those with those traits from the gene pool by sterilization and outright murder.

      Even on your terms, your argument makes no sense. Golda Meir was not looking to eliminate elderly and infirm people from Israel's society. She was doubtless looking to save the state, which was struggling economically both from the costs of being a new state and the cost of taking in hundreds of thousands of poor immigrants from all over the world, particularly refugees from the Arab Middle East and Holocaust survivors from Europe, additional expense. That has nothing to do with eugenics, and it is transparently disingenuous for you to suggest that it does.

      Restricting immigration (and again, this is not even a restriction on immigration) to the able-bodied does not eliminate any genetic traits. It's simply common sense policy for a country with significant manual labor needs, as Israel had in the 1950s. It doesn't eliminate anyone from the gene pool. It has nothing whatsoever to do with eugenics, and it is similar to immigration policies practiced all over the world, including the United States, where those who can earn a living and pay taxes are privileged in the visa process over those who cannot.

      And once again, whatever Meir sought to do, it never happened, because the Law of Return remained the same.

    • "at the time the letter was written, ‘professional’ restrictions on immigration had been lifted for over two years, the start of the ‘gomulka aliya’ as it is called. israeli calls for lifting the restrictions were the cause of the huge amounts of immigrants at the time. and there is nothing in the quoted portion of the meir letter that is incriminating vis-a-vis a selection process by the poles, i.e. intentionally sending the sick and infirm to israel. and if so, what of it, many of the ‘infirm’,"

      Then pray tell, what was the point of the letter in the first place? If immigration was unrestricted, anyone could emigrate under the Law of Return.

      "the problem for zionists is that meir’s analysis is consistent with earlier, purportedly discredited, eugenics projects. "

      Oh please. This has nothing to do with eugenics. Eugenics is a system of improving the gene pool in a society. That has nothing to do with creating immigration policy (if you can even call this policy) that befits a small poor state that was absorbing hundreds of thousands of immigrants a year at that time. You write like no one ever had an immigration policy before. The Law of Return allowed anyone of any age to emigrate to Israel, including the many Holocaust survivors who today live in the country. How is any of this in any way consistent with eugenics?

    • "But why she did not wish to take care of old, infirm and handicapped and instead leave them to die in that Anti-Semitic nest of Vipers called Poland?"

      I have no idea, Eva. You'd have to ask her. As the article says, it was a time when Israel was absorbing a huge amount of immigrants and was economically a fairly poor country. As it also says, at one point, Poland was allowing only infirm people to emigrate. There were certainly plenty of older people who emigrated to Israel from around the world.

      Let's be clear about what's being asserted here. The assertion is that Meir wrote a letter to Israel's ambassador to Poland asking him to explain to the Poles that Israel couldn't accept any more sick and infirm people. It's not clear that she ever sent it. It's not asserted that the committee adopted her stance. The context is clear. Poland was going to enforce a quota here. It seems logical to assume that in a relatively poor 12-year-old state with an agriculture-based economy that was full of security risks, Meir would favor able-bodied people. It's also clear that if the Polish government had no quota, and everyone could leave, Israel would have accepted the infirm under the Law of Return.

      This is another one of those instances where you hold Israel to a ridiculous standard. The fact of the matter is that many infirm people have emigrated to Israel. Many very poor people have as well. Refugees from Europe, the Arab Middle East, Iran, and Ethiopia have as well.

      The practical reality is that if an infirm Jew in Poland or anywhere else meets the standard of the Law of Return, he or she can emigrate.

    • Eva, your story is a little mixed up according to what I've seen. Apparently, Meir raised the proposal of asking the Polish government to stop sending handicapped and aged Jews to Israel in a coordination committee on Aliyah that consisted of members of the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government. The letter she wrote was apparently either never sent, or never responded to. Part of the reason why was because Israel was absorbing a huge amount of immigrants at the time, and another part of the reason was because when the Poles first allowed people to leave, they were purposely sending the infirm to Israel and not allowing anyone with a profession to leave.

      link to

      Shingo's quote is the same silly decontextualized half-truth as usual. In the context of 1938, it was not crazy to believe that saving Jews by shipping them to another part of Europe might end in disaster, like it did with Holland and France.

  • One crazed murderer sparks Zionist calls for European migration to Israel
    • "Your attempt to exploit the tragedy for your own political threadbare reasoning is pretty disgusting."

      Which, of course, none of you are doing.

    • "What’s ironic about all this is that the victims of this crime were endangered BECAUSE OF ISRAEL."

      How the hell do you know? The guy belonged to an Al-Qaeda affiliate. Don't you get it? Israel could be the most peaceful country on the face of the planet. The guy is still going to shoot these Jews. He hates Jews, because he believes in a crazy ideology. He uses the Palestinians AS AN EXCUSE. And you buy it. The guy walked up to a little girl, grabbed her by the hair and EXECUTED HER. He shot a little boy AS HE TRIED TO CRAWL AWAY. He also killed a few French soldiers; I guess that's Israel's fault too. This has NOTHING to do with Israel. It has to do with the ideology of extreme radical Islam.

      Are you going to write this crap if some Jew shoots up a mosque in France and says he did it because of all of the Israeli children who have been killed by suicide bombers, or all of the people who have been killed by Al-Qaeda fanatics?

      Your naivete and callousness is disgusting.

  • StandWithUs manufactures boycott of Jewish deli in Olympia
    • "Hophmi, you are a lawyer? A person who earns his living by argumentation and the preponderance of the evidence? Well, all I can say is, if you play an instrument or have a stand-up routine, quit your day job.
      If you were between the sun and a guilty client, you couldn’t even raise the shadow of a doubt."

      Let me know when you have something interesting to say, Mooser. It doesn't seem to happen very often.

    • You seem to have completely evaded my point. It's clear from your piece that your entire argument is centered around disproving StandWithUs's thesis that what happened at Kitzel's is organized intimidation. I'm asking again: would you refrain from calling it intimidation if, in a town whose Coop decided to boycott Palestinian products, three people walked into a Palestinian deli and told the owner that he should cancel an Ali Abunimah event because he might (wink, wink, hint, hint) lose a lot of customers?

    • So Phan: If a Palestinian opens a deli and advertises a talk by Ali Abunimah, and three people walk up to his counter and say, hey, nothing personal, but if you host Ali Abunimah, we're not going to eat here anymore, and we're going to tell our friends not to as well, and at the same time, there is an organized campaign to boycott Palestinian products at the local food Co-op, are you going to refrain from calling it a Zionist boycott or Zionist intimidation?

      You know you wouldn't, so drop the double standard.

  • Establishment Jews attack Beinart over settlement boycott call
    • As I wrote, Peter's op-ed is going to make it much more difficult for him to reach the Establishment audiences who can benefit from his message. I think Peter is trying to cause a rift between liberal Zionists and right-wing Zionists, which he has obviously grown to detest. I don't think this is the right approach.

      "But Yehoshua said that American Jews are only "partial Jews" in Haaretz the other day. I guess because we don't tote M16s and haven't ethnically cleansed any villages lately."

      Or because, as A.B. actually said, not enough American Jews make aliyah.

  • J Street and Peace Now organize opposition to BDS
    • "At a time when progressives are trying to organize boycott at the Park Slope Food Coop"

      The people who are trying to organize a boycott are not progressives. They are extremists. And they do not have anything approaching mainstream support, even in Park Slope.

      What do you have against the two-state solution?

  • When good intentions aren't good enough: Liberal Zionists and BDS
    • I'm glad you're a fan of terrorizing Zionists. It seems we have a lot of honesty around here today.

      There has been plenty of terrorizing of Zionist students on campus, most recently in the UC system.

      link to

      A few years ago, Bibi Netanyahu had to cancel a speech at Concordia University because of security threats.

      I'm not aware of similar behavior by Zionist students toward Muslim or Palestinian students or speakers.

    • "False. Syria is next door. Egypt is next door. Jordan is next door. There are Israeli militant and colonialists in Palestine and have been for 40 years. That’s not “next door.” "

      Like I said, Palestine is the nation next door to Israel. If it's not next door, then BDS is a one-state scheme.

      "Then one must question why you and the other judeo-fascists are so opposed to it. One would expect that if you truely believed it would accomplish nothing you would be happy to let that continue forever."

      Just because the cultish BDS movement has no accomplishments does not mean it's not worth fighting against. We would like to keep it that way.

      "Well, since the Jews in Palestine and their co-conspirators in the US have elevated the self-determination rights of Jews over those of the Palestinians for the last 65 years in Israel and for the last 45 in the remainder of Palestine, then turnabout is fair play. Maybe the Jews there should get a taste of their treatment of the Palestinians. "

      OK, so you are not interested in justice or international law, but simply the political aim of elevating the rights of one group above another based on perceived historical injustice. Again, I appreciate the honesty.

      "So what? So was the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. Oh, that’s right. This is not a good-faith argument by you, hoppy, but merely a distraction to cover up Zionism’s crimes. When it affects, say, Afrikaaners, you wouldn’t give a damn if it is selective. It is only when Jews are called to account for their crimes that you complain."

      I don't think the anti-apartheid movement was selective. South Africa was one of the last states with a de jure apartheid system. Nor was it a state that grew out of the ashes of the Holocaust, like Israel is.

      You can keep beating the dead horse of this ridiculous comparison, but it holds no water.

    • "It’s a bit rich for “hophmi” to have such a good belly-laugh about the lack of Palestinians in the United States leading the BDS campaign. The Zionists have terrified them."

      ROTFLMFAO. The Zionists have terrified the Palestinians in the US? Gimme a break. It is the other way around, if anything, particularly in the academy.

      "Do you expect to see Palestinians marching through the U.S. campuses after such unremitting terror against them"

      Hasn't stopped the MSA's from protesting and giving Jewish speakers on campus a hard time if they don't toe the MSA line.

      "The sooner Palestinians are able to organize mass marches for boycott of Israel, the sooner “hophmi” will eat his words"

      The sooner you disabuse yourself of the idea that this will happen, the sooner you might actually accomplish something for the Palestinians.

    • Austin, BDS is wrong because it's discriminatory, ineffective, and based on false assumptions.

      Israel is not an apartheid state. It has no philosophy of ethnic, religious, or racial apartheid. It is a multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural society with a secular government. It is involved in a land conflict with the people next door, and that is why it has engaged in 20 years of peace negotiations. The people next door, unlike segregation-era Blacks, have espoused a mainstream philosophy of Jew-hatred and have carried that forth through antisemitic charters and suicide bombings which have killed scores of innocent civilians and have been calibrated specifically to do so. Of late, they have carried out thousands of rocket attacks, again, specifically with the intent of killing and terrorizing civilians. To compare these people to African-Americans during the civil rights movement is an insult to African-Americans.

      The BDS movement is not Palestinian-led. It is largely a Western creation, promoted principally by Western leftists. Its origins in Palestinian civil society are in name only. Moreover, it is, for most of its followers, a feel-good movement where the politics are more about self-righteousness than about concrete accomplishments. In reality, BDS has no accomplishments to speak of, and will not, because unlike the anti-apartheid movement, which targeted an actual apartheid system and had considerable support around the globe, the BDS movement is a radical movement of self-styled left-wingers which is fundamentally disingenuous. The movement's real goal is to elevate the self-determination rights of Palestinians above those of Jews, and erase the UN-recognized right of Jews in the region to self-determination. It is, as Norman Finkelstein pointed out, a cult that does not care much for international law so much as it does for its own political orthodoxy.

      Moreover, the BDS movement does little to combat antisemitic hatred in its own ranks. Its members promote, as part of its so-called anti-apartheid stand, antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jewish lobbies and overrepresentation of Jews in finance and government.

      Finally, the BDS movement is selective. It targets Israel because Israel is a small country and Western target. It has little or nothing to say about crimes against humanity in Syria, and nothing to say about human rights violations in Iran, nothing to say about the status of women in general in the Arab world. It is therefore a political movement, and not a human rights movement.

  • Beinart calls for boycott of settlements 'to save Israel'
    • "Jeez Hophmi, if you think ZIonism should be, or is, based on the same principles as National Socialism in Germany, just come out and say it. Don’t beat around the bush."

      Mooser, if you think Nazism and democracy are the same thing, just come out and say it. Don't beat around the bush.

    • "What hophmi means is that, he as a Jew – wants to have one set of moral standards in the United States (equality for all, separation of Church and State and blah blah) – whereas in Israel he wants to be an ethnic supremacist. To live out his racist fantasies. "

      What Cliff means is that he's for US cultural imperialism, and that every state should have exactly the same policies and tenet as the US does. Isn't that right, Cliff?

      Nowhere did I say Israel should be ethnic supremacist; and indeed, it is not, certainly no more than the 57 members of the OIC are, and in reality, much less than they are. Cliff apparently does not care so much about them.

    • "I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The justification for a racist Jewish state in Palestine is no more compelling to me than the justification for a German one in the Sudetenland."

      Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.

    • I'm curious: Does the NEA give grants to organizations that observe of a day of mourning on July 4?

  • Muslim activists give NYPD chief Ray Kelly the cold shoulder
    • Cliff, you are so predictably full of bad-faith, it is not worth it.

      READ. I wrote that IF I referred to A Jewish anti-zionist as an anti-Jewish activist, not that I call all anti-Zionists, anti-Jewish. It's perfectly clear that for Alex Kane, Muslims are only permitted to think a certain way. Otherwise, they are "anti-Muslim," even if they are Muslim like Zudhi Jasser is.

      "There is no Islamic nationalism."

      Are you kidding? There are dozens of Islamic states in the world, most of whom have serious minority rights issues.

    • You're such a complete hypocrite, Alex. If I referred to a Jewish anti-Zionist as an anti-Jewish activist, you'd go nuts. But you have no problem referring to Jasser as an anti-Muslim activist. Want to explain the difference to us?

  • The evolution of Peter Beinart
    • "why do jews of all people want a state that belongs only to one race of people?
      special rights only for themselves. Hell they don’t seem to be supporters of muslim countries wanting to be only for muslims."

      We don't. We want our right to self-determination, and the right to have what we have now, a state with a Jewish majority, just as there are dozens of states with Muslim majorities and dozens of states with Christian majorities. When there is a peace agreement, you can bet the civil rights Arabs already enjoy in Israel will eventually become full societal acceptance. After hundreds and hundreds of years of persecution, we just can't rely on other nations. We must control our own destiny. Sorry.

      "no africans no hispanics or orientals or others too many to mention, no other religions permitted either?"

      All are present in Israel.

      "why are jews so inclusive in the west but so exclusive when it comes to israel?"

      We are no more exclusive than Europe, which is more homogeneously Christian than Israel is Jewish.

  • Taking Israel at its word, Florida legislature passes one-state resolution
    • "Demonstrates the state and the US government are part of Israel’s occupied territories"

      Yes, Israel really controls these areas. It's called democracy, Kathleen. Instead of many bigoted comments, why don't you actually try and achieve something for your side?

  • Democratic chair Wasserman Schultz said to cancel speech to Muslim voting-rights group under rightwing pressure
    • Do you have any proof - whatsoever - that Schultz cancelled her speech because of a FrontPageMag article or right wing pressure? Because it doesn't seem to be in your post.

  • Fact checker fact checker find me a fact
    • Well, pictures are important. Early in Intifada II, a NY Times printed a picture of a bloodied man with an Israeli soldier standing over him holding a nightstick. The photo identified the bloodied man as Palestinian. The clear implication was that the soldier had bloodied the Palestinian. He was actually an Israeli who had been hit by a stone.

      I think we both know that if this was your side, you'd be just as ready to send in the correction.

  • Al Jazeera asks, 'What role does the pro-Israel lobby play?'
    • It's an advocacy organization that advocates a strong US-Israel relationship and lobbies for continued aid to Israel. Why would it invite an opponent of that relationship who believes all aid should cease?

      Does the NRA invite gun control advocates to address their meetings? Does CodePink invite Alan Dershowitz to speak at their anti-AIPAC rallies?

  • Walt and Mearsheimer don't think Israel will attack Iran, and neither will we
    • "why? give me an example of a lobby person who is not a neocon."

      Seriously? There are plenty of liberal democrats who are active in AIPAC. They're not in any way neocons. Abe Foxman is a good example. So is David Harris.

      Do you really think that everyone who is pro-Israel is a neocon?

  • Friedman warns war could hurt American Jews
  • Netanyahu gives genocidal bible story to Obama
    • "You still haven’t provided any information to challenge the accuracy of the quoted material he supplied that would stand up in an academic environment, much less here at Mondoweiss."

      LOL. I am astounded that you would talk about what would stand up in an academic environment. Your source would not. And I say that as a former assistant editor of a law journal. Using a source like this to make a point like that would probably be enough to invalidate an entire article.

      "Even someone with your rudimentary intelligence can independently verify the contents of a Jerusalem Post article, given the date and page number, which I’ve already supplied. Do your own homework.

      Your claim, your homework. In this conflict, especially given the widespread misuse of sources, it's up to you to find the source.

      "Your entire argument is based upon ad hominem and genetic fallacies "

      None of it is based on that. It's based on simple logic - a guy who subscribes to Barry Chamish conspiracy theories is not a credible source for what amounts to a self-serving statement about what appears in a confidential report.

      "Even an extremist or a settler can accurately quote a report that he has obtained and read for himself."

      Sure he can. So now we're trusting the self-serving statements of extremist settlers? Which do you accept and which do you not accept?

      "We are dealing with independent secondary sources who have published articles with identical views."

      LOL. You're dealing with two clearly biased extremists who cite to the same missing JPost article as a source and make the same unverifiable claim about a confidential report no one can see. These do not fit the academic definition of secondary independent sources that, without question, would not pass muster in a freshman history class, let alone a higher academic setting. I mean, really.

    • "Do you have evidence that Lehmann is linked to Kiryat Arba? Link please."

      Yeah. The guy had an "emotional" personal visit with Baruch Goldstein's parents less than a year after the massacre. He's an extremist.

      link to

      "Hophmi, your request is like asking for a link to the classified material Sandy Berger tried to steal from the National Archives and Records Administration. Once again, you’ll just have to go to the Israeli State Archives and ask for access to whatever is available to the public like everyone else. "

      Again, tertiary sources who are totally biased are not considered credible by anyone, least of all in academia. Gimme a break.

      "In the meantime, the rest of us here at Mondoweiss are free to discuss things that have been reported by multiple sources – without any rebuttals – including an article printed by the publishers and editors of the Jerusalem Post. "

      An article you haven't furnished, other than as a citation of multiple biased tertiary sources.

      "Chaim Simons has published his correspondence with the Israeli State Archives and Justice Shamgar and he has personally accessed the material in question – and the silence from his critics regarding the citation in question is deafening"

      Uh-huh. Tertiary biased source. Not credible, Hostage. I'll tell you what; I'll make it even easier. Cite an UNBIASED tertiary source. How hard could that possibly be? Like, you know, someone NOT from a political community who thinks the Rabin assassination was a Shin Bet plot, LOL.

      link to

      "It’s obvious that neither you nor the Hasbara brotherhood can produce a published secondary or primary source from Google that so much as challenges the quotes and citations in any of the articles that I’ve cited. "

      You've not cited anything worth discrediting, and you've not cited anything that qualifies as primary or secondary source. Why should I? Maybe you're observing Purim and got so drunk that you can't tell the difference between a credible argument and nonsense. If so, let me enlighten you:

      Tertiary sources with demonstrated extreme bias are NOT credible. That's NOT credible.

      Primary and secondary sources with credibility are what we're looking for here.

    • This is really getting silly.

      There is no evidence in the Megillah for any of this. All we know is that the King hung Haman and his sons, and that he did so after finding out that Haman's plan to kill the Jews would have included his beloved wife.

      One can presume that Haman was not planning to do all of this killing by himself; one can presume that Haman had mobilized people to do so. He was the king's vizier. To believe otherwise is like believing that Kristallnacht or Nazism could have been avoided simply by killing Hitler or Goebbels.

      A logical inference to draw is that Haman set a date for decimating the Jews in the Empire, publicized that date to the provinces, and mobilized some shock troops to carry it out. It's also logical to believe that when Haman's plan was reversed, it took a while for the message to reach the provinces.

      There's also little reason to believe that 75,000 people were killed in one day. C'mon. Think about it. This is thousands of years ago with primitive weapons. The language that the Jews stood up for their lives indicates that this was no massacre; this was a war of some kind.

      Doesn't it say something that the gorier parts of the story are glossed over? I mean, damned if you do, and damned if you don't. If we glorified them, you'd say we were bloodthirsty. If we don't, we're dishonest.

      It's pretty clear that we gloss over them for two reasons. The first is historical; a text mentioning the killing of Gentiles would be taken by medieval Christians and others as grounds to defame and attack Jews. The second is that the theme of the story is G-d enabling us to triumph over those who wanted to kill us. That's the theme, not some "orgy of violence." Jews celebrate that redemption, not the killing. Do some draw parallels to suggest that Jews should stand up for themselves when threatened today? Sure. We are two generations removed from the Holocaust, a period of time where six million Jews were killed, many of whom went quietly to the grave.

      What exactly would you suggest or expect? Are you a quietist? Are Jews under a special obligation to be quietists or pacifists?

    • "Of course you do. That seems to be your M.O. in excusing massacres that you favor.

      “The Megillah also says the Jews took none of the spoils from those who were killed.”

      LOL. Of course, it’s a Jewish myth. What else would you expect? "

      Right, so you want to believe the worst about Jews and reject the positive when they appear in the same story.

      In any event, there is no evidence that any massacre took place.

      "Because the delusional psychopath that is PM of Israel is making a comparison between modern geopolitics and a fairy story that results in a massive slaughter of those which the story portrays as enemies of the Jews."

      I don't think preaching self-defense is the same as saying a massacre should be committed. As I said above, I know very few people who interpret the Megillah as an instruction to massacre one's enemies. Indeed, as I pointed out before, in many modern translations of the Megillah, the verse speaking of the killing of the enemies of the Jews isn't even translated.

      "They’re myths, fictions, stories, made-up fairy tales. If one wants to discuss the themes of the stories, great. That’s a proper use for literature. But when one gets bent out of shape because of someone else’s view of the protagonists is a fiction, as you did here, that is tipping into the realm of mental illness."

      Phil is treating the story as true so he can make a point about how the Jews slaughter people as part of their religion. That's been his MO before - to point out the problems with Judaism as a religion; thus his promotion of Jeff Blankfort, his promotion of Matthew Taylor's anti-circumcision militancy, his promotion of Israel Shahak, and so on, and so on.

    • "The Government of Palestine had already accepted the jurisdiction of the Court – for the purpose of identifying, prosecuting and judging the authors and accomplices of acts committed on the territory of Palestine since 1 July 2002 – without any exceptions or reservations. — See Declaration of the Palestinian National Authority recognizing the Jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court,  executed for the Government of Palestine by Ali Khashan, Minister of Justice, January 21, 2009. link to

      So it’s actually Israel that is shreying about terrorism everywhere, except where it really counts."

      Excuse me for laughing. Let me know when the ICC prosecutes their first Palestinian terrorist.

    • Yes, another reason why I believe an attack is unlikely. Though, once again, the poll was about the backing of the United States, not the attack itself. Most Israeli oppose an attack without US backing.

    • Sorry, Hostage, I need a primary source. Chaim Simmons, like the others you've cited, is linked to Kiryat Arba, and has an obvious interest in claiming that a confidential part of the report which no one can see backs up the beliefs of Kiryat Arba residents. In the I-P conflict, where there is so much misinformation and falsehood on both sides, citing what amounts to a tertiary source with an obvious bias is just not credible.

    • Bombarding people with Beverly Hill 90210 is a special kind of torture. But Netanyahu, like all good politicians, knows his audience. Israeli culture is not the capitalist wet dream Netanyahu describes, and when Netanyahu tried to push through American-style economic reforms as Finance Minister, they were not very popular.

      That said, I am sure every country in the Middle East would be happy to experience some of the economic prosperity and entrepreneurial spirit that exists in Israel right now. Peres's New Middle East need not be a perpetual pipe dream; and Israel at peace with its neighbors would undoubtedly share the knowledge.

    • "LMAO. So you deny that in this story, seventy-five thousand Persians were killed? "

      No, not at all. I'm just not sure what defines it as a massacre. I think it sounds more like a war. The Megillah also says the Jews took none of the spoils from those who were killed.

      "Do you not see a problem with a paranoiac at the head of a nuclear-armed state (that would be Netanyahoo), who has, for years, been ceaselessly licking his lips at the chance to attack Persians, using an ancient revenge-fantasy fairytale in the context of modern geo-politics?? "

      Not sure what this has to do with Purim. Israel does not worry about Iran because of Haman. Israel worries about Iran because Iranian leaders constantly talk of Israel as "a cancer" and so on, and because Iran is led by a bunch of religious fanatics.

      "Modern Iranians should not have to die because you and Netanyahoo have the ludicrous notion that this ancient version of “Inglourious Basterds” has anything to say in the modern world and are too busy stroking your paranoia and victim complexes to actually used for brains. "

      Eh? I'm not sure what you're talking about here. If modern Iranians die, it will be because their leaders have made bad choices.

      "Perhaps Phil would have been happier if the Emperor had won and Luke, Leia and the rest of the rebellion had fallen to Darth Vader and the Galactic Empire."

      That may well be true. I mean, if Phil were Darth Vader, he could set whatever pro-Palestinian policies he wanted for the galaxy. There's always that strain of anti-democratic thinking in radical political movements, where the disenchantment is with the outcomes rather than the procedures. Always tempting to dictate those outcomes rather than working for them democratically.

    • "You also must know that I actually did provide a link to the relevant quote from the Shamgar Commission’s report in the earlier comment that you mentioned. link to "

      Not good enough. Provide a direct link to a primary source (Hebrew is fine), not some claim made in some article by an extremist. Otherwise, there is little reason to believe you on this point.

      Also let me know about any investigative reports released by the Palestinian Authority on the issue of Palestinian terrorism.

    • Whatever. No one disputes that Baruch Goldstein had and has, regrettably, his share of extremist supporters in places like Kiryat Arba. One is too much. It is beyond question that what he did was overwhelmingly condemned by the worldwide Jewish community. One cannot say the same for the many Hamas terror attacks that have taken place over the last two decades, which have had mainstream Palestinian support.

    • ""Then, too they wanted to wipe us out," Netanyahu reportedly told Obama in giving him the Bible story that ends with mass-murder of Persians."

      Except that the genocidalist was Haman, and the story is that the Jews stood up to their enemies. Stood up. The word massacre does not appear in relation to the Jews standing up to their enemies. Are you against Jews standing up to their enemies?

      But it's very like you to point stuff like this out (predictable, really), and ignore the main themes of the story, because saying nasty things about Jewish history is part of your MO. Perhaps you would have been happier if Haman triumphed and the Jews assimilated into the Persian empire of the time.

  • At last a leader, Obama fingers 'Israeli interest' in war
    • What Phil sees is not there.

      Like a lot of stuff Phil attributes to others, he's either being self-delusional or willfully disingenuous. The President said the bond between the US and Israel is unshakable, and made clear that both Israel and the US HAVE A STAKE in preventing a nuclear Iran.

      Phil edits what the President says (as he has done with quotes in the past) to make it seem as if the President was saying something other than what he said.

  • 'New Yorker' defends Rosenberg (and use of term 'Israel firster')
    • "There is indeed a gap, but it is between the real liberal Zionists like M.J., Peter Beinart, Naomi Hazan, Larry Derfner, Michael Lerner, Leibel Fein, David Grossman, Amos Oz, as well as the activist groups in Israel like B’Tselem, Rabbis for Human Rights, Breaking the Silence, on the one hand, and the faux liberal Zionists like Dershowitz, Abe Foxman, Benny Morris, Ari Shavit, and all those members of the so-called “disappointed left” in Israel, on the other."

      Like a lot of stuff, this suffers from the unbearable smug self-righteousness that is the reason MJ and others like him can gain little real traction in the organized Jewish community.

      First of all, this group of liberal Zionists is too large. Rosenberg is not in the same category as Beinart, Fein, Grossman, Oz, Hazan, or Derfner, all of whom have unimpeachable Zionist credentials and have offered criticism that has generally been devoid of the nasty name-calling Rosenberg engages in. To my knowledge, none of this group has sought common cause with hardcore anti-Zionists as Rosenberg has by associating himself with people like Phil Weiss. That's not to say Rosenberg isn't a Zionist. But he doesn't belong in that class. Beinart's ideas have actually gained plenty of traction in the organized Jewish community. Rosenberg's have not, because they drip with hostility.

      There's nothing faux liberal Zionist about Dershowitz, who has long supported a two-state solution (including before it was a popular idea). Nor is there anything faux about Abe Foxman, who has taken plenty of flack from the right-wingers for the positions he's taken on issues from the disengagement to the peace process to pluralism in Israel.

      And by the MJ, if it's so damn sunny, how come the American people support US military action if Iran gets close to a nuke and says overwhelmingly that preventing Iran from getting a nuke is more important than avoiding a military conflict?

      link to

      Maybe, like a lot of left-wingers, you don't trust people to think for themselves, and you mistake a flurry of left-wing op-eds for actual change on an issue.

      It's true; a lot of us don't like the Israel-firster nonsense; those of us with an historical memory know what the connotations are. We could just as well call those who favor a harder line on Iran Saudi-firsters, since the Saudis are every bit as worried about Iran as the Israelis are, or France-firsters, since President Sarkozy's stance has been more hardline than Obama's some of the time. Mostly, however, the term is a nasty way of avoiding actually addressing the argument that America should respect the decisions of the democratically-elected government of its only real ally in the region on the merits.

  • What’s queer about the anti-occupation movement?
    • There were no settlements in 1929. Only Jews.

    • "And [email protected] cynical, phony concern for the well-being of Palestinian queers within their society.

      I haven't even made that argument yet. Thanks, Cliff.

      "You don’t know anything about Palestinian society."

      Neither do you, apparently.

      "Your movement is only supported due to total whitewash of the conflict by a corrupt mass media and because of fanatical evangelical Christians."

      I'm sorry your position doesn't have more public support Cliff. I'm sorrier you (As usual) blame everyone else for that.

    • Are Jews illegal in Hebron?

    • "Well it is quite strange to waste so much money and resources just so 500 or so violent religious fanatics can live there."

      It is. I certainly wouldn't have chosen to do it and I don't support it. I'm harshly critical of it, actually, and I've been there and been angered by it. But then again, it isn't right to exclude Jews from the city either.

      "Much has been written about the massacre you mention, but few Zionist sources are even interested in examining the cause. The cause was not irrational hatred for Jews. Zionists – not indigenous Jews – were the target. To put it quite simply, not that they deserved it but they were asking for it. "

      They were asking for it? Let's not go down that road, OK? The Jews killed (and raped and mutilated) in Hebron were a mixture of women, children, and yeshiva students. The mob was incited by the Mufti, among others. It was a pogrom.

      "Contrary to popular belief, Muslim Arabs and Jews are not mortal enemies. Islam doesn’t encourage people to kill Jews."

      No one said they were, nor that Islam encourages people to kill Jews,

      "Hebron has always been an obstacle to the ‘peace process’ and the settlers have no right to live there. No right at all."

      Do Jews?

      "Not even on religious grounds because too much stuff in Palestine has wrongly been attributed to biblical places as a means for Zionists to claim the land. I’ve read claims that the Cave of the Patriarchs was either a Hindu (Lotus flower entrance) temple or more likely and Edomite temple."

      Whatever it was, both Jews and Muslims believe that the Patriarchs are buried there, and Israel has allowed the Waqf to run the place. For hundreds of years, no Jews were allowed to visit by the Muslim authorities.

    • "Is it queer to constantly have to remind you that several scores of Jews in Hebron in 1929 were SAVED by their PALESTINIAN neighbors?

      There were Jews saved by Germans and Poles too.

      "Is it queer that you have a blanket loathing and fear of Palestinians as a result, rather than recognition of common humanity?"

      I don't loathe or fear Palestinians. But the Jews in Hebron need protection for a reason.

    • Was it queer when several dozens Jews in Hebron were murdered during the 1929 riots? Is it queer that a few hundred need protection because without it, they wouldn't survive amongst the Palestinian population for five minutes?

  • Opposing boycott, Walzer shares stage with speakers known for attacking Islam
    • Because my criticism is based on the discussion here and what people here have actually said. There are plenty of people in the mainstream who would agree with me that the ideas expressed by Phil Weiss, especially his accusation that the Jewish community bears responsibility for the Iraq War, his embrace of rhetoric blaming the American Jewish community for promoting Israeli interests over American ones, and his promotion of people like Jeff Blankfort, who has a long history of disparaging statements about Judaism, his promotion of people who promote banning circumcision, his promotion of conspiracy theories about the relationship between early Zionists and Nazis, not to mention his frequent posting on the supposed disproportionate financial influence Jews have, and so on, make Phil an antisemite.

      Yours is a lie you pulled out of thin air.

    • Still waiting for Woody Tanaka to show me where I demonstrated a hatred for African-Americans or Hispanics.

    • Excuse me? I don't recall commenting on either African-Americans or Hispanics.

    • "It is people like you, hophmi, that put the worst possible face on Zionism."

      Whatever you need to tell yourself Cliff.

      "But I think we both know, you need antisemitism to know yourself. You wear that diagnosis on your face so blatantly it’s as subtle as a Michael Bay movie."

      You don't what antisemitism is, so your opinion on the matter is of little consequence.

      "Everyone who has been unfortunate enough to scroll past your temper-tantrums on MW, knows that you regularly use Jewish identity as an ideological bludgeon to emotionally blackmail your opponents."

      LOL. I'm not the one who throws temper-tantrums here, Cliff. You take care of that much better than I do. There's no reason an accusation of antisemitism should emotionally blackmail anybody unless they have something to feel guilty for.

      "You have never once criticized eee for his absurd no-true-scotsman of who is and is not a Jew."

      Is eee part of this discussion? And yes, I am inclined to see as hypocritical people who do nothing but bash Jewish tradition, intermarry, talk of the glories of secularism and complete assimilation, and then declare themselves to be Jews for the purpose of gaining extra street cred in the pro-Palestinian activist community.

      "Do you realize how insane you seem to a non-Jew/non-Arab/non-Muslim/etc. (ie someone who is not tied to this conflict by religion or ethnicity)?"

      I don't care about appearing insane. I care about being right.

      "But I think we both know, you need antisemitism to know yourself. You wear that diagnosis on your face so blatantly it’s as subtle as a Michael Bay movie."

      You don't like that diagnosis, and like a lot of people here, you're much too self-righteous and smug to think it could apply to you.

    • "Just as criticism of Islamism is not bigoted by definition."

      Phil said it was. He called Brooke Goldstein anti-Islam for criticizing Islamism.

      And remember, this was in service of smearing Michael Walzer. Or as we like to call it, guilt by association. Or as I like to call, an exercise in blatant hypocrisy coming from someone like Phil.

      What source did Phil cite and what argument did he make here? He said Jasser is a bad guy because he appeared before Peter King and praised Andrew Breitbart. That would make him a conservative, but last I checked conservative and anti-Islam are not synonymous terms.

      Brooke Goldstein's credentials for being anti-Islam are describing Hamas as a "hateful terrorist organization", and saying CAIR has ties to terrorists, neither an untrue statement and neither an anti-Islamic one last I checked. Goldstein's other offense is to criticize Islamists for seeking to criminalize depictions of the prophet as an attempt to stifle free speech - which it undoubtedly is.

      And I don't see a single source cited by Phil controverting any of these statements he criticizes.

    • "AS FAR AS I AM CONCERNED: You have just “blood libeled” Phil!"

      Go read what a blood libel is, and then get back to me.

    • Well again, Mooser, I'm sorry the logic is difficult, but it's simply a matter of apply the same standards. If it's anti-Islam to attack Islamism and theocratic Muslim despots (Islamism is a Muslim political movement and theocratic despots are, well, despots), it's without question anti-Jewish to attack Zionism (a Jewish political movement) and Israeli government leaders (who are not even theocratic despots).

      And to criticize Walzer for sharing a stage with these people? Not only has Phil shared stages with people who have said nasty things about Jews and the Jewish community, he's actually one of the people who have said some of the nasty things, much worse than criticizing a conservative religious political movement and those in it who promote religious totalitarianism.

      Let's be honest here. For activists like Phil, it's OK to criticize hate as long as your own political community is excluded from the definition.

    • LOL, throw stones much?

      How many times have you shared a stage with people known for attacking Judaism and/or the Jewish community?

      Oh wait, you're one of them. Do you ever apply the rules to yourself that you apply to others?

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