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  • H to Jake to Malcolm to Maggie to Haim to Huma -- resetting the discourse on Israel in 6 easy steps
    • "The Democratic rank-and-file was pleased and proud when our President raged at Netanyahu. "

      Right, because the feelings of left-wing Democratic base voters is more important than the Palestinians are. It's always about you, not them. That's why your activism sucks.

  • 'NYT' editors twist themselves into knots not to say the word 'Jewish'
    • Print it, Mooser. I'm proud of it, and it's true. That's why you obsessively link to it. Or drop the court jester act and tell me what part is wrong. The Middle East is a mess. Is it the fault of Israel? Is it the fault of the Jews? The owner of the Times is a secular assimilated Jew. Maybe it's his fault.

      Or is it because these societies are seriously ill, and, because some of them are fabulously wealthy, they export their illnesses elsewhere? And why is it that the radical left, whose compatriots are often the victims of these ill societies, apologize for them, remain silent, or adopt their diversionary tactic of blaming Israel for their problems?

  • As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the 'Vietnam War' of our time
    • "No, it’s the moral response to the moral outrage that is the creation of the Zionist state, one of the great crimes of the 20th Century. "

      It says a lot about you that in a Century that featured the Holocaust, the Killing Fields, Soviet repression, and countless other atrocities, you view the founding of a Jewish state as one of the great crimes of the 20th Century.

      "There was a time when it was only leveled against someone who just plain disliked or hated Jews."

      Actually, antisemitism is a philosophy that opposes the influence of Jews and Jewish culture in society. It's completely apropos to describe the paranoia that leads people to worry about the influence of Jews in secular society, or to put it as Keith does, "the Judaization of the elite," because, you see, when Jews are in a position of power, they're in a position of power as Jews, their influence is "Jewish," and they act in their own interest, rather than the interest of the countries they inhabit. That's how that philosophy goes.

      Some people here may find Keith's bluntness a step too far, but he really does a very good job at doing what Phil does in a less nice and even more offensive way. He takes the euphemisms out.

      "I am actually quite proud that you once labeled something I wrote antisemitic."

      I'm sure you are. I'm sure that you feel quite ennobled when you think you're in the right and someone else calls you on your bias and privilege.

      "When your JSIL experiment has run its bloody course I will be proud to point to that if anyone asks me how I stood on this issue."

      I certainly expect that you will, whether Jews are massacred in the process or not.

  • American Jewish identity: Moving beyond 'love for Israel' and the Holocaust
    • It's not necessary. It's a natural reaction to historical persecution and to living as a minority group. Persecuted people tend to be more proud of who they are, and minority groups tend to be reminded of who they are more regularly than others.

      Particularly in France, Jews face a resurgence of violent antisemitic attacks. Elsewhere, they face constant verbal abuse. Right-wing and left-wing extremism are on the rise. And Jews are a very tiny minority in Europe to begin with. So a sense of pride in their heritage is really quite a normal reaction.

    • I always wonder when I see comments like these. What on Earth do you think caused Jews in Germany and Poland to lose their respective national identities? I can't imagine what historical event might have caused this. Could it be the one that wiped out 91% of the Polish Jewish community in less than six years' time?

      In reality, few in Europe today are particularly nationalistic, but Jews living in Germany are generally proud to be there, and Jews in Poland are starting to slowly rediscover their roots after a couple of generations of being raised either without religion or being raised as Catholics.

  • Please boycott us, Governor Cuomo
  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • Ladies and gentlemen, Israel has the strongest protections for minority populations in the Middle East, and everyone knows it; look around that region of the world and you'll find that it has descended into tribal warfare precisely because these country have no history of minority protection; though some of them treated us comparatively well, we were still second-class citizens who were susceptible at any time to a whimsical rulers who could decide to make our lives difficult, and G-d forbid we should show any political consciousness.

      And ladies and gentlemen, though I'm a democratic socialist, I'm no radical authoritarian, and I'm certainly no fool. Minority protections have NEVER protected Jews from persecution. Europe in the 1930's was full of countries where Jews seemed to be doing well, and Germany was considered the most culturally advanced country on Earth. Didn't save the Jews. Neither did assimilation. Neither did conversion. After World War II, Jews were finished depending on others for their safety and security, and though antisemitism is up these days (funny how the same people who want an end to Israel also deny that Europe has an antisemitism problem), we have earned the respect of our fellow human beings, rather than their endless and useless pity. You know why minority protections don't ensure safety? Because nothing ensures safety against an angry mob. And that's what this country is becoming.

      Look at this country right now. The Republican frontrunner is a neo-fascist who incites people to violence, calls for restricting press freedoms, talks about total war, and is supported by white supremacists. He's probably the only candidate attracting larger crowds than I am. The radicals who hate our people are willing to ignore his neo-fascism because he claimed that he'd be neutral between Israel and the Palestinians, as if being neutral was possible for the United States in the Middle East, where the choices are being pro-Israel or being pro-chaos. So remember that folks: It's more important to be neutral on Israel-Palestine than it is to be an adherent of democracy. No wonder they're willing to sign on to the Arab Middle East's latest look-anywhere-but-here tactic, BDS. Three generations of Arab boycotts didn't work, so they took the show on the road, and it seems like their main achievement is passing resolutions on college campuses, where kids know zero about the conflict.

      Even I'm popular, and I'm popular because I've united lots of people against big money. Of course, big money in politics is a problem, but history shows that antisemites often take that one step further and blame the Jews for working class problems. First they start by pointing out all the Jews in finance. A website called Mondoweiss loves to do this, and commentators there love to post lists of rich Jews from those white supremacy websites in the moderated comment section. These people were on the fringes of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but it seems like there are a lot of them. You know where that leads.

      I love America. It's been a great place for Jewish Americans, who have made contributions to American society totally out of proportion to their numbers, something which always engenders a lot of jealousy, which in turn causes some our brethren to internalize the hatred against us, as it always has. I love that we have actually been able to live not just as Americans who happen to be Jewish, but, should we so desire, as proud and practicing Jews in a country that celebrates diversity, rather than forcing people to drown in a melting pot, like France, which also has minority protections that somehow, hasn't saved French Muslims from systematic discrimination. But the country has its problems. Of course, the BDS movement is trying to undue a lot of that, and yes, the same people who tell us to put our trust in American minority rights protections are the people who are most likely to bash America on a regular basis and to talk about how the United States misuses its power and oppresses people of color. It's hypocritical, but subscribing to a dumb idea like BDS is a sign that the subscriber is illogical.

      For people like African-Americans, minority protections are becoming a bigger and bigger bad joke. So it takes a special level of obtuseness to claim that Jews should put all of their eggs in the minority protection basket. It takes someone who wouldn't give a damn if 100 years from now, Jews and Judaism were extinct. May America be a safe place for Jews for many years to come, and may it become a safer place for others. But may Jews never take the place for granted, or become re-enamored with the idea that we may be saved by some Christian savior. We've been there, done that.

  • New Jersey teenager threatened with legal action by high school over pro-Palestine activism (Update)
    • Yeah, Froggy, she's Sophie Scholl. Seems like the kind of comparison that someone who denies the existence of antisemitism in Europe would make.

      "Bendy has chosen to stand up against organised zionism, and that looks pretty brave to me."

      Why is it brave? What's she risking? A little ribbing by a few of her classmates? Support from classmates who agree with her political views? OMG, she risked a mean girl saying something not nice. That's totally putting her life on the line like Sophie Scholl.

      I thought, according to Mondoweiss, Israel hate was progressive orthodoxy now. Elite campuses are no-go zones for proud Zionists. Jews in France can't cover their heads because it's unsafe. But this girl is the brave one.

  • Understanding the Jewish National Home
    • "ust the links alleging he was. he also provided a link written by bolton refuting this allegation. i thought neo nazis were proud of being neo nazis. why would he refute it?"

      Are you serious? Wikipedia article sets out his affiliation with fascist neo-Nazi parties in New Zealand. That's not something he refutes. The other link sets out his antisemitic views about Jews controlling the world. He's also written for CODOH, the Holocaust denial website, repeatedly. http://codoh.com/library/authors/2729/

      "it makes sense to refute the allegations in the bolton article would be to simply find counter narratives about what happened to those dead people. why not just prove he’s a liar by countering the allegations?"

      No, it makes sense not to dignify neo-Nazis and their websites. That HURTS the Palestinian cause. And that's exactly what you're doing. And as I've pointed out repeatedly, his sourcing is highly suspect and also unavailable. So that makes things difficult. But the honest thing to do is not to ask me to refute his nonsense. The honest thing to do is not to use neo-Nazi websites and rely on their bad sources for information.

  • How Salaita’s critics have distorted the Salaita report
    • "The reason I say that your “rich Jew theory” is not totally irrelevant, is that I can argue for public funding against private corruption and I will simply be dismissed as an unrealistic idealist, with no understanding of human nature, or as a liberal, or a socialist (epithets I am proud to receive). But the moment one applies such a critique not to Catholics, Protestants or Atheists but to Jews one is no longer opposing elitism, one is no longer advocating the well-being of the common people (or the middle class as they are strangely called in the States) but one become a dirty, vicious, Holocaust-denying antisemite, determined to destroy Israel. Such is the crazy world we live, and such are the stratagems that the elite utilize to maintain their domination."

      I really have no idea what you're going on about. The point here is that the pro-Salaita brigade is applying this analysis, based on no evidence, only to Jews, and not to other groups. The entire subtext of their critique is that Jews are a rich minority that collective use their money to control things like hiring at UIUC. That claim, which asserts that Jews act as a religious group to keep others down, besides not being supported by any evidence, is classically antisemitic, and it has come to dominate the thinking in the pro-Palestinian community.

  • Israeli military destroyed el-Wafa hospital even though it knew there were no weapons inside
    • I will be proud to tell my grandchildren that I stood up to be counted when extremists, whether they favored the terrorists of Hamas or the terrorists of Yitzhar, tried to impose their will and keep people at war.

      I will also tell them that I stood up to people in my own community, whether they were self-hating Jews or outward-hating Jews. Both are dangerous groups of people who hurt everyone, no matter how well-intentioned they think they are.

  • 'Cycle of violence' is the new narrative (and inaccurate, but a step forward)
    • LOL. I'll convey your concern about the Holocaust survivors to the proper authorities. There are quite a few in poverty in the United States as well. Most are old, have little family to help them out, and aren't always aware of the available resources. Feel free to visit them and help them out. I'm glad to put you in touch with the organizations in the States that work with them.

      You're not fooling anyone. The vast majority of Israeli Holocaust survivors are proud Israelis (and the ones living in the United States are proud Americans), and glad to be where they are.

  • 'NYT' terms Islamic Jihad's 4 percent support-- 'new traction in Gaza'
    • "I don’t know you and I have never engaged with you before and for all I know you are a paid hasbarist working for some Zionist agency "

      I'm not, and the moderators know that I'm not, but they keep allowing people to suggest it anyway. Oh well.

      "Not really. I understand your need to reflexively defend JR but the fact that JR could point to a one percent increase in a poll does not establish or even indicate a 'trend'."

      I think that's a fair point. It's just that you could make the same point about the BDS movement.

      " One is left wondering how far she had to go to dig up that trivia and what I would have given to have been a fly on the wall as she discussed that article with her editor."

      You can speculate all you want about stuff like this (as people in the pro-Israel community do), but the fact of the matter is that there is no conspiracy at the New York Times.

      "My point is no wise diminished by your imperious claim that you have not seen supposedly impartial/empirical data."

      There has been quite a bit of polling on how Americans view Israel, and about whether Americans support Israel. They have been quite consistent over the past couple of decades. http://www.pollingreport.com/israel.htm

      As you can see, the last poll was taken about two weeks ago by Pew. The number of Americans who sympathize with Israel is 53%. The number that sympathize with Palestinians is 11%. The Israel numbers are actually up from last year's 49%. 9% believe we favor the Israelis too much. 22% believe we favor the Palestinians too much. 45% think we have it right. Those numbers are virtually unchanged since last year.

      What does this tell you? It tells me that you're doing virtually nothing to reach beyond your own camp to promote your issue. And that is very typical of the radical left, having observed it for the last 15 years or so. You always put ideology above everything. Most people are not ideologues. They are not people who are nasty to dissenters on a blog where there are 150 of you for every 1 of me.

      As I said, you guys are deluding yourselves. You come here, and everyone agrees with you, so you think you must be making a big impact. You're making an impact, but it's very small. You'll celebrate Vassar (and I'll freak out about it because I went there), but you'll forget (as I did for the past couple of weeks) that Vassar is a very untypical place, a place where, when I was there, the student body held serious debates about whether to vote for Al Gore or Ralph Nader.

      "You seem like most radical movements – very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized"

      I think the polling essentially proves me right. You're loud. You're proud. But you're not moving the needle. It's not rhetoric. It's the truth. I tell the same truth to rightists in the pro-Israel who don't want to believe that Israel can do anything wrong. They're oblivious.

      "More subjectivity!"

      Well, look Dan, do you know of any country that isn't active on social media? The US certainly is. The Syrian Free Army is. Why shouldn't Israel be involved?

      "And yes, Israel has always engaged in pr not because it has always been surrounded by hostile states but because Zionism is an engine of hostility and it generates ill will wherever it goes."

      That's subjective.

      "I wonder if you think pr has been a success story for Israel?"

      Oh, without a doubt. And Brand Israel, which is the campaign that includes Startup Nation, has also been quite successful, especially in the business community. Israel has its problems, but they'd be worse without these campaigns. Not every campaign is perfect, and not every individual campaign works, but Israel's generally done a good job.

      "Political Zionism is to the Middle East what the Confederate States of America were to the Western Hemisphere and Europe: a self-privileging insult to morality."

      You were saying something about subjectivity . . .

    • "But that is not what counts. What counts is the trend and the trend is up. "

      OK, that's all Jodi Rudoren is saying about Islamic Jihad. The trend is up.

      "The other key indicator to watch is the decline of “support” for political Zionism/Israel. Even Netanyahu/AIPAC/Government of Israel realize that the image/market share of support for Israel is in free fall."

      I haven't seen polling to prove that contention. Of course, anything can change, and I do expect some change (maybe a few percentage points) this year given the press interest in the BDS movement. But as late as this year, Americans supporting Israel outnumbered those supporting Palestine by a factor of about 8 to 1, and the overall numbers were the same as they've been for the past two decades.

      "A long time AIPAC wag once said that “Zionism is like a mushroom…it grows best in the dark”. "

      I think that the quote was that a lobby was like a mushroom, not Zionism.

      "The internet and social media have radically and permanently altered Zionism’s environment. "

      I just don't see the facts bearing that out. Internet and social media have a sort of delusional effect on people. It enables them to find others in the their camps, and with them, they create an echo chamber that makes them sound and feel strong. I believe that's generally true of the BDS movement. I'm not saying that things won't change in the future, but as I've said many times, I don't see you doing anything to get into the mainstream. You seem like most radical movements - very loud, very proud, and basically marginalized.

      "Of course it cannot and that is why we see so many bizarre informational efforts emanating from Zionism such as the IDF’s decision to engage with social media. These are desperation measures and bound to fail or worse to accelerate Zionism’s implosion."

      I think, Dan, that they're savvy measures. Israel has always felt the need to engage in public relations because it has always been surrounded by hostile states. Why wouldn't Israel (and BDS, and any other movement that wants to be relevant) use social media?

      "Palestine solidarity has no such problem: it thrives on transparency/sunlight/direct analysis/empiricism/viralness."

      Eh don't sell yourself short. Pro-Palestinian activists have become good propagandists.

  • When Yitzhak Rabin met Marek Edelman: A story for Holocaust Remembrance Day
    • "He understood universal justice in the way no Zionist is capable of. A giant of a man."

      Yes, and there would probably be a lot more Jewish Poles proud of being Poles had 91% of them not been slaughtered between 1939 and 1945. That's the part you seem not to understand.

  • Brandeis retracts plan to honor anti-Muslim activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali
    • "However, she hearts Israel and pushes the worst stereotypes about Muslims – all Muslims – so as far as you’re concerned, what’s not to like eh?"

      Oh please. My record is quite strong on opposing Islamophobia. Get off your high horse.

      Again, I'm making a single point, which is that people here are opposing her based on her extreme rhetoric on Muslims, but have no trouble celebrating atheistic Jews who use the same brand of rhetoric.

      "Look at all of your posts. Just about every single one of them is concerned with preserving Jewish colonial supremacy in Palestine, at the expense of the indigenous Arab people."

      Being pro-Israel is not the same as being anti-Arab. Give me a break. That is the same thing as saying being pro-Palestinian is being anti-Jewish.

      "Islamic society? So there’s only one? So ‘society’ in Albania is the same as ‘society’ in Yemen which is the same as ‘society’ in Indonesia? Do you realise how stupid and bigoted you sound?"

      You're right; I forgot for a moment that there are 57 Islamic countries. Maybe you can point me to ten that have a good record on gender issues, including five in Middle East and North Africa.

      "Oh and btw, does it make you feel proud to be shilling for a person who sympathises with Anders Behring Brevik?"

      As I said, I'm not shilling for her. I've argued in favor of her disinvitation elsewhere. I'm simply asking a simple question: If you're against her, why aren't you against Jewish apostates who say nasty things about Jews?

  • Evangelicals who dissent from Christian Zionism wear 'stain of indelible infamy,' Israel says
    • "Jewishness is as much a matter of ethnicity as a religious belief, correct?"

      We're not talking "Jewishness" here. Jewishness could be a bagel.

      "Olivier Melnick is not only a self-declared and proud ethnic and cultural Jew — he is also a religious Jew"

      No, he is not. I see nowhere in his bio that he even defines himself that way. Again, Sean, this debate is settled. Phil agrees with me.

      "That is why the Times of Israel publishes him."

      The Times of Israel publishes a lot of people, left-wing, centrist, right-wing, Jews, Christians, atheists.

      Melnick is an Evangelical Christian. He may be a confused Evangelical Christian, but when you define your life's work as "taking Yeshua’s message to the Jewish people" and your hope as being that people "would investigate [Jesus's] word and make Him your Lord and Savior," you ain't practicing Judaism.

      "Do you agree that the sooner that Christian Zionism disappears from the world the better? It’s one of the looniest and potentially most dangerous cults of all time — and certainly one of the most ignorant from the standpoint of Christian theology."

      Then you should probably work to get rid of it. I'm not a Christian Zionist. I think there have been much loonier and more dangerous movements, like the Nazis and and the Stalinists.

  • JDate's mission of making 'JBabies' might provoke outrage, 'Atlantic' writer allows
    • "Sorry I was replying to a post which discussed the fact that some Jews do not consider non-Jews good enough to serve as spouses. It’s a historical fact that Jews have used gentiles as concubines or slaves and shunned or disinherited the offspring. The prime example is part of the founding myth of Judaism, which its hopelessly bound-up in the conflict between Israel and the Arabs. So it isn’t off topic here."

      You were replying to a post which quoted a documentary in which young Jews allegedly said that they while they dated non-Jews, they were planning to marry other Jews, which was spun here as evincing that these young Jews somehow thought of non-Jews as less than worthy. That claim was risible enough; I hate, again, to appeal to basic logic with mundane examples, but if I'm a fan of the New York Mets, it does not mean that I don't think the Boston Red Sox are a great baseball team. If I love Beethoven, it does not mean that Chopin is a less worthy composer. If I prefer to marry those who share my religion, it does not mean that I think other religions are less worthy or bad. That's the world I inhabit.

      You chose to respond to this by citing an article about Jewish slave owners in the Ottoman Empire. This, you claim, is "on-topic."

      "It’s a historical fact that Jews have used gentiles as concubines or slaves and shunned or disinherited the offspring."

      Uh-huh. And you think this has something to do with JDate. It's also an historical fact that concubines and slaves existed for most of human history, and in the Ottoman Empire, that most of the slave owners were not Jews. It's also an historical fact that what history you think this is has nothing to do with JDate, and it's also an historical fact that decontextualized insinuations like this are what leads to mass slaughter. And I must say, it's also an historical fact that making them won't lead to any justice for the Palestinians.

      "Of course you have no defense against the historical fact that rich Jews subjugated Muslim and Christian slaves for centuries."

      I never denied it. I never said the Jews were angels, much as many in the world, and on this site in particular, seem dedicated to making them out to be devils. But in context, it has no relevance today, certainly not in a world where there are billions and billions of Christians and Muslims and 15 million Jews. And your constant harping on points like these, and your disingenuous presentation in fora like this make your cause plain. You make my skin crawl.

      "interested in any Ottoman decree that you can cite which prohibited Jews from owning Christian slaves “for much of this time."

      Did you read the article? It is against Muslim law for non-Muslims to own slaves, including the dhimmis. The Ottomans just didn't enforce it very aggressively.

      "Zionist do deploy the dhimmi card to portray themselves as vicarious victims, without ever bothering to check the facts about the many rich or middle class slave-owning Jewish dhimmis."

      Again, as if owning anything is the same as not experiencing persecution. Jews in Germany owned many things. It didn't stop them from having their store windows smashed and their synagogues burned 75 years ago this weekend.

      "The same thing applies to the Zionist use of the Holocaust card, which attempts to portray 20 centuries of Jewish life in Europe as unrelenting hell, which really wasn’t, and isn’t the case."

      I have never attempted to portray it that way. But there was a lot of hell. And a lot of it was driven by the deicide charge. A lot of driven by hatred of the other. But Jews were indeed expelled at one time or another from most European countries. They were subjected to frequent pogroms. And these are also historical facts.

      Somehow, you've got it in your head that talking about this hell is the same thing as saying Jews were perfect, or that it was persecution every second of every minute of every hour of every day. It's you who plays the reductionist game, not me.

      But, I'll say it again. Jews began to secularize in the 18th and 19th centuries. They became active in their countries. They were proud citizens of them. There was no Zionist movement. There was no Israel. There was no dual loyalty charge nonsense. And all the European democracy and Enlightenment and culture did not stop the persecution, and ultimately, the Holocaust from happening.

  • 'Forward' columnist says 'divided' loyalty is as American as cherry pie
    • "1. What are the criteria for considering a person to be a Jew? Please don’t omit any."

      Anyone with a Jewish parent.

      "2. Is being a Jew the same as being Jewish?"

      Is being a Catholic the same thing as being Catholic? Well, to the extent that "Jewish" is a social construct, yes, one can be a Jew by definition without being "Jewish." To the extent that Jewish is the definition of someone who is a Jew, obviously not.

      "3. Under what circumstances – if any – can a Jew be stripped of his Jewish identity and rendered not a Jew?"

      Under none. A Jew is a Jew. Of course, free will is free will. Many Jews have stripped themselves of Jewish identity. But there is no way, if one is a Jew, to be rendered not a Jew.

      "4. Can a person be a Jew and not belong to “the Jewish people”?"

      Maybe. If you define Jewish people as people who are Jews, then no. If you define Jewish people as a political construct, then obviously, in the same way you can be Black and not belong to the African-American community.

      "5. Can a person belong to “the Jewish people” and not be a Jew?"

      Interesting question. Probably not, though one can certainly be supportive of the Jewish community or the political construct of the Jewish people and support the same aims as they do.

      I personally think Halkin's question, asked by many antisemites over the years as a preface to a dual loyalty charge, is stupid, or as Norman Finkelstein would say, a little like asking what would happen if Grandma were a baby carriage, would she have wheels? Who cares? Grandma is not a baby carriage. America isn't going to war with Israel, and our interests largely coalesce with Israel's.

      Most Americans support a Jewish state in principal, and have no trouble with an America committed to Israel's security.

      Israel is certainly a part of American Jewish identity. Many American Jews have visited Israel, and many have family there. It's well and good that American Jews should care what happens there, something I'm sure Phil Weiss would heartily agree with.

      What Halkin is saying is nothing surprising. To the extent that one identifies as a Jew, those who would forsake their brethren in Israel probably care less about the religion in general than those who would be interested in their welfare.

      Perhaps some would answer that Israel's interests would be paramount, because, after all, America is a lot more secure and established than Israel's is. Those who take that view are protected by the First Amendment, much as those who favored the Soviet Union over America forty or fifty years ago were, much as those who prefer Europe to America today are. Besides the fact that I know many of those in the American Jewish community whom Phil would accuse of dual loyalty and know that they are proud Americans, the silliest thing about the dual loyalty argument is that it could be used against literally anyone who expresses a view that is opposed to some American foreign policy position or supportive of some position that someone else disagrees with. That's why it's particularly ironic and jarring to see the charge leveled by people on the left, who really should know better. Phil is a trenchant critic of American foreign policy. Many of those associated with pro-Palestinian politics are members of radical left groups that in recent generations were broadly supportive of the Soviet Union, and on the I-P conflict, found common cause with radical elements in the Arab world, much in the way Lynne Stewart did with Sheikh Rahman, whom she defended in part because Ramsey Clark told her the left owed it to the Arab world.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/22/magazine/left-behind.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

      So maybe dual loyalty is not the best charge for you guys to throw around.

  • The face of young Israel: Palestinians shouldn't be in the Knesset, or in relationships with Jews
    • "What’s truly dismal is that they are proud of their oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Jewish State” even as it continues to oppress, steal, occupy, cleanse, colonize, destroy, torture and kill."

      Uh-huh. Because the Chinese are not proud of China, which executes juveniles. Because the Russians are not proud of Russia, an authoritarian state that has killed tens of thousands of people in Chechnya. Because Americans are not proud of America, even though its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq led to a couple hundred thousand dead people. Because Saudi Arabians are not proud of Saudi Arabia, which treats women like chattel.

      No, the Israelis are less human than the rest of us, right, Eljay?

    • Why would they?

      Israelis generally are not afraid to talk to people who disagree with them; they're gregarious people, and they're proud of their country.

      Teenager, like drunk college students, may not have the sophistication to realize the agenda expressed in the questions.

  • Malcolm Gladwell is afraid to address Israel in his new book
    • "We’re book readers– proudly people of the book. I’m proud of that. "

      So am I. But we're about 2% of the American population, and we are not the only ones who read books. Any mainstream publisher that bases his strategy on how many Jews buy their books is a pretty bad business person.

      "The folk wisdom in publishing, which I first heard from Hoag Levins 30 years ago, is that a bestseller required 40,000 sales, and 3/4 of those readers are Jewish."

      Emphasis on "folk wisdom." That's not a universally acknowledged truth. That's what we call a myth. And a transparent one.

      How long are you going to repeat this folk wisdom myth? It's outdated in a time when the NY Times Magazine is publishing Ben Ehrenreich pieces and Farrar Straus is publishing Walt and Mearsheimer.

  • Andrea Mitchell says Rand Paul is 'isolationist,' like those who wouldn't take on Hitler
    • "Two nights back, Andrea Mitchell of NBC caricatured Sen. Rand Paul’s antiwar views as “isolationist” and suggested he would have appeased Hitler."

      I think that's generally accurate. Paul defines American interest very narrowly, and he seems to be one who would have said in 1939 that America had no business getting involved in a European war. He certainly would not have said that America should spend blood and treasure saving Jews, but not many did.

      This is a great moral failing of the modern left, this decision to cast their lot with isolationists and to end up on the wrong side of those campaigns to save oppressed peoples. The leftists argued against everything from Bosnia to Kosovo to Libya to Syria. That's not something to be proud of.

      You have to seriously examine your morals if you profess to care about human rights and then find common cause with someone like Rand Paul.

  • In 'NYT' profile of Jewish leader, apartheid was long ago and far away and resisted by brave South African Jews
    • "Sara & Sam: Apartheid is alive and thriving as finessed by Israel. Are you feeling proud NOW?"

      Dear Sam: Next time you write an on-religion piece about a Muslim, please ask the following questions, regardless of whether they have anything to do with the piece.

      1. How do you feel about the subjugation of women in your religion?
      2. How do you feel about honor killings in your religion?
      3. How do you feel about the utter paucity of liberal intellectuals in your religion?
      4. Have you ever condemned terrorism from your pulpit, since some of your coreligionists practice it?
      5. Have you ever condemned the subjugation of women from your pulpit, since some of your co-religionists practice it?
      6. Have you condemned the Taliban, which imprisons the women in Afghanistan?
      7. Did you do it in Arabic, or just English?
      8. Do you feel responsible for everything other Muslims do?
      9. Do you think you should be held accountable for everything other Muslims do?
      10. How do you feel about the murder of Israeli children?
      11. How about Pakistani children?
      12. Afghani children?
      13. Sudanese children?
      14. Somali children?
      15. What about Saudi Arabia girls, like those teenagers that were left to burn to death?
      16. What is your position on the persecution of Iraqi Christians?
      17. What have you personally done to address the abject slaughter in Syria?
      18. Is it fair to say that since you haven't formally condemned the murder of children specifically in each of these countries, that you're an ostrich who doesn't care?

      Islamophobic? Sure. So why do you favor the same thing if Sam interviews a Jewish leader?

  • 'NYT' covers Beitar Jerusalem fans campaign against Muslim players and says racism may threaten Israeli-hosted tournament
    • Soccer fans chanting racist slogans? I guess this has only ever happened in Israel.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_association_football

      Tell me: What's been the reaction to Jewish players on soccer teams in other Middle Eastern countries?

      In any event, it seems that Beitar Jerusalem is not listening to their fans. Or that the chanting of their fans is going unnoticed and unaddressed in Israel.

      Ehud Olmert, for instance, has announced that he will not attend any Beitar games until the hooligans are removed:

      "One of the finest days of Israeli sports was the day Bnei Sakhnin won the State Cup final. It was very moving to see Jewish and Arab players dancing with the Israeli flag, proud of winning the State Cup...

      "The fact that the Arabs are part of the State of Israel and are citizens with equal rights is irrelevant. Even if they were not citizens, these despicable expressions of racism cannot be tolerated, regardless of the fact that we live with Arabs and respect their heritage and religion. Arabs are welcome everywhere, including in the stands of Teddy Stadium and on the pitch, wearing the uniform of the team I thought I supported. "

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4338691,00.html

  • In 'Dear Dad' letter in 1939, JFK called for 'independent' Jerusalem
    • "Towards which nation in the world do you feel the strongest loyalty?"

      I resent both the question and the number of times you've asked it, despite my answering it many times now.

      I'm a proud American, and it is to America that I feel the greatest allegiance.

  • Are the Jews a nation? And more importantly, can they hit a curveball breaking low and away?
    • Please. That is exactly what they were doing and what this site has done in the past by questioning the number of Jewish service personnel in the US Army. They assumed that someone from the US who fought for the IDF would not think of joining the US military. I have two friends who have done both, and two others who are Navy Chaplains. All are proud Jews. I'd like to hear Les's credentials since he's so fast to criticize the choices of others.

  • The crisis of Jewish identity
    • Annie, as usual, you put words in my mouth. I never said Jews were the most hated and I certainly don't covet anything. I also never said that hatred is exclusive to Gentiles, and indeed, I fight hatred in my own community, much more than you fight it in yours.

      It's quite clear that Jews have faced far more discrimination at the hands of Christians and Muslims than the other way around. If you deny a fact as basic as that, you have serious problems. But generally, to complain about anti-gentilism in the Jewish community is a lot like complaining about anti-White sentiment in the Black community. Does it exist? I'm sure it does (though I don't hear very much of it, and I hear next to none expressed by people under the age of 50), but there are obvious reasons Jews do not place great trust in Gentiles anymore, just as most Blacks do not place great trust in Whites to do right by them. 400 years of persecution will do that to people.

      And why should we trust Gentiles collectively? Because America has given us a nice home for a few generations? Do you think that cancels out the historical memory of a millenium of pervasive antisemitism among Christians that culminated in the Shoah? Indeed, most people in my generation do trust Gentiles. Most of us have moved past the feeling in the previous generation that, for instance, Americans would not vote for a Jewish Presidential candidate. As we become more removed from the hatred of the past, we become collectively more trusting. Those closer to real antisemitism, like the Russian Jews, think a lot of us are nuts for moving in that direction.

      Jews are deeply grateful to be Americans and always have been. We've also contributed collectively a great deal to this country and it has been good to us as a community. But historically, for the West and much of the East, including Russia and the Arab world, it is the exception, not the rule. And surprise, surprise, the closer people are to having experienced actual antisemitism, the less they trust others to take care of them. Again, see the Russian Jewish community.

      McBride supplies no "legitimate information." He makes lists and faulty assumptions and asks us to buy into them. Is that who you are, Annie? Are you a person who makes lists of Jews in power and then tries to sell them to others so you can claim Jewish power is too pervasive in American society? Are you proud of being associated with that kind of filthy garbage? Because that's who you seem to be.

    • I think it's fair to say that it's a major Mondoweiss theme to achieve a cessation of Jews as a coherent social group. The blog's creator is intermarried, proud of it, calls efforts to educate young Jews in the Jewish religion a return to "segregation," calls efforts to bring down intermarriage in the Jewish community bigoted, publishes literature opposing circumcision, opposes the concept of a Jewish political sovereignty, and favors radical assimilation of Jews into American culture as the answer to the Jewish question. Achieving the cessation of Jews as a cohesive social group is a nice way to put it.

  • Circumcision deaths are a legalized non-scandal
    • I would like to know what this has to do with the Israel-Palestine conflict. This seems like nothing more than an attempt to pillorize a practice that is common to Jews and Muslims for thousands of years. Why is it important for Mondoweiss to be a forum for Matt Taylor to sound off on circumcision? Does this help the cause? Is Matt prepared to criticize male circumcision in the Muslim world, where it occurs hundreds of times the amount it occurs in the Jewish world?

      This is another manifestation of the antisemitism that pervades this site. The anti-circumcision movement is not mainstream. It is a fringe movement, and Matt Taylor seem like the sort of selfish person who would like to force his view on everyone else. He doesn't exactly seem willing to admit that maybe, just maybe, his deep depression is based on something other than circumcision, and his claim that this is widespread feeling is anecdotal, not borne out by any evidence he has presented. There is no rash of Jewish men falling into deep depression over circumcision. The notion is, frankly, a little silly.

      I can understand Matt's inclusion here as a member of Young, Jewish, and Proud. Including (yet another) rant against circumcision, especially focusing as Matt does on the people who do a small percentage of them worldwide, while ignoring the long history of antisemitism connected to condemnations of this practice, is wholly gratuitous.

  • Feeling the hate in Long Island
    • LOL. I don't think the views of the kids in Max's video reflect the views of the majority of young Jews in the US. Neither do the kids from Young, Jewish, and Proud. They are two extremes. Most young Jews favor the two-state solution and oppose settlements. They are not for a one-state solution, binational or otherwise.

  • 'NYT Book Review' gives 'Crisis of Zionism' to Zionist with predictable result, a slam
    • Beinart's main argument is that liberal Zionism is the only way Israel will survive as a democratic and Jewish state. Liberal Zionism is much closer to Herzl's original vision of a pluralistic democracy. The American Jewish community, which has tended to support the Israeli government, has unwittingly helped Israel abandon its liberal Zionist roots. He hold Barack Obama as an example of someone with liberal Zionist views and Bibi Netanyahu as an example of someone with Revisionist Zionist views. His secondary argument is that liberal American Jews have not spoken up not because they PEP, but because for many, Israel is simply not an issue they care much about because they've received a poor Jewish education. His solution is to increase access to Jewish education for these non-orthodox and more liberal Jews, so that they have both an increased interest in Israel and so they can push the American Jewish community to favor a more liberal Zionist line rather than the line they favor now.

      Negative reviews (and I have to say, there are exceeding few positive ones that I've found, including from people who sympathize with Beinart's arguments, like Gal Beckerman and Alana Newhouse, and from Arab reviewers, like Rayyan Al-Shawwaf in the Christian Science Monitor) have tended to focus on the fact that Beinart didn't put enough blame on Palestinians for the failure of the peace process or that Beinart's argument is too simple. Palestinians are not the focus of Beinart's book, and they are not blameless in his text.

      Beinart sees himself as embodying a liberal Zionist tradition in the guise of Stephen Wise, Abba Hillel Silver, Louis Brandeis, and other early American Zionists, who saw Revisionists like Jabotinsky and later Begin as dangerous progenitors of a more amoral nationalistic philosophy.

      Beinart is a proud liberal Zionist, who believes that preserving pre-'67 Israel is as important as dismantling the settlements and creating a Palestinian state. He sees pre-'67 Israel as a major achievement.

      I can see why Phil likes this book; Beinart talks a lot about Jewish power and the responsibility Jews have to discuss the ethical implications of wielding that power. I am generally in agreement with Beinart's emphasis on the importance of having that discussion and the way in which an emphasis on Jewish victimhood can become unhealthy. I also agree with his conclusions, which is that occupation is ultimately corrosive to Israel's democracy. I disagree with his call for a settlement boycott because I don't believe it will help Beinart's cause or the cause of peace.

  • Beinart gets a Jewish conversation going in the media (just don't call us a cabal)
    • "And David Remnick, interviewing Beinart in yet another Jewish conversation at the 92d Street Y last night, surely expressed rage against the settlements, and – I bet—staked out a position to the left of Beinart."

      Nope. They were in agreement on just about everything, though Remnick is way more arrogant than Beinart is. And Peter didn't call for a boycott of the settlers. He called for a boycott of products made in the West Bank. Peter isn't excluding Palestinians from the conversation; Yusef Munayyer writes for Open Zion.

      You can praise (and thus damage the credibility of) Peter Beinart all you want, but he is a proud Zionist who believes that what people don't invest in the settlements, they should invest in Israel proper, and that is not going to change.

  • 'The Crisis of Zionism' and the contradictions of Israel as a liberal democratic fantasy
    • Having attended Beinart's lecture last night at the Y, I can tell you he is not for you people. He strongly endorses Israel as a Jewish state and argues that a boycott of the settlements should be a accompanied by an equal amount of investment inside the Green Line. He is a proud Zionist. And he is a strong supporter of Jewish day school education.

  • My spirit is American (a religious manifesto)
    • Sean, you're not convincing me, so stop trying. The fact of the matter is that ethnic nationalism is responsible for the homogeneity that characterizes just about every European country today, the wealth that these societies accumulated through mercantilist colonialism, and the fact that the Europeans have rhetorically abandoned it (while continuing to practice it anyway in policies toward Muslims, the current scapegoat) does not change that fact.

      I don't have to favor ethnic nationalism to support the concept of a refuge state where Jews are in the majority. I can simply support the concept of Jewish self-determination and be proud that Israel is the most diverse, most free, most dynamic country in the region. By far.

      The problem with you, Sean, is that you're not willing to admit your tacit support for every one of these ideas by failing to call on any state but Israel to deal with it. How do you think states in Europe came to have homogeneous populations that are more white than Israel is Jewish? You think I care that these states are less rhetorically nationalistic than Israel is? They spent hundreds of years becoming that way. You think Europe is not worrying about the "demographic threat" from Muslim immigrants? Maybe you haven't looked at the state of European politics in awhile. And Europe doesn't face a real demography problem or a border problem.

      You think your bullshit binationalist or one-state rhetoric means anything to a Hamas member who sees the conflict in terms of achieving an Islamic state, or a Fatah member who sees things in terms of Palestinian nationalism? You think the Palestinians are somehow different, that they're all angelic supporters of human rights?

      You think you're clever, Sean, but you're not remotely. Go try this crap somewhere that is not a room full of extremists who already see things your way and see how you do.

    • "Then at least have the balls to say, flat-out, that you think the Jewish community in the US has a loyalty to specifically a Judeo-supremacist state of Israel and will shun anyone who even thinks that human and political rights and equality should exist in the land between the Med. and the Jordan. "

      I won't say it because it is not true. Most of the Jewish community believes in the two-state solution. They do not believe in movements that delegitimize Israel as a Jewish state, and are not huge fans of people who help those movements, whether intentionally or through irresponsibility. The Jewish establishment is pro-Israel, just as the Black Establishment is pro-affirmative action. The black community is not especially welcoming to critics of affirmative action, and the Jewish community is not especially welcoming to people who are anti-Israel. Peter is quite pro-Israel, and has explicitly said so many times; he has said he's very proud to be a Zionist. He should keep saying that if he wants his anti-occupation message to reach the right ears. If he articulates a pro-Zionist anti-occupation POV, he will make progress. His op-ed in the NY Times makes it too easy for him to be painted as anti-Israel, and as someone who is anti-Israel, he has no special significance.

  • Young activist disrupts AIPAC panel about 'Israel on Campus'
    • Who is silencing these people? This is nonsense. Hillel, AIPAC, Stand With Us, and The David Project have no obligation to provide everyone who puts "Jewish" in the name of their organization with a platform.

      What has Young, Jewish, and Proud done to incorporate mainstream Israeli voices into their movement? If they wouldn't allow Hillel activists to speak at their meetings, why would Hillel allow their activists to speak at Hillel meetings?

  • ADL enlists city of Oakland to block Atzmon event
    • "I sense a bullying quality to Hophmi"

      Who am I bullying? LOL. What are you, twelve? When someone takes issues with a point you made, it is not bullying. Grow up.

      "Yet he KNOWS, he absolutely KNOWS, that Gilad is anti-semite"

      When someone says Jews are the source of their own persecution, I consider that person an antisemite. When they say that the Jews killed Jesus, I consider that person an antisemite. When they say Jews (and not Zionists or Israelis) are arrogant and shut down anyone who disagrees with them, I consider that person an antisemite. When they say they're proud to be a self-hating Jew, I consider that person an antisemite.

      "his beliefs are basically humanitarian and he is raising some valid issues"

      It just goes to show you that as long as someone uses a few leftist buzzwords, he can any sort of garbage and gain an audience on the left. Welcome to the cult.

      " It’s a sign of weakness to be unwilling to listen or debate."

      It's a sign of idiocy to be unable to tell when someone is clearly a bigot.

      I listened to radio interview, buddy, and that was more than enough.

  • The gift of the Jews
    • Phil's writing reads like that of someone who has internalized both the chauvinism he claims to detest and the antisemitism he can't seem to recognize.

      Jews do not control the economy in the United States, and their prominence in the fields Phil cited is prominence born of a cultural tradition of educational excellence, not control or dominance. Jews do not wield any more political power than any other group would if they bothered to organize with others around the issues they cared about. Thus, Jews have organized with others around Israel and achieved success. Jews organized with others around civil rights and achieved success.

      Americans (anybody, really), tend to respect people who are successful, hard-working, and contribute to society in some meaningful way. Jews with those qualities are overrepresented as a group. Certainly nothing to be ashamed about. It is the same with Asians and Indians.

      Society works best when people can feel proud of what they themselves, and perhaps the groups they belong to, have achieved, can appreciate the same qualities in other individuals and groups, and can help those who have yet to achieve get to that point. Society works worst when people become jealous of the achievements of others, greedily claiming their own achievements for themselves and restricting others from matching them.

  • Friedman line, 'Congress is bought and paid for by Israel lobby,' is shot heard round the world
    • I personally find this a silly firestorm. It's clear Friedman means Jews and non-Jews, and it's equally clear that many anti-semites and hard-right pro-Israel people take it to mean Jews only. I accept his argument. I feel strongly that Congressional support for Netanyahu has everything to with lobbying on behalf of Israel, and as I told some of my friends, there is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. Israel's status as an issue supported by both houses of Congress is an achievement about which we can be proud. I also believe that Walt and Mearsheimer are responsible for leaving the impression that the term "Israel lobby" means Jews, because in their initial LRB article, they prominently referred to Jewish organizations, and not to Christian Evangelical ones.

      I dislike Tom Friedman, who is one the world's awful op-ed writers and by most accounts one of the most ego-driven newspaper men alive, and I hate his vilification by the hard-right in the Jewish community, which has much bigger and more important enemies, even more.

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