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  • Hundreds of soccer fans crowd Jerusalem mall: 'Death to Arabs!'
    • I’m sure Jeffrey Goldberg and all the other liberal Zionsts will be on this case pronto. We all know of their committment to liberalism.

      Tourists are going to avoid this place after seeing the video and reading the new State Department travel advisories about Jerusalem, Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza regardless of what Jeffrey Goldberg has to say about the situation. Those warnings may take a healthy bite out of Israel's tourist business in any event. link to

      Someone at the State Department has finally decided to tell the truth about Israeli actions that hinder the ability of consular staff to offer timely assistance to U.S. citizens, the minefields in the Golan, injuries inflicted on westerners participating in demonstrations, closures and raids conducted by the Israeli security forces that effect travelers, demonstrations around Salah Ed-Din Street, Damascus Gate, Silwan, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, and a long list of other things that don't make Israel or the West Bank look like very attractive travel destinations, e.g.

      "Israeli security operations, including incursions in Palestinian population centers, can occur at any time and lead to disturbances and violence... U.S. citizens can be caught in the middle of potentially dangerous situations. Some U.S. citizens involved in demonstrations in the West Bank have sustained serious injuries in confrontations with Israeli security forces."

  • Zionism totalled
    • it’s agued US won’t do so as it’s afraid such official recognition may render US under legal obligation to enforce said law around the world

      It's also argued that the real reason that the US, Canada, the EU, et al boycott the UN Durban Conferences has nothing to do with Israel. They simply don't wish to discuss reparations for past abuses like slavery, genocide, concentration camps/reservations at home or in their colonies.

    • P.S. Herzl and Ben Gurion weren't observant Jews, but they used the history of the Jews and scriptures to motivate their secular followers and to recruit the national religious elements of the Diaspora to their cause. Gurvitz and others have noted that secular Zionism has become irrelevant in Israel today and that the national religious parties are driving the political discourse.

      These religious zealots are the ones who are most desperate to nullify the UN Charter, international law, and western moral values in order to revive their right of conquest. In his 1986 article on “The International Status of Jerusalem”, the late Judge Antonio Cassese wrote that Robert Jennings (author of “The Acquisition of Territory in International Law”, Manchester University Press, 1963 and editor of several volumes of Oppenheim’s International Law, London, Longman) was recognized as the great authority on the acquisition of territory in international law.

      In "The Acquisition of Territory in International Law (1963)" Jennings had explained (see pages 54-57) that as a result of developments in customary international law and the adoption of the UN Charter “conquest as a title to territorial sovereignty had ceased to be a part of the law.” Jennings cited the Jewish Agency's former legal advisor, Judge Hersh Lauterpacht’s, work on the International Law Commission (ILC). Lauterpacht had explained that, even when force is used against an aggressor, the fact of aggression itself is irrelevant in deciding the legal remedies. They do not include acquisition of title to territory through a treaty settlement imposed by or as the result of force or the threat of force.

    • He speaks of nationhood and empire. His call for a nation as a launching pad for future conquest was echoed by David Ben Gurion years later when he advocated for accepting the UN partition as the first step in acquiring the whole of Palestine.

      Of course. The land of promise was never strictly limited to Palestine, but included any subsequent conquests. Here is Joshua 1:3 and Rashi's commentary:

      3. Every place on which the soles of your feet will tread I have given to you, as I have spoken to Moses.

      Rashi: Every place on which [the soles of your feet] will tread: A similar statement to this was said to Moses, concerning which we learned in Sifrei: If this verse is to teach about the boundaries of Eretz Israel, the Scripture already states: From this desert and Lebanon etc., [clearly defining the boundaries of the Holy Land.] If so, why is it stated, ‘Every place where your foot will tread?’ Even outside of Eretz Israel. [I.e.] After you have conquered the land, all that you will conquer outside the land, will be holy and will be yours.

    • hmmm, as i recall the original zionists weren’t stuck on the idea zionism required to manifest itself in the holy land per se.

      Nah, that was just a subterfuge. Herzl had no intention of abandoning the conquest of Palestine when he proposed accepting that territory in East Africa He wrote:

      “It is precisely the duty of the leader to set the people on the path which, by apparent detours, leads to the goal. You refuse the life which is offered you out of fear, cowardice. Miserable eunuchs that you are, you sacrifice the sources of your power. Look at Britain! It pours its excess popula­tion into the vast empire that it was able to acquire. Are we then so craven as to be frightened of the offer made to us? Starting from their national base, nations have built colonial empires that have made their fortunes. Let us accept the chance offered us to become a miniature England. Let us start by acquiring our colonies! From them, we shall launch the conquest of our Homeland. Let the lands between Kilimanjaro and Kenya become those of the first colony of Israel! They, rather than Edmond de Rothschild’s philanthropic supported refugees, will constitute the real Rishon le-Zion, the first- fruits of Zionism, of the New Israel. If we accept Chamberlain’s offer with gratitude, we strengthen our position, we oblige him to do something wise for us should our commission of enquiry reject the land proposed. In our transactions with this mighty nation we shall acquire the status of a national power. We will not stop there! Other States will follow Britain’s example, new “reserves of power” will be created in Mozambique with the Portuguese, in the Congo with the Belgians, in Tripolitania with the Italians.”

      Secular Zionism and Uganda have always been fairly irrelevant to the national religious crowd. A Jewish Messiah is supposed to be appointed to govern and to reign on Zion, God's holy mount. The other nations will be given over to him as a possession, and he will rule over them with a rod of iron (e.g. Psalms 2:1-9).

  • On the passing of Novick: the political limitations of 'The Holocaust in American Life'
    • Goodman considers, I think, that on the Jewish side thinkers of the time did not treat the events of 70 as a holocaust or raise the cry of ‘Never forget!’

      Josephus wasn't the only one who predicted that Vespasian would be the emperor. I've commented elsewhere that the father of Rabbinical Judaism, Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai, and his students befriended the Gentiles who laid siege to Jerusalem, the Temple, and the Zionist fanatics living there in his day. The Sanhedrin subsequently set-up shop on one of the Emperor's private estates. link to

      The importance of the Second Temple is downplayed. Cyrus, who was of the sons of Japheth, built the Second Temple and the Divine Presence never rested on it:

      Even if they had all come up in the time of Ezra, the Divine Presence would not have rested over the second Sanctuary, for it is written: God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, [that means], although God has enlarged Japheth, the Divine Presence rests only in the tents of Shem. -- Yoma, folio 9b, and 10a
      and may He dwell in the tents of Shem: May He cause His Presence to rest in Israel. The interpretation of the Sages, however is: Although God will beautify Japheth, insofar as Cyrus, who was of the sons of Japheth, built the Second Temple, the Shechinah did not rest therein. But where did it rest? In the First Temple, built by Solomon, who was of the sons of Shem. -- Rashi's Commentary, Genesis 9:27

      The leadership didn't act like it was a great tragedy, but they spoke about it and commemorated it as if it were.

      Trajan’s march on Babylon, a Jewish centre, half a century later created tensions that exploded immediately in the Diaspora Revolt and were never resolved.

      I suspect the much larger uprising in response to Trajan's attack on the Parthian Kingdom (aka Farsi) simply indicates that the Persians and Babylonia were considered much more essential than the Jerusalem cult. Most of the Jews elected to live in the Diaspora, even during the Second Commonwealth and some of the doctrines of the Pharisee (Farsi?) sect appear to be similar to Persian religious doctrines. There have been a lot of discussions and comparisons regarding the influence of the Greeks on Hellenized Jews, but not as much about Persian influences in the Temple Cult established by Cyrus, in the Babylonian Jewish community, and the diaspora.

    • The Hague Conventions, addressing the codes of wartime conduct on land and at sea, were adopted before the rise of air power.

      The method used to conduct the bombardment was irrelevant under the terms of existing international law. For example, Article 25 of the Annex to the 1907 Hague Convention stipulated that:

      "The attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings which are undefended is prohibited."


      Attacks on built-up civilian areas were only authorized on the basis of absolute military necessity. The post-war accounts reveal many instances in which that was not the case. For example:

      President Roosevelt had died in the spring of 1945, and Harry Truman was now Commander-in-Chief. He asked Marshall about how the U.S. might use the newly invented atomic bomb to end the war with Japan. Marshall felt that whether or not to use the bomb was a political decision, not a military one and he felt that the President, not a general, should decide.

      link to

    • I’m not sure exactly who has “underwhelmed” you vis a vis Foxman, whom I never referenced and most likely never will.

      Your remarks are part of a comment thread. At the very top, Klaus said: If there is still any doubt, that Foxman’s concept of Jewish uniqueness implies Jewish/Israeli superiority, here is a quote by David Ben Gurion: & etc.

      I also subscribe to the view that elements of traditional Judaism are responsible for the current situation in Palestine. The latter-day Jewish prophets clearly embraced universalism, and rejected particularism. That led to schisms which have lingering effects today. All of that is reflected in traditions about the belief in an "exile" for hatred without a cause; the story of the 18 decrees aimed at separating Jews from Gentiles; and the need for repentance out of love and permission from the other nations before there can be any return to the promised land. Many believe the return is simply an allegorical device that represents the world to come. In any event, the xenophobia that triggered the end of the 2nd Commonwealth wasn't an indispensable part of Jewish beliefs thereafter.

    • That may be so – but I can’t find meaning in what you say.

      I'm a secular Jew, but everything I've been writing about here is pretty much standard Judaism or Christian Theology 101. Try reading the references that I've provided.

      And by the way, Ben Gurion says explicitly that his concept of Judaism isn’t a metaphysical one i.e. biblical one

      I'm aware that, for most of his life, Ben Gurion was a non-observant secular Jew. There's ample evidence in his public speeches that he was very familiar with the scriptures and ancient historical accounts and that he used them for political ends related to the Holocaust industry. There are also accounts that his views may have changed somewhat in latter life:

      I said, 'Ben-Gurion, all your life you were sort of an atheist?' He said, 'In the last years of his life, Albert Einstein believed in God, and if Einstein could, I could, too".

      link to

      It's just as likely that Einstein and Ben Gurion were discussing the "God" of Spinoza. I've commented at length elsewhere on Ben Gurion's personal disregard for the victims of the European genocide while the events on the ground were unfolding: link to

      But you've been discussing Foxman's Orthodox Jewish views about the God of Israel and Jewishness. He's a Holocaust survivor who lost 14 family members. He was raised as a Catholic by one of his Christian rescuers. He is expressing standard post-Holocaust Orthodox thinking about the unique role of the victims in an apocalyptic plan of redemption. It's obvious that you don't understand that.

    • This is the sort of thing that happens in ancient texts, of course – as with Luke’s ‘Father, forgive them’ verse over which Christian scribes plainly had different feelings, and perhaps different ideas about who ‘they’ were.

      I suppose it means the Romans, Jews, and Samaritans who rejected him, i.e. He came unto his own, and his own received him not (e.g. compare John 1:11 with Luke 9:52-53). It's clear from the Jewish literature of the period that the Romans were viewed as descendants of Esau, e.g. See link to

      So the ancients would have included the Romans among the prophetic actors and adversaries. In the War of the Jews, Josphus suggests that the prophecy regarding the scepter departing from Judah, Genesis 49:10, was actually a reference to Vespasian:

      But now, what did the most elevate them in undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in their sacred writings, how,” about that time, one from their country should become governor of the habitable earth.” The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was appointed emperor in Judea.

      link to

      In any event, the Christian scriptures go out of their way to record the roles played by Pilate, Herod Antipas, the Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin.

    • I mean assigning to oneself with innumerable justifications a god-like significance that enables one to do as he bloody well pleases, whether steal the land of Native Americans and kill them with impunity or establish also with impunity facts on the ground stretching from the Mediterranean to the Jordan and perhaps beyond.

      There isn't any evidence that Foxman is talking about anything other than the old-fashioned idea of Tikkun Olam - and that doesn't enable one "to do as he bloody well pleases". So I'm underwhelmed by the effort to build a mountain out of this particular molehill (and I actually dislike Foxman).

    • Did the National Socialist standards for who was a Jew have the slightest connection to what sort of religious or even social concepts the person had?

      Of course not, but many believers take the scriptural message of an overarching divine plan of redemption quite literally, i.e. Genesis 50:20 "Indeed, you intended evil against me, [but] God designed it for good, in order to bring about what is at present to keep a great populace alive."

    • If there is still any doubt, that Foxman’s concept of Jewish uniqueness implies Jewish/Israeli superiority, here is a quote by David Ben Gurion

      That's a non-sequitur. Ben Gurion was never a self-professed Orthodox Jew, like Foxman and there is no evidence that they shared the same concept of "Jewishness".

      The Hebrew scriptures relate that God chose to make Jacob and his family a great and mighty nation with a special redemptive mission. The fact is that many religious Jews and Gentiles find meaning or purpose in the biblical stories, for good and for bad. This is not news to most of us.

    • But if God died, no matter if really or metaphorically, would Foxman’s God not need some of resurrection first?

      I think Foxman, like Yehudah Leib Gerst, was expressing a common enough Orthodox view that, due to the unassailability of God, Israel had become the target. Isaiah 53 implies that the plan of apocalyptic redemption was already in place. -- See Gershon Gorenberg's chapter on Orthodox Jewish Thought in the Wake of the Holocaust, in Omer Bartov, Phyllis Mack, In God's name: genocide and religion in the twentieth century, Berghahn Books, 2001 link to

    • To put it viciously bluntly: Did all the people that died in the Holocaust ultimately die for Israel? Is that what the term Holocaust is meant to signal?

      I gave you a link to an Aish article on the end times prophecy about the suffering servant of Isaiah 53 who was stricken by God and afflicted. The commentary there on verse 3 specifically mentioned the Nazis.

      I think that there are actually worse examples of potentially offensive ways to rationalize the Holocaust, in terms of Jewish theology i.e. link to

    • But whatever he gives me confirms my typical inborn German anti-Judaism as did Novick with the Foxman quote and Spielberg’s misquote of the Talmud (the traditional authoritative Babylonian Talmud).

      The Soncino Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a, footnote 39, indicates that "of Israel" is absent from some texts. link to

      It is also absent from the text of the Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a), where it would make no sense whatever. link to

      So the authority for the addition "of Israel" in some texts is doubtful.

    • I have never heard this absurd claim that the uniqueness was derived from the idea that an attack on Jews = attack on God

      Really? The prophecy that the Seed of the Woman will crush the head of the Serpent in Genesis 3:15, and that old Dragon that stood ready to devour the Seed of the Woman as soon as it was born in Revelations 2:4 is a pretty shop-worn theme out here in the Bible Belt, "because salvation comes from the Jews" (John 4:22).

      Nearly every scriptural account about attempts to massacre the Jews, and all of the persecution endured by the early Church is seen as part of a cosmic attack on God's chosen instrument of salvation. When I was growing up as a secular Jew, I wished there had been something else on the radio or local television stations on Sunday mornings;-)

    • Foxman most likely didn’t intend it that way, but the bare words aren’t inconsistent with much “God is dead” holocaust theology.

      Huh? Many Orthodox Jews use the term Holocaust (sacrifice, burnt offering) and teach that the victims were the "Suffering Servant" described in end-times prophecies, like Isaiah 53. That holds true for Jews who remain, strictly speaking, non-Zionists. link to

      FYI, Foxman was a lay leader of an Orthodox Synagogue in Teaneck, New Jersey for 25 years before he resigned over a dispute with the Rabbi regarding the separation of religion and state in Israel. The Rabbi had condemned Rabin's peace initiatives and the congregation stopped offering the traditional prayers for the State of Israel and its leaders. Foxman's resignation letter was featured on the front page of the NYT and there were follow-up articles by Thomas Friedman. See Abraham Foxman, Never Again: The Threat of the New Anti-Semitism, HarperOne, 2003, page 72. There's no reason to suppose that Foxman doesn't hold typical Orthodox views about the Jews being the chosen people. On page 47 of his book he complains about the rivalry with the Christian community over the claim that it had "accepted the divine mandate that had been rejected by the Jews and become "the new Israel," a people chosen by God to replace the faithless Israelites." That after all was part of the original defamation the B'nai B'rith set-out to combat through the ADL.

    • “The saying from the Talmud in Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List ‘Who saves one life, saves the world entire’ surely reflects the universalistic values of liberal Judaism as it has evolved in the last centuaries. But the orthodox religious Jews knew that the traditional version as it was taught in all orthodox Yeshivas read: ‘Who saves one life of Israel …’ “

      That's a tautology, because the Talmudic sages extended the privilege to Gentiles to become proselytes and members of the congregation of Israel by simply accepting the whole Law. The notion that the congregation of Israel includes those who have become assimilated to it through a universal calling is not unique to Judaism. The idea was popular among the Supersessionists in the Roman Catholic and Reformation era denominations of the Christian Church. The theologians simply disagreed over the qualifications of the various religious parties to claim membership in the body of the faithful remnant.

    • which I would add the debate about the one state versus two state issue which is all about American supporters of Palestinians with virtually no input from Palestinians

      I suppose you are talking about Ali Abunimah, who was born in Washington D.C.

      The Hamas Politburo Chief, Khaled Meshaal, praised the bid for Palestinian statehood, and he's Palestinian.
      link to

      The members of the PLO Executive and the Palestinian Authority who are pursuing the Statehood bid through the UN are all Palestinians. So are the members of the Israeli Bilad party, like Haneen Zoabi. She has also endorsed the two state solution.

    • It looks like a legit quote, then, and it means what it seemed to mean.

      Of course it did, but even the Christian Church thinks of the congregation of the faithful as the physical dwelling place of God on Earth, i.e.

      And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. -- 2 Corinthians 6:16 King James Version (KJV)

      There are various accounts of attempts to kill off the male children from the Old and New Testaments, and various schemes (that were never successfully implemented) by the Amalekites to kill off multitudes, but the Holocaust is unique from those accounts based upon the number of people who perished.

  • 'Tribefest' excommunicates group of young Jews who dared to speak about ethnic discrimination
    • Praising oneself for being in some way related to the person(s) who actually did the praiseworthy act(s) seems totally irrational to me, and certainly not something to be encouraged or recommended.

      I can guess which side of the nature vs. nuture debate you're on. In Australia they have nonetheless adopted national school curriculum, in which the study of Australian history will be mandatory throughout the country. The rationale provided was that the study of history helps us to understand ourselves. It helps students appreciate how the world and its people have changed, as well as the significant continuities that exist to the present day. link to

    • But why do they take pride in something they didn’t do?

      At some point, all of us wonder where we came from and how we got here - even if we conclude it was merely the result of a cosmic fluke. Many of our personal qualities are inherited or cannot be attributed to nuture alone. So there is an understandable interest in genealogy and history. Some people or groups strongly identify, on a chauvinistic level, with the achievements of their ancestors or nations, e.g. the Daughters of the American Revolution. In those cases there is sometimes an implied belief that "we did it before and we can do it again" or that the glories and achievements of an earlier age can be repeated.

      In some sects of Judaism, there is a belief in reincarnation. In some eastern religions ancestor worship is also a factor. In any event, taking pride in the achievements of an ancestor or denigrating the ancestors of someone else is a common enough trait.

    • Where did Matzpen, or Moshé Machover, ever speak of an “Israeli Jewish nation”? They fundamentally reject such a characterisation.

      I provided you with a link to his remarks about "the status of the Israeli Jews (i.e., the Hebrew-speaking national community)" in my comment above. link to

      If you scroll to the bottom of the page, the editor's note informs you that: "This chapter is an edited version of an article written by M. Machover in response to one written by Bill Hillier, Revival of the Palestinians, which appeared in Peace News on June 6, 1969. In it, Hillier raised some pertinent questions, a central one being the right of the Israeli Jews to self-determination." He also demanded a prompt reply from the Israeli revolutionary left. In point of fact, the ISO already stated its views on these issues in an article by A. Sa’id and Moshe Machover (see Document V in this book); nevertheless, Machover here reiterates and elucidates the ISO’s position concerning self-determination.

    • Atzmon’s problem is not with Borochov, but with people like Machover (Greenstein, Rance, Ajl, Ash, etc.), who are not Zionists, but Marxists who identify as Jews and with the historical Jewish (anti-Zionist) labour movements. . . . Machover is firmly seated on the chair of socialism and equality.

      I really don't see any functional difference. Machover's Matzpen party, speaking through co-founder Akiva Orr, takes a poke at Zionism and notes the conflict between its aims and the demands of a universal humanist ethic. But the aims of the Matzpen party conflict with universal humanist ethics too. -- See "The Other Israel: The Radical case against Zionism" - Zionism and Universal Ethics - link to

      For example, when Machover was pinned-down responding to questions raised by Bill Hillier, he ended-up sounding like Borochov (selling pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-by-and-by). The author noted that the Democratic Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine favored a union of Jews and Arabs of Palestine as one people as the only possible basis for a socialist transformation. But he opined that "Obviously, nations and national communities cannot simply be wished out of, or into, existence" He notes that this is also the condition that one hopes to achieve in the long run under communism. ... But for the present, nations and national problems do exist and socialists must formulate a correct policy on the national question."

      In the meantime, Machover claims that despite being created by Zionists, Israeli Jews (i.e., the Hebrew-speaking national community) are a "Hebrew nation" in the full sense of the term which now exists in Palestine. And as such it has the right to self-determination. "The Other Israel: The Radical case against Zionism" - The Case for Hebrew Self-Determination - link to

      The members of Matzpen still unconsciously exclude all of the Hebrew speaking assimilated Palestinian inhabitants from their "Israeli Jewish nation". That certainly looks like arbitrary separatism and national particularism to me (anti-Zionist Zionism?). I suppose they're forced to include non-Hebrew speaking Israeli Jewish citizens (tribe members) in this so-called "Hebrew nation" as well.

      The Zionist colonial project is unique and almost anti-capitalist in its aims: "Zionist settlers – unlike other colonizing movements – did not reincorporate the expropriated population into the economy as a laboring class. Rather, the Palestinians, even though an overwhelming majority of the area’s population, were excluded from the economy and later driven from the country. The settlers themselves then took over most of the functions at all levels of the social division of labor. Throughout the history of the Zionist enterprise the forces tending to want to reshape the colonization process in accordance with the normal capitalist goal of maximizing short-term profits – a goal that would best be achieved by using cheap Arab labor – have been defeated. “Conquest of the Land,” “Conquest of Labor” and “Produce of the Land” have remained the primary guides of Zionist practice." -- "The Other Israel: The Radical case against Zionism" - Conclusion - link to

      The polemical on the Emergency Regulations notes that they are a central feature of the Israeli political structure used to control nearly every aspect of Palestinian life, which "together with the Law of Return are fundamental, and it is extremely dubious that they could be completely repealed without thereby negating the basic character of the state: its Jewish exclusiveness." It is rather dubious to simply assume the Hebrew nation is going to abolish these laws and regulations, but that seems to be the plan. See "The Other Israel: The Radical case against Zionism" - The Emergency Regulations - link to

    • That is interest. What has that got to do with pride in any (and not just Jewish) “heritage”?

      People generally have an interest in learning about their ancestors, their achievements, and the societies or civilizations that they inhabited. link to

      Israel just happened to be one of the many ancient nations and cultures that contributed in a major way to our modern culture in the Western world. Many Greeks take pride in their ancient competitive games, science, democracy, and philosophers. Many Jews also take pride in their ancestor's cultural influences on religion, philosophy, government, the sciences, & the arts.

    • Clearly, Atzmon did not perceive himself as biased but merely as detecting bad symptoms of general Jewish culture. But at that point it is hard to distinguish him from David Duke who also perceives himself as an objective critic of Jews and who also makes some valid observations.

      The problem with these ad hoc summaries is that no one seems to be very familiar with the philosophy of Borochovian (Jewish) Marxist Zionism. Like Herzl, Borochov considered the diaspora Jews as hopelessly abnormal people with no ability to assimilate into Gentile society. They were thus divorced by nature from the problems facing the rest of mankind. The diaspora Jews were barred by law from employment in many fields and so they required territorial autonomy in order for true Jewish bourgeoisie and Jewish proletariat classes to form: "The Borochovian series was thus: The hatred of Jews was inevitable, and as a marginal people their economic status in the Diaspora would be forever anomalous; Jews thus had to have their own nation where a working class and bourgeoisie would develop which would lead ineluctably to the class struggle and inevitably to socialism." -- link to
      *Ber Borochov Archive link to

      Instead of giving Zionists hell for teaching that Jews are a tribe of abnormal misfits, the Solidarity movement is giving Atzmon hell for pointing out that Borochovian Marxist philosophy is not really open to the notion of brotherhood, and holds that diaspora Jews are unique, and not ordinary human beings like the rest of mankind.

      The JCPA has put the full text of all six volumes of Netanel Lorch, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981 online as pdf files. link to

      They record a near constant attitude of hatred and utter contempt between the Revisionist and the Socialist and Communist parties in Israel. That conflict became a touchstone of Israeli national culture.

      I think we've all witnessed the situation that he describes: many Jewish Marxists attribute all of the evils of modern-day Israel to US foreign policy, the capitalist economic system, or some other rationalization.

    • pride in their tribal heritage. . . .And this is something I don’t understand.

      There are thousands of people worldwide who share an interest in the heritage of these descendants of the tribe of Judah. They include scholars from the fields of Ancient History, Archaeology, Literature, and Theology. Many have devoted their lives and careers to studying, publishing papers, and preserving various aspects of Jewish heritage.

      The Dean of the University of New South Wales might agree with you. He's kept the Irish, Chinese, and Korean studies programs, but not the Jewish ones: University of NSW cuts Jewish studies link to

      But you can still find out what all of the excitement is about at these nearby institutions:
      *Monash University, Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC) link to
      *University of Melbourne, The Centre for Jewish History and Culture link to
      *University of Sydney, Department of Hebrew, Biblical & Jewish Studies link to

    • They are us and I am them. The Other. . . . And for this we dropped the barriers?

      Nope. JVP is open to membership by non-Jews and they have an open letter that can "be signed by anyone who believes in open discussion": link to

    • “Tribefest”? If memory serves didn’t some of those who excommunicated Atzmon in part do so because, apparently, he describes Jewishness as tribal?

      Hint: The terms "Jew" and "Judaism" come from the tribe of Judah. Here are some folks of Jewish descent: "Families who Trace Their Ancestry to King David" link to

      I suppose that nothing prevents them from embracing liberalism, atheism, or pride in their tribal heritage.

    • What we're worried about is the future of a community that allows its institutions to dictate which ideas are allowed to be discussed, and who is fit to discuss them.

      LOL! the JVP discussion list has been flooding everyone's inbox lately with complaints from members about the group's endorsement of the letter excommunicating Gilad Atzmon from the solidarity movement.

  • Israeli military shoots 14-year-old protester in face with rubber bullet
    • You’d prefer maybe if he staid there and presided angry? If a judge gets emotional, he should go out and cool down.

      No. If the guy is qualified to serve on the bench, I'd prefer that he go home to Israel, sit on a bench there, and leave the Palestinians alone.

    • Well 10 years is too old in some cases. Abir Aramin was killed after being shot in the head during a school break when she was buying snacks with her sister and two friends in the West Bank town of Anata. Witnesses gave statements that identified Israeli border guards who fired from a passing jeep. At the time the police insisted that she probably died from a thrown rock from other Palestinians, but an autopsy showed that she was killed by the police with a rubber bullet to the head. See Israeli Court Refuses To Charge Police In Shooting Of 10-Year-Old Palestinian Girl in 2007 Because Too Much Time Has Passed -- link to

    • It’s only rubber, so they shoot it at a Palestinian’s face?

      No, they're rubber-jacketed steel ammo as quite a few commenters pointed-out in response to an earlier article. link to

  • 'I didn't say I liked Beinart's book' -- J Street head sells his star guest out to his antagonist, Goldberg
    • This, in the long run, is their point of vulnerability – not moral conscience. Tribal self-interest will result in the slow death of political Zionism outside of Israel.

      Well for right now the White House Update from the Director of Jewish Outreach, Jarrod Bernstein mentioned discussions with Prime Minister Cameron during his visit about Iran's nuclear program, but the highlights and summary were all about the domestic or diaspora Jewish communities:

      It has been a very busy few weeks here at the White House. On March 8th, members of the White House staff and our colleagues from the agencies came together to celebrate Purim and hear the story of Esther from the Megillah. Last week, I was able to visit with the Beren Academy Stars basketball team during a trip to Houston, where I heard their inspirational story and was able to play a little basketball with them.

      Lastly, President Obama called President Sarkozy of France yesterday to express his solidarity with the French people after the attacks at a Jewish school in the south of France.

      So the AIPAC talking points are still covering all of the bases.

    • was it because you were in it because you felt it was un-American for tax-exempt charities to be funding illegal settlements or was it because you felt that the settlements were wrong?

      I'm against it because facilitating the establishment of settlements is a war crime according to the rules of customary international law.

      It’s confusing because I get the feeling that you have an antipathy to BDS eventhough you want justice for the Palestinians.

      I don't mind BDS, but nobody elected its leaders to speak on behalf of anyone. I object when activists who've never run for elected public office work to overthrow decades long attempts by the Palestinian people and their elected officials to join the UN; access the international courts; get formal sanctions adopted by other governments; and etc.

      I'm very hostile to activists who stage bogus symposiums and blow a lot of hot air about violations of international law, yet have no intention of pursuing legal claims through the +130 national court systems that already recognize the State of Palestine or the ICC. I've made my position on that very clear. When someone commits a serious violent crime, it is appropriate to make arrests and conduct trials, not to start-up a grassroots political action committee instead. The Palestinian BDS movement is ignoring the legal channels that the South African anti-Apartheid movement struggled to establish.

    • I’ve been trying to figure out from the start what’s the difference between J Street and AIPAC. They have the same goals of looking out for Israel but are taking different roads to reach them.

      Not at all. I joined J-Street back when they launched a campaign to get the Justice Department to take-on the legality of US non-profits and charities that fund illegal Israeli settlements. I subsequently ended my membership because they never followed-up or did anything similar. See J Street calls to probe US contributions to settlements link to

      As Phil notes, they have nothing to show for their four years of efforts. The leadership has steadily tacked to the Pro-Zionist right.

  • 'Safe European home'?
    • This guy was on there explicitly because of his “links” to “terrorists” etc. Its hardly equivalent.

      My point is that being on the no-fly list isn't very meaningful. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. The terrorist watch list had about 400,000 names on it according to the figures reported by the government in January of 2010. That was just before the government decided to lower the threshold for putting a person's name on the list. link to

    • He was also added to a “no fly” list maintained by U.S. authorities some time ago, two American officials told Reuters.

      TSA's no-fly list is not limited to known terrorists, so it's not always useful in identifying real threats. Remember this one: "U.S. Sen. Edward M. "Ted" Kennedy said yesterday that he was stopped and questioned at airports on the East Coast five times in March because his name appeared on the government's secret "no-fly" list. -- link to

    • he got arrested in jersusalem for having a knife, . . . A foreign Muslim gets arrested in jerusalem and is released almost immediately? Hmmmm

      Well that description would fit the passengers on the MV Mavi Marmara who were arrested and detained for trying to break the blockade on Gaza while carrying knives. They allegedly had ties to a Muslim terrorist group.

      Israel also released over a thousand Palestinian non-citizens from its prisons in exchange for Gilad Shalit, and many of them had connections to terror groups. Did this guy have any tattoos or scars that would help the Security Service distinguish him from all of the other resident and non-resident Muslim knife wielding terrorists? . . . ;-)

      Most of the people on the US no-fly list have never harmed a fly. The government just "suspects them of being suspicious".

    • Antisemitic attacks like these are presented as evidence that Jews have no place in anywhere but Israel.

      Only if you ignore the evidence presented by Israelis who've spent years shreying about their own relative insecurity from terror attacks and the so-called kidnapping of Israeli-French citizen Gilad Shalit.

      What we also must do is put those who decline to join in building a tolerant society, like the shooter, in the dock whenever possible. This is one way to counter the alienation many Muslims will surely feel as they are pressed to denounce the killings and experience a rising wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that militants will exploit.

      Huh? That would just be "more of the same" existing policy. Palestinians are already one of world's most imprisoned peoples. Since 1967, more than 650,000 Palestinians have passed through Israeli jails – many of them in administrative detention – an average of one in four in the occupied territories. link to

      Nothing short of issuing arrest warrants for the Israeli officials who openly authorize extra-judicial killings and attacks on Palestinian civilians; announce tenders for illegal settlements; and order Palestinian deportations, home demolitions, and land expropriation would ever counter the alienation that most Muslims feel in the West.

      The Netanyahu regime has committed all of those crimes, yet its members can travel freely to Sarkozy's France and the rest of Europe without fear of arrest or prosecution. That injustice is the real problem, along with people who refuse to address it head-on.

  • Mustafa Bargouti: Jerusalem is at the heart of the Palestinian cause
    • You also left out the vital “and live at peace with their neighbors” clause.

      You're not listening. The right of the Palestinians to enjoy quiet possession of their property and domiciles in the new state of Israel didn't flow from UN General Assembly resolution 194(III). It was a legal right that was recognized under the existing law of nations and guaranteed by the United Nations in accordance with the terms of customary and conventional international law.

      The United States Supreme Court had recognized the principle in United States v. Percheman, 32 U.S. 7 Pet. 51 51 (1832):

      The modern usage of nations, which has become law, would be violated; that sense of justice and of right which is acknowledged and felt by the whole civilized world would be outraged if private property should be generally confiscated and private rights annulled on a change in the sovereignty of the country. The people change their allegiance, their relation to their ancient sovereign is dissolved, but their relations to each other and their rights of property remain undisturbed.

      link to

      In the 2004 Wall Case, the ICJ noted that the rights of the Palestinians had been under international protection since the days of the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. The Court also noted that Article 13 of the Mandate and an entire chapter in resolution 181(II) were devoted to protection of the existing rights of the Palestinian people (paragraph 129).
      link to

      The exercise of claiming that a resolution is non-binding undercuts any argument that it contains a legal loophole. In any event, the terms of UN General Assembly resolutions cannot violate an existing norm of customary international law.

    • What is this “heritage” that you think Jews should know and care about?

      For starters there's this whole body of ancient literature that extolls the virtue of a nation being ruled by a moral code, a requirement to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly before a God who defended the cause of the fatherless, the widow, and strangers.

    • GA resolutions aren’t law, not even close, and the people voting on them know that, even though you don’t.

      The majority of post-WWI and WWII international legal instruments, including the Palestine mandate, are contained in resolutions of the League of Nations and United Nations. Those resolutions contain the vast majority of international conventions, including the minority protection plan contained in General Assembly resolution 181(II). Treaty law is based on the contract law theory of "acceptance", i.e. the state parties agree to be legally bound by the terms of their own "acceptance".

      The principle of self-determination of peoples contained in the UN Charter is not optional. The Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ have each declared that the right of peoples to self-determination is a right erga omnes and an essential principle of contemporary international law.

    • You are probably going by third hand myth based on UN resolution 273, which inducted Israel into the U.N.

      The Palestinians already had a guaranteed right to live in the proposed state of Israel before resolution 194(III) was ever adopted.

      The authors of Wikipedia articles aren't supposed to include original research or personal opinions. The undertakings in question are the UN Charter obligation which requires members to respect the right of self-determination of peoples; and the obligations related to the right of the inhabitants to enjoy quiet possession of their property and the right of domicile in accordance with the terms of the minority protection plan in resolution 181(II).

      The resolution you mentioned contains footnotes which cite the verbatim minutes of the sessions of the Ad Hoc Committee meetings in question and the representative of Israel certainly did make declarations acknowledging the legal undertakings that I described. The ones regarding Charter obligations and the minority rights agreement had immediate legal effect.

      The UN created a subsidiary organ comprised of a panel of legal experts to look into that and other matters, The Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It submitted a report on Israel's continuing legal obligations to the Security Council that said:

      19. In this respect, it was pointed out that Israel was under binding obligation to permit the return of all the Palestinian refugees displaced as a result of the hostilities of 1948 and 1967. This obligation flowed from the unreserved agreement by Israel to honour its commitments under the Charter of the United Nations, and from its specific undertaking, when applying for membership of the United Nations, to implement General Assembly resolutions 181 (II) of 29 November 1947, safeguarding the rights of the Palestinian Arabs inside Israel, and 194 (III) of 11 December 1948, concerning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes or to choose compensation for their property. This undertaking was also clearly reflected in General Assembly resolution 273 (III).

      Foreign Minister Shertok provided a declaration to the Secretary General and Mr. Eban testified that it was a formal acknowledgment of Israel's obligations under the terms of the minorities agreement. You can read more about that in this comment: link to

    • The Jews on this website need to call on the Palestinians to recognize the special connection Jews have to Jerusalem, not in place of their own connection, but a special connection never-the-less.

      Odd, but I don't have a special connection to Jerusalem. That particular psychosis really isn't an inherited trait.

  • Settlers aren't freelancers-- Israeli government is behind them all the way
    • GOI and WZO, yet another faith-based public-private partnership.

      The World Zionist Organization's settlement division is a department of the Prime Minister's Office.

      While it's supposedly a parastatal or non-government entity, it has actually been contracted for decades to execute government- funded projects over the Green Line. See the Jerusalem Post article "WZO Settlement Division returns to the PMO" link to

  • Because they are not numbers
    • Whenever there is an assault on civilians in Gaza, the only moral thing to do is to condemn the attacks

      No, the moral thing to do is to arrest the suspects and prosecute them. Just compare the urgency and nature of the response from Jewish and governmental organizations to the deliberate murders of a few people in France with the response of Palestinian and governmental organizations to the deliberate murders of hundreds of people in Gaza, i.e. link to

      "A person stands a better chance of being tried and judged for killing one human being than for killing 100,000." -- José Ayala Lasso, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from "Establishment of an International Criminal Court" at the UN Treaty Organization link to

  • Rockets are collective punishment
    • Rockets are collective punishment

      I think Annie got it right. They are a reprisal against the continuing illegal siege or closure/blockade of Gaza.

      Collective punishment is defined in The Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. Under the terms of the convention, protected persons are by definition only those Israelis who find themselves in the hands of a Party to the conflict or Occupying Power of which they are not nationals. Sderot is not in the hands of an occupying Palestinian power.

      Under the laws and customs of war a reprisal is, by definition, an otherwise illegal act that is deliberately carried-out in response to the prohibited acts committed by an enemy. Neither Israel nor the United States have ratified the prohibition on reprisals that target civilian objectives contained in the 1st Additional Protocol. For example, Israel has carried out punitive home demolitions as reprisals against real or perceived criminal or terrorist activities using the mandate era Defense Emergency Regulation and "military necessity" as its justification. See the discussion in Bringing Down The House: Israeli Demolitions in the Occupied West Bank, at the Foreign Policy Journal link to

  • First 'J Street,' now Princeton -- man who ordered Gaza onslaught tours U.S.
    • There's no need to exercise universal jurisdiction. The US extradited Noriega to France. Nothing prevents the US from arresting former heads of state or extraditing them to stand trial elsewhere.

  • Munayyer: Liberal Zionist sympathy for Palestinians generally ends at the green line. This is moral and intellectual cowardice.
    • In international relations, there are no cops.

      The United Nations have been prosecuting war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression through ad hoc and permanent international criminal tribunals ever since WWII, e.g. Nuremberg, ICTY, ICTR, ICC, & etc. Israeli cabinet members and the IDF general staff have been dodging arrest warrants issued in other countries for several years now.

    • The U.N. is made up of every country in the world.

      There has never been a time when one or more permanent member of the Security Council hasn't abused the veto to block the membership of widely recognized countries. That's why the international community started opening UN treaties for signature by member states of any UN specialized agency, like UNESCO. That practice has passed into customary and conventional law and is known as the "Vienna Formula", which was codified in Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and the "Summary Of Practice Of The Secretary-General As Depositary Of Multilateral Treaties".
      link to

      The U.N. has been unremittingly hostile to Israel for at least the past 40 years.

      Even states that are governed by liberal democracies have been unremittingly hostile to Israel for 40 to 60 years and have repeatedly condemned its flagrant violations of international laws and norms that are recognized by all "civilized peoples".

    • Funny how taking territory from the losers of a war was legitimate right up until the day some Jews did it.

      The British partition of India did not call for any forced population transfers. FYI, there are a series of General Assembly and Security Council resolutions on the India-Pakistan and Cyprus Questions which prohibit the acquisition of territories by war and which call for accession of territories through the democratic method of free and impartial plebiscites, e.g. Security Council resolution 47 (April 1948). link to

      Since you are obviously aware that population transfers are illegal, it appears that you've been consciously engaging in Nakba denial and extolling the virtue of war crimes and crimes against humanity in pursuit of military conquest and territorial aggrandizement.

      Unlike some of the others here, I really don't object to the comment policy which prohibits comments like that. I'm just wondering how long it will take for the moderators here to stop approving them.

    • My maternal mitochondrial RNA is indicating that I originated in Africa. . . . . “Similarly, while some of the recent ancestors of the Palestinians were from what is now Israel, their ancient ancestors were from other parts of the Middle East.”

      Of course the scriptures relate that Moses married an Ethiopian (Cushite) woman, although Rashi and other commentators have engaged in lengthy and doubtful attempts to establish that he did not. Joseph married an Egyptian, and Solomon married Pharaoh's daughter. So the daughters of some of the leading Israelite tribes and families would have passed down African MtDNA to their off-spring. Apparently there are quite a few modern genetic researchers who aren't familiar with these bible stories, since they attempt to establish that African mitochondrial DNA influences in the Southern Arabian population are a characteristic that can be used to distinguish so-called Jews from so-called Arabs.

    • we’ll all be going to Kenya. . . . Maybe Fredblogs could ask somebody Jewish to explain it to him!

      Okay. (sarcasim) Kenya was indeed a part of our ancient homeland in East Africa, but the Zionist Organization declined a generous offer of territory there - despite Herzl's strenuous objections: link to

      British High Commissioner McMahon had another look around Egypt and determined that life actually began in the seas.

      This is the only possible explanation for the curious reservation about the "portions of Syria lying to the west of the district of Aleppo" (aka the Mediterranean Sea). It was withheld from the territory that was promised to the Sharif of Mecca in McMahon's correspondence. I firmly believe that is where he intended to put both the French and the restored Jewish national home. The Zionists have misunderstood the motivation of the parties who endeavored to drive them into sea and have forgotten that popular wisdom summed-up by Fredblogs, "population transfer happens all the time". (/sarcasim).

    • “It’s called “population exchange”. It happens all the time.”

      It's actually a very serious war crime and a crime against humanity. FYI Alexander Orakhelashvili and Judge Elihu Lauterpact have both explained that the UN Security Council is unconditionally bound by peremptory norms of international law. Orakhelashvili said

      Resolution 242 called for ‘a just settlement of the refugee problem’ in Palestine. ‘Just settlement’ can only refer to a settlement guaranteeing the return of displaced Palestinians, and other interpretations of this notion may be hazardous. The Council must be presumed not to have adopted decisions validating mass deportation or displacement. More so, as such expulsion or deportation is a crime against humanity or an exceptionally serious war crime (Articles 7.1(d) and 8.2(e) ICC Statute)

      -- EJIL (2005), Vol. 16 No. 1, 59–88 link to

      Because the population that loses the war of extermination they started (the Arabs in this case) don’t get first choice of which land they keep.

      Wrong again. The International Court of Justice advised in 2004 that the principles as to the use of force incorporated in the Charter reflect customary international law. The Court cited the Declaration On Principles Of International Law Friendly Relations And Co-Operation Among States In Accordance With The Charter Of The United Nations, which states "No territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force shall be recognized as legal." and its corollary entailing the illegality of territorial acquisition resulting from the threat or use of force.

      In any event, there has never been any evidence provided that the "Arabs" were responsible for starting any wars for the purposes of extermination or otherwise.

  • Israeli academics call for massive attack on Gaza to 'mow the lawn' -- before November election ends the 'opportunity'
    • Again, being able read a case or two is not enough to actually know how the process works.

      Frankly being able to read the cases that I cited proves that the process doesn't work the way you keep insisting that it does. I've cited plenty of cases involving innocent people who've ended up in Court. I've pointed-out all along that it would have been wise to counsel Adler against publishing an article that would invite a Secret Service investigation and the possibility of legal action.

    • There’s a recent judicial ruling on a white militia group that the feds have been hounding at Obama’s AG direction;

      That's yet another example of a case that went to Court. There is another case in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals involving a man who made idle comments about shooting Obama with a 50 caliber bullet in an internet chat room. The Secret Service subsequently searched his home and found a 50 caliber rifle. His conviction in the lower court was overturned. The Appeals Court decision explained that its ruling in Planned Parenthood case was still sound.

      My point is that the practice in the federal circuits is split, that there are new statutes that have not been struck down, and that the Prosecutors took all of these cases to Court - including many that involved innocent parties or innocent remarks. In several of these cases, including Watts, the innocent parties were forced to appeal an initial conviction in a lower court.

      And the facts of each of those cases were different from the facts of this case.

      And when the parties have disputes over the existence of a threat, they can end up needing a lawyer to present their arguments in Court.

    • P.S. Sami Al-Arian, the Holy Land 5, and Irvine 11 can attest to the fact that Prosecutors can be more than a little dickish in developing bizarre theories and strategies to pursue a case.

    • Being able to Google a couple of cases doesn’t give you an idea how the law actually works. . . . One of the ways it is done is called “summary judgment.” It’s one of a number of preliminary techniques to elminate cases prior to a determination on the merit.

      Summary judgments are not appropriate if there are disputes over a "material" fact requiring a trial to resolve. The results of the Secret Service investigation of Mr. Adler and any special precautions that were required as a result would be an example of admissible evidence in a true threats case that you can't prejudge as "undisputed".

      All I said was that a Prosecutor could take Mr. Adler to Court on such a basis, and David Samel agreed. Mr Adler would have made an appearance in Court long before the preliminary motions practice that you keep mentioning.

    • Who cares? It’s irrelevant because, again, for the fiftieth time, the guy did nothing which could constitute a true threat.

      And for the last time you can't prejudge that issue, because the Supreme Court's definition of a true threat includes the burden imposed on the victim of having to take extra-precautions, like those statutory ones the Secret Service is required to take automatically. The Court has already ruled that the state can prohibit pure speech in those cases, and that's why the Congress and lawmakers keep on adopting statutes that make threats on candidates and officials or things like bomb threats or calling-in false alarms illegal.

    • “In some other case, this broad principle applied, therefore, since I can shoe-horn the broad principle into the present case, therefore I WIN!!!” It’s not.

      I've never said that. I only said that Prosecutors could take this case to Court if they had a mind to do that.

      The Supreme Court hasn't taken up a case in which its true threats doctrine from Virgina v Black has been tested with respect to a host of new statutes dealing with pure speech threats, like nuisance bomb threats, or threats against the life of government officials and candidates, including the President. The Congress has always said that the state has the right to prohibit threats that cause disruptions in the routine of the victims and of the operation of the government itself due to extra precautions.

      This administration has gone to Court and to the Congress to defended its right to go so far as to kill American citizens outside the context of an armed conflict for pure speech attempts to influence others to murder US government officials through disseminating propaganda. A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit seeking to block the US from carrying out the targeted killing of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki ana said the matter was a "political question". I've discussed that and other cases here at MW in the past, and now the Attorney General Holder has signaled the Offices of the United States Attorneys that due process doesn't mean judicial process. Here is another example:

      in February 2010, then-Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair, in response to a question by a member of Congress about the targeted killing of U.S. citizens, stated that the United States takes “direct action” against suspected terrorists and that “if we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission [from the Executive] to do that.” -- Alaulaqi v Obama


      So you need to stop telling me that no Judge would allow these abuses to happen, because that's just bullshit.

    • A motion for summary judgment early on, if won, declares that the facts alleged have not been put at issue by either side, and, based on those facts, either one side or the other prevails without further judicial process. if the facts are significantly ambiguous to the Judge , then the trial will proceed further.

      The true threats doctrine makes obtaining a pre-trial summary judgment difficult, since it's based upon the perceptions of the intended victim. You'd have to show that a reasonable man wouldn't feel threatened; have a sense of dread; or feel the need to take extra precautions that result in disruptions. In this particular case, there is a statute, the Presidential Threat Protection Act of 2000, that requires the Secret Service to take extra precautions on the basis of reported threats against the life of the President; the Sedition and Patriot Acts, & etc. The practice in the District Courts is divided. Some have ruled that pure speech threats against the life of the President are not illegal, but the Supreme Court has not taken up that particular issue or the constitutionality of the latest statutes.

    • You appear to be impervious to the argument.

      Actually you appear to be impervious to facts. I simply said that there was sufficient evidence for a Prosecutor to take Andrew Adler to trial, and David Samel agreed.

      I supplied you with information on the true threats doctrine and a line of subsequent cases that ended up in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court, despite the argument that a lower court Judge would never allow such cases to go to trial in the first place.

      Apparently you're not very familiar with the standard practice of deciding disputes regarding the material facts of a case after the evidence has been presented at trial. The Justice Department has an established practice of obtaining indictments from Federal Grand Juries and appealing the application of stare decisis whenever it feels there are justicable differences between cases.

    • I was merely noting that his speech wasn’t criminal, based on the nature of the speech.

      Woody I pointed out that the Congress has never amended or rescinded the original statute that criminalized the speech in question. It has subsequently adopted the Patriot Act and other legislation that is not covered by the Court's earlier decisions.

      We've subsequently seen the spectacle of the Congress and President signing indefinite detention without trial into law and our Attorney General justifying extrajudicial killings of citizens based upon the rationale that the phrase "due process of law" in the Constitution doesn't mean a judicial process.

      So it would be inadvisable for anyone to rely on the principle of stare decisis, because neither the President nor the Congress are paying much attention to it or the guarantees in the Bill of Rights.

    • She’s a blood thinner in not differentiating between the acts of an anti-Semitic murderer who, as video surveillance footage showed, shot one child at close range in the head**, and those in Gaza, victims of their neighborhood terrorists who were firing at Israeli schoolchildren and killed incidentally in acts of legitimate self-defense.

      The IDF wasn't killing three year-olds in self-defense. The IDF tracked down and prosecuted a soldier who stole a credit card, but it can't manage to utilize its own sophisticated command and control system to determine which of its main battle tanks was stationed across from the Khalid Abd Rabbo house on 7 January 2009 at 1250hrs or which of the crew members murdered 3 year-old Amal and his grandmother in cold blood. See Testimony from a Gazan and the Goldstone report, A/HRC/12/48, page 174, paragraph 773-779:
      * link to
      * link to

  • Those killed in Gaza have a name, and each has a family that grieves for them
    • The General Assembly seems to have reconvened the 10th Emergency Special Session. The Observer for Palestine circulated a two page letter containing the names and ages of the dead which complained that: "This letter is in follow-up to our previous 420 letters regarding the ongoing crisis in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, since 28 September 2000".

      After outlining a litany of serious crimes it said:
      We again repeat that the international community, including the Security Council, cannot remain silent or continue to only express regret or disappointment at Israel’s violations. It is the responsibility of the international community to put an end to these crimes by the occupying Power, and this begins with holding Israel accountable under international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions. The Palestinian people cannot remain the exception to this responsibility to protect civilians from such war crimes and atrocities. . . . I should be grateful if you would arrange to have the text of the present letter distributed as a document of the tenth emergency special session of the General Assembly, under agenda item 5, and of the Security Council.
      link to

  • The flaw of Beinart's conception of Israel's 'flawed but genuine democracy'
    • Read the Declaration for the Establishment of the State of Israel. The words ‘democratic’ and ‘democracy’ simply do not appear.

      Of course not. According to revised statistics provided by the Mandatory Administration, the Palestinian Arab population of the proposed Jewish state was slightly larger than the Jewish population. Notwithstanding that fact the People's Council that named itself as the Provisional Government was comprised entirely of Jews. This after 25 years of collaboration with various Palestinian leaders. See Hillel Cohen, “Army of Shadows: Palestinian Collaboration with Zionism, 1917-1948″, University of California Press, 2008.

      Needless to say the People's Council was only interested in establishing Jewish rule when it met to discuss the Declaration and the so-called Constitution (the Transition Act):

      Draft of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel
      Sitting 3 of the People’s Council
      14 May 1948 (5 Iyar 5708)
      JNF Building, Tel Aviv
      The Chairman, D. Ben-Gurion: Today is a day of greater opportunities and graver dangers than we have faced for many generations, a) The Mandate has ended and we must establish Jewish rule; b) War has been declared on us. This war may be intensified by an invasion by the regular Arab armies.

      Our defense forces are functioning with the utmost dedication on all fronts and will do their duty. Arrangements have been made with regard to the danger of invasion.
      We have assembled here today to make preparations and dispositions for independent Jewish rule. You have before you two documents for consideration: the first, a declaration; the second, the first draft of an interim constitution, which is urgently needed so that the Jewish institutions will be able to function during this period.

      We will start with the first document: “The Declaration by the People's Council of the Establishment of the State of Israel.”

      -- Netanel Lorach, Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 1 - People’s Council and Provisional Council of State, 1948-1949, pp 44

    • While promoting his new book he frequently refers to the Israeli declaration of independence, which he also mentions in his Times piece

      I've documented elsewhere that Ben Gurion said the authors of Israel's Declaration of Independence simply "put in the basic phrases demanded by the UN." link to

      During the subsequent hearings on its membership application in the UN, Israel cited the Declaration of Independence - which had been signed by the members of the Provisional government - as the fulfillment of its obligation to supply a declaration on the subject of the fundamental laws of state regarding equal rights.

      The General Assembly required each of the new states to acknowledge an undertaking to implement equal constitutional rights for minorities under the terms of the plan for the future government of Palestine contained in resolution 181(II). Within two years, the government of Israel denied it had ever signed any such declaration. So, it's pointless to lecture Israelis about its contents. They have never amounted to anything more than hasbara, so far as their own government is concerned.

  • Beinart calls for boycott of settlements 'to save Israel'
    • Right, and we appreciate your honesty and your apparent inability to make comparisons that pass the test of basic logic.

      Right. For quite a while, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had a binational state. The Zionist Organization would never hear of such a thing. "We" also appreciate the fact that you're one of the name calling Zionist trolls.

    • The Germans were stitched up at Versailles, Hostage. The Sudetenland should have been granted to Germany.

      Deutschland, Deutschland über alles . . . I suppose that Germany could also have been given the Volga Germans and their territory too;-)

      The Allies were not empowered to make ethnic Germans in Allied or Associated states liable for payment of German or Austrian war reparations. The Czecho-Slovak National Council had declared its independence from Austria in 1918, and it was immediately recognized as an associated power of the Allies. That's because Czecho-Slovak forces in Great Britain, France and Russia had volunteered to fight for the Allies from the very outset of the war. So it would not have been feasible to cede an independent Allied successor state to an enemy power. See for example, Charles Francis Horne, The Odyssey of the Czecho-Slavs : The March of the "Army Without a Country", in The Great Events of the Great War: A.D. 1918, The National Alumni, 1920. link to

    • I agree, but I’m not sure, if your Sudetenland comparison works 100%,

      Yes it does. There was no international mandate or obligation to establish and maintain a racist regime there, regardless of the demographic ratios.

      There was no international obligation for Czechoslovakia or other states to recognize the acquisition of the territory through annexation by Germany, despite the conclusion of the Munich Agreement by Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini on 29 September 1938.

    • Hostage – Wasn’t the Sudetenland >80% German?

      You're missing my point about maintaining a racist Nazi regime in the Sudetenland. The fact that ethnic German citizens had obtained a majority in the Sudetenland did not justify it's military occupation and annexation by a neighboring German state whose ideology and official policies were to treat the non-German inhabitants as Untermenschen, much less create an obligation for the international community to maintain that racist German state or regime.

      Portions of the Czech population had been expelled in the Middle Ages by Kings who had invited Germans to establish colonies in Bohemia in the first place. At the Versailles Peace Conference, the Allies established a single committee for the creation of new states and minority rights. On 10 September 1919, Czechoslovakia had signed a minorities treaty, which guaranteed all of the inhabitants equal rights. Germany was not a new state, so it was not required to accept any agreement on minorities. That Czechoslovakian agreement was placed under the protection of the League of Nations. Germany had become the fifth permanent member of the Council after it joined the League in 1926. So it accepted a Covenant obligation to respect the League's agreements on equal rights.

    • So we are going to have two BDS movements with different objectives regarding equal rights for Palestinians and refugees from Israel? Beinart is still deliberately whitewashing illegal forms of segregation, discrimination, and population displacement inside the Green Line (i.e. Israel and East Jerusalem).

      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. There is no legal or moral obligation to "save Israel". Beinart is too devious and evasive in my opinion.

  • 'Daily Beast' ode to Livni makes no mention of Gaza assault
    • lysias, if you remember the sequence of events that preceded Israel’s barbaric onslaught on Gaza on December 27,2008, the barracuda was shuttling all over the place filling in other countries about the planned attack and the last was with Mubarak that appears to have given the final green light.

      When the UN began pressing demands for a criminal investigation, the Israeli government engaged in a propaganda campaign which claimed everyone and their dog knew all along about the up-coming attack on Gaza.

      Those reports were at odds with earlier reports from the Israeli government's media echo chamber which highlighted the success of the deliberate disinformation campaign to deceive the public and international community into believing that there would be no attack on Gaza - and the fact that it had been an integral part of the operational planning all along. See Disinformation, secrecy and lies: How the Gaza offensive came about - Barak ordered preparations for Saturday's operation 6 months ago, as Israel, Hamas agreed on a truce. link to

      There was also disinformation about the PA being supplied prior notice or having called for an Israeli attack, but that backfired and resulted in the PA demand for an independent investigation by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. See ICC prosecutor considers ‘Gaza war crimes’ probe. link to

      Olmert and the other members of his cabinet ignored warnings from Barak and Livni that prolonging Operation Cast Lead or inserting ground forces deep into populated areas would damage Israel diplomatically. See Olmert: Gaza war won't end until rockets and smuggling stop - Barak, Livni disagree with Olmert, want quick end to Gaza fighting; PM: Truce now would be missed opportunity. link to

    • the memos released on Monday revealed they also agreed that only 10, 000 refugees and their families – out of a total refugee population exceeding 5 million – could return to Israel as part of a peace settlement.

      In fact none of the memos published by the Guardian or Al Jazeera contained any record that documented such an agreement between the PA and Israeli negotiators. The summaries published by the media simply alleged that an offer had been made.

      While chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in exchange for an extension of the construction moratorium in the West Bank racist, the secret documents show that his position was quite different behind closed doors.

      The memos showed that he called it incitement behind closed doors too:

      …Then Obama brought up incitement. . . .We should prepare for them a file on who is actually inciting. The demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is incitement. [To the NSU] Look very carefully at incitement. Bring as much evidence as possible on Israeli incitement against us, including legislation, speeches, books …

      See “Meeting Minutes: Saeb Erekat with (PLO) Negotiations Support Unit on US Meetings” link to June 2, 2009

      The PA never agreed to Netanyahu's request that the PA formally recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Erekat simply replied that Israel could (continue to) call itself a Jewish state.

    • Tzipi did not dare to go to London until the present government changed laws to please her.

      Her visit to the UK still wasn't possible, even after the law was changed. The government suspended the application of the new statutory procedures by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) , and simply granted Livni "special mission immunity" for the duration of her visit. So the new statute wasn't actually tested as Livni and the UK government claimed at the time. See Changes to UK law didn't protect Tzipi Livni link to

  • Israel to Europe: Palestinians can't have a state because they can't support themselves
    • 40 years after Golda Meir said there was no such thing as a Palestinian the word comes up 115 million times on Google.

      Jimmy Wales has the same problem. See the entry for Arab Citizens of Israel. link to

      The Zionists who propagandize so much about "the Jews from Arab Lands", do not consider them to be "Arab citizens of Israel" (although there can be no Israeli nationality separate from the Jewish people according to HCJ 630/70 Tamarin v. State of Israel [1970] IsrSC 26(1) 197).

      In fact, there is no recognized "Arab nationality" anywhere else in the world, except for the people registered as such by the government of Israel - which denies the Palestinians their own nationality for purposes of their apartheid policy, e.g. the following inhuman acts committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them:

      Any legislative measures and other measures calculated to prevent a racial group or groups from participation in the political, social, economic and cultural life of the country and the deliberate creation of conditions preventing the full development of such a group or groups, in particular by denying to members of a racial group or groups basic human rights and freedoms, including the right to work, the right to form recognized trade unions, the right to education, the right to leave and to return to their country, the right to a nationality, the right to freedom of movement and residence, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association;


      For a fuller explanation, see “A racism outside of language: Israel’s apartheid”, by Saree Makdisi, in the Pambazuka News, 2010-03-11, Issue 473

    • It is so convenient to forget how in 2009 there was an economic boom in the West Bank with growth reaching 8%, higher than in Israel or the West. In 2011 the Palestinian Planning Minister said GDP growth was expected to rise to 12% by 2013.

      The World Bank and IMF reports didn't overlook the so-called economic boom. They both concluded the economy was being run for the benefit of the illegal Israeli settlers.

      FYI, Israel has a GDP of over $2oo billion, while Palestine's GDP is still under $5 billion. The differences in the sizes of the two populations and their educational levels don't account for those differences either. For example, Dr Hassan A El-Najjar has noted that:

      The UN educational program was so successful that the Palestinian level of higher education in the 1970s was among the highest in the world. The ratio of Palestinian college students to the general Palestinian population was 20/1000 in 1977. Among the refugee segment of the population, it was even higher reaching about 47/1000 in 1986. For other leading societies, the ratio was 30/1000 for the U.S., 18/1000 for USSR, 9/1000 for France, 8/1000 for England, and 4/1000 for the Arab states as a whole. --See Hassan A El-Najjar, "The Gulf War", Amazone Press, 2001

    • Israel systematically destroyed the Palestinian economy starting from 1967.

      Yes, the World Bank has been reporting on that situation for years:

      The restrictions on Palestinian economic potential involve more than roadblocks and checkpoints. With due regard to Israel’s security concerns, there is consensus on the paralytic effects of the current physical obstacles placed on the Palestinian economy. In reality, these restrictions go beyond concrete and earth-mounds, and extend to a system of physical and administrative restrictions that prevent the realization of Palestinian economic potential.

      link to

      When the British, French, and League of Nations partitioned Ottoman Asia they disrupted regional trade and replaced it with their own "policy of the Open Door", which favored the members of the League. The British granted long-term concessions, banking charters, and many other key economic privileges to the Zionists, See Barbara J. Smith, The Roots of Separatism in Palestine: British Economic Policy, 1920-1929 (Contemporary Issues in the Middle East), Syracuse Univ., 1993.

      You can't very easily partition a river, sea port, line of communication, or sole source of essential materials. The UN answer was a proposal to lower the standard of living that the Palestinians had enjoyed during the mandate era by partitioning Palestine into a Jewish state and a non-viable, dependent, Arab state. Many UN member states admitted as much for the record (see the verbatim quote in the link below).

      Rules of Transit and a Plan for an Economic Union were included in the UN partition plan to compensate for those disadvantages, but they were never implemented. That situation, and the role of the Jewish Agency in creating it, is documented in declassified materials published in the State Department's Foreign Relations (FRUS) series and in the unclassified UN documents themselves. I've cited and quoted some of them in the past: link to

  • Rendell (of MSNBC and Friends of IDF) is under investigation for ties to Iranian terror group
    • Could it be, finally these fanatics may face the music, don’t hold your breath.

      Perhaps. They might have to forgo speaking engagements in Canada or jump through some hoops to enter the country. Section 34(1) of the immigration act protects Canadians from people who fund, support or engage in terrorism. So it would be possible for groups there to protest against admitting them for visits and demand they be banned like anti-war UK MP Galloway.

      Read more on that at: link to

      It's also likely that they'll spend more than they've earned on legal fees. So it will be interesting to see if they drop their public support for the MEK.

  • Gilad Shalit's father says, 'If I were Palestinian I'd kidnap soldiers'
    • It is playing with semantics to categorise religious persecution as being different from apartheid.

      No it certainly is not. A person can opt to change their religion, but not their race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin. In many cases religious discrimination merely results in a preference, exclusion, restriction, or other distinction that is not "inhuman" in nature or that doesn't employ prohibited forms of segregation.

      We're discussing conventional international agreements on prohibited forms of racism, i.e. segregation or apartheid. The authors and state parties deliberately chose to exclude the topic of religious discrimination or persecution from the scope of the treaties or to make it a separate criminal offense.

    • Mayhem, the definition of the crime of apartheid used in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court have never included any form of religious discrimination. Inhumane acts directed against groups on the grounds of religion are defined as the crime of persecution. See for example Article 7(1)(h) of the Rome Statute. link to

      The very same stakeholders who have described some of Israel's laws, policies, and practices as forms of racial discrimination, persecution, and apartheid, have described some of Malaysia's laws, policies, and practices as forms of religious discrimination or persecution.

      FYI, the supreme court of Malaysia considered the effect of Islam as the state religion in Che Omar Che Soh v. Public Prosecutor (1988) 2 MLJ 55, and concluded that Article 2(1) merely provided for the ceremonial role of Islam under the Constitution. The Court held that it was civil (as opposed to Islamic) law that governed the country. All citizens are subject to civil laws. Non-Muslims are to be governed exclusively by civil law. Muslims are also governed by Sharia in specifically enumerated matters, usually having to do with family law (e.g. marriage, divorce) and property rights (e.g. inheritance). In those enumerated areas, Sharia courts have limited jurisdiction.

      As you know, Israel and its parastatal agencies grant superior legal rights and privileges to citizens of Jewish descendancy and nationality, while discriminating against all of its citizens of Palestinian descendancy or nationality. The laws do not disqualify secular Jews, former Jewish citizens of Palestine, or foreign Jews from enjoyment of the superior rights afforded by Israeli law and the parastatal agency charters on grounds of religion.

    • The demand to be recognized as a Jewish State is just schtick in the spokes to prevent Palestinian statehood. The demand has no legal foundation. No state has recognized Israel as anything other than the ‘State of Israel’.

      The demand has a very firm legal foundation. Haaretz reported a long time ago that Rep. Ros-Lehtinen intended to end PA funding due to the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement. U.S. House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, released a statement saying

      "the law stipulates that the PA government must recognize the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist, among other things. Therefore, in order to implement existing law, the U.S. must end assistance to the Palestinian Authority."

      The law in question is U.S. Code Title 22, Chapter 32, Subchapter III, Part I, § 2378b “Limitation on assistance to the Palestinian authority”.

      The relevant portion regarding initial and semi-annual certifications provides:
      (b) Certification
      A certification described in subsection (a) is a certification transmitted by the President to Congress that contains a determination of the President that—
      (1) no ministry, agency, or instrumentality of the Palestinian Authority is effectively controlled by Hamas, unless the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority has—
      (A) publicly acknowledged the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist; and ….

  • Palestinian and Palestine-solidarity activists issue critique and condemnation of Gilad Atzmon
    • So how many Jewish-Americans agree with Chaim Weizmann. Hardly if any that I know.

      Atzmon is only critiquing particularism or "Jewish-ness" of the sort described by Weizmann, Jabotinsky, et al. He does not include all of the followers of Judaism, or those who merely identify themselves as persons of Jewish descent.

    • does it mean to define oneself as a jew is 2012 is to “put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits”?

      No, since a person of Jewish descent or a person who follows Judaism can identify themselves as Jews and still embrace universalism and brotherhood while leading ordinary lives among Gentiles.

      Atzmon went out of his way to make a careful distinction between the harmless members of those groups and the members who practice particularism and view their Jewish-ness as the primary element of their personality that makes them unique.

    • How much responsibility do you think the German community should assume for the German establishment and its policies in the 1930s?

      They recently announced the third round of reparations payments to Jewish victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. The latest payments will go to Moroccan Jews whose freedom of movement was violated by the Vichy government. link to

      The government of Israel was advised to stop building The Wall and pay compensation for the very same reasons.

    • In “Tribal Marxism for Dummies” Atzmon attacked anti-Zionist Jewish Marxists. So it was not the question of Marxism being employed to justify Zionism.

      It's too late to tell that to Ben Gurion now and he was certainly guilty of using Marxism to justify Zionism.

      At any rate here is some material from "The Wandering Who", page 17:

      'A Jew brought up among Germans may assume German customs, German words. He may be wholly imbued with that German fluid but the nucleus of his spiritual structure will always remain Jewish, because his blood, his body, his physical racial type are Jewish.' (Vladimir Jabotinsky, 'A Letter on Autonomy', 1904).

      These racist ideas predate Nazism. Jabotinsky wasn't alone, even the Jewish Marxist Ber Borochov, who refers the Jewish condition to historical and material circumstances, suggested a remedy that was particular to Jewish people, i.e. Jewish Nationalism. An ideology in which Jews would practice some proletarian activity, namely production, yet maintain their national and cultural symptoms. Borochov sets Jews apart from the international proletarian revolution. Why does he do this? Because Jews are uniquely Jewish or at least the Zionists tend to believe they are.

      The Zionist is first and foremost a Jew. He can't be just an ordinary British citizen who happens to be of a Jewish descent. He is rather a Jew who dwells in Britain. He is a Jew who speaks English

    • iow, atzmon is simply reinforcing (or doubling down) on what “the Jewish establishment” has been claiming all along.

      No not at all. It would be helpful if people would stick to citing what he actually said about "Jewish-ness" and the ideology of the Jewish Marxism of Ber Borochov and stop libeling the guy.

    • To define oneself as a Jew in the year 2012 is to define oneself as a Zionist — as an ethnic nationalist . . . why?

      Good question, because Atzmon says that those who follow Judaism or who are merely of Jewish descent can be perfectly harmless, unless they also happen to put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits. He cited Chaim Weizmann who said there are no English, French, German, or American Jews, but only Jews living in England, France, Germany, and America. Atzmon explains that it is about viewing Jewish-ness as the fundamental element of your being that prevents you from assimilating into Gentile society. These individuals don't view themselves as normal or ordinary, and it is neither racist nor antisemetic to point that situation out.

    • thanks for straightening me out, the zionism = judaism was from one of his critics. but didn’t he say that jews (all?) were other than normal people. if so (and following this thread and the supplied links, isn’t easy), doesn’t such a generalization smack of stereotyping?

      I just got his book and no, he did not say that. He specifically states that he is not talking about all of the harmless people who follow Judaism or happen to be of Jewish origin, just those people who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits (page 16). Think of Elliott Abrams, who said that Jews must stand apart in every society they happen to live in or Theodore Herzl who claimed that Jews had lost the ability to assimilate and could not possibly lead normal lives among Gentiles.

      Atzmon said that if the Jewish Marxists and cosmopolitans that founded the State of Israel had been open to the notion of brotherhood, they would have given up on their unique, exclusive ways and simply aspired to become ordinary people like the rest of us. Pointing out the snobbery of folks like Elliott Abrams, Theodore Herzl, or Ber Borochov is neither anti-semetic nor racist.

    • hostage, given that zionist israel insists that it speaks for all jews, might it not be said that zionism is a hijacking of judaism? as for jewish ideology, what percentage of jews do you think have more than a cursory familiarity with those bronze age writings and their various appendages? yet somehow the thoughts of mostly unknown authors are supposed to be influencing the large number if secular jews?

      I self-identify as a secular Jew, because I am a person of Jewish descent. I can also recite the Torah, Talmud, and Rashi's Commentaries if the occasion arises, in much the same way that many English speakers can unselfconsciously recite biblical references from the works of Shakespeare or employ Jewish idioms from the King James or other vernacular version of the Bible. The premise of many Jewish studies programs is that Jewish literature, religion, and philosophy are integral parts of Western culture. So, I'd guess that most Jews have heard about those brozne age writers and some of their ideas.

    • Then there are those (like Herzl) who were not raised in Jewish tradition at all, but in other traditions and cultures.

      Herzl attended a Jewish elementary school and took classes in Judaism at his secondary school. He and his parents also attended a modern synagogue. link to

      His grandfather was an orthodox rabbi, who advocated the establishment of Jewish colonies in Palestine:

      Theodor Herzl’s grandfather, Simon Loeb Herzl, was a fervent disciple of Rabbi Judah Alkalai (1798-1878) who, for most of his life, had been a preacher in Semlin, near Belgrade. This Rabbi astounded his congregants when, among other pronouncements, he published a textbook declaring that establishing Jewish colonies and a Jewish State in the Holy Land was the necessary prelude to the Redemption of Israel and to the Restoration of the Temple of Jerusalem for the coming of Messiah. Thus, this Sephardic Rabbi Judah Alkalai, along with, for instance, the Ashkenazi Rabbi Zvi Kalischer of Prussia were representatives of a very tiny minority of European and American Rabbis who supported the religious concept of the Jewish people returning progressively to Palestine in order to recreate Israel and to restore the Temple.

      However the vast majority of Rabbis (and religious Jews) opposed violently this view and were divided (to simplify matters with modern vocabulary) between “Reform Jews” and “Orthodox Jews”

      link to

    • Honestly, I can't understand why so many here are obsessed with defending him as if he were some helpless animal. If his writings stand on their own, there should be no problem.

      I wonder why so many otherwise intelligent people are being so blithe about applying the label of racism and antisemitism to Atzmon and Zero books in the midst of a promotional tour without providing any real citations, quotes, or examples to substantiate those claims?

      It may be intended as sarcasm, but there is a kernel of truth to the label "anti-Atzmon Defamation League", since the signatories are engaging in defamation and libel per se. Allegations that are injurious to a person in their trade, business, or profession are actionable and damages may be presumed unless they're rebutted. You really can't hide behind the shield of a screen name in order to make libelous comments either.

      The constant references to “Jewish Marxism” (whatever that is) are rather strange, as if “Marxism” could not exist without Judaism, which is totally absurd. Marx wrote about it, yes, but that doesn’t mean that “Jewishness” is a defining and necessary characteristic of Marxist thought.

      Israel has a Communist party, but the conflicts between Marxism and Jewish nationalism were reconciled and rationalized away using elements of Judaism by its Socialist party. That ideological work was done by the Jewish Marxists of Poale Zion, like Ber Borochov, Nahum Syrkin, et al. There wouldn't have been a "Jewish state" without the Labor Socialist movement that ran the Jewish Agency during the Mandate era and governed Israel until the 1970s. Their propaganda and political platforms made extensive use of references to Judaism, Jewish history, and the concept of messianism. Their ends were set forth as the in-gathering of the so-called exiles, restoring the Jewish nation and reviving the Jewish state and its independence "which had been destroyed, supposedly forever, at the time of Bar Kochba and Rabbi Akiva." None of that had anything to do with Karl Marx. See for example Ben Gurion's address when introducing the Law of Return and Nationality Law in Netanel Lorch (ed), Major Knesset Debates, 1948-1981, Volume 2, JCPA/University Press of America, 1993, pp 611 - 613.
      link to

    • we have a political problem on our hands. Mearsheimer is a very important voice and it would be sad to see him discredited.

      I think Mearsheimer stopped loosing sleep over the opinions of the publishers and editors of Commentary magazine long before he and Walt published their first article on The Lobby in the London Review of Books.

      Mearsheimer runs the international studies center for the University of Chicago. He isn't an anti-establishment figure like many of the signatories of these letters. So he doesn't need endorsements from Abunimah, Barghouti, Massad, et al. None of those people are considered heavy weights in the academic or professional political science or foreign relations community.

    • o’k', uniquely evil is implied in his rebuttal of the abuminah letter (see pixel’s comment, 12:01 am) – Atzmon’s “Zionism does not fit the colonial model”

      He stated that the reason it didn't fit the colonial model was because the Zionist project wasn't launched from a Jewish mother country. That objection obviously is not aimed at the subsequent events surrounding the establishment of illegal settlements beyond the Green Line.

      what is it other than some unique evil. and since, according to him, zionism = judaism, and since he believes all jews (whether we know it or not) are zionists), it follows that he believes jews are uniquely evil.

      Wow an entire string of implausible straw men. Saying that Zionism is a continuation of Jewish ideology is not really saying that zionism = judaism. In the final analysis Weizmann, Ben Gurion, and Jabotinsky weren't interested in practicing Judaism. They could have done that in Poland or Russia.

      In any event, please name all of the modern political movements that have taken over a territory and dispossessed the lawful inhabitants - with the cooperation and assistance of the international community of states - based upon a dubious 3,000 year old religious claim or "historical connection" to the land.

    • If someone thinks Atzmon’s comments are acceptable, then that person has no standing to condemn Islamophobia.

      I think that we can discuss the state of the existing laws on Holocaust denial or the Armenian and other genocides without endorsing the idea that remembrance or memory laws serve exactly the same purpose as laws prohibiting forms of incitement to discrimination, like Islamophobia or Anti-Semetism.

      Article 7 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that every individual has the right to be free not only from discrimination on grounds of race, religion and national origins, but also from incitement to such discrimination. That doesn't mean that opinions about historical facts can be penalized or that everyone has to abandon studies or discussions on comparative religion. Articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights doesn't permit the prohibition of an individual's right to hold an opinion on the grounds that it is erroneous or an incorrect interpretation of past events. link to
      *See for example paragraph 19 of the observations on Hungary's memory laws and "The Law of Holocaust Denial in Europe: Towards a (qualified) EU-wide Criminal Prohibition"

      In a more recent example, the French Constitutional Council declared legislation that criminalized denial of genocide - as recognized by a law- is inherently unconstitutional. So far, only the French version of the decision has been posted but Translate gives a very good rendering of the body of the opinion:
      I've previously commented on legal developments in the UN committees in that area, e.g. link to

      Adam and Phil have a perfect right to avoid discussions on all of these topics, since Jewish organizations in other countries have asked their courts to block websites using various incitement and memory laws.

    • “to what extent has Jewish identity politics contributed to the disaster?” . . . yt – but if the immediacy of the moral argument against the settler state doesn’t suffice to sway the public, how will going into identity politics do the job?

      How exactly have you managed to avoid the issue in your encounters with the people of StandWithUs, campus Hillel societies, Jewish studies departments, the political parties, and our government when they negate Jewish universalism and promote the cultural and historical necessity of Jewish ghettoism in Israel?

      See the comments of Profs Ilan Pappe and Marc Ellis on David Landy, "Jewish Identity and Palestinian Rights: Diaspora Jewish Opposition to Israel" link to

    • Gurvitz is talking about religious nationalists who have latched onto racist and nationalistic elements in Jewish tradition. He is not talking about “anti-Zionist Zionists”, “Jewish ideology”, “Jewish Marxists” or Jews becoming “ordinary human beings like the rest of us”. He does not confound Judaism and Zionism, and does not equate “Jewishness” with the worst elements in Jewish tradition.

      Gurvitz statement that "They took the hatred of mankind which had persisted in Judaism for millennia and gave it voice and force" is exactly what Atzmon is railing against in what I've read and it cannot be reconciled with this position statement: "We reaffirm that there is no room in this historic and foundational analysis of our struggle for any attacks on our Jewish allies, Jews, or Judaism; nor denying the Holocaust; nor allying in any way shape or form with any conspiracy theories, far-right, orientalist, and racist arguments, associations and entities."

      I don't even see how some of the writings of Joseph Massad about the march of civilization and Western culture can be reconciled with that statement. For example, he has described the women's rights movement as "colonial feminism" and suggested that promotion of gay rights in the Middle East is a "missionary" conspiracy led by western orientalists and colonialists which “produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist”.
      link to
      link to

    • Hardly anyone here on the anti-Zionist side would have any trouble seeing what is wrong with what Atzmon says if one just altered it a little bit and made it about Muslims.

      He is merely addressing typical claims made by Jewish commenters right here at Mondoweiss. So I don't see anything inherently antisemitic about him mentioning them. I can show you links to discussions with Jews who claimed that Zionist-nationalism has always been an integral part of Judaism; that the three oaths are no longer relevant now that the state of Israel has been established; and that the religious beliefs of non-Zionist Jews regarding the allegorical return and the world to come are "repellent and discredited" and helped bring about the Holocaust, e.g. see a few of my responses here:

      There have been several articles about Netanyahu's gift of the Book of Esther to President Obama and the history of Jewish violence associated with the religious holiday of Purim. The interview with Yossi Gurvitz would certainly not pass muster under the criteria published in the letters above. They attempt to place criticism of Jewish religion and culture beyond the pale. Gurvitz said Zionism is irrelevant or dead and that religion is a more important factor:

      You have to understand what the religious right means when they say of leftists, the multitude, they are the erav rav. This means the ones who left Egypt, the mixed multitude. It is a concept in Kabbalah-- the Amalekite Jew. A Jew who isn’t really a Jew. He looks like a Jew, thinks he’s a Jew, but he's an enemy of God. It’s been used in the Knesset, the word erav rav.

      If you think this Judaism is the wisdom of Israel, it’s not. This is the Judaism forced underground by the Christian regimes, censored time and again. It’s coming to the surface. Just about everyone knows this code here.
      These Jews ... took the elements of the religion that were nationalistic and have been slumbering for 100s of years and awakened it. They took the hatred of mankind which had persisted in Judaism for millennia and gave it voice and force.
      But once Israel was created, many Jews saw it as the end of the three oaths, the Shloshet Ha'Shvuot. Two of these oaths enjoin the Jews not to mass-emigrate to Eretz Yisrael and not to provoke the gentiles.
      Now Israel has the right to use force, and every demon that was pushed into the basement is up and has an M16.

      Expressing solidarity with the Palestinians in pursuit of equal human rights doesn't mean that we have to give the unenlightened religious beliefs and cultural views held by extremists factions, like Hamas, a free pass either.

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