Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 653 (since 2010-10-06 04:27:13)


I'm a retired civil rights attorney and a writer of both non-fiction and fiction. My interest in the Israel-Palestine issue came from my father's involvement flying Jewish refugees from around the world to the new state of Israel in 1948-49. David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister called my father "the Irish Moses" because of his exploits, hence the name of my blog site --


Showing comments 653 - 601

  • I want my country back
  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • I submitted the piece to the LAT last week and received a rejection on Monday morning.

      Can't advise on I-P trips. Never been there.

    • Maybe I'm dense, but I really don't follow you. Are you saying I made a deliberately anti-Semitic comment (ergo, I'm an anti-Semite)? Or are you saying that mentioning someone is Jewish is always ipso facto anti-Semitic?

      I don't see how your accusation jibes with your supposed rule, "...if it is not proven, it is not anti-Semitism". What if I said, "I have a wonderful Italian baker." Would that be a statement of bias?
      If not, why would, "I go to a wonderful Jewish delicatessen."?

      Who appointed you as the thought police?

    • Giles,

      To liberal Zionists, the contrary actions and writings of a fellow liberal Zionist could very well carry more weight and legitimacy. That's why I used Roberts as an example.

      I don't attach more importance to his actions, article, and opinion because he's a Jew. I do it because he is an accomplished individual, an active liberal Zionist, who investigated and changed his opinion. Remember, the topic at hand is about Jews, antisemitism, and criticism of Israeli policies and actions. If we were discussing baseball, it might be different.

    • CigarGod, anyone that smokes cigars needs their head examined.

    • JLWarner,

      The man said clearly "A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel." I can't see how you managed to read that as meaning Douglas recognizes the difference between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.

    • Gamal,

      Thanks for the wonderful links you provided about visiting West Cork. My wife and I are poring over the websites as I write this. We're going there.

      I had to scratch my head about your "Six Nations" sporting reference. I couldn't figure out the sport. The scores seemed way too high for soccer (football) and way to low for cricket. I googled and found it was rugby. link to

      My heartiest congratulations on Ireland's victory. Sounds like an exciting and historical day.

    • Compare your statement here ("I have a rule: if it is not proven, it is not anti-Semitism.") with your accusation above that my use of the word "Jew", is ipso facto anti-Semitic.

      Seems inconsistent.

    • Anti-Semitic is a little harsh eGuard. My motive for mentioning he was a Jew ("... the former chancellor of Brown University and a Jewish-American and major life-long supporter of Israel...") was to show that some American Jews, who are life-long supporters of Israel, after having been to the West Bank, describe it as Apartheid on Steroids. Removing that would have detracted from my point. Read Roberts' article. His Jewishness is a central point of what he's writing about, the immoral actions of a group of fellow Jews (Israelis).

      If I was using "Jew" in a pejorative sense, e.g. "another Jewish banker", it would have been anti-Semitic. Sometimes a cigar is Jewish...

    • Lysias,
      Your comment re Dingle (below). Looks like a great place. Almost land-locked bay and really to the south-east of Ireland. I'd think warmer, good weather there. That right?

      Are you Irish?

    • Dutch,
      That's quite a link you provided at your last comment below. It's far more than just the picture. It's a review of a 2014 book about Palestinian-Jewish history in Palestine, Lives in Common: Arabs and Jews in Jerusalem, Jaffa, and Hebron by Menachem Klein. I just ordered the Kindle version ($9.99). It talks about how close the Misrahi Jews were to the Palestinian Arabs. Klein has his own interesting history. Thanks for the tip!
      Irish Moses

    • Well, while I take your point, my inclination is to take Douglas's version at face value until he proves otherwise unreliable. The fact that the victim was a pretty young kid adds support for my feelings about this. You got a problem with a young adolescent wearing a Star of David around his neck, you take it up with the parent not the kid. You pick on someone your own size.

      Douglas says he later had words with the perpetrator. If it was my kid, I would have had a lot more than words for that jerk. But then again, I'm Irish (American version).

      In any case, Douglas's article strikes me as basically honest but misinformed, maybe because he is a newfound Jew unfamiliar with and unexposed to the different narratives. Because he and his wife have a pretty good record of supporting worthwhile progressive causes, I'll give him a free pass on this one.

      My hope is that he will take a second look at the issue and maybe come around to the righteous side of this. Ah, but I'm such a sappy cockeyed optimist (more of the Irish).

      Speaking of Ireland and Irish, I hear air fares are cheap and the Euro is falling. I'm thinking of taking some time off this summer to go exercise my unlimited right of return to my ancient Irish homeland. I need some peace and quiet to write my shitty fiction and I gotta get away from CNN and all the other mindless tendencies of my nominal country. Somewhere where you can sit in a pub, have a pint or two, and some pleasant, half intelligent conversation. I'd probably rent a condo or apartment. Where would be a good place to go for this? Dublin, Cork? I love to sail so maybe a coastal town? All suggestions appreciated.

    • Thanks for your always learned input talknic. There were several other parts of the Douglas piece I disagreed with but space and readers' attention span is at a minimum.

    • Rob Roy,
      Was the Douglas piece published in the NYT as well? I'll submit it to them but they typically ignore me.
      Thanks for the tip and your wonderful responses.

    • Norman is a treasure and a victim of this ghastly mess. Would that things turn around for this heroic figure, and that he finally receive the recognition and success he deserves.
      link to

    • Please,

      The subject at hand is Israel and its conduct toward the Palestinians. It's not about the sins of Saudi Arabia, or Hamas, or the PA, or Vladimir Putin. Everybody here rejects the various sins in your laundry list. The problem here is you don't want to stay on topic; it's too uncomfortable, too embarrassing for you. So you change the subject and launch into your typical defense of "Whataboutery".

      You then end, with your normal ad hominem screed, that the author, me, and the rest of us here are all antisemites, Jew Haters because our silence on these other off-topic matters proves how malicious our motives are.

      Fair enough. Since you didn't mention female genital mutilation in your piece, can we infer from your silence that you approve of it? Your silence on the matter of violence against African Americans must also permit us to infer you are a racist. I could go on and create an equally impressive laundry list condemning you for your silence on other topics but I prefer more civil, rational discourse.

      Just answer one simple question: What are you going to do about the 4.5 million Palestinians living under military occupation in the territories you have occupied since 1967? Do they get a country of their own on the 67 borders sometime soon? If not, when do they get the same civil rights and right to vote that Israeli citizens have? If you say no to that too, your remaining choices are pretty bleak. Extermination seems too extreme, how about ethnic cleansing? You could shove them all into Jordan, their "true homeland". That probably won't cut it in today's world, so you're left with your Greater Israel apartheid state. Good luck with that.

    • My father was pretty disillusioned with Israel in his last years. He felt Israel had taken advantage of the US and was hurting US interests in the Middle East. Here's a link that discusses him at greater length:

      link to

    • Hell, I'd like to visit - both sides of the wall. I just haven't figured out how yet and I suspect I could be refused admittance and sent back home on the next day's plane.

      I'd like to hear how others on MW manage to visit and see both sides of the Great Wall of Palestine.

    • If it looks like a schmuck, and walks and talks like a schmuck, the only reasonable conclusion is that the guy is an antisemitic schmuck. I could come up with half a dozen alternative motives (he wasn't wearing a swimming cap, he was running by the pool, he splashed the guy, etc.), but on its face it looks pretty clear cut. I'll take Douglas at his word.

    • Not to mention its leader claims to represent all the world's Jews.

      The problem with "blaming the Jews" is that it's an all Jews claim which fails to take into account the millions of Jews who are unaware, or are confused, or are bored by the topic, or don't want to get involved, or are critics of Israel. It's the unqualified generalization that makes it anti-Semitic. Ironically, Douglas makes the same mistake, only in reverse.

  • Selective voting in the land of Greater Israel
    • Mooser,

      The great actor doesn't seem to know what he's saying. He says some antisemitism stems from irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel without going any evidence of why criticism (not hatred) of Israel is either irrational or misplaced.

      He then admits that a lot of people see Israel as an apartheid state which, even if true, shouldn't be used to tar all Jews. OK, but who's blaming all Jews?

      Finally, he says, decisions on important internal matters (like apartheid) should really be left to the discretion of local (national) officials who apparently are in a better position to make those decisions. Would the good actor have applied the same logic to the internal national policy decisions of Nazi officials during the apartheid period of Nazi Germany (1930s)?

      The man should keep his day job and stick to acting, or maybe he just has too much time on his hands.

    • Daniel, thanks for the link. It's my home town but I didn't notice it this morning in the LA Times. Maybe it will be in tommorrow's.

      Here's the money quote:

      "A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national-policy decisions."

    • I agree with you in theory, PJ, but I think practically it can never happen. Here's my reasoning from an older thread:

      link to

    • Great comment Pauline. What's the expression? "PEP" - Progressive Except for Palestine.

  • Senator who spearheaded letter to Iran got $1 million from Kristol's 'Emergency C'tee for Israel'
    • A couple more tidbit:

      1. In August 2013: Cotton went on a free congressional junket to Israel paid for by American Israel Education Foundation, an AIPAC affiliate. Dan Senor, a major Tea Party fundraiser who has strong connections to Israeli donors tweeted he was jogging with Cotton:
      link to

      2. After receiving a cool million in advertising donations from Bill Kristol's Emergency Committee for Israel which gave him a resounding victory, Senator-elect Cotton recommends the US provide Israel with "surplus" B52 bombers so they can bomb Iran: link to

      Can somebody tell me why Bill Kristol hasn't violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act? The name of his organization, The Emergency Committee for Israel, is prima facie evidence that he is acting as a foreign agent for Israel: link to

  • Netanyahu's disaster: speech cost 'omnipotent' lobby a veto proof majority for Iran sanctions
    • If I'm correct and Netenyahu has a triumphant speech with lots of standing applause, he may also end up with enough veto override votes when that time comes.

      It takes guts (and perhaps suicidal tendencies) to buck the lobby. I foresee a lot of backtracking on this issue by those annoyed by Boner's boner of an invite. Hopefully I'm wrong.

    • Reading the waffly Hill comments by those not attending or on the fence has convinced me that Netanyahu is going to end up with a huge win in this affair. I suspect the screws are really beginning to turn behind the scenes and the pressure will only increase as the speech gets closer.

      I'm betting on 30 standing ovations. Say it ain't so Joe.

  • 'NYT' perpetuates myth Israel was 'fighting for its very survival' during 1967 war
    • Quigley's discussion of preventative war and how the US used that doctrine post 9-11, in his book I cited above, shows how the acceptance of Israel's phony justifications for its 1967 war led to the undermining of the principal that defensive war is justified only when attacked or when attack is an imminent threat. Neither applied to Israel's actions in 1967.

    • I attended a talk by Ilan Pappe at UCLA a couple of years ago. He said Israel had planned the capture and occupation of the West Bank well in advance of 1967 and had the complete structure and organization of the planned military government in place several months before the Israelis started the war. The conquest of the West Bank was no accident.

      It is ludicrous to suggest Israel felt threatened by Egypt in 1967. In the 1956 Suez Crisis war, it had overwhelmed the Egyptian army and taken all of Sinai with little effort. The goal was always the acquisition of Greater Israel. The clever hasbara narrative, little David Israel fighting off the Goliath Arab hordes is there to obfuscate that reality.

    • I'm surprised nobody has mentioned Prof. John Quigley's masterful and definitive legal analysis of the 6 Day War, The Six-Day War and Israeli Self Defense: Questioning the Legal Basis for Preventative War Cambridge Press 2013, link to

      This is a must-read as are all of Prof. Quigley's legal writings on the I-P conflict.

  • 'Exalted anti-Zionists' are now driving the conversation
    • Ivri,
      You have to be kidding me. You're the type who would be humming the last bars with the band on the Titanic, smiling at the fools that don't realize the great liner is unsinkable until the icy cold water shakes your very foundations but too late for you to do anything but drown.

    • Horizontal,
      I agree, the only hope rests with the upcoming generations. That could be a sea change and could have a significant effect in just a few years. Let's hope.

    • Shmuel said: "What’s an “exalted anti-Zionist”?

      I think he is being sarcastic and dismissive of all those looking for some compromise other than a democratic single state solution. He says:

      "I dare to hope that kindly philosemites, committed Zionists and exalted anti-Zionists, all of them so often nourished on essentialist conceptions, will respect my desire and cease to catalogue me as a Jew. As a matter of fact, what they think matters little to me, and still less what the remaining antisemitic idiots think. "

      I even get a sense that he believes the entire group (philos, committeds, exalted antis included) harbors more than a few antisemites. i.e. he says "the remaining antisemitic idiots" which implies there are more antisemites than just the idiot ones.

      He sounds pretty disillusioned and bitter to me. I suspect that's happening a lot these days as liberal Zionists confront the horrible reality of what Zionism has become.

    • Horizontal said:
      "I think it may be beneficial to remember that not all Zionists came in the same flavors years ago when the project was just taking shape. There was a faction on Zionism which favored a more European-like bi-national state where Jews and Arabs would both share equally in the government and in the social sphere."

      I've read quite a bit about those folks but ultimately what influence did they have? Judas Magnes, Ruppin, Buber, et al were voices in the wilderness. Jabotinsky made the issue very clear for most. If we want a Jewish state we need to get rid of all the non-Jews.

      That theme resounded from Herzl on. Many tried to soften it a bit by suggesting land tracts could be purchased in Iraq or Syria or Jordan and the unwanted Arabs could be paid to transfer voluntarily. I think today's liberal Zionists are part of that crowd, wanting to be seen as reasonable, two-staters, but of course we'll have to keep all the large settlements as well as total control of all of Greater Jerusalem, and we absolutely couldn't tolerate a high percentage of Arabs in a new, post agreement democratic Israel.

      As to resurrecting and resuscitating some of those old binational state ideas, are you suggesting that a truly democratic binational state is workable and would work for you? Remember, it would mean the existing 6.2 million Palestinians in the WB, Gaza, and Israel plus an open right of return to about 6 million diaspora Palestinians half of whom are still refugees. If only 30 percent return, there would be 8 million Palestinians competing economically and politically with 6 million Jews throughout this idyllic single state. I can't imagine Zionists, liberal or otherwise, ceding that kind of power voluntarily. That, IMHO, is why the single state "democratic" solution is a non-starter, and why the existing apartheid-like single state of Greater Israel will likely continue.

      The only alternative solution I can see would require massive international economic and political pressure on Israel to return to and accept a 1967 borders permanent solution. That's not going to happen unless Israel does something so outrageous it causes the international community to come together and act on a massive scale.

    • Great analysis David.

      I think what we're seeing is the final attempt to justify a Zionism that has always believed in Jewish supremacy in the post 1967 single state of Greater Israel. Jewish self-determination has always meant Jews get the final vote because Greater Israel, after all, is the state and homeland for the Jews not the Arabs.

      To concede equality to the non-Jews of Greater Israel would be to destroy Zionism and Jewish self-determination and abandon Greater Israel as the state and homeland of the Jews. A democratic single state Greater Israel (as opposed to the current less than democratic version) would need to allow the return of some 2 million diaspora Palestinian refugees, and allow the free mingling and internal migration of all Palestinians (at least 8 million total) throughout a democratic single state of Greater Israel. Scarier yet, there would be 8 million Palestinians voting against 6 million Jews. Those numbers make the democratic single state option a nonstarter for Zionists.

      This is the hard-nosed calculation that’s been made by today’s neo-Zionists (an apt description coined by Ilan Pappe in his newest book, The Idea of Israel), which include not only the hard line Likud Zionists but also reformed liberal Zionists like Avi Shavit, Benny Morris, and others (maybe the majority of Israilis). Ironically, it’s the same assessment made by Jabotinsky in 1923: Zionism is either right and necessary or it is not. If it is, then Zionists must be willing to take any steps necessary to insure the creation and survival of the Jewish state and Jewish homeland.

      The single state democratic option would be the death knell of Zionism and Jewish nationalism hence it’s unthinkable. Jabotinsky has come full circle. You’re either with us or against us. To the neo-Zionists there is no longer a liberal Zionist option. A democratic Israel-Palestine is simply not in the cards. That is the essence of Ari Shavit’s book, My Promised Land, that we did a lot of horrible things, but we did what we had to do to preserve Jewish nationalism, Jewish self-determination, the Jewish state, and the Jewish homeland. So get over it. What’s done is done. Move on.

      A two state solution is a little more palatable to the neo-Zionists but only if the vast majority of West Bank, and all of East Jerusalem settlements and settlers remain within the boundaries of what I’ll call Area C Israel which would include all of expanded Jerusalem and 60-75 percent of the West Bank. This option is of course a non-starter for the Palestinians.

      However, it may well be the option that Israel ultimately forces on the Palestinians because of its benefits to Greater Israel: Preservation of West Bank settlements and settlers, isolation and domination of Greater Jerusalem, acquisition of West Bank water, oil, and natural gas resources, isolation of Palestinian Arabs into separate cantons on the West Bank and in Gaza, and elimination of the Palestinian diaspora refugees’ right of return to Israel proper and Area C. It could also be couched as a regrettable by acceptable “solution” to the conflict forced on Israel by decades of Palestinian intransigence. I think this will happen if Abbas successfully pushes the UN option.

      I suspect the US and John Kerry’s only remaining possible solution is some version of the Area C option, knowing that’s all Israel would accept, and hoping that the Palestinians, out of desperation, would also agree. Hopefully Abbas is made of sterner stuff and is willing to forego the luxuries of Ramalah in favor of demanding Palestinian rights through the UN and the international community.

      So, I agree with David and Chomsky’s conclusion, Israel and Israelis are too comfortable with the status quo and won’t change without significant pressure being applied, except that it will need to be massive pressure, economic and political. I wish I could see that in the cards. I can’t.

      So I think the existing apartheid-like single state of Greater Israel will continue and in time will be recognized as no better and no worse than other successful countries like China and Russia, who oppress internal minorities and avoid the uncomfortable requirements and restrictions of democratic values.

  • Sh*tstirring Jeffrey Goldberg dumps diplomatic sh*tstorm with 'chickensh*t' quote
    • Spot on sarcasm. As I said earlier, Obama is projecting his own chickenshitedness onto Netanyahu. Obama's craven gutlessness on I-P is far more offensive to me than Netanyahu ever will be.

      As Jerry implies, Obama has always had the tools available to slap down a third rate politician from a largely insignificant country that is doing immense harm to our country. It was clear from early on that he lacks the cojones to use the power waiting at his fingertips. Could have been a great president but will end up being seen as mediocre at best. What a shame.

      Wouldn't it be great if Obama would resign and give Biden a shot for the next two years? Biden has cojones and could be a great one which would keep the feckless Hilary on the sidelines.

      I dream.

    • Actually, another more common meaning of chickenshit is scared, gutless, cowardly:



      1.worthless or contemptible (used as a general term of deprecation):

      "no more chickenshit excuses"



      1.a worthless or contemptible person.

      2.something worthless or petty:

      "names are chickenshit; they didn't need any names"

      Powered by OxfordDictionaries · © Oxford University Press

      The best comment of all was that Obama is projecting his own chickenshitedness on Netanyahu. Jerome Slater nailed it in his piece: Obama's Political Courage

      By contrast, Obama has shown great political courage: ignoring the Israel Lobby, Congress, the Jewish vote, and the probable electoral consequences, he has used his full powers, including open threats to end all U.S. political, diplomatic, economic, and military support of Israel unless it ends the occupation and allows the creation of a viable Palestinian state.

      link to

  • Israeli army kills 14-year old Palestinian with U.S. citizenship
    • The LA Times describes him as a Palestinian, does mention he was born in New Orleans, but says nothing about him being an American. It also says he was allegedly throwing fire bombs at a nearby highway.

    • NYT and WP both headline it as the killing of a Palestinian teenager even though their AP source describes him as a Palestinian American. Both buy into the "fire bomb" verses stone-throwing version.

    • The latest IOF spin is that the young lad was throwing "fire bombs at traffic" not a mere stone. Hence he was shot dead while on the verge of committing a terrorist act. I'm sure the world's paper of record, the NYT will adopt that version. The Guardian already has.

  • Jaffa, indeed, Forever: A review of Adly Massoud Derhally's 'Jaffa Forever'
    • Thanks Mooser.

      That's a great website which I'll bookmark.

    • No it's not. I can't remember where I got it from. I believe it was from a web article I downloaded. I'll provide the attribution when I find it.

    • Jaffa, incidentally, was part of the intended Arab state of Palestine under the 1947 UN Partition Plan. Jewish forces exploded a truck bomb in the Jaffa town square in January 1948, then attacked and ethnically cleansed the city in April of that year, a full month before the declaration of the state of Israel and the entry of Arab "armies" into the fighting that same month.

      Here's a description of Jaffa:

      “Jaffa was a bustling port city that for centuries had been the home of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish Palestinians. It was Palestine’s cultural and commercial center. With its English, French, Italian and Arab language schools, artists and writers, three newspapers and many printing houses, the city was proud of its vigorous intellectual life. Much of the Palestinian political élite came from Jaffa. Its cinemas offered romance and adventure films from Cairo, and the latest Hollywood releases. It had two soccer teams, one Muslim and one Christian. The city was scented by its orange groves, the fruit of which was famed across the world for its quality. Its mosques, synagogues and churches dated back centuries. Jaffa then was an integral part of the Middle East: taxis left for Beirut and Damascus; trains for Haifa and Jerusalem, Gaza and Cairo. Ships left Jaffa for Europe, taking out oranges, and bringing back Jewish immigrants. Like medieval pilgrims before them, they were carried through the waves on the backs of Arab porters on to dry land, there to be assailed by a wall of heat, dust, and Jaffa's own smell of oranges, mixed with black tobacco, cardamom scented coffee and sweat. Jaffa's heart was the Old City, with its winding lanes, and stepped rows of yellow sandstone buildings built on top of each other, dating back three millennia. Waves of conquerors had stormed ashore here: Canaanites and ancient Egyptians; Romans and Hebrew rebels; Greeks and Byzantines; Crusaders and Saracens, Mamlukes and the Ottomans, who took Jaffa in 1517.”

      What a shame it and its people were treated so shabbily.

    • Is this a newer edition? The original is early 2013. I checked on Amazon and it seems that the few copies available will come from Jordan or UK and it doesn't say what the shipping charges are or whether it is the English or Arabic version. The book's website doesn't seem to offer the book for sale.

      I really want to buy this book as Jaffa and its history fascinate me. The city plays a major part in my almost-finished historical novel Palestine. Several of my characters have the surname al Nashishibi.

  • The ice floe
    • Great piece Phil.

      After I read Shavit's book, I went to hear him speak at the Skirball Center in LA. His speech was bad enough, ignoring most of the controversial issues in the book. But the audience, mostly middle and upper class West Side Jews who likely fancy themselves as liberals, was disinterested and clueless. No one questioned Shavit about any of his controversial conclusions. Not one! It was a feel good gathering in a huge temple of Jewish accomplishment that was totally devoid of substance. Total waste of time.

      Efforts at dialogue are little more than local versions of the negotiated solution approach to the conflict. They are immense time-wasters that allow the bad-acting party off the hook. What's the point of sharing and "respecting" narratives when one is demonstrably devious and false?

      The only way to solve this is through a rights-based legal approach. Israel needs to be hauled before legal bodies like the UN, the ICC and ICJ, and made to answer for its actions. Criminal actions aren't resolved through negotiation between the victim and the perpetrator. A criminal court hears the evidence then makes a finding of guilt or innocence. The guilty get punished.
      We need to get back on that track.

  • Junot Díaz comes out in support of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel
    • Junot Diaz is a wonderful writer. He often writes in the second person narrative which is a very unusual and interesting authorial point of view. Several of his short stories (e.g. Miss Lora are available in The New Yorker archives.

  • The elephant in the room, in Marin County
    • I couldn't figure out the point of the elephant. All I could think was that it was associating Israel with the GOP. Great picture but I think the "elephant in the room" metaphor won't come across to most of us
      lame-ies. It needs a caption or something to better make the connection, like one person saying "Shhh, don't say anything" to another who is gawking at the elephant with her mouth open. I like the message though. I-P really is the elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about, particularly Congress, not to mention the media, the corporate world, the academic world, etc.

      Another approach might be a cartoon with the caption, "Honey, we need to talk". I'll leave the artwork and labeling to those with some talent.

      I think the calm, neutrality of this approach could be much more effective than the more strident methods currently used. Instead of "Israel is an apartheid state", etc., which tend to be big turn-offs to most who have a knee-jerk reaction in favor of Israel, the message becomes, "we need to have a serious discussion about this very important issue that is affecting all of us, not to mention the Palestinians and Israelis.

      It could be structured in the form of "10 questions for discussion" which would be neutrally phrased. This would allow the discussion or debate to be refocused on the key, critical issues, not the straw men that Israel and the lobby are so effective at promoting. Instead of "Israel has a right to defend itself", the issue becomes, "Do oppressed people living under illegal military occupation have a right to resist their occupiers and fight for their freedom?"

      I think one of the keys to changing people's minds on the I-P issue is to tone down the rhetoric. Zoe's pachyderm is a great start.

  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • Not to mention they were also holocaust survivors.

    • Mooser said:
      "But a faulty or incorrect or absurdly ethnocentric, mythical, legendary understanding (the self-serving understanding promulgated by Zionists) of the second part could keep somebody trapped in a very convoluted position. And not having been exposed, or rejecting any other viewpoint, they wouldn’t even know another point-of-view is possible. I’m hoping it’s not true. "

      Spot on but faint hope. The Zionist-promulgated narrative is powerful and continuously reinforced. Whatever doubts are created by recognition of present day oppressive actions by Israel are made less believable and easily rationalized when seen in the light of that perfect narrative. Obvious war crimes become legitimate acts of self defense in the convoluted world of the liberal Zionist. Those convoluted rationalizations are psychologically essential or the entire facade crumbles leaving the true believer exposed and untethered.

      Much easier to accept the narrative and filter one's present day observations so that they are consistent with that narrative..

    • DaBakr said:

      "The Jew-haters will always-in the most clueless of ways-always draw parallels between , ironically, Jews and Nazis. Its pretty much built into their neurotic make-up."

      Where to start?

      1. I was responding to a discussion begun by Professor Slater in which he was saying Israeli behavior was better described as similar to fascism rather than Nazism.

      2. The parallels I was making were specifically directed at "Likud Zionist Israeli behavior" and not at "Jews".

      3. I gave several examples of the parallels and also specifically excluded the worst forms of Nazi behavior. You describe my efforts as "clueless" but offer no basis for your judgment.

      4. Instead of responding like a "serious scholar of Israel..." by perhaps disputing the factual accuracy of the parallels I drew, you instead descended into the gutter of the scurrilous ad hominem response, accusing me of being the most extreme version of antisemite, the "Jew Hater". Worse yet, I'm apparently a "neurotic" Jew hater.

      5. You then throw out a smoke screen of straw dogs and wandering conjecture in the vain attempt to return your comment to the level of "serious" scholarship.

      As a person who cares deeply about Israel's security, perhaps it's time you came to terms with the fact that Israel's problems are not generated by the Jew Haters of the world, but are instead the result of Israel's atrocious behavior. The "poison pill" that is preventing Palestinian self-determination and statehood is Israel's unwillingness to allow that to happen, not the occasional distraction of Nazi parallel-making, nor the failure of the Palestinians to "tap into very deep well(s)" of understanding.

      It might be useful for you to venture into a deep well or two on your own and tap into a more accurate picture of what Zionism has done to the Palestinians. I'll know you've done that when I see your responses to comments you disagree with are thoughtful and substantive rather than wild ad hominem accusations.

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