Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 614 (since 2010-10-06 04:27:13)

irishmoses

I'm a semi-retired attorney whose 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.

Website: http://www.irishmoses.com

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  • 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.

    • Page: 6
    • "If people use the term “genocide” because it fits the legal definition, then every government with discriminatory policies against an ethnic or religious group is guilty of genocide. Jim Crow was genocide."

      Not genocide, just a 100 year long pogrom.

    • What are you saying Mooser, Jews are the Aryans of the Middle East, the creme of the Semites?

      Man's age-old quest for tribal purity. Nazis turned it into an art form. Zionists may have invented the concept, justified by the old "they'll never leave us alone until we are alone so we need a land without people for a people without a land". Great idea; they just haven't solved the "people" part yet.

    • I edited the final 4 paragraphs (beginning at "Analogizing") then deleted the earlier version. When I posted my comment, both versions showed up and the new system doesn't allow editing.

      Please ignore the first section that begins with "Analogizing" (two long paragraphs and 25 lines total) and read only the final 4 paragraphs that also begin with "Analogizing". SURE WISH WE HAD AN EDITING CAPABILITY.

    • Professor Slater's distinction between Fascism and Nazism doesn't really work as Nazism was really an extreme version of Fascism which venerates the state as the highest ideal coupled with devotion to a strong autocratic leader, and a corporatism economic model as the most efficient means of attaining the state's goals. Ultranationalism, militarism, and imperialism were all part of the overall Fascist package.

      Nazism was unique in its emphasis on Aryan racial purity and superiority and the inferiority of other "racial" groups like the Slavs, the Jews, and others. Nazi treatment of the Jews in Germany and Austria went through several stages: Antisemitic political propaganda in the 1920s, antisemitic laws once Hitler came to power in the 1930s, followed by often violent oppression of Jews and Jewish businesses, ethnic cleansing of Jews ("voluntary" and involuntary) by a variety of means (including cooperation with the Zionists), and later, forced emigration to ghettos in Poland and other countries in Eastern Europe, followed by internment in forced labor concentration camps, followed by extermination camps beginning around 1942. Until the war began in earnest in late 1939 with the invasion of France, the Nazi preference seemed to be ethnic cleansing of the Jews, including the so-called Madagascar plan. For instance, the release of thousands of German and Austrian Jews imprisoned at Dachau after Kristalnacht was conditioned on their agreement to immediately leave Germany.

      Analogizing Likud-Zionist Israeli behavior to something less than Nazi-Fascism doesn't really work because it is the early and middle versions of Nazi antisemitic behavior that are becoming more and more reflective of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (past and present). There's certainly plenty of anti-Palestinian political propaganda, and a whole host of anti-Palestinian laws in Israel-proper, not to mention the separate but unequal legal systems of Jews and Palestinians in the occupied territories. Massive involuntary ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967 is a historical fact, along with a constant, more gradual cleansing that never stops.
      There certainly was forced emigration to ghettos in the form of refugee camps in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and Gaza itself seems little more than the world's largest Palestinian concentration camp since Israel has total control over its borders, air and sea space, and economy, and every couple of years invades, kills, and destroys in the process of mowing the inmates’ lawns.
      On the other hand, there are no Palestinian forced labor camps in Israel or the occupied territories, nor are there any Palestinian extermination camps, so the Nazi analogy does have its limits.
      Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians imperfectly resembles the earlier stages of Nazi-Fascist treatment of the Jews in Germany, not the Italian version of Fascism. While the Nazi analogy is accurate to some extent, it’s imperfect at best. Watering it down to mere “Fascist” behavior makes it meaningless.

      Analogizing Likud-Zionist Israeli behavior to something less than Nazi-Fascism doesn't really work because it is the early and middle versions of Nazi antisemitic behavior that are becoming more and more reflective of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians (past and present). There's certainly plenty of anti-Palestinian political propaganda, and a whole host of anti-Palestinian laws in Israel-proper, not to mention the separate legal status of Jews and Palestinians in the so-called territories. Massive involuntary ethnic cleansing in 1948 and 1967 is a historical fact, along with a constant, more gradual cleansing that never stops.

      There certainly was forced Palestinian emigration to ghettos in the form of refugee camps in Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan, and Gaza itself seems little more than the world's largest Palestinian concentration camp since Israel has total control over its borders, air and sea space, and economy, and every couple of years invades, kills, and destroys in the process of mowing the inmates’ lawns.

      On the other hand, there are no Palestinian forced labor camps in Israel or the occupied territories, nor are there any Palestinian extermination camps, so the Nazi analogy does have its limits.

      Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians imperfectly resembles the earlier stages of Nazi-Fascist treatment of the Jews in Germany, not the lesser forms of Fascism. The Nazi analogy applied to Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is an uncomfortable one to make, particularly for Jews. But watering it down to mere “Fascist” behavior makes the analogy largely meaningless because it's the similarities to Nazi-Fascist behavior that is striking the chord.

  • Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
    • Sorry, it's not "tone-deafness" it's more like clever lawyering; using any argument, no matter how specious, counter-factual, and counter-legal in the vain hope of turning around a losing case. Good judges get fed up with clever lawyering. I'd like to think that sometime soon the judgment of most people will tire of the cleverness of Zionist lawyering.

      I guess I'm speaking more of the hasbara crowd. It may be that mainstream Jews are just tone-deaf in their knee-jerk support of Zionist Israel but it seems like a self-imposed deafness. I get the sense that many avoid the argument because they know, deep-down, Israel, in the form of Likud Zionism, has created a real moral sewer. Best not take the lid off or you'll gag at the stench.

    • At the top of the list of Arabists should be T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia"). He had a huge influence after WWI. Gertrude Bell and the others were not in the same league as Lawrence. He was the one who drew the lines for the modern Middle East. He wanted to draw in a separate Kurdistan but was rebuffed. Ultimately, he couldn't stomach what had been done to the "Arabs" and requested and received a secret appointment to the enlisted ranks of the what was to become the RAF. He never returned to public office and wrote only of his wartime exploits.

      A truly fascinating character and a rare Arabist who lived and fought with the Arabs.

  • Liberal Zionism has lost its refuge-- a plausible two-state solution
    • Mooser, Mooser,

      The one-state solution is staring you in the face. The single state of Greater Israel has been a reality since 1967. Words and concepts like "occupation", "negotiated settlement", and "two-state solution" are just smoke screens designed to hide that obvious reality from all the hand-wringing liberal Jews, liberal Zionists, and liberal hangers-on who still fantasize about some fair and just outcome.

      It ain't gonna happen because it wasn't designed to happen. The only real issues from the beginning were: 1) how many Israeli Jews could be transferred to settlements in the territories without triggering a major international and/or US backlash, and (2) How much pressure could be put on the hapless Palestinian Arab inhabitants aimed at forcing them to leave (self-transfer) without also triggering a harmful international/US backlash. The answers are (1): Move in as many settlers as you want as fast as you want, and (2): Apply as much pressure as you want (land seizures, torture, theft of resources, checkpoints, settler violence, periodic "lawn mowings" of those Gazan "dead enders", etc.). The sky is the limit.

      Palestinians are kind of like Tibetans or Chechens: dispossessed peoples with few rights or protections who survive within the constraints of Greater China, Greater Russia, or Greater Israel.

      It's all over but the shouting.

  • Israel is in a pickle
    • Stratfor had an interesting piece a few days ago about why the Israeli military didn't want a ground invasion. It feared it would put Hamas and Islamic Jihad in a use it or lose it position re the remaining rockets and that all might be fired at once which could well result in some serious Israeli casualties as Iron Dome would be overwhelmed and the odds of lucky hits would be increased by the sheer numbers being fired.

      It's second concern was about Hamas having hi-tech antitank weapons from the looted Libyan arsenals which would be deadly for Israeli armor.

      My guess is that this "invasion" may be more of a sop to the Israeli ultra-right while taking little risks. I think they are probably also leading with infantry to smoke out any anti-tank ambush sites. This puts the infantry at risk.

      I'm surprised there has been no mass firing of rockets. Hamas must feel they're not at risk yet. It may also be waiting for Israel to get deeper into Gaza before heavily engaging with their own infantry.

      Hamas and Hezbollah remind me of the NVA. Very cagey fighters who were quick to figure out weaknesses in high tech, heavy weapons tactics and then come up with effective workarounds. I think the IDF may be in for some surprises in the next few days unless the Israeli invasion is more sham than substance.

      Israeli political intransigence coupled with its maximum oppression of Gaza and even the West Bank has created a dangerous fatalism in the Palestinians. As someone else said, Hamas has no reason for a cease fire (without significant Israeli concessions) as it would just return them to their normal state of deprivation and desperation. Total failure of peace talks must leave WB Palestinians feeling the same way.

  • The Banality of Religion: 'Prayer summit' at the Vatican fails to inspire
    • Money quote:

      "For when religious leaders take the global stage and offer platitudes as prayers – instead of a detailed and systematic critique of unjust power – then they, too, are responsible for the crimes committed in God’s name."

      I was encouraged by the Pope praying at the apartheid wall. Unfortunately, his joint prayer meeting and urging that both sides try to look work for a reasonable solution attached a moral equivalency to the issue that it doesn't deserve. I don't want a Pope who tells me Jews are my big brothers, I want a Pope who has the courage to take strong, moral positions on issues as significant and clear cut as Israel's decades-long oppression of another people. This guy plays to the crowds. His kind of papal clap trap is why I gave up Catholicism as my ultimate sacrifice for Lent many decades ago.

  • Let it go
    • What a paradox, a Jewish friend who "...was very active in the Civil Rights movement and is now active on behalf of illegal immigrants to the U.S., but she cannot talk about Palestine, except to shrug, smile ruefully, and say, “Oh, those crazy Israelis!” as if we’re talking about harmless childish high jinks."

      The scary thing is that the high moral standing Jews in this country have earned by their strong support and advocacy on behalf of oppressed minorities is being undermined by the oppressive state Israel has become, and by their failure to disassociate themselves from Israel's oppressive policies and actions.

      Thanks Kris.

    • I think your take on Phil's comment is a bit of a stretch. He said nothing about non-Jewish significant others being a solution to problems facing Judaism, nor did he say or imply that dating or marrying Jewish women is some kind of disease. Please, you're better than that.

      The meaning I took, the obvious one IMHO, was that the Jewish males he was talking to were not following one of the central tenets of mainstream Judaism, that one should date and marry only a Jew, yet they were attached to Israel with an almost religious fervor. That's the paradox: American Jews who are so assimilated, liberal, and out front on so many civil rights issues, treat Israel with all its oppression as some sort of untouchable religious totem.

      And here you and Yonah are, defending against some straw man, imaginary attack on Judaism, while ignoring the reality of Phil's post, that the oppressive state that Israel has become is unworthy of further support from either a liberal Jewish moral or religious Jewish moral standpoint. You both need to focus on the real moral issue. You're both better than this sort of lamely disguised ad hominem attack. At least I hope you are.

    • For some reason the edit function didn't work. Is there a time limit for completing an edit?

      In any case, I eliminated the last line and substituted,

      "If the dots are connected and tide begins to turn against the Jews, how will Phil's view of the current status of US Jews as elite, as encouraged, as embraced be affected? I wonder. Still, it's early days and perhaps the tide is beginning turn against Israel within the US Jewish community. One can hope.

    • Phil said:

      "Being an elite if that’s what we are, but unmolested, encouraged, not just tolerated, embraced– this is the actual real answer we made to the Jewish Question of Europe.
      Why can’t American Jews understand the world we made here. Why can’t we live in the moment and see what we got? How can we turn a blind eye to the oppression of another people for a foreign state that’s warehoused for us just in case, of what? ....Just let it go."

      Ellen said: "My fear is that the “nudge” will be something or a series of somethings that are so horrific, Jews of the world will recoil in horror what Israel has done in their name."

      There's a much scarier scenario Just "letting Israel go" may not be enough, and Ellen's nudge may be too late. Israel and its oppressive actions and policies are tarnishing the moral standing of Judaism and attaching, perhaps unfairly, the responsibility for that oppression to all Jews. It is, after all, the Jewish State in which all the world's Jews have automatic "return" rights.

      So what happens when the vast, non-Jewish majority starts to put the dots together and sees Israeli oppression for what it is, and the harm Israel and its US lobby has done to the interests of this country? What happens when they conclude the vast majority of American Jews are either providing direct support to an oppressive foreign regime or are intentionally turning their heads away from the oppression so Jewish interests aren't harmed by confronting that oppressive regime?

      Will public outrage against the Jews be motivated by mindless antisemitism or will it be based on genuine anger at fellow citizens who directly or indirectly encouraged and supported the oppression of another people, despite the harm this was doing to US interests and values, not to mention the catastrophic harm done to the Palestinian people?

      That's a very scary scenario that some Jews are beginning to recognize and fear. J.J. Goldberg wrote about it recently in Forward:

      link to blogs.forward.com?

      As for the strength of Israel’s democracy, that carries a double edge. First, the perceived weakening of Israel’s commitment to democracy — internally and in the fact that it governs several million Palestinians under military rule — troubles Jews who view democracy and human rights as fundamental values. It drives them away from Israel at a time when both Israel and the Jewish communities want ties to be stronger. Secondly — and this is perhaps the report’s most controversial finding — the image of Israel in the broader society increasingly rebounds onto the image, and hence the security, of local Jews. To the extent that Israel is perceived negatively, Jews are perceived negatively.

      [emphasis added].

      I see this happening within me more and more. My relationship with Jewish friends and Jews in general is beginning to be filtered through the prism of my constant image of Israel's ongoing and increasing oppression of the Palestinian people, and US Jews direct or indirect support of that oppression. I want to insert my concern in every conversation involving Jews, but I know I can't. The barriers are too high and I'm a non-Jew whose concern for that oppression is likely seen as either suspect or really none of my business. So the conversations continue, about politics, art, music, sports, but it's not quite the same for me, it's uncomfortable, not genuine as it used to be.

      More and more I wonder how Americans in the mid-1930s reacted to Germans in Germany or Germans visiting from Germany. Germans were very cultured, had achieved economic success, were hard-working, successful, articulate, political, savvy, entertaining. All those things. Yet, hovering in the background was the Jewish question. Why was Germany oppressing its Jews, and why were Germans directly or indirectly supporting that oppression? What was it like for an American to talk to one of those Germans? Would you discuss music, art, German economic success? Or, was there an unspoken subtext that made Americans feel uncomfortable having normal conversations with people who were allowing oppression of another people?

      The distorted light filtering through the prism through which I'm beginning to view my otherwise normal conversations with Jewish friends and acquaintances seems more and more similar to those likely experienced by many thoughtful Americans with German friends and acquaintances during the 1930s.

      Food for thought.

  • Hillary Clinton's flipflop: We were wrong to take hard line against settlements
    • "An American presidential hopeful “fellates the donkey”. I mean, really, is anyone surprised???"

      Not sure how that would work. The donkey is the democrats' animal symbol so it would have to be some form of self-fellation except Hilary is female so that won't work either. Maybe I'm missing something. Is the animal symbol for Israel a donkey as well or are we talking about democratic "donkey" major donors? I'm so confused.

  • Israel announces major escalation in settlement expansion (Update)
    • HarryLaw said:

      "...it simply will not do to moan endlessly about Israels contempt for the law, just like segregationists in the Southern States they think they are above the law, but the segregationists were beaten not only by heroic civil rights campaigns, but most importantly these were backed by Federal law together with previous Supreme court judgments."

      Isn't it ironic that Jews, moral Jews, participated and led the US civil rights movement in the 1960s and 70s in numbers far exceeding their percentage in the US population. I've read that as much as 50 percent of the civil rights movement was Jewish. The same holds true for the fight for civil rights for women, and for others. Jews were always at the forefront of the movements in the US to secure civil rights for oppressed minorities.

      Where are those moral Jews today when it comes to Israel's oppression and suppression of civil rights of the Palestinian people? I suspect that most are in ostrich mode when it comes to the issue of the so-called Jewish state.

      Israel is fast becoming the moral downfall of the Jewish people. What a shame.

  • In Bloomberg internal news memos, 'there is no such country' as Palestine
    • Actually Palestine has been a de jure state since the establishment of the Palestine mandate. Quigley's book The Statehood of Palestine lays it all out pretty clearly. Only Israel's military might (and greed) from 1948 on has prevented its de facto establishment. I believe Israel has a de jure status limited to the partition borders. Everything acquired after that is de facto, but illegal.

      So, the question isn't how and whether to create the State of Palestine, it already has de jure status. The question is how to remove the illegal occupants and allow Palestine to finally have a de facto existence as state, freed of unlawful occupation.

  • Newsweek: Extensive Israeli spying in the US kept quiet due to pressure from the lobby
    • As of 1 pm EDT on Saturday, there is still no article or comment on the Israeli spying controversy in either the NYT or Washington Post. It is constant headline news in the Times of Israel with several new articles posted since yesterday.

      There is one article on the story in the LA Times by its Jerusalem correspondent:

      link to latimes.com

      This is a huge story started and followed up by Newsweek, a major news magazine. Why is it getting no coverage by two of the US' major newspapers? Is it because someone or some group does not want it to gain traction with the American public?

      How does one complain to the NYT or WP? Does either have an ombudsman?

  • Now that Israel has killed the two-state solution, will liberal Zionists support equality or ethnocracy?
    • Larry said:

      "I think it’s a huge waste of energy – the status quo is so bad, so right wing that Netanyahu is on the left end of Israel’s ruling party, and you’re spending so much energy going after Beinart and liberal Zionists."

      You make a good point. There's a tendency on this side to consume our own in occasional witch hunts that are often based on minor stray comments or errors that get blown out of all proportion. I still think the attacks on Gilad Atzmon were way over the top, particularly for someone of his background and former stature. The same happens on a lesser scale in the battles over who is an unreformed liberal Zionist. These debates seem to make sense when viewed internally by those in our choir. But, from the outside, when compared to the truly bad actors, this quibbling is pretty petty does nothing to advance the cause. As you say, a waste of energy.

      My personal view is that we are maybe a year away from a return to violence on the part of the Palestinians. If their international efforts prove fruitless, if BDS has only marginal effects, and if the US and the EU continue to vacillate rather than confront and sanction Zionist excesses, they'll end up with no other choice. I hope it doesn't go this way, but I see no realistic road to a democratic 1SS or 2SS which will leave us with the current single, apartheid-like state solution that has been in place since 1967.

      I think the fear of being dragged into a brutal, all-out, Algeria style revolution is what motivated the US and Kerry to put so much effort into trying to hammer out an agreement. I don't think the motive was humanitarian. I think it is a genuine fear of how bad this situation could get, and how badly it could hurt US vital security interests if we remain glued to Israel and its actions. Incredibly, no one in our government has found the cojones to put their foot down and use the immense leverage we have to force a change in government and a radical change in its policy.

      In any case, thanks for joining in the fray. I remember reading your columns in the Jerusalem Post and wondering why they kept you on. Their loss, your (and our) gain.

    • "Israel will annex the West Bank and give citizenship to all residents. Gaza will not be part of Israel, but will be a separate state."

      There are far too many Palestinians in the West Bank (2.5 million) to allow annexation and citizenship. I believe Area C is the next annexation goal (only 150,000 pesky Arabs). I agree Gaza is out of the mix (1.7 million pesky Arabs) as are the long-suffering, stateless external refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (3.3 million pesky Arabs, with about a million of these still living in squalor in refugee camps).

    • Actually, a single state reality has been in place since 1967. Despite a modicum of local control by the PA in small portions of the West Bank, and by Hamas in Gaza, Israel has controlled the entirety of Mandate Palestine since 1967.

      So, there is a single state solution in place. The only question is whether Israel can or will be forced to modify it from an apartheid-like single state to a democratic version, or whether Israel can be forced (or might volunteer) to relinquish 20 percent to allow the Palestinians to have a state of their own. Neither possibility seems remotely likely to me.

      Thus, we are faced with the current reality of an existing single state of Greater Israel in which half of the human beings are oppressed by the other half which believes the good lord somehow has chosen them more worthy.

      To suggest that we've been in some "negotiations" limbo state for the last several decades is to ignore reality. The game since 1967 has been to delay while transferring more and more Israeli Jews into the balance of Greater Israel which they consider permanently theirs to keep.

      There are no longer any "occupied territories". Military occupation ends once hostilities cease and the occupiers can return the territory to its rightful inhabitants, The US militarily occupied Italy, Germany, and Japan after WWII. Its occupations (arguably the most difficult in history) lasted 6 years for Italy, 8 for Germany, and a year or so more for Japan. Israel's "occupation" is now approaching half a century. It's illegal annexations, population transfers, seizures of land and property, and eviction of rightful owners makes clear that its "occupation" is permanent and was always intended to be so.

    • Another great post Matthew, as is Peter's long response.

      My view is that liberal Zionists don't have the moxie, cojones, or commitment to make a difference. They have earnest discussions at the margins but not much more. I think you see this in all revolutionary or anti-colonialist struggles. The liberal middle becomes irrelevant as the struggle turns violent. Violence fills the vacuum when liberal solutions fail. Those in the middle are forced to take sides. Talk, as they say, is cheap.

      Peter's reference, on another thread, to Norman Finklestein's view that the only solution will be from a third intifada, I believe, sadly, is spot-on. Yet, as I think Krauss mentioned in another thread, it is difficult to see how the Palestinians could win an Algeria-like struggle as they face far more Zionist Israelis than the Algerian Muslims faced Algerian colons. Yet, it could happen if Syria and Jordan fall apart and become radicalized.

      I hope it doesn't go that way but it is difficult to see any other realistic option for Palestinians faced with Greater Israel Zionist extremists.

  • Abunimah and Blumenthal's freedom ride
    • Ellen said:
      "Non violence resistance with the increasing world attention onto P/I exposes Netanyahu as an unhinged criminal and the Zionist colonial project for the crime it is. It is the slower and more difficult road, but will lead to a much better place for Palestinians. I think that is already happening. I hope."

      I too would prefer nonviolence but what do the Palestinians do next if their international agency efforts are rebuffed or vetoed, if the EU and US fail to sanction Israel, the settlement building accelerates, Israel retaliates by withholding funds and annexing Area C, and BDS has no appreciable impact? What then? Wait another 10 years?

      Far more oppressed peoples were liberated as a result of revolutionary violence then by largess on the part of their oppressors. Abbas has been in charge for 10 years and what do the Palestinians have to show for his nonviolent efforts?

      It's really in the hands of the US, EU, and international community to support the Palestinians and force Israel to accept a reasonable solution, such as the Saudi plan, and to support BDS. Their failure to act will make violence inevitable.

    • W. Jones,

      The fact that I may despair is totally unrelated to whether I believe in justice and equality.

      To equate the two if more than a little offensive.

    • Just said:

      "A 3rd intifada will spell more disaster and death for the Palestinians."

      The Algerian intifada spelled death, torture and destruction for millions of Muslim Algerians. But who won in the end? Who left and who stayed?

      If the tactic of the Third Intifada is to move the battleground to Western Europe and the US with the target being any Jew or any citizen of any country that supports Israel, how does Israel defend against that tactic? How long will diaspora Jews or citizens of countries supporting Israel continue that support when it is causing them a lot of fear and pain?

      " I say celebrate the steadfastness and thirst for justice exhibited by the Palestinian people and move forward with BDS. 1S1P1V."

      Palestinians will go forward with their legal appeals to UN agencies, and BDS efforts will continue. Israel will respond by annexing Area C. What then? If the international community and its legal bodies fail to support the Palestinains, how long should they wait before turning to violence>

      How long would you be willing to wait before fighting for your freedom?

      The Palestinians have foregone violence for about 12 years and where has that gotten them?

    • "My one fear is the Israelis will annex area C and make the 150,000 Palestinians living there an offer, they hope, they cannot refuse."

      For all the reasons I mentioned in two earlier threads, I think the Area C annexation option is the next step for Netanyahu and gang. And, they don't have to make an offfer to the 150,000 Palestinians, they can just declare the new Greater Israel Palestinians are citizens of Greater Israel to the same extent Palestinians are in annexed Jerusalem, or in Israel proper.

      It will be up to the international community to object to the new reality which they didn't do in any effective way after the Jerusalem annexation, or after the building of the wall despite a strong ICJ ruling that the wall and the settlements were illegal. I wouldn't hold my breath.

      By failing to reward the Palestinians for their 10 years of non-violent protest and good faith negotiation, the international community is forcing an inevitable return to violence. It (all of us) will reap the whirlwind of their (our) criminal negligence.

    • Ah, a fresh breath of air -- honest realism, blended with a healthy dollop of pessimism.

      Good catch, Peter. Norman, despite his BDS quirks, is a true hero and pioneer, and one who sacrificed a promising future for a Sisyphean cause.

    • Krauss, you're just a cockeyed optimist:

      From the musical South Pacific, written by two extraordinary Jewish composers in 1947, and, coincidentally, it's about racism:

      link to youtube.com

      The discourse certainly has changed over the years, but not substantively. It's nothing more than the same small groups singing the same lyrics to the same small audience, mainly each other. I wish it weren't so.

      I've come to believe it will take either violence akin to Algeria, or some epic event to make the world stand up and say, "enough already". Zionism, for all its moral faults, is brutally efficient and effective. BDS is a pathetic tool by comparison. e.g. Despite all the drama about SodaStream and ScarJo, she and they are getting richer by the minute.

      Wish it weren't so, but I've been watching and participating in this drama for too many years, and I've seen too many brief peaks of optimism that quickly get dashed, sending us back down to the hard realities of Zionism.

      Next step is annexation of Area C. Maybe I should compose a tune.

    • A great piece of writing, beginning with "clotted with humidity".

      The description of the crowd (small, well-informed, serious, involved, multi-colored) says volumes about the problem with the I-P issue and debate: It occupies only a tiny space in the American discourse. Vassar alludes to a place where the I-P debate is central, major, at the forefront of the national I-P discourse. Yet, key players in the recent, news-making Vassar events were no-shows, even though two of the main current voices in the I-P debate were the headline speakers at this event.

      I can understand Phil's dismay. So much of what is and has been done in the I-P arena is speaking to the choir. Occasionally, some bit of news will bring I-P out of the shadows, but never for very long, and never more than a news cycle. These rare forays of I-P into the bright lights excite all of us. We think we see traction, progress, but a day or so later we're back in the shadows.

      Several months ago I enthusiastically attended a book event for Ari Shavit. It was held at the Skirball Center in LA (a temple of Jewish success, writ large). The huge auditorium was packed with middle and older-aged folks who are part of the very active west side Jewish community.

      Shavit gave a half hour talk about his book, not mentioning the controversial parts about the real events of the Nakba. He then took questions. You would have thought he'd written a book on tips for travel in Israel. The audience was clueless about the importance of the book, and seemed to have no interest whatsoever in any implications it might have for the I-P debate. They loved Shavit but had no clue about the importance of what he was writing about, and he certainly wasn't there to enlighten them.

      Depressing but typical. We speak to a very small choir which sings music few are interested in.

  • Jewish neocons and the romance of nationalist armageddon
    • Yonah said:

      "The misadventure in Iraq has cost the US and the world a lot. The US a loss in humans and money and willingness to play the role of superpower, and the world has lost its cop. Most people here would probably disagree with Sleeper, because he does not deny that the world needs a cop, nor that the US would play a positive role, if it only had the means and the desire to do so. People here (overwhelmingly) see the US role as a negative one (let the Russians have their sphere of influence, let the Iranians have their bomb, let the Chinese do whatever they want to do in their part of the world,"

      The problem with your reasoning, Yonah, is that you are espousing the Neocon line while not apparently recognizing that embarrassing fact. You lament that the US is no longer playing the role of the world's superpower, and acting as the world's cop, confronting militarily Russia, China, Iran and anyone else. It is precisely that mentality that got us into Iraq, could yet have us in a war with Iran, would like to see us defending Ukraine, and thinks we should confront China militarily over bits of rock it and its neighbors are quibbling over. That is a neocon, American supremacy mentality.

      Contrast that with the realist or realism approach recommended by George Kennan, and followed by this country successfully through the end of the Cold War. That approach is conservative and contends we should stay out of wars unless the vital national security interests of the US are at stake, like protecting WESTERN Europe, Japan, Australia, and the Western Hemisphere. This meant we could sympathize with the plight of all the eastern Europeans oppressed by the Soviets, but would not defend militarily the Hungarians (1956) or the Czechs (1968). It also meant we wouldn't send US troops into North Vietnam because we didn't want to go to war with the Chinese over a country that was at best tangential to US interests. When we varied from that policy (Vietnam and Iraq wars, Somalia) we paid a very heavy price while doing nothing to advance or protect our vital national security interests.

      The sooner this country can return to our traditional realism-based foreign policy the better. Part of that policy would be to disassociate the US from its entangling alliance with Likud Israel and its US Jewish supporters that espouse the Likud Greater Israel line.

      Zionism under Likud has played a major role in promoting the neocon approach to foreign policy in the US. It was heavily involved in the birth of that approach, and has helped fund and promote the policy and its supporters and advocates in this country. They (Likud Zionists and Neocons) played a major role in getting us into the Iraq war and are playing a major role in trying to get us involved in a war with Iran, a war in Syria, and even potential wars in Eastern Europe. That is a very dangerous trend and one folks as intelligent as you are, should be focusing on.

      Please note, my criticism is directed neither at all Jews in general, Jews in the US, nor or all Israeli Jews. It is directed at a particular subset of Zionists who support Likud policies, and their supporters, many of whom are not Jews. It is also directed at Neoconservative foreign policy advocates, comprised of Jews and non-Jews, and overlap between the two groups. Please also note my use of the term "major role", and that I am not saying the Neocons and their supporters (Jewish or non) were solely responsible for our involvement in the Iraq war. I am offering these caveats in the hope that the usual changes of antisemitism can be avoided in your or anyone else's response to my arguments.

      The influence of Neocons on US foreign policy has been very harmful to this country and poses a grave danger to its future. It would be wise for you to reflect on that harm and those dangers and decide whether you belong in the realist camp or want to continue running with the Neocons.

  • Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last
    • Two great articles Matthew, but your predicted outcomes border on the delusional.

      I think Netanyahu and gang are just waiting for some act of provocation by the Palestinians they can use as a pretext for annexation of Area C. Their argument will be that unilateral acts by the Palestinians through the UN, with Hamas, or by "handing back the keys" show Israel has "no partner for peace" and therefore Israel is justified in imposing a solution that allegedly both protects Israel's security concerns and gives the Palestinians the autonomy of their own "state".

      Annexation of Area C would solve a lot of problems for Netanyahu:

      1. It gives Israel “legal” control over the entire West Bank with only the internal cantons available for some sort of Palestinian entity.

      2. It keeps Gaza out of the mix and prevents any kind of true Palestinian unity.

      3. It keeps the Palestinian external refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan out of the mix and makes RoR a non-issue.

      4. It gives Israel almost all the natural resources of the West Bank (water, gas).

      5. It adds relatively few Palestinians to the “demographic problem” (150,000 or so).

      6. It provides a modfied "single-state solution" without all the demographic dangers that including Gaza, the rest of the West Bank, and the external refugees would pose to Israel.

      7. The Hasbara machine can spin this as a regrettable but acceptable outcome that Israel reluctantly took when it became clear it no longer had a partner for peace.

      I think Netanyahu and the Greater Israelites now know they have nothing to fear from the US and they see the EU as a paper tiger. And, despite MW enthusiasm, BDS isn’t much of a threat because there are powerful Jewish constituencies in the US and EU, unlike apartheid South Africa which had virtually no constituency in either the US or the EU. I think BDS is a marginal threat at best and the Israelis know it.

      Zionism dumped the Brits once they were no longer useful. I think they are prepared to dump the US next and adopt Russia/China as their new major power benefactors. The future they see is in strong ethnocracy, not feeble democracy.

      A careful reread of Roger Cohen’s bleak NYT oped of 4/25 and the MW discussion of same (link to mondoweiss.net) is in order for all you MW cockeyed optimists who can’t see the handwriting on the wall.

  • In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft
    • Interesting analysis, Krusty, but remember no one in Israel comes close to Netanyahu in popularity. His current coalition is secure so long as he makes no move that his Greater Israel partners would object to. He could also abandon this partnership and form a coalition that might allow some sort of truncated peace agreement. So the ball is really in his court: he can go final agreement route or the Area C annexation route. For all the reasons I mention in my post below, I think he'll go the Area C annexation route.

    • Seafoid said: "I wonder what will happen next. Israeli expansionism is no longer respectable but without power nothing will change."

      Yup, you got that right.

      I think Israeli annexation of Area C is next because it solves a lot of problems:

      1. It gives Israel "legal" control over the entire West Bank with only the internal cantons available for some sort of Palestinian entity.

      2. It keeps Gaza out of the mix and prevents any kind of true Palestinian unity.

      3. It keeps the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan out of the mix and makes RoR a non-issue.

      4. It gives Israel almost all the natural resources of the West Bank (water, gas).

      5. It adds relatively few Palestinians to the "demographic problem" (150,000).

      I think the Greater Israelites now know they have nothing to fear from the US and they see the EU as a paper tiger. BDS isn't much of a threat because there are powerful Jewish constituencies in the US and EU, unlike apartheid South Africa which had virtually no constituency in either the US or EU. I think BDS is a marginal threat at best and the Israelis know it.

      I think Israel sees a lot of promise in Putin's approach to protecting Russian minorities in satellite countries. Put enough settlers in someone else's territory and it can become your territory. Putin is Israel's new role model (or maybe Israel is Putin's!). In any case, Zionism dumped the Brits once they were no longer useful. I think they are prepared to dump us next and adopt Russia/China as their new major power benefactors.

      A careful reread of Roger Cohen's bleak NYT oped of 4/25 and the MW discussion of same (link to mondoweiss.net) is in order for all you MW cockeyed optimists who can't see the handwriting on the wall.

      It's all over but the shouting.

  • Five reasons the breakdown of peace talks is a good thing
    • Notice how NormanF's outrageous comment appeared almost immediately after the posting of the thread article. As the first thread comment, and as intended, it highjacked the thread and started a flurry of well-intentioned but futile responses that buried the themes of the thread article.

      It would be useful if the MW thread monitors were given the authority to squelch such screed at the get go. It is trolling pure and simple and intended not for discussion but to incite. NormanF didn't hang around to engage in dialogue (does he ever?).

      Many, if not most MW thread articles, like the above, are well-written, thought provoking, and worthy of rational dialogue and debate. The screed of trollers like NormanF, which is clearly intended to incite and inhibit rational dialogue, needs to be banned.

      Enough already.

  • Khalidi: It's time for Palestinians 'to get off their knees' and turn to Europe and ICC
  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
    • I find the term "Izzies" for Israelis just as offensive as "Pals" for Palestinians. Moreover, it labels or tars all Israelis with the same brush when in fact most or the greater share of the problem stems from Likudnik Israelis and the Greater Israel crowd.

      On everything else, I agree with you Brenda.

    • Hostage,
      My point wasn't addressing the legal issues but more the desires and intentions of the Likud/Greater Israel crowd. A separate "state" of Gaza not only would isolate over 1.7 million Palestinian Arabs from Israel (while remaining under Israeli external control, including slant drilling into the offshore Gazan oil resources), it would also provide a convenient dumping point for "transfering"Palestinian undesirables out of the West Bank.

      Palestinian unity will preclude these possibilities hence Netanyahu's shock and anger at an unexpected brilliant move by Abbas and Khaled Meshaal. Palestinian unity will open a lot of doors and will dramatically increase the political pressure on Israel.

      I also think the plight of the external Palestinian refugees needs to be brought front and center into the negotiations and heavily stressed in the international debate. The Israeli position that they can't allow more than a token number to return to Israel proper is absurd. Even if 1 million were allowed to return, that would only raise the Arab population in Israel to 2.5 million or 29 percent from the current 20 percent, hardly a demographic threat to Israel.

      The 2-3 million external Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan aren't chopped liver and can't be ignored in the resolution of the I-P conflict. Israel is responsible for either taking them back or funding their relocation to other countries. If the Jewish establishment (I'm talking organizations, not cabals) wanted to put their minds and immense resources to the task (both political and economic), these refugees could be finally be found homes and decent lives in the new Palestinian state or in other countries. They just need to decide that's what needs to be done. The international community needs to stress Israel's responsibility for the ongoing plight of these refugees and insist Israel solve the problem it created.

    • The reconciliation of Hamas and Fatah into a united Palestinian entity encompassing Gaza is a critical defeat for Netanyahu and Likud. I think it came as total surprise to them, hence the shock and outrage.

      The problem for the Greater Israel crowd has always been what to do with all those pesky Arabs. Netanyahu had hoped that the Gaza-West Bank separation would become permanent and Gaza could be viewed as a separate entity or even country that houses over 1.7 million unwanted Palestinian Arabs. This would allow annexation of all or most of the prized West Bank without creating the huge demographic problem (too many pesky Arabs) for Greater Israel. A Greater Israel without Gaza would have about 3.5 million Palestinians or about 38 percent. Adding Gaza kicks the percentage up to 47 percent (5.2 million). Adding the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (another 3.5 million) raises the percentage of Palestinians to about 60 percent, or a total of 8.7 million.

      Greater Israel cannot have many pesky Arabs. Eliminating Gaza and the refugee populations of Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan is critical to the success of the Greater Israel project.

      A unified front encompassing Fatah and Hamas is a brilliant accomplishment, particularly if there are elections and a new unified government. It will make the Palestinian claim for a state of their own far more credible and powerful, particularly if they insist that the 3.5 million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan be included in any solution.

      In my view, this is potentially huge.

  • 'Not a single person in this room would accept living as Palestinians do, generation after generation'
    • David,

      Your statement that Jews would comprise close to 50% of the population of a single democratic state ignores the plight of the 2 million plus Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan (see my earlier post above). They are not chopped liver and must be part of any permanent solution. Where are they to go? Their host countries consider them are temporary residents and presume their return to the new Palestinian state.

      They can't be ignored in terms of a single state solution, and their return to the West Bank will clearly increase the Arab majority in such as state to about 60 percent.

      I am amazed at how easily the fate of 2 million refugees is glossed over in this discussion. It's like they're invisible.

    • Left out of this conversation are the 2 million plus Palestinians living in stateless exile in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. Almost a million of these are still living in squalid refugee camps that date back to 1948. It is inconceivable to me that these unfortunates are left out of "solution" discussions.

      So where do they go? Israel won't take them and there's certainly no room in Gaza where maybe half a million Palestinian refugees will eventually want to relocate to the West Bank. Can the West Bank handle up to 2.5 million more Palestinians?

      Would Israel even allow them to return to the West Bank? Will Israel and its vast army of rich diaspora supporters provide relocation compensation? Perhaps the US could redirect its $3.5 billion a year from Israel to the Palestinian refugee problem?

      These folks can't be an afterthought. They have to be at the forefront of any solution discussion. The problem started with them in 1948, the solution has to end with them.

  • 'NYT' self-censors, axing headline blaming Israeli settlements
    • "How are you to expect that they will report it if during the course of a conflict, the pals get deported a second time like in the Nakba?"

      The abbreviation "pals" for "Palestinians" is used as a term of scorn by many who see the Palestinian people as a hindrance to their goal of achieving a Greater Israel, largely, if not totally, devoid of Palestinians. While I know this particular use was not intended as anything other than abbreviation, I've seen it so misused as a term of scorn that I believe it is no more appropriate than the term "hebe" is as an abbreviation for "Hebrew", or "Izzi" would be for "Israeli".

      The Palestinian people have been deprived of almost all symbols of dignity, such as nationhood, so can't we at least take the time to honor their complete name?

      This may seem like a petty complaint, but words do matter.

  • Liberal schizophrenia and moral myopia: On Ari Shavit's 'My Promised Land'
    • Jeff B said:
      "... there were about 1.5m Jews that were going to freeze to death after the Holocaust had Israel not existed. The anti-Zionist position in 1945 was to leave the Jews who had survived the camps to mostly die of exposure."

      More JeffB bullshit. Here's what the US Holocaust Museum says about Jewish post-Holocaust displaced persons:

      Congress also passed the Displaced Persons Act in 1948, authorizing 200,000 DPs to enter the United States. The law's stipulations made it unfavorable at first to the Jewish DPs, but Congress amended the bill with the DP Act of 1950. By 1952, over 80,000 Jewish DPs had immigrated to the United States under the terms of the DP Act and with the aid of Jewish agencies.

      With over 80,000 Jewish DPs in the United States, about 136,000 in Israel, and another 20,000 in other nations, including Canada and South Africa, the DP emigration crisis came to an end. Almost all of the DP camps were closed by 1952. The Jewish displaced persons began new lives in their new homelands around the world.

      link to ushmm.org

      Roughly 1.5 million European Jews survived the Holocaust. Most either survived in their home countries or were repatriated after the war. About 250,000, mostly camp survivors, were considered unable to be repatriated and ended up in Displaced Persons Camps. Of those, 54 percent were resettled in Israel, 32 percent in the US, and the remaining 14 percent went to other countries like the UK, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.

      There were millions of displaced persons at the end of the war. They were fed, housed, treated, and repatriated by the Allied armies in conditions that were far better than the concentration or prisoner of war camps.

      JeffB's statements that 1.5 million Jews "were going to freeze to death after the Holocaust had Israel not existed", and " the anti-Zionist position in 1945 was to leave the Jews who had survived the camps to mostly die of exposure" are patently false and insulting to the massive efforts made by the Allies after World War II on behalf of millions of refugees, including most of all, Jewish refugees.

      In the future, JeffB, kindly provide links to the sources for your "factual claims" as your personal credibility has become highly suspect.

  • Let Pollard go. But first get answers from Tel Aviv
  • A British Jew warns US Jewish orgs to heed rapidly-shifting world opinion
    • "One final word. I am loathe to endorse what is an analysis that is often hijacked by Likudniks to shut down any criticism of Israel, but it is a fact that some anti-Semites use Israel as a shield to hide behind while they bash Jews. The vast majority of critics of Israel are not bigots or hate Jews. But I am saying, that anti-Semitism exists as it has always existed and it is important not to lose our heads about this."

      Krauss, I think yours is an accurate statement. Evidence of this is seen in how quickly the David Dukes pick up on and use valid arguments against Israel and Zionism crafted by people who are not antisemites. Sometimes it may be hard to tell if someone is an antisemite garbed in clever, articulate language masked as valid criticism of the excesses of Zionism and Israel. But, I think Jews have to be very leery of using this as a convenient excuse for denying the validity of the anti-Zionist, anti-Likudnik, anti-AIPAC criticism. It's an easy and convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for cleaning up the mess some Jews have created for most Jews.

    • Dickerson3870:

      You got anything on "Masada Complex" in your library of nation state personality disorders?

    • Alas, MHughes976, you're probably right. Whevever we see a glint of progress it's soon followed by a retrograde movement. It's easy to imagine progress and beneficial outcomes here on MW. We're listening to our own choir. Once you leave the church and get out into the real world you soon discover nobody is really thinking about the I-P issue, and nobody really cares all that much. Money will out, as they say.

    • Here's an apropos comment I posted a few days ago on a different thread which shows I share the anonymous British Jew's fears of what the future might bring for America's Jews if they fail to get out in front on this issue. I was labeled an anti-Semite for my views:

      link to mondoweiss.net

      Irishmoses says:
      March 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      “The intellectual labors are done, the activists are moving. The public square will increasingly belong to the warriors of both sides. And Vassar shows us clearly which side will win.”

      Phil really stumbled onto something at the angry meeting he attended at Vassar College. Jews. even those who support BDS, are being identified as the problem and feel intimidated by the anger and stridency of those who oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Phil himself felt that anger and was apparently intimidated enough to not participate and to leave immediately after the meeting. He saw the angry lack of patience for debate and the growing push for action by the unprivileged, the people of color, the non-Jews. His words above reflect his fear that the debate is ending and that the time for action and conflict is beginning.

      The real question for me is when this intellectual debate ends and the battle lines are drawn how will the battle affect American Jews, just a tiny minority of our citizenry? If they are identified as supporters and enablers of an oppressive foreign regime to which their main loyalty lies, that would be a very dangerous development for American Jews. They could be identified as the problem and the underlying cause of whatever harm, perceived or real, that befalls this country because of Israel’s actions and corrupting influence on America’s governmental and public institutions. The charge might become not dual loyalty but disloyalty.

      That’s a very scary prospect that should give American Jews pause. By failing to be out in front in opposing Israel and its US supporters on a very clear-cut human rights issue that is causing great harm to their own country, American Jews are potentially putting all their accomplishments, contributions, credibility and loyalty at stake. What happens if perceptions of Jewish privilege, Jewish influence, and Jewish power get attached to something truly nefarious like Jewish disloyalty to this country? Fairly or unfairly, those dots could be connected into a litany of charges, mostly unfair, that could be devastating to American Jews. Their visceral fear of a potential for a wave of antisemitism in this country could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Obviously “American Jews” are a diffuse and complicated group with a broad spectrum of opinions. Because of their success (and successful assimilation), they are no longer seen as a definable and threatening “other” group. But the Israel-Palestine issue has the potential for changing that perception and Phil’s experience at the Vassar meeting may reflect the beginnings of that change. Committed activists are tired of the talk and impatient with the intellectual pleadings of liberal Zionist Jews. They want action, not words, and they may be beginning to perceive Jews, even pro-BDS Jews, as part of the problem not the solution.

      The comments about feeling uncomfortable and intimidated when Israel is questioned are illuminating. To the committed activists, Phil’s “outsiders of color”, Israel is the problem so there was no sympathy for claims of discomfort or intimidation by “privileged Jews”. Or, as Phil put it, citing Omar Bargouti, for people still in the middle, “If you need time to figure this out, just get out of the way.”

      The sad irony in all of this is that American Jews have been the spearhead of civil rights in this country: workplace, racial, gender, sexual orientation, you name it. Yet, when it comes to Israel and Palestine, they have actively or passively enabled one of the worst and longest ongoing violation of human rights in modern times. Sure there are far worse examples in the world, but none of those have been promoted and enabled by an identifiable minority group of American citizens. Nor do any of those far worse regimes identify themselves as the homeland of the Jewish people, which, by definition, includes American Jews.

      Zionism intentionally attached itself to the hip of American Jews and has successfully curried the loyalty of the vast majority and successfully encouraged them to use their political and financial influence to gain the support of our government for their cause. While there are valid emotional reasons for that attachment it comes with a price. It attaches American Jews to the actions and conduct of its oppressive regime. The question for American Jews is whether that emotional attachment is worth the moral price they are paying and the risk it poses to them."

  • Liberal Zionists are the new front line against BDS
    • Annie,
      The $26 billion is the total assets of the various groups. The annual donations to Israel-related causes was a bit over $3 billion a year if memory serves.

  • JJ Goldberg says Adelson's influence fulfills anti-Semitic belief
    • There's a great quote from General Anthony Zinni who had commanded the Iraq theater pre-invasion and did everything he could to stop the war. He said the wunderkind from the Bush administration that were doing the pre-invasion planning knew damn well it was going to result in an ethnic blood bath but they didn't care because it would weaken Iraq and turn it into an ethnic-tribal morass that would be no threat to Israel. The quote is near the beginning of Tom Ricks' Fiasco.

      So the Bushies didn't invade in the hope that Iraq would emerge as a democracy. They knew that was an impossibility considering the ethnic/tribal rivalries. They just wanted to remove Saddam (who was holding it all together) so it (Iraq) could self destruct. Which it did.

      Zinni was a brilliant guy and presidential caliber but he refused to kiss the right asses so he ended up sidelined.

    • Annie,
      The thread in question started on the 20th and ended on the 25th. JeffB's offensive comment was one of the last posted. I tried to respond but had no link available. I finally posted my response on this thread in the middle of a discussion about false accusations of antisemitism where I felt it was an appropriate contribution.

      JeffB's comment was referring to my prior comment on that thread, a thread of comments that included one by Phil criticizing JeffB's response to my first comment.

      I wasn't "rehashing an old conversation". I was responding to a comment by JeffB that indicted me as an antisemite, something I find very hard to ignore. Rather than simply apologizing for an OTT comment, JeffB then escalated it a new level which included false statements about what I had said. I'm sorry, but I couldn't let that pass either.

      It's too bad that the issues Phil raised on that thread got mired in JeffB hasbara. It was an important thread with significant issues. It continues today on Phil's latest article, link to mondoweiss.net

      Moderation is an arduous and thankless task. I don't envy you and I appreciate your efforts.

    • JeffB:

      Let me deconstruct your desperate bullshit reply at 12:40pm above. I’ll do this from top to bottom with your comments in quotes:

      “You cut the comment out I was responding to.”

      False. I provided a link to your entire quote above which was mine. You should have quoted the comment of mine that you found antisemitic, particularly when making such an inflammatory accusation.

      “Your point was pretty clear that Jewish lobbying was somehow fundamentally any different than other American groups forming lobbies to have their interest addressed by government. An agricultural lobby is fine, the NRA is fine, the NEA lobby is fine…”

      A straw man. I never said Jews should not lobby, nor that they should be excluded from lobbying. My comment was specifically addressed at lobbying by a subset of American Jews who are promoting the extremes of Zionism and trying to influence American foreign policy to promote the interests of another country. I am critical of their lobbying efforts to the extent that they are damaging US interests and encouraging the continuing oppression of the Palestinians. My criticism may be misguided or based on faulty analysis but that doesn’t make my motive antisemitic. Being critical of Israel’s leaders or policies, or of American Jewish organizations that support or enable those policies is not antisemitic any more than being critical of China’s policies towards Tibet or the Uighurs is anti-Asian.

      “… a Jewish lobby is justifiable grounds for a resurgence in anti-Jewish violence”.

      I never said a Jewish lobby justifies antisemitism, nor did I use the term “anti-Jewish violence”. What I said was:

      “By failing to be out in front in opposing Israel and its US supporters on a very clear-cut human rights issue that is causing great harm to their own country, American Jews are potentially putting all their accomplishments, contributions, credibility and loyalty at stake. What happens if perceptions of Jewish privilege, Jewish influence, and Jewish power get attached to something truly nefarious like Jewish disloyalty to this country? Fairly or unfairly, those dots could be connected into a litany of charges, mostly unfair, that could be devastating to American Jews. Their visceral fear of a potential for a wave of antisemitism in this country could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

      You said: “Damn right it is anti-Semitic to promote special discriminatory laws or policies towards Jews.”

      Another JeffB straw man. I said nothing remotely approximating any promotion of “special discriminatory laws or policies toward Jews.” Nor did I say anything that would suggest I have a core belief that Jews are not like other Americans.

      You then string together your false statements and straw men to jump to the remarkable conclusion that:

      “Holding one or even a few views that are anti-Semitic does not make you anti-Semite so I’m not accusing you of that, yet. But your view on that issue is clear cut anti-Semitism. I have no problem saying that much.”

      I suppose it’s comforting to know that you don’t yet consider me a full blown antisemite, just that my “view on that issue is clear cut anti-Semitism”.

      If my view is so fucking clear cut, why don’t you have the decency to use my words as evidence of my antisemitism on this issue rather than making false statements about what I said and then throwing in a pack of straw dogs to support your scurrilous claim? Is that too much to ask? It’s simple. Just say: “Irish, this statement by you [verbatim quote by me inserted] seems to be antisemitic because …. Could you please explain?”

      As to your ending laundry list of hypothetical remarks that would suggest discriminatory animus against a variety of groups, let me reassure you that I have never said nor do I believe:

      1. That “whites”, Jews, or anyone else are entitled to separate bathrooms or front seats in buses,.
      2. That Jews, Muslims or anyone else, “shouldn’t be able to speak equally on the laws of this nation”.
      3. That Jews, Japanese, or anyone else, “can’t be trusted”.
      4. That Jews, or anyone else, “should not be allowed to participate fully equally in the American system of government”.

      If you feel you have evidence to the contrary, please have the decency to provide direct quotes from me that lead you to conclude I do harbor antisemitic tendencies or bias or animus.

      So, no, your response and conclusions are not “clear enough for [me]”. Your response was inadequate, defamatory, scurrilous, and highly offensive. Instead of offering a simple apology for an unwarranted and over-the-top statement, you instead buried yourself even more into the morass of the Hasbara Central antisemitism defense.

      Finally, your comment on HUAC:

      “As for HUAC. You also cut the comment I made about their numbers and how misleading wikipedia was on multiple fronts. Your response was dishonest.”

      False (once again): I didn’t cut any comment. I provided a link to your full response.

      False (once again): You said nothing about Wikipedia being “misleading on multiple fronts”. What you said was you preferred HUAC and the FBI as sources because “Wikipedia is random people.”

      You provided no cites in supporting of your HUAC claims, nor of HUAC’s accuracy or reliability as a source. I provided Wikipedia which cited several other sources that appear reliable.

      How can you conceivably claim or justify your comment that my response was “dishonest”?

      There are few congressional committees that have been ridiculed and vilified as much as HUAC (the McCarthy Senate committee is its only close rival). For you to claim HUAC as a reliable source is both ludicrous and embarrassing.

      Resorting to unsupported claims of antisemitism when you can’t win an argument on the merits, is a despicable, cowardly tactic that is shameful and should be below you.

      To paraphrase Senator Welch’s response to one of Senator Joe McCarthy’s outrageous statements defaming a witness, “Have you no sense of decency Sir? At long last, have you no sense of decency?”

    • Here's how one gets accused of antisemitism by JeffB:

      But really your big question is should I kneel beg and scrape considering myself blessed that real Americans are letting kikes like me live in their country safely?

      He's referring to my comments on link to mondoweiss.net

      The reply buttons are gone so I'll post my response here. It begins with his cite to HUAC (the House Un-American Activities Committee) as a more authoritative source than Wikipedia,

      JeffB: “First off I’m going to go with HUAC and the FBI not wikipedia. HUAC involved sworn testimony before a congressional committee with subpoena power wikipedia is random people.”

      I-M (me): "You cite as authoritative HUAC, an organization best known for its modern versions of witch hunts and black lists (which falsely tarred many Jews as communists), while ignoring the cites in the Wikipedia piece to an article by an historian which cites to several works by historians. It also quotes the head of HUAC at that time making wild claims that half a million German Americans were members of the Bund. You clearly will stoop to any level or source to support your viewpoints."

      JeffB: “But really your big question is should I kneel beg and scrape considering myself blessed that real Americans are letting kikes like me live in their country safely?”

      I-M (me): "What a scurrilous comment. You have no basis whatsoever for implying that I consider myself, a non-Jew, as a “real American”, somehow superior to Jews, or that I refer to Jews as “kikes” and think you or they should “kneel beg and scrape…” and consider yourselves blessed that “real Americans” are allowing Jews to live in this country safely. As an Irish-American, I hardly qualify for some sort of "blue blood" "real American" status if that's what you were alluding to.

      If you are going to call me an antisemite, please have the guts to do so directly, and have the decency to cite to the comments you consider evidence of my antisemitism.

      Yours was a truly offensive comment. You would have fit in well as a member of HUAC."

      [End of Angry Rant]

  • Liberal Zionists turn on media darling Ari Shavit for promoting Netanyahu's bluff
    • Nice analysis. Thanks.

    • "The calls here are not for the reform of Israel or even regime change in Israel but for the destruction of Israel. The end of Zionism. I consider a secular democracy a perfectly acceptable solution."

      Come on, JeffB, nobody here is calling for "the destruction of Israel". Or, did you mean by that just "The end of Zionism"? I suspect most Zionists (even the liberal ones who haven't quite figured out the implications of a fully legalized "Jewish" state) would consider secular democracy the death knell of Zionism and its Jewish supremacist state.

      I find it very encouraging that you "...consider secular democracy a perfectly acceptable solution". But wouldn't you agree that such a solution would also be the death knell of supremacist Zionism and Israel as it is currently constituted?

      As to asking BDSers what post BDS Israel would look like, I think most would respond like me: It would (should) look either like a single state of Greater Israel in which all citizens have equal rights and equal opportunities guaranteed by most secular democracies, or it would look like pre-1967 Israel but would also be a secular democracy. Moreover, most BDSers would expect the Palestinian state to also be a secular democracy.

      I don't see how either of my secular democratic solutions, Greater Israel, or per-1967 Israel, are inconsistent with your view that "secular democracy" is "a perfectly acceptable solution".

      Do you agree? If not, show us your idea of a secular-democratic Israel.

    • "Only the refugees who fled the territory internationally recognized as Israel have a right of return to Israel. Their life expectancy was about 47 yrs. The vast majority are dead."

      While the number of surviving refugees from the Nakba is quite low (30,000 or so, and steadily diminishing), what happens to or what is the legal status of the millions who are offspring of the refugees, who continue to live in refugee camps, some in countries where they have no legal status? Are their claims against Israel to be ignored? Aren't they entitled to relocation and compensation?

      Once the ink has dried on a permanent agreement that carves in stone Israel's legal status as a supremicist Jewish state and ends forever any prior legal claims against Israel, are two million or so refugees from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Gaza expected to cram into whatever remains of the West Bank, or do they just continue to rot in refugee camps as stateless people?

    • Phil,

      Assuming the impossible, that Israel would grant the Palestinians a state of their own on 22 percent of Mandate Palestine along the lines of the Geneva plan or the Arab initiative, would it be permissible for Israel to maintain its status as a Jewish supremacist state in which Israeli non-Jews are not afforded the full gamut of rights possessed by Israeli Jews? As I said to Interested Bystander (below), the implications of such an outcome could include some dire possibilities such as the compulsory transfer of non-Jewish Israeli citizens out of Israel.

    • IB said:

      "It also seems to me that the position of a majority of the Jewish community is that Israel should be a “Jewish” state as enshrined in the Law of Return. "

      Good honest analysis IB, you've really illuminated a critical issue that is not being properly addressed.

      You didn't really define what you mean by "Jewish" state other than all Jews in the world have a right to return to this state. However, I think I can deduce your definition from your exclusion of it being a "secular democracy with separation of church/state like in the US." In other words, a "Jewish" state must somehow favor Jews above non-Jews Judaism over all other religions, and be democratic only for Jews, or, as some have called it, a "Jewish Supremacist state".

      I don't see someone can morally justify such a state unless he or she believes Jews are somehow superior to non-Jews and entitled to a state of their own that deprives inferior non-Jews of rights equal to superior Jews. If that is the definition that flows from your analysis, I'm not sure the groups and individuals you listed would all buy into that definition, or maybe they just won't admit it.

      In any case, the reason Netanyahu is demanding recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is to etch in stone the Jewish supremacist state that Israel is. It is a clever argument because he makes "Jewish state" seem almost benign and without any real consequence while in fact it will make legal and permanent Israel's Jewish superiority or supremacy over all its other citizens or residents. Those that advocate for a Jewish state really don't want that dirty little secret revealed.

      The legal analysis being discussed this week by Israeli leaders which would permit "legal" and compulsory transfer of non-Jewish Israeli citizens out of Israel provides a perfect example of the nefarious policies and outcomes that could flow from recognition of Israel as a Jewish supremacist state. Is that really what Peter Beinart and J Street are willing to accept? Or maybe, as you imply, they just haven't come to terms with the full implications of what is possible in the Jewish supremacist state.

      I apologize for putting words in your mouth if you really were just trying to clarify this critical issue.

    • Shavit's New Yorker article, Lydda 1948 followed by his very successful book and tour, should be praised as well as condemned. Praised for his very honest rendering of the horrors of the Nakba caused by the actions of the Israeli Army, specifically his vivid description of the massacres, ethnic cleansing, and sacking of the Palestinian city of Lydda in June 1948. He pulls no punches which is a positive step as he refuses to buy into the old hasbara narrative of voluntary departure, and thereby undermines one of the pillars of the Zionist narrative about the Nakba.

      On the other hand, he refuses to condemn the atrocities, and says these were critical to and necessary for the creation of the Jewish State. He offers no evidence in support of this conclusion and for that he is justifiably criticized. He also is a major player in offering justifications for present day Israel and its actions.

      I am no apologist for Shavit. I've read his book and seen his talk. I've also analyzed and condemned his book on my own blog:

      link to savingisrael.wordpress.com.

      Nonetheless, Shavit should be given credit for his honesty in describing the horrors of the Nakba and the role of the Israeli Army and Israeli government in perpetrating those horrors. A major player in Hasbara-Central's attempt to whitewash modern Israel has also undermined one of its most critical pillars. That's important.

  • Ululating at Vassar: the Israel/Palestine conflict comes to America
    • Ellen,

      I think the parents were probably more effected as more of them may have been immigrants, plus most had lost kin they actually knew from the Holocaust. Their kids, the ones I knew, were aware of the lost relatives but they weren't people they'd met. I think they saw the Holocaust as a horrific aberration but not as something they were worried about in this country.

      I can think of three groups that had far more reason for angst than American Jews. Top would be Black Americans who were still in the middle of a continuous pogrom in the South in the 50s and 60s. Japanese Americans, and I knew many, were fresh out of WWII concentration camps, had lost all their property, and had experienced something very similar to what German Jews had experienced in the 1930s. Several of the ones I knew had been born in interment camps. They never talked about the experience, but it had to be emotionally scarring. Mexican Americans had just lived through the mass deportations of the early 50s where even Mexican American citizens were deported because they looked liked Mexicans or "Wet Backs". I can't imagine they felt secure in their American citizenship. Native Americans should be on my list as well, but technically they weren't immigrants. Any angst there? I'd say.

      Compare the experience of those three groups with American Jewish immigrants who immigrated freely in the millions and suffered discrimination not any worse than the Irish, the Italians, the Portuguese, the Puerto Ricans, etc. There is no comparison. Considering the amazing success of Jews in this country, well-earned success, any suggestion that they were mistreated on the same level of Black, Asian, Hispanic, or Native Americans is disingenuous at best.

      I was lucky to live in a time where American men went through the great equalization experience of Basic Training in the military. You were thrown together with guys your age from all over the country, with all different backgrounds. In 12 weeks we got to know each other intimately, different accents, different colors and cultures, different religions, city versus country boys, the whole gamut. With the exception of the tensions between southern Whites and Blacks, I don't recall any whining about how one particular group had been mistreated compared to all the rest of us. Nobody had a chip on their shoulder even though we all had heard stories of how our parents and grandparents generations had struggled with discrimination as immigrants. We all had our heads shaved and we were all in it together.

    • Phil,
      I was in high school in West LA in the late 50s and grew up with a lot of Jews. I don't recall a lot of angst on their part about their position in American society, let alone fear of repression. The vestiges of antisemitism were crumbling. They were all headed off to top schools. It was the time of Exodus, the book, the movie, the theme. Israelis were looking like heroic underdogs, trouncing the barbaric Arab hordes. Jews were beginning to lead the movements of the 60s, beginning with Mario Savio at Berkeley. I don't recall much Jewish anxiety back then. I think they had already come into their own.

      Nor do I recall any real anxiety in 1967. The Jews I knew were all wanting to enlist and fight for Israel (but wanted nothing to do with Vietnam), and were disappointed it ended so quickly. Despite the propaganda, the quick victory wasn't unexpected. We'd seen what had happened in 1956. From my viewpoint, the 67 victory just reinforced the Exodus theme. Israel was a source of pride for the Jews I knew, but I didn't notice any religious component to it, nor did I know any Jew who spoke of Israel as a handy refuge. The Jews I knew were content in the US, proud of their country, and working hard to change its remaining prejudices.

      Perhaps Los Angeles in that era wasn't typical of the Jewish experience in this country. As a non-Jew, it may be the height of chutzpah for me to offer my opinion on something as personal as antisemitism, or Jewish fears,, but I don't recall any angst on the part of the Jews I knew, even in the late 50s, let alone in 1967.

    • JeffB,

      The best of your examples, the German-American Bund, was pathetic. It had 5-10,000 members max. link to en.wikipedia.org

      The very modest attempt by the IRA to gain major influence in this country was quashed by several prominent US Irish-American politicians, Tip O'Neil, Patrick Moynihan, etc.

      Come on, you're a bright and articulate guy, but when you put together a slew of minor pro-home country exceptions among American immigrant groups, all of which are at least 50 years old, you aren't arguing in good faith, you're being a "clever lawyer".

      The amount of influence the pro-Zionist Jewish community has had on the US political system is without precedent, from Brandeis to today, nothing comes close and you know it. That influence has been documented and complained about by a host of top US politicians and bureaucrats from before FDR to the present.

      Your attempt to defend this pervasive influence with lame comparisons ignores the critical question you should be concerned with, whether all this influence on US government and public institutions, on US foreign policy, on fundamental US values, will backfire.

      "American Jews decided to stand against a Nassarite 2nd holocaust...".

      Give me a break. The 67 war was planned by Israel and aided by some stupid posturing by Nassar. There was never any threat to Israel. Everybody, Israel, Egypt and various western intel agencies all knew it would be over in a week. They were wrong. It took 6 days. But you know all that, so why do you stoop to the basest of hasbara?

      Your last few paragraphs about Jewish liberalism and their black allies has nothing to do with the main point of my post which you never addressed. Are you in denial or are you just a clever apologist? If you are in denial, you need to have a serious talk with yourself. If you care about Israel, and about the status and reputation of American Jews, you need to be devoting your energies to stopping this train wreck not using clever arguments that make it more likely.

    • JeffB,
      Once again you catch me as I'm about to leave; this time for a day long class at UCLA. I will try to respond tonight. I also have not forgotten I need to respond to an exchange we had about a week ago.

      Thanks for responding, lengthy or not (a trait I share with you).

    • "The intellectual labors are done, the activists are moving. The public square will increasingly belong to the warriors of both sides. And Vassar shows us clearly which side will win."

      Phil really stumbled onto something at the angry meeting he attended at Vassar College. Jews. even those who support BDS, are being identified as the problem and feel intimidated by the anger and stridency of those who oppose Israel’s oppression of the Palestinians. Phil himself felt that anger and was apparently intimidated enough to not participate and to leave immediately after the meeting. He saw the angry lack of patience for debate and the growing push for action by the unprivileged, the people of color, the non-Jews. His words above reflect his fear that the debate is ending and that the time for action and conflict is beginning.

      The real question for me is when this intellectual debate ends and the battle lines are drawn how will the battle affect American Jews, just a tiny minority of our citizenry? If they are identified as supporters and enablers of an oppressive foreign regime to which their main loyalty lies, that would be a very dangerous development for American Jews. They could be identified as the problem and the underlying cause of whatever harm, perceived or real, that befalls this country because of Israel's actions and corrupting influence on America's governmental and public institutions. The charge might become not dual loyalty but disloyalty.

      That's a very scary prospect that should give American Jews pause. By failing to be out in front in opposing Israel and its US supporters on a very clear-cut human rights issue that is causing great harm to their own country, American Jews are potentially putting all their accomplishments, contributions, credibility and loyalty at stake. What happens if perceptions of Jewish privilege, Jewish influence, and Jewish power get attached to something truly nefarious like Jewish disloyalty to this country? Fairly or unfairly, those dots could be connected into a litany of charges, mostly unfair, that could be devastating to American Jews. Their visceral fear of a potential for a wave of antisemitism in this country could well become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Obviously “American Jews” are a diffuse and complicated group with a broad spectrum of opinions. Because of their success (and successful assimilation), they are no longer seen as a definable and threatening “other” group. But the Israel-Palestine issue has the potential for changing that perception and Phil’s experience at the Vassar meeting may reflect the beginnings of that change. Committed activists are tired of the talk and impatient with the intellectual pleadings of liberal Zionist Jews. They want action, not words, and they may be beginning to perceive Jews, even pro-BDS Jews, as part of the problem not the solution.

      The comments about feeling uncomfortable and intimidated when Israel is questioned are illuminating. To the committed activists, Phil’s “outsiders of color”, Israel is the problem so there was no sympathy for claims of discomfort or intimidation by “privileged Jews”. Or, as Phil put it, citing Omar Bargouti, for people still in the middle, “If you need time to figure this out, just get out of the way.”

      The sad irony in all of this is that American Jews have been the spearhead of civil rights in this country: workplace, racial, gender, sexual orientation, you name it. Yet, when it comes to Israel and Palestine, they have actively or passively enabled one of the worst and longest ongoing violation of human rights in modern times. Sure there are far worse examples in the world, but none of those have been promoted and enabled by an identifiable minority group of American citizens. Nor do any of those far worse regimes identify themselves as the homeland of the Jewish people, which, by definition, includes American Jews.

      Zionism intentionally attached itself to the hip of American Jews and has successfully curried the loyalty of the vast majority and successfully encouraged them to use their political and financial influence to gain the support of our government for their cause. While there are valid emotional reasons for that attachment it comes with a price. It attaches American Jews to the actions and conduct of its oppressive regime. The question for American Jews is whether that emotional attachment is worth the moral price they are paying and the risk it poses to them.

  • ‘Safe Hillel’ Exposed: Undermining open dialogue in the Jewish community
    • JeffB,

      Thanks for the response. I apologize for my intemperate tone. I have encountered too many on this site that when challenged in detail simply don't respond and then move on to other threads. Their unwillingness to engage on the issues and comments they've raised is frustrating. I thought you were one of that crowd.

      I appreciate that you are willing to engage. I won't be able to reply until later today.

    • So you are gutless. You make outrageous accusations that you don't have the courage to support. e.g. You again repeat an "example" that is totally off point and unrelated to the topic at hand.

      Why don't you have the courage to give us specific examples from the BDS, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel debate that demonstrate their treason, their siding with the enemy, their heresy? You won't because you can't or are too embarrassed to make the attempt. Like I said, gutless.

      Why don't you have the courage to provide specifics on how and in what circumstances one becomes a traitor or sider with the enemy if one is a proponent of BDS or is believed to be either anti-Zionist or anti-Israel? You won't because you can't or are too embarrassed to make the attempt. Again, gutless.

      You are intelligent, articulate and great at throwing out names like "traitor", "aider of the enemy", and "heretic", but you are perplexingly unwilling to provide us with sufficient information for us to know who these people are that you are so worried about.

      Let me simplify this for you. Just answer the following questions:

      1. Is anyone that advocates BDS as a means of causing Israel to cease its occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people a traitor, aider of the enemy, or heretic.? If so, why? Give us some specific examples of BDS advocates who do qualify.

      2. Or, is it just Jews, or Israeli Jews that support BDS that are traitors, etc. If so, why? Give us some specific examples of Jewish BDS advocates who do qualify.

      3. Is a non-Jew who supports BDS ipso fact "the enemy"? If so, tell us why? Give us some specific examples of non-Jewish BDS advocates who do qualify as "the enemy".

      4. Is an American Jew who supports BDS a traitor to his own country? If so, which country is that: Israel, the US, or both?

      5. Can an anti-Zionist qualify as a traitor, etc. If so, tell us what they would have to do to qualify, and give us some specific examples of anti-Zionists who do qualify as traitors, etc.

      Five simple questions, JeffB. Answer these in a detailed manner, with examples, and I no longer will be able to call you gutless. Wrong maybe, but not gutless.

    • Your response makes clear that BDS to you is only about the Jews.

      Are the Palestinians invisible to you or merely so inferior in your mind that you can't see why anyone would advocate on their behalf?

      Do you deny any legitimacy to Palestinian claims with regard to:

      1. The crimes perpetrated on them by the Israeli army during the 1948 war?

      2. The presence of about 10 percent of Israel's Jewish population in illegal Jewish-only "settlements" in the West Bank and East Jerusalem?

      3. Their rights to self-determination and a state of their own?

      4. The right of return or fair compensation to the millions of refugees from Israel's various ethnic cleansings, including the two major ones in 1948 and 1967?

      5. Their ongoing oppression by the Israeli occupying army since 1967?

      Finally, do you really believe that BDS proponents main motivation is anti-Israel, or anti-Jew, and not aimed at finally finding some semblance of justice for the Palestinian people?

      If you are tempted to respond, kindly address some of non-Jewish issues and terms like: Palestine, Palestinian, the Palestinian right to self-determination, refugee rights, settlements, settlers, land and home confiscation, those things, please.

    • I’m not sure how you can read those 2 sentences and make the claim you did about what I wrote. The line I drew was not being anti-Zionist but actively working with enemies of the Jewish people for the harm of the Jewish people.

      You, JeffB, are the one bandying about the terms "traitor", "siding with the enemy", not to mention "heretic", "heresy", and "excommunication". Since you chose to define your argument with such colorful and pejorative terms, the onus and responsibility lies on your shoulders to make crystal clear what one must do as a anti-Zionist and/or Jewish BDSer to qualify as a heretic, traitor, or sider-with the enemy. You have not done so.

      You make one laughably weak attempt in your response, that it is perfectly OK to be an anti-Zionist so long as your membership in that apparently despicable club predates 1967. You then go on to say that anyone who encourages "...others to attack the Jewish community, and Israel is the core of the Jewish community..." is not a mere dissident but a traitor. That is a very ill-defined broad brush for which you offer only examples from the Afghan war. WTF does John Walker Lindh have to do with the Jewish community, Israel, anti-Zionism, or BDS? Nothing!

      Nothing is that paragraph mentions BDS. It is all about anti-Zionism, including a final shot: those who urge "...the UN to attack Israel..." are "...simply siding with the enemy." Again, no mention of BDS.

      In the next paragraph you then tell us how open and welcome to dissent the Jewish community should be, but that Jewish BDSers aren't mere dissenters because they don't "...advance the interests of the Jewish community..." which means "...fighting the enemy". You offer another enlightening example, Obama dropping missiles on Anwar al-Awlaki. WTF does that have to do with the Jewish community, Israel, anti-Zionism or BDS? Nothing!

      Your final sentence further muddies the waters, "...that anti-Zionism is not beyond the pale...", but that BDS is "...because it is siding against the Jews..."

      JeffB, you need to either apologize for your outrageous use of the terms "traitor", "sider with the enemy", and "heretic" or else provide us with a detailed definition and direct examples of how exactly an anti-Zionist or BDSer, Jewish or non, becomes or qualifies for the label "traitor", "sider with the enemy", and/or "heretic". And, please, no more "examples" from Afghanistan or Iraq. You have plenty of material to work with within the confines of the Jewish community, Israel, anti-Zionism, and BDS advocates.

      Your bold but very ambiguous accusations harken back to the Joseph McCarthy anti-communist witch hunts in my country. Senator McCarthy never defined his terms but destroyed many a career with his accusations.

      Hopefully, JeffB, you will have the courage to either apologize for your outrageous accusations or provide the detailed explanations, definitions, and pertinent examples that might change your comments from merely scurrilous to perhaps borderline acceptable.

    • Per JeffB, "The Jewish community should be open and welcome dissent".

      Apparently you are unwilling to allow Jewish dissent about your proposition that being Jewish is being a Zionist, and ergo, being anti-Zionist is being against the Jews.

      That proposition would seem worthy of debate in an open and dissent-welcoming community, but apparently not for you. After all, anti-Zionists are traitors, are siders-with-the-enemy.

    • Ah, wonderful, another conversation about BDS and its horrible effect on Israel, on Zionism, on the Jews. BDS is about ending the Jewish State as we know it. It's about preventing Jewish self determination. It's the new form of antisemitism.

      What is always missing in these conversations is Palestine, the Palestinians, Palestinian self-determination, the sacking, pillaging, and seizure of hundreds of Palestinian villages, the forcible expulsion of 80-90 percent of the Arab population from their lands and homes, the theft of all their personal property, the not-so-occasional killings and massacres aimed at encouraging swift flight. And that's just 1948. What's also always missing in these conversations is the Settlements, the Settlers, the Jews-only West Bank and East Jerusalem towns and cities accessed by Jews-only roads and highways. Need I go on?

      Please, BDS is about the plight of the Palestinian people. It is not about the Jews.

      But, you know that. In reality, the reason the BDS conversation is always about the Jews is that making that the subject prevents the conversation from focusing on that most embarrassing of topics, the half-century oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli-Jewish people.

      It's Hasbara Central's new campaign: Make BDS all about the Jews. Never, ever mention Palestine, Palestinians, Settlements, Settlers. Remember, BDS is always and only about the Jews. Got it?

  • Sheldon Adelson to honor Sean Penn at neocon ball
  • Jewish community commits intellectual suicide before our eyes
    • Quercus and any other National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship attenders (March 7 in Washington DC) our sign will be a large "MW" on our convention name tags with your MW handle ("Irish Moses") listed underneath.

    • I'm with you on this one yonah, Freud had a huge impact. He revealed the existence and importance of the subconscious, and how it lurks in the shadows of every rational thought and expression. Flawed, nitpickable? Absolutely. But, without question, one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. To deny his impact is to put yourself in the category of witch hunters. Common guys, we're talking about Freud.

    • Count me in. Kiryat Arba, that's in Israel, right?

    • Anybody (other than me) going to the National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship in Washington DC on Friday, March 7?

      I'd like to get together with any other MW attendees but we'll need a secret sign to identify each other. Looks like quite an event with a lot of good speakers and panels. Stephen Walt, Paul Pillar, Michael Scheuer, and a bunch of others including Dr. Quigley who wrote a couple of great IP books.

      Here's the link: link to natsummit.org

      Hah, I just saw Phil Weiss is listed as a speaker! Maybe we won't need a secret sign.

      NOTE TO MONDOWEISS CENTRAL: YOU SHOULD PROMOTE THIS IMPORTANT EVENT, MAYBE WITH AN ARTICLE OR A NOTICE ON THE MAIN MW PAGE.

    • Worse yet is the moral suicide.

      This piece by Alan Hart Judaism and Zionism: A Divorce in the Making? shows the danger of Jews avoiding the intellectual and moral implications of Israeli Zionism, and how their avoidance could transform anti-Israelism into anti-Semitism.

      link to redressonline.com

      The piece has a great Paul Krugman quote on the reason why Jews aren't coming to terms with the immoral reality of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians:

      Brownfield then quoted the answer to that question given by Paul Krugman, the Princeton economist and New York Times columnist: “The truth is that like many liberal American Jews – and most American Jews are still liberal – basically avoid thinking about where Israel is going.” Krugman’s explanation of why was “the high price for speaking out”, which is “to bring yourself under intense attack from organized groups that try to make any criticism of Israel’s policies tantamount to anti-Semitism”.

      This piece is a must read.

      I think that transformation may already be in its beginning, subtle stages as Jews everywhere are more and more identified with "their" Jewish State and its policies. When we were in Vienna last summer, and I spent our last day at the Mauthausen concentration camp. It had it all: gassing room, ovens, the deadly 170 step climb from the stone quarry to the loading points, all located at the top of a hill in the beautiful Austrian countryside. On the train and bus ride there I thought about how friendly and jolly the Austrians were, and how wonderfully efficient their country. I saw them differently on the ride back to Vienna at the end of that day, and I always will. Unfair to be sure; none of the Austrians I encountered were remotely involved with the Holocaust, yet it is permanently attached to them, as it is to the Germans.

      I find myself beginning to associate Jews with Israel in sort of a semi-conscious, fleeting thought way. Why am I noticing their Jewishness? I don't recall doing that before. Why does my fleeting thought attach them to Israel? None, or at most very few, have anything to do with Israel let alone its oppression of the Palestinians. All I can say is that it seems similar to my post-Mauthausen reaction to the Austrians, a kind of sadness, a disappointment, a sense that there is some moral failure, an indirect responsibility. Unfair to be sure, but that attachment, as fleeting as it is, is beginning in me. I think that's something to worry about.

      I won't transform from an anti-Israelite into an anti-Semite, I'm neither. If anything, I'm an anti-Zionism-as-practiced-in-Israel-ite. But, I am slowly beginning to feel myself seeing Jews as somehow different in that initial, semi-conscious, fleeting sort of way. That scares me personally, and should scare all of us to the extent that my experience may be becoming typical.

  • Effort to remove Jews from West Bank is akin to Nazi slaughter -- settler spokesman
    • "From “The Case for Palestine: An International Law Perspective”, John Quigley"

      Prof. Quigley is listed as one of the speakers at the National Summit to Reassess the US-Israel Special Relationship in Washington DC on Friday, March 7.

      I'd like to get together with any other MW attendees but we'll need a secret sign to identify each other. Looks like quite an event with a lot of good speakers and panels. Stephen Walt, Paul Pillar, Michael Scheuer, and a bunch of others including our own Phil Weiss.

      Here's the link: link to natsummit.org

      NOTE TO MONDOWEISS CENTRAL: YOU SHOULD BE PROMOTING THIS IMPORTANT EVENT, MAYBE WITH AN ARTICLE OR A NOTICE ON THE MAIN MW PAGE, OR BOTH.

    • I can see limiting and eliminating from MW the likes of the Richard Wittys, but I think there is a real benefit in allowing the occasional mindless forays of the Norman F types. While it bores and frustrates us in having to repeatable debunk their nonsense, any reasonably neutral newcomer to MW really benefits from seeing Hostage's (and others') reasoned and documented responses to Hasbara-Central propaganda efforts.

      I just wish we had some sort of MW hasbara response database in which the various Hasbara claims are listed with the debunkings attached.

      My profound thanks to Hostage, and all the others, who continue to have the patience to respond. I wish I had your stamina and dedication.

    • One of the few refreshing things about Avi Shavit's current best seller, My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel is his brutally honest depiction of the 1948 sacking of Lydda by Israeli army forces, the wanton massacres of civilians in the city followed by the infamous Lydda Death March.

      I think Shavit's book is a must read as it provides an invaluable insight into the moral and ethical contortions a well-known and well-respected liberal Israeli Zionist has to go through to justify Zionism and its Jewish State. See my review, Banality in the Promised Land: Admitting and Rationalizing Zionism's Evil Deeds

      link to savingisrael.wordpress.com

  • Transcript: Netanyahu calls on U.S. Jews to fight BDS-- 'eerie' anti-Semites 'on the soil of Europe'
    • Netanyahu didn’t even mention the word “Palestinians” or “the Occupation” even once.

      Good catch Krauss. You've hit on the key item in Hasbara Central's newest approach aimed at delegitimizing BDS: Don't ever say Palestinian, or Occupation, or Settlers/Settlements. Talk only about the antisemitism behind BDS, that it is intended to destroy the Jewish State, to prevent Jewish Self-determination. It's leaders are those nasty Europeans who still want to kill the Jews. BDS is about the Jews, about antisemitism. Fighting BDS is about the Jews. Keep repeating, it's about the Jews. And, for god's sake never say the P word, or the O word, or the S words. It's only about the Jews. Got it?

      This Hasbara Central anti-BDS campaign needs to be pointed out by everyone responding to any attempt at anti-BDS.

      Simply say,

      Why didn't he (or she, or they) say anything about the Palestinians, about the occupation, about the settlements? That's what the BDS movement is about, helping the oppressed Palestinian people. Two million still live in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan. 1.5 million are trapped in the squalor of Gaza. Another 2.5 million live as oppressed people under the Israeli boot in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. We just want some semblance of justice for the Palestinians. Why didn't he, she, or they say anything about the Palestinians, the occupation, the settlements? That's what BDS is about. It's about justice for the Palestinians.

      The new slogan needs to be, "Forget the Jews, what about the Palestinians? Where's their state, their self-determination, their justice?"

  • Scholar explodes 'canonic' American Jewish belief: Russian Czar was behind 1903 massacre
  • Goldberg and Cohen stoke fears of BDS
    • Sibiriak,

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I think you (and also Shingo) are missing my point so let me expand on it. Please do a careful reread of my original post above at 7:17pm so we are on the same page.

      The goal of Zionism has always been to include all of Mandate Palestine in the Jewish State. The only question was how to get there and how to deal with the massive "Arab" population. They were on the verge of doing it in 1948 but settled on a partial solution because Ben-Gurion didn't think they could get away with evicting another million or so on top of the 750,000 already evicted. So they settled for the partial, Green Line border solution and bade their time.

      The 1967 war was seen as the ideal opportunity so they took the entirety of Mandate Palestine while doing some selected evictions (another 300,000 or so). The goal then became to create a "federated" undemocratic state that would wall off the "Arabs" into less attractive portions while moving as many Jewish Israeli citizens as possible into the better portions of the captured territories. At the same time, there was a major commitment and effort toward making "Arab" lives as miserable as possible so as many as possible would leave. They also restricted and prevented re-entry by "Arabs" so as many as possible couldn't come back. There is no mystery to any of this.

      The Israeli version of the two state solution was never to allow a true second state of Palestine. The settlements were intended and succeeded in carving it up so no true contiguous state would be possible, which is where we currently are.

      If the current version of the two state solution is put in place, what will it be? It will be a state that has no control over its borders, its airspace, or access to most of its improved highways (those will remain Jewish). It will not control the Jordan Valley nor will it really have any state-like internal control because the "state" will be broken down into lots of sub-state cantons that will be regulated more by Israel than by a so-called Palestinian state.

      Even if the PA were to agree to the above, how could it meet the definition of a state? It can't. At best it would be a federated state within a larger Jewish state of Greater Israel. Which is my point: Israel created a single state solution in 1967 and has spent the last 47 years solidifying that solution which is a binational, undemocratic federated state. Even the so-called two state solution is nothing more than guise for non-democratic federalism.

      In my view, when the current version of the two state solution is signed, several things will happen:

      1. The Jewish settlements will become legal and permanent.
      2. The restricted areas set aside for the "Arabs" will become legal and permanent.
      3. Jewish ownership of West Bank water and petroleum rights will become legal and permanent.
      4. Jewish control over the Palestinian borders, airspace, the Jordan Valley, etc. will become legal and permanent.
      5. The denial of "Arab" claims of return and restitution will become legal and permanent .
      6. The separation of "Arab" outside refugees from Greater Israel will become legal and permanent.
      7. Etc.

      The "facts on the ground" will then be a single, federated, undemocratic state of Greater Israel in which the "Arab" portion of the federation will have limited autonomy, limited control, and no access or claim to any benefits from the national Greater Israel government.

      So, the only thing on the table is how the current version of the single, federated, non-democratic state of Greater Israel (in place since 1967) can or will be modified. The "two state solution" currently contemplated will create neither a state nor a solution.

      Is there a better way? Only if the Palestinians reject the negotiation process, and the crap being offered and move toward finding a legal solution based on international law. They should also return the keys of control to the occupying Israelis and begin massive non-violent protests. This works only if there is a huge outcry of public support for their plight that would force governments to accept legal sanctions against Israel intended to force a fair and legal solution to the conflict.

    • Siberiak,

      I think the reality is that a single Israeli Jewish state that encompasses all of Mandate Palestine is already in place and has been since 1967. The only changes since then have been the solidification of that single state through massive Jewish settlement and all the military and civilian infrastructure that accompanies that effort. You could say it is a federated bi-national state in the sense that the Palestinian Authority has limited local autonomy in parts of the West Bank, as does Hamas in Gaza, but it is certainly not democratic, not even in Israel proper to the extent that Palestinian Israelis are second class citizens at best.

      A single state solution is not some future outcome. It already exists. The only question is whether Israel will choose or be forced to modify that single state to be truly democratic, or will choose to abandon the West Bank in order to achieve single, largely non-Palestinian, separate Jewish state within the pre-1967 borders.

      A single Jewish state encompassing all of Mandate Palestine has always been the Zionist goal. The only question has been what to do with all those pesky Arabs.

      Recognizing the current existence of a single Jewish state, largely apartheid in nature, is important because it recognizes the ongoing trauma of the Palestinian people caused by Israeli Zionism, and makes clear that Israel has already made a choice for a single undemocratic state some 47 years ago. It's not like we are waiting to see whether Israel will someday decide to do the good thing or the bad thing. They made that decision (the bad one) in 1967.

    • Hop said:

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

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

      Hop,

      "Jewish Self-Determination" is not about a "national group" it's about elevating the status of Jews above everyone else in Israel and its "occupied" territories. It's about reserving all of Palestine as a potential homeland for all the world's Jews, and elevating the human rights of all Jews in Israel and its occupied territories above everyone else. It's about having a higher standard of human rights for one chosen group over all others.

      I've responded in depth to the this concept ("Jewish Self-Determination") in my comment below at 12:28pm. Feel free to reply. It's a topic worthy of greater discussion.

    • The term "Jewish Self-Determination" seems to be the latest attempt by Hasbara Central to humanize (and disguise) the excesses of Israeli Zionism. It has such a reasonable, sensible feel to it. It sounds so rational, so democratic, like it came out the mouth of Thomas Jefferson himself:

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all JEWS are created equal, that JEWS are endowed by THEIR Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

      But wait a minute, the honorable Thomas said ALL MEN (including all Jews). He didn't say there was an exception to the rule that gives Jews a special right of self-determination that trumps that right in all other peoples.

      So there's the rub, the Jewish Self Determination being promoted by Hasbara Central is a special, exclusive Jewish right that allows Zionist Israeli Jews to deny self -determination (as well as those pesky unalienable rights) to Palestinians (Muslim, Christian, Druze, whatever). Now that's ballsy, or, as they say, Chutzpah.

      Actually, come to think of it, maybe they are on to something? What about my right to self-determination as a white, northern European, male, Christian? Don't I have rights?

      If historic victimhood is the standard, why don't black Americans, former slaves who were subjected to a reign of terror in the post-Civil War South as well as continuing discrimination throughout this country, have a unique right to their own exclusive form of self-determination? Maybe we could carve out a special state that would be a haven for Black Americans in case the rest of us decide at some future date that slavery had its benefits?

      The possibilities are endless.

  • Get ready, Kerry will go where no American leader has gone before -- Ben-Ami
    • I think liberal Zionism is (or should be) in the tradition of Martin Buber, Judah Magnes, and others that felt that the only solution was a bi-national, federated, democratic state in which all people would have equal civil rights and protections.

      The problem with liberal Zionism is that it's inconsistent with the Zionism that springs from the psychology of trauma that Avigail Abarbanel speaks so eloquently about.

      link to mondoweiss.net

      I think the so-called liberal Zionists, the wishy-washy sort often criticized on MW, try unsuccessfully to keep one foot in each camp: a foot in the Israel as the last bastion of the eternally persecuted Jew, and the other foot in the camp of liberal enlightenment equal rights values. It simply doesn't work. The two camps are irreconcilable.

  • After all that buildup-- SodaStream ad was flat
    • Annie,

      While I share your enthusiasm, the whole stock market was down today and Sodastream's losses were consistent with the losses of other small cap stocks today, maybe just a tad worse.

      Here's two good articles from Bloomberg News on Sodastream's stock price, John Kerry's comments on the rising dangers of BDS, and Nyahoo's and LiKood's hysterical responses:

      link to bloomberg.com

      link to bloomberg.com

      Scarlett's SuperBore ad came on very late in a total washout of a game. I'd quit watching at the beginning of the second half and was working in another room when my wife yelled that the ad was on. From what I saw, it was unremarkable and unimpressive. She had a cheesy final line in the ad that I can't recall. It seemed a bit political but not anything that most fans would have picked up on or been interested
      in.

  • Oppression by consensus in Israeli 'democracy'
    • The best solution for saving Jews from the Holocaust would have been if the US and other western democracies had not established immigration quotas in the 1920s. Even with those quotas in place, over 250,000 Jews were allowed to immigrate to the US between 1933 and the beginning of the war.

      Some, like FDR were pushing for changes but were facing pressure, ironically from Zionists themselves, to not open the gates to immigration to the western democracies so that more Jews would be forced to immigrate to Palestine.

      There's a lot of blame to go around. The Saint Louis episode gives me chills when I think about it. How could so many countries, including my own, turn that ship and its passengers away? Mind boggling.

    • Sydnestel said:

      Pre holocaust Zionism was also – in large part – motivated by European anti-Semitism, by pogroms, and by fear of even greater pogroms (though its unlikely anyone predicted the full horror of the Holocaust, at least until the 1938/9/40) Herzl was spurred to invent political Zionism by anti-Semitism.

      Zionism certainly was an outgrowth of anti-Semitism, for Pinsker, 2 decades before Herzl, as well as for Asher Ginsberg, and Herzl himself, but that doesn't mean the primary motivator for the mass migration of eastern European Jews to the US was anti-Semitism or the early pogroms. One million or more emigrated to the US just in the last half of the 19th century, and another million or so in the first quarter of the 20th. Plus, millions more non-Jews were coming here. Most left for political reasons, famine, and because of economic opportunity in a huge country with lots of land and a fairly benign political system. If those millions of Jews had accepted the Zionist claim that Jews would only be safe in Palestine, a far higher number would have gone there. As it was, prior to 1933, very few did, and many soon left.

      As a non-Jew without the emotional connection and trauma associated with the Holocaust, I need to be careful here. I am not denying European anti-Semitism or the pogroms, all I'm saying is that the primary motivator was likely economic. The million or so that came to the US during the 19th century, well before the major pogroms of 1903 and after, is certainly indicative of that. Moreover, Pinsker, and even Herzl, weren't insisting on Palestine as the only destination. Places like Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the American West, Canada, etc. (not to mention Uganda) were seen as attractive countries for Jews to settle in and establish large and influential communities, which many did. I would be interested to hear if anything has been written on this subject.

      The irony is that a Jewish State may have indeed saved much of European Jewry had it existed in 1933. (Though obviously at some considerable expense of the Palestinians.) But by the time Israel came into being in 1948, it was too late.

      Probably the best outcome would have been for Zionism to accept the Uganda offer Herzl obtained from the British in 1903. The Mau plateau was huge (nearly the size of the later Jewish State UN partition, fertile, and largely uninhabited. Herzl wanted it to be accepted by the World Zionist Congress, and had the votes. Ironically, it was the eastern European Jews, led by Jabotinsky (as well as Weizmann) who killed the deal by walking out of the conference. We would have a much different world today had they voted in favor of accepting the plan. Millions of eastern European Jews might have survived.

      I appreciate your interesting and thoughtful response and comments Sydnestel.

    • Avigail,

      Having misspelled your last name, I'll resort to using your first. My apologies for that.

      Thank you for your kind and detailed response to my comment below. The absence of a reply button under your response forces me to respond here.

      I not convinced that "psychological trauma is the organizing principle behind Zionism", at least not the only one. While the Jewish Holocaust experience certainly provides more than sufficient trauma, Zionism was firmly in place in Palestine well before the Holocaust. The pogroms might arguably suffice as a substitute trauma but the combined pogrom death toll was minuscule by comparison.

      The mass migration of millions of Jews from the Russian empire to the US and western democracies appears to have been motivated primarily by the economic and political attractions of those countries. Certainly, having the choice, very few Jews chose Palestine which suggests that Zionist arguments that safety for the Jews could only be found in Palestine had very little resonance among those looking for a better and safer life elsewhere.

      I think Holocaust trauma does motivate many Jews to support Zionism and Israel as a last ditch bastion against a future repetition of the Holocaust, but I also think that provides a convenient narrative for Zionists to justify Zionism and specifically Israel's conduct toward the Palestinians, and to attract Jews to support Zionism and Israel.

      If Zionism is about anything, it's about the narrative. Sometimes it's difficult to sort out what really motivates the narrative.

      Holocaust trauma is real and a horrific by product of one of the most ghastly events in human history. Lest anyone be tempted, I am not a holocaust trauma denier.

    • Yonah said:

      "I purposely put quotation marks around “extremist”, because I was unsure of the word. Probably a more accurate word to describe my reaction to your words would be shrill as in loud and grating (and unbalanced)."

      Your explanation for your use of the term "extremist" is disingenuous if not outright dishonest. What you actually said was, "Your “extremist” attitude towards Israel reminds me of Atzmon, " Your reference to Gilad Atzmon in the same sentence shows no uncertainty on your part about the term "extremist". Your direct association of Ms. Abarbenal with the very controversial Mr. Atzmon clearly demonstrates your intent.

      Perhaps you could provide all of us and Ms. Abarbenal with the specific quotes from Mr. Atzmon that reminded you, and why and how those quotes relate to specific comments made by Ms. Abarbenal?

      I won't hold my breath.

    • Once again the reply buttons are scattered randomly around the thread. I'll use my own comment's reply button to respond to Sumud, Shingo, Siberiak, and to Avigail in a separate reply.

      NOTE TO MONDOWEISS CENTRAL: THE REPLY BUTTON CHAOS IS SEVERELY INHIBITING RATIONAL DISCOURSE, THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THIS HIGHLY INFLUENTIAL BLOG SITE. TO NOT FIX THE REPLY BUTTON PROBLEM IS TO UNDERMINE THE VERY PURPOSE OF YOUR SITE. HELLOOOO.

      1. Sumud and Shingo: thank you for the links.

      2. Siberiak: Good point, but I think the expansionist tendencies of Zionism are consistent with its basic tenet, "We must live alone to survive". If the presumption is that all the world's Jews need to be in Eretz Israel to survive, then the acquisition of more lebensraum, by any means, is both necessary and justifiable.

    • Shingo,
      Do you know if the Tidings interview podcast is still available? I really want to read more about her thoughts on the psychology and consequences of collective trauma.

    • In one simple paragraph,Ms. Arbarbanel, you have captured the essence of Zionism and its rationale. Ari Shavit wrote an entire book (My Promised Land) trying to explain (and justify) Zionism to the world but ended up only muddying the waters. To his credit, he admits how far the 1948 Zionists were willing to go to get their near-exclusive Jewish State, and is brutally honest about the horrors of the Nakba and the complicity of Israeli leaders and the Israeli Army in the atrocities and war crimes that took place. Yet, he unapologetically claims it was all absolutely necessary if Zionism and its Jewish State were to survive.

      That seems to be the nub of Zionism. We Jews must live alone to survive. To live alone we must have our own exclusively Jewish country/state. Any measures to gain that end, no matter how brutal or immoral by contemporary standards, are justified. Full stop.

      A necessary corollary that flows from this premise is that anyone who criticizes or opposes Zionism and its Jewish State is necessarily an anti-Semite, either wittingly or unwittingly.

      There really is no happy, middle ground on which Zionism can compromise its underlying premise and agree to a fair and equitable solution that will release the Palestinians from their decades of post-Nakba trauma.

      I share your fear that the Palestinians are there on borrowed time and your worry for them. But I also wonder whether this unwavering, single-minded Zionist Israel may also be living on borrowed time since it is appears incapable of compromising its foundational premise.

      Thank you for your incisive comments. I'm looking forward to reading your Beyond Tribal Loyalties and anything you've written about Zionism and trauma.

  • 'You seem to be on both sides of this legitimate/illegitimate kind of a thing': State Dept. spox says neither Israeli settlements, nor settlement boycotts, are legitimate
    • Hostage,

      Thanks. I'd forgotten what thread our discussion was on.

      How in the world do you manage to keep track of all this stuff? Do you have a special data base for it all? I'm amazed by how quickly you find your research links.

      Any tips on data/link/thread/source archiving would be appreciated.

    • So why isn't this being enforced? Why isn't the 10 percent penalty (duty) being applied?

      Second, if it is a "duty" not a fine, does that mean an importer can just pay the duty and label the product as originating from whenever country it prefers (like "Israel)?

    • People in Washington, whether at the bottom, the middle, or the top of the ladder, tend not to question much. Questioning leads to thinking, which leads to moral dilemmas, which leads to either misery or speaking out. Miserable people don’t last long, and neither do people who speak out.

      Great comment. The banality of those who excuse and enable evil, those bright, ordinary, nice folks we allow to run our government bureaucracy for us.

  • 'NYT' publishes Holocaust trivia on front page
    • Shmuel,

      That comment didn't pass my smell test either.

      “For people like you there’s Israel. Why do you live in Germany?”

      Definitely antisemitic even though couched in seemingly polite language not untypical of those who know that comments exhibiting direct bias are no longer acceptable in polite company. Not even a close call. Comments like that are not inadvertent slurs.

      "Mr. Hernandez, for people of your persuasion there's Mexico (you are from Mexico aren't you?), so why would you choose to live in the USA?"

      Wouldn't pass any reasonable smell test.

      Shmuel, your next to last paragraph seems more problematic:

      There is so much talk here at MW about “dual loyalty”, the existence or non-existence of a Jewish people/nation, the difference between Jews, Zionists and Israelis, and here we have someone who told a fellow German — apparently for no other reason than the fact that she is Jewish — that her national identity is inconsistent with being a German, that she does not belong in Germany.

      Are you suggesting that comments about the "...much talk here at MW about 'dual loyalty'...", (and the other subjects you mentioned), are evidence of anti-Semitism?

      This is a difficult area because anti-Semites (a la David Duke) typically glom on to comments or threads that are critical of Israel or Zionism. But surely that doesn't mean those subjects are pe se anti-Semitic, or all who comment on these subjects are anti-Semites?

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