Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 563 (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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  • '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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