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Total number of comments: 269 (since 2012-02-16 22:03:16)

Website: http://thepalestineconflict.blogspot.com

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  • Months after saying he won't appear at Israeli foreign ministry events, Amos Oz will do just that in Paris
    • I wonder if this has anything to do with the movie that Natalie Portman has done of Oz’s book about his childhood, A Tale of Love and Darkness.

      I assume you're being sarcastic. In my mind, I have no doubt that it is absolutely marketing for the film. It's obvious. Not that I'm a fan of the "Liberal Zionist" Oz otherwise, either...

  • A new milestone: BDS at the Olympics
    • @ mcohen:

      jd65 says……no gobblethegook

      “Should we not encourage athletes to compete above the politics?”

      yes we can,it was fifa who sugg3sted that in the …… gaza football shot in the foot matter…..

      (note ellipses )

      Are you trying to say something? I certainly hope you're not actually doing your best to get an actual point across.

    • @ hophmi:

      If you’re opposed to violence...

      Define violence. This question/request is not an evasion. And I would suggest that if one answers that it's a dumb question, or that "Everyone knows what violence is. Why would you ask that?," that person would either be a simplistic thinker, uneducated in the ideas and realities of occupation/resistance/war, or that they simply pretend to be simple minded to be able to serve their ideological perspective. How do you define violence? In one context, can a particular action considered "violent", while in another context that same action would not be considered violent? Or violent to a much lesser degree? Are these questions not what you wanted in reply to your transparently simplistic post? Do these questions make you angry, wanting to become violent by smashing in your computer screen?

      ...then you can condemn Hamas...

      How wonderfully simplistic and reductive of you. "Condemn Hamas." Is this like how we should all condemn The United States of America? Or we should all condemn Islam? Or maybe we should all condemn Christianity? Oh, wait... Let's all condemn Men. Yeah, that's a good one. gain, you are as transparent as the day is lone. And exceptionally easy to expose.

      ...then you can condemn... the Egyptian junta which Islam El-Shehaby represented at the Olympics.

      I no basically nothing about the "Egyptian junta" of which you speak. But don't worry. You'll soon enough make the leap that since I don't much about that situation, I shouldn't be speaking out against Israel's policies and crimes. Enjoy...

    • @ Mooser:

      Wow, “Hophmi”, it’s like you were right there with me when I formed my first opinions and drew my first conclusions about Zionism!

      LOL. I thought the same thing when I read that. Not that I'm necessarily a fan of psychology, but it struck me as "projection" of the highest order.

      Or, as is often the case in my opinion, simply (and knowingly) accusing the victim of the violent, unethical, immoral behavior one commits himself/herself; which accusation can then come off as some sort of projection; which projection can then be spun as some sort "psychological trauma;" which trauma can then be spun as the reason for one's own violent behavior, thus deflecting blame under cover of some quasi unavoidable mental condition (oh, wait, lemme see... The Holocaust Trauma Gene!). Par for course, I guess...

    • That doesn't make sense. In fact, it is nonsense:

    • Hey yonah:

      Clearly the only way to combine the attitude of the Olympics and bds, is to forfeit any match against an israeli...

      Palestinians forfeiting any match w/ Israelis? From my observations over the last couple decades, it's not average behavior for a Palestinian to back down ("forfeit") from a match w/ an Israeli. Though, for some reason, Israel and its apologists still feel, and believe, the Palestinians should simply roll over and play dead. The Palestinians I've met and read about aren't about to do that. And more power to them.

      Everyone in the choir approves , but to everyone outside the choir you look childish...

      I guess the next time I need to check and see if my opinion on something jives w/ "the choir" or the rest of the world, I'll send you a query to check myself. I wouldn't want to look childish...

    • If everyone had that kind of attention to human rights, I don’t believe it would be appropriate for anyone to shake the hands of anybody else. Let’s face it folks, there’s plenty of blood on the hands of all nations. We live in a socio-politico world of infinite shades of grey, some things much darker than others, but none are lily-white.

      Moral relativism gobbledygook. The usual Israel apologist gibberish.

      The Olympics is one of the few places where all nations can compete on an equal playing field (in a perfect world)...

      It's not a perfect world (and you know it), so the playing field isn't level (and you know it).

      Should we not encourage athletes to compete above the politics?

      No. We shouldn't.

      How about saying “I shake your hand and compete with you as a human being in these Olympic games, but I protest the actions of your government.” What’s wrong with that?

      What's wrong w/ that is that it appears from your comment that you think Islam El Shehaby shouldn't be able to, or feel free to, express his protest as he sees fit. ie: To refuse to shake the hand of a competitor who is representing a country he feels is violating international law, rights, ethics, etc. It's not your place to dictate to him how he protests.

    • Islam El-Shehaby is a hero. Good on him for his principled and courageous act of non-compliance.

    • Great piece Nada :) Really... Important, thorough, timely, right-minded, and very readable. Just fantastic.

  • Dershowitz will play Trump in Clinton's debate rehearsal, WNYC reports
    • LMFAO.

      One clown impersonating another, in the service of preparing a war criminal for the presidency of the U.S.A. You can't make this stuff up, people. Maybe I won't regret leaving this world...

  • Jill Stein defends BDS in CNN town hall
    • Hey Reality Check 101. As laudable as your reason is for the all caps moniker, imo it's still no excuse :) But I hear you...

      And yeah, the follow-up comments notification thingie hasn't been working for me for a while here. But I long ago gave up on trying to deal w/ the technological "bugginess" of the forum here at MW. It is what it is. Some of the articles are good and important (some more so, some less so). And some of the conversation and information one gets through these comment sections is good and important (some more so, some less so). A while back I decided to do my best to let all the design issues w/ whatever program this forum is running on just go: link to youtube.com

    • Kay24: One culprit at a time. Let us start with the one that gets the MOST aid, support, and protection from us...

      hophmi: LOL. You mean Iraq? Here, here.

      Wow, hophmi. If that's an honest comment/observation/thought from you, it's maybe the most hysterically, self-deluded, freakishly myopic and uninformed response I've ever read. On any internet board. Or any forum. Or anywhere on the internet, really. Anywhere. Ever. Wow. Or, of course, then again, maybe it's just some average button pushing? Either way...

    • @ REALITY CHECK 101:

      <i.Am I forgiven?

      Nothing to forgive. The internet is not known for it's ability to translate people's humor/irony/sarcasm consistently. Sometimes it just doesn't come across for certain people (like me, I guess). And then sometimes it does.

      However, you are not forgiven for your ALL CAPS Mondoweiss handle :) There is no excuse for that...

    • I think a large percentage of the population (and, honestly, more self-professed "liberals" than "conservatives") are folks Dylan coulda been singing to in "Positively 4th Street":

      You just want to be on the side that's winning.

      It's sad, stupid, dangerous, and these people don't realize that they're killing what they believe they're trying to save. Hoffman was likely right. It's over. They won.

    • "Stein is obviously aware she can never be elected, otherwise she wouldn’t have chosen a running mate with the name Ajamu Baraka."

      Are you unaware that the name of the president of the United States is Barak Obama? Reality check, indeed...

    • "What’s the sense of voting against something only when you know it won’t be against?"

      Say what?

      "If you want to pull the party... to what you're thinking, you must, you must show them that you're capable of not voting for them. If you don't show them you're capable of not voting for them, they don't have to listen to you. I promise you that. I worked within the democratic party. I didn't... have to listen to anything on the left [.] while I was working in the democratic party because the left had nowhere to go." - Lawrence O'Donnell.

      This.

  • The breathtaking arrogance of Alan Dershowitz's 'advice' to Black Lives Matter
  • Beinart calls anti-Zionists 'revolutionaries'
    • Hey all,

      My "there's a textbook" question was essentially a joke. Of course revolutions are studied at university. That's a given. And judging from some of the responses here, I guess there are textbooks devoted entirely to the history of revolutions designed specifically for college/university study? ie: Textbook? That I didn't know. I simply wanted to deflate and joke about the parsing of the term "revolutionary" as relates to Beinart's use, BDS, BLM, etc... As I see it, as related to Palestine, spending time on the fine points of people's perceptions of the meaning and usage of that term is mainly a distraction from the wrongs being perpetrated upon the Palestinians. A kind of semantics. Much like my memories of my philosophy classes in college. I see a theme here...

    • Thanks again inbound39.

      jd65….in my view NF is correct. All UN Resolutions are bound in International Law and All Sovereign States agree on joining UN to comply with and abide by their obligations under International Law...

      I hear you. And it's been a while since I've actually read through the resolutions. I'm not a lawyer, and I'm not purporting to be an actual expert. But I have done what I feel is a decent amount of personal research, comparatively, and study on the issue. I'll go back and check out the resolutions again.

      A few layman thoughts on NF's statement (still don't know if it's a paraphrased quote or what. I guess Phil doesn't read these comments. I wouldn't either if I was him...), and the general idea that "The two-state solution is now international law." Is it possible that what was once international law, can become undone as "law" if, after the fact, circumstances create a situation where the law is unreasonable or unenforceable, or for some other reason invalid? ie: Israel fucking everything up and the U.S. allowing and aiding in this fucking up of the possibility of the international law's concept of said two-state solution? And if this is the case (the undoing of the possibility of the original law's conception), does not a new "law" need to be created? And if this new law does need to be created, doesn't that make NF's statement "The two-state solution is now international law" simplistic and outdated?

      Sorry if my thoughts are muddled or hard to follow. I will go back over the next few days and do my best to again go through 181, 194, & 242. But at the moment, my thought is that whatever these resolutions/laws, binding or non-binding, delineate about partition, green lines, states, peoples/nations, or occupations, whether 1947, 1948, of 1967, whatever was decided in them cannot possibly make any reasonable sense currently. But I guess you never know...

    • @ Mr.T:

      they’re almost the textbook definition of revolutionaries.

      There's a textbook?! I didn't know they taught revolution at university. What'll they think of next...

    • Thanks for the response, inbound39. I've read your other stuff beneath as well. And talknic's comment. To me, it all ads up to NF's statement, "The two-state solution is now international law...," being, as I initially said, simplistic and self-serving. But some of the "legal" aspects of "partition" are so tortured and tangled (by design...), that I feel I may still may be missing something that makes NF's statement reasonable. But it seems he now uses the term/concept of "international law" as a bludgeon to beat people with who don't share his conception of the correct way to proceed w/ a resolution to the conflict. And I still don't know if Phil Weiss was directly quoting him in the above article. Can't tell. And that's kind of a problem, journalistically, methinks.

      Either way: Two state solution? Legal? Ethical? Is it following international law? Which two state solution are we referring to? Who wanted what? And when? And why? On and on and on... It's a testament to the unfortunate success and cunning of the Israeli/Zionist project that now even bringing up the subject of the "two-state solution" turns into a relatively useless navel-gazing session, as NF, ironically, might say...

    • Good article, Phil.

      [Finkelstein] challenged anti-Zionists: The two-state solution is now international law, do you understand the damage you are causing in undermining that paradigm by suggesting to people you want to “destroy Israel,” and (implicitly) what bloodshed you in your dreamy chairs in the United States are risking for others, far away.

      Is this a paraphrased quote from NF, and the quotes around “destroy Israel” are a direct quote within the para[hrased quote? It's a bit confusing. I went to the vid to find it but didn't want to spend the time right now. Is it when he's talking about BDS? Or the term Zionism? His spiel of why using the term Zionism should stop is, imo, ridiculous self-serving nonsense. And his back and forth w/ Baltzer on this was the most interesting part of the whole event. Good on Baltzer for not bowing to NF.

      Also: “The two-state solution is now international law...” Is it? I don't claim to know otherwise, but that seems to me like an overstatement. Maybe a simplistic, self-serving overstatement. But again, I absolutely could be wrong here. And if anyone here can point me to a reference that shows me the international law codifying the two-stae solution, I'd want to see it. Sincere request...

      Beinart’s prayer that Israel’s defenders must show that “Israel’s existence does not preclude a viable Palestinian state” is simply that, a prayer, and an empty one. All the evidence over the last 28 years since the Palestinian concession on the two-state solution is that Zionists don’t want a Palestinian state, now less than ever.

      Good, Phil. I would've written “century” instead of your “28 years,” but that's a quibble...

      A friend recently said that Beinart was a few drinks and one late night argument short of endorsing BDS...

      I think your friend has had too many drinks :)

      At J Street a couple of years ago he said that if Zionism fails, the consequences for Jewish life would be calamitous; we would be stumbling through the rubble of this dream for decades to come. And he’s right!

      If it fails? We're already “stumbling through the rubble” of Zionism's dream right now, and it's unfortunately succeeding. Of course, keep in mind the “rubble” created by Zionism in “Jewish life” is nothing compared the endless rubble of exploded hospitals and bulldozed homes of the Palestinian victims. The “rubble created in Jewish life” by Zionism? Please. By comparison, that's just truly sickening.

      They believe that Palestinians should have equal rights and be able to vote. It’s that simple.

      Almost that simple. I'd add the right of return and reparations. Maybe you felt that was implied in what you wrote. And that's cool. For me, that stuff needs to be spelled out as specifically as possible, as often as possible.

      And as far as the navel-gazing over the term “revolution;” Seems to me that “revolution” is now a marketing tool. Ernesto rolls in his grave. Oh well. As ever, specifics specifics specifics...

    • The clip Weiss provides above from The New School is interesting. I was there as well and broke up the discussion into 4 parts. If anyone feels it would be easier to view in chunks, you can find them below. The back and forth between Finkelstein and Baltzer in the question/discussion period, after the opening remarks, is key. I remember feeling Finkelstein came off as smart (no surprise there...), and funny ("Zionism is a hairspray..."), but also kinda condescending and a bit rigid. This was the first time I'd felt this way after hearing him speak. And I feel he has only become more so since then. In my mind, he's a valuable resource and deserves much credit, but he is unable to break from ideas/positions he's formed over the decades even when they no longer make as much sense as they used to. I haven't yet finished the above article (just got home from work), but plan to soon...

      link to youtube.com (Shatz)

      link to youtube.com (Baltzer)

      link to youtube.com (Finkelstein)

      link to youtube.com (Baltzer/Finkelstein debate-discussion)

  • White Jews and uppity blacks
    • @ Keith:

      One of the reasons that the Irish and the Ashkenazi Jews were able to succeed in this country is that their skin color allowed them to blend in with the dominant elites in a way impossible for Blacks.

      Agreed. There's a term for this, no? Invisible minority?

      ...although Jews seem to retain this sense of victimhood. Victimhood. It ain't just a river in Egypt my friend...

    • To me, the word white means the color white; the color surrounding this black text I'm typing right now. Unless otherwise specified, this is what it means to me. Having white colored skin, or other colors of skin tone as well, will mean different things to different people. Or, maybe, not mean so much. And may, or may not, depending upon context/circumstance, affect one's life in certain ways - positive or negative. White is a color.

    • @ Krauss:

      The vast majority of so-called “liberal” Jewish Zionists are not liberal at all when it comes to Israel.... People overestimate just how much liberalism there is in American Jewry, at least for those above the age of 40.

      My experience gives me this same impression. But I'm not sure I'd've included "at least for those above the age of 40." Unfortunately, younger Jews I've spent time w/ appear to be just as "PEP" as their older counterparts. But this is just my impression. Most often, when folks who identify as Jewish American say they're "liberal," they mean they're for gay and women's rights. "Social/Cultural liberals." But for other issues - geopolitics, terrorism, economics, foreign policy, Israel - all bets are off.

      I've been saying this to my friends and family for years: The terms liberal/left/progressive often have no longer have meaning. Their used as sledgehammers or false bragging rights. I can't tell you how many times I've heard people tell me, with puffed chests and aggressive pride, just how tremendously progressive/liberal they are. As if they were the second coming of Eugene Debs. Only to speak w/ them in detail the very next minute about some issue or other (Yes, often Palestine) where their attitudes at most melba toast moderate, or actually quite "conservative/right" in my mind; all the while labelling them as "progressive." At this point, when someone tells me they're [insert political identity term], I ignore it. Too often, it's simply completely meaningless. We're in a time where one needs to be more specific.

  • Trump's vomit is media gold
    • @ Theo:

      Since a century in the USA we [have not had] a single president who would qualify for being a peaceful person.

      Agreed.

      In that case [Trump] may just qualify for being a peaceful president, if...

      You're much more "optimistic" than I, concerning Trump. And if I'm completely honest w/ you, "optimistic" isn't the word closest to my feeling.

      My point in asking Vera which journalist she got that quote from was determine if it was basically concerning Trump/Clinton. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who thinks that a vote for either one of them is a vote for peace is... ahh... Naive. To put it lightly. But I'm a loser w/ nothing...

    • Hey Vera:

      As an American journalist put it recently: you are voting either for peace or for war. Take your pick.

      Do you recall which journalist? Depending on the context of the comment, he or she could have been implying that voting one or another specific candidate would be voting for war, whereas voting another specific candidate would be voting for peace. I'd be very interested to know which, if any, specific candidate this particular journalist feels would be a vote for peace...

  • Libertarian candidates say US policy has only made Middle East more dangerous
  • Former AIPAC official says Israel should get no US aid without ending 'oppressive' settlements
    • Former AIPAC official says...

      This reminds of the regular "Former U.S. military generals/officials say...," or the classic Scott McClellan "Former White House press secretary's book..." These people never have the stones to speak out when it matters. They wait 'til after the damage is done because they don't wanna jeopardize their precious jobs and income. And then they want credit for being after-the-fact whistleblowers. Makes me sick...

  • For millions of Arab and Muslim American voters, this election is an emergency
  • Sam Harris and the politics of 'good intentions'
  • The 'New York Times' is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism
    • @ johneill:

      Citizen, they can claim the right to criticise israel because it presents itself as the end-all-be-all of Jewish life... Assuming the "they" in that sentence means Jews, I'd personally say it's not a right, but an obligation. Every person has the "right" to criticize whatever they want. Free speech and all that jazz :)

      [Israel is]... forcing a moral choice on other Jews to accept or reject zionism, & what results. Agreed.

    • Hey CitizenC: What, pray tell, is “Jewish anti-Zionism”?... “Jewish anti-Zionism” is meaningless, because the notion “secular Jew” is meaningless. Well, you may think it's meaningless. And I can understand why some may think it's "meaningless." Even I myself have moments when i think it's meaningless. See here (On Leaving from top of page): link to thepalestineconflict.blogspot.com

      But unless you're completely self-absorbed, uninformed and have been living under a rock your question "What, pray tell, is 'Jewish anti-Zionism?," is intellectually dishonest transparent nonsense. Never mind the B.S. arrogant "pray tell" condescension.

      However, I will say that when I read the headline to this article, The ‘New York Times’ is dead set on marginalizing Jewish anti-Zionism, I will say that my first thought was, "Oh, really? Did I miss something? Does Alison Weir now have a weekly column alongside Maureen Dowd? The NY Times now gives lots of space to non-Jewish anti-Zionist pieces now?"

  • America's iron fist in the Middle East
  • Palestine stands for the larger divide in the Democratic party
  • Bill Clinton attacked all Muslim Americans during his speech to the DNC
    • @ echinococcus...

      But meanwhile, let’s hear these famous “differences”. One by one, and exactly.

      Sure. I don't know about "exactly," but telling you my thoughts on differences between Trump and Hillary is pretty easy. And you asked for it "one by one," so I'll make a list:

      1) Immigration policy. Trump talks about banning Muslims, building a wall, calls Mexican migrants criminals and rapists, etc. Hillary doesn't. To borrow a phrase from Trump, in my ind this difference is HUGE.

      2) Minimum wage. I've heard Hillary speak on raising this, and of course Bernie was also good on this issue. Hillary is, admittedly, not very convincing on this, but if enough pressure is kept on her on this issue, she may raise the minimum wage to a ore livable rate. I don't see Trump giving a shit about this. In fact, didn't he say something about wanting to erase the minimum wage concept entirely?

      3) College affordability. Again, same as the minimum wage issue. Bernie was more convincing, but if pressure is kept up, Hillary could very well produce some results here. Whereas Trump clearly sees colleges and universities as businesses designed to make maximum profit.

      4) Health care. Everyone knows that this has been a major concern throughout Hillary's entire life. I believe she honestly wants affordable health care for all. I don't believe Trump gives a shit about anyone's health but his own, and I haven't heard him talk about any ideas on how to help folks get affordable coverage. He may have spoken about it and I just missed it, I don't know...

      5) Equal pay for woman. Clinton speaks on this. I haven't heard trump speak about it. And if you believe Trump cares about this, and will act on it, as much as Hillary does, you need your head examined. If you don't care so much about the issue, well that's another story...

      6) Environment. From what I understand, Trump basically denies climate change. 'Nuff said.

      7) Abortion. Hillary is unequivocally supportive of a woman's right to choose. My understanding is that Trump is hard to pin down on this, or has had different stances through the years. And his running mate, as I understand, is staunchly pro-life. This is maybe thee most intractable issue in politics. I happen to be pro-choice. But I understand the pro-life view. This issue will never be "resolved."

      8) Gun Control. Honestly, from what I've read and heard, I'm not sure who's better on this one. My gut tells me Hillary.

      9) In Hillary's speech at the DNC the other night, she mentioned something very interesting to me. She mentioned she would give a tax break/incentive to businesses who "profit share" w/ their workers. I believe her plan also involves breaks for the businesses if they involve workers in the decision making processes of the business. I don't know if she's laid out specifics on this, and it certainly could be not as good as it sounds. But the mere mention of wanting businesses to "share profits" with their workers and giving them tax breaks if they do so, in the biggest, most viewed speech of her entire life, is encouraging to me. And again, since she mentioned it in this historic speech, she can be held accountable if she caves on it, or is too weak on the specifics of the plan. Would Trump speak on wanting businesses to share their profits w/ their workers? Not likely...

      10) Trump is a clown.

      “Policy”? Like endless war all over the freakin world?

      I'm w/ you on that. In my opinion, her undeniable, decades long proven street cred as an "American Exceptionalist" war hawk is right up there w/ the best of all the men ("but if we have a woman as president there'll be no more war" my ass...). With her unconditional diplomatic, military, and financial support of war crimes in Israel being the centerpiece. And yeah, like I said earlier, this giant problem w/ her may enough for me to blow off everything I've listed above, and to simply withhold my vote from her. Honestly, it's weighing pretty heavy on my conscience.

      Anyway, that Blake sure isn’t here to help Palestinian resistance but as a pure Imperialist Establishment propagandist....Look at what he picked up in Eugene McCarthy’s drawer: “This man is basically committing treason by asking Russia to spy on Hillary Clinton…”

      You and Blake can have your own conversation...

    • I hear you BlakeB87. No worries on me voting for Trump. I'm not dumb enough fall for his "populist" crap. He's marketing. He's who, and what, Bill Hicks was talking about in what I consider to be his best bit here: link to youtube.com

      However, even though Reagan was much more composed and well-spoken than Trump, they are both coming from "entertainment" backgrounds. So the fact that a reality tv star is getting political support from our electorate shouldn't really be that big of a shock. And in terms of social policy and business/corporate regulation policy, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump and Reagan aren't so far from one another.

      But I'm still not sure I can vote for Hillary. She's just so awful on Palestine - which, if I was to call myself a "single issue voter" (which I might call myself...) would be my single issue. Even knowing that she is actually better than Trump - the distance between these two major party nominees, in terms of policy, experience, and attitude is bigger than any I can recall since I've been old enough to vote - voting for Hillary would still feel like a grotesque betrayal of the Palestinian people. I just don't know if I can do it...

    • Hello Imraan Siddiqi. First, a brief, honest, and serious disclaimer/qualifier: I don't consider myself a Hillary supporter, and I haven't yet decided how I will vote. In fact, I find Hillary's foreign policy, particularly her overblown, anti-Palestinian/Israel-First rhetoric and policy shameful at best. And, of course, wildly immoral/unethical/illegal at worst. However, I'm also a stickler for language...

      Let’s pause and break this statement down: Hate Terror? – Why yes, in fact – Muslims do hate terror. That is because Muslims are the vast majority of terror victims worldwide... The only time you choose to mention Muslims in your speech is through the lens of terror.

      It's almost like you're saying Bill means to imply that Muslims do not hate terror. But that's plainly absurd so I'll let that go. But implying that Bill C. said this because he “only mentions Muslims through the lens of terror” is major spin. Really? That's what you think he meant? That's forced. It's plainly a response to Trump's immigration nonsense and his racist Islamophobic rhetoric.

      Stay here?... Telling Muslims to “stay here” gives the impression that Islam is something “foreign” or “other” – when in reality, Islam has been in the fabric of this nation since its inception.

      You're reading into this in a very forced, odd way. So you feel that when B. Clinton says “Stay here,” what he means is that Islam hasn't been in the U.S. for a long time, or is “other/foreign?” No. I don't think that's what he means at all. Again, it's obviously a response to Trump's (and many racist, Islamophobic Americans) call for banning muslims and to his immigration policy. Folks who don't like being unfairly demonized and who are in constant fear of incrimination and deportation may very well consider leaving the U.S. Clinton is obviously trying to tell Muslim Americans that he, and Hillary, don't want them to leave due to the racist, Islamophobic rhetoric/attitudes Trump and other Americans use. And that Trump's discriminatory anti-Muslim immigration policy will not be a part of Hillary's agenda. Seeing Bill's statement, instead, as meaning “Islam has not been part of America” or that he meant Islam is “foreign,” is a major spin. I think you're seeing something that isn't there.

      “We want you.” – One has to ask the question: Who is “we”?

      It's obvious that Bill means “Americans,” or, at any rate, the Democratic Party and the majority of Americans who who happen to be reasonable/non-racists. And this, of course, includes Muslim Americans. Again, reading “We want you,” especially in the context of this speech/campaign, as anything other than Bill taking a swipe at Trump's B.S. racist rhetoric/policy, is deep spin.

      The moral of the story is: The minority community does not want to be talked at. Whether black, immigrant, Muslim – or all of the above, we realize that there are societal issues that we are dealing with. We realize that we are facing record levels of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim sentiment. We realize that black men are being killed by law enforcement at an alarming rate, in comparison to everyone else. We realize that these issues need to be addressed and rectified now, and not be pushed aside.

      So you realize that these issues need to be addressed... But just not by folks running for the presidency? Because if they speak out against Islamophobic rhetoric and policy they're merely “talking at you?” Are you suggesting that bullshit Islamophobia should not be countered or mentioned by the Clintons? That for them to say nothing against it is a good, moral tactic? I would say that's, quite literally, nonsense.

      But rather than using our communities as a prop and “talking at” us, it is important to get away from these tropes that we have become so accustomed to hearing.

      I would suggest that the idea that if someone from outside of your community (and remember that “community” can be interpreted broadly or narrowly) expresses their opinion on an issue affecting that community, that they are merely “talking at” you instead of simply expressing themselves and trying to contribute to some sort of conversation, is the trope we should be getting away from.

  • On Jewishness and criticism of Israel
    • Annie:

      i went to their concert during that tour (backstage passes!) in SF — amazing incredible. i even recall what i wore — is that weird or what?

      Weird? I guess that would depend on what you were wearing ;)

    • In 1983, the year before the Stop Making Sense tour, I was a freshman at SUNY Plattsburgh and got to help the crew set up for the Heads show later that night. It was an intensely fun concert. Completely amazing band they were. Tina!

    • @ Annie: Classic...

    • @ Talkback:

      d65: “… the only democracy in the middle east.”

      ROFL. What about Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Lebanon, Kuwait?

      Really? You didn't get that I was mocking Raphael? I thought it was completely obvious. Or maybe you did "get it," and I'm misunderstanding you response? Oh well. I guess that's the internet for ya...

    • @ silamcuz:

      “Silamcuz” are you a member of JVP ??.

      Which chapter, BTW?

      Well, I’m not Jewish lol. Why would I intrude into the sacred safe space designed for progressive Jewish folks when there are so many other avenues for expressing my own thoughts and ideas?

      I am also not white btw, which make me more appreciative of a person’s natural desire to be among people most alike with them, when participating in radical activism. [..]

    • @ gamal:

      embrace the non-identity, and then save all that energy you are wasting on “criticism” of a rickety mental construction for something useful...

      you are turning Jewish identity in to a pointless maze...

      and yes i am a raving anti-identite...

      where is the Jewish Rumi or Loa Tzu[?]

      Indeed. And speaking of "anti-dentite," I don't know about Rumi, but a year ago I uploaded a Seinfeld bit that I see as a pretty serious comment on "personal identity," and it's still funny as hell. And maybe Chappelle's similar identity bit makes him Lao Tzu?

      Seinfeld Identity: link to youtube.com

      Chappelle Identity: link to youtube.com

    • Hey Raphael:

      As a dual citizen of Israel and the US… I consider the reasons for my Zionism to be rooted in both the land of Israel (because I’m now a new citizen) and in the spiritual side of Zion, or Jerusalem (not being actually in the land by living there)…but, I am a Zionist nevertheless… because of my election as a Israelite, and, because my ancestors where Jewish, and, also, my faith in God (the spiritual Zion).

      I generally though became a Zionist as a survival tool to survive in this age of the twenty first century too counter anti-Semitic tactics. But my faith in God is that of a Catholic.

      But, my role as a Zionist constantly changes, that is why I’m happy I became a citizen, of Israel.

      I recommend that left wing activists move to Israel. The first natural thing to do is to make aliyah; it being a relatively simple process of filling out a simple form, and being able to prove that you have at least one grandparent that is Jewish. I’m not a left wing American Jew. I’m a anarchist liberal Zionist half Jew.

      If people on the left want to affect world opinion…and US opinions about Israel; they need to understand the differences between US Judaism and Israeli Judaism, and the best way to do that is to move there. I’m not technically Jewish because my mother is not Jewish; but it was a wonderful experience for me to be able to see how my great grandfather prayed, when he was living in the US when he was the president of a Orthodox synagogue.

      The similarities where the synagogue is in the US and the Jewish community at the time living in a Jewish neighborhood, around the synagogue… and the similarities in how that community in the US is like how Israel is today, at least in the part I was living in is reborn in the country of Israel.

      Back in high school, when I was a young, idealistic, scrappy nihilist who always saw the good in things, we used to go to Synagogue every Saturday morning. Back in those days, I had a passion for Jewish involvement in social justice work and the folk music movement so closely associated w/ that work. Since our temple was quite progressive, they allowed me to bring my boom box to play my Slayer cassette tapes along with the services.

      Looking back now, I can see how Israel, Jewish social justice work, and the folk music/Slayer/Pantera nexus all combined to create my current uniquely Pro-Palestinian, leftist activist work against BDS. My friends used to tell me, "Greg, don't ever give up on that progressive dream of building walls to give people that look similar a sense of hope, security, and cockeyed optimism!" I'm proud to be able to show my friends that I have, indeed, never given up.

      I've recently made aliyah and now live Israel, the only democracy in the middle east. My work mainly centers around bettering the wall near the Wi'am Israel Conflict Resolution Center where the local Israelites show endless appreciation for having our protective wall/shield/fence so close to their headquarters. Every day they tell me how warm, safe, and free they feel because of the work done by myself and countless other selfless evangelical jewish lutherans. Semper Fidelis!

    • Thanks for the response silamcuz. And I don't disagree w/ anything you've said. Especially my leaving being no loss for JVP. Understatement of the century :)

      A couple quick things: First, I did mention my issue of the term "non" vs. "anti" to a couple of the more active organizers in my area. And while it was a good conversation, I did not get the impression that they had any inclination to spend energy on changing that terminology. Second, that single term was in no way the only reason I left JVP. There were many others. If interested in my detailing of these other reasons, go here and read from the top of the page (On Leaving): link to thepalestineconflict.blogspot.com

      I also happen to have a relatively shitty life (no money, no car, no house, etc). For a long time now I've spent nearly all of my free time scraping to get by, looking for work, working at things that don't pay, not letting go of my desire to be a musician, etc. And that is basically no one's fault but my own. But this leaves no time or energy for activist work. Honestly, this is probably just as big a reason for my leaving JVP than any of my other, imo, legitimate reasons I wrote about. Actually doing the work of an activist takes time, energy, & resources. I have comparatively very little time, resources, and increasingly less energy (gettin' older don'tchya know?). However, I pledge to you now that when I hit the lottery, I will rejoin JVP. Oh boy, won't they be so excited :)

    • @ Talkback: So which version of Zionism was the one in which an immigration of Jews and settling in Palestine was not enforced against the will of the country’s majority...?

      The mythical one? The self-serving, tortured "soul searching" and hand wringing over the supposed differences (some real, some not so much...) between the Zionists camps and how if only the compassionate, universalist version of Zionism had won out always makes me cringe. The above article is, imo, less cringe worthy than most. But it still feels, to me, like there's that equivocation in there that lets Zionism off the hook for the massive tragedy of Israel. It reminds me of some folks in the Solidarity Movement (JVP & Campaign To End The Occupation) who use "Non-Zionist" instead of "Anti-Zionist" to describe themselves and there position. It's part of why I left JVP.

      My assumption is that the argument in favor of using the term non-Zionism, or even “Liberal-Zionism,” over the term anti-Zionism is that historically there have been different strains of Zionism and that they had different goals, practices, ethics, etc.; ie: Cultural Zionism, Religious Zionism, Christian Zionism, Practical Zionism, Political Zionism, Messianic Zionism, etc... So I further assume that a “non-Zionist” believes that some forms of Zionism were acceptable, but not others.

      But there's Zionism in theory, and then there's Zionism in practice with its results “on the ground,” if you will. Whatever “strains/forms” of Zionism a “non-Zionist” may believe was the righteous one (I'm waiting for the “Compassionate Zionism” political party candidate to emerge...), the Zionism that has emerged as the undeniably dominant version for a very long time now is the version which occupies Palestine, is political and nationalist in nature, discriminates, murders, etc. The “political vs. cultural” competition within Zionism is over. The political/nationalist form won.

      And whether there was ever a truly clear, total separation between these two basic conceptualizations of Zionism is debatable. As early as 1914, Horace Kallen wrote about practical and political Zionists, “there can be no 'cultural center' without a political center.” For someone as prominent in the Zionist movement as Kallen to write such a thing, as early in the movement as he did, is instructive. My understanding is that there are many other people, events, and quotes that argue toward the idea that the “political” and “cultural” versions of Zionism were never quite so very separate and unique from one another in practice. The romanticization of the early Zionists and kibbutzim as a group of agrarian, open society sweethearts is in line with other types of mythifications of the creation of Israel. I'm not claiming to be an expert, but this is what I've come to understand.

  • No blue sky between Republicans and Democrats on Israel
    • Hey Citizen:

      US main media does not deserve any Constitutional protection because it does not serve to aid informed consent of the US public, and is thus, an anti-democratic instrument instead of the core arm of our democracy.

      Agreed.

      In the case of issues relating to "Jewish identity" and Israel/Palestine (I/P) politics (among other issues), it feels that commonality and true majority attitudes have been obscured or marginalized nearly to the point of oblivion. Yes – a marginalized majority view is not an oxymoron. The existence of this seeming contradiction stems from most of today’s consumed media being more concerned with generating higher ratings/sales through sensationalistic “lowest common denominator” programming than it is with informing the public through in-depth, contextualized stories about issues that effect people directly. This programming and publishing tends either toward extremes or misleading simplifications, and comes in essentially two forms:

      Form #1: Simplistic, longish sound bites posing as investigative news stories. One or two-minute-long de-contextualized reports about the I/P “peace process,” Operation Cast Lead, or “clashes” between Israeli soldiers/settlers and West Bank Palestinians do nothing to inform the general public about what’s actually happening. These reports actually obfuscate rather than illuminate when presented in such a diluted and simplistic manner. The obvious practitioners of this form of news are all the major television networks, CNN, and NPR. These networks have the additional problem of being generally touted and perceived as the best sources of information available. Embracing this perception reinforces one’s acceptance of their drastically incomplete (or overtly incorrect) explanations of world events as being thorough and balanced. Most of the reports these networks and stations produce merely show the public what the issue/event is without informing about the issue. And when it comes to the I/P conflict, even their "what" of the conflict is often incorrect. It’s like a game of show and tell – without the tell. Watching these news programs for an understanding of the I/P conflict is like skimming the preface to Grey’s Anatomy for a thorough understanding of the workings of the human body.

      Form #2: Transparently shrill, bullying hysteria filled with divisively shallow and repetitive talking points and buzzwords. The obvious and most egregious abusers of this extremist style of editorialist “infotainment” journalism are various opportunistic talk radio blowhards like Michael Savage, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, and to a somewhat lesser extent Fox News attentionists like Michelle Malkin, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Laura Ingraham. Increasingly, it seems with many of the most important and polarizing socio-political issues, the loudest voice is often mistakenly perceived as the majority voice. This media phenomenon of regularly presenting the loudest voice instead of the majority voice is what creates this “marginalized majority.”

      These two media forms above are the news equivalents to McDonalds or porn. The consumer is tricked into thinking they’ve gotten the real thing for cheap and fast. These news forms are as mind numbing, unhealthy, lazy, and easy to consume as a Big Mac. They’re also comparatively just as lazy, cynical, and simplistic to produce - making them similarly profitable.

  • The sensitive Zionist -- a review of Natalie Portman's new film
    • Marnie: We know that story.

      hophmi: Do you? I don’t think that you do.

      First: That's rude, hophmi. Second: What's your basis for saying Marnie doesn't know?

    • Hey Atlanta: I’ll be impressed with her when she helps produce a movie about the Nakba and the decades long occupation of Palestine. Yeah. Me too. The little I've heard from her, my impression is that she's a "liberal Zionist," and likely considers herself one. Maybe she's even a "gentler, kinder" Zionist. But sticking the word "liberal" in front of Zionist doesn't make it ok. And my understanding is that Oz is basically the same. Coloring the planned takeover of Palestine from it's centuries old inhabitants with liberal, "sensitive" heart-on-your-sleeve pseudo-liberationistic jargon is a smokescreen. A smokescreen to cover, among other things, ethnic cleansing. It's related to the "shoot, then cry" Israeli modus operandi. My assumption is that's what this film is similar to as well. And I won't be seeing it until I hear different from someone I know, or assume, has a truly Pro-Palestinian attitude. Portman is an excellent actor, and she's been in some truly fantastic movies. But my guess is that this will not be among them. She's lucky to be in a position to be able to make it. I sincerely hope that she knows how fortunate she is...

  • Why Trump's revolution succeeded, and Bernie's fizzled
    • @ amigo: “I wasn’t aware that Trump was running against Bush.” jd65 jd 65 , I stopped reading your post at that point.Didn,t appear to be any point.

      Oh.... Ok. Maybe if you'd continued reading beyond one sentence you'd have given yourself a chance to see the point? I certainly have no interest in spoon feeding you...

    • @ Emory: I, unfortunately, am in complete agreement with your post.

    • @ amigo:

      Yesterday I watched the GOP , should I say , the RNC and what stood out was the massive effort (Giuliani led from the front ) to denigrate Hillary C, (no skin off my nose) by accusing her of sending 4 American soldiers to their death in Libya.Not a peep about the “4” thousand + sent to their death in Iraq ,by Dumbya .No sireee , not a mention.

      They demanded that Clinton should be put in jail for endangering American “security” by sending e,mails but Bush and co get a free pass for causing the death of 4000 +of America,s sons and daughters...

      I wasn't aware that Trump was running against Bush.

      As much as I dislike Trump and G.W. Bush, I'm afraid your post reminds me of the most transparent political hedging we've all grown accustomed to. Sad to say. And as much as you may want to tell me, "Well, Hilary's not perfect, but...," I'd tell you that sounds about the same to me as folks who say, "I know Israel isn't perfect, but..."

      Anyone who takes a serious, honest look at the list of screw-ups/lies-deceptions/scandals Clinton has been involved or implicated in (longer than the list Christie provided the other night) and simply comes back w/, "What about GW Bush?," is someone who is either incapable of looking things in the eye, or someone who is consciously (or possibly subconsciously, I guess) evading the truth.

      I have no respect for Clinton. I have no respect for Trump. Vote Stein. Damn the torpedoes...

  • Eric Alterman wastes ten days in Israel
    • @ Arby and jimby:

      I lost my affection for The Nation years ago when I realized that it’s position that the Democratic Party will save us from the Republicans was awful...

      The Nation, NPR, NY Times etc are all dependent on subscriptions from pseudo liberal progressives...

      Alterman is a perfect example of PEP. Why would we expect otherwise. And yes the Nation is just an appendage of the Democratic party.

      Agreed w/ all of the above. When I saw the documentary on Ralph Nader An Unreasonable Man and had to sit through Alterman's disgustingly myopic, simplistic, shortsighted, thoroughly mean-spirited and self-serving B.S. tirades against Nader (not to mention his equally full-of-crap twin Todd Gitlin), I immediately knew that I could never have any respect for such a brainwashed, party-line whore. Let alone his PEP credentials (maybe this is related to his attitude toward Nader?…). I honestly do not understand many folks' lap dog relationship to the Democratic Party. It's inexplicable, it’s a giant problem, and Alterman can go to hell.

      Generations from now, is it going to be Nader, or Alterman, who will be remembered for representing the true spirit of core "American/Democratic Values," honestly and tirelessly working for Justice in the concrete sense, and actually being responsible for making people's lives better and safer? Hint: it won't be Alterman.

    • You guys got the title of the article wrong. It's supposed to read: Eric Alterman is a waste.

  • Hillary Clinton has a decision to make
    • echinococcus: I wouldn't disagree with your "Pollyanna" assertion (ahem... pardon the double negative...). Meaning: I feel that if someone still is of the impression that Hillary Clinton is going to push a U.S. policy that actually, in substance, is in aid of full human rights for Palestinians (including right of return, reconciliation committees, reparations, actual autonomy, accountability for Israeli war criminals, etc...), which said policy would then, of necessity of course, have to go against the segregationist, anti-human rights/anti-international law wishes and policies of the general American Jewish establishment (ie: AIPAC, J Street, ADL, mainstream temple ideology, etc...), Israeli/Netanyahu policy, and all previous U.S. administrations' policies going back at least 35 years or so, that person either has their head in the sand or simply doesn't understand what's been happening.

      So this applies to the pull quote you took from the "main page" intro to this article. And it could also apply to the article itself, as it nearly finishes up with this: "Mrs. Clinton, I urge you to keep them at arm's length. I understand if you won’t take my word for how toxic they are.” Yakov is writing “them/they” as if the neo-cons and Clinton are strategizing from different playbooks. They’re not. She is they.

      Not really a fan of the article's opening either: "Elie Wiesel might have been the most moral man to have come out of the Jewish people in the last thousand years..." Uhh... No. Maybe by "might have been" Yakov meant to write "was not?" That's be a pretty serious typo, though. And yeah, I know. There's stuff critical of Weisel after that. But that statement as an opening... Blech.

    • @ echinococcus: Nope. I didn't think your post was a response to me :) I was just stating agreement w/ what I thought you were getting at. But even more I was curious about that quote you put into your post since it wasn't from the article itself. As you say, Strange, passing strange... :) I guess those little write-ups on the main page are by the site's editors. That's fine.

    • @ echinococcus: I just read the article and I believe I'm w/ you on the gist of your post (see my earlier post above). But where is your quote from? I don't see it here. Or is it a kind of abstract of the article?

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