Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1843 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

Showing comments 1843 - 1801

  • Non-Jewish Israelis remain faceless, nameless, voiceless in 'New York Times' coverage
    • @James

      b), how do they feel to have one day of their week shut down for another religion’s observance?

      I suspect a lot like the Jews in the west do having their weekend be Saturday and Sunday. Same thing. Funny that this one doesn't bother you as much.

  • Herzog lost Israeli election because he didn't have blood on his hands -- Shalev
    • @Blah

      Pretty much here is the problem. Bibi managed to scare lots of rightwing voters who normally would have voted with his coalition partners into voting Likud so as to avoid Labor beating Likud (just party to party) and Herzog being invited to form a coalition. Which means that while he has a tremendously strong Likud , he has created a situation in which the settler party, religious party for Mizrahi Jews (moderate right), Russian party wouldn't mind another round of elections. They certainly don't have an incentive to help Likud / Netanyahu form a government that will easily hold together for 4 years. Which means those parties want a lot of policy concessions or positions to form a coalition with Netanyahu.

      At the same time the centrist parties ran on a platform of economic reform. They want major policy concessions and moderate cabinet positions. They themselves would likely prefer to sit under Herzog though their voters would prefer Netanyahu so they can be as demanding as they want. That combination means for Netanyahu to easily form a coalition he'd have to give away both lots of policy and lots of positions to other parties even though his party won a huge percentage of the vote (25% outright).

      Take for example Jewish home. Jewish home has 12 seats in the last knesset. At their high point they were polling as high as 19. They had deep infighting that knocked them down from 16-19 to 11-13, that infighting wasn't Netanyahu's fault. But then Netanyahu stabbed them in the back and broke his agreement not to campaign against one another and they ended up only getting 8. Were the election held tomorrow where their voters aren't scared of a Labor led government and the anger over the internal issues can be resolves they are at 13+. They'll sit in coalition with Likud but they want either massive policy concessions, the defense ministry or the foreign ministry.

      Remember the Defense Ministry runs the government in the West Bank. So giving Jewish Home (the settler party) Defense is giving the settlers complete control to set law however they want. Foreign Ministry means official adopting the Bennett plan; Netanyahu moving away from supporting 2 states in some vague future along 1967 lines and instead having a policy that he should at least defacto annex 60% of the West Bank. He could do it, but its a major change in exchange for 8 seats.

      You can see his problem. A unity government is looking more and more like the best alternative where he just gives Labor all the small stuff (policy concessions and lower level cabinet) their voters and bureaucracy really cares about and then he can bring in the centrist parties.

  • If Not Now, When?: Jewish anti-occupation activism and accountability to Palestinians
    • @Giles

      Americans for Peace Now which was a huge anti-occupation group was founded in 1981. Tandi which was its predecessor existed from the early 1960s. The Jewish-American peace camp has always existed.

      So no your conspiracy theory is just bunk.

  • Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: An argument
    • @Kris

      Wrote another reply but I don't see it here. Gist of the comment was

      1) When Hillel was alive Judaism was for him the state religion of Judaea. Hillel was forming many of the ideas of what would become Rabbinic Judaism, but he was doing it in a context very much unlike what would exist later. He was inclusive for him Judaism would have meant to varying degrees

      i) People living in Judaea who identified with the nationality
      ii) Descendents of those people living in much of the rest of the empire who still considered themselves ethnically Judaean and worshipped the Judaean God.
      iii) Partial descendants and others who were tied to the religion partially (God Fearers). So for example a 1/2 Jew who sacrificed to both Jupiter and HaShem but identified them with each

      Seeing him in the context of Judaism as a religion in a purely denationalized sense, i.e. something like how 1950s American Jews viewed their religion is reading the present into the past

      2) Hillel's concept of neighbor is universal. He means this in a fully inclusive sense. He was a strong advocate for universal morality. He was a huge advocate for universalism and his school (much more than him personally) continued to advocate for them for the next 2 generations or so.

      Finally Judaism (and this is pretty much across the board, regardless of strain) is not a religion of belief, it is a religion of practice. It isn't like Christianity where saying believing stuff matters much. It is a question of doing stuff. So for example worshipping other Gods is idolatry in Judaism. Whether in your heart you are a monotheist, henotheist or atheist doesn't matter nearly as much. A guy who believes in Jewish stuff but isn't circumcised isn't Jewish, while a guy who is properly circumcised is Jewish.

      The best Christian analogy would be discussion in about how sacraments are ex opere operato; particularly the argument for how paedobaptism can be effectual. Again its a lose analogy because the religions are really far apart but maybe that will help.

    • @Eljay

      Canadians [New France] are not expat French citizens.
      Americans [French Florida] are not expat French citizens.

      They are the descendants of people who used to live in France. An expat is someone who leaves the country of their citizenship. The "Palestinians refugees" are not expat Israelis they were never citizens of Israel. Moreover their ancestors weren't even citizens of Israel since Israel didn't exist when their ancestors lived their.

      You need to think through your analogy a bit.

    • @Eljay

      France is not looking to be a nation of its expats. The people of New France (today chunks of Canada) can't vote in French elections. The people of French Florida can't vote in French elections and vote in American elections. Amapá vote in Brazilian elections. Etc... Infinite claims on "expats" are precisely the kinds of based on race that France rejects.

      Now unlike normally you did mention "n-generations" if n=1 then you have the sorts of parentage laws that most countries have. But that's rejecting not accepting the BDS claim with regard to refugees.

      As for you claim that Israel doesn't aim to have its nationals and its citizens unify I'd say the history disproves that pretty clearly. In the 1970s this claim wasn't made with respect to Jews but instead "European Jews" because they Mizrahi population hadn't been fully absorbed yet. Now you have to say "Jew". If you want a non-Jewish example you can see with with Russian Christians. The Israeli Arabs were being successfully absorbed until the early 1980s and even since then there has been a lot of progress.

      You just have weird criteria for a state. Mostly the criteria isn't true of any other state. And that it should be applied equally to all, except only to the Jewish state. I've pointed this out to you again and again and again in cases like Japan.

      France has always been culturally Catholic. To be fully French is to have a culture in line with the culture of Catholic Europe. The degree to which a minority can refuse to accommodate itself to French culture and not suffer legal and financial penalties is pretty low. In the one case you applaud it in the other it becomes some immoral supremacist doctrine.

    • @RoHa

      “Everybody acquired territory by force”

      Maybe so. That doesn’t mean (a) it wasn’t wrong, and (b) we should sit back and let it happen.

      OK. We are probably less than a century from having the technology if we so choose to extinct all the plants and shift the atmosphere back to carbon-nitrogen so as to undo the first major conquest from the anaerobic bacteria. I know of 0 people who advocate that position. So obviously people are OK with conquest. You have a problem with your point (a) and (b). It isn't always wrong and quite often we not only should but do sit back and let it happen.

      Once we accept that essentially all countries are a product of conquest that ceases to be a reason to single Israel out. If one is going to be opposed to people's living on land gained by conquest, in a consistently held moral position then they are going to need to be opposed to all people living anywhere. Heck the Palestinians gained Palestine in the 7th and 8th century through conquest, one could view the Jews justifiable reversing their unjust gains if we were going to apply your system. It works equally well in both directions.

      So what? The right to establish a state does not depend on “national aspirations” or being a “distinct group”. The right is simply that of all the people within a specific territory

      You are 100% wrong here. The way we device territories is based on their national features not their geographic features. That's why France and Germany are two territories and not one, and Russia which in the Ural mountains has the largest geographical divide in all Europe is one territory. Having national aspirations and being a distinct group is precisely the criteria for being a nation entitled to a state under the nation-state system.

      Now as for the rest:

      I am not denying that Israelis born in the territory have the right to live there

      Israelis today were almost all born in Israel. Palestinian refugees today were almost all born in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan... Believing that people have the right to live in the territory to which they were born completely contradicts BDS. It also contradicts anti-colonialism. Anti-colonialism makes strong racial claims to land. The destruction of white Africa was based on the idea that people do not have the right to live where they were born. You have to decide if you are an anti-colonialist and thus firmly a political racist, or if you support equal rights for all people everywhere.

      Yes, every Jew is a human being and deserving of equality with every other human being. Claiming that Jews have a right to take over a chunk of country from someone else is not claiming equality but superiority

      Superiority to whom? That's how all people live. Under your system why do the French / Franks have the right to take over a chunk of Visigoth territory? If you want to claim a moral principle it needs to be applied in an equal fashion to all peoples and all situations.

      The people of Palestine lived in Palestine, not a wider region.

      That is false at the time we are talking about. The Levant people lived in the levant: Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and large chunks of Jordan. That most certainly is a wider region. We know there was heavy migration throughout the Levant during the 19th and early 20th century.

      You have done a wonderful job in ignoring our repeated arguments that being French means being a citizen of France.

      I'm not ignoring. That's an entirely different argument than the anti-colonial argument. Anti-colonialism asserted that Christians and Jews were not Algerians, the opposite of what you are arguing for in this paragraph. You are trying to have multiple completely contradictory theories of politics.

      If you want to argue France as a model that's fine. There is a French nation, there is a territory of France and there is a French state. The French state exists to serve the French nation. The territory of France is governed by the French state. The people who live in French territory are almost all part of the French nation to greater and lesser degrees and are almost all assimilating towards greater membership in the French nation. That's exactly what should be true of Israel and what Israel is aiming for. Arguing for the French model i.e. the nation state is not contradicting Zionism, it is agreeing with it.

    • @Talknic

      You aren't reading the replies. For example I said quite specifically

      “I would need to see some evidence that were the Gazans to agree to live in Gaza in peace with Israel that Israel would reject that offer.”

      And you respond: The offer was made in front of the world at the UN , Israel ignored it and continued to build illegal settlements. With a link that includes mostly territory other than Gaza.

      The point in question is not whether the Palestinians in the West Bank are willing or not willing to live in peace but whether the Gazans are. The Gazans have not indicated that they are. The rest of your argument boils down to begging the question. You assume that the West Bank is not part of Israel and then make assertions based on that.

      Certainly it isn't circular for a UN absolutist to assert that the West Bank isn't Israel, but most of the others here make a moral claim that the UN had no right to draw borders where it wants. And that does contradict UN absolutism. If the UN has the right to expel the Jews from Ariel, Betar Illit, Maale Adumim, Modi'in Illit it has the right to expel Palestinians. I don't agree with you on UN absolutism but that's the point of disagreement. I'm not asserting that UN absolutism and the 2SS based on it is self contradictory (though I do think your claim about the 1948 border and not the 1967 border contradicts UN absolutism since the UN has accepted the 1967 border numerous times). But for those who argue that borders should be based on criteria like consent, self determination, popular will... and not UN absolutism they do contradict your position.

    • @RoHa

      Your assertions about who have what rights are merely assertions. I can easily assert X has a right to do Y for anything, that doesn' t prove much. Mr. Slater is trying to convince Jews. A moral system, like the anti-colonial system, which argues that change of ownership is inherently immoral and thus Jews must be permanently denied the rights shared by other nations because they lost a war in the 1st century, is unlikely to be convincing to Jews. In the end either you agree Jews are humans and deserving of equality or you don't and you agree with Hitler that they are parasites on humanity and not deserving of anything. I get that you think that Jews should have endured centuries more of their destruction so as not to displace some vague claim to Palestine by a group of people who lived in a much wider region including Palestine.

      But Jews are not going to find an argument for their permanent slavery convincing. They are not going to agree to their own inequality. Jews believe that Jews have the same right to Judea, as Chinese do to China and French do to France. There are Jews who are perfectly comfortable with Jews living in permanent subordination, but they are rare. I get that you fully support the destruction of Zionism / Israel / the Jews. But the fact you find that a good program doesn't mean Jews will. If you want to be convincing on a moral argument for Jews it is going to have to come from a place that includes the full equality of Jews.

      Everybody acquired territory by force. Everybody. If the argument is that no one has the right to live where their ancestors conquered then no one has the right to live anywhere. Get rid of oxygen and give the planet back to the anaerobic bacteria because they are the only original inhabitants anywhere. Everyone else stands thousands of generations of conquest. The Palestinians if one wants to assert their heritage were the agents of many iterations of brutality and slaughter.

      As an aside. Your comment about rights is also historical wrong. In the mid 1800s when Zionism started, there was no distinct group of Palestinians. The people whose descendants would identify as Palestinians didn't have an independent national aspirations. They likely would have wanted greater autonomy or a more fair and just system of government. The pan Arabism that saw Palestinian Druze, Christians, Muslims... as one people didn't exist yet. The Levant people's lived in an empire, and had a political ideology mostly in sync with those that exist in empires (which incidentally is far closer to what most Mondoweissers actually want than anti-colonialism's strong national identity): weak national identity, porous borders, free movement of people and goods, rapid cultural exchange, frequent intermarriage between nations... Asserting that the Palestinians had the right to construct a nation-state based on strict geographic criteria is like asserting that they had the right to construct a satellite telescope.

    • A few comments. On the definition of terrorism there are really 2 core definitions that are in use:

      1) The use of violence short of war against a population to change political opinion.
      2) Violent actions by militias not in control of specific territory (i.e. not a government or guerrilla organization) as a way of exerting political pressure.

      Now mostly these tend to be related. But they are not the same. For example state terror meets criteria (1) but not criteria (2), while something like the French resistance meets criteria (2) but not criteria (1).

      The reason that (2) is often used is because of thinking of terrorism as a Crome. Government is the unique entity empowered by the nation to use violence in the collective interest, in particular to shape opinion. In America the government has used imprisonment (i.e. forcibly grabbing people and throwing people in cages for long stretches of time) to change attitudes towards actions that they would otherwise like to engage in: drugs, prostitution, underage drinking... Coca-Cola has to convince me to engage with them, government by definition can initiate an engagement. The degree of force the government uses in shaping public opinion then comes down to the degree to which the broad public disagrees with the government's policy and the degree to which the leadership considers the disagreed with policy essential.

      The USA for example was willing to threaten violence against the South during the civil rights era to enforce federal court rulings. link to The ability to have law is ultimately the ability to effectuate violence on parts of the civilian population. They are the same thing. The entity that controls the army and the police is the government.

      Which is why we tend to distinguish between violence committed by governments and violence committed by individuals the later only being a "crime".


      I also think your argument is not going to be all that persuasive to Jews. For example you have a long section where you talk about how illegitimate the initial Zionist goal of establishing a state was. While with the Palestinians Israeli actions are: , so have their essential purpose, which is to maintain the occupation and prevent the Palestinians from reaching their just goal of an independent state. That is precisely the same kind of argument that Governor Ross Barnett could have made. He could have said that the white people of Mississippi are legitimate citizens who founded the state and thus have a just cause to rule while the black people are illegitimate products of the war of northern aggression and thus should not be permitted to rule. Either you believe in equality of all people or you don't. If you are going to argue for a permanent racial inequality where Jews do not have legitimacy and others do, I'm not sure why you would expect Jews to find that argument convincing.

      Moreover I should comment that your goal is just wrong. The goal of Israeli actions so far in the West Bank is to inhabit and live there. They aren't merely occupying they are migrating to it building homes and infrastructure. The same way Americans have migrated West over the last few generations. Obviously Israel does not agree that the Palestinians have a just right to an independent state in the West Bank given that they have formally annexed chunks of it, and de jure annexed a majority of it.

      As for Gaza I see no evidence that Israel doesn't want Gaza to be independent. It is the Gazans that has mostly attacked and harassed Israel since the 2005 withdraw. I would need to see some evidence that were the Gazans to agree to live in Gaza in peace with Israel that Israel would reject that offer. As you are willing to admit, Hamas has been quite inconsistent in their rhetoric and even on those who are consistent they have been consistent on 1967 lines not Gaza as the Palestinians state. I should mention though it is clear that Israel is willing to negotiate with Hamas at least on day to day matters.

  • Video: Pressure mounts on Robbie Williams to choose between Tel Aviv and UNICEF
    • @Maximus

      If Israel’s economy is so strong, why the massive inequality

      Up to a certain point inequality helps economic growth. Poorer people tend to spend their money richer people tend to invest it. Wealth concentration is one way of shifting the balance of economic activity away from spending and towards investment. The USA may be beyond that point as tremendous disinvestment is starting to occur here, but that's not the problem Israel faces where the signs of investment are present and obvious.

      ? And, most importantly, why does this ‘strong economy’ get $3 billion – and counting — of US taxpayers’ money, every single year?

      They don't get economic aide. They get a token amount of military aide as part of weapons contracts that amount to about 8% of their military budget and under 1% of their total GDP. Many weapons deals are of the form:

      Country A gives country B "military aide"
      Country B overpays for weapons from country A
      thus allowing A to pass subsidies to their weapons industries indirectly.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • @Annie

      The Jews have a 1900 year history of successfully using dialogue in those situations. So yes not only would they promote it, they did promote and did make use of it. In virtually every society including the USA, that dialogue was effective. And often the "oppression" didn't last just decades but centuries.

      do you think hillel is making a mistake by not engaging w/jpv

      Hillel does engage with JVP. What they won't do is pretend that JVP is an actual Jewish group, rather than an anti-Jewish group. The same way your church may be willing to dialogue with Catholics who deny the incarnation (like the Sobrino movement in El Salvador) while at the same time considering them outside the church.

      Religions have to draw lines between minority positions and outright excommunicatable offenses (or in Judaism offenses worth of Chērem).

    • Annie

      what’s, specifically, is the more important issue when dialoguing about I/P than the occupation, the decades long oppression of the palestinian people, and how to facilitate their equal rights?

      American Muslims aren't discussing that with American Jews. hey are on opposite sides of the issue and neither side has the authority to negotiate on behalf of the Israelis or Palestinians. What they are discussing would be how to avoid that issue influencing other issues. For example in a college group preventing I/P disagreements from turning into campus ethnic tension with all the downsides for both groups. In a primary school context how to handle minority religion issues like the Christmas pageant or the teacher frequently making statements the parents would consider outright idolatrous. In a local government context how to work together on issues like discriminatory zoning.

      The goal is not to resolve the I/P issue anymore than the goal is to fix the hurricane on Jupiter's surface. The goal is the thousands of other issues on which American Muslims and American Jews have no intrinsic disagreements and can work together.

    • @Annie

      S o, according to you, i/p keeps coming up and is an elephant in the room, MSI is not “primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P”, but to “understand” israel. so they are trained to understand israel but not to dialogue about i/p.

      Almost. They are trained about how to dialogue about I/P in a way that I/P doesn't derail the more important issue.

    • @RoHa

      What is wrong with crossing red lines?

      The problem with USA Muslims crossing USA Jewish redlines is that USA Muslims have dozens of issues other than I/P most of which USA Jews would either be normally supportive of or normally indifferent to that they are willing to shift on if they see themselves as being threatened. ADL for example has frequently supported Muslim minority rights, for the same reason in generations past they partnered with Catholics and Mormons for their religious minority rights. However in recent decades that support has narrowed as Islamic religious institutions "cross red lines" and become explicitly anti-Semitic (as American Jews see it).

      A good chunk of Mondoweiss is taken up by by the effects of the spillover from I/P to the broader USA Muslim / Jewish relationship. SJP freely crosses redlines and donors demand the administration act against them. MSA doesn't and they don't draw the same kind of heat.

    • @tree

      Then why take them to Israel if the aim is not to dialogue about Israel?

      Because I/P is the point of tension between American Muslims and American Jews. It is what is undermining the ability to talk about hosts of other issues on which their might be more common ground and creating bad feelings on both sides. The goal is understanding regarding Israel. Being anti-Zionist without crossing over into anti-Semitism (as mainstream Jews see it) is walking a minefield. Learning where the clusters of mines are helps.

      Read the various posts by the MSI participants they talk quite openly about how without training I/P becomes the huge elephant in the room that neither side can talk about but that keeps naturally coming up.

      And Darrell Issa is not a Muslim.

      Didn't know that. The context here was backing Hezbollah, an explicitly muslim organization. He still did it artfully, though obviously I should have picked a Muslim politician.

    • @Donald & RoHa

      I think you are both making the same error in your response. You are thinking of the MSI as being primarily driven to dialogue with American Jews about I/P. That's not the aim. There is an understanding that American Jews and American Muslims are likely to be on the opposite sides of the I/P issue. The question is not trying to decide what to do about I/P. The question they are addressing is in light of the fact that American Jews and American Muslims are on opposite sides of this issue how do we prevent it from spilling over into the many other issues on which American Jews and American Muslims would normally have been on the same side?

      So RoHa even if I were to grant that American Jews are implacable enemies of the Gazans (I don't happen to think that BTW) that doesn't mean they need to be implacable enemies of American Muslims. And Donald, the goal of the dialogue is just one of understanding so that Muslims who are already opposed to Israel and in favor or pressuring Israel don't cross Jewish red lines, and American Jews don't cross American Muslim redlines.

      Let's pick a specific example. Darrell Issa (himself an Arab) has pushed for a more tolerant position on Hezbollah arguing that USA rejection makes the USA unable to have an effectual relationship with Lebanon's government. Now he's been able to do that while retaining the support of the Jewish community because even while strongly affirming Hezbollah's role in Lebanon and Hezbollah's as a Lebanese resistance for against Israel he's taken strong pro-Zionist positions like support for the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act. So for Issa the Lebanese people have the right to self-determination including Hezbollah as a political party, in the same way the Jewish people have right to self-determination and Israeli political parties. He's been able to oppose AIPAC for 15 years, as a Muslim because he's been highly sensitive to Jewish concerns, which requires Issa to understand Jewish concerns.

    • @Donald

      I’m not sure why anyone needs to go to Israel in association with a group that supported the bombing of Gaza.

      Because the Muslims who participated in MSI are trying to dialogue with Jewish groups in the Jewish mainstream. The Jewish mainstream both in the USA and Israel supported the bombing of Gaza.

      The USA can talk to Iranian dissidents all they want. But when the USA wants to influence Iranian policy they need to negotiate with people who supported Iranian backed terrorism against American troops, support the embassy takeover and support the Islamic revolution. To pick an even more extreme example when the USA was negotiating with North Korea they were negotiating with people who supported the central planning that led to the deaths of 3m people from famine.

      Negotiations are conducted with people who disagree with you about stuff. It is very easy to talk to dissidents. Negotiating with actual opponents means granting the obvious like recognition of them as the opposing power. USA Jews have mixed feelings about the Muslim bating of far right Christian Republicans. 30 years ago they didn't mixed feelings but rather strongly backed minority rights for Muslims. Successful USA Muslim politicians are going to have to figure out how to represent their community's opinions on Israel / Palestine without turning Jews into implacable enemies. To do that they need to dialogue with mainstream Jews.

  • Yarmouk camp reaches out to the international community for help against IS invasion
    • @ckg

      Both ISIS and Nusrah have strident sectarian/religious profiles. Can anyone enlighten us about the sectarian/religious mix of the camp residents?

      In short:

      Palestinian leadership in Syria = pro-Assad
      Palestinian population in Syria = officially neutral but effectively mildly pro rebellion which makes them today mildly pro al-Nusra
      Attitude of Assad's forces towards Yarmouk = a bunch of ungrateful traitors
      Attitude of Syrian Palestinian leadership towards Yarmouk = a bunch of ungrateful traitors
      Attitude of al-Nusera towards Yarmouk = can be easily terrorized into allowing us to operate freely and has great location
      Attitude of ISIS towards Yarmouk = great location, unclear what they think of the population

      Yarmouk are Palestinians so mostly Sunni Muslim. This isn't religious though. Yarmouk in the early days of the war was troublesome for Assad mostly trying to stay neutral and be uncooperative. Other Palestinian groups, particularly the PFPL-GC were furious feeling that Assad's / Alawites had backed the Palestinian cause to the hilt. There were some limited skirmishes between Yarmouk and PFPL-GC forces. There are definitely some supporters of al-Nusra in the camps who have cooperated with them but I'd say on balance most of the Palestinians just want to escape having to fight for either side.

      Today they are being attacked because they are neutral. They aren't firmly under Assad's control while at the same time Yarmouk is very close to Damascus (essentially a suburb). Strategically it makes sense for al-Nusra to hold it, and it makes sense for Assad's forces not to allow the people of Yarmouk to give al-Nusra a base of operations. I'd assume ISIS is going to take the camp for its geography. What they are going to do with the civilians likely depends on if they show any resistance or cooperate.

  • When occupation becomes apartheid
    • @Irish

      I'm going to start another subthread for this

      A straw man. I never said Jews should not lobby, nor that they should be excluded from lobbying.

      No actually that's what you did say. You felt that American Jews who engaged in lobbying would bring upon American Jews a widespread and deserved persecution. That is that Jews unlike other groups shouldn't have the right to lobby. Holding AIPAC to a different standard than other religious subgroups who represented their interest, like say the Irish lobbies (which were very powerful in municipalities often effectively the government), is anti-Semitic. It is asserting that Jews are not worthy of equal treatment under American law.

      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.

      They don't exist. There are 0 Jews who are promoting the interests of another country. There are Jews who disagree with you regarding what's in America. That's another example where with other groups you merely disagree, but when Jews have an opinion you disagree with it is some sort of secret plot tied to the dark ephemeral powers.

      My criticism may be misguided or based on faulty analysis but that doesn’t make my motive antisemitic.

      I never said your motive was anti-Semitic I said you statements were.

      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.

      That is correct.

      Despite my detailed response (which you didn’t respond to), you now repeat the allegation misrepresenting and mischaracterizing what I said while again failing to quote the words that you allege are antisemitic.

      I suspect I did respond. About 1/3 of what I write gets censored. The constant censorship to break up conservations is another piece of evidence of how weak the BDS case is.

      As for HUAC, that was a congressional investigative committee with multiple members. The claims against them were not that their conclusions were unwarranted but that they abused the investigative process to often induce punishment without trial. The McCarthy stuff came after. This is long topic, but I'll stand by their figures on the Bund.

    • @Tree

      Deferral is not denial. Deferral is fairly standard in government processing. The process is complex as the person needs to prove that Jerusalem is the center of their life so landline phone bills, electricity bills, and proof of payment of municipal property tax bills ... need to be provided. Your claim was, "but the majority of those that did apply have been turned down by Israel" which is obviously not true. Of the people who reach resolution half get it and the 1/3rd deferred are likely going to get it, that's the whole point of asking for additional information. That's pretty standard in other countries, for example m wife was deferred for about 19 months while getting USA citizenship, she's a citizen today and has been for many years.

      Moreover, the entire section you are quoting from is about how the number of Jerusalemites who are Israeli citizens and on the voter rolls is exploding and how the Palestinian civil authorities are discouraging this practice because it legitimizes the annexation. There is no discussion at all about how applications are being denied in mass numbers or anything of the type. You were making it up.

    • @Gil

      First off I said then was what you were saying which was that Jewish American should fear an outbreak of anti-Semitism if they fully participate in American civil life was was anti-Semitic. And I stand by that. You've said a lot more since then that's pretty insulting this response full of pointless insults being one of them. If you want me to agree that maybe you are simply rude, ignorant while virulently anti-Israel and American Jews but not quite anti-Semitic sure that's possible.

      I think you should decide if you want to have a thin skin or throw around insults you can't do both. "Have you no shame..." is unneeded you can elevate tone by practicing politeness.

      1) Your claim implied that the allies didn't deport civilians when in reality they deported millions. What you said was at the very least highly least misleading and either deliberately or accidentally so. You cannot write as if Israel committed a unique evil while admitting there is nothing unique about it.

      2) the expection at the end of the 1948 war was that the Palestinian refugees would be allowed to return to their homes and lands UNWRA was formed Dec 1949. By then Israel had made their position clear as had most Arab nations. The Arab and Palestinian position was that the Israeli implant would be crushed and the Israelis were quite definite the Palestinians would not be returning since they did not intend to live in peace in Israel. UNWRA was formed because it was well understood they couldn't easily return. So again this is just false.

      3) Would you include Israel on your list of bad faith countries? . I'd say uncooperative. Israel hasn't wanted to take them. Sure that's a fair statement. OTOH Israel has over the last 7 decades taken in something like 7x its population in refugees from other countries. So I'd say are likely in first place for housing refugees. They just don't want one particular group of them.

      4) I don't know what you are responding to here.

      5) Yes is a Gaza separate country. It is not physically connected to the West Bank. It has a distinct population. It has a distinct government. It it is rapidly experiencing a different culture. It is subject to different economics. I don't know what you mean by "fooling". But Gaza is out. As for keeping it under the thumb of Israel that's simply nonsense. If Israel wanted control they would annex Gaza.

    • @tree

      and those that do apply risk losing their rights to Jordanian or Palestinian citizenship, as well as their rights to enter neighboring communities in the West Bank

      That's called equality. Few Jewish Israelis have Jordanian or Palestinian citizenship. And Jewish Israelis are often prohibited from entering Areas A and B. What you are complaining about is them being treated equally.

      , but the majority of those that did apply have been turned down by Israel

      What evidence do you have for that? I know the 2006-10 numbers were 3000 applicants 2300 accepted. With the strongest number being 2010 (690). 2013 I know that 13k applied and the refusals percentage wasn't looking high but I don't have final figures. So where is the data you are using?

      Here is a good (and pro-Palestinian) source of data that's a few years old but has the standard figures: link to

      Gaza is not a separate country.

      Israel has renounced claim on it. There is an independent government. That government refused to live in peace but that's no different from the status of other states that war on their neighbors.

    • The US conducted one of the most difficult military occupations in history at the end of World War II..., it didn’t deport civilian

      Well the allies most certainly did:
      About 3m Sudeten
      About 600k Germans from Poland...
      and about another dozen giving another 1m or so.
      link to

      Of course these people were resettled by UNHCR rather than kept in camps by UNRWA so it hasn't been a red hot flashpoint creating multiple wars and that's why you didn't know about it. Refugee problems are can be handled by countries acting in good faith.

      it’s become impossible to call Israel’s near-half century military occupation of the Palestinian people on Palestinian lands in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza anything but apartheid.

      The people of East Jerusalem are full citizens of Israel with full voting and civil rights if they so choose. The people of Gaza live in a separate country not under Israeli rule. So it is easy not to say that.

  • Philosophy prof who likened Palestinians to 'rabid pit bull' ignites protest on CT campus
    • @Annie

      jeff, wishing someone would just disappear is not incitement for their slaughter no matter how you’d like to spin it. after all, how many times have we heard israel wants the land but not the people on it. i’m sure there are many many people, both israeli and palestinian who’d wish the other would just disappear but it simply doesn’t mean they’d wish to slaughter them or are calling other to do just that.

      The context here remember was following the deliberate murder of some Jewish kids. Yes he was calling for that. And in his later posts he most himself contextualized this within the anti-colonial movement. So absolutely Salaita was a call for genocide in some vague sense. Moreover his books elaborate on this theme.

      Rwandan calls for genocide were often against individuals XYZ is a a bad patriot who deserves to die followed by the village they were associated with being wiped out.



      Approving for genocide on people preceded by some reason you don't like them doesn't change anything. Every people that was genocided had some group that had a beef with them and others who agreed.

    • @pjdude

      Salaita wasn’t trafficking in hate. most of the jewish orgs you support however do. what Salaita was trafficking is accountability some you yourself as a zionist wouldn’t understand.

      He was trafficking in inciting towards the slaughter of hundreds of thousands to millions just like Pessin. In every genocide between X and Y, Y did things that X doesn't like. If genocide is acceptable towards groups that have ever done a wrong than that's an argument for making it acceptable towards all groups. The reason you don't see the difference is because you agree with Salaita's genocidal rants.

      Let's not forget the Palestinian blockade you all, and Salaita in particular, object to was a sanctions regime imposed with broad agreement for Gazans selecting Hamas, a terrorist organization. Even if there weren't rocket fire but some other way to break it, it would be accountability.

      you think speaking out against Israel’s crimes is bad but calling for genocide of your victims is ok in your book

      No I don't. I said nothing of the kind in the above. You are simply lying.

    • @The Hasbara Buster

      Maybe he needs to be shown the videos of Israeli skunk trucks sadistically spraying putrid liquid on houses and schools while not being under any destruction attempt at all from the people living and studying in those buildings.

      No he doesn't because that isn't happening in Gaza.

    • @scott9854958

      Bull. Salaita attacked Israeli society and Israelis. [....] You may be too refined to say it, but I'm not: I wish all the fucking West Bank settlers would go missing.

      If it's "antisemitic" to deplore colonization, land theft, and child murder, then what choice does any person of conscience have? That's against the IDF that's against Israelis generally. Calling their developments "land theft" is a call for the reversal of this theft.

      if you're defending #Israel right now, then "hopelessly brainwashed" is your best prognosis. An attack on essentially the entire Jewish population and their supporters.

      The cases are very comparable except for the fact that in one case you had one facebook post in the other a a multiyear career of trafficking in hate.

  • Open Hillel's big month: Swarthmore 'Kehilah' is born and a student resigns over Hillel restrictions
    • @Hostage

      . Licenses also happen to be the only real leverage that Fingerhut might posses.

      Do you mean the trademark or the affiliation license? Assuming you mean trademark, I think that's the core of it. But there is nothing unusual there. Coca-Cola's only leverage over me preventing me from selling a soda called Coca-Cola is their trademark.

      As for fair usage you keep missing the same point over and over:

      1) Fair usage entitles me to use Coca-Cola in a critique of Coca-Cola
      2) Fair usage entitles me to use the term "coca" with reference to the coca plant
      3) Fair usage does not entitle me to use Coke, Coca-Cola... to sell a brand of soda.


      1) Fair usage entitles Open Hillel to use the term Hillel a critique of Hillel International
      2) Fair usage entitles Open Hillel to use the term Hillel in reference to Rabbi Hillel directly
      3) Fair usage does not entitle Open Hillel me to use Open Hillel, Hillel... . to sell services and goods associated with a college community center aimed at Jewish college students.

      Your court cases were all about fair usage in senses (1) and (2). For example K.P. Permanent Make-Up used the term "micro-colors" in the generic sense (i.e. case 2).

      Open Hillel is not a critique they are a competing product. By their own admission, and by obvious examination of their content they are using the term Hillel in reference to the product not the dead Rabbi.

      I think its time you apply the Coca-cola standard to your arguments. Take any argument you are going to raise and substitute Coke for Hillel. If it ends up allowing you to sell soda under the Coca-Cola brandname you are misreading the law.

    • @Annie

      so why isn’t fort washington in trademark violation of washington reit?

      Well for one thing they aren't a REIT so it is not a competing product.

      open hillel is a different name than hillel.

      Now that's a defense. It is a defense to a trademark infringement claim to argue that the names are different enough that confusion couldn't occur. That would also apply to Fort Washington Investment Advisors, and Washington REIT.

      The problem is that Open Hillel has made statements that the purpose of their name is to create confusion. They refer to Hillel International membership as "our community". Given those statements against interests. Swarthmore Hillel continued to call itself a Hillel as if this was a change in policy and not a change in affiliation. Those are statements against interest in a trademark infringement lawsuit. I don't see how you get past them. And there is no doubt that there are going to be men on the street who are confused between Open Hillel and Hillel International as Jewish college clubs. Once those exist, game over.

      this sounds unique to me:

      I've given you the information. Look up link to . He is not a Jewish god. He doesn't have whole books of the bible named after him. He has about 300 teachings total in the Mishnah. There is no such thing as a Christian who don't care about Jesus, there is no such thing as a Catholic who doesn't believe that in some sense Peter was the continuation of the church that Jesus founded. There are plenty of Jews who couldn't answer basic questions about Hillel. Hillel is important but remove Hillel ever said or did and Judaism is mostly unchanged.

      But that's not important. As I've said before (April 20, 2015, 7:28 am post) your Open Hillel people couldn't find the Hillel quote on a page of Talmud if I gave a page with Hillel on it to them. If they get on the stand and Hillel International asks them about Hillel's teachings on candle lighting they won't know them. If they try the defense that Hillel is so central to their faith that a they should have a religious exemption on the use of Hillel they will lose and they should lose. They don't care about religious Judaism at all, much less the minutia that Hillel is responsible for.

      so what about open hillel habvali?

      That's got the name Hillel in it and they would have to justify why they had to pick that particular Rabbi and that form of the name if not to cause brand confusion. The problem they have is they want to cause brand confusion. They are protesting. Trademark law isn't designed to err on the side of permitting being cute.

      If they want Hillel for religious reasons just "HaBavli" is available. Those names are in English distinct enough. Otherwise there are 100 equally important rabbis and hundreds of thousands of other names of stuff to choose from.

    • @Hostage

      We aren't disagreeing on the seminar type issue. I've said that multiple times, "you have to engage in trade to violate a trademark". There is no question that Open Hillel can as long as money doesn't change hands be fine. And of course the can use the term "Hillel" for criticism. That's fine. Its when they try and operate a Jewish college social club, i.e. a directly competing product, under the Hillel name that they violate trademark. The Open Hillel website criticizing Hillel is not a trademark violation is not a trademark violation.

      But Open Hillel pizza night where a bunch of Jews get together and and pay $5 to Open Hillel for pizza and soda while discussing Jewish topics like Israel is a trademark violation.

      This is not about studying the the teaching of Rabbi Hillel, they have 0 interest in that.
      This is not about the right to critique Hillel International.
      What Open Hillel claims to want to do is to create a " vibrant, pluralistic Jewish community on campus" . The problem is they want to do it under an existing brandname for Jewish community centers run on colleges for college students.

      As an aside when I was looking at their website for their mission statement even the Open Hillel people don't buy your argument about the trademark being iffy. They say, "Yes, Hillel would be within its legal rights to be a political organization where only certain views are acceptable — but that's not what we want to see in our community." (link to

    • @oldgeezer

      VMS itself was closed source. But the open source movement first evolved on VMS and LISP machines. Open Source didn't start with operating systems it started mostly with academic software for specific applications. Academics were fine with buying their hardware and software but didn't have ongoing budget (nor a market large enough) for applications. I don't know of anyone prior to Stallman who thought let's unify these pieces of open source software together entire an entire full featured operating system. Working to fill in the blanks rather than working to "scratch your own itch" was a major change in philosophy. And it was that shift when you can say that Open Source become mostly a Unix phenomena.

      Just to pick a classic example. TeX is key to open source but it was developed in a PDP-10 running Waits (an grandfather of ITS) not a Unix.

    • @Annie

      Washington and Jesus are words that people use primarily with respect to the historical figures or in Washington's case places named in his honor. That's very different than say Pepsi where the primary association with the word is the brandname. Hillel as a secular figure is primarily associated with a brand of Jewish college clubs. The Rabbi Hillel is not unique in the way that Jesus or Washington are. While he is an influential Rabbi he belongs to a set of 10 very influential Rabbis from his rough time period. He is an important historical figure but he isn't remotely at Jesus' level. He isn't at Paul or Peter's level. A better comparison (and even this is a stretch) would be someone like Pope Callistus I, an important Pope with key teachings but not a uniquely important figure.


      Now to compound that. You can trademark Washington and Jesus though as a trademark it is harder to enforce.

      Jesus candles is a registered trademark of Amy's Country Candles.
      while Jesus energy drink is owned by Jerry Zarnekee

      If you started a Jesus energy drink Mr. Zarnekee would likely sue you and likely win.

      Washington is even more clear cut. Washington is owned by the Washington Bullets if you use it in: Clothing, namely, hosiery, footwear, basketball shoes, basketball sneakers, slippers, T-shirts, shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, pants, tank tops, jerseys, shorts, pajamas, sport shirts, rugby shirts, sweaters, belts, ties, nightshirts, hats, caps, visors, warm-up suits, warm-up pants, warm-up tops/shooting shirts, jackets, wind resistant jackets, parkas, coats, baby bibs not of paper, head bands, wrist bands, aprons, undergarments, boxer shorts, slacks, ear muffs, gloves, mittens, scarves, woven and knit shirts, jersey dresses, dresses, cheerleading dresses and uniforms, swim wear, bathing suits, swimsuits, bikinis, tankinis, swim trunks, bathing trunks, board shorts, wet suits, beach cover-ups, bathing suit cover-ups, bathing suit wraps, sandals, beach sandals, beach hats, sun visors, swim caps, bathing caps, novelty headwear with attached wigs

      If you had a Washington line of clothing that had nothing to do with Basketball you might be OK. But if you can anywhere hear basketball you are dead meat. Open Hillel is doing the equivalent of producing clothing had having the letter "i" dotted with a basketball design as a "protest" against Washington clothing.

      Similarly there is a Washington Reit and if you tried to run an investment company called Washington that would be a trademark violation.

    • @Hostage

      Nice to know you worked on the early days. Your history is a bit off. The Open Group was an industry alliance against Sun and AT&T it had nothing to do with open source but rather open standards. The open source movement in the 1980s centered on LISP machines and VMS while Unixes were a different group of people entirely. They merged during the 1980s with the GNU project. FreeBSD (though at that time BSD386) is probably the closest to what you are describing, and the threat of lawsuit required them to make some changes.

      In particular you don't see any of the BSDs, Linuxes, Minix, etc... infringing on DEC, Sun, SGI, HP, Compaq, IBM... trademarks. The question by analogy is not whether a company can have a Unix compatible operating system, but whether that company can call that operating system Solaris without Sun suing the crap out of you.

      Finally I should mention you as an individual are unlikely to get sued. Entities who get sued generally have money, companies sue each other over trademark. Which is precisely why the University is likely to be the ones threatened first about their participation in trademark infringement before the students get threatened because they have the resources to pay if they lose. The same way that if I opened my own Coca-Cola Bottling Company without Coke's permission using a Pepsi distributor, the distributor would be quite likely also be threatened.

      As for the courts deciding, of course the courts are going to decide on the material facts. And not all the details are public. But what is public is dreadful for Open Hillel of Swathmore (and similarly for the others)

      1) We have clear evidence that Hillel was a brand name for 90 years with a trademark filled on that name.
      2) We have a large organization called Hillel International that passes sums of money around to branch offices called Hillel. There is ongoing activity and community awareness of the brand.
      3) There are 2 Hillel DBAs in the state of Pennsylvania, both of which go back substantially before Open Hillel and both of them with institutional and financial ties to Hillel International.
      4) Open Hillel has no legal connection to Hillel, nor any historical connection.
      5) We have clear statements from Open Hillel that their point of their naming was to create precisely the sort of brand confusion with trademark law does not allow.
      6) Everyone with better claim is going to testify against Open Hillel.

      Those are horrific facts. I agree we don’t know all the facts but the facts we do know are incredibly damning.

      Does B’nai B’rith own the exclusive right to use the brand Hillel with regard to college social clubs: Yes they do.
      Does Open Hillel have B’nai B’rith’s permission to use their brand: No they don’t.
      Do the other Hillel’s have B’nai B’rith’s permission to use their brand: Yes they do.

      And if that’s not in explicit paperwork the court can just ask B’nai B’rith and they will happily fill out an interrogatory saying that most Hillel’s aren’t infringing their brand while the Open Hillels are.

      Or maybe they don’t go after them on USA Hillel trademark but instead go after them under the fact that they don’t have a DBA for Hillel which is an existing DBA in Pennsylvania.

      If I started my own Coca-Cola bottling company without Coke’s permission I could easily present the same kind of arguments you are trying to present regarding how John Pemberton didn’t necessarily have clear title and Mariani is really the one to create a cocoa wine… And I’d still lose. I could present arguments that the association agreement between Coca-Cola bottling companies and Coca-Cola is not as clear on the brand as I’d like, and I’d still lose. Whatever issues there may be with Coca-Cola’s association agreement I’m still trying to do precisely what trademark law exist to prevent.

      As for the association agreement and a defense. A real Hillel could break with Hillel International the same way a Coca-Cola bottling company can break from Coca-Cola. And in the real world that bottling company is not going to get to use the Coke name.

    • @Hostage

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Trademark law when it comes to religious identities is clear. If a trademark is granted, religious organizations are still entitled to use the name but those religious organizations have an obligation to make sure consumers aren’t confused between the religious organization and the commercial brand. I am free to setup a temple of Nike, and an organization associated with that temple — but that temple better not get into the business of selling footwear. I am free to setup a temple to Saturn but that temple better not get into the business of selling cars. Similarly a purely religiously Jewish Hillel society can exist but it better not get into the business of running college social clubs. The point of Open Hillel is of course to create precisely the kind of confusion that trademark law prohibits as a way of protesting against B'nai B'rith’s brand of social clubs.

      Now a religion under USA law is defined as an organization functionally equivalent to an institution whose primary focus is the relationship between man and creator. Human rights organizations, even those with a religious bent are not religions. Hillel International is not the one making the claim about how narrow the religious exemption is, that’s USA law. Certainly a group that was actually studying the teachings of Rabbi Hillel would fall under this umbrella and all would be fine. But of course a group that wanted to study Rabbi Hillel would present no problem for Hillel International, though they would be better off doing that sort of study with their synagogue or an OU club. In reality of course we both know that if I handed a page of Talmud with some teachings of Hillel the typical Open Hillel kid could not find the zugot quote much less have an interest in studying it. Jewish Voice for Peace / Open Hillel kids (I’ll use JVP/OH), with possibly rare exceptions, have 0 interest in Hillel, they want to be in a college based human rights organization not a religious organization. Non-religious non profits have stricter rules about avoiding each other’s trademarks.

      Everything else hangs on this important point. JVP/OH is not a religious group and thus doesn’t get the religious exemption regarding the use of the Hillel brandname for their college social clubs. This is a simple case, Open Hillel is trying to do precisely the activity that trademark law is designed to prevent.

      The second argument you make is that the name Hillel is irreplaceable. That is if a court were to agree the name Hillel should never have been trademarked because of Rabbi Hillel’s unique status in Judaism. Now let me just point out that even if that were true there are variants on Hillel’s name like HaBavli which wouldn’t violate the trademark and I’d be hard pressed to see why the court wouldn’t demand that Open Hillel use those to avoid brand confusion.

      But of course the uniqueness argument is not true. Certainly Hillel is an important Rabbi. But other rabbis like Maimonides, Akiva, Rashi are certainly greater in importance and influence. Even if one were to limit to just the 10 Zugot you can make a case he is the greatest, but that’s it and I can easily see others disagreeing. For example Simeon ben Shetach (another Zugot) forms the Yeshiva system under Alexander Jannæus. The fact is little of Hillel’s teaching have survived, while earlier because he simply wasn’t that important. What has survived is mostly about candle lighting, divorce, contents of the Haggadah… in line with what survives from most of the Zugot. I should mention that all of this material is stuff the Open Hillel people don’t care about. So I suspect if a court were to rule on their challenge to the trademark the court would assert that even if they felt they needed to pick a Rabbi’s name and not name themselves like many other Jewish non-profits that don’t use Rabbinic names there is no particular reason that the JVP/OH kids can’t pick one of dozens of equally important Rabbis.

      Now of course one could argue it isn’t Hillel personally but the school of Hillel that was uniquelly influential. But even here you run into slightly problems. In the mid 1st century Hillel’s school was increasingly marginalized. When Hillel came back into fashion he did so under the explicit theocracy of Gamliel of Yavne (the successor to the Johanan Ben Zakkai you mentioned). The Tannaim treated him as important but not in any sense unique. As for saying the importance is some sort of secularism that is simply not born out by the facts. Hillel operated comfortable in a Jewish monarchical theocracy and his later influence was on the formation of the tribal theocracy of the Tannaim in the aftermath of the 1st Jewish-Roman war. There is no hint of secularism in his life or his legacy. The quotes you are giving are lacking a context and the effect is analogous to debating George Washington’s role in the War of the Roses. If you were to associate Hillel (and for that matter Johanan Ben Zakkai) with any political cause it would be not supporting the anti-colonialism of the Zealots. Which makes the tie you are attempting particularly ironic for the JVP/OH group whose defining issue is fierce anti-colonialism.

    • @Hostage

      Understood. Take whatever time you need.

    • @Hostage

      I have to tell you I'm starting to lose track on what points of law we are disagreeing about vs. what points of fact we are disagreeing about vs. what points of likely outcome we are disagreeing about.

      So I'm going to get a little more specific with a scenario. Assume that Open Hillel of Swarthmore didn't change their name. George from Open Hillel invites Phil (Ali Abunimah or ...) to speak. Phil agrees. George

      1) Rents a room under the name Open Hillel from Andrea with payment due later.
      2) Charges $15 a ticket to see Phil speak. Betsy buys a ticket.

      Assume only 10 people come and thus he doesn't pay Andrea because the event doesn't generate the $500 he needed to pay her. Andrea claims she thought the contract was with Hillel and wouldn't have signed a contract with payment after the event with some small student club. Betsy claims she thought it was a Hillel event and wouldn't have bought the ticket had she known.

      We have 4 possible claims.

      i) Does the rent situation constitute a trademark violation since Open Hillel has now besmirched Hillel's name?
      ii) Does the ticket sale constitute a trademark violation since Open Hillel has caused Hillel to appear to endorse Phil?
      iii) Does the rent situation constitute a petty theft through fraud?
      iv) Does the ticket situation constitute a petty theft through fraud (counterfeit goods)?

      My assertion is that (i) and (ii) are yes, they are trademark violations. I also assert that (iii) and (iv) and probably no. But that's not definite and an aggressive prosecutor could go for it. Which is a real danger.

      Obviously all these problems disappear under the name Kehilah because then there is no fraud and no trademark violation. We agree there is no fraud and no trademark violation when Open Hillel / Kehilah is not engaging in trade. The question is about what is the situation when they are engaging in trade.


      Now the next question you have is about Texas Menorah clubs. You are confusing two issues.

      1) Could these Menorah clubs claim to have a pre-existing right to Hillel.
      2) Can some group in 2013 come along and claim to have a right to use the term Hillel.

      I think the answer to (1) is no. The order of events doesn't matter. If at some point Texas its use of the term Hillel was as part of the Hillel Internation as trademarked by B'nai Brith they've waived their rights. And I think it is unquestionable they have done so. Texas A&M Hillel would testify against Swathmore BDSers saying they do recognize B'nai Brith / Hillel International as holding trademark to the name if they tried to raise the argument you are suggesting. And that would settle it for court.

      But even if I were wrong on point (1) that does Swathmore Open Hillel no good at all. Saying Texas can contest the trademark doesn't mean Open Hillel Swathmore can. Open Hillel most certainly did not pre-exist the trademark registration. And clearly the reason they called themselves "Open Hillel" was in reference to the business run by the Hillel International. And that's exactly what you meant by your "fair usage" claim. They can't claim to both be a referring to the other organization and not be in a trademark trial. I do not see how Pennsylvania would issue them a DBA and trying to do business under the name Open Hillel without a DBA is a crime. In Pennsylvania the B'NAI B'RITH HILLEL FOUNDATION BUILDING FUND OF PENNSYLVANIA, HILLEL OF GREATER PHILADELPHIA... exist and they are going to lay claim.

      The Swathmore BDSers cannot have a Hillel brand Jewish community center (again assuming they do something involving trade) for the same reason they cannot sell a Coke brand soda. They are trying to do precisely what trademark law is designed to prevent.

      Finally on Title VI here do disagree. Fingerhut runs a private organization with a clear and open religious affiliation. He can choose to consider any doctrine to be heretical and expel from his organization for it. The right to have a regenerate church, i.e. to only include believers and not all comers was one of the things quite literally the pilgrims left England over. This is as settled law as it gets. Church discipline has been upheld by state and federal courts numerous times.

      To pick a few recent examples:
      Paul vs. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society 1987
      Guinn vs. Church of Christ of Collinsville 1989
      Williams vs. Gleason 2000

      Fingerhut can declare anti-Zionism to be a Jewish heresy that disqualifies one from being part of the Jewish equivalent of the regenerate and he is on very firm ground. He can't harass the Swarthmore BDSers but he most certainly can prevent them from using his trademark.

    • @Hostage --

      Starting a new thread since others are unlikely to follow.

      There were "Menorah Clubs" which were early Hillels though obviously under a different name including the one you mentioned, in 1916 they were the "The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (TAMC) Menorah Club" not a Hillel till 1923, which is what the Trademark asserts is the date they started doing business as Hillel. The the groups got the name and started working together. Companies merging and having a new joint name for the merged company doesn't mean the trademark doesn't apply, I can't do business as IBM. The current trademark was filed in 1965 which is well before any of the Open Hillel's existed. So even if I were to grant some sort of questionable origin it has been cleaned up. Moreover the organization called Hillel would assert that B'nai Brith's trademark is valid. I don't see a case that Open Hillel can make that they were active before 1923 or even before 1965.

      Similarly with sponsorship as far as the trademark, who cares? Hillel the organization doesn't contest B'nai Brith's trademark. If the two parties have agreed no one else is going to have standing to contest the trademark. To have standing to contest the trademark from the Hillel Foundation you would need a Hillel going back at least 1965, and possibly to 1923, that was independent of the Hillel Foundation and Bnai Brith that could argue legitimate claim to the trademark. Open Hillel doesn't come close.

      As for the claim that this is satire or protest. They aren't protesting forming a college social group for Jews they are forming a college social group for Jews. They are a competing product. Pepsi cannot claim to be protesting against Coke and then label their product that way.

      As for Open Hillel not wanting to conduct business. If they don't conduct business they can't violate a trademark and the rest doesn't matter. You have to engage in trade to violate a trademark. Who would Hillel even sue if there is no organization called Open Hillel in a corporate sense. Obviously the Open Hillel people want to sell tickets, rent a facility, pay for something... under the name "Open Hillel". That's why they are changing the name because otherwise they would be violating the Hillel trademark.

      In terms of monopoly. The government is granting them a monopoly on calling their Jewish clubs "Hillel" not a monopoly on operating Jewish clubs. Same as Coke doesn't have a monopoly on soda but does have a monopoly on the use of the word Coke.

      Finally in terms of changing the terms. Bnai Brith can change the terms whenever they want it is their property. Coke can allow someone to use their trademark for something and then disallow the very same use once the license expires. Companies are free to change their mission statement, that doesn't invalidate their trademarks.

      One of the reasons that B'nai Brith might hold the trademark is they are unquestionably a single entity and thus license use of the name however they choose subject to change whenever they choose. I.E. to counter exactly the kinds of claims you are making about some sort of perpetual claim.

      How any reasonable person could confuse that with the power to prohibit affiliates in good standing from meeting in their own Hillel building on campus to hold an in-person discussion about human rights beats the hell out of me.

      Trademark holders can prohibit people from doing all sorts of legal things under their trademark. They are free to meet they just aren't free to confuse potential customers by calling their meetings brand Hillel Jewish social clubs.

    • @RoHa

      Depends how general you want to be. Most people in the world have never heard of either Rabbi Hillel or the organization. I knew of the Rabbi from arcane studies in early Christianity, but I only learned of the organization from MW. And I have taught in American universities!

      I'll assume you aren't Jewish. Among American Jewish students Hillel is very well known. That a vendor isn't well known for people who aren't potential customers doesn't mean much. The public is the public of customers. If "Open Hillel" were selling flowers to Mormons they would have a better claim but they are going after the same customer base using B’nai Brith’s property.

    • @Hostage

      Certainly Kehilah can say they and not the organization called Hillel are the authentic or more accurate, more righteous followers of Rabbi Hillel. So absolutely they can claim all they want to be students of Hillel or forming a school to study Hillel's teachings. That's a religious assertion and not subject to trademark.

      B’nai Brith on the other hand owns the trademark for foundation for campus jewish life (college clubs) under the name Hillel. And that has not been diluted it has just been enforced. It is very simple. Hillel is a brand of college clubs, just like Coke is brand of soda or Levi is a brand of jeans. The guys at Swathmore having an Open Hillel are pretending to be Hillel brand college clubs when they aren't. The moment any money changes hands that's trademark infringement and quite possibly fraud.

      There is no evidence that prior to B’nai Brith there were Jewish college clubs operating under the name "Hillel" nor that people generally don't associate Hillel with the Hillel organization.

    • I made this comment a year ago when this started that Open Hillel as a name was a clear cut trademark violation of B'nai B'rith's property. I think I'm well entitled to I told you so for those of you who took part in that conversation with the usual dose of cursing and insults and so forth. Here we are a year later and the kids from Swathmore and changing their name because of what I said the moment they conduct anything remotely commercial (like paying a bill or accepting a check) under the name Hillel they committing a tort at a minimum and committing fraud at a maximum.

      Kehilah is open they are welcome to it. Now if only it were legal to hold a trademark on the name of a religion so that B'nai B'rith could get JVP to drop the J. Oh well.

  • White House will go after AIPAC next -- Newsweek
    • @Krauss

      Remember when you talk AIPAC vs. J-Street vs. JVP you are talking Jews not all Democrats and not just Jews but active Jews. So I think your predictions are way way off in terms of time.

      Take abortion. In 1976 both parties were mixed. Ford's position was that each state should decide not even fully pro-life while having his wife soften that stand. Carter waffled. Reagan was opposed to abortion on demand and waffled with regard to what therapeutic abortion he would support. So 1980 is a good time to set when the parties began to split on the issue. This was clearly a high passion issue, at least as passionate as Jews will be on Israel.

      Yet here were are 35 years of sorting on this issue and still:
      27% of Republicans are pro-choice
      28% of Democrats are pro-life
      ( link to )

      Democrats as a whole may be anti-Israel. But that's not important. What's important is
      a) Whether Jews remain strongly politically active and Democratic
      b) Whether those Jews remain pro-Israel

      The Democratic party is not going to walk away from Jewish activism and money, especially liberal causes and groups. How many anti-Israeli Hispanic or Black voters would vote for a Pat Buchanan on the Israel issue?

  • CUFI Leader John Hagee confirms Christian Zionism is anti-Semitic
    • @David

      I'm just going to start a new subthread on this. As mainline protestant churches go the global Episcopal is definitely one of the better ones in terms of their pronouncements on Jews.

      Here are the basics (same document all over the internet): link to
      I think you should pay particular attention to their statements regarding believing that incorporating the Hebrew bible and incorporating Judaism are the same thing.

      Your church most certainly does agree with my statemetns on replacement theology being the traditional view and them deviating from it. "The traditional doctrine in Christianity says that prior to the birth of Jesus the Jewish people had a living covenant with God and Christianity came to replace Judaism and render it obsolete. " but they themselves have a more nuanced position that the original call for Jews may be irrevocable. Here is a sample article which does a nice job of summarizing: link to

    • Page: 18
    • @Donald

      I agree with you. al Baghdadi's belief in a more literal interpretation of the early Islamic teachings and reinterpreting them directly into the modern world without all the historical baggage is very much a Muslim version of sola scriptura. His focus on absolute obedience rather than morality is analogous so sola fide... You can make a fairly good case he is Martin Luther though I think Jan Hus is likely the better analogy.

      As for religious freedom and the end of the religious wars I'm not sure you aren't conflating two things.

      The 1618 /1648 agreement did come from the violence but that didn't grant freedom to individuals rather it granted religious freedom to governments. Governments were free to set religious policy without interference.

      I'd say that individual freedom came from the spirit of the radical reformation after it mellowed. In particular a state church become impossible once the doctrine of a church for the elect rather than a church that was (small-c) catholic. And that took more than just a century to really take hold. In short Ayaan Hirsi Ali seems to mean "liberalism" not "the reformation" which wasn't really liberal.

    • @David Gerald Fincham

      Well it would help if you had said which denomination you were so I could target a bit on what you would care about.

      A sample link to

      This is from:

      A good survey: link to

      Example detailed argument for pluralistic salvation: link to

    • @Ben

      Believing Jews are going to hell for the same reason (not having Jesus as their savior) that Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and atheists are going to hell is not anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitism is about treating Jews unequally not equally. Believing that Rabbinic Judaism (as opposed to the "true Judaism" of Christianity) is a fraudulent burned husk of a dead religion now replaced by new and better covenant since the incarnation of God's son is Christianity not anti-Semitism.

      But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that he mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one... When he speaks of a new covenant, he makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear....For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship

      The Christian conservative position asserts the full humanity and equality of Jews and thus refutes anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism as a word quite literally came from the doctrine that Jews are incapable of salvation, that baptism was ineffectual on Jews the same way it would be ineffectual on materialized demon. Hagee is asserting exactly the opposite. The current liberal Christian doctrine, Jews have a special covenant and a salvation outside of blood of Chris is IMHO denying their tie to the universal human condition and original sin in Christian theory. That's far far more dangerous.

  • I want my country back
    • @Pixel

      The next thing you know some wacko group is going to be linking to articles that question whether Israel stole uranium from the U.S. to build its first nuclear bomb!

      Israel had nuclear weapons by the Johnson administration when Israel began engaging in operations to get uranium from the USA. So no, not their first nuclear bomb. They got their first bomb with nuclear materials from Norway and Germany.

    • @irishmoses

      The context here is that Steve King insulted liberal American Jews that Jewish Americans were Democrats first and Jewish second. Steve Israel hit the roof, "I don't need Congressman Steve King questioning my religion or my politics. I demand an apology from him & repudiation from GOP. #dangerous". King didn't apologize, "Real men make such requests face 2 face & man 2 man. I defend Israelis from Leftists & misogynists."

      So no it isn't dual loyalty. This came from an attack from philo-semetic conservatives that Democrats (and Obama in particular) weren't pro-Israel enough and thus anti-Semites. The Jews were being encouraged by King to identify more with Israel not less.

    • @Teapot

      We agree that Israel should be seen as a foreign country and the rest of the world should be no more interested in which tribes control which chunks of Israel than they are with respect to any other country. But the reality is, and I'll agree it is a bad one, that many Americans feel close to Israel. The joke that Netanyahu is the "Republican Senator from Israel" comes from not just how he's viewed but also from how Israel is viewed. Many Americans identify enough with Israel to feel that when Israel does stuff they don't morally approve that they are tied to it unless they disavow it and on the flip side of the same coin they tend to view fights with Israel as inside the family. That's the reason there is BDS for Israel and not BDS for Burma.

      For American Jews this closeness makes a lot of sense. The more Israel is thought of like Arizona the less dual loyalty questions arise. For Israel it means trading freedom of action for diplomatic cover and some cool military hardware. For the USA it has meant having a bad cop to allowing them to play good cop.

      Obama's upset is about the fact he's over-involved. Normally he wouldn't care if a foreign leader disagreed with his foreign policy but he does in Israel's case because he feels they owe him. Normally he wouldn't see construction projects as insults but he's gotten himself invested in where Israel chooses to build.

    • @Phil

      Your problem is you confuse the lobby with the domestic groups that support the lobby. Take abortion.

      1) There are a group of formal lobbies that operate that write pro-choice legislation and provide funding for pro-choice candidates because they are pro-choice.
      2) There are a group of lobbies that support socially liberal causes and thus oppose abortion restrictions even though they aren't formally or primarily pro-choice lobbies.
      3) There is a wide group of American for whom abortion is one of their primary motivators on how they vote.
      4) There is an even bigger group of Americans who prioritize a basked of social issues including abortion.
      5) There is a solid majority of Americans that while not identifying as pro-choice can often be made to rally in opposition to pro-life legislation.

      Presidents who are pro-choice get opposed by pro-life factions, presidents who are pro-life get opposed by pro-choice factions. Congress is not beholden to either side.

      The situation is similar for other lobbies as well.

      Finally in terms of your quote. George Washington would not have approved of the United Nations governing USA policy. The UN is also a foreign power. People like Jonathan Boucher who opposed self determination and rather believed that territories were governed by rights outside the people, that is backed the UN's position, Washington threw out of the country. What you are arguing for is not just neutrality between Israelis and Palestinians but active USA support the Palestinians, that is not the absence of a foreign attachment but rather a different one. Obama in so far as he has any coherent strategy, is not working for USA disengagement from the middle east but rather a strategic shift away from Israel / Egypt / Saudi Arabia towards Iran and its proxies so as to be better positioned against Sunni extremism. That is not consistent with Washington's politics either.

      Obama's desire to avoid a war with Iran is popular. Obama's means of getting there by backing Iran in their territory expansion and legitimizing their uranium enrichment program is not popular. Obama is trying to have it both ways in lashing out at Israel. If the cost of the Iran policy is a much weaker relationship with Israel and thus the bill has a solid 2/3rds opposed in both houses.

      If this is just temper then Obama's fight with Netanyahu plays very similarly to his fight with Jan Brewer. Large population chunks agrees that Governor Brewer was rude to President Obama. They agree that Obama has every right to have a testy relationship with her. But if it came to actually harming Arizona because he didn't like Brewer his support would quickly erode.

      Israel is popular not because of some foreign lobby but because the vast majority of Americans objectively weigh the situation and side with Israel. You've been doing a little victory dance as there has been tension. There is tension because there is two sides.

      Obama knows that in under a year Hillary is going to have to take one side or the other. If this is still going on in a year Hillary has some unpalatable choices. She can support Obama's war with Israel speed up the migration of Jews to the Republicans and thus see Florida and possibly Pennsylvania go Republican in 2016? Or she can attack Obama's Israel policy and potentially depress minority turnout losing states like Ohio, Colorado and Nevada. Obama because so much of his policy is coming from executive orders needs a Dem to win in 2016. Which means he needs this fight over soon. The Republicans for exactly this reason, that Israel is a Democrat wedge issue, want to prolong this fight as long as possible. They would love to talk Israel everyday from now to the election.

      Which to pick other issues is precisely the attitude the Republicans used to have on abortion and precisely the attitude the Democrats have today on gay rights. That's what wedge issues are. There is nothing unusual about it. If Obama wanted to damage America's ties with England or Mexico you would see the same wedge issue politics just different players.

  • Apartheid is no longer verboten word for Israel in 'NYT' and 'CNN'
    • @Annie & Ramzi

      it’s doubtful any of those children (other than perhaps the oldest teen) even had political ideologies. but aside from that, what you are revealing is the same situation in ramzi’s analogy.

      Good point the analogy works even better with the fact those kids were Israeli.

      There was other context as well, "Why would these 7 children be buried in occupied Palestine? Were they born in Palestine? Do their parents live in occupied Palestine?" Where of course the answers "yes" & "yes" wasn't what was implied from the structure and context of those questions.

      I should also say though I'm not sure he's right that a body of a Palestinian with a valid passport wouldn't be be buried not only in "occupied Palestine" but also Israel. I don't see any reason that Israel would be opposed to the revenue it would get indirectly from a burial in "occupied Palestine" so the whole thing doesn't make sense. Definitely an Israeli-Arab would be entitled to a free burial for sure so not just can, but can and Israel would pick up the check. In Israel proper there are Muslim cemeteries under the control of municipalities that encourage burials. And then of course there is a plethora of private organizations.

    • @Kris

      Trying to trick God seems risky to me.

      Conservative Protestants believe in bible is either inerrant (without error) or infallible (incapable of error). Jews believe the Torah is perfect. Which changes the hermeneutic considerably. Jews can make negative inferences. So for example if something is repeated 3x Jews are free to make an inference as to why it wasn't repeated only 2x or not 4x while Protestants can't really distinguish between 3x repeated and said once.

      So in particular if God lays down a rule Jews are obligated to follow it exactly. They aren't obligated to extend it. There is no Paul so they aren't free to try and discern some deeper meaning and ignore the law as it stands. Lighting a fire or extinguishing a fire is prohibited. Cooking is prohibited. A hot plate that's already on is not lighting nor extinguishing and keeping something warm is not cooking it. The rule is followed. If God wanted a broader or a less broad rule that would have been what's in Torah.

      Also there are specific allowances for comfort and safety. So for example the fire alarm they should have had would be a clear cut sabbath violation given the mechanism except it falls under the safety exemption.

      Since you are Jewish, maybe you could explain why, if your beliefs say that you shouldn’t use a fire to heat your food

      It says you can't cook not that you can't heat to keep warm.

      on the sabbath, you would use an electric appliance to heat your food and think you were following God’s will?

      BTW I'm an atheist and not shomer shabbas but following God's will is doing what God says not what I think he should have said.

      There was no electricity in biblical times,

      I think you mean there weren't electric gadgets. And that's true. One of the things one has to do in any legal system is reinterpret laws as new technologies emerge. How to the rules regarding fire with respect to electric gadgets has literally tens of thousands of good quality debates about it.

    • @Ramzi Jaber

      They were an Israeli family that lived in the USA for the last 2 years. All those dead children whose political ideology upset you so were born in Israel. They were Israelis not Americans. And of course the news would have mentioned their religion, they died because their family was engaged in a dangerous Jewish religious practice without proper safety equipment. Judaism and bad fire safety are what got them killed.

      link to

      But I'd like you to think about your own comment. You constructed a complete fabrication so as to offer you an excuse to create an imaginary wrong. This one is rather clear cut. How many other times does that happen?

  • Netanyahu's honesty towards Palestinians casts unwelcome light on American Jewish leadership
    • @Talknic

      Fine. Japan to Stop Scientific Whaling and that's outside their borders. Or if you want military The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement is operating outside their territory the UN has repeatedly ordered them to stop and its still happening. Somehow the UN just doesn't seem to be able to get its way all the time.

      And moreover, Israel as proven by their actions along with every other country on the planet never agreed to relinquish their sovereignty to the UN. Countries listen to the UN most of the time on most issues, including Israel. When it is a vital interest to do so they tell the UN to go pound sand, including Israel.

    • @talknic

      A colleague is a person with whom one works, especially in a profession or business. That's what the word means.

    • @WJones

      <blockquote. I don’t get it. The Israelis call themselves the state of the world’s Jewish people, so how is it crass for Diaspora Jews to weigh in on “their” state’s elections? After all, Netanyahu says openly that he represents the world’s Jews

      I don't know who you were quoting here but you are absolutely correct. Not only are diaspora Jews encouraged to have opinions about Israeli parties but those parties often have American branches. Meretz for example has Meretz USA. In addition to that the World Zionist Congress is open to all Jews and many of the parties that represent American Jews are in coalition with Israeli party coalitions.

      What Silverman was doing was absolutely correct according to Israeli attitudes and whomever you were quoting was wrong.

    • @Talknic

      JeffB: ” What sanctions to your propose that will get Israel to give up the homes of about 10% of the their population and counting Area-C as about 1/7th of the country, a 1/7th of the real estate”

      Talknic: The loss of the US UNSC veto vote should do the trick

      As I asked you the last time you made this comment. The UN unequivocally ordered the factions in Yemen to stop fighting. Yet they still are. How does this not conflict your theory of the UN's divinity?

    • @pabelmont

      OK work through your idea. What sanctions to your propose that will get Israel to give up the homes of about 10% of the their population and counting Area-C as about 1/7th of the country, a 1/7th of the real estate. To put that in American terms, what sanctions would you propose to hit the USA with that if you so desired would get it to abandon California, New Mexico... and the other territories acquired from Mexico?

      If you want a reasonable goal like more colleges or civilian not military courts then you can talk pressure but otherwise you are just asking the impossible.

    • @Giles

      That’s the problem, isn’t it? Either it is a democracy with equal rights for all, or it is Jewish. It cannot be both,

      Of course it can be both. The original democracies had state cults. Just as I as a USA citizen have an obligation to pay taxes those democracies include obligations of citizenship which included paying tribute to city and state gods. 19th century European democracies had state churches. Those were democracies. Moreover to pick the example I like to use the USA very effectively constructs its religion so that formally religious freedom exists but structurally all religions end up as flavors of Protestantism. The United States is rightfully considered a model for religious freedom within a democracy.

      In Israel in particular we see no problems between the democracy and the minority Druze religion. The Druze successfully compromised in a way that would allow Israel to have almost unlimited Druze without it challenging the Jewish nature of the state.

      One of the things BDSers like to do is to create absolute definitions to make problems unsolvable and then say the only way to solve problems is by destroying what exists now and replacing it with an impractical utopian future construction. In real life in real societies problems are solved through compromise between competing aims and balancing. There are tensions in all areas of law between competing goals and the laws tend to usually do a good but imperfect job of finding a balance that the society is happy enough with.

    • An Israeli colleague is a colleague who is in or comes from Israel.
      link to

    • @Marc

      First off you are acting like a spokesperson for Judaism. You should know this stuff.

      I doubt Jacobs’s Israeli colleagues include Israeli dissidents like Amira Hass, Gideon Levi and Ilan Pappe.

      They don't. They aren't his colleagues. His colleagues are rabbis. Amira Hass, Gideon Levi and Ilan Pappe did not graduate Hebrew Union College and don't have semikhah.

      It’s time for Jewish leaders to tell us – without apology – where they stand.


      As for two states (also from the platform): TWO STATES, ONE PATH TO PEACE
      Lasting peace, security and stability for Israel, the Palestinians and the surrounding Middle East region is possible through a commitment to a two-state solution. Although the road may seem long, we must pursue the path to that peace every day.

      Is the Reform movement committed to one person, one vote within Israel?


  • Landmark New York Synagogue attempts to shut down Nakba discussion
    • @Annie --

      You are confusing discrimination prohibitions with contract law.
      A has a contract with X and keeps it no discrimination involved.
      B has a contract with X and breaks it no discrimination involved.
      C has a contract with X and breaks it discrimination involved.

      For a private business C might be subject to two different penalties one for discrimination and one for breach of contract. For a church C and B are in the same situation. The fact that C and B are the same doesn't mean anything about whether B and A are the same.

      As for no reply button. Yes. Having comments in random places is annoying. I'd rather just have a top level comment and have at least one more round of responses be in the clear. Why not just fix the setting to allow greater nesting or indicate responses its partially your board?

      I'd rather just have a clae

    • @Annie

      so jeff, you think it’s ok to make a contract with someone, accept the money and then 2 months later inform the people you’ve had a change of heart the day before the event?

      No I think what I responded Peter about. Your post would be analogous to me responding your post with something like "So Annie, you think it is OK to run through stop signs on the corner or 3rd and Elm?"

    • @peter123

      This isn't discrimination. But even if it were churches (and synagogues) are not subject to non discrimination clauses. They can discriminate against whomever they want for whatever reason they want. For example Section 702, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-1 exempts religious organizations from all prohibitions on discrimination associated with employment and Corporation of the Presiding Bishop v. Amos extends that to even non-religious activities by a religious organization.

  • Who can save Israel now?
    • @Shingo

      I want you to try thinking and stop yelling. It doesn't help. I'm not stupid and I'm not uninformed. If I'm saying something that appears obviously false try and think through if you are misunderstanding what I'm saying. Saying "wrong" and then asserting some fact that I obviously know means you are likely missing the point.

      First off:
      Self determination: link to
      Nation: link to
      Nation state: link to

      These are not terms I'm making up. These are ideas that have been part of western culture for thousands of years and form the basis of the entire international system. link to

      Peoples join with like peoples to form nations.
      Nations create states to enact their collective will.
      States create laws.

      This is not some esoteric doctrine this is high school civics.

      Self determination most explicitly does not limit itself to persons whose families came to a territory by particular means. That idea that only particular people had the right to rule others is what the people who believed in self determination were fighting against. A belief in self determination is an assertion that people have the right to a government that represents them where ever they live. The argument you are making about creating a distinction between what you call "legitimate residents" that are should have rights under law and another class called "illegitimate residents" is effectually trying to recreate the distinction between patrician and plebe that the advocates for self determination including those who founded the USA were quite explicitly unwilling to embrace.

      There are a lot of links. This is going to take some time to think. If you want to write another post which comes back with you asserting some random fact and how I'm wrong then I'll move on. Otherwise try and think this through. And if you disagree on what a law is, what is a citizen is, what a state is... then give definitions that are consistent with one another and work up in a way that isn't circular.

    • @Hostage

      That is also incorrect. The Judge was saying that “Israeli” is merely a synonym for “Jewish” – and that only persons of that nationality are entitled to citizenship under the Law of Return.

      Exactly. You are still equivocating between two different meanings of nationality. Let's try this a different way making the distinction explicit. The Judge is saying:
      1) There is a Jewish nationality. That is not something the state is creating but rather a pre-existing group. Call that "nationality1"
      2) There is an Israeli citizenship. There are people of Jewish nationality who are not Israeli citizens. There are Israeli citizens that aren't of the Jewish nationality. So citizenship is not the same as nationality1.
      3) The state of Israel has a nationality classification system for its citizens. Call that nationality2.
      Note there are citizens who are not Jewish in the nationality2 sense. So citizenship is broader than nationality.

      The state aims that Jews in the nationality2 are people who are both Jews in the nationality1 sense and citizens of Israel. That is to say nationality1 and nationality2 are not the same thing even Israeli law because most diaspora Jews are nationality1 Jewish but not nationality2 Jewish.

      For France.
      There is a French nation which is Catholic, French speaking ect... (call that nationality1)
      There are French citizens. Many French nationals in the nationality1 sense are not French citizens. Some French citizens are not French nationals in the nationality1 sense. There is a concentration of such people particularly among the Muslim community which is what "failure to assimilate" means.
      France does not have a national classification system so there is no legal nationality2.
      However, one can construct nationality2 French by defining it as people who are nationality1 French and also French citizens.

      The fact that the French state doesn't make that definition explicit doesn't mean it can't be made.


      As for pervasive discrimination against Israeli Arabs and the state of Israel that's really confusing the issue I'm talking about with RoHa. Especially since you are conflating Palestinians who are citizens and those who live under the military dictatorship in the West Bank. I agree there is some discrimination though I think that has decreased as the economic statistics show. There is not a separate set of laws designed to create a permanent underclass or separation because otherwise the data on economic progress wouldn't be happening. Discrimination, while troublesome, is not apartheid. I wouldn't call it "racial discrimination" either because there is clearly not a racial component. But I agree that there are lower levels of public services funding, that these lower levels are harmful to Israeli Arabs and that Israel shouldn't be doing that.

      I should mention though that the sort of discrimination in terms of lower funding for Muslim neighborhoods is present in France towards Muslims and the USA towards Blacks as well. There is nothing uniquely Israeli about that.

    • @Shingo

      Bull, they have the consent and support of the governed which is the ultimate legitimate source.

      Rubbish. Israel has no more legitimacy beyond the legal borders of the state of Israel than Saddam had in Kuwait.

      States don't have a right to self determination people do. Self determination is the assertion that people have the right to say they no longer wish to have one sovereign and exchange them for another. The UN is an apologist for dictatorship. But there are other traditions that assert a right of people exist to choose their government for example:

      That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

      The assertion was the people of East Jerusalem have the right under self determination to choose to be governed by Israel.

    • @Hostage

      Are you really that dense? The State of Israel maintains a population registry where it catalogs its own citizens under 120-plus different “nationalities”.

      Hostage. You are jumping into a conversation about the topic about how France is French as a matter of nationalities not a question of laws. Israel uses the term nationalities but the state exists to advance the interests of one of those the Jewish-Israeli nationality.

      French citizens are French [in the national sense]

      No they aren't. That's precisely what the Muslim radicalization debate in France is all about they are French to a greater or lesser extent. And non French citizens can often be more French than people who in a legal sense hold citizenship.

      There is no Israeli nation separate from the Jewish people. . . . The Jewish people is composed not only of those residing in Israel but also of Diaspora Jewries.”

      Exactly the judge is talking about the Jewish people not the Israeli citizens. Obviously diaspora jews aren't Israeli citizens at all.

    • @Citizen

      That's mostly the issue of what it is called.

      There most certainly is a Jewish-Israeli nationality that exists today in Israel. They Israeli government classifies these people as citizenship: Israeli, nationality: Jewish. Now there is an issue of whether such people can have a nationality called "Israeli" distinct from Jewish. Zionism argues that Israel is Jewish the way France is French. There is no broad nationality identity for the territory France other than the French nationality. And the court was saying the analogous situation applies to Israel. You can't have two nationalities in Israeli law and Jews in Israel already have one.

    • @Philemon

      How is being culturally French versus a citizen of France different from being culturally Jewish versus a citizen of Israel?

      I don't even understand what you are asking. I'm also not sure if I see the connection. The question being discussed is what is means for France to be French. I don't really even understand

      And how about all the Jewish people who decline to be Israeli?

      What about them? . Individuals can take any path, the same way individual cells fall off a body or die every minute without changing the nature of the body. The question is not what do individuals do in specific but what's happening as a broader movement. And the broader movement, Jews are emptying out of every country on the planet they lived in and concentrating reversing the diaspora. That migration is either pulling them out of the Jewish religion / nation on a generational basis or pulling them into being Israeli. Judaism is a in a transition period and Judaism the religion exists side by side with Jewish nationality in Israel. The presence of Israel is morphing Judaism and the Jewish people are rapidly migrating to Israel. A century from now there might only a be 1m people who still identify with Judaism who don't have strong ties to Israel.

      200 years from now or less Judaism is just be "the Israeli religion" and talking about Jews who aren't connected to Israel becomes some sort of fringe idea exclusive to Jewish based cults but having no impact on the broader religion.

      As you point out, many citizens of France might not be all that culturally French, but they have full legal rights. And sometimes they provide welcome variations in cuisine, as well.

      Of course. And that can be true of Israel as well. Israel doesn't need all Israelis to be Jewish for Israel to be Jewish.

      Being French, culturally, as I have understood it, is speaking French and maintaining enlightenment values, as in liberté, égalité, and fraternité.

      It is much more than that. A French speaking African Muslim society with liberté, égalité, and fraternité would not be culturally French.

      It is not a racial identity. There’s no inheritance, or birth, blood, nation, skin-color, religion or name involved.

      Neither is Judaism racial. As for inheritance a disproportionate number of the people who are French in 2015 were born to people who were French in 1985. That wouldn't be true if it weren't inherited. As for religion France is absolutely culturally Catholic and mostly religiously Catholic. That's one of the reasons French Jews have had a trouble being truly French even though in so many other respects they are culturally French.

    • @Hostage

      What’s the difference between that position [held by Muslim Jerusalemites] and the (now) moot arguments employed by the South African government to justify its own occupation of neighboring Namibia?

      South Africa never asserted that Namibia was part of South Africa. They wanted to have this concept of a provence that wasn't formally incorporated in South Africa neither independent nor part of South Africa. That's nothing like Israel's status with Jerusalem which they have formally annexed. So the analogy doesn't hold up at all.

      Where they analogy might hold up is Area-A or Area-B.

      The prohibition of apartheid and annexations

      That's you conflating multiple issues. There is no prohibition against arson and petty theft in state laws. Those are separate crimes. Being guilty of one has no bearing on being guilty of the other. Moreover if you are talking about the same piece of property you can accuse someone of having burned it, or you can accuse them of having stolen it. But you would need to construct a fairly tortured scenario where both are true.

      The areas that Israel annexed it has granted full civil rights and the vote ergo no apartheid. The areas under a military dictatorship aren't annexed.

      Israeli lawmakers only represented a belligerent occupying power, which was bereft of any legitimate source of sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

      Bull, they have the consent and support of the governed which is the ultimate legitimate source. They lack the UN's endorsement so I get the UN doesn't agree. That part of the problem that the UN is enemy of people to have self determination and not just with respect to Israel. If the definition of legitimacy is slavish adherence to the immorality of the UN's anti-democratic principles then you are right. But we've talked about this before and I go with older international law that rejected the authority of the Pope even under the new name of "United Nations" to determine national borders and instead holds that governments are empowered by their people.

      As for your ending comment you are conflating again. There are two issues:

      a) Does the government of Israel have the right to decide property disputes between its citizens.

      b) Must the government of Israel grant citizenship to all in a territory.

      Those aren't remotely the same question. We were discussing (a). Bring in (b) doesn't address the question. Israel's claim is that Jerusalem is fully Israeli and subject to Israeli law. Israel is the arbiter of who owns property in its territory. Obviously it can't discriminate in how it administers justice but that's a far different claim than that it can't administer justice.

      As for (b) the answer is certainly "yes for all who desire it". . Showing evidence that states are obligated to offer it doesn't prove one way or another if states are obligated to force people to accept a citizenship they refuse. That's what you need to show.

    • @RoHa

      In what way is France French? It isn’t a citizen of France. It is full of French people, but they get their Frenchness from being citizens of France. Do you mean that France is French because it is full of French citizens?

      Good question. No I mean France is French because it is full of people who are nationally French.
      They speak the French language
      They all identify with French symbols: fleur-de-lis (a Frankish symbol), eiffel tower, the red and blue of the revolution (or the 3 estates), Napoleon, arc de triomphe...
      They eat: baguette, ficelle,flûte...
      Their religious identify is tied up in Catholicism including Catholic anti-clericalism. Even the French Jews and assimilated Muslims have inherited these compromises about religion based on a history that is not theirs.

      We are talking nations not states here. It isn't about having a card saying they are French it is about being French.

    • @Hostage

      That was exactly my point. The territory that these people inhabited supposedly became part of Israel by operation of a municipal law. There is no reason, except for a deliberate policy of apartheid, which can explain why the inhabitants didn’t automatically acquire citizenship by operation of that same law.

      The reason is they rejected it. They refused allegiance to the sovereign. One can argue about whether Israel should have respected their desire to remain loyal to Jordan / Palestine or forced them all to be citizens. But being inhabitant doesn't grant you citizenship. For example in the USA here a Green Card holder is an inhabitant but citizenship requires you swear an oath renouncing foreign allegiance, ""I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen ". 50 years later they still do stuff like have black water tanks to indicate their solidarity with West Bank Palestinians shows that they don't want citizenship. There is a huge difference between someone being offered a slice of pizza and refusing, and not being offered a slice because of their race. Conflating the two is lying.

      Now the debate about whether Israel should have had that light touch or not is a different one. There are times when Israel does assert absolute sovereign law and you are just as critical so the issue is not their having a soft touch.

      Prohibition of mixed marriages is another.

      That's too bad. The Druze for example consider the product of a mixed marriage permanently excluded from the community. The Jews don't allow for mixed marriage. The Muslims are pretty restrictive as well. The UN is just going have to deal on that one that Israel and the overwhelming bulk of its population firmly disagrees across the board with that position. Restrictions on marriage are the overwhelming majority of societies in human history so this is your tendency to define crimes so broadly as to be meaningless. Christianity going back to the right of slaves to marry without their master's consent in the 2nd has an 1800 year history of comparative liberalism on this issue, so the west is out of step with global standards. But that's not apartheid.

      The Israeli Supreme Court’s repeated refusal to permit every citizen to be registered as an “Israeli national” is a perfect example of a “policy and practice” of discrimination adopted for the purpose segregation or for the establishment and maintenance of domination by one ethic national group over another ethnic national group in order to systematically oppress them.

      I don't know about that. The Druze and the Armenians are separately registered which of them is oppressing the other? It is a clearly a practice of classification and registration and an embrace of multiculturalism at a state level. I'm not terrible fond of it either. I'd like there to just to be an Israeli nationality. But at least for now I don't see the system as necessarily oppressive.

      The fact that Israel has subsequently revoked the residency of over a quarter million Palestinian inhabitants who have been displaced from that, and the other occupied territories, is equally telling.

      We are talking citizenship not residency. The USA has deported a million Mexican illegals in the USA. Residents don't have the same rights as citizens.

      You and Mikhael were engaged in artless dissimulation about the ease with which all of these people could supposedly apply for and obtain citizenship; the right to vote; and hold public office in East Jerusalem. Even your meager source explained that two-thirds of the applications were not approved.

      Be careful the main reason until the last few years that people applied for citizenship was to travel without losing residency. I don't think the numbers are nearly that stark in the last decade. I suspect if I looked I'd find pretty strong numbers. People are pretty clear that many Arab Jerusalemites are “upgrading their status" since the 1996 laws have started to bite.

      If you’re deliberately trying to look absurd, then you’re being wildly successful at it. In most cases we are talking about Israeli criminals who have conspired to convert plundered Palestinian land and/or property for their own personal use and enrichment.

      No we aren't. We are talking about people buying a home from another person or a real estate company and living in it. Same as anywhere else. They are not engaging in a conspiracy to plunder in anyway that every other person on the planet isn't plundering from the societies that existed before them on the same land. Are the current Palestinians residents engaging in a conspiracy to plunder the Turks or the British?

      FYI, it happens to be the Jews who control the travel and building permit systems that dictate the boundaries in which the disenfranchised Palestinians are allowed to live and work. That system is illegal and immoral, regardless of whether you end up with one state or two. For example, here how Israel’s Holocaust Museum describes a similar process that targeted Jews:

      Jews were loyal citizens of Germany. They at that point did not claim allegiance to any foreign power. If Palestinians were willing to be loyal citizens of Israel there wouldn't an Israeli / Palestinian crisis. Look at the Druze comparatively.

      The IDF’s own records reveal that one third of the land occupied by Jewish communal settlements in the Occupied Territories was stolen Palestinian private property.

      And if that's true the sovereign, Israel, is responsible for cleaning that up. Right now we have a situation where the Palestinians refuse to agree to sell and buy land like normal Israelis and often enforce this through broadly supported terrorist organizations. That complicates things a lot. On balance I think Israel has been a bit unfair regarding compensating the Palestinians. On the other hand, every house, every inch of property is ultimately Israel's. The same way that every inch of property in New Jersey is subject to the state of New Jersey. So there may be claims against individual Israelis including the JNF or the claims that the state has been unfair. But ultimately it is the state that controls the distribution of property.

      As far as the refusal to sell and killing people that do, The state of Israel has to decide what to do with criminality the same way the USA has to decide what to do with the property of drug dealers.

      The case with plundered Palestinian public land and natural resources is even worse. Article 6 of the Palestine Mandate clearly stipulated that “State lands or waste lands required for public use” were not to be included in the land made available for Jewish settlement.

      First off under the League the idea was a Jewish Homeland and even that got restricted. Moreover it isn't relevant. The League was violently racist against Jews which is one of the reasons the solution to the problem of European Jewry wasn't solved by just moving them to a place where they wouldn't be killed.

      But ignoring the history the whole idea that there is Jew land and Arab land is racism that you are accusing the Jews of. Either you have different laws for different nations and the entire first part of your post where you take umbrage at such laws is ridiculous, or you don't support such laws and there is equality. Now if there is full equality then you are breaking with the UN's position. The original claim was not you weren't accurately reflecting the UN's anti-colonial racism the claim was that the distinctions between settlements and villages is pure racism. International law per the UN and the 2SS is racist. I'm not disagreeing the Mondoweiss belief that untermensch Judenschwein outside the proscribed area are criminals is in line with the UN.

      You have to decide which position you want:

      Option 1: Jews have the right to build homes on block A but not block B and then you can't whine about Israel's discriminatory laws.... But you do get to attack settlements.

      Option 2: There are no settlers. Everyone regardless of nationality should be able to live anywhere and then you do get to complain about Israel's laws but not about settlements.

      The issue of property disputes comes after once the sovereign is decided upon that sovereign can decide whether title did or did not properly transfer.

    • @Hostage

      No, the discriminatory nationality in question is the “Arab”one employed by the Interior Ministry for official purposes in the population registry for non-Jews. You claimed that Palestinians and Mizrahim belong to the same race, but Israel certainly doesn’t officially encourage intermarriage between its other Arab citizens and its “Arab Jews”. In fact it’s prohibited under domestic law. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that there is no Israeli nationality other than the Jewish people, including the Diaspora. So the unofficial terminology “Israeli Arab” can only logically include the Mizrahi community (which objects to the label).

      I see what happened I read your statement, ". In any event, they (Mizrahi Jews and “Israeli Arabs”) aren’t treated equally under the law" as claiming that Mizrahi are discriminated against relative to Ashkenazi since that was the context. Certainly Israeli Arabs face some level of different laws than Mizrahim. Just to make sure we are on the same page

      1) Palestinians and Mizrahim are the same race
      2) Palestinians Muslims and and long time Palestinian Jews are the same ethnicity
      3) Palestinians (Arabs) and Mizrahim are not the same nationality
      3b) It is arguable that 150 years ago Palestinians (Arabs) and Mizrahim were the same nationality (Levant people)
      4) Israeli Arabs and Mizrahim are citizens of the same country
      4b) Palestinians who are not Israeli Arabs and Mizrahim are not citizens of the same country.

      JeffB: sraeli law doesn’t allow someone to have two nationalities

      Hostage: If there aren’t any dual citizens, then why do IDF regulations only ban such individuals from serving in the submarine service

      I said two nationalities. In this context two nationalities on their ID card. Israeli law only allows for one nationality on their ID card. A person with one legal nationality can have dual citizenship.

      No they are still routinely under represented in the media and in top level professional positions,

      How is that inconsistent with a rapidly increasing relative position in economic status and political power? Professions you would expect to remain Ashkenazi as those are traditional European Jew jobs. As for media: all sorts of people are under represented in media. For example in England the percentage of women in theatre just crossed the 1/3rd mark. While at the same time 2/3rds of theatre executive directors are female showing over representation.

      There probably are some lingering problems. Heck the Irish still don't have equal financial station to WASPs in America. But I'll stand by the Mizrahi having been raised tremendously. Israel got the lower social classes from Morocco the rich went to France. Even with strong social mobility and no discrimination that's going to take about 3 generations to work through. Discrimination would be this inequality persisting not it being effectually remedied.

    • @Hostage

      Generations of Mizrahi Jews have spilled oceans of ink complaining about the fact that Ashkenazi Jews in Israel either discriminate against them or marginalize them socially, economically and politically on the basis of any ethnic characteristics they happen to share with their Arab neighbors, including the color of their skin

      And statistics show two generations of rapidly growing economic equality while the marriage statistics show the social marginalization isn't happening. The Likud party has strong Mizrahi /Sephardic support, while the Labor party is much stronger Ashkenazi. Shas is explicitly Mizrahi. Kalhoon is Mizrahi and when asked about discrimination thinks it is nonsense. There may still be some lingering ethnic tension but Israel had a problem in the 1960s and has mostly addressed it successfully. As for your claims about a discriminatory nationality... that's nonsense. Israeli law doesn't allow someone to have two nationalities and the state encourages intermarriage between Sephardic and Ashkenazi.

    • @Ellen

      JeffB, are you one of those people who believe the Zionist wanted Jewish victims of the Holocaust because it would be good for Zionism?

      Sounds like you are. Ugggh!

      I don't know what people you are talking about, so I'd assume no I'm not one of them. The Zionists mostly opposed the Nazis. When the Zionists predicted the rise of Nazism ie. a pogrom carried out with the new technological capacities for mass mobilization of resources demonstrated by states in WWI. The egalitarian liberals disagreed. Understanding the future and being prepared for it is different from desiring it.

    • @Mikhael

      Of course. Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians are the same race. Color plays no role.

      I'd also agree, the whole concept of "settler" isIMHO racist crap. I find it remarkable that western BDSers can call for a unified state of all its citizens in one breath and in the very next breath uphold the concept that neighborhoods should have permanent racial codes where only people of the right race can buy housing. Just more of inherent contradiction between their anti-racism and the ferocious racism of the anti-colonial movement.

      The neighborhoods I grew up in went from Welsh to German to Irish to Italian / Jewish to Black to Hispanic. The neighborhood I'm living in now is becoming much less Jewish and much more South Asian. Those people weren't settlers they are inhabitants. My parents weren't Jewish settlers when they moved and the people moving into my neighborhood aren't South Asian "settlers".

      I find it terrible ironic to see people calling me racist while expressing their deep support for housing segregation.

    • @Just

      What does “unquestionably Jewish” mean or look like to you?

      A state where Judaism has become a state religion and a state culture. Things that are already present like
      : bus stops having the time the 3rd star will be in the sky on Saturday
      : everyone casually asking if the meal is going to be milk or meat
      : sinks in restaurants are setup with a cup for saying the Jewish washing blessing not like Christian sinks

      It means that Israel is Jewish in the way that France is Catholic or America is Baptist. That the religion is so embedded in the culture that someone who hasn't spent time in other cultures doesn't even realize how much the state religion has infused their culture. Where all the other religions that exist in the state are just variants. American Judaism is a Jewish flavored Protestantism. In an unquestionably Jewish state if they exist the Islam and Christianity would just be Muslim or Christian flavored Judaism. It means that Judaism ceases to exist meaningfully as a global religion and goes back to just being "the Israeli religion".

      Unquestionably Jewish means there is one people in the land. My hope is the descendants of the Jews who migrated and the descendants of the Palestinians have both merged into Israelis and there are (or few) pure Jews or pure Palestinians and those words seem antiquated. But of course there are alternatives. In short to use Heidegger's term the dasein (or being-in-the-worldnes) of everyone both ) is Israeli and Jewish.

      The biological nonsense you all obsess over are hopefully soon dead issues.

    • @WJones

      I don’t see anything you wrote that contradicts my conclusion. Jewish Americans, as we both agree, will not care as much about the Israelis. Even if they somewhat move to the right in the US, I don’t think i will be that strong, anymore than say Italians, who were still Democrats. Due to being a somewhat secular religious minority they will still be more likely to be liberals in cultural values.

      That's what I'm saying the majority that identify as Jewish will be at least 1/2 orthodox or tightly tied to Israel. Sure among the 1/2 that aren't you might see a 30% being liberal but that's under the USA average for liberals. The Jewish youth aren't going to be Progressive except for Palestine because they aren't going to be all that progressive.

      Now if you could the much larger say group of people who likely identify as having a Jewish grandparent and have some weak ties. They will be secular and liberal, but they won't care.

      On the main in 50 years the Jewish community likely won't have enough power anymore on the left to influence the left's stance towards Israel. But at the same time they might still have enough to influence America's stance.

    • @WJones

      I'm more optimistic about what the situation looks like in 50 years. But let's go with your premise that a Jim Crow Israel exists.

      You have to remember that demographic changes are hitting the Jewish population as well. The religious have lots of kids the secular don't. Moreover the secular intermarry at a high rate. The grandchildren of the intermarried are Christian. So USA Jews who are today liberal are having atheist and Christian grandchildren. The many millions of descendants will be Christian or Atheist and have a Jewish grandparent. Those kids they may have some degree of affection for Judaism, Israel and the Jewish people but their self identity won't be tied up in Israel. Israel is just some foreign country that is friendly to the USA and that they have warm feelings about even if they don't like how they treat their indigenous minority.

      Now let's talk about the population that identifies as Jewish. Among those young Jews something like 70% of young Jews will be Israeli. 1/2 the remainder will have strong ties: 1/2 Israeli or Orthodox and thus frequently in Israel. They won't have the Jewish religious identity tied up with Reform movement and Western European / American social justice... It just isn't part of their background. That leaves in America a faction say 1.5m non religious Jews with no or weak ties to Israel left of which a few hundred thousand are young. The question is in 2 generations are they liberal in the same way? Jews are moving right as they assimilate. Certainly some fraction will be but I doubt in anything like today's numbers. So now you have tens of thousands of young Jewish liberals who think of Israel as a violation of their values. That's not a mass movement, it can support a magazine though.

    • @Phil

      This was a base election. MSNBCs' comment that Netanyahu was the new George Bush (43) I think is accurate. Certainly most liberal zionists detested George Bush so that does present a problem. What this election showed was whatever saw that Israelis are shifting left economically and right on foreign policy. While there are still divisive issues there is a growing consensus about what sorts of policy shifts Israelis want. This election presents the new PM with a mandate.

      Israelis have never indicated they want a strained violent relationship with Palestinians. What they have indicated they want is an unquestionably Jewish state. Israel will be Jewish in the way that France is French. Israel can be highly democratic, but that democratic impulse will not be allowed to undermine the function of the state. I think this election clarifies what Jewish and Democratic mean. Israel can be Democratic in so far as that doesn't compromise it being Jewish.

      The real lesson of the election is

      a) Israel has a majority or close to it on the right
      b) The various rightwing parties really are more like a primary in the USA representing various factions that will come together when threatened by the left.

      As an aside what I've been hearing is the reason the exit polls were so off was the military vote. The rightward shift is more present among the young. Denormalization is dangerous for Palestinians. Denormalization is dangerous for Palestinians. Denormalization is dangerous for Palestinians.

      Having abandoned the two state solution I think the most obvious thing for Netanyahu to do would be go give Bennett the Foreign Ministry and let him sell the Bennett plan globally for the next few years. Bennett needs some international experience and he would happily work with Netanyahu on this.

      As for Americans. I still think most Jews who are involved fundamentally understand the dynamic. The holocaust proved the need for a Jewish state not a Jewish homeland. What BDS proposes, even in your incredibly optimistic scenarios is a Jewish homeland within a Palestinian state. They won't like that.

      When asked whether they want a more democratic state in Israel I suspect liberals will say yes (heck most conservatives would say that). When asked if they want Khaled Mashaal to have control of Israeli's ICBMs I suspect liberals will quickly say no. When asked if they had to pick which do they pick... I suspect liberals will want some sort of measure that doesn't sound so bad like the ZU.


      . Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who are governed by Israel, who according to Israel live In Israel, cannot even vote because of the color of their skin.

      East Jerusalem residents can apply for citizenship and once they get it can vote. That skin color things simply isn't true. More importantly there is no skin color laws in Israel. This is a complex enough issue without fabricating stuff for effect. If East Jerusalemites choose for residency and not citizenship as a protest then they have made their choice. I'd prefer that East Jerusalem residents not be allowed to renounce their citizenship (the same way a USA citizen can't renounce inside the USA) but so far Israel gave them that choice.

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
    • @Eljay

      All of these things are aspects – ugly, unjust and immoral aspects – of Israel. They do not have to exist for Israel to exist.

      Of course not. There are plenty of ways to reform Israel to reduce the ugly aspects. The Israeli government is not perfect in its behaviors. There is a very wide spread between a less than perfect government and a society that needs to be annihilated. Every society has an impoerfect government not every society needs to be killed. Israel has a democracy and a track record of making compromises and demands so as to successfully integrating multiple ethnic groups into its nation. That includes the Israeli Arabs.

      The things you object to need to be worked through in a careful way for the merger to be successful. Having millions of people who hate Israel and who want to destroy the country in would require much greater levels of violence and immorality for Israel to continue to exist. Your solution is terrible. Your statement of the problem is partially correct.

      The on top of that you want a secular western democracy for a bunch of people about 80% of whom aren't western and don't want a western style democracy. Which further drives you from having a realistic solution.

      As an aside on the Rasmea Odeh thread you are asserting she wasn't tried on the issue of lying on an immigration form. She was tried and that she lied was not a disputed fact at trial. She argued that the lie was the result of PTSD which the judge rejected. So she has been convicted.

    • @Donald

      Your group supports the destruction of Israel not its reform. You skipped that part. I think you should consider that example a bit more and stop worrying about what people do or do not looking kindly upon. Virginia was destroyed in a horrific war, the people who supported the old system were mostly impoverished or dead by 1865. An alliance of freedman, carpetbaggers and scalawags supported by the radical republicans in the north came in with dreams of forever changing the society. Within 3 years there was an active terrorist movement (the first klan) which escalated and then required a military intervention to put down. While that intervention initially worked popular resistance grew and the reformist government of Virginia didn't last a decade. Liberal colonialism is just as subject to popular resistance as the economic form.

      I don't think Virginia is a good analogy for Israel but if you want to use it as an analogy I don't see how the history of Virginia helps your case.

    • @RoHa

      Iran funded and provided strategic depth for terrorist operations against the USA in Iraq for years. They have made our job in Afghanistan much more difficult. When this Iranian government first formed after the revolution one of their first acts was to attack a USA embassy violating arguably the single most important principle of international law stretching back thousands of years. They've threatened shipping of oil. our single biggest strategic objective repeatedly. Their proxies in places like Lebanon have also attacked American troops. As for helping defeat ISIS, Iran has done far more against the USA than ISIS has.

      As for making them are friend from not harming them. We tried befriending them after 9/11, that failed. After 8 years of not harming, and tremendously helping them in 2001 Obama came into office in 2009 with a strong pro-Iranian tilt. They didn't reciprocate. So your theory of not harm was tried and failed.

    • @Donald

      I’d agree with a lot of that, in praise of Israel, but it is absurd to praise them for their values when the entire state is based on ethnic cleansing and they are still practicing a form of apartheid.

      That's exactly the sort of problem with your comments below. Their entirety of Israel or Israel's values is not the Palestinians. For example Israelis have terrific family values the divorce rate among Israeli couples is about 1/2 the rate in the USA. They have terrific community values. I've lived in communities where everyone sees everyone as transient. Israelis really care for their neighbors. They have a very low Jew on Jew murder rate even compared most western countries and their crime rate is well below most western countries.

      Israel is not all about Palestinians.

      Again, you know this and you know the answer to your whataboutery. You’re trying to distract attention from what Israel does to the Palestinians

      No I'm asking you to have a sane balanced view. . Many societies have problems we don't destroy them over those problems. Belarus has horrific alcoholism problem. I don't want to end Belarus over that. israel like any country has thousands of aspects. On human rights it is better than average while being worse lately than most western countries. That's it.

      I think the generation coming up is likely to be a lot more violent than their parents when it comes to the Palestinians and the denormalization game Palestinians are playing is dangerous for people worried about the human rights. I think Netanyahu is lousy on the Palestinian issue in that he is jerk to them but isn't willing to make any dramatic moves to resolve the problems. I think Bennett would be far better in that he has the credibility to be generous. I also think that a hard left Hadash / Khenin government could be better if they had 10x the number of votes they do.

      . It’d be like saying there was nothing wrong with late 18th century Virginia because look at all the great men they produced.

      18th century Virginia was worse than Israel. Israel is not running a massive Palestinian farm to ship hundreds of thousands to die in whatever the the 21st century equivalent of the West would be. That being said, one can value Virginia while still deploring slavery. Slavery was an aspect of Virginia, slavery doesn't exist today but Virginia still does.

    • @Donald

      What is different is that it happened in the mid 20th century

      That's not even all that different.

      We had 2 years ago an ethnic cleansing a few years ago where the Bodos in India kicked out the Bengali-speaking Muslims some of whom had been their for centuries. I don't see college campus protests about it.

      We'v had a million people displaced in the last few years from the countries that used to be part of the French Equatorial Africa. I don't see any college protests about it.

      Burma has conducted ethnic cleansings.

      That's all in the last decade. And that's not including groups like ISIS or Iran/Shia groups whom the USA opposed. There is nothing unusual about Israel's behavior even temporally. As we've talked about before, state formation is a messy business in the 20th and 21st century just as much as in the 16th, 12th, 8th, 3rd... Humans are born in blood, human societies are born in blood.

      And it’s absurd to talk about how Israel is singled out by its opponents, when its supporters in the US are the ones who singled it out for absurd, over the top praise and dishonest propaganda.

      What absurd over the top praise? The praise that Israel receives is because it objectively is a great country. The Jews came to the poverty stricken, malaria infesthed shithole that was Palestine, and in 100 years with constant opposition from the natives they've created a first world country there with a living standard on par with European countries. They came to revive the glory that was Judaea has instead in a century have far surpassed anything the Herodians could have dreamed of. They've solved the Jewish question that has tormented Europe for a millennia and built a home for virtually the entirety of Mizrahim.

      For decades Israel and Egypt (a country with a population of 80m) have been keeping pace with each other in terms of strength of military and size of the economy. Israel has lately broken away and the Israeli economy is approaching Iran's. Israel's military already exceeds Iran's. Israel's cultural output is approaching parity with Iran's. All while Israel's population is the size of Tehran's.

      There is nothing absurd about the praise Israel gets. They are a wonderful country and a monument to accomplishment.

      But whether you agree or not... one can believe the Italian's quality as lovers or their food is overstated without justifying anti-Italian hate campaigns. One can disagree with French chauvinism about the superiority of the food, wine, literature, language... without having protests. The desire to crush the sort of petty pride that Jews feel towards their country when everyone's country gets the same sort of "over the top dishonest propaganda" doesn't strike me as a natural response.

    • @Maximus Decimus

      ”I think you mean state. You are confusing nation and state ”

      No. I mean nation. Why is the United Nations called just that, and not the ‘United States’?

      Because it came from the League of Nations. The League of Nations was based upon the ideas outlined in Kant's A Perpetual Peace: link to . Kant proposal was about how an agreement between nations could keep peace between states. He understood what the words meant and used them properly. You aren't.

      ”y calling themselves Jews (i.e. Judaeans) they have mostly chosen to identify with the ancient state of Judaea and its modern successor Israel.”

      I’ll overlook the made-up historical nonsense – Judeaa was never a ‘state’

      I'm making up historical nonsense? You can go to Israel today and see relics all over the place from Judaea. There are tens of thousands of archeological relics and documents attesting to Judaea. You are escaping into total fantasy.

      Very few of them have any tangible connections with the place.

      Obviously not. They have big Israeli flags in their places of worship. They donate to Israeli causes. They have family there. They visit. They follow the news there. Most Chinese have very few tangible connections to one another the Chinese are still a people. Heck I don't have many tangible connections to most people who live down the street from me. Nationality is about identification and common culture.

      Most would never live there and many have never even visited. So any ‘trauma’ they feel, or claim to feel, is through their own choice.

      Which is the same as many of the Americans most affected by 9/11 who had little ties to New York.

      Sounds like a parochial, hate infested kip to me. And ain’t it funny how all these US Jew’identify with’ Israel, yet choose to steer well clear of it?

      I don't see any evidence for that. USA Jewish travel to Israel has been increasing steadily. Of the 3.5m visitors to Israel annually 28% are Jewish most of that from the United States. Given that the USA only has 6m Jews that's far from steering clear of it. Do you think that America Jewish visitors to all other middle easter countries combined are anywhere near 750k?

      Certainly, few Jews with other options have chosen to take up residence in Israel.

      Israel has about 1/2 the world's Jewish population. Millions of them do have other options.

      ”Which is inconsistent with the entire BDS paradigm. If individual are the only thing that exists then Palestinians can’t collectively suffer, they can only individually suffer their individual problems. Similarly Israelis can’t collectively induce that suffering.”

      And your logic is faulty. Israelis, as a collective, vote for the governemnts which torment Palestinians,

      Then you have collectives. You have to decide whether collectives exist or not. If collectives take collective action then Israelis / Jews can take collective action for or against Palestinians. If collectives don't exist they can't. This is your contradiction not mine. Read your posts above.

      Intersting to see you are so implacably opposed to all forms of boycott though. You must be thoroughly against the sanctions on Iran, not to mention the siege of Gaza, since you are obsessed with a form of boycott which would, even in its most extreme form, be far less harsh than either of the above.

      Why must I hold those views? I'm in favor of of harming Iran because Iran is an enemy of the United States. I'm in favor of Israel harming Gaza because Gaza is an enemy of Israel. As a member of the West I'm opposed to the West destroying Israel because among other reasons Israel is a friend of the West.

      As for BDS being less harsh than either of the above. That's not all the case. Most BDSers support a ferocious blockade. Individuals differ. But they often advocate a total ban on travel and trade. They often seek a total ban on cultural interchange of almost any type. Something much closer to the sanctions regime imposed on North Korea. And they quite often quite openly seek complete economic collapse. That's in a society whose advanced economy is absolutely necessary to maintain a food supply above 800k-1.4m people's worth. Now they often don't put 2 and 2 together and openly say they seek the deliberate and premeditated death by starvation of 90% of the population of Palestine. One could perhaps excuse them being thoughtless and stupid since they often don't understand economics and there is a difference between rhetorical flights of fancy into genocidal rhetoric and an actual policy of genocide.

      That's a level of sanctions well beyond what's being done to Iran.

      That doesn't mean it would work. South Africa is nothing like Israel, the situation of South Africa in the 1980s is nothing like Israel's in the 2010s so it is hard to talk about BDS in any serious way. What it is successful at doing is creating ethnic tension in western countries, so far it has little to actually harm Israel getting back to the point of the post.

    • @Donald

      We’ve just had weeks where the extreme devotion of American politicians to Israel has been on the front pages of the paper

      No we haven't. We've had weeks where a group of politicians who disagree with Obama's policies on many issues also disagree with his policies on Iran. They are joined by a large group of Democrats who also disagree with Obama's policy on Iran but at the same time don't want to aggressively openly break with them. Those politicians who did want to openly break and belong to another party invited a speaker who happens to be the prime minister of a country whose nation also disagrees with president Obama's in the same way that Egypt and Saudi Arabia do. He graciously agreed to appear to present those views and was warmly embraced by the opposition party. The President decided to pout and act like a sorority girl with a whisper campaign when his policies were disagreed with causing lots of drama among the drama queens. The testimony went off anyway.

      That's what happened. Congress has pulled in testimony from people who disagree with presidents on matter of foreign policy many times. Congress has gone further and undercut USA presidents on their foreign policy opinions many times. When the Congress decided that the USA wouldn't continue to support the death squads in El Salvador that does not demonstrate a uniquely close relationship between the USA congress and Latin American liberation theologians. When the congress overrode Reagan on South Africa that did not show a uniquely close relationship between congress and the ANC. And for the current president when congress opposed Obama's policies on Honduras and undercut him that did not show a uniquely close relationship between the USA and Honduras nor the Partido Nacional de Honduras.

      Contrary to all the hysterics Obama's policies get overruled all the time as do other presidents. You just follow this issue more closely and so buy into the propaganda that there is something unique about it.

      Israel could be pressured by the US

      First off, Israel is pressured by the USA. That's why Netanyahu keeps going along with the charade of negotiations. That's why the 2008-9 Gazan war stopped when it did and they didn't do the damage they would do in later rounds. That's why Area-C hasn't been annexed. The USA can pressure anyone on anything including China. The fact that USA could do more is not unique to Israel.

      but our politicians prefer to give them support and money and claim we share similar values, which we do, but not necessarily in a good way

      As they do with most countries on the planet. We also make these declarations of common interests and shared culture.

      Japan: the United States is and always will be a Pacific nation. America’s security and prosperity is inseparable from the future of this region, and that’s why I’ve made it a priority to renew American leadership in the Asia Pacific. And the cornerstone of our strategy -- and the foundation of the region’s security and economic progress -- is our historic treaty alliances, including with Japan.

      Brazil: But today, I want to speak directly to the Brazilian people about how we can strengthen the friendship between our nations. I’ve come here to share some ideas because I want to speak of the values that we share, the hopes that we have in common, and the difference that we can make together.

      Pick any country.

      Israel exists as a Jewish state because it forced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians out of the country and didn’t let them back in.

      I'm not sure about that. The Palestinian boycott caused the the Yishuv to have its own economy fairly early well before the expulsion. The 1936-9 war destroyed the emerging colonial relationship and thus the ties. I don't know that you couldn't very easily have a Jewish state with Palestinians playing little role economically but still geographically living in the state. Or a Jewish state with a classic colonialist structure could have emerged where you have economic integration but discrimination. Or for that matter the Palestinians could have been nationalized much more aggressively had there not been a huge surge of immigrants from Arab countries and today the descendants of Palestinians are Jews (or at least practice a Judaized form of Islam). I don't think your "what-if" history is all that accurate. Let's not forget that the Jews who founded Israel had close ties to countries where military Stalinism was the government, how to have an urban population suppress the political leanings of a rural population whose loyalty to the state is questionable would have been a problem many of their allies could have given them advice on. Israel ended up having to become more western in its outlook because it increasingly allied itself with the western powers against the Soviets. It had to do that because of ferocious antagonism partially driven by the Nabka. Remove the Nabka and many other things about the 1940s before and the 1950s after have to change which makes the rest of Israel's development quite different.

      That comment btw is the sort of oversimplification that Israel supporters object to. It is just a one dimensional demonization that treats Israel totally differently than how other countries are treated. You cannot complain about racism while doing that. Israel is just another foreign country with two tribes who don't get along well one of which is losing. Nothing special.

      And “destroying Israel” is comparable to “destroying South Africa” back in the apartheid days.

      No it isn't. No one was suggesting the flooding of South Africa with a hostile population. That is much more comparable to what Rome did to Carthage not what the anti-Apartheid movement advocated for South Africa. BDS doesn't explicitly call for the genocide of the Jews, but they most certainly do call for the annihilation of Israel.

      I’m not personally wedded to a 1ss or a 2ss. If the Palestinians will settle for a 2SS, it’ll be easier to achieve.

      That's fine. The BDS movement however demands RoR to Israel proper. There are sensible ways to end this conflict and there were 2SS offers I would have accepted. There are also all sorts of 1SS that don’t require discrimination and at the same time allow the nation-state of Israel to thrive. But those are irrelevant when we are talking about the BDS movement. The BDS movement is annihilationist in its goals. The fact that some of its supporters, including yourself, might settle for less, doesn't change what BDS institutionally supports. If Jewish immigration is illegitimate that is East Jerusalem is permanently illegitimate when what's different about West Jerusalem? If the Palestinians in 1920 who tried to exterminate the Jewish population of Jaffa were acting correctly then why should the city those that escaped Jaffa and eventually settled in Tel Aviv be any different?

      The rhetoric of BDS is that Jews are permanently illegitimate. This has nothing to do with whether Israel does a bad a so-so or an excellent job of assimilation. You can see this with the Israeli Arabs whose economic status has exploded upwards in the last 2 generations and yet… they are grouped with the Gazans even though they by a large majorities (though unfortunately declining ones) reject that grouping and instead identify with Israel. For Herzl’s birthday an Israeli-Arab will be lighting one of the candles. She identifies with Herzl and considers those international figures like the Mondoweiss crowd who don’t think of her as fully Israeli as “racist assholes”. If BDS were interested in non-discrimination and not annihilation she wouldn’t be celebrated by the right and demeaned by the left.

      The anti-colonial movement believes in permanent racial possession of lands which is the opposite if equality.The blacks in South Africa recognized the Afrikaners as part of their country. The Palestinians didn’t and mostly still don’t. Were the left interested in equality they would be condemning not supporting this sort of talk.

    • @Maximus Decimus Meridius

      And American Jews, being in the nation of the US, , should identify with that nation, surely, and not an Asian nation of indeterminate borders which most of them have never visited and would hate to live in?

      I think you mean state. You are confusing nation and state. A nation is a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory. By calling themselves Jews (i.e. Judaeans) they have mostly chosen to identify with the ancient state of Judaea and its modern successor Israel. As for "would hate to live" Israel is a pretty nice place to live. There are many advantages to both America and Israel. Same as say America vs. Brazil or America vs. Spain.

      I’ve never heard of the concept of being ‘cousins’ with a nation on another continent.

      You clearly from this post didn't know what the word nation meant so that's a bit of a problem.

      Are they also ‘cousins’ of the 2O% of Israeli citizens who are Palestinian?

      Nope. They are part of the same state but not yet part of the same nation. That merger is progressing and hopefully will complete over the next 2 generations or so.

      JeffB: In much the same way that I by being an American am tied to “the western powers” including those I’m not part of.”

      No, you’re not. What a silly thing to say. You can only be responsible for your own actions, not those of others, certainly not of other countries.

      Which is inconsistent with the entire BDS paradigm. If individual are the only thing that exists then Palestinians can't collectively suffer, they can only individually suffer their individual problems. Similarly Israelis can't collectively induce that suffering. Individual Israelis may have harmed individual Palestinians. And then on top of that t becomes meaningless to even talk about Israelis and Palestinians because those words don't mean anything.

      You really do need to think about your framework. You most certainly are contradicting yourself.

    • @Donald

      This is odd–I typed what is below as a response to JeffB and now I can’t find his post. either it was removed or I’m temporarily blind.

      It appears it was removed.

      Okay, a few points. First, you said that bigotry among Jews is caused by anti-semitism, which might be possible,

      Did you mean against jews or among Jews? If you mean among Jews then I didn't say that nor do I agree. The cause of bigotry among Jews is a complex topic and I think probably better handled on the basis of geography and social class. For example there is a recent surge in anti-Indian bigotry among Russian Jews (1st generation immigrants) in some cities in the Northeast which IMHO is coming mainly from the fact that both groups migrated at the same time and end up competing for the same housing and jobs. lf you meant against Jews then I'll stand by it.

      but when people say that some anti-semitism is caused by Israel’s behavior they are accused of anti-semitism themselves. So which is it? Can bigotry be caused in part by the bad behavior of others?

      Sure. People can come to dislike Jews because of Israel in the same way that people can dislike blacks because of proximity to black crime. However American cultural racism is what encourages and cultivates the anti-black racism that emerges from these specific experiences. Without the underlying racism it would die out. So for example I don't suspect the anger towards the Indian community you see among Russian Jews to be passed on to their children and knowing the children that appears to be the case. On the other hand while anti-black racism is thankfully decreasing rapidly I do think there are children being born today who will be anti-black racists. Anti-semitism / anti-judism creates the structure which converts upset over Israel's actions into hatred of Jews that gets passed on.

      Second, the fact is that many on the pro-Israel side don’t make a distinction between anti-semitism and criticism of Israel. They say they do, but they often just mean that no criticism of Israel should have any bite to it. For instance, the U.S. gov is linked quite strongly to Israel .. if Israel is just another country to Americans, then you’re right, but the reality is that our politicians have been trained to treat Israel as the 51st state.

      That is objectively nonsense. The US government is linked quite weakly to Israel. China for example has somewhere $2t and $3.5t invested in the USA and has capital flows in the range $60b a month through the USA economy. That's larger than Israel's entire flow of funds to all countries combined and over an order of magnitude larger than their USA balances. Militarily we have tens of thousands of troops in Korea and a massive military base which drives our entire pacific naval strategy to support it. We fought our two largest non-civil wars with England and France to defend them against Germany.

      By any objective measure the USA's relationship with Israel is nowhere in the top 10 and closer to around our 20th closest relationship. Nothing unique about that. However believing that Jews are of universal importance is one of the core aspects of anti-semitism. The very distorted belief that we have this close relationship is anti-semitism.

      If the Palestinians were launching rockets regularly at Alabama, California or North Dakota or any USA state there wouldn't be Palestinians. Ask Al-Qaeda about how we react to bombings on USA soil. The USA is not close to treating Israel like a state.

      most of Congress genuflect to them

      Meaning what? All of congress agreed with the French government and not Chérif and Saïd Kouachi in the Charlie Hebdo incident. That doesn't make our relationship with France uniquely close. The USA people and their congress doesn't agree with Palestinian claims. Israel is a good client for arms sales. Nothing else is particularly close.

      It’s like saying that I can’t criticize Ferguson police unless I first criticize Kazakhstan.

      When criticism was leveled against Ferguson police the recommended solution was not the annihilation of Ferguson but rather relatively reforming the police department. BDS calls for the destruction of Israel not its reform. No one made the claim that Ferguson was forever illegitimate and thus needed to be destroyed because of Michael Brown they made the claim that Ferguson needed to reform their police department.

      Secondly. You are a citizen of the United States. The USA federal government frequently does involve itself when local police department get out of hand. You aren't a citizen of Israel you have no ties to it. Those two situations are not the same for you.

    • @Maximus

      Thanks for missing the point, Yonah.

      I'm not Yonah.

      The Zionist hoodlums are saying that Jews in California are ‘traumatised’ by events in Israel, simply because they are Jews,

      Well yes. Part of being in a nation is identifying with that nation. Many Americans were traumatized by 9/11, including tens of millions that had never been to New York. Part of what makes us human, is the ability to have societies. Those require group identity and a key part of group identity formation is sharing in collective experiences.

      and therefore have to be protected from such hateful words as ‘intifadah’. In other words, it’s fine to simply say that American Jews are automatically linked with Israel, when the desired result is to pain those Jews as victims and thereby delegitimise criticism of Israel. However, the very same people would be squealing about ‘antisemitism’ if anyone were to suggest that American Jews should also feel guilt over Israeli war crimes, simply because they are Jews.

      I said the opposite. Jews in America have chosen to identify with and institutionally support Israel. While not Israeli, they are cousins. As such they get some degree of collective credit for Israelis achievements and some degree of blame for Israel's failings. In much the same way that I by being an American am tied to "the western powers" including those I'm not part of.

      Personally, I don’t think either is true.

      I understand. One of the distinguishing characteristics of the modern hard left is a disagreement with the core idea of nationalism. Some preaching an individualism (which ironically enough in this context most strongly emerged from 18th century Jewish thinkers) and for others a global collective essentially similar to the idea of the universality of the Pope though now most often the claim is directed at the UN (which IMHO makes a poor substitute). However the anti-colonial movement goes well beyond nationalism into outright ethnic racism believing not in nations not only as cultural entities but biological ones. Thus BDS denies that Palestinians can ever be Israeli because of their ethnicity. That's a contradiction in your thinking you need to deal with. The ideology you are preaching contradicts the movement you belong to.

    • @Maximus Decimus Meridius

      Jews are "stained" by Israel in the same way that Americans are "stained" by Vietnam or the Frenchmen by Algeria. No one uses those terms towards other nations. When they start using those terms towards other people then it would be appropriate to use it about Jews.

      The reason they do use it is about Jews is because what they really mean is not that Jews are stained by Israel in the way that the Americans are stained by Vietnam. Rather what they mean is that Jews are stained by Israel in the way it used to be appropriate to think of them as stained by the crucifixion and isn't it great that we can all go back to expressing our true feelings openly.

  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • @Phil

      The truth is: Israel never would have come into existence without the United States.

      Sorry I don't see that. The USA government was mostly overrun by Arabists. There was support among the population but even that wasn't too key. Truman was not hostile but he was not a strong supporter of Israel either. Get rid of American support and you still have a strong Jewish terrorist organization in Israel driving the British cost of the mandate through the roof. The Soviets are going to much more supportive. So Israel comes into being as a Soviet ally, and is simply hostile to the west during the early 1950s.

      It gets harder to read the what-if from there. As a Soviet ally the Soviet union might not push the anti-Zionist line and instead encourage of its historically troublesome Jewish population 40 years earlier. Which makes Israel even more culturally Eastern European, economically communist and religiously atheist / Jewish which makes it even easier for the Soviets to trust Israel and thus develop them militarily as the cornerstone for Soviet interests in the middle east.

      I don't see the disaster for Israel if the USA doesn't support. That scenario might make life a lot more complex for American Jews. In this alternate history Zionism might remain so thoroughly associated with Communism that American Judaism never becomes Zionist. Or alternatively the huge surge in anti-Semitism under the name of anti-Zionism happens in the USA and not as it did historically in the Soviet Union. But American culturally doesn't keep people in so perhaps it is American Jews that flee to Soviet Israel in this hypothetical.

      Regardless I don't see the USA as instrumental to Israel's existence. America becomes much more instrumental after 1967.

  • Jewish groups that blindly support Israel make US and European Jews potential victims of violence -- Avnery
    • @Brewer --

      I'd love anti-Semitism to be in the scrap heap of history. The problem is that it isn't. Objectively Jews are a tiny population. Objectively Israel is a tiny slice of a peninsula whose main importance to the west is oil, and that slice doesn't have any. So were it not for anti-Semitism Jews would get classified with the other 1000 tribes that westerners don't like but don't particularly care about. There wouldn't' be a Mondoweiss because no one would care. Sure there might be lip service paid people don't like the droughts caused by Eritrea governent's mismanagement and they don't like that Israeli's dominant tribe picks on another tribe that lives locally. But they wouldn't really care.

      The idea that Christians should care about Jews, that what Jews do is of cosmic moral importance is the core anti-Semtism. Avnery's example of killing Jews because you are upset about what happened in Algeria while possibly a mean thing to do is not really anti-Semtisim. That's the kind of normal cultural revenge (now frequently called terrorism) that most national groups are subject to. Anti-Semitism has to be rooted in the belief that Jews are knowingly furthering the objectives of the King of this World (Satan). So the classic expressions of anti-Semtisim are things like:
      • Jews are behind a plan for global conquest,
      • Jews work through Masonic lodges,
      • Jews use liberalism to weaken church and state,
      • Jews control the press,
      • Jews work through radicals and revolutionaries,
      • Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold,
      • Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard,
      • Jews promote financial speculation and use of credit,
      • Jews replace traditional educational curriculum to discourage independent thinking,
      • Jews encourage immorality among Christian youth,
      • Jews use intellectuals to confuse people,
      • Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials,
      • Jews weaken laws through liberal interpretations,
      • Jews will suspend civil liberties during an emergency and then make the measures permanent.

      You see this argument on this board all the time the 3rd from last, "Jews control 'puppet' governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials, " is the one you see on Mondoweiss most commonly with regarding to AIPAC. Even though the polling shows that the pro-Israel position is quite popular with the American public and that congress is just reflecting the public's view. There is this paranoia about this lobby. There is a Christian theme that power induces moral corruption: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God . And Jews end up in this story becoming the means by which those good Christian in the legislature are corrupted.

      Chinese or Arabs or whatever don't deal with this theme of a deep underground evil. They may have to deal with other problems. For example Jews aren't associated with violent crime and lack of emotional control. That's a specific problem to anti-black racism that's not present in anti-Semitism.

      Why should you as a Christian humanist in Australia even know who the Jews are much less have strong opinions about their territorial disputes? Do you normally know about tribes that are .15% of the world's population?

  • Leaked e-mails show that Israeli consulate, StandWithUs tried to thwart Northwestern divestment (Updated)
    • @philadelphialawyer

      Well if you want examples there are multiple ones where representatives from the Territory of Utah addressed congress over the objections of Democratic Presidents. Democrats (in the south particularly) were highly anti-Mormon and strongly opposed to Utah moving towards statehood while Northerners and thus a majority of Congress could care less about Mormon issue and didn't want to risk the possibility of Utah territory allying with another power especially the UK who was courting them.

      I'll agree it has been a century and a half though. Generally congress meets with foreign leaders against the express wishes of the POTUS on their soil not ours. Mostly foreign leaders hostile to the President don't believe they can safely travel here. The best example of that recently would be at the start of Obama's term when congressmen flew out to meet with the Honduran military leaders responsible for the coup undermining Obama's commitment to oppose those leaders and their coup.

      Our relationship with every country is different. But the claim was that Israel was uniquely close not that there were some particulars unique to Israel. Sure on some particulars Israel is closer. OTOH lots of honors are unique to Liberia, Canada, the UK or Mexico.

    • @philadelphialawyer

      Your claim was that the relationship with Israel was uniquely close. I gave a lot of parameters and examples by which it was not uniquely close. For example with Japan it isn't that we trade with Japan but the quantity of trade is so staggering. Or in the case of South Korea while it may be true the war was decades ago, we have 30k troops there today defending them and if you count Okinawa as primarily existing to allow us to beef that up military spending on South Korea that dwarfs by an order of magnitude what we spend on Israel.

      The war in South Korea was fought over a half century ago. And it was fought not for S Korea’s sake, but as part of the Cold War.

      I'm not sure there is much of a distinction.

      Ditto all the other aid, military presence, etc, you mention. Israel, on the other hand, really had very little to do with the Cold War.

      That's not true. During the 1950s-early 1970s. Israel was key to defeating the non-aligned movement with its Soviet tilt in the middle east. It helped shift the balance of power away from Egypt / Syria / Iraq and back towards Iran and Saudi Arabia. By the 1970s Israel was involved in anti-communism all over the planet from Latin America to South Africa. It acted as an American proxy where it was politically difficult for the USA to openly support regimes.

      And, with the Cold War over, it certainly has nothing to do with it now. Israel is aided and coddled for Israel’s sake, not as part of overall US policy.

      I don't think that's true. I think quite a lot of hawks would argue that having a reliable military partner in the Middle East remains incredibly useful. For example when Syria invaded Jordan during Black September the USA was able to instantly deploy IDF. If in 1991 Saddam had crossed into Saudi Arabia the USA didn't have the troops available to push him out. We probably would have needed to use Israel.

      And, indeed, Israel is a millstone around the neck of the USA, when it comes to its FP overall.

      I don't see that. I think that's an assumption frequently made by the left where the discount huge sections of the American foreign policy establishment. Certainly there have been Arabists who have made that case for having the Arabs slaughter the Jews for 3 generations. I'm not going to argue those people don't exist and haven't existed. But they haven't been the only voices on foreign policy. But even the Arabists it is not really Israel's value as an asset but how serious of a detriment to USA interests Israel as a free agent (or aligned with a hostile power) would be. Eisenhower who had a foreign policy team run by Arabists put the USA on a course for a hostile relationship in 1954. By 1956 he was freaked at how destabilizing an Israel not tied even remotely to the USA could be and wanted to bring them back inside the tent.

      Israel's natural interests and the USA natural interests conflict greatly. Israel is really good at stirring the shit. Israel has foreign allies inside of the western alliance which make it very difficult to discipline. The Israeli government's policy has overwhelming support from its people. Israel has a whorish foreign policy and can be bought cheap. It still makes sense to pay off Israel to keep them from messing things up. That's a simply cost / benefit even assuming I'm an Arabist.

      Even at that, the US government is nowhere near as close to S Korea as it is to Israel. The US shares virtually all of its intelligence with Israel.

      No it doesn't. There is no evidence for anything remotely like that being true.

      The US gives its latest military technology to Israel.

      In some areas, and in exchange for the Israel giving back their improvements. And a few times as specific concessions for policy. But not across the board the way you are making it sound.

      <blockquoteL S Korea also does not need, and does not get, the blank check that Israel gets from the USA in terms of diplomatic and political cover. The US does not routinely veto measures in the UNSC for S Korea’s sake. Nor does the US work against boycotts and sanctions against S Korea.

      I don't think America's record on the Arab boycott is quite as clear as you are making it. Plenty of USA companies were active in it when it existed. Certainly the USA has encouraged Israeli / Western European trade for generations but that's pretty standard USA foreign policy to believe that trade encourages cultural ties and peace and thus to encourage countries to be part of of the Western Financial system.

      Why would the USA want a country with Israel's level of inventiveness particularly with the military focus to not be allied with the West and say partnering with Russia, China, North Korea, hostile African regimes...? What you saying is that the USA doesn't encourage a uniquely hostile relationship with Israel, it just treats it like any other country, and that is true.

      Now if you mean that the USA vetoes nonsense in the UN, it does do that. What if it didn't? The UN last month passed several resolutions directly ordering the parties in Yemen to stop fighting. No one gave a damn. The UN is a nice place for countries to vent and thus it helps maintain the peace since screaming at each other is less destructive than shooting at each other. But ultimately the UN can't do very much to Israel. Nato and the USA can. But you don't need the UN for Nato to decide to starting being troublesome to Israel. If they wanted to they could. If Europe wanted to sanction Israel they could do it in the EU they don't need the UN to do it. And if they don't want to do it, the UN isn't going to be able to make them. Similarly for the USA.

      Israel would basically not exist but for the USA.

      During the crucial stages of forming the USA was not heavily involved. Lots of countries aren't close to the USA and they still exist.

      Israel, despite the dubious claims of Zionists, is a recent creation, and it would be a world pariah, boycotted and sanctioned, were it not for the USA.

      Israel was a world pariah, boycotted and sanctioned in the 1950s. It picked up allies and broke the sanctions. It now is vastly more powerful.

      The USA bankrolls and enables and protects Israel.

      The GDP of Israel is well over $300b annually. We toss a tip in that gets used to buy some USA military hardware and for which we get policy concessions. Our trade with Israel is much larger than the aide / military trade. And Israel's trade with Europe is even larger still.

    • @philadelphialawyer

      How is the USA / Israeli relationship closer than the USA / Japan or USA / South Korea relationship? The USA army was the group that pushed the North out and essentially created the country. We spend far more on South Korean defense than on Israel. We fought a major war for South Korea. We have tens of thousands of troops permanently stationed in South Korea. We have directly harassed their antagonizer for 3 generations.

      With Japan the dollar figures in terms of trade are staggering. Our Japanese imports last year were over 1/2 the size of the entire Israeli economy, about 6x our level of trade with Israel. Our exports (which include the weapons) to Japan are about 4x what they are to Israel.

  • One-state 'fantasy is very dangerous' because it cannot tell us what the military looks like -- Manekin
    • @ justicewillprevail

      <blockquoteL Yes, those KKK guys really had affection for the individual blacks they hanged.

      I say Southerners about Blacks in general and you make it KKKers and the Blacks they specific lynched. Were trying to be dishonest in your response or are you unable to see the distinction between the two much broader groups and the specific cases? That would be like me talking about driving in America and you responding that no one can get anywhere because every car trip ends in a fatality.

    • @Talknic

      Sorry JeffB but that’s not a quote ! Do you know what a quote is?

      When I directly refer to the BDS points by number those are the direct quotes. The part you were citing was the explanation of how the quote imply the effects I attributed to them.

      <blockquoteL 1) Flood the country with a hostile foreign population allied with a domestic population which is hostile to the state. (i.e. BDS demand 3 and their interpretation of SC 194)”

      A) Only Israelis have RoR to Israel under UNGA res 194.

      194 applies to non-Israeli refugees. Palestinians and many Arabs believe it applies to their descendants often 3-4 generations removed from those who ever lived in territory now called Israel.

      How can they be a flood? The non-Jewish Israelis who fled the violence were a minority and the majority of that minority are already dead thru natural attrition.The oldest non-Jewish Israeli to flee Israel in 1948-50 and still alive today, was a baby in 1948

      I think Israel would accept an RoR limited to only direct refugees from 1948 in a second. There are mostly dead and those that aren't soon will be. They aren't the issue it is their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren that are the issue. The BDS movement uses an incredibly liberal definition of refugee. I think they are wrong but we are talking their opinion of who would return not your's or mine. The rest of your counter is dependent on RoR not being a flood of 5-10 million

      <blockquoteL // There were no Israeli’s in the 1930’s //

      “Of course there were. They didn’t have a state yet but they had a proto-state. “

      WOW! What was it called? What was its currency? Is there an example of a passport? Did it have a Nationality Law? Palestine had all those things!

      I think you may want to look at the distinction between a proto-state and a state. As for all those things Palestine as a British colony certainly existed as a state but not one tied to the nation that inhabited it.

      <blockquoteL “The same way there were Palestinians prior to the establishment of Gaza”

      Strange, the UNSC said this of Gaza on 8 January 2009, when it adopted UNSC Res 1860
      Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008),
      Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state,

      What does that have to do with anything? That's a total non sequitur.

      // Uh? A) They’d still have a state B) your argument goes against the usual Jews are a nation twaddle. //

      “Reread the scenario you are responding to. In the scenario the Jewish state is gone. The Jews at best now live in a Palestinian state”

      So? They’d still have a state. Same as they had a state under the LoN Mandate for Palestine (Article 7)

      No they do not have a state. This is not complicated. For the Jews to have a state they have to have
      a) A government which acts in the interests of the Jewish people and / or the Jewish people in Israel.
      b) The army that controls the territory loyal to that government.

      If there is a government which doesn't act in the interests of Jews it is no longer a Jewish state. Once the Romans took Judaea, Judaea ceased to be Jewish.

    • @Walid

      There are a couple of million refugees currently living in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon that none of these countries are capable of absorbing, even if they all get fat compensation cheques fom Israel, the US, EU and the oil Arabs.

      Jordan has absorbed the refugees in its territory. The population of Syria has increased by almost 20m since 1948. The population of Iraq by almost 30m. Why can't they absorb the refugees? Right now we have a government in ISIS that is desperate for more Sunnis and while it isn't USA policy to support them, they certainly would take the Palestinians Refugee Muslim population if it were offered. Lebanon I agree has a problem though they might want the Christians. If not Israel might very well be OK with a return limited to Christians.

    • @Annie

      That's a terrible definition of colonialism. It fundamentally is so broad that almost every country on the planet and government that has ever existed would be colonial. A far better one is: establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colony in one territory by a political power from another territory

      There is such a term as "settler colonialism" which is just mass migration. But there is no reason to link settler colonialism / mass migration which does not have external state support with systems that do have an external state support. The goal of colonialism is to extract resources from a territory usually as cheaply as possible. The goal of mass migration is to inhabit a territory, and while that means extracting resources it almost means long term cultural developments.

      The early Zionists when they drained swamps at tremendous human cost to create farmland were investing in the territory not trying to extract from it. Very much like the investment Palestinians talk about with olive trees. Neither of them is colonizers both are inhabitants.

    • @Kris

      but the overall meaning of the information does not seem to me to support the spin that you are giving it. It would be so helpful if you would link to your sources from now on.

      There isn't one source. Seems like you hit a source for most of what I was talking about. On prohibition google "Anti-Saloon League". If you want good background: link to

      As far as "spin" I'm not sure what exactly you are arguing. We agree there was a large scale government organized intimidation program against the USA's German population. I'm assuming you aren't disagreeing the population was pushing for neutrality in the war. If so any good book on German American history from that period. From online it appears that Leslie V. Tischauser, The Burden of Ethnicity: The German Question in Chicago, 1914-1941 or Bonds of loyalty;: German-Americans and World War I . I learned about it when studying the origins of the German Bund.

      So assuming you are willing agree that the Germans wanted neutrality and Wilson launched state persecution to intimidate them, what's left for us to disagree about? Most of your quote is just "when the USA did X it was bad". Which is what government always say when they do bad stuff. I get that the tone is disapproving a "oh we in the USA aren't like the Russians when it comes to intimidating minorities..." but the reality is they did do precisely that to the Germans. And that was all I was trying to point out. We did it and Wilson had his reasons for doing it.

    • @Kris

      The problem with that is that people all over the world are seeing the similarities between Nazis and the Israelis

      I suspect that comes from not knowing much history and just not having many points of comparison and not knowing much about the Nazis. The things that were unique or interesting about the Nazis the Israelis don't do. So people may make the analogy but the analogy falls apart rather quickly.

      As for the definition of genocide. There are cutoffs in the common law. Because otherwise killing a single individual is "killing a group in part"... The definition you are quoting does exist but it is never applied as liberally as you are using it. The UN wants genocide to mean something more than the sorts of pedantic war crimes that occur in every conflict.

      The Russell Tribunal which is about as biased a kangaroo court as is imaginable couldn't find for genocide. What they found for was that:

      a) Serious war crimes
      b) Israel was failing to prevent genocide... i.e. a genocidal atmosphere was developing in Israel.

      (a) and (b) I'd still dispute but they are within the realm of reason. Claims of genocide simply are not defendable. Israel has a long standing consistent pattern of cleaning people from land without killing huge numbers of them. Ethnic cleansing is a reasonable charge, genocide is not.

      I'm sure there is some definition of giraffe poorly written enough that Netanyahu meets the definition. That doesn't make him a giraffe. Your definition above assumes this being done to a huge percentage of a population so as to make a noticeable and significant in that population's existence. Otherwise it is just abuse of language.

    • @Tree & oldgoozer

      You are grossly oversimplifying. During WWI there were real problems with both Irish and German loyalty. Both German-American and Irish-American communities were strongly in favor of neutrality not support for the allies. People like Teddy Roosevelt had attacked "hyphenated-Americans" and their communities essentially arguing that the Anglo policy of his ethnic group was American while the minority positions were not. As the situation continued to heat up Wilson appointed George Creel to head a government Committee on Public Information (CPI) to create pro-war propaganda.

      The American Irish community fell in line quickly. The German community not as much. To get compliance there was a ferocious state suppression of almost all German culture in the USA. Wilson adopted Roosevelt's rhetoric and attacked German Americans as either loyalists (i.e. would follow him) or traitors. Bach, Beethoven were banned. German newspapers were closed, driven out of business. Sauerkraut was renamed "liberty cabbage", dachshunds were mocked.... There were public book burnings of German books. German language instruction was dropped from most public school systems. There were threats to go further: there was a campaign for the St. Louis mayor "wipe out everything German in this city."BTW for those people who owned phones speaking German was often illegal so that operators could monitor their conversations. Many Germans changed their last or first names to escape the state organized discrimination. The result of all this was that the German American culture that had existed for generations was almost completely wiped out.

      And it continued after the war. So for example prohibition included beer which was rightly seen as an attack on German culture. So, no, you are selling fake history of what you would have liked to have been true. Real history is a lot messier.

    • Care to quote this alleged BDS plan to destroy Israel.


      1) Flood the country with a hostile foreign population allied with a domestic population which is hostile to the state. (i.e. BDS demand 3 and their interpretation of SC 194)
      2) Enfranchise everyone with the vote equally so minority rule becomes impossible. (BDS demand 1 and 2).

      That's national destruction.

      There were no Israeli’s in the 1930’s

      Of course there were. They didn't have a state yet but they had a proto-state. The same way there were Palestinians prior to the establishment of Gaza.

      Finally from above:

      Uh? A) They’d still have a state B) your argument goes against the usual Jews are a nation twaddle.

      Reread the scenario you are responding to. In the scenario the Jewish state is gone. The Jews at best now live in a Palestinian state.

    • @Stephen

      On the one hand, they complain that the advocates of a 1SS have not worked out their ideas in sufficient depth and detail, implying that if they did do this those ideas might be worthy of consideration (otherwise why go to the trouble?). On the other hand, they know in advance that “trying to be creative” is a waste of time. If all aspects of a 1SS were fully worked out would they then consider it? Of course not.

      Of course they would consider it. Everyone would love to hear reasonable solutions to this crisis. They don't believe it is possible to come up with a creative solution. OTOH if someone were to prove them wrong and propose something that both Jews and Palestinians thought sounded great that would instantly become a topic of conversation and start to drive solutions.

      For example in the 1970s there were terrible political conflicts in LA regarding smog. Then in 1972 the catalytic converter and unleaded gasoline were invented and suddenly this great idea solved the smog problem. The political debates which had been almost unsolvable became easy to solve and there was a huge unified push towards getting leaded gasoline cars off the road quickly.

      My impression is that their claim that “virtually no Palestinians are interested in it” (a 1SS) is now incorrect.

      I think you should talk to Palestinians in Israel then. My impression is that most of them do support a 1SS. However, most of them do not want to live in a western liberal state modeled on Europe. They are, not shockingly, Arabic culturally and want many of the kinds of cultural institutions you find and Arab countries rather than the kinds of institutions you find in Europe. They may support the western BDS movement as putting pressure on Israel, but they don't support the liberal secularists egalitarian political philosophy of BDS.

      What they want at an individual level is often quite reasonable. The problem is that individual to individual it is wildly different. Palestinians internally have not had the debates themselves about what a solution would look like, they just keep getting told what they are supposed to be fighting for and the distance between the official positions and the position on the ground is stark. One of the big advantages of even semi-functional democracies is that there has to be a higher level of public support for policy and so this sort of thing doesn't happen.

    • @Kris

      It is delusional to insist, on the one hand, that paintings, etc., stolen from Jews by the Nazis, should be restored to the victims’ heirs, and on the other hand, that the Israeli Jews should be entitled to keep all that they have stolen from the Palestinians.

      Delusional I don't know. Hypocritical yes. So feel free to keep the paintings.

      And that old men can be accused of being Nazi criminals and tried, while Jewish Israelis who have committed much more recent war crimes should be excused.

      The total number of people who died in the latest fight in Gaza is roughly equivalent to one Nazi shower. During the entire I/P conflict the number of Palestinians killed is about 1 days worth of a single death camp. There is no comparison between the Nazis and the Israelis. Not remotely.


      Finally as for the Jim Crow south, while I grew up i the North I had cousins down south and they had relationships that were well over a decade old during the 1970s. The 1960s is not an obscure time.

    • @oldgeezer

      Larry is quite right about the loyalty issue. And let me put that to rest with your quite appropriate analogy.

      If not then what should the west do, if there is conflict between the west and Israel, with it`s Jewish population? If there is a conflict of interest between western and Israeli interests is it necessary for the state to question the motives and actions of it’s Jewish citizens?

      Yes they should.

      In the mid 1940s the USA policy was to support the arms boycott. My great uncle abused his ties with the army to help get weapons to Palestine. This wasn't something he kept secret after the war but is the highpoint of his life in terms of heroism. It is what he is remembered for by neighbors and nephews like me. Jews weren't powerful enough to do anything about the holocaust. But we were powerful enough to make sure the refugees who survived the camps didn't die in Palestine and thus help prevent round 2.

      I don't have ties to the military but I do have ties to telcos. You better believe if Israel needed me and those were helpful I'd use them. I love America but it is hard to imagine any situation where America faced the kind existential threat that an American / Israeli war would represent. Damn right I'd be wanting the USA to lose and if I had a way to do more than want, I would.

      Everything in life is a situation. Sane people don't put other people in situations like that.

      I can imagine a unified Israeli Army because I can imagine situations where the pan-Arab identity doesn't mean much anymore. I think that's faded rapidly in the last 2 generations already. So I'm more optimistic than Larry but I think the spirit of his questions are right.

    • @Scott

      I think the easiest solution is the Palestinians get assimilated. I think Sari Nusseibeh makes a good solution and is in line with what Bennett is proposing. I like the idea of aiming for:

      1) Something that people can live with for now
      2) Something that is getting better

      I've heard lots of Palestinians offer solutions I can live with (and I'm not a liberal Zionists) the only problem is they often don't agree among themselves and so choose a maximal solution between each individuals "red lines".

      You are absolutely right that Israel would quickly choose war over dissolving the state.

      As far as EU membership, Europe is Israeli's equivalent of having sex with the X. I actually think the Arab league makes much more sense. They are local and Israel needs to integrate into the region. They could be much more helpful if they wanted to resolve this situation rather than score rhetorical points.

    • @Phil

      I agree with you. Those sorts of attitudes are present in both populations. They are even worse in Israel since the Israelis have started severing contact. The southerners at least had a great deal of affection for individual blacks even if they had collective racism. The Israelis (especially the young) don't have social contacts.

      If the confederacy had won the civil war and the 1936-9 war hadn't happened (or the 1st intifada hadn't happened) then a comparison between the south and Israel isn't totally off base.

      The difference was the South was part of the USA so many blacks migrated north and the North was able and invested enough to force formal equality over and over again n the South. And that required backing off in the 1870s till the generation angry about the humiliation of the civil war and its aftermath died off. And then very ginger steps from the 1920s to the 1960s. And still... 140 years later there is still resistance and problems. Similarly the South was invested enough in the USA to not military rebel again. The 1870s was the last incident of strong anti-North terrorism though there were some limited applications of violent resistance since then.

      Who do you see invested enough to play that role in Israel. How does this analogy play out? I don't see how the comparison with the South helps you case.

    • @Peter Feld

      For precedent you have to look to South Africa and other multiethnic countries that went through decolonialization and independence

      South African whites were always dependent on black labor. That was the basis of the economy. Even with being heavily outnumbered, losing several wars and tremendous global pressure it took decades for the whites to lose power.

      The Israeli Jews have already walked away from Palestinian labor during the 2nd intifada though there are a few tens of thousands working now. They aren't heavily outnumbered. Israel has never lost in a serious way a war. And the global pressure movement is still well behind where the anti-Apartheid movement was in 1960.

      So absolutely let's look at the precedents. And what we see is that Israel looks absolutely nothing like the typical anti-colonialist comparison. What it looks far more like are other mass migrations where the goal was not to use indigenous labor like the European peasant migration to the Americas or the ethnic partition in India / Pakistan.

    • @MHughes976

      Yes it is absurd. The problem in Israel / Palestine is that the Israelis don't like the Palestinians and don't want the countrymen and the Palestinians don't like the Israelis and don't want them as countrymen. Your solution is to pretend that somehow magically they come to believe they have common interest. If they come to believe that there is no Israel-Palestine problem. And if they come to believe that the Jolly Green Giant is their high God he has commanded them to work for each other and eat their vegetables that also solves the problem. But they are never going to believe in the divinity of the Jolly Green Giant and they are not going to believe in a common interest without one or the other nations being totally defeated.

      Even if you can magically make the state Palestinian, why would the Jews be interested in defending a Palestinian state against foreign invasion? Foreign invasion quite likely would be to their advantage. Jews traditionally support empire over nations for the same reasons that most national minorities do, the same reason that blacks in the USA support a strong federal government and weak states. If they lost their state they resort to type and they are going to want Palestine absorbed by some expansionist power.

    • @Phil

      In 1948 Whits believed that Blacks were Americans and Blacks believed that Blacks were Americans. Blacks and whites had extensive contact with one another. Blacks were fully integrated into the American economy, even if often in subordinate roles.

      That is not at all the case for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Druze it is the case. For many of the Israeli Arabs and Israelis towards the Israeli Arabs it is the case. But once you say look the Gazans, I can probably count on one hand the number of Israelis who consider them Israelis in any sense and those are mostly the older Israelis who remember the Gazans before the 1st intifada. The young more often simply hate them.

      The 1st intifada destroyed the common citizenship in Gaza and the 2nd intifada in the West Bank. That's not to say it is not fixable but it will take time and care. The south was a society addicted to black labor, Israel in 1937 and then again in the intifada made the choice they would walk away from Palestinians labor.

      On top of that, what you propose for Israel is worse than what the North proposed for the South at the end of the civil war. And after a decade of recuperating from their losses the the Southern regained their pride and nailed the "moderates" (scalawags) you are talking about to trees alive. They drove the carpetbaggers out and established Jim Crow.

      I get that you don't think that Israelis are a real people or Israel or a real country. But it is, and that country is inhabited by people that would rather die then live under Palestinian rule. What's going to be required is generation after generation of subjugation to get the Jews to cooperate with your schemes. And those Jews have a top 10 army including lots of nukes. So they aren't going to be subjugated. They may die in some war to conquer Israel but they won't be subjugated.

      I'd love to hear a fully mapped out plan for BDS leads to enough pressure on Israel for them to cooperate in their own nation destruction rather than just doing something else to undermine the pressure. I'd love to hear how given the total failure of western nation building in Iraq you expect to pull it off against a vastly more powerful national group.

      The British couldn't manage the Israeli Jews of the 1930s at reasonable cost. Would the Israelis of the 1930s last 5 minutes today's IDF?

  • Warriors for 'the ultimate truth' gather in New York
    • @Eljay

      <blockquoteL JeffBeee: You are just repeating platitudes. If there is a nation who has it as their culture then it is a national culture. ||

      What you’re saying is that every Jewish person – even if atheist – has the religion of Judaism in his life and, therefore, every Jewish person – even if atheist – requires the existence of a religion-supremacist state in order to avoid living an “almost undead existence” in whatever country in the world happens to be his homeland.

      No that's not what I'm saying.

      I'm saying that the Israelis have a national culture. The state of Israel represents to fully represent that nation will be embedded in and reflective of that national culture. That national culture may also have a religion, the Israeli religion which is commonly called Judaism.

      For Zionism Judaism is not just a religion. Judaism is a national culture that has a religion. The same way there is a Navajo culture and a Navajo religion that is part of that culture. As an example of the distinction there is nothing particularly religiously Jewish about Israeli folk dancing, but it non the less part of Israeli Jewish culture.

      You just keep trying to minimize Judaism to make it nothing more than a religion.

    • @eljay

      You are just repeating platitudes. If there is a nation who has it as their culture then it is a national culture. I get that you don't like this because it violates your sense of how the universe should work. I may not like the gravitational constant but my opinion of it isn't going to change anything.

    • @ eljay

      There’s something seriously wrong with a religion that requires the existence of a religion-supremacist state in order for its adherents to avoid living an “almost undead existence” in their various homelands around the world.

      Yes there is something seriously wrong with a religion like that. There is nothing wrong with a national culture like that. Ergo...

    • @Marnie

      What kind of Jew can one only be in Israel? What are the magical properties in the borderless “state” that enables this Jew-ness that just isn’t possible anywhere else?

      Judaism as the state religion. As (I presume) a Christian you often don't realize how Christian your society is. As a Jew when you go to Israel where Judaism is reinforced as part of the culture rather than something you need to fight against it is simply amazing. Every sink in a restaurant has a cup for doing the netilat yadayim blessing. The bus schedule on Saturday is organized around when the 3rd star appears in the sky. For a women where ever you are on shabbat there will be candles to light. Well over 1/2 the restaurants are kosher. I have to carry a kippah at all times, in America twice a year needing one would be pushing it. etc... There are some real upsides to having your religion be the state religion. Especially a religion like Judaism which is a PIA to practice.

      Even the Muslims or Druze know quite a bit of Jewish law the same way that I as a Jew know a lot about Christianity. Conversely Christianity and Islam unless you go searching for it, don't exist. To the age old, "don't they know its Christmas time" the answer is "no they don't. they have heard of Christmas time but it passes unremarked on". I've been in Buddhist countries for Christmas and they know what it is. It is truly delightful to see Christmas decorations as an oddity in Christian places.

      Then you combine that with the fact that the undermining messages associated with Judaism don't exist there. You don't see Jerry Seinfeld as the model Jew but rather children grow up with IDF heroes. Jewish children are raised with values like loyalty and love not sarcasm and cynicism.

      If you could just for a moment drop the anti-colonial nonsense see how much going back to Judean soil heals Jews from angst that characterizes their almost undead existence in the diaspora, never really fitting in, you wouldn't be calling it someone else's home. Israel is their home.

  • US and Israel divorce rumors over Iran
    • You were being unclear.

      You want references to Iran killing USA soldiers in Iraq:

      Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants then use these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria, often at the behest of Iran. (link to

      as well as:

      link to
      link to
      link to


    • @Annie

      You mixed me post with someone else's. I don't know who that 2nd paragraph in your post is a response to. The first is me however so...

      JeffB: When the Iraq war started it had the approval of 73% of the population.
      Annie: if your first sentence was correct (it isn’t) the cheney admin would not have had to cook up fake evidence to force feed the american public.

      I think you meant 3rd sentence. which you quoted. In case you didn't and meant the 73% link to

      As far as the 3rd sentence what I said was that "many of the neocon views are popular because they represent long standing American opinion on issues of foreign policy". If you look at support for regime change in Iraq it is pretty high predating any specific claims of weapons of mass destruction. WMD definitely payed a role with 15-20% of the population's attitude but more broadly there was pre-existing hostility to Iraq, hostility towards Iraq's policy of supporting terrorism and general support for the Neocon 10 point plan. India during the Clinton administration went nuclear and there was no discussion of invading.

      Wikipedia has a good article on the support for the invasion of Iraq and the role that WMD played.

      link to

    • @David

      When the Iraq war started it had the approval of 73% of the population. That's far more than just fringe. Deal with reality that many of the neocon views are popular because they represent long standing American opinion on issues of foreign policy.

      Iran funded terrorism against USA soldiers in Iraq. That's pretty close to a direct attack on the United States. Iran being opposed to the USA establishing a USA ally in Iraq had nothing to do with the Palestinians. They opposed us for their own reasons and as a consequence heightened the already existing hostility towards their regime. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are the ones in Tehran screaming "death to America". That is the Iranians.

    • @just

      I remember when the twice elected president of the United States was having his foreign policy in Nicaragua undermined by the Speaker and liberals didn't seem to mind too much. I certainly remember about 7-8 years ago when the twice elected president was being constrained by the speaker and many of the same people who are so offended today didn't mind much.

      The president implements the policies of the congress. That's his job. I think Obama's policies do reflect the American people, but ultimately Boehner, McConnell and their respective bodies not Obama are the final authority on that.

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
    • @RoHa

      Jews are not a nation. Zionists are not a nation... The Zionists did not have a territory, but chose to take the territory of another country and drive out the people who lived there.

      I put these two together because they conflict so obviously. If the Zionists were capable of the kind of collective action needed to
      a) conquer a territory
      b) displace its population
      c) replace that population with another population consisting of themselves

      which is your theory of events, then they are a nation.
      Do they share a culture: yes
      Do they live in a unified territory: yes
      Do they share a common history: yes
      Do they have a common descent: probably not in the 1940s but today they've interbred with each other enough that yes.

      France is a nation, and the French are citizens of that nation.
      China is a nation, and the Chinese are citizens of that nation.

      You may be confusing nation with state again. I'm not sure that legal French citizens are part of the French nation that's part of problem with the Muslim immigration that France has allowed herself to have a lot of residents that aren't part of the nation.

      France and China defend their territory and act (or should act) in support of all their citizens (French and Chinese Jews as well), regardless of the ethnicity or religion of those citizens.

      Well the Chinese, along with most other people, including the Palestinians, define themselves ethnically. So they don't buy into your theory of what they should do. The French define themselves ethnically but also as a set of cultural ideals and they most certainly do not equally defend all cultures.

      The Zionists did not have a territory, but chose to take the territory of another country and drive out the people who lived there.

      Now just to point out. You've been around long enough to know there was no country called Palestine and hadn't been one for something like 1300 years. There was a territory called Palestine.

      If you wish to refer to Algeria and Tibet as examples of France and China behaving like Zionists, go ahead. That might make the French and Chinese governments of the time enemies of mankind. It won’t stop the Zionists from being enemies of mankind.

      China is still holding Tibet. More importantly if you accept the analogy neither France in Algeria till the 60s nor China in Tibet is an enemy of mankind. The French were enemies of the Algerians it had close to 0 impact on Americans or Chinese. Tibet has been going on all through my life. I hear about the Dali Lama once a year other than that... I'm hard pressed to think of many societies that meet the criteria of enemy of mankind. Possibly the Nazis fall to that sort of extreme title but France of the 60s and China aren't close.

      As for Judea, it has long ceased to exist. Israel is a new invention, not a continuation of that ancient country.

      It claims to be the resurrection not the continuation. Judaea reborn. One can of course impose strict standards of what a continuation is. Then for example most countries fail. Is Spain a continuation of Hispania? If your answer is no then I'm not even going to attempt to make the case of Israel.

      61:2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,
      the day when our God will seek vengeance,
      to console all who mourn,

      61:3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion,
      by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,
      oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning,
      a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement.
      They will be called oaks of righteousness,
      trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.

      61:4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins
      and restore the places that were desolate;
      they will reestablish the ruined cities,
      the places that have been desolate since ancient times.

      From the late 1st century on believing in Zionism meant believing in that promise. In the 19th century a group of people decided to bring about that promise and called themselves Zionists. In the 21st century the people in Israel live the fulfillment of that promise. I'm not religious but I think if you disagree with God / the bible the burden of proof is on you. There are a group of people who have carried the name of Judaea with them for 2000 years and defend her customs, remembered her history and when they had a chance restored themselves to her lands.

      Ultimately whether it is a "continuation" a rebirth or a new country doesn't really matter. But if you believe that losing the land and being displaced removes all claim, then lets stop talking about the Palestinians. Because whatever Palestine was, is now certainly dead. The country that exists there now is Israel.

    • @RoHa

      Of course, since Christianity is waning dramatically in Europe, the first reason will soon cease to apply

      I think it will be centuries till Christian memes disappear from European societies. In theory that might fix the problem eventually and that would be nice. But Jews need to live through those 1/2 dozen plus generations.

      It seems to me that your second reason is suggesting that that Jews bring a lot of anti-Semitism onto themselves by refusing to be part of the society they live in.

      Well yeah. "anti-Semitism" in the racial sense, believing that Judaism is a genetic disease for which even baptism cannot cure, is relatively recent. While Jews could in previous centuries be killed for denying Christ, those that accepted Christ joined the societies to which they were a part within a few generations. The problems came in Eastern Europe primarily where they couldn't / didn't do this because the Jewish community was large enough to form a long term viable sub-culture.

      One of the reasons that anti-Semitism is less pronounced in the USA is that USA Jews created a form of Judaism which was structurally Protestant. So they became effectively just another denomination, Jews became to white Christian Americans white people in the 1950s.

      So Judaism is the same as Zionism? A lot of Jews on this site disagree with that. But, since Zionists are the enemies of mankind, you (and not I) have just declared that Jews – followers of Judaism – are the enemies of mankind.

      I read your enemy of mankind post. It is silly. Every inch of France exists to serve the interests of the French. Every inch of China exists to serve the interests of the Chinese. They are unapologetic about this. That makes either France or China the enemies only of those who attempt to steal France or China from them. Similarly every inch of Israel exists for Israelis.

      Your problem is that you simply refuse to treat Jews equally to other nations.

      JeffB: “Judaism is not a religion of belief but one of practice.”

      So the God stuff is just an optional extra?

      Judaism is not say Buddhism which takes no position on the deity. Belief is a far less important facet than the practice. Whether it is fully optional or not, is a stretch. Being religious or not is question of practice: shomer Shabbos, non-kosher vs. kosher for Passover vs. kosher vs. specific orthodox systems / hekhshers.

      All those centuries of keeping up the practices of a defunct country for no discernible reason, and being persecuted because of it, when the easy (and morally preferable) alternative was just to become part of the surrounding culture. (Or is it that which I am not allowed to say?

      It might very well have been morally preferable for Jews to have just disappeared in the 2nd century. But they didn't and they formed a system designed to last. And how they got their country back.

      Incidentally, Judea is still defunct.

      You certainly whine about the new Judaea not being defunct enough to disprove that.

      Judaea today has its people back. They speak its language. They worship the God of Judaea. They pull in the worshippers of that God back to their land where they have lots of Judean babies. Judaea has risen from the grave and in her resurrection a wonder to behold.

    • @Annie

      oh i see jeff is ignoring the request to back up his allegation while trying to post it on another thread. hmm.

      What allegation? The population data? Heck the Wikipedia article has that: link to

      As far as the dates of various restrictions being lifted: link to

    • @Walid

      Are you keeping score of the times Netanyahu got slapped, just?

      1. Paris Chief Rabbi, on the day of the big Charlie Hebdo parade
      2.Prime Minister Valls and President Hollande (twice)

      Seems to me there has been a pretty big crackdown against anti-israeli and anti-Jewish activity in France. A hard shift to the right on the Israel issue. And emigration from France is up. This isn't a popularity contest it is about policy. Who cares if Hollande likes Natanyahu? What matters is if he enacts policies that benefit Israel.

      Please let me get slapped daily where people say mean things and then do what I want.

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