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  • Is inter-faith work between Jews and Muslims possible?
    • @Blah

      Damn you were being a normal person for a while there. Sorry to see you go back to this sort of behavior.

    • @lyn117

      Nonsense. Pick examples where Israel has decided to do something for the Palestinians. For example last year Israel agreed that settlers had acted illegally with government support on a home seizure and thus agreed to pay $87,500 in damages. I didn't hear USA Jews complaining. When Israel admits they did wrong and agrees to pay USA Jews support that.

      Palestinian support groups don't support Israel being the governing agency they want the UN, or themselves or some sort of Palestinians group being the government. And yes American Zionists oppose that, Zionism is about a Jewish state in Palestine not a UN state in Palestine. But that is not the same thing as saying they reject the idea of support.

    • @Donald

      My experience in talking to Arab Muslim is you don't get nearly the level of anti-Israeli passion from Muslims you get from liberal Jews or Christians. Muslims are way less prone to anti-Semitism than Christians. Mostly Muslims don't have Christian hangups with regard to Jews so they don't project all this theological stuff onto them. They treat Jews as an alien people. They don't think of Israel as a western country but rather they look at the map and compare it to Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan... and deal with it as part of their region (or that region if American) and not an extension of Europe. The discussion becomes a relatively simple proposition a group of people came, stole a country they think belongs to them and they want it back and/or specific grievances about specific battles or events (like attacks on particular villages in Lebanon, Syria...). It is a debate about the practicalities of the situation not some mythical moral perfection that Jews are held to. Which means they often have realistic proposals of what they would settle for.

      My general opinion of I-P dialogue is with most Arab Muslims Israel could easily cut a mutually agreeable deal. The problem that is the real holdup is that the specifics each of them want are far removed from one another often in direct conflict. So I'm not sure what a consensus deal would like. That's very different than with Liberal Christians who come from a place that Jews aren't a legitimate people.

      Now where there is a difference is that Muslims are more ignorant about Jewish history. They may really not understand that there were anti-Jewish persecutions in their country. They may not really believe in the holocaust. They may not understand what anti-Semitism (especially Christian anti-Semitism) is. They often don't know that Judaea existed and think it is mythical. So there is some highly relevant factual stuff you need to get over.

      And in the same direction they have specific grievances. The JNF took X house and only paid 10% of fair market value for it, and ... So the response is something like, "well if that's true then we owe you the other 90% plus interest". They want a check (or to break the analogy specific grievances addressed) not to assert how Jews / Israelis carry this permanent moral stain for the Nabka.

      Non-Arab Muslims mostly feel that they are standing in solidarity. They don't have any specific issues with Jews / Israelis of their own. They don't make it a moral case it is just we are on different sides....

      The thing is that Muslims in dialogue want to be constructive not destructive and thus they don't spend their time criticizing Israel pointless but rather criticizing Israel practically: Israel has problems A, B C and I want Israel to fix this by A1, B1, C1...

      Now there are exceptions, Arab Muslims (including some Palestinians) who really just don't want peace or dialogue at all. They get that what they want is something that the Israelis will never voluntarily give them. They believe that some event in the future will force a change of Israel and in the meanwhile ... But dialogue is still easier. Unlike JVP or Christian critics though they are willing to admit they want the Jews defeated. They don't claim to really be after Jew's best interests they get that the Jews will fight to the death before they see their state destroyed (unless they believe that Jews were happy under Muslim rule, which then creates an opening for dialogue). So at least there isn't the additional layer of dishonesty where you have to argue that destroying the state of Israel is something the Israelis should embrace if only they understood better....

      Your example of terror is a good one. Lots of muslims do support terror. Their feeling is that the occupiers need to go, and they don't agree with the civilian / combatant distinction of human rights law. But they get that the objective of each side in a war is to win. They don't oscillate between
      a) native people's have the right to resist occupation violently including against colonizer civilians
      b) absolute protection for civilians

      The hold one position or the other. Western anti-Israeli liberals tend to believe that Israelis don't have the right to resist because they are morally imperfect while indigenous people do.

      So for example as a Jew you start from there and talk about the 1880-1920s attacks which the Palestinians did. The pro-terrorism Muslim is OK with that. You get to 1936. And generally they are willing to own what happened in 1936. Then you can have a real conversation about 1937, when the Jews started hitting back. You can convince them this wasn't a massacre this was a war, and a war the Palestinians started and then lost. And you go from there like that with the dialogue.

      This whole dialogue is so much easier when you aren't dealing with anti-Semitism.

    • @Sabith

      I'm glad you wrote this. Let me respond as an American who is also a Zionist.

      1) I think Muslim Jewish interface dialogue happens all the time on religious issues. For example Kosher gets you about 95% of Halal so kosher restaurants can easily also be Halal and work with Muslim religious authorities to make sure they are. Conversely I know lots of Muslim meat suppliers that get kosher certified.

      2) There are the practical issue like taxing of religious locations and parking restrictions within communities... Muslims and Jews work together fine on those.

      etc... So on the purely religious stuff things aren't great, they aren't terrible and Israel doesn't really matter.

      That's not what most people who want dialogue want it to be about. What the dialogue is about are the underlying hostility issues. In western countries Jews for a variety of reasons but partially because of Muslim hostility are increasing aligning themselves with anti-Muslim groups. Muslims conversely have ethnically cleansed Jews from a large chunk of the planet. There is a real issue of hostility.

      The key question in answering the question whether an inter-faith program will succeed seems to be to understand the power relations involved. Who is organizing the debate/ dialogue, who is paying for it and what are the potential benefits for the participants?

      Why would that matter? If you want to talk Jews who have credibility / authority within the Jewish community those are the ones with strong institutional ties. If Jews want to talk to Muslims who have meaningful credibility / authority within their community they need to talk to Muslims with strong institutional ties. My chatting with my Ukrainian coworker over Skype is less important dialogue than Obama talking to Poroshenko. The higher up the better not the worse.

      And that IMHO is what the MSI group was doing. Starting to dialogue with Israelis who have credibility in Israeli society and thus can pre-negotiate and not just emote.

      The key factor holding back inter-faith dialogue on an equal footing seems to be Jewish attitudes towards Israel and (many) Muslims’ grievances that the Palestine issue is not being addressed sincerely.

      Of course it is being addressed sincerely by American Jews. American Jews are sincerely telling Muslims that the Israeli government is the one in charge of addressing those grievances and they intend to support Israel and not other bodies as being the agency in charge. You may not like the answer but I see no grounds not to call it sincere.

      The landscape of American Jewish support of Israel is complicated and multi-layered, with many organizations offering a strong, credible intellectual resistance to Israeli occupation policies.

      The ones who offer a strong credible resistance don't have credibility with the Jewish community. The Jewish community is Zionist. You want to dialogue with Jews beyond talking to the fringe you are dialoguing with Zionists. Now certainly the fringes can talk to one another and good things can happen but generally the fringes lack the credibility in their own community for the dialogue to have any impact. It might be an interesting conversation but that is it.

      As far as your comments on peace groups in Israel I'd agree those seem fruitful and love to support them. I can think of many ways the people can live together peacefully once the goal becomes peaceful coexistence and building the best society possible.

      BTW FWIW I do agree with you that Islam is far closer to Judaism than Christianity is. IMHO Islam evolved from Collyridian Christianity not directly from Judaism but Islam ended up preserving far more of Judaism than Christianity did.

  • That thrilling, anti-elitist Shas campaign video
    • @Zisundra

      Dude, I'm an atheist Jew. My daughter's boyfriend's parents run their own little synagogue for about 200 people. While they would never call themselves this I think both of them are atheists: they believe in Judaism but not the ability of the Jewish God to affect material reality.

      Israel kind of solves the ethnicity problem for Jews. I don't think it is true today but 100 years from now we will all have an ethnicity. Remember by 2100 according to trends 10m Jews in Israel, 3m Jews outside Israel (almost all America). I knew people who came over from Ukraine and Russia, they won't. So I suspect my great grandchildren might say something like, "Oh I'm ethnically Israeli. I don't practice the Israeli religion except a few times a year with family. My family came over from Ukraine and Russia 200 years ago but they were Israeli in Russia..."

    • @Just

      Lehava will have fits!!! are you seriously suggesting that Palestinians may have to leave their religion behind and convert to Judaism in order to become somewhat equal to the 2nd class Mizrahis? Haven’t they lost enough?

      I don't think the Mizrahis are going to be 2nd class for much longer if they even are today. In the 1950s they had it bad. In the 1970s they had a lot of reasons for resentment. In the 1990s they were overcoming some of the last vestiges. In 2015 Mizrahis and Ashkenazi work together. Some of the most famous people in Israel are the mixed children. Young Israelis are mostly neither Mizrahi nor Ashkenazi. That's what success looks like in beating racism when the racial categories cease to exist.

      As for Palestinians. For Palestinians to live their as equals they need to be Israelis. That means that they need to be social equal enough that they are producing mixed children with Jews. The Jewish state cannot have Islam as it exists today. Fundamental tenants of Islam contradict core ideology of Israel. Which means that Palestinians as people are going to need to believe in a religious acceptable to the state.

      The solution might be conversion to Judaism. The solution might be a Judaized form of Islam. The solution might be one of those forms of Islam potentially more compatible with Judaism like the Druze (though they current don't accept converts) or Alawite (ironically enough) faith. I practice a form of Judaism which is essentially Jewish flavored Protestantism and thus I can be a fully integrated American. That's why Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox, Reconstructionist... Judaism exists to be compatible with America. America can have groups like the Amish that aren't really American but they couldn't have 150m of them.

      So, no the Palestinians have not lost enough. To become Israelis they need to lose their entire or almost their entire national identity so that they can take on an Israeli national identity. That means they have to lose Arabic as a primary language. They have to lose their ties to foreign peoples that is identify with Israel in matters of foreign policy. To do that, they have to identify with Jewish and not Palestinian history. They have to lose most all of it.

      That's a big ask. Jews certainly get that. The reason we got persecuted quite often if we refused to do it.

      If you want to see the moral case for the "why they should" from people you like go read the posts last week about French Jews. Read the arguments that people such as yourself were making about how French Jews needed to lose their Judean (Israeli) identify and be fully French and Netanyahu in even objecting to such a thing was totally immoral. Talk to that Just about it and just substitute

      Palestinian ~ French Jew
      Palestine ~ Judaea / Israel
      Islam ~ Judaism
      etc...

      If Palestinians are not going to merge ever then they need to move to a country compatible with their national identity: Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq... Israel is not in that list.

      I support a one state solution. But that state is Israel not Palestine.

    • @Annie

      is this a personal theory of yours or do you have any source links.

      Good summary of the law (rightwing newspaper however): link to jpost.com

      Critical summary: link to israelnationalnews.com

      If you mean applying it more broadly than to intermarried primarily Russians (i.e. to current Palestinians) I can point you to links regarding a desire for mass conversion but not this law in particular. Certainly those discussions mention the problem that the Chief Rabbi poses and so the connection is clear but it is mine.

    • @Annie

      how does anything in that ad also create “a possible solution for at least some of the Palestinians”?

      The ad is from 2013. I was saying the 2014 conversion law. What it does it creates the possibility for a lenient local judge to ease conversions for Palestinians who were interested. A Palestinian who converts would instantly become a Mizrahi Jew, there is nothing to fight about anymore.

    • @Blah

      Here is the campaign ad: (commercial will play first)
      link to bcove.me

      Translation:
      Groom: “Marina, what is the fax for?”
      Bride: “Beytenu sent it, a wedding present.”
      Groom: “How nice of him. But what the hell – a fax?”
      Bride: “To receive “ishur” (certificate).”
      Groom: “'Ishur' for what?”
      Bride: “From 1-800-convert.”
      Groom: “1-800-convert?”
      Bride: “Da, you call 1-800-convert and receive 'ishur'.”
      Groom: “Wait, you aren’t Jewish?”
      Bride: “I am now!”

      IMHO easing the issue of conversion is a key component to not creating 2nd class citizens and fostering equality. It also creates a possible solution for at least some of the Palestinians. The two players in this were Naftali Bennett and Tzipi Livni to use an American expression a "reaching across the isle" law. Arye Deri (head of Shas) doesn't care because his community doesn't have a conversion problem. Though I really suspect it is the Israeli analogy of black on brown hostility.

      Deri is both a genuine populist though quite often in the negative resentments demagogue sort of way. That being said, he's done wonders over the last few decades to help his minority achieve political equality. At this point I think Likud does a better job but but if I were a Mizrahi traditionalist as far as religion and not too educated I could easily see voting for him even though I consider him a demagogue.

  • State Dep't says Netanyahu speech is not inappropriate, disrespectful, humiliating or embarrassing
    • @Kathleen

      Jeff still wondering where you come up with a statement that most intelligence agencies say that Iran is developing nuclear weapons? Can you provide some links?

      I think you are confusing two things. Let me start with a link which I think is a fair summary. You tell me if you agree or disagree with their presentation of the status. That is what facts we disagree on:: link to nytimes.com

      To comment on the above though. I didn't say that Iran was building a bomb, I said that Iran has a nuclear weapons program which is a slightly lower bar.

      nuclear weapons program = engaging in activities to get a country closer to having a nuclear weapon. I.E. reducing the time between when they decide to build a weapon and when a weapon will be built.

      building a nuclear weapon = the point in a nuclear weapons program where a country has processed enough uranium or plutonium to create a warhead, and has a delivery mechanism and spends the resources to put those together.

      Let's take the United States for example. In Aug 1939 in a serious way we had discussions about whether to do the research for an atomic bomb and the answer was, "yes". We weren't doing much about it though. Right after Pearl Harbor, December 18, 1941 we meaningfully start doing the work. At that point we aren't building a bomb or anything remotely close. In 1942 we are just discovering if we can produce plutonium at all. In 1943 we are failing in some ways and succeeding in others in extracting uranium-235. Its pretty clear that these steps were getting us closer to a bomb. But in 1943 we did not build a bomb and still had no specific plans to build a bomb (we didn't even know how yet). Of course we had general plans that's why we were doing all this but in the most minimal literal sense in 1943 we were not building a bomb.

      India btw during their phase argued they weren't building a nuclear weapon when they did everything to get towards a nuclear bomb but final assembly. Israel to keep the cost of their program down has reduced their state of nuclear readiness. So if you asked how many functional nuclear devices Israel has it might just be a handful. And that's all during a massive upgrade of their capacity that has occurred since 1995.

      Q to the Israelis: How many weapons do you have?
      Honest Answer based on what we know: Oh almost none. We just over the last 15 years have spent a fortune to more quickly be able to build parts for weapons. But those are just steps. We have kept are at least 3-7 days of assembly away from having around 100 nuclear missiles.

      Do you consider that building weapons? If the answer is "no", then absolutely Iran isn't building a weapon. Most answer that yes. Iran is engaging in behaviors that a country uninterested in nuclear weapons would not be engaging in and that are expensive. They clearly have some sort of nuclear program. They clearly want it to be secret. As far as I know everyone agrees on this. The debate between the hawks and the doves (in congress, the American people have a wider range) is how close to let Iran get. And there certainly is some level of disagreement about how close Iran is or intends to get. But if one really does believe it is completely unacceptable for Iran to have nuclear weapons than their current nuclear program is unacceptable since it is constructed in a way different than what a country with 100% non-military intentions would have used.

      That's the problem. That's why people say they have a weapons program. A lot of the quotes you have been providing in context are assessments about how close. I agree those are all over the map. It appears that right after 9/11 Iran took some major steps towards a nuclear weapon but backed off once they began interfering with US operations in Iraq. It appears, they decided, wisely that building a nuclear weapon and funding terrorism was a good way to get invaded so they could do one or the other and they picked funding terrorism. In 2007 when the CIA made the claim that Iran had stopped its program that opinion was rejected by most intelligence services, i.e. the CIA is and remains more dovish than the Europeans (and the Israelis). Which is why I was saying most intelligence services... because we know the CIA is one of the most dovish on this issue.

      So anyway take a look at the NYTimes article and get a bit more specific about where you disagree with me and them. You don't have to provide evidence but I want specifics for your assessment. Otherwise I think you aren't disagreeing with the hawks on what is happening you just want to allow Iran to get really close.

    • @Kathleen

      Jeff on your argument that everyone knows Israel has nuclear weapons. So what? Are you saying that they are exempt from playing by the same rules as Iran etc. Sure sounds like it.

      Yes. Nuclear states under the NPT participate in joint meeting whose goal is to avoid proliferating to non-nuclear states. Non-nuclear states agree not to develop. Nuclear states agree not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states (even if acting in concert) except in response to a nuclear attack, non nuclear states agree not to receive weapons from a nuclear state that is proliferating.... The NPT is an asymmetrical treaty.

      They wouldn't be in the situation that Iran is in because they already have an advanced nuclear program. Nuclear states BTW do not reveal the extent of their weapons program.

      As if Israel does not pose a real threat to peace in the middle east.

      What does peace have to do with it? The question is not whether a country poses a threat to peace but whether it poses a threat to the USA and/or the other nuclear powers. Again no one cares about the UK's nuclear arsenal while Iran's attempts to build one are likely to result in regime change.

      To be honest I agree with the French of the 1950s and 60s. I think Israel's nuclear weapons are a stabilizing force not the reverse. There were and still are fantasies that Israel can be dismantled and Zionism reversed. Making it clear to everyone the end of Zionism is going to require a full on nuclear confrontation with a country with 2nd strike capability I think removes the option of seriously threatening Israel lightly. I can't think of anything which is more effective in keeping the peace than knowing that Israel in 1973 was willing to nuke its own villages to stop an advancing Syrian army if it came to that. That knowledge was a big part of why countries like Egypt and Syria began to give up entirely on a military solution and turned. The Soviet position of the 1960s (which is basically the BDS position) required repeated wars: no peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and 'maintenance of the rights of the Palestinian people in their nation.' By making it clear to the Arab parties that there was no possibility for victory at an acceptable cost, a desire for peace started to emerge.

      More importantly for peace, Israel's nuclear forces were effective in deterring the Soviets. While the Soviets could believe that America might be willing to sacrifice Israel to avoid a collapse in the world oil market the Soviets knew that Israel would not sacrifice itself to avoid a collapse in the oil market. As Israel in the late 1970s developed the ability to deter the Soviets (i.e. at least a reasonable 2nd strike capability) the Soviets backed off their aggression towards Israel and as a result the Israeli / Egyptian peace and Israeli / Syrian detente became possible.

      It's been 40 years since there has been a major middle east war involving Israel. I think it is quite possible that Israel's nuclear forces were a major contributing factor to that peace. For example I don't think Iran would be nearly as aggressive with Israel as they are being if they understood America's internal political dynamics and how close to the line where we decide on regime change they really are.

      So FWIW I don't think Israel nukes are a threat to peace in the same way Iranian nukes are. Iranian nukes are anti-American nukes. Israeli nukes were anti-Soviet and while today don't serve much purpose I can easily see them again being useful to keep the peace.

    • @Kathleen

      Oh yeah like when our Reps voted against what 98% of the American public polled were saying..deeper background checks for gun ownership

      First off it wasn't 98% though it was over 90% Second our reps did not uniformally vote against it. It passed in blue states and Democrats overwhelming voted for it.

      There are two ways of measuring public opinion:
      1) Raw percentages ( left)
      2) Percentages intensity weighted (right)

      There are lots of people who when asked favor gun control. There are very few who will change their vote based on gun control. That is there are almost no Republicans who while liking gun control will vote for a Democrat on the issue. Conversely there are quite a lot (i.e. several percentage points, more in some areas) of Democrats and independents who will treat this as their number 1 issue. We just lost the Colorado Senate seat over this issue as a case in point.

      I think it is healthy that we have both a left and a right who uses those two strategies. That is reflective of public opinion. Generally it doesn't matter because they both align but in the case of gun control or abortion they do produce different results.

      ” It is truly part of the unspoken litmus test of our MSM talking heads to repeat over and over again that “Israel is one of our closest allies” There is little to wonder why many Americans repeat what the parrot MSM host constantly repeat

      it gets very hard to disentangle the whys of public opinion. To what extent does the media lead the public, and to what extent does the public lead the media. I suspect far more of the latter than the former. After all the purpose of TV news is to create a slightly higher susceptibility to being influenced by advertising . That can't happen if the viewer is rejecting too much of the message and is being critical.

      But regardless the point was the situations with an enemy and a friend are not the same. Americans don't worry about the UK's nuclear arsenal either.

    • @Kathleen

      Tell us which country is actively, publicly and aggressively going after the other.

      I think they both are going at each other. Iran is arming Hezbollah and has tried to send them more advanced missiles. The purpose of those missiles was to be used (not deterrence) to hit Israel. They also armed Hamas until recently similarly. They've been involved in other anti-Israeli activities abroad and are the major proponent of the classic Arab nationalist approach from a century ago that all Jewish Israelis should "return to the countries they came from" whatever that would mean in 2015.

      That being said it is absolutely Israel is encouraging a USA / Iranian war. Iran is being really annoying while Israel's threats are much more likely to result in hundreds of thousands of millions of casualties.

      As far as I'm concerned.

      a) Israel and Iran were friendly until 1979. Iran started the hostile relationship.
      b) Israel has several times reached out to Iran to go back to their old friendship. Iran has been uniformally hostile.
      c) Iran is a PIA for the USA attacking America regularly. I'm not sure if USA / Iran war is necessary and I like Obama's approach but if it happens, given their aggression, I won't think of it is a horrible crime.

      I noticed you did not say anything about the massive hypocrisy that Israel is the nation demanding, pushing that Iran abide by the NPT.

      I think I responded to that point twice in this thread, but we are criss-crossing. If you still don't think I have let me know.

      No not abide stop enriching uranium all together which is their legal right. That Israel sits on top a massive pile of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that to un checked by the International community. Is that not a huge hypocrisy in your book?

      A huge hypocrisy in my book from whom about what? Israel don't want Iran to have a nuclear weapon or nuclear capacity. They could care less about the NPT. Israel doesn't want their enemies doing stuff they do, there is nothing hypocritical about that. Your goal is to be beat your enemies not match them, that's the way the game is played. If you mean something else then I guess clarify.

      I have read many of the letters that nations in that part of the world have written the head of the IAEA, the Un etc demanding that Israel sign the NPT and play by the same rules that they demand others abide by. Iran has pushed for a middle east nuclear free zone.

      In general declining powers want weapons control agreements while rising powers want weapons advances so I don't find Iran's position surprising. They more primitive the weaponry used the greater the advantage Iran's population and real estate provides. The more advanced the weaponry the greater the advantage Israel's technology provides.

      Though even better then open competition for Israel is Iran being hindered. Israel's development in the 1950s and 1960s was very difficult both politically and economically. Iran has so far had an easier time of it. Is that hypocrisy?

      It was Israel and the U.S. that refused to participate in a IAEA conference some years back because they knew Israel was going to get called out on this hypocrisy.

      What hypocrisy? Israel would prefer to be an open nuclear power. It is the rest (or most of the rest?) of the world that would object to admitting Israel with that status. I don't know how much longer it will be avoidable as Israel keeps climbing up the weapons export chain in terms of weapon advances.

      And I don’t think Matthews is left at all on the issue of Iran. I believe in fact he is to the right on this issue as so many so called “liberals” are.

      We know that somewhere between 50-70% of the senate wants to increase sanctions now. We know the number is much higher than 2/3rds in the house. That means Obama is to left and Matthews is to the left.

      I am with the Leveretts (who are clearly beyond brilliant and been on the deep inside) that there is no hard proof supporting he repeated claims, that Iran has the right to enrich and nothing Iran does will appease Israel.

      The question is whether Iran can appease the USA not Israel. The USA has made it clear that a well monitored purely peaceful nuclear program is acceptable to the USA. That goes beyond what the NPT demands but is in keeping with the spirit of the NPT. Israel will not be happy about such a solution. They know from their own experience that the USA can be fooled. That being said they likely will not take drastic actions on their own, though they may do other things to slow Iran down somewhat even if the USA is satisfied

    • @Kathleen

      I don’t agree with what many have said (have not seen any polls to support) that American Jews would support President Obama over Netanyahu. Just don’t buy this.

      There is a tendency on Mondoweiss to grossly overestimate both how leftwing the American population is. There is a mistrust that polls accurately measure and that mainstream news sources accurately reflect. I think this also reflects in a fantasy of how leftwing the Jews are. For a white middle+ class demographic Jews are very leftwing. But they have been drifting right for decades. While still the most liberal minority in America relative to income and race they aren't off the charts like they used to be.

      . Since that point false claims about Iran have been repeated on Rachel Maddows, Chris Matthews, lots on NPR’s Diane Rehm, Scott Simon etc. Hell I have heard both Diane and Scott repeat these claims themselves.

      I think we disagree those claims are false. Khamanei has called for a government that exists only of the descendants of the original inhabitants which will either expel them or have them live in permanent servitude. The Jews are to be made to accept this fate through "armed resistance". There have been explicit calls like, " Israel, which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated." I think the claim is true. If an American rose up and said he wanted to conquer Iran and then possibly subject the Persian population to a degree of terror so that great deport that they would voluntarily leave what would that be other than a call to wipe Iran off the map?

      Now I think this is overheated rhetoric. But let's not claim this is merely a translation error. link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

      to feel the need to infer that Iran has a nuclear weapons plan. Which has never been proven.

      No it hasn't been proven. What has been proven is that Iran is engaging in activities inconsistent with a purely power generation nuclear weapons program and they refusing inspections and they are being secretive. Those together have led most intelligence agencies to conclude they have one. It is possible that like Iraq they are trying to fake the world out, and being successful at it. But the level of proof and the consensus among experts for Iran's nuclear program is well beyond the level that Matthews uses for most claims about intent on his show everyday when he does analysis.

      The debate in the USA government is not whether Iran has a nuclear weapons program but rather the debate is over whether any activities short of war and if so which ones will stop this program in time. Matthews et. al are taking the liberal position but I get that you are to the left of that. The population is much more scattered on Iran. I think there is a fairly large chunk of the American people that would be OK with a nuclear Iran, while that chunk is rarer in government. But that's to be expected since when people's views are scattered not by party or geography congressmen would tend to represent something like and average between them.

    • @Kathleen

      Interesting polls Jeff B.

      Yep. This whole AIPAC / Jews are doing it meme is ridiculous. Like in most things, American policy broadly reflects Americans opinion. We may be a propagandized people, but our democracy works pretty well at aligning policy with our opinion. Not perfect, but well.

      When asked about “ally” status of Iran not hard to figure out why the majority of the American public can not imagine Iran as an ally. If all day every day you have Wolf Blitzer, Ed Shultz, Scott Simon, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Diane Rehm etc being willing to strongly infer that Iran has a nuclear weapons program then what can we expect.

      I think there are two things. Those same people would also say that Israel has a nuclear weapons program and they come 2nd to Canada in terms of country that most Americans consider an ally. The issue is the Iranian regime frequently expresses deep hostility to America.

      The talk isn't just coming from our media, Khamenei , "“On the one hand, I insist that the current officials in the negotiations be supported. They need help, and I, too, help them. On the other hand, I insist that they do not retreat one step from the nuclear rights of the nation — the red lines must be observed.”.

      or

      The nonsense approach of trying to say that the problem is not with the American people but only the America government never flies. Americans understand their government represent them. There is n distinction between the government and the people. It would be like me saying "I hate Mr. X collectively his person, but I don't hate his individual cells". “ Even with the American people we do not have enmities, we have a problem with the US government and its arrogance. Arrogance is a term from the Quran, and today the leader of arrogance is the US government.”

      And of course anti-Zionist rhetoric is taken as a desire to start a war with Israel, so language like, "“Sometimes this is heard from the enemies of Iran, such as from the sinister mouth of the unclean rabid dog of the region in the Zionist regime"

      ( link to iranpulse.al-monitor.com)

      The reason Americans think the Iranians (and by that I mean the government and the regime's supporters) hate them is because they do and they express it pretty freely.

      Interesting the question asked about whether U.S. should back up Israel militarily if they attacked Iran 49% oppose to 49% approve.

      I agree. That's a pretty high level of support for a situation where Israel would be directly violating USA policy and starting a war.

      I keep pushing all of these outlets to talk about how Israel has not signed the NPT and sits on massive stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons that go un checked by the international community. Enough of this special status. Enough. Abide by the same rules that they want everyone else to abide by

      I'm not sure who the "they" in this sentence is. I think I responded to you elsewhere on this, not sure if it got through. What putting Israel under the NPT that would mean would be admitting Israel to the NPT as an acknowledged nuclear power. That's a very big deal. For example it usually comes with a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. I can see how this makes sense for Israel and India. I think both of them are regional powers who can effectually project power in their respective spheres at least as much as France can.

      I don't think disclosure is in the interests of world peace. We know that by the Carter administration Israel had developed a meaningful nuclear second strike capability including the ability to penetrate Soviet air defenses.
      We know that in the 1980s the estimates of the number of warheads was about 300.

      since the 1970s Israel has had 3rd state warheads (Iran is working on a 1st state warhead)
      since the 1990s Israel has had advanced guidance systems.
      since the early 2000s Israel has had a rocketry system capable of putting satellites into orbit.

      Those 3 means they have ICBMs. Israel started their nuclear weapons program in 1958. Iran is probably somewhere around where Israel was 1962 maybe 1963. People are having a lot of trouble accepting the Jewish state as an equal. Do you really think the countries like Iran need to know they are decades behind Israel (if they would ever catch up) and can't meaningfully defend themselves even against her if it really came to an all out war?

      The answer might be "yes". But that's a big change in policy.

    • @Kathleen

      Everyone in the planet knows Israel has nuclear weapons, what's to check? For Israel to sign the NPT it would have to come in as an acknowledged nuclear power. China, France, USA, Russia, UK are the acknowledged nuclear powers. Israel, India and Pakistan are the new kids. Israel and India both have high military expenses like Germany and Japan as well as nuclear weapons.

      When the world is ready to give Israel and India a permanent seat on the security council with veto and make them an acknowledged nuclear power. Then sure they'll sign. Otherwise why would the have any interest in the NPT?

      Iran is a hostile county towards the USA. Also the UN found them to be non-compliant. You all like to treat the UN as gospel when it comes to Israel, at least be consistent on whether the UN dare not be questioned.

    • @Snowdrift

      Lieberman is doing badly in the polling. Bennett very well could be the next Prime Minister after Netanyahu (i.e. this or next Knesset). Bennett is known and is popular here. I suspect his much more humanitarian approach to the Palestinians will play well in the USA among liberals. Under Bennett Liberals will be able to point to Israel taking serious measures to improve the quality of life. Palestinians who "resist the occupation" will be attacking a government who claims to and is interested in their welfare. American Liberals often like the idea of welfare economics where an educated aristocracy benignly provides for lower classes. That and the fact he just offered citizenship to another 60k Palestinians.

      Will it go over with the BDS crowd? No but nothing Israel could do (in the real world) would ever satisfy them. But will it go over well with the NYTimes, absolutely. Bennett and thus Israel will be seen as a model.

    • @MRW

      So what, you ask? The majority of Americans don’t want war. Two percent of the population doesn’t get to determine foreign policy.

      If you read what I wrote I'm saying American Jews favor an Iranian peace not oppose it. Second, your description is simply not an accurate description of the polling or the attitudes.

      Most polls show about 50-65% would support a negotiated solution of less sanctions in exchange for Iran dropping their nuclear program. However 60% don't believe what the Iranians say and are going to want monitoring (example ABC News/Washington Post Poll. Nov. 14-17, 2013). Jews are slightly less pro war than the population at around 45% vs. 55% for the population as a whole and 65% for Republicans. There is only a moderate partisan divide, Republicans are moderately pro-war Democrats are moderate pro-heavy negotiations. American Jews look like Democrats. Obama is slightly outside the mainstream a bit to the left of most Democrats. Netanyahu also outside the mainstream a bit to the right of Republicans.

      This sort of issue could become partisan or it could remain confused. But the idea that everyone in America wants peace and Jews want war is a total fabrication on your part. America's current behavior fairly accurately represent the polling.

      link to pollingreport.com

      hophmi: It is also within character for them to use Israel as a wedge issue to fundraise, which they did in 2012.

      MRW: Then the pro-Israelis should desist, shouldn’t they, if they are so superior and ethical. But they don’t, do they? So don’t put this on the Boehners of the world.

      That was Hophmi not me. Regardless since you aimed the response at me. No I don't think "pro-Israelis" should desist. I think they should fully participate in the American political process like any other interest group or lobby would. Either Jews are American citizens or they aren't. If they are Americans then they entitled to full participation. If they aren't then stop whining about Zionism.

    • Where did a rightwing foreign prime minister derive the power to take on the president on equal terms?

      Come on now you've seen the Hill and Politico. He didn't take on the president on equal terms. The Speaker of the US House of Representative, the co-chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, a majority of both houses of congress and a substantial chunk of the public however can take a president on, on equal terms.

      I agree with your analogy regarding 1996 however. I still think you have this backwards. If negotiations are successful then Obama's strategy of engagement will be proven to have produced results in this case. There is going to lot of momentum towards trying to work constructively with Iran in the future. To be honest I think we were on that road. I think Iran is going to sign and all this Israel stuff is really a message to Iran's hardliners about what the alternative to the treaty is. Obama is helping the Iranian moderates swallow a deal.

      I think Obama is sending a message of what the situation is going to look like in 2 years when Hillary (or a Republican) is in power who doesn't want a deal. If negotiations fail or don't product result soon, the pro-war with Iran side is going to draft legislation that is going to fly through, quite possibly overriding a veto. If not then by 2017 it gets signed regardless. That's going to establish American policy in a place where it just short of war. At that point it is going to be up the Iranian government to decide to either:

      a) Cave
      b) Undergo regime change
      c) Hope to get lucky like North Korea

      That in the end unless Iran wants regime change they can negotiate with Obama / Kerry or they are going to have to negotiate with the hawks... Boehner / Menendez / Clinton. Good cop, bad cop.

      But if I'm wrong then so what. Israelis mostly want war with Iran. American Jews want peace with Iran even on less than ideal terms. Jews are allowed to disagree, that doesn't mean they are getting a divorce.

  • Phila Inquirer publishes a lie: 'Anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are one and the same'
    • @Gamal

      Moshe Gil in that source has the Jews migrating to Palestine after the conquest. His position is there wasn't a Jewish population there beforehand because the Byzantines were effective in keeping them out (Michael the Syrian's position). While you are disagreeing with me on the death, you aren't disagreeing on the main point that there was little or no continuity of Jewish population between the Byzantine and 7th century Muslim conquest. That Jews couldn't have settled and lived there in either my of Gil's versions during Byzantine times and for both of us the Jewish population gets wiped out by the crusaders.

    • @Blah

      If the Iranians are so dead set against Jews why are there tens of thousands of them in Iran today?

      Sorry you are out of date. The remaining Iranian Jewish population is tiny, under 9k left in 2012 down from 25k in 2009 and down from almost 100k in 1979. So yeah they are doing ethnic cleansing right.

    • @Marnie

      All I get from your voluminous comments is that you’re a professional victim.

      Really? " I thankfully live in a country where dispensationalism is a mainstream belief during a time period where most anti-Semitism is pretty rare. I’ve certainly experienced it, but less than the generation before me and them less than the generation before them" is not a statement of victimization. But I get that you think personal insults are arguments. After all this whole shtick is about proving to everyone your moral superiority.

      So given you see in comment what you want to see not what's written. Let me just point out, you are on a board where you spend all day whining that choices make 100 years ago, long before you were born, didn't turn out the way you like. The people doing it far from being victims have become masters of their own destiny. The people most resistant and least in control of their own fate are you who choose to identify with and thereby are able to express their victimhood.

      I ain't even the kettle Ms. Pot.

    • @talknic RoHa and Philemon

      Amazing how you all don't read each other's comment's. Giles's premise was that if Jews don't distance themselves from Israelis they are in real danger. One of the dangers was, "I am talking about real danger. As in the world reaching the conclusion it can no longer afford to have Jews around ". The entire discussion was based on Jews outside of Israel having to distance themselves from Israel before they are punished for what Israel is doing.

      It is not based on the other common western BDS fantasy that once Israelis decide to become an Arab state that they all get to live in democracy and prosperity with puppies and kittens for all. You don't like Giles' premise take it up with him. But in the meanwhile, learn to read!

    • Page: 16
    • @Talknic

      Fact is, for the majority of that 2,000 years or so, Jewish folk could immigrate to anywhere within the Jewish People’s historical homeland and gain legitimate citizenship and buy land and settle

      I'm going to try this one more time and then just conclude you are deliberately lying rather than being obtuse.

      1186 all the Jews in Jerusalem would have been killed.
      1187 Jews have freedom to live in Jerusalem. They are residents not citizens.

      So that's less than 1/2 right there.

      Under the Mamluks (approx 1250) citizenship was racial and no Jews were the right breeding. So the policy continues.
      The in 1517 you have the Ottomans. They offer Jews autonomy and residency but not "citizenship". Jews were not Muslims and thus could never have legal equality in Ottoman society though it was better than most.

      You start having the first major Arab attacks against Jews in the 1880s. British take over in 1914. 1920 you have the British imposing heavy quotas on Jews migrating.

      So where is this majority of the years where the Jews could move in with citizenship freely and settle? I see 5 years during the whole period where anything like free migration with citizenship prior to the Israeli conquest. The reality is if Jews wanted to move to Palestine as citizens they had to kill people to do it.

      You want to present some counter evidence then present the years where you get a majority. Otherwise cut the nonsense.

    • @Talknic

      It’s nonsense. There was a 2,000 year or so period where Jewish folk could have returned to anywhere in the Jewish People’s historic homeland, acquired legitimate citizenship, bought land and settled. Few bothered. Not even Herzl.

      You really should learn some history. After Bar Kochba Hadron wanted to erase any remaining trace (and there wasn't much left) of Jews from historic Judaea. Jews entering Aelia Capitolina were killed. That policy continued under the Byzantines who allowed Jews into the city on the 9th of Av only. The Muslims wiped out most of the Jewish population when they conquered Judaea... Crusaders similarly. Sure there were times that Jews could and did try to establish themselves. By the mid 19th century they were 1/2 the population of Jerusalem.

      Most of those cultures didn't even have a concept that Jews could be citizens under any circumstances. But no they couldn't return whenever they wanted and acquired citizenship. That is simply false.

      You need to stop reading BDS propaganda which grossly oversimplifies the history.

    • @Talknic

      Any of it [1950s Conservative rulings] result in Jewish folk being called a self hating Jew or being accused of Antisemitism?

      No. You were talking about divisions. There isn't a division today in the Jewish community regarding Israel. The Jewish community is relatively united. JVP type Jews are too small a faction to constitute a division. Sorry.

      The Jewish people of Israel are not the entire Jewish community. BTW hundreds of thousands of the Jewish people of Israel are illegally living in non-Israeli territory that has never been legally acquired by the Zionist Movement‘s state.

      And that's why the majority of Jews would consider you an anti-Semite. When I talk about breakfast in Israel you want to make it about "illegal territory". The idea of discussing anything positive about Israel horrifies you. Israel is a complex society. It is engaged in more than pushing the Palestinians off territory. The fact that you can't see it is a problem.

      Israel is a real country not imaginary place filled with demons.
      Israelis are real people who lead real lives. They aren't characters in your morality play.

    • @Walker

      JeffB, in reality Zionism isn’t simply saying that Jews deserve a land. It’s saying that they deserve the land more than the people who already live there

      That's not considering Zionism on its own terms. My discourse was on Zionism not a critique of Zionism. Moreover it was specifically trying to say that their are parts to Zionism, like Hebrew language renewal and Folk Dancing which have nothing to do with Palestinians or the fight to control the land. That was the central point. The saying that Zionism is all about militarism is simply dishonest demonization.

      Now certainly militarism plays a role and that's semi-fair critique of what is obviously implied. It is not like Zionism wanted to establish a Jewish homeland in Antartica or the Sahara. Humans move into habitable zones pretty quickly. For Jews to establish a state in the near term they were either going to have to choose a truly miserable piece of real estate or they were going to have to do it somewhere that was inhabited. Once you say they are going to be sovereign they either needed to replace the existing population, incorporate the existing population, establish permanent rule over the existing population... I'm not sure that Zionism ever really choose between those objectives but it certainly was aware of what the choices would be.

      Christians are unable to respect Jews because they are a defeated people. So there can’t be a parity.

      Is that your personal experience?

      Yes. I think the whole argument over Israel is fundamentally profound disrespect. Substitute Paris for Jerusalem, Marseille for Tel Aviv, French for Jews and take any anti-Israeli screed. No one would even treat that like a sane opinion.

      Let me start with a disclaimer. I thankfully live in a country where dispensationalism is a mainstream belief during a time period where most anti-Semitism is pretty rare. I've certainly experienced it, but less than the generation before me and them less than the generation before them and ... Classic rightwing anti-Semitism exists but it is exceptional but it exists. For example my girlfriend during college's father was truly disappointed that his daughter would get engaged to a Jew (we never got married). For him, the idea of a Jewish coworker was OK, the idea of 1/2 Jewish grandchildren was repulsive. So yes I have seen it as part of my life. But it hasn't done me much harm.

      That being said, it is quite possible that the American assimilation model is successful and is a solution to anti-Semitism that also works. The question was not "are all Zionism's claims true" but rather what I was addressing is "what are Zionism's claims". If I had to bet I I don't think the American model would have worked forever without Israel. I think the problem is the New Testament (though there is a fix there) and thus anti-semitism is cyclic in nature among Christians forever. Jews in large numbers need to get out of Christian society.

      Since the mid 1990s leftwing anti-Semitism has gotten much stronger. The idea that Western European countries would be having regular anti-Jewish marches again just after living memory of the holocaust is surprising to me. And I get that you want to argue that this particular variety of anti-Jewish march isn't really an anti-Jewish march because it doesn't meet some very narrow definition that most anti-Jewish activity over the last 1900 years would have have failed. But you are asking about my opinion. When I see the elected mayor in a Swedish city excuse anti-Jewish violence in his city because after all the Jews hadn't done enough to distance themselves from Israel, I know damn well he wouldn't tolerate that if "real Swedes" were being shot because someone disagreed with them on a foreign policy issue. And I know that the Swedes know that too and elect him anyway, or even more likely because of it. That is profound disrespect.

      America is good to Jews. But just pick the next generation. My daughter is most likely going to be going to a college with an active BDS movement and her Jewish identity is going to be attacked regularly, repeatedly. She like my father and unlike me is going to have to deal with institutionally supported Jew hatred. Certainly she needs to avoid middle east studies or ASA unless she is prepared to deal with what I see here, but in a situation where she is at least partially vulnerable. And I don't think she should have to be in fear in college. I am angry that I have to teach her this crap not as a historical anecdote but a real life skill.

      The core idea of BDS is to totally destroy a country because Jews are unlike other people permanently morally unfit for self determination. This is becoming a mainstream position that is acceptable in polite company. It was acceptable in the 1940s, and I consider it pretty bad that it is coming back. Yes I consider that to be profound disrespect. What else should I consider it?

    • @straightline

      I am intrigued, JeffB. Who were these Zionists who predated Judaism? And what happened to them? What did they believe? Where did they live? What exactly were the borders of Zion and how long did it exist for? When was the “fall of Zion”? I appear to be “unbelievably ignorant” on this matter.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      The area in light green is the core, the area in purple and orange were highly affiliated most of the time and often directly considered part of the territory, though they had a more religiously mixed (Jewish and semi-Jewish and non-Jewish) population. It existed as an independent state during the rein of the Hasmonean and Herodian dynasties from 140 BCE to 67 CE (or more generously 163 BCE to 92 CE). Prior to that it was Greek colony and prior to that a semi-indpendent vassal state called Yehud (depending on how you want to count 589 - 333 BCE).

      What are the main tenets of this philosophy “which is a total philosophy of being individually (psychologically), morally and collectively (sociologically) for Jews”? Is it only for Jews? I have never heard of a philosophy being restricted to one particular tribe.

      Zionism argues that the Jewish tribe has a unique history and unique problems. In much the same way that Palestinian nationalism is completely unique because they too face unique problems. The main tenants are:

      1) The Jewish religion is Judaean culture preserved. That's why Judaism isn't quite a religion in the way Christianity and Islam are.

      2) This quasi religion naturally creates friction. Judaism is structurally incompatible with European citizenship because imbedded within the religion is the loyalty of Judaea.

      3) Christians are unable to respect Jews because they are a defeated people. So there can't be a parity.

      4) Jewish attempts at emancipation within Christian culture are a delusion because of the above.

      5) Therefore Jews must build a nation where they take on all the national characteristics.

      6) In this nation Jews must take on all the roles: farming, blacksmiths, soldiering to become spiritually complete. (i.e. Volkish theology) and become whole to become genuine creators and not parasites on European civilization.

      I'll stop here since it begins to break into a how. I'll see what you say. That how involves a theory of labor economics, a theory of folk dance, a theory of recreation of a national language (Hebrew), a theory of press, an attitude that everyone's ultimate fulfillment is in service to the state...

      Then of course there are complex shading. The Polish and Russian immigrants of the 1920s introduced a lot of latter communist ideology, The contact with America and Britain has allowed Darby's Christian theology of dispensationalism to become part of Jewish theology and thus messianic Zionism... Labor Zionism, General Zionists, Revisionist Zionism, Religious Zionism and Messianic Zionism all become part of the soup as Israel moves from theory to reality. So you get a layered culture. Sure there is conquest. But the fact that an Israeli gets up in the morning and asks for his toast in Hebrew is Zionism realized as much as a settlement is.

      As an aside a terrific writer on the history of Zionism and how the ideology became realized in Israel is Prime Minister Netanyahu's father Benzion. If you want to actually know what Zionism is rather than listen to nonsense propaganda his books are a terrific resource to the writers, many of whom still aren't translated into English.

    • @Roha

      Do you think that, if asked, those poor, suffering, Jews through those 1900 years would say, “Oh, right. Some Jews in the far future will be able to persecute a bunch of Arabs. That makes everything all right, then.” and, thus encouraged, carry on with their persecuted lives?

      The promise for religious Jews was that at sometime in the future God would redeem his people and allow them to return to Zion where they once again would be able to reestablish the Judaea and live among the nations as equals. That promise is fulfilled in Israel. It isn't about persecuting Arabs, it is about establish a state for the remnants of the nation of Judaea. Whether they made the right choice or not to hold on as long as they did I can't say. What I can say is what they were holding on for is Israel.

    • @Talknic

      nteresting theory. But I can’t for the life of me think of anything more divisive to the world’s Jewish community than the Zionist led colonization of Palestine. Say … can you?

      Absolutely I don't think Israel mostly unites world jewry. I would say the 1950s issue of Conservatives driving during shabbat and how this would break up Jewish neighborhoods was both more divisive at the time and much more divisive in effect. The late 19th century Reform movement to drop kashrut code is more divisive. The conversion issue is likely going to be more divisive unless the religious zionists intervene (which they very well might) as we start getting a few generations out from the orthodox being particularly persnickety so as to make any sort of compromise impossible.
      ___

      As for the rest of your comment Susan most certainly did use the words I quoted. "Zionism, a recent ideology now expressed in territorial expansion, power, and militarism" which is ridiculous. Zionism is now expressed in the day to day lives of the Jewish people of Israel. They wake to greet one another in Hebrew in an apartment built by Jewish builders to eat a breakfast made by Jews all guided by a law that grants Jews full equality. That is the primary expression of Zionism that exists today. Territorial expansion, power, and militarism certainly exists as part of it, but it is not the sole nor even the primary expression.

    • @Giles

      No Giles those fools don't. You tell me. What's the point of Jews surviving in a post-Israel world? Let's play whati-if.

      The Jews don't turn on Israel but stand with it. The Arabs win. It is 100 years from now. Israel is gone, Zionism is gone. The territory of Israel is polluted with chemical agents, and radiation from the war. 100k Jews escaped the rest died. And there are another 3m Jews worldwide. Now as a result of having backed Israel the Jews won't get to spend the next 1000 years discussing the minutia what you can carry in your pockets depending on whether you have telephone wire type X or Y running. Or maybe me don't get to deal with the full complexity of kosher law as it applies to new genetically engineered foods. And of course we miss out on say another 200 or so pogroms during those 1000 years. Instead maybe it is "convert to Christianity or die".

      Vs. in the BDS world the Jews of Israel get to be slaughtered in Arab concentration camps rather than die during battle. But the rest of the 3m Jews because they were good little kapos who sold their comrades out get to talk eruvs all they want. Joy of joys!

      If fate holds: that after the holocaust Judaism returned home to die, I don't like it. But it certainly beats the misery of what came for the 1900 years before. If Israel dies at this point, Judaism doesn't deserve to live. Since Christianity what has Judaism accomplished that's worthy of the pain it has brought its people other than Israel?

      You obvious don't agree, you tell me Giles. What is the danger to Jews of conflating the two things? What could happen to Jews that is even a spec compared to losing Israel?

    • Well I'm glad someone said it. I get that there is not 100% overlap between Zionists, Jews and Israeli without failing to understand the basics. Let me just pull a sentence from the article which I think demonstrates why anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism.

      To conflate Judaism, an ancient religion with ideals of love and justice, with Zionism, a recent ideology now expressed in territorial expansion, power, and militarism, is to make an egregious error with tragic consequences for all.

      Zionism is a belief that exists throughout the bible. Judaism as it exists today is a religion that dates after the fall of Zion. Zionism in its ancient form is older than the Judaism you are talking about. Zionism has existed for centuries in Jewish literature. Zionism had a resurgence in the 19th century and met with practical success which has led to further acceptance in the Jewish community. But even if we exclude the versions that aren't 150 years old, to equate Zionism which is a total philosophy of being individually (psychologically), morally and collectively (sociologically) for Jews, as nothing more than "territorial expansion, power, and militarism" is simply ridiculous. It shows a writer to be either unbelievably ignorant or having no regard for truth.

      What it is, is pure demonization. If we were just talking about a disagreement regarding a political philosophy that sort of demonization wouldn't be happening. That kind of anger does not come from one tribe of no importance not getting along with another tribe of no importance. That comes from projecting your inner psychology onto Jews. And that is anti-Semitism. That demonization comes from the belief that Jews are the earthly agents of the "prince of this world" and thus their actions and beliefs of tremendous consequence.

  • Congress invites Netanyahu to rebut Obama on Iran, and White House slams 'breach of protocol'
    • @David

      Obama fighting as if his hands are tied behind his back.

      Obama's hands are tied behind his back. He doesn't have the support of congress. Things could very ugly for him since any play he makes he can be forced to fold.

      brazen effort to interfere in our political system

      The congress of the United States has invited him to address them at the highest level as an advisor on policy. That isn't interference with our political system, that's incorporation into our political system. It generally is a sing of support. For example in September Petro Poroshenko was invited to show support for the Ukrainian government. We frequently allow the president of Korea as a strong sign of support to North Korea. Angela Merkel got to do it in 2009.

      He could withhold funding

      That's questionable if Obama can do that. Moreover congress could order the Treasury to issue the check immediately which then takes away Obama's power. If treasury refuses they issue a letter to a private bank to make an even larger payment and offer that bank a fee for their service. Again Obama is in a bind if congress doesn't back his plays. He isn't a dictator.

      He could decline to run interference in the UN.

      Which doesn't mean much if congress considers what passes illegitimate. But even that's kind of dangerous if congress doesn't agree. Say for example they throw down and impeach Powers for acting against the policies of the United States then what? That sends exactly the opposite message Obama is trying to send.

      Remember doesn't want a vote direct or indirect in congress on Israeli annexation policies because such a vote would easily win in congress.

      should come at the risk of being viewed as disloyal to our President in foreign policy

      I think congress has been pretty clear that they don't agree with Obama's foreign policy on Israel. They aren't merely a bit disloyal they are deep fundamental disagreement. Something Obama doesn't want to highlight.

      . An organized effort by intellectuals about the bankruptcy of the Likud-Neocon ideology as applied to foreign policy

      That happens all the time. There are intellectuals on the Neocon side. For a few years following Iraq they weren't winning the debate. In the last few years they have been. Moreover, one of those neocon intellectuals is the likely Democratic nominee for President of the United States in 2016. Since the Republican candidates are mostly hawks as well the debate may not go well for Obama.

      An organized effort by mainstream Christian denominations to condemn the racism and apartheid policies of Israel.

      Most of them have already done that. They have gone as far as they are willing to go. Maybe Obama could push them to go a bit further. Fundamentalism (before the split with Evangelicalism) came from a rejection of the Social Gospel. There is probably no stronger favor that Obama could do for Netanyahu then tying anti-Israel to the social gospel.

      How about forcing AIPAC to register as a foreign agent?

      How? What foreign government funds AIPAC? Which foreigners control it? AIPAC is a bunch of American Republicans who like Israel. It would go to court, and Obama would lose.

      What about just some detailed analysis of the Israeli election?

      OK what does that do? The people who are following Israeli's elections closely are probably mostly Zionists who have their favorite parties.

      his own state of the union speech in DC, in a desperate attempt to hang onto power

      Desperate attempt? He's getting endorsed by the world's most powerful body.

    • @Abierno

      I don't think Israel is backing ISIS or Al Nusra. I was at the Golan 4 weeks ago with guys who had artillery aimed at Al Nusra in case they advanced towards Israel or let missiles they were firing at Assad stray. But if the policy of the United States Congress is pro-ISIS than that is the policy of the United States. Obama can have whatever opinions he wants about who are enemies are, but the body empowered to make the final decision on that front is the congress not the executive.

      ____

      Now what I really think is going on is this. . The White House is letting it be known they are working on a war powers resolution with Corker. They thought Menendez was way too hawkish and were afraid of what would come out so they didn't push the issue.

      Inviting Netanyahu may very well be the white flag gesture for the hawks before they reluctantly agree with the Obama / Corker position.

  • Update: On MLK Day, lots of folks are talking Palestine
    • @Annie

      king’s statement was in 67. he was assassinated apr.’68, so saying he didn’t do anything for many years before or after 1980 is an understatement.

      That was my point. In the original though you said it as well, "that’s odd because king himself, after years of lobbying cancelled his trip to israel after the annexation of jerusalem " which is what I was commenting on. He cancelled his trip after the '67 war. Anyway we'll agree on this we'll move on.

      how anyone could claim the annexation of jerusalem (his words) as dropping the political context is beyond me. granted, i didn’t mention “the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter” but so what

      The so what is he says he's worried about the political fallout of the trip: "would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done", " but the constant turmoil in the Middle East makes it extremely difficult to conduct a religious pilgrimage free of both political over tones" He has a conversation about balancing for the sake of appearance and then gives the instincts line you are quoting, i.e. his instincts are that balancing wouldn't work.

      That is a totally different context than King agreeing with you that Israel "annexing" Jerusalem is
      a bad thing at all. He's concerned about how supporters react (like being willing to travel for fear). He's worried that the Arabs view his as pro-Israel.

      That's what politicians do when they are worried about being tagged with an unpopular position they mostly agree with. MLK is not advocating a boycott, which is what you all were originally claiming. He never uses the term and everything he says is that he personally is under pressure not to do X, not that he's participating in some broad boycott and thus not doing X.

      your whole “end their national existence” is hypocritical hasbara. assigning to ones enemies ones own actions. everyone knows very well who (israel/zionism) is in the business of ending national existence. it’s israelis who ethnically cleanse palestine, not the other way around. flipping that over to demonized the bds movement is a joke. it’s israels own damn fault it’s national existence depends on the ethnic cleansing of another. palestine doesn’t have that problem. it’s yours, own it.

      You are confusing two things here:

      1) Does the BDS plan end Israeli's national existence?
      2) Does Annie think ending Israel's national existence is the right policy?

      Your claiming because (2) is true that (1) isn't true. I get that you think it is the right policy. When Athens ended the national existence of Melos for refusing to pay tribute the Athenians were very worried about what would happen if Melos set an example. Athens having what they considered very good reasons to do it is not the same as saying it was not Athen's intent to end the national existence of Melos.

      What you are giving is why you want to end the national existence of Israel. They at one point engaged in an ethnic cleansing and you want to see this particular ethnic cleansing reversed. Great so you have a reason. That doesn't mean you don't support the policy and it doesn't mean that BDS doesn't support the policy and it isn't perfectly accurate to accuse BDS of supporting national destruction. Sure it is a nation they don't like, but most everyone who supports destroying nations only supports destroying nations they don't like for some reason.

      The point of a genocide is generally (there are exceptions like the Holocaust) to flood a territory with a group of people of a radically different culture than those currently living there. That's why it is done. You are not the first person in history to want to flood a territory with a different group of people than those currently living there. They had reasons. And while BDS doesn't advocate genocide they advocate the positions that historically become the motivation for genocide. To use your words, it is time you own that.

      I'm perfectly happy to say that Israel has created a situation where getting justice for the Palestinians likely results in genocide. I have no problem owning it.

    • @Annie Robbins

      fundamentally the BDS movement goals are equality

      No they aren't. If they were after equality they would say that. BDS's demands would be something like, "BDS strives for full legal equality between Palestinians and Jews in all the territories governed by Israel". They wouldn't be focusing on "ending the occupation".

      but by trafficking in truth

      They don't traffic in truth. Trafficking in truth is far nuanced and complicated then simplistic hate propaganda. A lot of what BDS proponents say is simply false or highly misleading.

      a very typical tactic countries (including the US) use to change the behavior of other countries.

      Absolutely. To change their behavior. Not to end their national existence. That's a much more rare policy. Moreover the objectives of BDS aren't to change behavior. if it were they would be looking for policy changes. They also wouldn't be pursuing denormalization.

      the fundamental purpose of iran sanctions is to offend people and create attention

      The fundamental purpose of Iran sanctions is to pressure Iran and to act as a warning to Iran that forcible regime change is being seriously discussed. The BDS movement has so far mainly focused on symbolic acts without much economic impact on Israel but that are loud and noticeable. That's very different than the sanctions policy the USA pursued with Iraq, has with Iran or for example that Israel is using against Gaza.

      oh really, that’s odd because king himself, after years of lobbying cancelled his trip to israel after the annexation of jerusalem.

      The annexation of Jerusalem was July 30, 1980. King didn't do anything after that or for many years before that. What you mean is the conquest of Jerusalem.

      The quote BTW is shocking misleading. A good example of BDS trafficking in truth I guess! The conversation takes place with Stanley Levison. King is concerned about the political ramifications of him endorsing Israel. This isn't a moral discussion I’d run into the situation where I’m damned if I say this and I’m damned if I say that no matter what I’d say, and I’ve already faced enough criticism including pro-Arab. I just think that if I go, the Arab world, and of course Africa and Asia for that matter, would interpret this as endorsing everything that Israel has done, and I do have questions of doubt... I frankly have to admit that my instincts, and when I follow my instincts so to speak I’m usually right… I just think that this would be a great mistake. I don’t think I could come out unscathed.

      Your version of the quote completely misrepresents what he was saying by dropping the political context.
      link to martinkramer.org

    • @Whizdom

      That is interesting.!Though you are talking about a brand new find, from Democracy now, quite literally in the last few days.

      The fact that it is a new find means that me have made these statements perhaps only once and in London. So I think the context is a bit telling and I wouldn't apply it as generally as you are. The audience here was not Americans but English liberals. And the issue was one that the USA wasn't involved with in any substantial way at the time and was unlikely in the near term to get more involved with. Resolution 1761 (calling for sanctions against South Africa) was passed by the UN in 1962 and the UK was leading the fight against 1761 considering it to be a violation of the UN's mandate. Britain itself had a pretty active anti-Apartheid movement starting in 1961. The British were at that time starting to take a much harder line against Rhodesia and had implemented a call for majority rule in former colonies before independence. So they were becoming majoritarian with respect to other countries. They had 1/2 thrown South Africa out of the Commonwealth already.

      So he is talking to liberals who can influence British policy and mostly advocating a policy most of them already supported. I don't see how that contradicts what I said above about him avoiding the radical left. This would be in keeping with getting Britain to do what it already thought was right (majority rule) in a situation where the economic losses were greater. That's all.

    • @Phil

      There’s no question that if King were alive today, he would be in lines with [the BDS] movement

      I'll question it. King was always quite loath to associate with radical groups. For example King certainly allowed his mentor Bayard Rustin to be drummed out of the civil rights movement because of his past Communist Party affiliations and homosexuality. Or for example when Paul Robeson (an American superstar of the late 20s with strong Soviet affiliations) attended the prayer pilgrimage King wouldn't meat with him.

      The fact is that King cleared the decks of almost all the previous generation of civil rights leaders for the same reasons, even though the Communist party was pretty common among civil rights advocates of the 1930s and 40s it was simply an unacceptable affiliation. King was a man who took the civil rights movement and made it respectable to average Americans. He challenged Americans to do what they already believed was the right thing to do. He didn't try and overturn society and threaten them with a cause they didn't believe in. Equality for blacks was a cause he championed, ending Jim Crow was a cause he championed. Uniting the working class globally was a cause he opposed.

      If you want to use that analogy the BDS movement is far closer to what the civil rights movement looked like in the 1930s than what it looked like in the 1950s. The BDS movement goes out of its way to cause offense. Fundamentally it is trying to offend people (particularly Jews) and provoke a reaction which then creates attention to the cause. It also isn't really looking for mainstream acceptability. It tends towards demonization and imagines utopian goals. Remember King started with eliminating just one Jim Crow law, not demanding a total remaking of society. That's the opposite of what BDS does.

      I have to say I think if the 2010s MLK were Jewish he'd be a J-Streeter. He's much more Jeremy Ben-Ami than you. If he were Palestinian I think he'd be affiliated with something like IPCRI. He'd be aggressively trying to get Palestinians to support a Meretz government and working with the Israeli left on a fair and just peace. He'd oppose any attempts to force the Israelis into change externally since that would tend to produce resistance (i.e the entire philosophy behind non-violence). His peace movement would start with very minor actions that most Israelis could support like maybe ending housing segregation or going back to unrestricted movement. He would be advising Palestinians that at the current level of fear and tension there is no just solution to long term problems that Jews are going to accept. 130 years of violent conflict have created hatreds on both sides and the oppressor needs to be able to see past his fear for justice to emerge. For King the first step is to create a relationship of goodwill with the antagonist. Your movement rejects that.

      So no I don't think he'd be a BDSer. I don't think he'd be an Abbas supporter either however. I think he might very well agree with you on an eventual goal of a one-state solution with full equality and an end to Zionism but he would totally disagree with you on how to achieve it.

  • Netanyahu and Europe’s far right find common ground after the Paris attacks
    • @Elliot

      The Jewish State’s raison d’être is to provide safety for Jews.

      No it is not. The purpose of the Jewish state was to end the Jewish nation's exile. As a nation the Jewish people might endure wars. They might even die like other nations do. All the Jewish state does is end the exile and allow Jews to live a normal life. Normally lives can be healthy and last, or they can end before their time.

      It is also a growing liability for the safety of non-Israeli Jews

      I don't see any evidence for that. Net/net it seems to have reduced the level of anti-Jewish violence considerably. That's not to say that every attack that happens today would have happened without Israel but many attacks that don't happen would have happened without Israel.

      to purposefully jeopardize French solidarity and the case for French citizenship vs. ethnic definitions of French identity

      I hate to break it to you: Netanyahu agrees with the ethnic definition of French identity. There really are people in the world who actually disagree with you on stuff. I know it is hard to fathom but they exist.

      Reread your paragraph and replace the word Jew with Chinese and Israel with China. You'll see how silly you are being from Netanyahu's perspective. The purpose of China is to be the home of the Chinese people. It isn't a safe house against attack. China fully acknowledges they've lost people to enemies and will likely do so in the future, they still aren't giving up their country. China lays claim to all Chinese people even those living abroad and doesn't mind if that undermines "French solidarity" with the Chinese people living in France.

    • @Kay24

      I remember the Jews in Iran were enticed with thousands of dollars, but they decided they were quite happy and not in danger as Israeli leaders kept telling them. They were the smart ones.

      Sorry but you remember wrong. There are twice as many Persian Jews in Israel as in Iran. As an aside the USA is an even more popular destination because of its large non-religious pro-shah Persian community which better fits the Persian Jews culturally.

    • @amigo

      France/EU should pass a law freezing the assets of groups deserting the country of their birth

      Wow talk about literally fascist legislation, "he state owns all property of of those traitors who choose to emigrate". That's OK though the Iraq government did precisely that and it sped up the transfer of Jews because they knew what the next step was. They also didn't get very much money out of it, Jews from long experience know how to make assets disappear. The Iraqi government very quickly realized it was a huge mistake having the opposite of the intended effect.

      There is also nothing illegal about going to Iraq to fight Assad. It is illegal to join armies which are hostile to the west. The legal way to do it is to contact the CIA which has been running camps in Jordan for 2 years and volunteer. The illegal way to do it is to slip across the border and fight for ISIS or Al Qaeda affiliates.

      BTW I live in New Jersey not California. So your theory of who I am has a 3000 mile hole in it.

  • #JeSuisUnJuifBritannique
    • @Bandolero

      Disliking group X for "good" reasons and disliking group X are the same things.

      I could do the same kind of analysis of say anti-black attitudes in the USA.

      What if someone doesn't like blacks because they rightfully believe they engage in more serious criminal activities on a per capita basis? What is someone doesn't like blacks because they are less educated than whites?

      The answer is, the people doing the surveys don't care about the why. The why is generally irrelevant. People who don't like ethnic minorities have in their own head good reasons for that dislike. That's a given. It is always the case.

    • @Keith

      Yes the problem with Jews is they aren't sufficiently self critical and are completely unable to look at the world from other points of views. You nailed that one alright.

    • @Whizdom

      Well of course. Judaism as it existed was a religion with a bit of a nationalist tinge. Zionism is a nationalist movement with an associated religion. The merger of Zionism and Judaism in the diaspora has meant that Jewish attachments to England are at best conditional. Jews are essentially identifying themselves as expats, and expats' loyalties are seen as more conditional because they are. They are often strongly intellectually tied to their state because they made a conscious choice, but more weakly intuitively tied because their person formed in another state. For diaspora Jews it is often the reverse, which is why most people don't take diaspora Zionism seriously, rightfully seeing it as more of a religious claim than an accurate description of the person's mental state.

      However I have to say for a country where a huge percentage of Scotland just voted to formally sever ties, and there was a generation back a civil war with the Catholic population worrying about the loyalty of Jewish citizens does strike me as paying disproportionate attention to Jews. I don't know whether one can really be fully English without being an Anglican. But whether the answer is yes or no, Jewish Englishmen seem much more English than many of the other factions in England.

      So ultimately... if England wants a pure nation. Kick the Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland out, kick the Scottish out and kick the Muslims and Jews out. But England right now doesn't want a pure nation. So it isn't going to happen for at least a long while.

  • ICC opens war crimes inquiry into Israel over Gaza war as Palestinians prepare another UN resolution
    • @blah

      What I suspect is that no one wants to see this justice thing get out of hand. Same argument that came up last decade regarding universal jurisdiction. Kidnapping other country's leaders is an act of war. OTOH we have all these treaties that pretend as if everyone is absolutely on the same page and has agreed to forgo war crimes....

      The Netherlands is not going to want to be in a situation where Israel is serious pissed. KPMG, Elsevier, Philips, Unilever... are just too vulnerable. So nothing much is going to happen without Israel's implicit consent.

      This means that visits and activities by Israelis create tension. They force other countries, particularly European countries to deal with their hypocrisy. Take for example the situation of the CIA torturing Italians. The Italian courts had this big show of convicting them in absentia and issuing international warrants. The one of them (Robert Seldon Lady) gets caught in Panama. The CIA makes it clear to Italy they would consider a plane carrying Lady to be a hostile aircraft, and his arrest warrant or not a kidnapping. So the Italians won't touch him (they were in negotiations with the CIA) and Panama releases him.

      Israel doesn't have nearly that kind of pull, but they have enough. And that doesn't even mention that what it comes to evidence against specific individuals for specific acts and not just "Israel" that kind of evidence would be hard to get.

      So an indictment will be annoying for Israel. First of all the person responsible won't be able to travel easily. France, Britain... aren't going to want to arrest them but they aren't going to want to openly not arrest them either. Also there is going to be all this PR about "harboring an indicted war criminal" the same as the "settlements are illegal".

      It is just bad all around. Bad for the UN. Bad for the ICC. Bad for Europe's self image. Ultimately you want to put another's county's leadership in cages you gotta have the war. And nobody cares that much.

  • Obama cites donor pressure re Iran, but 'NYT' won't tell you what he means
    • @Whizdom

      All good questions, would you say further investigation into these quite apt questions would help clarify the matter? Remove any questions?

      Well if you were to show
      1) Which Israelis control AIPAC
      2) What is the mechanism of control
      3) The method for recruiting
      then it would unquestionably be a foreign lobby and quite possibly a subversive organization.

      The point of those questions in my mind was to say essentially
      1) There are no Israelis
      2) There is no mechanism for control

      Rather what AIPAC is, is a bunch of American Republican Jews who like Israel and agree with the Israeli right. The relationship of Jewish organizations to Israel is not like football players to the NFL (analogous to a foreign lobby) but rather more like football fans to the NFL (analogous to a domestic lobby). The NFL is influenced by their fans and the fans are influenced by NFL but the relationship isn't one of control and commerce like it is for players.

      Just to give an example. Italy–USA Foundation is a genuine foreign lobby. I as an American can approach the Foundation to lobby the Italian government if I have an issue. They sort of act like an alternative embassy / trade council for business. This effectively keeps the PdL (center right) in the loop with Americans even when the PD (social democratic) party is in power. It runs both ways so the PdL can conduct semi-independent foreign policy and maintain continuity of relationships in America for Italian businesses. And since as an American I like the PdL and can't stand dealing with the PD (not uncommon) and Italians realize that they want to have both the ability to elect PD to power and at the same have trade continuity everyone is OK with this. They have meetings in Seattle and New York, but the headquarters is in Rome and the whole point of talking to them is to be talking to Rome.

      That's nothing like what AIPAC does with Israel. If I have a problem with Israel I can't talk to AIPAC to resolve it. There are no Israelis on the other end just rightwing Jewish Americans.

    • @Whizdom

      at the order, request, or under the direction or control of a foreign principal

      OK let's go with your theory.
      1) Which Israelis control AIPAC? (specifically names or titles).
      2) What is the the mechanism of control for those Israelis who control AIPAC? How do they enforce their will on the organization?
      3) How do these Israelis recruit for AIPAC? That is how do they find Americans who otherwise wouldn't agree with them and how do you bribe, threaten... them to act in Israeli's interests?

      There is no foreign principal ergo it is not a foreign lobby.

    • @Sean

      One almost never notices Americans arguing with Norwegian Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, German Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. about the politics of Norway, Ireland, Italy, Germany, China, etc.

      It is even less true for Cubans where Cuban Americans have often wanted to run their own foreign policy. It is also not true for Mexicans. A few decades back it was not true for El Salvador. It is has been not true of Nicaragua off and on for over a century. And incidentally that's not true for China at all.

      You are just focused on issues relating to Israel while not caring about things like Mexican drug cartels, Mexican rules regarding migrant labor or other such issues. To some extent Israel gets disproportionate attention, frankly I think that's more of a problem with an ideology that what Jews do is of cosmic importance which comes from Christianity.

      So the big picture is yes, there is still anti-semitism. In a non anti-semitic world the proper response to stories about Israel would be "where is Israel, what are Jews"?

      But the arguments between Americans and Jewish Americans over Israel are torrential and often vicious — just follow the comment sections on the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, etc. (Especially take a close look at the angry responses that Jennifer Rubin has managed to provoke from Washington Post readers.)

      Look at the debates over abortion. Look at the debates over welfare or police violence or housing policy or anything else. Israel is a debate. There is a small group of Americans that hate Israel, about 10% of the population. They are very unhappy with current policy. So what?

      So what in the hell is going on? If I were you, I would be gravely worried about these developments and try to understand them — I would be wondering about where all this is going.

      Well you aren't me. I'm not worried. Israel has never been a non controversial issue for the simple reason that it is an ongoing war involving a crucial commodity with different factions of Americans allied with different sides. The arguments over Yugoslavia were very heated for similar reasons. World War I and World War II prior to American involvement were heated.

      You are trying to convince us — and yourself — that nothing is amiss. Most of us are not buying it. We can see what is plainly in front of our nose.

      But it isn't in front of your nose. It involves secret Jewish control of congress. Secret Jewish control of the public. Secret black flag operations. What's in front of your nose is a policy that is popular with the American people (though some people disagree) and a congress mostly doing what the public wants on an issue. You are rejecting what's in front of your nose in favor of an intuitive belief that Jews are able to secretly manipulate the world.

      Now where do you think that comes from?

    • @Sean

      Your list is so weak that apparently you didn’t notice that Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond have been dead for years — they are not ringleaders of the campaign to attack Iran — and that Chuck Hagel has been a strong critic of the Israel lobby.

      You all keep switching back and forth for who is pushing for war with Iran and who was pushing for war with Iraq. That list were Christian senators who voted for war with Iraq which at that point was the question being responded to. American Christians were the overwhelming majority of the people in leadership. American Christians overwhelming favored the war.

      That's who did it. No conspiracy. No secret Jewish cabal, though certainly like any other subgroup some Jews were in favor. The war happened because Americans had a long frustrating relationship with Iraq, decided on a policy of regime change and then in Bush's term decided to implement that policy.

      Tom Daschle was highly critical of the Iraq War — he was also a target of the 9/11 anthrax attacks, which were almost certainly a false flag op. The massive cover-up concerning those attacks remains firmly in place.

      Daschle voted yes. He voted yes on the supplementary budged in Oct 2003. Not only that in Sept 2004 he defended that vote during the election campaign.

      As for false flag operations and so forth. I'm not going to conspiracy land about "false flags". I'll talk about reality. The FBI investigated, came to a conclusion, that conclusion was verified by congress and unless there is excellent evidence to the contrary I'm sticking with Bruce Ivins did it.
      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Yes, but will these mainstream Christians (not Christian Zionist extremists like John Hagee) be raucous ringleaders of a campaign to go to war against Iran?

      Mitt Romney, " I can assure you if I'm president, the Iranians will have no question but that I will be willing to take military action if necessary to prevent them from becoming a nuclear threat to the world."

      Dick Cheney, " Forget Baghdad, real men go to Tehran." or telling Goldman just a few months back that his biggest regret was not doing a dual invasion.

      Michael Hayden, "“In my personal thinking — I need to emphasize that — I have begun to consider that [attacking Iran] may not be the worst of all possible outcomes"

      Kim Holmes, " the Europeans, by negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, might be preventing the U.S. from using military force to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. "

      etc...

      Please name the Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian organizations that have been conspicuously agitating for an American war against Iran

      Republican party platform, "Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons capability threatens America, Israel, and the world. That threat has only become worse during the current Administration. A continuation of its failed engagement policy with Iran will lead to nuclear cascade. In solidarity with the international community, America must lead the effort to prevent Iran from building and possessing nuclear weapons capability. We express our respect for the people of Iran, who seek peace and aspire to freedom. Their current regime is unworthy of them. It exports terror and provided weapons that killed our troops in Iraq. We affirm the unanimous resolution of the U.S. Senate calling for “elections that are free, fair, and meet international standards” and “a representative and responsive democratic government that respects human rights, civil liberties, and the rule of law.” We urge the next Republican President to unequivocally assert his support for the Iranian people as they protest their despotic regime. We must retain all options in dealing with a situation that gravely threatens our security, our interests, and the safety of our friends.."

      What is the Christian equivalent of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?

      link to en.wikipedia.org

      It’s normal for an American politician to receive nearly $800,000 from a lobby that is working for the interests of a *foreign government*?

      Most lobbies are mixed. The financial lobby is heavily foreign. But if you want a lobby similar to AIPAC the U.S.-China Working Group has 56 members in the house who are committed to issues like supporting the Chinese suppression of Tibet and Xinjiang (Xinjiang is a big issue regarding the war on terror).

      There are also (with similar politics):

      House US-China Inter-parliamentary
      Senate US-China Inter-parliamentary Exchange -
      Congressional China Caucus
      US-China Senate Working Group

      As for your stuff about "against the national interest" you are begging the question. You are assuming that your opinions represent the national interest while AIPAC's do not.

      Future historians, JeffB, are going to adjudge this situation, in which for several decades the Israeli government and the Israel lobby have subverted and controlled the US Congress

      The Israeli lobby has controlled the congress. The American people have been steadily pro Israel for decades. If anything the USA government has been substantially less pro-Israel than the USA population because of oil interests.

    • @Kay24

      If this is not describing a “foreign lobby” then I don’t know what is.

      You mean the telco example I gave of an actual foreign lobby or AIPAC? AIPAC is a lobby funded and run exclusively by Americans, ergo it is not a foreign lobby. The telco examples I gave are funded exclusively by non-USA companies and take direction from foreigners ergo they are a foreign lobby.

      It is pretty simple:
      Americans who agree with foreigns are a domestic lobby.
      Americans who get paid to do what foreigners say are a foreign lobby.

      simply read Wikipedia’s description of AIPAC, and you will realize exactly whose interests are primarily the reason for the existence of such a powerful lobby.

      It doesn't matter whose interests you do or do not believe are served. I consider the peace movement to mostly be serving Europe's interests that doesn't make them a foreign lobby. It is who pays not who likes what they are doing.

      AIPAC is a toxic lobby causing more harm than good in the US. What you say is a very clinical version of what I have heard ad nauseam from the hasbara. The lobby should just stick to trade.

      AIPAC doesn't have a problem with trade. Moreover the experts on Israeli trade issues (of which there aren't many) are registered foreign lobbies.

      You are quite literally flipping the definition of foreign lobby.

    • @ seanmcbride

      Which leading Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic organizations were ringleaders of the Iraq War

      Very few. Saying that Evangelical Protestantism was the core of the support for the war doesn't say that Catholics were the support for the war. The Catholic position was anti-Iraq war, " Pope John Paul II, the Holy See, and USCCB repeatedly expressed grave moral concerns regarding a possible military intervention in Iraq and the unpredictable and uncontrollable negative consequences of an invasion and occupation. The Holy See and the Conference remain highly skeptical of the concept of 'preventive war.'" I'm not sure where you are getting that jump from Evangelicals and the bulk of the public supported the war to Catholics had to support the war.

      What you need to show is that Jews but not Christians support the war and with the war polling as high as 73% that's just not possible. Republicans varied from 90% support before the war started to 68% when Obama pulled troops out. Democratic constituencies started at 50% and collapsed to 17% by the time of Obama's election. White Catholics were not generally polled separately but on most surveys tend to look like independents. So they likely went from something like 66% support to 38% by Obama's election. Throw in Hispanics and they are going to probably end up looking just a bit to the right of Democrats on Iraq.

      The people who most strongly supported the war were Evangelicals. The government at the time was run and mostly staffed by evangelicals. Its core supporters were evangelicals.

      AIPAC mostly represents the foreign policy positions of Jewish hawks, Republicans, who not shockingly look like other Republican voters. There is no great conspiracy. George Bush, an evangelical, convinced overwhelming numbers of Americans that a war with Iraq was a good idea and so congress voted for it.

      Certainly Jewish attitudes were unusual. Jewish democrats ere mostly mixed, and indifferent at the start of the war. This was devastating for the antiwar cause because Jews make up about 50% of the antiwar activists. Jewish liberals flipped once the Ba'ath party was removed from power, and became antiwar. But throughout the entire time Jews were to the left of the broader American public, including Catholics, and certainly way to the left of evangelicals on the Iraq war.

      No Jews didn't do it. And you've seen a recent example of that with Syria. AIPAC was strongly in favor of war with Syria, Obama wasn't able to sell war with Syria like Bush was able to and AIPAC lost the vote.

    • @Giles

      I may get an extra Jew in here but let's start with the obvious Bush, Cheney, Rumseld, Rice... are all non Jewish. Then you go the non-Jewish Senators who voted for it and I think you already have his list beat and with more senior people

      Allard (R-CO)
      Allen (R-VA)
      Baucus (D-MT)
      Bayh (D-IN)
      Bennett (R-UT)
      Biden (D-DE)
      Bond (R-MO)
      Breaux (D-LA)
      Brownback (R-KS)
      Bunning (R-KY)
      Burns (R-MT)
      Campbell (R-CO)
      Cantwell (D-WA)
      Carnahan (D-MO)
      Carper (D-DE)
      Cleland (D-GA)
      Clinton (D-NY)
      Cochran (R-MS)
      Collins (R-ME)
      Craig (R-ID)
      Crapo (R-ID)
      Daschle (D-SD)
      DeWine (R-OH)
      Dodd (D-CT)
      Domenici (R-NM)
      Dorgan (D-ND)
      Edwards (D-NC)
      Ensign (R-NV)
      Enzi (R-WY)
      Fitzgerald (R-IL) (Catholic)
      Frist (R-TN)
      Gramm (R-TX)
      Grassley (R-IA)
      Gregg (R-NH)
      Hagel (R-NE)
      Harkin (D-IA)
      Hatch (R-UT)
      Helms (R-NC)
      Hollings (D-SC)
      Hutchinson (R-AR)
      Hutchison (R-TX)
      Inhofe (R-OK)
      Johnson (D-SD)
      Kerry (D-MA)
      Kohl (D-WI)
      Kyl (R-AZ)
      Landrieu (D-LA)
      Lincoln (D-AR)
      Lott (R-MS)
      Lugar (R-IN)
      McCain (R-AZ)
      McConnell (R-KY)
      Miller (D-GA)
      Murkowski (R-AK)
      Nelson (D-FL)
      Nelson (D-NE)
      Nickles (R-OK)
      Reid (D-NV)
      Roberts (R-KS)
      Rockefeller (D-WV)
      Santorum (R-PA)
      Sessions (R-AL)
      Shelby (R-AL)
      Smith (R-NH)
      Smith (R-OR)
      Snowe (R-ME)
      Stevens (R-AK)
      Thomas (R-WY)
      Thompson (R-TN)
      Thurmond (R-SC)
      Torricelli (D-NJ)
      Voinovich (R-OH)
      Warner (R-VA)

    • CigarGod

      When has AIPAC demand a pledge of loyalty from the public? Remember we are talking the public having the 50 point support for Israel not politicians.

    • @Kay24

      We have a very good system for handling foreign lobbies. They can be important for things like trade deals or military coordination. For example many of the fiberoptic cables that come out of the United States are not owned by USA telcos. We want the remixing of signal to happen on land (i.e. inside the USA proper). Which means these cables are subject to USA law. The foreign lobbies need to exist to make negotiation function between our regulators and foreign regulators.

      I think what you are upset about is a domestic lobby that is interested in a foreign policy issue. But that's not a foreign lobby at all. And by calling it a foreign lobby you just confuse the issue.

    • @Annie

      Politicians don't spend campaign funds advertising themselves not their issues. Generally running negative ads and relying on the public's already defined beliefs. AIPAC spending on politicians doesn't explain the 50 point gap in public opinion polls.

      Besides the fact that spending moves things a few percentage points it doesn't get you to 50.

    • @Shingo

      You have it backwards of course. If they had it so easy, they wouldn’t have to spend gazzilions of campaign dollars to keep both parties in line. In fact, it’s the very sums that they spend that are invested to ensure that 50 point margin is maintained

      AIPAC doesn't donate to the public. The 50 point margin is among the broad population not among elected officials. Your theory doesn't hold up.

    • @Seanmcbride

      What other special interest group in American politics has been as aggressive and conspicuous in instigating and promoting conflict with Iran?

      The Republican party which is essentially the white evangelical party. Republicans have been extremely aggressive with Iran starting with Reagan and continuing under Bush-43 who classified them as one of his big 3 targets.

      I see your list of Jews but so what? One could assemble a much larger list of Christians. Heck given the relative size of the denominations I imagine you could assemble a much larger list of Presbyterians, Methodists or Episcopalians.

      As for Kirk you just have an article that say:
      Mark Kirk does stuff AIPAC likes and Mark Kirk gets money from AIPAC. That's the way it normally works. Senators who back the farm lobby get money from farm PACs. For example Mary Landrieu was #2 direct fundraiser after Mcconnell her money mainly comes from the energy sector. Why? Because she backs all sorts of policies the Energy sector PACs like.

      AIPAC is a top 20 lobby group. But they aren't in the same league as energy or pharma.

    • @seanmcbridge

      After being burned so badly by the Iraq War, you would think that Jewish neoconservatives, Jewish neoliberals and pro-Israel activists would be cautious about conspicuously leading Americans into another war

      Look. I don't go in for the secret Jewish control nonsense. Bush, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney are not Jewish. Were there Jews who favored war with Iraq? Absolutely. Were there Catholic, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Mormons and Congregationalists who favored war with Iraq? Absolutely. And far more of the later group than the former group.

      Jews are part of the foreign policy establishment. Jews were involved in getting America into war with Iraq. Jews were involved with getting America out of war with Iraq.

      Jews are going to be part of any American policy. But unless one has an unhealthy obsession with Jews there is no particular reason to focus on their role. In Israel you can focus on Jews. America is a Christian country, Christian run it Christians decide on it. The people who led America into war with Iraq were the 73% of the American population who favored war with Iraq and that population is 2% Jewish.

      What was unusual about the Jewish vote was that Jews who are normal central to the peace movement were not mostly opposed to the overthrow of Ba'ath party.

    • @Giles

      Too many Christians in the mix for that to work. Because there is doubt and there are other people.

      The #1 public advocate for war with Iran is Mark Kirk (R-IL), United Church of Christ same as Obama.

      Sure there are people like Richard Holbrooke who are ethnically Jewish but religiously Quaker. But I think you are going to have a tough time arguing the Jews did it.

    • @pabelmont

      Exactly! AIPAC is a lobby just like any of the other major lobbies. It is seen by most Americans as a lobby. It acts like a lobby. Lobbying is a constitutionally guaranteed right. Most Americans want more restrictions on lobbies but they want them broadly on all of them. AIPAC is for most Americans far less destructive than lobbies like the Agriculture lobby or the Pharmaceutical lobby.

      AIPAC has it easy on most issues because Americans support Israel vs. the Palestinians by about a 50 point margin. Only among Democratic liberals is there even meaningful debate. When AIPAC goes for policies that are narrowly supported or possibly narrowly opposed then money plays a big role. Most of the policies BDSers want to see enacted are strongly opposed by Americans.

      Finally this line from the original article:

      Did the Koch brothers ever get this kind of immunity? Never.

      Actually all the time.
      Americans for Prosperity issues are frequently called "Republican" because they have broad public support.
      Cato Institute policies are frequently called "Libertarian" because they have broad public support.
      Koch industries opposition to climate change legislation is rarely mentioned and this is seen as Democrat vs. Republican or environmentalists vs. pro-growth.

      etc...

  • Netanyahu's Parisian follies
    • @bryan

      The motive force in your world of violence and hatred

      Who exactly is it that I hate? I don't hate the Palestinians. I treat them like a nation and respect their choices. I'm all for making them full Israelis. You all are the ones who argue they are incapable of becoming Israelis and thus Israeli needs to be destroyed.

      The motive force in your world of violence and hatred was surely the mistaken Zionist ambition to build a villa in the desert by expulsion and ethnic-cleansing

      The ambition in a practical way towards mass ethnic cleansing started being formulated in 1942 as has been well documented including by BDSers. That is it came two generations after the decision to build the villa. It came as a direct result of the 1936-9 war. The Palestinians not the Israelis are the ones who choose to put ethnic warfare on the table.

      I'm not a racist I hold brown people responsible for what they choose to do collectively or individually the same as I do white people. The problem you have is you don't. You buy into this leftist nonsense where we the west are the only ones with agency and everyone else's reactions are more or less forced.

      and unsurprisingly some reacted to this considering your project to be illegitimate and demonic.

      Not reacted. It is 2015. React. The project for Israeli Arabs at leas has been complete since almost all of them were born. It is in a practical sense irreversible. Their choosing to see it the way they do is a choice. A choice which other people in other contexts decided differently.

    • @Bryan

      Saying Obama would easily win the 2008 election and have a strong majority in Congress is not saying that he has the support / votes to give California back to Mexico.

      The coalition I outlined above does not vote for a Palestinian peace plan. I can imagine a possible coalition involving Labor-Hatnua. But it is hard to see how they pass a peace plan that the Palestinians accept.

      I've heard very reasonable offers from individual Palestinians and if they were in leadership I could easily see Israel accepting and peace but they aren't. I think Bennett offers the best proposal. It is possible that Netanyahu adopts the Bennet plan in 2015 though I suspect 2019 or so if/when Bennett becomes Prime Minister is when this plan gets adopted.

      When you talk 2SS the situation hasn't much changed since the mid-1990s. There exits support in the Israeli electorate for a self governing Palestinians colony with many of the trappings of statehood provided they don't have to make too great of territorial concessions. Once you go beyond that support drops rapidly. There exists support among Palestinians for a Jewish homeland as long as they don't have to make concessions legitimizing the creation of a permanent Jewish state. Once you get much beyond that support drops rapidly.

      The country is not big enough for a Korea type solution but when Jews think "two state solution" that's what they want. That they give up land in exchange all the Palestinians go live in their state forever. The Palestinians can't emotionally accept the idea of forever renouncing claim because they see that as legitimizing the Nabka. The two sides are too far apart to make a deal.

      What has changed in the last 2 decades is less favorable for the Palestinians. Israel has eliminated East Jerusalem as a separable entity. Jerusalem in 2015 is a Jewish city with Jewish suburbs with a substantial minority population Jerusalem is simply ungovernable by a Palestinian government, it is gone even if Meretz won 120 seats.

      Given the success Israel is achieving with a "facts on the ground" approach why make "painful concessions". With a different Palestinians I could imagine a deal. For example most Jews I know would for example be willing to throw in Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount to Palestine but Jews see that as a huge concession. Palestinians (reasonably) approach that as something their are entitled to, because the Old City was in Jordanian hands. So they deadlock.

    • @blah

      Well, Haskia claims that her daughter, who is a IDF vet, couldn’t rent an apartment in a Jewish town because she’s an Arab, so mom’s “cure” didn’t work for her.

      There is no official housing discrimination against people who serve in the army. There is still the ethnic kind of discrimination I caught the tail end of here in the USA when I was a kid (i.e. sure a black was legally allowed to buy a house in neighborhood X but it very well might burn down if they tried). It takes a concerted effort on the part of the USA government to stop it over the last few centuries when that sort of thing flashes up.

      I think a crucial component of making peace is breaking up the ethnic neighborhoods. I can understand the downsides of that though. My parents had an entirely different experience of "neighborhood" growing up than I did because their neighbors were coming from the same ethnic group and shared a politics. Thus even though they were in a city they effectively got to experience a sort of small town life. Everyone knew everyone else and as children they could count on everyone adult to be interested in their welfare.

      Israeli officials, and the vast majority of the population both Arab subgroups (Druze, Bedouin...) and Jewish subgroups have mostly encouraged ethnic neighborhoods. This express itself in all sort of things that have nothing to do with Arab vs. Jew. For example when I was at a a mixed Jewish holy site a a Sephardic rabbi didn't feel comfortable leading me in a ritual because I'm ethnically Ashkenazi. The fact that I'm an atheists was far less of a problem then the fact that I was a "white Jew".

      Yes, Israel has the kind of ethnic neighborhoods the USA had 2 generations ago. If the goal is to be productive then Israelis (both Jewish and Arab) can learn from Americans what the plusses and minuses of ethnic neighborhoods are and how they can be taken apart, because America has really done a terrific job here. Of course that system of ethnic neighborhoods can't and won't be destroyed in a world where the goal is to incite ethnic violence through delegitimization and demonization.

      So do you want to see it end by helping the Israelis become one people working for a common shared future, or do you want to see it further entrenched by encourage the win-lose kind of politics of BDS?

    • @John O

      You may well be entirely correct. What happens then, though? He’s just lost the support of France, and probably Germany too (if he hadn’t done so already).

      I don't know if you read my other comment regarding this parade. But Hollande wasn't willing to have a fight with Netanyahu about a parade he isn't going to be willing to have a war or severe tension. Hollande has got troops in places like Syria and Mali which if there was real hostility Israel could cause a great deal of mischief. ISIS is a threat to France because of returning terrorists. ISIS victory would be a medium to large net benefit to Israel. If Israel is not buddy buddy anymore then all bets are off about them coordinating with the Western foreign policy.

      Besides I don't agree that they have lost support. French Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche has been considering upgrading trade a core part of his job. So for example the National Society of French Railroads (a state owned enterprise) is investing in Israel (they still have some disputes from WWII). That opened the door Alstom SA getting big contracts in Israel. Énergies Nouvelles is using Israel as their test lab (much more sunshine than France).... That ain't a hostile relationship.

      Hollande has a muslim minority he's been appeasing with anti-Israeli rhetoric. Though the last few days seem to indicate that things are now getting out of hand. Don't get me wrong there is real personal friction there. But France doesn't want Israel as an enemy.

      And Germany I don't know what you are talking about at all. They are friendly.

      Can Israel survive in isolation?

      I don't think Israel would be isolated. I don't see any evidence that Europe will shift. And more importantly I don't see any evidence that the USA will shift.

      But even if it did. Israel has a long history (though not recently) of jumping into bed with whomever will sell it weapons. More powerful countries like a prostitute personality in midsized powers. They don't care so much about how midsized powers treat domestic minorities. The lose the USA they pick up India, Russia, China, very fast.

      Israel is not stupid. Israel is not lazy. Israel is not cautious.

      BDSers tend to get high on their own supply when it comes to their anti-Israel propaganda and underestimate Israel.

    • @Whizdom

      I don't see how (1) hurts him. Netanyahu made a central theme of his foreign policy pressuring the world into controlling Iran's progress towards a nuclear weapon. If there is a deal reducing sanctions that implies that the nuclear issue has been contained and Netanyahu has achieved his #2 foreign policy goal through merely being a prickly jerk with no need for a war by Israel. Why wouldn't the voters support that?

      As for #2 another SC resolution doesn't mean much more than further discrediting the Security Council. America is not backing sanctions or an attack on Israel so where are the teeth? That's just the SC saying its going to hold its breath until it turns blue unless Israel returns territory of the PA. Of course Israel doesn't like negative SC resolutions. But the UN has hated Israel for a long time and often far worse than it does currently.

    • @Shingo

      You are on. See you in March.

    • @Blah --

      Nope. Haskia did better than expected (6500 points / votes) but not strong enough to win a slot in the primary. Jewish Home is a very hard primary to win slots in, very very contested. Dayan for example came in 21st.

      I BTW think she's helpful she's said herself she helps cure racism. Lots of "death to the Arab" type voters hear her speak and call her a sister. Obviously the best path for everyone would be if the Israeli Arabs all became enthusiastic about Israel and wanted a civil rights struggle.

      ( I do think your attitude towards her is amusing given our host).

      Here is the 20115 list for Jewish Home:

      1. Naftali Bennett
      2. Uri Ariel (reserved for Tekuma)
      3. Ayelet Shaked
      4. Eli Ben Dahan
      5. Nissan Slomiansky
      6. Uri Orbach
      7. Yinon Magal (reserved for Bennett appointee)
      8. Shuli Moalem (reserved for a woman)
      9. Bezalel Smotrich (reserved for Tekuma)
      10. Nir Orbach (reserved for central committee member)
      11. Moti Yogev
      12. Yehudit Shilat (reserved for a woman)
      13. Avi Wortzman
      14. Avichai Rontzki
      15. Orit Struck (reserved for Tekuma)
      16. Ronen Shoval
      17. Sarah Elias (reserved for a woman)
      18. Zvulun Kalfa

      Shaked BTW got the most points/votes. Which means she beat: Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Eli Ben Dahan, Knesset Finance Committee chief Nissan Slomiansky and Pensioners Affairs Minister Uri Orbach. Insane performance for a Sophomore. I'm calling it now, Prime Minister of 2035.

    • I don't get where all these anti-Netanyahu articles about the election are going. The election is basically a done deal

      Likud: 23-26
      Russian: 6-7
      Jewish Home: 15-17
      Kaluna 9-10
      So Extended Likud is around 53-60. If they have a really good night they already got their majority. But probably not so he goes shopping and boy are the stores packed with options.

      Shas & UTJ (13-14) is a coalition he's comfortable with and this puts over the top already. Downside for him is he's near the left extreme of the government or war/peace and right extreme on economics. Which means he has a tough time legislatively. So arguably he doesn't take them and instead goes with the less juicy
      Atid (9-12)

      Either way for sure and he is still Prime Minister. So where do you see him losing?

      Frankly, given that math he is in such a strong position he might really go in for the kill. What he would do then is invite other parties to create a super majority and a hopelessly divided opposition. And I see two paths.
      1) get Atid and UTJ to kiss and makeup an get both of them in the coalition
      2) unify with Labor / Hatnuah (23-24)

      Then either way he is sitting around 75+ seats even after he throws the most demanding parties out with an opposition completely divided.

      To use an American expression at this point he could be found in bed with a dead hooker and still win.

  • Daily Show references Palestinian cartoonist Mohammad Saba'aneh in story on free speech hypocrisy
    • @oldgeezer

      Not a single Israeli tear over the muslims who died trying to protect everyone’s right to live in peace Not a single thank you for those that did save lives.

      No they didn't share a tear for the Malian who saved people's lives in the freezer. The Jews of France did better than that. They used their political influence and France granted him immediate French citizenship. Plus he's getting money.

    • @JWaters

      2 days ago Phil did a review on a book Contested Land, Contested Memory: Israel’s Jews and Arabs and the Ghosts of Catastrophe link to mondoweiss.net

      He didn't cover the parts of her book on the holocaust refugees but she does an excellent job on covering what they were facing. Their homes were gone. The economy of their home country in ruins. Their neighbors had been poisoned by years of Nazi propaganda. They were not successfully assimilating. If you want to demonize then I can't stop you. But if you want to deal with reality you need to get a grasp on what the reality was, and for many is.

  • Debate over trip to Israel reveals fissures in Muslim American community
    • @Walid

      “but Jews go where they can …”
      JeffB, Jews go where they want, they have the guns.

      No they don't. There are restrictions on their movement and activities. For example this very group got to go inside Al-Aqsa and took some nice pictures for their blog. I wasn't allowed to go and was there almost exactly the same time. The limited times it was open to non muslims the buildings themselves were kept closed. There are towns I'm not allowed to go to.

      I'm not going to argue it isn't in my favor of where I can go vs. where a native or tourist Muslim can go. But it isn't 100-0.

    • I went to several Arab towns a few weeks backs. I'm not part of the "The Zionist elite" or anything but Jews go where they can. Heck my family and myself would have liked to have seen more (i.e spent more) if the Palestinians had a more developed tourist infrastructure. But a lot of the good stuff has decayed since 2nd intifada.

    • FWIW the author of the Time piece (Rabia Chaudry) has a nice article addressing her Twitter critics that I think is worth a link: link to patheos.com

  • Netanyahu crashes Paris unity march, French gov't fumes
    • @eljay

      So I'll take that as "yes I agree every single major Jewish organization in America is Zionist". Which means the Jews institutionally support Zionism. You can continue to run around with a belief that Americans aren't responsible for American politics, Japanese aren't responsible for Japanese politics and Jews aren't responsible for Zionism but it is frankly silly.

    • @Shingo

      I've presented the data and it refutes what you are saying. Increasing expat flow in. Decreasing outflows since 2000. You can ignore the data but that's what you are doing.

    • @Shingo

      JeffB: Israel has been vacuuming up the rest of the diaspora while American Judaism melts away.

      Shingo: On the contrary. More and more and jumping the sinking Zionists ship back into the diaspora

      Nope. We've been through this before. The only change is that the numbers for 2014 are out and they are even better than the 2013 numbers were. Net migration among the Israelis and expats is down to 2400. What's happening is that now that Israel has a large expat community with ties to Israel living abroad you have a group of of people who can easily return to Israel. The same way that people in Israel for the last few generations were able to move back to their home or nearby countries which is what created the outflow since 1948.

      link to timesofisrael.com

      More and more it is looking like 2000 is going to be the all time high for flow out of Israel. Absolutely Israelis are migratory, but on balance they they like being Israeli at least as much as they like living in Western European countries. My suspicion is that as Israel's population gets more religious those numbers drop further. It is much harder being orthodox in the USA or Europe than in Israel. And you are not seeing any flow back at all to Muslim countries.

      You may wish for Israel not to work, but it is working.

    • @Shingo

      Well first off this isn't my list. Second the point is that 100% of the list is Zionist. Third the AZM listed above is not AZC.

      But you make an interesting point. As far as I understand it

      AZC is a FARA registered foreign lobby. AZC is thus freely allowed to coordinate with Israeli and non-USA Zionist organizations but has much stricter limitations on how it can lobby.

      AIPAC is a domestic lobby. AIPAC can't directly coordinate abroad but is much freer to lobby.

      AZC is not legally in 2015 the parent organization of AIPAC though I agree that AZC provided the seed money for AIPAC and the original AIPAC guys were AZC guys and the AZC guys were connected to the Jerusalem Jewish agency (one of the entities that later became the state of Israel).

      The Jewish community in the USA was political weak once upon a time. But I don't see how that's not a perfect example of precisely what I'm to Eljay. In the 1940s the USA / Israel lobby was a foreign affair. In the 1950s it was mixed. By the early 1960s it became a fully independent entity and by the late 1960s till today the big lobby that everyone cares about is purely American Jews.

      Memes take time to spread through a culture and fully integrate. American Jews didn't invent Zionism. American Jews came to be Zionists late. But today they are and institutionally Judaism is Zionist globally.

    • @American

      JeffB: What would be the reason to turn on the Jews. Her policy is to implement the idea of a moo-culture for France.
      ”>>>>>>>>>>>

      You think far right ‘ purity’ nationalist don’t consider Jews to be as alien to their nation as Muslims?

      Yes. Right now her concern is refusal to assimilate and adopt French values. For example the Republican ideals. Another example is living in segregated ghettos. French Muslims in 2015 do that (though honestly I'd blame the French Catholics for that more than the Muslims but Le Pen blames the Muslims) while French Jews do not. French Jews mostly don't wear distinctive clothing and the most distinctive piece of clothing because it isn't a sign of female submission to authority is not as offensive.

      Which is not to say that they may not consider the Jews alien but they don't consider them as alien. Moreover the French Jews who are heavily assimilated are the models that she is likely to point to i.e. you don't have to be Catholic to be French look at those Jews... The less assimilated French Jews are the ones with far and away the strongest ties to Israel for religious reasons.

      Moreover she hates the liberal media which is for Jews right now the biggest enemy they face in France. The constant daily picking at Israel undermines them far more than say Jews having to import kosher meat would.

      The minute the Zionist and Israel shit stirring against Arabs and Islam is no longer useful to their agenda they will get rid of the zios and Jews too.

      I don't think she needs Jewish help "shit stirring against Arabs". I think she needs Jewish help as a positive example minority. Which is BTW one of the keys roles that Jews played in the USA which helped Jews become white people here.

      You are being had, but carry on, pay no attention to the warnings, just dont whine later when they go after you too..

      Fair enough. If Jews side with Le Pen like they have with the conservatives and the FN turns on them, we were warned by the left and didn't listen.

    • @RoHa

      So you think he should not stand up for morality, human rights, and human decency?

      Two things. Something doesn't cease to be true because someone has a good reason for doing it. For example saying that Obama is pro-insurance industry isn't changed by the fact that he needed their support to get the Affordable Care Act passed. He still championed the strongest pro-insurance industry pieces of legislation in USA history. So even if your theory were true Hollande would still be bad for Jews.

      But it isn't. What he is doing isn't standing up for morality or human rights or human decency. Hollande has never argued that ethnic minorities have a right to separate from the state they live in. Certainly there is no principle of morality, human rights or human decency that dictates if such a state were to exist what its borders would be. Moreover by encouraging Palestinian obstinacy even if one believed there is going to be a two state solutions he's prolonging the period under which the Palestinians suffer from Israeli violence. So no he's doing much the opposite. Rather he's hawking for votes from his Muslim minority by "getting tough with Israel". The same way that USA Republicans have "gotten tough on abortion" as a way to get votes even though many of their get tough policies result in much higher levels of USA abortion than the alternatives.

      If he was concerned about the morality of situation he'd for example be urging Lebanon where he has leverage to grant citizenship to the Palestinians refugees or at least improve their condition. Heck, France has continued to import a Muslim working class to fill French jobs,and an a now unemployed and unemployable working class is precisely what Gaza is overrun with. Even if he didn't want to do much to help he could still avoid hurting. For example by making it clear to the Palestinians that ultimately the number of Palestinians killed is going to be whatever number Israel wants it to be: contrary to their fantasies there is no deus ex machina in the works. That alone would be tremendous in getting the Gazans in particular to stop provoking the Israelis. Particularly since there is a substantial minority within Gaza that wants a ground invasion on the mistaken belief that either:

      a) They could win such a conflict
      b) That if say 50k of them die the world will be forced to intervene

      People who stand up for morality, human rights and human decency are the political realists that work to try and disabuse Palestinians of their expectations and towards a reasonable solution. For example many Palestinians in particular believe that an Algeria type solution is possible. France could be an asset in explaining how much different the relative strengths of the parties were than what the situation was between the FLN and the Pied-Noirs. They could then turn to an honest conversation about when and how France was easily successful in colonization when they were mainly interested in territory or resources. That sort of conversation would save many many lives. Palestinians political awareness began in the 1920s so they have mainly seen decolonization and thus tend to believe that such a thing is inevitable rather than situational.

      Though when you see the way the Israeli forces act, they do rather resemble the Martians in War of the Worlds and Mars Attacks.

      War of the Worlds and Mars Attacks the policy was simple annihilation. If Jews were doing that the Palestinians would have been gone in Israel proper in '49 in the occupied territories in '67. I think you should consider your rhetoric. That sort of rhetoric is precisely the problem with a Hollande et al.

    • @Eljay

      t’s not Jews, but Jewish and non-Jewish Zio-supremacists who are building and supporting Israel. It’s incredibly anti-Semitic of you to hold all Jews accountable for the past and on-going (war) crimes of Zio-supremacists like you.

      OK. My contention is that there is no meaningful support for the end of "Zio-supremacism" in the Jewish community. You are arguing I'm wrong. Let's do a simple test. Below are the major USA Jewish organizations. You pick the anti-Zionists ones in the list.

      Alpha Epsilon Pi
      Ameinu
      American Friends of Likud
      American Gathering/ Federation of Jewish Holocaust Survivors
      American Israel Public Affairs Committee
      American Jewish Committee
      American Jewish Congress
      American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee
      American Sephardi Federation
      American Zionist Movement
      American-Israel Friendship League
      Americans for Peace Now
      AMIT
      Anti-Defamation League
      Association of Reform Zionists of America
      Bnai Zion
      B’nai B’rith International
      Cantors Assembly
      Central Conference of American Rabbis
      Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America
      Development Corporation for Israel / State of Israel Bonds
      Emunah of America
      Friends of Israel Defense Forces
      Hadassah, Women’s Zionist Organization of America
      Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life
      Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
      Jewish Community Centers Association
      Jewish Council for Public Affairs
      Jewish Federations of North America
      Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs
      Jewish Labor Committee
      Jewish National Fund
      Jewish Women International
      Maccabi USA
      MERCAZ USA, Zionist Organization of the Conservative Movement
      National Council of Jewish Women
      National Council of Young Israel
      NA’AMAT USA
      NCSJ: Advocates on behalf of Jews in Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States & Eurasia
      ORT America
      Rabbinical Assembly
      Rabbinical Council of America
      Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
      Religious Zionists of America
      Union for Reform Judaism
      Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
      United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
      Women of Reform Judaism
      Women's International Zionist Organization
      Women’s League for Conservative Judaism
      Workmen's Circle
      World ORT
      World Zionist Organization
      Zionist Organization of America

    • @seanmcbride

      Associating Judaism exclusively with the Israeli government would be like associating Roman Catholicism exclusively with the Italian government or Protestantism exclusively with the German government or Islam exclusively with the Saudi government.

      Judaism is comparatively tiny. There are slightly more Jews in the world than the population of Pennsylvania. Judaism is not comparable with Islam or Christianity as one of the world’s great religions. Its smaller than Mormonism or 7th day adventists but bigger than Jehovah’s Witnesses.

      It is entirely appropriate for a sect like that to be nothing more than the state religion for a smallish state.

      In the last century Judaism has been cleared out of most countries. The only substantial Jewish populations left are the USA and Israel. Israel has been vacuuming up the rest of the diaspora while American Judaism melts away. A key component of anti-Semitism is assign disproportionate importance to the acts of Jews and Judaism. When anti-Semitism is dead the general answer to Israeli news will be “who are Jews and where is Israel?”

      As an aside if you do want to see a writer make that kind of association you see with the early Protestant writers with regard to Northern Europe, Baptists with regard to American and Roman Catholicism with the governments of the former Western Roman Empire in people like Hilaire Belloc.

      You say, “I’m comfortable with where I stand.” I think you are standing on incredibly thin ice and don’t realize it. This won’t be the first time that Jews have been swept up by a self-destructive and false messianic movement.

      Yes but if you are right than it is likely the last. Judaism doesn’t have enough life left in it to survive any more self-destructiveness. I think Judaism went home to be reborn. But it is possible it went home to die.

    • @Seanmcbride

      You are arguing that all Jews and “the Jews” collectively are Zionists and are responsible for Zionism and the policies and actions of the Israeli government

      Almost. I'm arguing that Jews collectively are responsible for Zionism and the policies of the Israeli government are broadly supported by Jews collectively. The same way Americans collectively are responsible for the Afghan war and the policies of the USA in the Afghan war.

      All Jews obviously don't agree but huge majorities do with Israeli policy broadly. There are even some policies that most Jews reject (like the conversion laws). But that's precisely the same thing I could say about Americans and USA law.

      This is precisely the kind of argument that authentic antisemites are on board with

      Authentic anti-Semites are people reject that idea that Jews are humans like any other and thus they incapable of being held to the standards of any other. People who accept Israel is the Jewish state and wish to hold to account like any other normal state aren't anti-Semites even if they disagree on matters of policy.

      Whenever opponents of antisemitism try to draw clear distinctions between Jews and Zionists,

      What opponents of anti-semitism? If you mean leftwing anti-Zionists I see that as being very analogous to the 19th century anti-Semites who argued they weren't primitive enough to be anti-Jewish. They could care less about the Jewish religion their problems were purely the racial deformities that Jews had.

      Assume that modern anti-Zionists don't hate Jews racially they just adopt virtually every meme of anti-Semitism and deny Jews any of the sorts of rights of self determination that they insist on for any other group. Why is that such a major improvement that I'd want to defend it?

      When are you going to take the trouble to think these issues through?

      I have. I'm comfortable with where I stand.

    • @RoHa

      As far as I can tell, the President of France doesn’t have a lot of influence on the lives of Australian or Mexican Jews.

      Neither did Hitler. That doesn't mean he wasn't bad for the Jews. Attacking a subset of the Jewish population, in this case the French Jewish population is still being bad for Jews.

      JeffB: “anti-Zionist incitement pretty consistently leads to attacks on the domestic Jewish population. ”

      It is regrettable that standing up for morality, human rights, and human decency turns out to be “bad for the Jews”. Is this Hollande’s * fault?

      His fault no, his choice yes. You are responsible for the likely outcomes of your actions. Most all people who see doing bad thing X as being justified because good thing Y arises from it. Choosing to pursue Y then is choosing to tolerate X. Hollande choose policies which harm French Jews. I get that he thinks he is justified. Tomás de Torquemada had better justifications that doesn't stop people from considering him an enemy of the Jewish people.

      There seems to be a general impression that what just happened is rather special.

      I agree among the left that is the general impression and the general impression is incorrect. Consistently anti-Zionism acts like a proxy for anti-Semitism creates anti-Semitism and is effectively indistinguishable in effect from anti-Semitism. This isn't really that surprising.

      I'll pick a rightwing example rather than a leftwing so you can see this more easily. In America's immigration debate we don't spend a great deal of time trying to distinguish between those Americans who want Mexicans out of the country because they traffic in drugs and bring disease (Louie Gohmert style) vs. those who hate Mexicans because they broke our laws and undercut wages (Erick Erickson style). We get that both of them are fundamentally the same thing. Now on the right I'd imagine that the Erick Erickson's would be very offended to be grouped with the Louie Gohmerts, he's not a racist, he's just sticking up for the underclass. Hispanics however get that Erick Erickson legitimized Louie Gohmert. Erick Erickson is bad for Hispanics at least as much as Louie Gohmert is.

      It is not the martians that are building Israel, it is the Jews. Everyone knows that. Everyone knows that the Jews support Israel. If Israel is a manifest evil, then the Jews are supporting manifest evil. Who does that sort of thing? Evil people. Calling Jews evil and saying that Israel are evil are effectively indistinguishable. The idea that there is some great moral divide between the two is a farce.

      Hollande is not a BDSer. But this is why the BDS style discussion gets so heated. With normal countries people want changes in policy. Even with the most repulsive states in the world the goal is generally policy reform or at worst regime change. The criticism leveled at Israel, that they deserve national destruction are unique. What would cause Israel to be manifestly evil that normal means of resolving policy disputes, like arguing for changes in policy, fail?

      Hollande could have very easily said that he disagrees with Israeli policy without it being a major focus. The same way he might disagree with Mali's policy without it being a major focus.

    • @yonah fredman

      Annie- do you really believe that or is this just evidence that you are willing to write a lie if it bolsters your argument? i bet if you took a lie detector test your sweat glands would testify that you are lying and you know it.

      the only reason the times is not printing this cartoon is because radical islam threatens violence and no other reason.

      I'm going to have to agree with Annie here Yonah. American mainstream media doesn't generally want highly agitated viewers and readers. They want mild emotional agitation. Mild agitation causes people to be semi-distracted and less critical as they absorb advertising. Highly agitated causes people to be focused and not absorb the advertising at all.

      When people are upset about a story mainstream media tends to be pro-government to lower the level of agitation (9/11 is a great example of this). When people are indifferent about the underlying news the mainstream media tends to muckrake against the government to increase their level of interest and thereby create agitation. The Times doesn't do pictures of Mohammad for the same reason they don't show people being killed. For Muslims they are too upsetting, they cause them to focus and lose awareness of the products being advertised.

    • @Kris

      Why do you agree that Wilcox’s statements were simple statements of fact, but also say, “Because he is justifying terrorism"

      Pretty much what I said, " everyone wants to pretend that no one kills each other civilians as a way pressuring except for those very rare and very bad 'terrorists'" . By saying that violence against civilians is normal course for states to pressure one another he is effectively justifying terrorism by put in context. "Everybody does it" is an apologetic.

      As an aside I actually heard a critic since I wrote your response (Joe Scarborough) who was infuriated with the comparison between Israel's mistreatment of the Palestinians and the holocaust. I didn't get that from Wilcox but thought I should put it out there since it was a critic explaining his reasons.

      agree with you that it’s all about pretending, and ignoring the obvious, but when a reporter has to “apologize” for failing to ignore the obvious, shouldn’t that lead to more questions–like who is pulling the strings, and why?

      The entire world has a very dishonest discussion of political violence. Here is my take. When we talk about political violence there are essentially 3 opinions:

      1) catastrophists who believe that violence is in and of itself a negative. The you can’t win a war anymore than you can win a hurricane
      2) eschatologists who see our current trouble as part of the broader fight between good and evil. We are the “good guys” and the enemy as the “bad guys”. This BTW is the dominant paradigm here on MW which is unusual for the left, generally leftists discussion tend more towards (1).
      3) realists who tend to see violence as a means to an end and think in terms of interests. Thy are quite often opposed to violence but only opportunistically.

      justifying violence bothers (1) and justifying the “bad guys” violence bothers (2). I don’t think it goes much beyond that. It is politically incorrect to talk about “terrorists” the way one talks about other policies.

    • @American

      What would be the reason to turn on the Jews. Her policy is to implement the idea of a moo-culture for France. She uses American immigration as an example and probably would want to use American Judaism (which excluding Orthodox is essentially a Jewish flavored Protestant denomination). How does harming Jews help her?

      Hollande while claiming to be friendly is very hostile to Jewish interests. Le Pen while claiming to be indifferent is friendly. If I were French I'd take my chances with her.

    • @Ellen

      I do understand that qibbus galuyoth is a Zionist idea. But the idea and belief that a bunch of Jewish Europeans with ancestral roots all over the place (most with nothing to do with Semitic peoples of the middle east) makes me want to vomit.

      I think you are missing a clause there. But that's fine. You are entitled to object. Most country's founding myths are stupid. Just to pick Japan again their founding myth is that Japan was founded when the emperor was born of the sun goddess and storm God. This first emperor Jimmu united the tribes... The current day government in a symbolic sense draws legitimacy from Jimmu. Jimmu couldn't possibly existed since his myth shows clear signs of migration from China. It is literally a Chinese myth overwritten by Japanese places.

      Who cares?

      The brainwashing is immense. Milokowsky (Beebs or whatever is name is) is a Pole and the Jews of Eastern Europe were a population (like many) that adopted Judaism in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

      I think it was inner breeding. The Eastern European Jews came out of the Iranian Jews migrating north to avoid the Romans. We see evidence of that in Croatian ruins. But let's assume you are right and I'm wrong. So what? Under your theory these people joined the religion of Judaea which calls for a restoration of Judaea. They've held that belief for 1700+ years and then they did it.

      It is your side that is obsessed with race while calling Zionists racists. David (another legend that never happened) our great king is great-grandson of Ruth our most famous convert. Absolutely Eastern European Jews look like Eastern Europeans. There preserved the memes of Judaism. To what extent they preserved the genes doesn't really matter.

      When the Roman Empire fell apart so did the social and economic life of many Roman territories, including Jerusalem.

      That is completely false at least as far as Jews. Jews were destroyed while Rome was still rising. Aelia Capitolina which was the replacement for Jewish Jerusalem was a city built while Rome was at its height. The destruction of Rome is what allowed some Jews to migrate back into the area not what caused them to migrate out.

      <blockquote. Based on the size of the Jewish population of Eastern and Central Europe in the middle ages, the idea that all Jews came from Palestine is absolutely implausible, impossible!

      10% of the Roman empire was Jewish (including God fearers) by the time of the 1st Jewish-Roman war. It isn't implausible at all numerically. Jews are a much smaller fraction of the west now than they were 2000 years ago.

      There were probably more Jews (of the many Hebrew clans and tribes) BCE in what is now Yemen than there ever were in what we now call Palestine and Israel. (Which makes me wonder why didn’t the Zios go to Yemen?)

      Because it is about restoring Judaea and Judaea is Palestine.

      Would European Zionism mythology allow qibbus galuyoth for these wonderful people who are true Semites and the familial decedents of the many Hebrew tribes?

      Do they consider themselves Jews then yes, otherwise no. It isn't about genes it is about memes.

    • Eljay --

      JeffB;Lots of countries are rather hostile to refugees and somehow that doesn’t bother you any.

      Eljay: Name some states that are hostile to refugees from the geographic regions they comprise and I will condemn them the same way I condemn Israel.

      No you won't. We already tried that experiment with you a few months back. Then you were arguing that no other state had an ethnic / racial criteria not tied to inhabitation like the right of return. At the time it was all equal. So I listed out out about 2 dozen countries with Jus sanguinis (right of blood). We talked about Japan which is far worse than Israel and how the ethnic Korean and Chinese who live their aren't really citizens and effectively are unable to naturalize. And you made token comment that was equally bad. Yet I have yet to hear you talk about Japanese supremacism as a virtual obsession. Nothing about Bulgaria, Croatia, Haiti, Greece...

      Which means you don't really care about ethnic criteria in the abstract what you care about are Jews. Now it is established fact.

      This is where Zio-supremacists compare the “moral beacon”, “light unto the nations”, “Western-style democracy” of Israel not to the best Western nations it purports to be like, but to Saudi Arabia, Mali and African “hell-holes”.

      Saudi Arabia is completely non racist they are excellent on that issue. I don't consider Japan, Italy, Ireland, Kiribati ... to be hell holes. You want a hell hole with those sorts of laws Rwanda, but the overwhelming majority are good countries to live in that Israel should have no problem being compared with.

      Finally I'd like to call you on your own racism here. 1/2 the Jewish population of Israel did not come from western countries. Israel should not be a western country. Unless one wants to endorse ethnic discrimination it should aim be culturally mixed like Lebanon not western. And that's excluding the fact of where it geographically is located. The more culturally Arabic it becomes the less discriminatory it and the better it fits in with its neighbors. When Israel acts and thinks European it is acting and thinking like a crusader state justifying the very criticisms against it. Europe is like a drug habit that Israel has that it needs to break to fully realize itself as an independent country.

      Israel should be evolving away from European law, European custom, European culture and through breeding with the Palestinians European ethnicity and physical appearance. Trying to keep Israel European is being a racist not fighting it.

    • @Mooser

      It is actually pretty easy for him to get out of. If he starts applying the standard equally. Start always calling Japan the Japo-supramicist state and Ireland the Irish-supremicist state every time they are mentioned. Start arguing how it is only Japanese supremacism that leads them to believe that Hokkaido isn't really Korean...

      Then while he would be saying idiotic stuff he wouldn't not be anti-semitic bigot. But as long as he believes laws should apply only to Jews then yeah, he's a bigot.

    • @Mooser

      Isn’t it nice how JeffyB just assumes Lapid should have control over all those French Jews lives. That’s right, Lapid and Hollande will just arrange it all between them, and the French Jews will just have to like it

      What do you think happens when the USA returns illegals to Haiti or Mexico? The USA government contacts the respective government and they arrange transfer. That's the way the world works. Citizen X of country Y illegally in country Z get returned via. a coordination between Y and Z.

      The reason Jews have been subject to massacres and not expulsions (without getting into the morality of Jewish expulsions) is because they had nowhere to go. Russian Tzars had to passive their Jews, very similar to what Israel is doing in Gaza, because there was no place they could go to. Now there is a Jewish homeland there is a place they can go.

      Eljay's hypothetical was one in which Hollande (France) wanted to expel its Jews and how Lapid would respond. Lapid being a Zionist i.e. someone who recognizes French Jews as belonging to Israel would rather assist in their transfer to Israel than see them packed off into cattle cars to die from heat or die from gas after they arrive in death camps.

      You need to start dealing with the historical reality of what statelessness means to people. If France wants to lay claim to its Jewish population and they want to live there good. And of course right now France has no intention of expelling its Jewish population. But lots of societies that had great relationships with their Jewish population 2 or 3 generations later are killing them. France itself being a wonderful case in point. Napoleon was virtually the Jewish messiah. A little more than 100 years later France's government fully supported extermination as the solution to the Jewish problem in Europe. French policy can change. Israeli policy on Jews will never change.

      Prior to 1947 Jews had been in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem for centuries. By 1949 all the ones who hadn't left were dead. Hollande's position is that the Jewish quarter is a settlement in "East Jerusalem" and thus the outcome of 1949 was appropriate. Right now he does't support the Jordanian means but he isn't that far removed.

    • @Kris

      I suspect she is using the word “amalgym’ to mean the types of fillings in dentistry that use mercury. Prior to having polymers they were the standard and lots of people still have them in their mouth. Even though amalgym fillings are great quality when they break they are poisonous and so some dentists like to remove them under controlled circumstances (like in a dental office) and replace them with polymers. That procedure is also controversial because it is can also lead to Mercury exposure "do no harm".

      Wilcox said that the anti-semitism being driven by Israeli policy. The woman then responded "we can't do an amalgym". I'm assuming that the French use the noun amalgym to mean the procedure of removing a mercury filling. So by analogy she is saying that removing the settlements is a complex and dangerous extraction likely to poison the body (I'd assume the body in the analogy is all of mandate Palestine but she isn't clear).

      The apology was because Wilcox was seen as justifying anti-Semitism. That is "well you understand people are shooting up kosher grocery stores in France because Israel is doing bad stuff"... Which is how she responds to the comment with a shrug and he says "well I know" i.e. I know you can't control Israel.

      That's my $.02 on
      W: "‘Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well’.
      J: “We can’t do an amalgym,” , shaking her head.
      W: “You understand everything is seen from different perspectives.”

      We good guys are all about freedom of speech right now, and will defend to the death everyone’s right to offend Muslims, so why does a BBC reporter have to apologize for simple statements of fact?

      Because he is justifying terrorism. By saying attacks on civilians (including 3rd party civilians) are a consequence of policy disagreements he's effectively legitimizing them. And the problem is that Wilcox didn't want to go there.

      I agree that is a simple statement of fact. Nations have policies that are implemented by states other states respond to those policies and often that turns into putting pressure on the nation. Violence is one of the means of pressuring a nation. But everyone wants to pretend that no one kills each other civilians as a way pressuring except for those very rare and very bad "terrorists" and so we all have to ignore the obvious.

    • @jimby and straightline

      Obviously I meant worst massacre in recent French history. I actually thought since the 1980s but looking at your list looks like it is worse than the 1980s bombings.

      @RoHa

      I said hostile to the interests of Jews. If you want specific stuff about French Jews excluding Israel, anti-Zionist incitement pretty consistently leads to attacks on the domestic Jewish population. What just happened is the norm.

      @Eljay

      There is much hypocrisy when Israel claims to be a nation like any other – a state of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally

      It is. Besides the fact yet again you like to apply different standards. Lots of countries are rather hostile to refugees and somehow that doesn't bother you any. As for "equally" most states aren't equal and again doesn't trouble you at all, only when the state in question is Jewish. Which is the very definition of inequality.

    • @Maximus

      Unity? Why does Hollande have to express ‘unity’ with the leader of a minor Asian country with an appalling human rights record?

      Heck if I know. When a few Americans shoot stuff up we don't hold big international rallies. Why Hollande wanted leaders from all over the world to hold hands and march is beyond me. But it made the French people feel better and I guess that's reason enough. But I'm ticked because if you are inviting everyone else invite Israel.

      Le Pen is from the same tradition of far right racists who would have been railing against the Jews last century.

      True. And now that we have Israel they are on our side, “Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.” The same way that last century (at least till the 50s) the hard left liked Jews now they work to throw them back into slavery.

      These people are NOT your friends

      (1) They back Israel
      (2) No need for a #2

      They are our friends. That's what it means to be a friend.

      , but I guess for Zionists these days, anyone who shares their visceral hatred of Muslims is a friend of sorts

      No. There are countries like Egypt and Jordan which are Muslim and friendly. There are South American countries that hate muslims and also hate Israel. Its about being willing to see Jews fully as equals. Just imagine a French president the next time he was asked some development in Israel fully acknowledging it and saying something like, "Netanyahu doesn't tell me where to put buildings in Lyon I don't tell him where to put building in Jerusalem. Its none of my damn business". Or ""Netanyahu doesn't tell me what the French criminal codes should be. I don't tell him which prisons to release or not. Its none of my damn business."

      That's what going to be special about Le Pen. Her goal is to govern France not Israel.

    • @pjdude

      because [Hollande] didn’t want to risk politics

      Of course Hollande wanted to risk politics. He wanted a big march to cover up the fact that his policies led to the worst massacre in French history. They dropped the ball repeatedly on this case. So he wanted to look presidential being surrounded by world leaders.

      But at the same time he wanted to quietly shaft Israel. I didn't say the French are mean, I said that Hollande is a jerk.

    • @Shingo

      He’s now persona no grata with not only foreign leaders

      Yeah I've been hearing for years from you how the contact is over for him. And yet somehow meeting after meeting he is there. If he were untouchable Hollande would have just told he can't come. It was Hollande who had the problem with his "unity" being shattered, just like with the FN.

      I get that you want Netaynhau to be weak here. But he isn't. This was a simple test. Hollande bluffed about whether he could afford a showdown Netaynhau raised and Hollande mucked.

      Hollande has record low approval ratings. Netaynhau is sailing to easy reelection. So no.

      As for why Hollande is bad for Jews because he has sides with Palestinians against the Jews.

    • @Eljay

      I wonder what he would say if Mr. Hollande were to tell Jewish French citizens that there’s only one place for them and it’s not their homeland of France.

      He'd say that he agrees that France isn't their homeland, Israel is, and offer to help Hollande with an organized migration. Lapid is a zionist he believes in qibbuṣ galuyoth (the return of the exiles). You can no go one about Lapid being a supremacist rapist with a girl in the basement or whatever you like to throw around when Israelis assert that Israel is a nation like any other but there is no hypocrisy there.

    • @David

      Not happening. Diaspora Jews are Zionists. Saying sell out Israel to preserve the good will towards the diaspora religion of Judaism is not a sensible position. That's like telling Christians to sell out Christ to preserve Easter. There are exceptions but the diaspora mostly supports Bennett-Lieberman-Netanyahu. Especially Bennett and Netanyahu in America.

      Israel doesn't have a leadership role in the USA. Israel is a vassal of the USA.

      There is no love of the Jewish people in the west if there was Zionism never would have been necessary. Israel either makes it and becomes a fully normalized state in the region or it turns out that mortally wouldn't by the holocaust Judaism went home to die and after Israel there is no Judaism. I don't know what catastrophe you are picturing but none are possibly worse than the effects of destroying Israel.

    • I'm not sure how this is bad for Netanyahu. So Hollande wanted a no meaningful Israeli presentation at the unity rally and Netanyahu made is clear that if he wanted to ban the leader of the Jewish state he wasn't going to do it behind closed doors, he was going to do it openly and take the heat just like he did with the FN. Well good for Netanyahu!

      Real unity is not "you are free to be equal as long as you kiss my shoe you kike f*ck". And if Hollande doesn't get that to F-ing bad. Hollande has been at least hostile to the interests of of Jews and Israel for a long time. Its not Netanyahu's job to make that comfortable or easy for him. Hopefully Le Pen or whomever from the UMP (Sarkozy?) replaces him in 2017. Hollande and his party are the ones who allowed things to get this out of hand.

  • Why I am not Charlie
    • @Kris

      @JeffB: “Israeli housing doesn’t look anything like Palestinian housing.”

      Given that around 25% of Israeli citizens are Palestinian, then what are you saying here? Only Jews are considered Israelis? Would this be like saying only Christians are Americans?

      The claim was that the houses were "stolen". What I'm saying is the houses that Jewish Israelis live in have infrastructural differences and structural differences you don't see in Israeli Arab or West Bank Palestinian housing. Many of these dependent on technologies that didn't even exist in 1947/1967. Which is not to say there isn't some overlap, but there is simply no way that the Israelis are living in "stolen" houses. Those houses were built by Israel.

      And I should mention when you talk to Israeli Arabs or West Bank Palestinians they agree. They interact with the Jewish infrastructure on a regular basis and want access to those sorts of infrastructural improvements.

      I've seen the red roofs. I've heard Israelis talk about how they planted markers (i.e. certain types of agriculture) so that artillery guys know what's the line between what's safe to hit or not hit. So I don't know specifically about red roofs but that sounds plausible.

      As an aside They don't want to live in over crowded 19th century housing with a few modernizations either. They've seen what the Jews do and they want that for themselves. What I (and BTW most Palestinians I've talked to agree) would like to see happen is infrastructure equality. But that means getting away from this whole "occupation" paradigm and accepting that Palestinians live in Israel and are going to continue to live in Israel. Right now if Israel makes infrastructure improvements that's portrayed as "entrenching the occupation". One of the things the rightwing Zionist parties are running on (most notably the HaBayit HaYehudi) is infrastructure improvements / equality. Economic development now for the Palestinians.

      I was objecting to the claim, which is just ridiculous, that Israelis "stole" their houses from Palestinians. This other discussion is more complex and nuanced though worth having if one wanted to discuss peace and not demonizing the Israelis with silly slogans.

    • @Bornajoo

      Not enough housing? That’s a laugh “Jon s” There’s always more houses to steal, say better still, make those French Jews steal the houses themselves. Once they see how easy it is, with the backing of the IDF, they’ll never want a croissant again.”

      Israeli housing doesn't look anything like Palestinian housing. The underlying infrastructure is entirely different as well. Which means it is built not stolen.

      Where do you BDSers get this nonsense?

    • @Talknic

      Quote the UN … go ahead … I’ll wait … I’m used to waiting for answers and actual quotations from Israel’s apologists

      link to unispal.un.org

      I think that's pretty clear indication they were part of the quartet.

      As for the rest, it is pretty clear and has been for hundreds of years. The holder of a contract determines if the other party is at most in minor, material or fundamental breach. The UN not you gets to determine if Israel has violated the charter to the extent that it nullifies their arrangement under the charter. That's basic law. If the UN is failing to declare Israel in fundamental breach then they aren't. Period. It doesn't matter what the contract says unless the other party wants to raise the level of breach they aren't at that level of breach. The UN is still declaring minor breach i.e. do what you promised.

    • You’re spouting more bullsh*t! It would take a UNSC Chapt VII resolution to take any such action against Israel. No one bothers to put a draft before the UNSC because under the current influence of the Zionist/Israeli lobby the US would veto it.

      Yep. And the UN charter gives them that power. That's politics. I can't be in breach of a contract if you don't agree I'm not in breach regardless of what some 3rd party thinks. If the UN does not declare Israel in breach they aren't in breach.

      Never the less all that does is allow the stupid frog to stay in the pot, where it crawled by purposefully creating illegal facts on the ground. Israel is still in breach of the binding Laws and UN Charter as re-affirmed and emphasized in hundreds of UNSC affording Israel hundreds of opportunities to adhere to the law. Instead Israel has chosen to purposefully continue its illegal activities in non-Israeli territory, in effect turning the heat up on itself.

      What heat? The UN disagrees with Israeli policy and some countries agree with the UN and are annoying towards Israel. That's the heat. The UN itself doesn't take drastic action as you admitted, though I don't buy into the problem being the all powerful mysterious "Zionist lobby".

      The problem is very simple. Israel is now a strong country. Strong countries violate UN resolutions and no one does much about it. Israel is a hated country. Hated countries get mean things said about them in the UN.

      It is not about the occupation since there were tons of resolutions against Israel before the occupation. Heck there were tons of resolutions about Palestine going back to the 1930. The UN and its predecessors started with a position of a Jewish homeland in a British colony and by virtue of power (not law) they have had to roll back. The UN was part of the quartet which accepted the Clinton parameters of "what's Jewish is Israeli" so you can continue to talk about the UN in theory but the actual UN disagrees with your oversimplified model.

    • @oldgeeezer

      So in your theory is the Egyptian-Saudi-Jordian-Israeli axis then anti-USA as well as the Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah axis? Of the 3 I'm going stick with the Egyptian-Saudi-Jordian-Israeli being the one most likely to represent USA opinion.

    • @tree

      globalresearch is a conspiracy site. washingtontimes is semi-legi but that's a community and only says the arms fell into their control. That's plausible. The USA government even admits that groups that they were backing ended up switching to al-Nusara Front. FWIW Qatar is their likely big backer which makes them Hamas cousins.

    • @Annie

      I think you were misunderstanding my point, Saying "Al Qaeda did X" where X is some sort of terrorism thing is saying it is a terrorist attack. I was just saying it would be redundant.

    • @piotr

      And this is how NYT reports the bombing in Lebanon. ... The Nusra Front, a militant group in Syria, claimed responsibility on Twitter for the attack

      The perpetrators are not even called terrorists, just a “militant group”, which perhaps is getting American support.

      Jabhat al-Nusra is Al-Qaeda's local branch. The NYTimes probably saw no need to call them a terrorist group. And no they aren't getting American support.

    • @Brewer

      Your point before was, "My point is as simple one. I assert that any group identity subjected to attack by powerful forces will react asymmetrically". Forgetting the asymmetrically part, the question is which group identity. For French muslims their french identity is the one doing the attacking, their muslim identity is the one being attacked. The core of loyalty is which they pick.

      Now you are making a slightly different case that Charlie Hebdo isn't helping but rather harming France. A core component France's identity since the 1789 is anti-clericalism / secularism. The sort of bullying that Charlie Hebd was engaging is was trying to create Muslims that view their religious heritage as a flavoring in their personality but not core to their being. The way for example Americans view Baseball as part of the American heritage but when the Japanese mocked us with "Babe Ruth sucks" we treated that insult as disproportionately mild in the context of war.

      A Gallic or Norman Frenchman has in a cultural sense gone through the cultural transformation in response to the revolution. Even they are a traditionalist Catholic who supports reinstate of Catholicism as a state religion with all the associated perks they understand the context they live in is one where that is a minority belief and understand they need to convince 95% of the countrymen to become more Catholic before such an event could take place. A Gallic or a Norman Frenchmen are incapable of committing that sort of act in that context because they don't have the same context. So if they were just shoot up the magazine there wouldn't be any question that they are speaking for anything like a substantial chunk of opinion.

      They would be looked upon like a Charles Manson. Hippies didn't have to soul search after the Manson murders he was just too far removed from their thinking.

    • @Teapot

      To me it seems that there is a lot of racism going around disguising itself as religious criticism.

      I think it is clearly true in Europe, though there you see class issues mixed with racial issues which more closely mirrors the USA with respect to Hispanics and Blacks. I think the USA is a nice comparison because in most of the USA Muslims are a privileged economic group where there are local patches where they are also underclass. So it allows these things to be broken apart.

    • @OyVey00

      Has Dawkins ever explicitly condemned Judaism

      Mostly he thinks Judaism isn't worth the time too small a faith. Which BTW is exactly what people should think about Judaism and Israel, a level of attention proportionate to its size. But he thinks of Judaism what he thinks of other religions.

      There is a video called " Why Judaism is Bad" which attacks Jewish day schools.

      Here are a few quotes which I think you could call condemnation:

      I am hard-pressed to name a pious Jew, dead or alive, who is a household name worldwide — except for Jesus.

      “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

      Judaism, too, is a religion not a race. Complicated by a memetically inherited identity which leads many atheists to call themselves Jews.

    • @Talknic

      The same laws and UN Charter Israel itself agreed to uphold

      Israel has repeatedly indicated they don't intend to uphold those laws. They have done so openly, and repeatedly for a long period of time. If the UN wanted to consider that repudiation of the treaty they could. They have not. Hence there is no agreement.

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