Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1115 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • A Jew who visited Palestine responds to 'NYT' assertion that Palestinians want to kill all Jews
    • @unverified

      Between 1968 and 2010 there were 3,568 deaths in Ireland due to religious struggles. The Second Intifada was 2x that number. That number is in the same ballpark as Operation Cast Lead alone. The level of I/P violence is much higher. It ain't Rwanda but it ain't the relative calm of Ireland either.

    • What is the most accurate modifier of the word Palestinians in the statement

      I'd go with the two words "infrequently and ambiguously"

  • Israeli settlers release wild boars on Palestinian farmland to destroy crops
    • @talknic

      The common claim that Palestinians didn’t exist, negates the far longer period of Jewish history in the region, as Palestinian Jews

      No it doesn't you don't even understand the claim. The claim is that the Palestinian nation didn't exist, that there was no Palestinian national identity until about 1920. That Palestinians didn't think of themselves as a distinct people until they started to have a history that diverged from other people of Levant. There was a Palestinian on here yesterday making the same claim about himself.

      I just have to ask, who makes these claims?

      You want me to google for frequent quotes about how there was never a Jewish presence in Palestine. Google for the whole Palestinians are Canaanites nonsense. If you think they are silly and totally contradicted by evidence I agree but they are unquestionably made. Heck they are made here. I'll point them out over the next few days, they come up pretty frequently.

    • @Eljay

      The existence of a prophet David does not prove that “the Jews” have been in Palestine for 2,000 years. At most, it proves that some Jews were in Palestine 2,000 years ago.

      What are you talking about? If David existed as per the bible then the rest of the story goes with it. What is he a prophet of if not the Davidic Kingdom?

    • @amigo

      Any comments on the behavior of these criminal terroreeeests.Give us the wisdom of your so gentle soul.

      Sounds like typical property destruction as part of a terror campaign. The settlers seem to be slowly moving towards having death squads like what was used by the USA / Latin American right against the peasant communist insurgency. From an Israeli standpoint this type of strategy makes sense as a possible way to resolve the conflict. I'm assuming Israel is going to create a good cop / bad cop with the IDF playing the good cop and the settler militias playing bad cop. That way the Palestinian civilians have to collaborate IDF and can't resist the IDF because if they do resist the IDF just pulls out for a short time until the civilians beg them to return.

      If I were the Palestinians I'd take that sort of threat seriously and try for a resolution before Israel comes to believe it needs to employ those means. But you think the Palestinians are going to magically win this so what do pigs worry you for?

    • Jerusalem figures warned of violating the sanctity of Maqam of Dawud

      I just have to point out the contradiction of being concerned about the Tomb of David while arguing that David never existed and there was never any Jewish inhabitation of Palestine (for some even during the 600 BCE - 73 CE time frame). I don't happen to think David was anything but a local chief and the connection with Judaism is very tenuous.... but you get one claim or the other. Either there is no prophet David or the Jews were there for 2 millennia.

  • Global Earth Day coalition drops SodaStream over complicity in Israeli occupation
    • @LeaNder

      The reality of the business is exploding revenues (consist growth at about 30% / yr) but margin pressure (11.2% 2011 to 9.5% 2012 to 7.4% 2013) from lower priced competitors. Real concern long term that as Coke ( Keurig Cold) and other major brands enter the market for these premade / homemade sodas they are going to be able to do what Soda Stream does much cheaper and margins will continue to fall. Soda Stream is picking up partnership like Sunny Delight and Ocean Spray but of course Coke is going to have better exclusives.

      The biggest issue Soda Stream has it is still a pain to exchange used CO2 cartridges for new ones. Supposedly Coke has solved that problem. That exchange is the primary cause of customer dissatisfaction. The whole settlement issue seems to be negligible impact financially. I would have thought the free publicity would help. I think the average MWer would think the negative publicity would hurt. It doesn't seem to be having much impact at all either way. The controversy that investors care about is the 12m views of the uncensored commercial with "Sorry Coke and Pepsi".

      Pepsi has been talking about a buyout and of course that ends any problem with scale at all. They also just say if the settlement factory becomes a problem they close it. The value of the company is in the brand control investors could care less about the factory.

  • Bridgegate 2.0: Israeli tech students manipulate traffic patterns
    • @Ritzl

      And since they won’t release the where (probably for the very liability reason you point out), can we assume that this was done by Israelis in Israel TO the US?

      If that’s the case, shouldn’t they experiment on their own country? More to come on this, methinks.

      Wow always assuming the worst:
      “I told Eran that if we would cause Waze, before we started driving, to report that there was a huge traffic jam on the coastal road [Route 2], the application would divert all drivers to Route 4 and we could drive to Tel Aviv on the coastal road without any traffic,” Partush said in a statement released by the Technion.

      Does that sound like the USA to you? Maybe you should consider why you feel it necessary to always assume the worst?

      And for all the people talking about criminal behavior this was done with their advisor. Following Yadid and Ben Sinai’s success in implementing the system, the advisers notified Waze of the “cyber-attack” and explained to the company the manner in which the students were able to hack the application.

      And people wonder why MW gets accused of anti-Semitism just assuming this was criminal, in the USA....

  • How many 'Palestinian Arabs' want to kill 'all Jews?'
    • @james

      The Palestinians were already in Palestine, when the Arabs defeated the Byzantine Empire and took control.

      Certainly the question is whether they were there before that.

    • @Sumud

      No Sumud I meant what I wrote.

    • @Shingo

      Some by being forced to convert from Judaism and Christianity to Islam. After all, they share the same DNA and indigenous Jews.

      People do have sex with one another even if they belong to different religions. Of course they share the same DNA with the indigenous Jews, that proves nothing about what happened in the 6th and 7th centuries.

      Stupid argument. People used to be slave traders and they stopped. Colonization went out of vogue in the 19th century,...

      The claim was made that Palestinians are not colonizers. Everyone and every species except of anaerobic bacteria are a colonizer or every square inch of this planet's surface and its oceans. Almost every single society got where it through murder and displacement.

      Only insofar as it violates the rules of occupation. And no, it’s not UN silliness. Then president of the Israeli Supreme Court, Aharon Barak, in a High Court of Justice ruling from 2005 (Alfei Menashe), makes a fool of you:

      No he disagrees with me. And there is a difference.

    • @Zofia

      It doesn't matter how Hamas works internally. When they publish a charter that is a statement of principles. Lots of people can write books about what governing authorities "really mean". Certainly there are all sorts of interpretations of various statement by USA officials. But... the ultimate authority is the legislative body itself. I want to know about Hamas I care about what the Majlis al-Shura, Ismail Haniyah, Khaled Mashal I don't care what some author says.

      If you want to play the game: “what would count”-

      Yes that was my response to the article. That was the point of my response.

      Ask yourself why Bibi didn’t open the archives and won’t open them anytime soon because he is concerned that Israel will be accused of war crimes?

      I don't know what you are talking about. But that sounds reasonable to me why should Israel provide ammunition to its enemies?

      All over internet we have quotes that could easily be categorised as genocidal.

      I don't deny that. The article was about the Palestinian side not about the Israeli side.

      Comparing it to Zionists who actually committed genocide

      The Zionist most certainly did not commit genocide. They did an ethnic cleansing. There is a tendency to define crimes down so that they become meaningless but the Zionist went to great lengths to allow the Palestinians to march away, that's not genocide.

      An internal committee reviewed the possibility of amending the charter during the nineties and ratifying it as a binding manifesto; yet the primary concern, that of being seen as following the Fatah route of offering up concessions on a silver platter, led the group’s leadership to shelve such measures.

      Which is fine. The measure was considered and rejected. Happens all the time in governments. Measures considered and rejected though are not treated like they passed. I consider the theory that making changes to a charter is a "concession" to be ludicrous. But my considering it ludicrous doesn't change Hamas' position. And similarly your or any author's position on the charter doesn't change the charter.

      So if you choose to ignore their actual politics

      If there actual politics were totally inconsistent with the charter then I wouldn't ignore them. That would constitute a repudiation of the charter. However Hamas' actual policies that are generally consistent with the charter or ambiguous. So for example if Hamas converted to Hinduism and encouraged a Hindu society in Gaza then whether they changed the charter or not I'd consider them to have repudiated a clearly muslim document. But it has got to be a very clear repudiation like that for policies to constitute repudiation of a document.

      Islam as a path for changes, to enhance the building of the society + liberation from occupation (who would want that, eh?) in your mind it must be a secret code for genocide…maybe Zionists think that building a society can be done only by destroying others well they did that actually

      Hamas did that? They took over an existing society that was already Muslim and leaning towards fundamentalism and managed it badly. They most certainly never built a society. And they most certainly never handled people who disagree with them without violence whether it Fatah, gays, Islamic liberals, Christians...

      Zionism for them was an ideology. They didn’t equate local Jews with those who called themselves Zionist

      That idea is ridiculous. If Jews aren't Zionists who are the Zionists, Martians? Come on now. The fact that the word "Zionist", "Israeli" and "Jew" are used interchangeably shows pretty clearly the words are referring to the same people. If "the Zionist entity" isn't Israel what state is it? If the inhabitants of the "the Zionists entity" aren't Jews who are they? If Zionists didn't build the Zionist entity what did they build? If the Jews of Israel didn't subscribe to the Zionist political ideology what political ideology do they subscribe to?

      Hamas isn't stupid, the PLO isn't stupid. The statement of expulsion of the Zionists don't make sense in some abstract context.

      . In 1948 the Palestinian Declaration of Independence called for a 1 state, against the Zionist policy not Jews

      Really so statements like "England administered Palestine in a manner which enabled the Jews to flood it with immigrants and helped them to settle in the country" weren't part of the declaration?

      that is why today Izrael has problems with the definition of nationhood, citizenship, jewishness, etc)

      No they don't. I don't like their Israel's definition and I don't agree with them on a question fact (that global Jewry is a nation). But is their facts not their definitions that are at question. Their definitions are entirely mainstream.

      The Arab uprisings were genocidal- hahaha rly? how did you come up with that?

      Jews caught in the uprisings died. The attacks were against the Jewish population indiscriminate towards civilians and civilian property. The declared purpose was to end Jewish immigration and send the settlers back...

      READ about Arab nationalism for cryin’ out loud.

      I've read plenty on Ba'ath / Arab nationalism. That doesn't contradict what I'm saying.

      “At that time the overwhelming majority of the Israeli population didn’t have respective countries.”- if u like or not, still they were mostly immigrants- you know that

      No I don't know that. In 1968 most of them were children or grandchildren of immigrants. In 1968 the population of Israel was 2.8m. The total number of immigrants 1948-68 is slightly over 1m. This is all public data.

      So unless you want to argue that the PLO can't do basic arithmetic then they did not believe the Jewish population was mainly immigrants. What the PLO was calling for was the premeditated murder of millions of people who had no tie to any other land. Heck that opinion is still popular, you still frequently here Arab say that the Israelis should "go back to Poland" even though only a tiny fraction of them are immigrants.

      “recognizing Israel as a Jewish state “- this subject wasn’t undertaken here 10000 times, so I won’t repeat it, I will only add that even Jews don’t know what it means and will be the consequences…+ it is not necessary to do that at all…so you have a problem with that not Pals

      What is means is a formal recognition of Israel as the rightful home to the Jewish people, and a rejection of Palestinian claim. Which is what they are asking the Jews to do with the West Bank and Gaza where Israel relinquishes all claim. It is necessary to do that if there are going to be 2 states.

    • @Zofra (part 2)

      It is quite understandable that Palestinians will question the presence of Zionist immigrants in their land

      Quite understandable. That's not the question. The question is arguably a denial that the PLO's stated policy was a violent ethnic cleansing "pushing Jews into the sea".

      what Zionists actually did with the Palestinian population represents much worse policy in this respect, don’t you think?

      I don't know. The Arab uprisings were genocidal. 1947-9 was ethnic cleansing.

      The 1968 Charter is based on Fatah constitution. The aim is to remove the economic, political, military and cultural Zionist elements in Palestine- DO NOT equate that with killing Jews!.

      Of course that should be equated with killing Jews. Who do you think Zionists are, martians? Killing Zionists is killing Jews it is the same thing. This whole argument is like saying it would be fine to nuke France because you would be killing the French people just French language speakers.

      The intention is to create in the future a democratic state with Jerusalem as its capital, which will protect the rights and equality of all citizens, without any form of racial and religious discrimination.

      The document said the exact opposite of that. That might be your intention but it was not the intention of the document. The document unequivocally endorsed racial discrimination. Jews where were of the wrong race (non-Palestinian) were to be treated entirely different than those who were of the right race.

      Article 20 adds that Judaism represents a religion, not nationality. Jews are therefore not of one nation, with its own identity, as individual Jews are citizens of different states (from which they came). Jews that lived originally in Palestine are Palestinian citizens and have a Palestinian nationality. Religious identification according to the authors of the National Charter isn’t enough to have a national identity. Having in mind other texts and political stances AT THAT TIME most Zionist would probably have to return to their respective countries.

      At that time the overwhelming majority of the Israeli population didn't have respective countries. By any reasonable definition of nationality: shared language, shared culture, shared history.... they were most certainly a nationality or at least well on their way to being a nationality.

      After the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and its recognition of the state of Israel (Israel didn’t recognize Palestinian right to have a state!!), the Palestinian Authority changed the earlier provision on the recognition of the Jews (non-zionist) as Palestinians. In 1996 the Palestinian National Council has introduced an amendment to the Charter, canceling points that didn’t recognize the state of Israel (since the Charter wanted a one state solution). These decisions were confirmed again in 1998- Decisions and Actions Related to the Palestine National Charter, UN News and Resources

      I agree with you this has been officially nullified. That being said I think the Palestinians have been a bit disingenuous on what recognition means. For example recognizing Israel as a Jewish state flare up indicates there is still a lack of clarity in what the recognition means.

      Palestnian Basic Law and the 3rd draft of the constitution say that Palestine is made of: West Bank (with the part of occupied Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip- more than Israel has to say about its borders at this point.

      I agree. The PLO/PA is clear (though unrealistic). The Israelis are lying their asses off.

    • @Zofia

      I think you may want to take a look at the context. The first 2 of the 4 quotes were made by dead people and the post was about "what would count". You are asking a different question about what is Hamas' current policy behind the scenes. That was a side point but I did say, "On the other hand one could argue that Islamic governments don’t have a history of genocide". So if the point of dispute is whether Hamas is likely to be genocidal if we imagined a hypothetical where they had the power to act on their rhetoric (where I'm using genocide in the proper sense) I'd say they would be more likely to engage in violent repression and ethnic cleansing but not full on genocide. But that's irrelevant to the point about rhetoric.

      So now with that in mind let's respond.

      First of all you are citing Hamas Charter DESPITE THE FACT IT WASN’T EVEN USED AS A BASIS FOR THEIR POLTICS AND THERE ARE NEW DOCUMENTS that are part of contemporary Hamas’ politics.

      That's fine. When Hamas formally retracts the charter or releases a new one or releases formal documents of equal importance that indicate new objectives then it is perfectly permissible to dismiss them. Until that time this document on April 22, 2014 is their existent statement of purpose and summary of their positions.

      the Charter does not represent the views of the present leadership.

      Where can I find statements that refute aspects of the charter that are official?

      earlier it blamed ZIONISTS for the social problems: alcohol and drugs. That is the context of the quote.

      Killing all 6.1m Zionists is still genocidal.

      The other quote explains the relation between religion, nationalism and struggle, as the article 12 (Chapter 3) states it clearly.

      I agree.

      Their 2005 electoral platform

      An electoral platform is a different sort of document than a charter. An electoral platform is about near to mid term goals a charter is a statement of ultimate principles. So for example if Rand Paul were to win the Republican party nomination his charter might list things like repeal of the income tax and a return to usage taxes while the electoral platform likely wouldn't.


      The Israelis have, for example, translated the outdated Charter to several languages,but NOT the NEW DOCUMENTS, ask yourself why…

      To propagandize against Hamas. That's their job. The agency responsible for presenting a counter narrative is Hamas.

      Oh and plz…you don’t want to start the “battle of quotes”- since I am sure you know that Zionist have many “pearls” on their side too, and many that can be considered genocidal.

      Absolutely true. But that wasn't the question in the main article.

      I'll hit the charter in the next response.

    • @Cliff

      Israel kills Palestinian civilians at a ratio of 5 to 1. Children at a ratio of 10 to 1.

      True. We are discussing rhetoric not reality on the ground.

      Israel is the occupier and colonizer – not the Palestinians.

      How do you think the Palestinians got that country in the 6th and 7th century? Israel is the more recent colonizer that's all. All people are colonizers. That despite the fact that mass migration / settler colonialism is very different from classic colonialism and it is silly to use the same word for both. As for occupier ... that is UN silliness. Israel's behavior in the West Bank is totally inconsistent with an occupation.

      Israel is the oppressor – not the Palestinians.

    • Page: 11
    • @James

      What would count as a yes? Generally genocidal movements don't call themselves genocidal movements. Let's take some famous quotes:

      (this battle will be)…followed by more severe battles until Palestine is liberated and the Zionist presence ended.” ( Mahmoud Zubi of Syria 1967) Does that count or not count? I suspect most Zionists and Jews would consider that a genocidal threat. The same as if an American general talked about eliminating the Iraqi presence in Iraq. On the other hand I suspect most BDSers would considers this more along the line of a statement to end the Ba'ath in Iraq, violent regime change but not the elimination of peoples.

      This is a really a good quintessential example. Because most of the language taken as genocidal isn't explicitly genocidal.


      Or to take another example, "We shall not enter Palestine with its soil covered in sand, we shall enter it with its soil saturated in blood" ( Nasser 1965). Here the call for massive violence is explicit but there is no explicit call for total destruction.

      Does that count? What about a speech with both of these elements, would that count?


      Now let's take a more modern example. Hamas has a doctrine of 3 circles where any resolution to the conflict needs to consider: the Palestinian, the Arab and the Islamic. Clearly Russian Jews are in pretty bad shape since death is quite explicit, "Nothing is loftier or deeper in Nationalism than waging Jihad against the enemy and confronting him when he sets foot on the land of the Muslims. And this becomes an individual duty binding on every Muslim man and woman; a woman must go out and fight the enemy even without her husband’s authorization, and a slave without his masters’ permission. (Hamas charter). On the other hand one could argue that Islamic governments don't have a history of genocide and that even this rhetoric doesn't qualify. Or take another example from the charter, "Israel, by virtue of its being Jewish and of having a Jewish population, defies Islam and the Muslims."

      Let's take another example the PLO charter, "The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians." There is a pretty clear negative inference to be made regarding the other 99% of the Israeli population. But it is an inference.

      Basically before we start this exercise what would you be willing to count as a call for genocide?

  • Obama and Kerry are spurred by 'vainglory' in pursuing talks -- Finkelstein
    • @Citizen

      How many AIPAC members, donors, are dual citizens? What percentage would make it a foreign lobby, if any?

      Dual citizen probably wouldn't cut it. Though if they held office or official position in Israel that certainly would.

      Wasn’t former WH chief of staff Rahm Immanuel a dual citizen? Now he’s mayor of Chicago.

      A good example. He was head of the DCCC, House Democratic Caucus, and then Chief of Staff to the USA president. He is now mayor of America's 3rd largest city. Those are rather strong ties to the USA.

      AIPAC is not a foreign lobby it is a bunch of Americans who like Israel.

    • @Hostage

      Looks we are going to have another debate on the law. But look at the clause right below "request" directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized in whole or in major part by a foreign principal, and who directly or through any other person—

      None of which qualifies. It is even unclear that AIPAC acts uniformally on requests. For example Israel was unhappy with AIPAC's pressuring of Sen. Bob Corker and wanted to publicly distance themselves from that action. That is to say AIPAC isn't under Israeli control. They agree with Israel (Likud primarily) on a bunch of issues but these are Americans.

    • Well done Ned!

    • @brenda says:

      Would you agree that the raison d’etre for J Street lobby is to advance the cause of a foreign country?

      No. J-Street feels free to disagree with the Israeli government on matters of policy and to disagree with the Israeli population on matters of policy. In some sense it has a friendly paternalistic attitude towards a foreign country. But mainly J-Street exists to lobby the USA about a foreign country.

      Human Rights Watch mostly deals with foreign countries, do you consider it a foreign lobby?

      also about this: “A foreign lobby is an organization run by foreigners designed to lobby the USA government for policy changes.”

      Would you agree that Israel is a foreign country?

      Yes, absolutely. But AIPAC is all Americans. If it had Israelis then it would be a foreign lobby.

      ”Israel issues are a no brainer for congress because the public strongly favors Israel.”

      Would you say that the US public strongly favors Britain? Would you say the lobby lawfully registered in the US to promote British interests (such as trade) has no need to be registered?

      Absolutely. In fact that's a great example. Britain for about 200 years wanted to break American away from silver banking (what would today be state currencies and / or private currencies). The New York banks supported (and still do) this policy while the regional banks often opposed it. For example recently you still have the New York financial establishment focused on convertibility and stability of exchange rates as core issues so for example they have been pushing often for moderate interests rates while regional banks were more concerned about foreclosures and wanted a very generous policies even it if meant a weak dollar. The London financial interests are on the side of the New York banks. That doesn't mean the New York bankers need to register their lobby as a foreign lobby.

    • @Lysias

      I don't have inside information. I'm not even sure which sources are better than others for what's happening on the ground. Al Bawaba which ain't bad has the rebels controlling most of the city with the government recently getting control of the highway leading to it. The city still basically rebel: link to

    • @Brenda

      If the only way to rein in AIPAC is by requiring it to register as a foreign lobby, would you then agree that J Street should also be registered as a foreign lobby? The only reason for J Street’s existence is to put forward the cause of a foreign country, right?

      I'd disagree with the "if" part of your question.

      1) AIPAC is not a foreign lobby. A foreign lobby is an organization run by foreigners designed to lobby the USA government for policy changes. AIPAC is a domestic lobby about a foreign policy issue. Registering AIPAC as a foreign lobby even if it made sense would have 0 impact because everyone involved is a US citizen so they could do the same stuff 100 different ways.

      2) JStreet and AIPAC should be subject to the same laws.

      3) AIPAC's power comes from the fact that the USA public is 60/30/10 pro-israel/neutral/pro-Palestinian. Israel issues are a no brainer for congress because the public strongly favors Israel. You want to rein in AIPAC you need to change the opinions of around 50m people on the Israeli / Palestinian issue so that they agree with your position.

    • @Citizen

      That's what congressional opposition is going to look like. There aren't people with your political opinions in congress. The Dems are Reps light, so the anti-AIPAC group is going to be AIPAC light. You want more elect anti-colonial socialists candidates to congress.

    • @Taxi

      I said “Arab citizens” and you assumed I was talking about governments. But never mind your inability to comprehend the written word,

      You said Arab citizens in relation to support. I don't doubt that. But you most certainly talked about governments in the part I was responding to, "the Arab countries surrounding israel, who’ve been practicing BDS for some sixty five years, are busy training for the next war with israel" Who do you think is going to be having the next war with Israel the citizens or the army?

      Egypt, by popular demand, will be addressing Camp David after the next elections – and its people hate you as much as you zionists hate Egyptians

      Israelis don't hate Egyptians. They are happy to be at peace. In any case the Egyptians will be addressing Camp David with whom? And what popular demand? We've had both the Muslim Brotherhood and SCAF in power, both strengthened the alliance with Israel though SCAF far more than Israelis had dared hope even a few years back.

      Plus security arrangements between israel and Egypt are not the result of a love affair – it’s strategic and not permanent.

      That's how most military alliances work. All of Israel's relationships will be strategic not permanent. The USA doesn't have non-strategic alliances either.

      The king of Jordan, everyone knows, is a broke wuss who needs to do whatever USA tells him,

      Which is the point.

      BUT Jordanian citizens hate you zionists as much as you hate them and come a regional war, I wouldn’t rely on the Jordanians to lend you zionists a hand

      No one is asking Jordan to lend a hand. Your claim was that they were preparing to help against Israel like in '67.

      Lebanon has NOT kicked no nothing Syrian out – in fact the two countries are closer than EVER! Read hizbollah fighting salafists in Syria, and read: the most likely new president to be next elected, in a couple of months, is a maronite christian known for his STAUNCH SUPPORT OF HIZBOLLAH AND SYRIA.

      link to

      And Syria, well, they’re not so busy anymore

      Syria's most populate city is still under rebel control. I'd say they are busy for years.

      but the idf has certainly been made busy in the Golan lately.

      The IDF is having to deal with freelancers because Syria can't control their own borders anymore. That's a good thing for Israel not a bad thing. The IDF would much rather be dealing with freelancers than the Syrian Armed Forces. The worse that freelancers are going to do is kill a few civilians, blow up a store... something like that.

      And the idf will be getting busier and busier in the Golan – till it’s liberated. And once the Golan is liberated from the zionists, The Galilee will follow (a promise from hizbollah), followed by the liberation of Jerusalem (a promise from ALL Arabs, neighboring or otherwise).

      Yes I hear the flying donkey attack is coming any day now.

      But you go ahead and tell yourself that no neighbor danger exists – while you guys simultaneously continue to cry ‘holocaust’ and ‘existential threat’ every five seconds.

      No neighbor danger exists. Point to real forces that are doing something not imaginary pan-arabic hyperbole.

    • @Citizen

      Please name the person or organization who is equally willing to take on AIPAC?

      link to

    • @Sibiriak

      No need to back down. As the USA needs to get more deeply involved with terror organizations in other countries they need a reliable intelligence agency with plausible deniability for all concerned. Israel fits the bill nicely like it did in the 1980s. Yemen is a PR disaster for both Yemenite government and the USA.

    • @Taxi

      , the Arab countries surrounding israel, who’ve been practicing BDS for some sixty five years, are busy training for the next war with israel – they know more than anybody else on the planet that israel has NO DESIRE for peace and the only way to deal with the zionist regime is to smash it – before it smashes them.

      Which Arab country? Egypt has in the last year crossed from simple peace with unofficial military cooperation to full on explicit open military cooperation under SCAF. Jordan's Hashemite regime has comfortably relied on Israel power pmost particularly in 1970 against the Palestinians / Syrians. Lebanon just kicked their pro-Syria regime out of power over instigating trouble with Israel. And Syria I'd say is a rather preoccupied right now.

    • @seanmcbride

      Does he really believe that such a popular revolt is going to happen or that it would be successful?

      Yes he does. He wrote an entire book about Ghandi: link to

      I happen to agree with you that he's wrong, but I do believe that Finkelstein believes in a mass movement.

    • @Ritzl --

      Jewish senators aren't from the south either: California x2, Oregon, Michigan, NY, Maryland, Vermont, Conn, Hawaii

    • @Sycamores

      Finkelstein is on record repeatedly saying he doesn't believe the BDS movement has support on the ground in Palestine. He thinks it is a western movement with some tiny group of supporters in Palestine not a Palestinian movement. His feeling is the BDS leadership as they exist are unable to mobilize large numbers of Palestinians and thus aren't a Palestinian leadership.

    • @Keith --

      Or maybe the Israelis are telling the truth there is no great psychological ploy and the Palestinian T&C weren't agreeable to the Israelis but they would have agreed to different T&C. The same reason lots of negotiations break down, the seller thinks the buyer's bid is too low while the buyer thinks the seller's ask is too high so they don't come to terms.

    • @ritzl

      In 2012 there were 8k Jews in Alabama. Jews don't live there. There is nothing political about it they population of Jews just isn't evenly distributed.

  • On Easter, costly Jews - and costly Palestinians
    • @Citizen

      Lots of people's had tribal deities. The Greek gods for example had special relationships with particular cities: Zeus with Olympia, Ares with Sparta, Athena with Athens... There are national gods as well: Horus was identified with the current Pharaoh in a unique and particular way. The Babylonian gods like Markduk claimed a special relationship with Babylon...

      There is nothing unique about Judaism's henotheism where Yahweh was a particular tribal deity within El's pantheon. There is nothing particularly unique with this tribal deity then being seen as a universal God, the only true God, that happened to most cultures during the Iron age. There is something unique about an Iron age religion having survived through the Hellenistic period but that's what's unique not the particularism.

    • @MHughes976

      The statement comes from Ignatius of Antioch "Jesus was really and truly crucified under Pontius Pilate" in refutation of docetism. It got into the 2nd century baptismal formulation in that form, and that's what evolved into the Apostle's creed. The two statements in terms of their usage would have been identical: an assertion that Jesus' crucifixion had happened on earth in a historical timeframe that it was not a mythic statement or something that had happened in the heavens.

    • @W Jones

      So how does one explain the idea that the New Testament is anti-Semitic if it was written by Jewish believers?

      First off I think you need to break out various books. In general though I'm not sure if I would call them people who wrote the New Testament "Jewish believers" anymore. I think it can depend book by book and verse by verse but IMHO most of the New Testament is several generations removed from Judaism though some of it can be quite close.

      For example we know that Romans 9-11 was not in Marcion's Romans. Assuming you are willing to accept this was a later Catholic addition that makes it mid 2nd century generations after Jews were involved. That's not authored by Jewish believers. On the other hand Rom 1:18-2:29 is mainstream Hellenistic Judaism. Nothing even particularly Christian about this sermon excerpt. Romans 4 you clearly have someone educated in Judaism this is post-Jewish ideology (I'm going with Simonianism for reasons that would take us too far afield).

      Let's go back a bit....

      Hasmonean Judaism splits into
      Pharisees and Sadducees are they both "Jewish believers"?
      Assuming you are are answering yes: Tzadok movement forks off from the Sadducees. Tzadok considers the Pharisees heretics and their religion a distortion. Christianity is going to mostly have evolved out of Tzadok in about 200 years after Tzadok splits off. Obviously one sect is being harshly critical of the other even though they are both "Jewish believers"?

      The Luke / Acts frame was a Catholic frame designed to unify factions long after Christianity had split from Judaism. It falls apart quite quickly and is simply misleading.

  • Reports of anti-Semitism in Ukraine and Hungary
    • @Roha

      They have leverage, they have Jews’ best interests at heart. ”
      is the sort of attitude that will get them into trouble. They should (both morally and prudentially) have the best interests of all Ukrainians at heart.

      The "they" in that sentence was the Israeli leadership not the Jews of Kiev.

    • @American

      I'm going with what I said. Jews tried your approach in times past and it was a disaster. Jewish agitators from both directions end up on either side and regardless of who wins Jews get blamed for rabble rousing. In this case they make their play and likely they come out fine having proven their loyalty to Ukraine (on the Ukrainian side) and having proven their loyalty to Russia (on the Russian side). This is very much how Jews in America became white people.

    • @Eljay --

      Who made him King?

      The Jewish people as elected by the good chunk of them who live in the Jewish state. No one else has remotely the same level of buy-in.

    • @Sean

      longer reply below

      The fact that the Jewish establishment, because of its embrace of Jewish nationalism (Zionism), has lost the intellectual and moral authority to oppose ethnic and religious nationalism in the United States and Europe (and everywhere else) doesn’t strike you as rather a significant historical development?

      No. I don't think Jews are that significant in moving the history of the west. They are very colorful bit players but they aren't the central movers and shakers, Christians are.

      For how much longer do you think that that establishment will be able justify its two-track and self-contradictory policies — ethnic and religious nationalism for itself and liberal universalism for everyone else?

      I don't think the Jewish establishment supports liberal universalism anymore. I think Judaism has moved to a more nuanced position as a result of the Holocaust and Israel. The Holocaust disproved the promise of liberal universalism. Zionism offered Jews an alternative of becoming a nation like any other. America has an aggressively assimilationist non-ethnic model which isn't universalistic which is offering another alternative.

      Also: what would be the fate of Israel in a world in which ethnic and religious nationalism were running rampant in the West? Can you do the math? Why would ethnic and religious nationalist states in the West continue to support Israel?

      The same reason countries support Israel now: an alliance with Israel is currently in their national self interests. A national Jewish country fits much better into a world where states have broken up into nation states: Copt state, Maronite state, Hashemite state, Alawite State, Palestinian muslim state.... a Jewish state just becomes one in the mixture. In a uniform world of Arab states i.e. states that use a linguistic and not a religious / ethnic identification is a soup in which Israel cannot survive through the centuries. The collapse of the Ba'ath and its replacement with Islamic and ethnic identities is a huge break for Israel.

      As for the West. The West while it is struggling to become post national is still quite national. France is still French, Spain is Spanish, Germany is German....

    • @sean

      You are unable to see the forest for the trees: if Jews around the world are going to organize their politics around narrow ethnic nationalism and the aggressive pursuit of their ethnic self-interest, every other ethnic and religious group (especially in the United States and Europe) is free to play by the same rules.

      Well yes of course they have and they will continue to do so regardless of what Jews say or do.

      As a dedicated Jewish nationalist yourself, you have no basis on which to object to or complain about the ethnic or religious nationalism of any other group.

      Correct. Bu why would I care much about the ability to complain? What good would my complaining do?

      They will do whatever they please, no doubt often citing Israel and Zionism as a model and justification for their ethnic or religious nationalist beliefs, policies and actions.

      Or citing any of the other 100 some countries on the planet which have ethnic policies. Or citing any of the thousands of societies that have existed in history. I'm not sure why Israel / Zionism will mater much.

      Do you really not see where this is going? Zionism has opened up a major can of worms in Western culture and politics and left Diaspora Jews in a highly precarious position.

      I don't think Zionism opened this can of worms for the west. I don't think the can was ever closed but certainly vastly more important than Israel was the Reformation. The Reformation opened up the idea that Princes (governments) should be responsive to their people and there was a not a unified Christendom. To do this one needed a relatively unified people, a nation-state, rather than multi-national governments. Jews just aren't that important.

      By the way, once again: where are you coming from on Mideast and Israeli politics? — in a general cultural and political way — I am not trying to pry in your private life:

      1. ethnic background?
      2. religious background?
      3. nation(s) of citizenship?
      4. political affiliations?
      5. position on the Iraq War?
      6. position on an Iran War?
      7. position on Israeli settlements?
      8. position on the Israel lobby?
      9. position on neoconservatives?
      10. position on ethnic and religious nationalism in general?

      OK short answers

      1) American, ethnically 3/4s Ukrainian 1/4 Russian 3-4th generation
      2) Jewish atheist.
      3) America
      4) Mainstream Democrat
      5) Favored the invasion but not the occupation. Something like the Biden plan was my preference.
      6) Support Obama's policy of negotiations.
      7) Pro-settlement
      8) See the Israeli lobby as not much different than most American lobbies. Not a huge deal. I don't like how hawkish the Israeli lobby has become as Israel has become more hawkish than American Jews. Between AIPAC and JStreet I'm probably 2/3rds JStreet, 1/3rd AIPAC.
      9) I think neoconservativism is the single most common foreign policy ideology in the Republican party. I most favor the old fashioned conservative "realistic" school of people like Nixon, Bush-41 or Obama. So I'm happy with where the Democratic party is on foreign policy mostly.
      10) I support the idea of nation-states. I think it is absolutely core to the ability for governments to be responsive to their population. I disapprove of empire and post-nationalism is just a leftwing colonialism.

    • @seanmcbride

      Jewish Zionists are of course in a weak position with regard to opposing it.

      As opposed to say 100 years ago when Jews were in a terrific moral position with regard to opposing it and that didn't make a damn bit of difference? Ultimately what Israel has done is made sure is that opposing it is no longer a matter of life and death. Jewish Zionists can effectively oppose it rather easily:

      a) They have influence and power
      b) If (a) fails they they negotiate safe passage to countries that take in Jews.
      b') Because Israel exists (b) works a lot better than it used to.

      That strikes me as a far better plan than being able to write really good letters when these sorts of issues pop up.

    • @Stephen Shenfield

      It is true that Ukraine’s Jewish leaders have expressed support for the “Banderite junta in Kiev” and no doubt that helps to protect Jews in central and western Ukraine, but at the cost of endangering Jews in the southeast. The best strategy would be to say nothing and try to remain as inconspicuous as possible.

      Couldn't disagree more. Jews have gotten repeatedly screwed by trying to stay neutral and thereby annoying both sides in disputes: the Reformation being a wonderful case in point.

      I suspect Putin does not want Jews out of Eastern Ukraine, but if given the pro-Kiev alignment of most Jews that's what Russia decides the right person to be calling the plays for Jews is Netanyahu. Jews have quality leadership now, there is no reason for this diaspora type thinking of keep your head down and hope the cossacks don't come. Netanyahu / Israel is doing a good job creating asset relays for Ukrainian and Russian Jews with means. They are handling this situation diplomatically. Israel is holding off on arming Georgia, Russia is holding off on arms for Iran/Syria. The Jews of Ukraine are mildly pro-Kiev. They have leverage, they have Jews' best interests at heart.

      This is one of the many examples of what a state buys us. Same as if some government were targeting Americans abroad the USA State Department, CIA, Pentagon ... often helps.

  • The Book of Exodus and the Book of Palestine
    • @pabelmont

      Indeed, even praying (so I read somewhere) for the ingathering was forbidden because praying was done by men, not by God.

      No it is part of the orthodox daily prayer:

      No this is not true. Of the 19 daily prayers #1 is for the ingathering. Here is a good translation by a Christian(?) source: link to
      So no, not only is it not forbidden it is essentially mandatory.

      #14 asks for the return of the David King to rule Jerusalem.

      The creation of the modern imperial colonial Israel is man’s work, no question, and not God’s work.

      I don't believe in God. But among many of the orthodox in Israel the idea that Israel represents the ingathering is pretty well accepted. Judaism sees God as working through his agents. Otherwise the ethical precepts would have no tie to the religious precepts. Judaism most certainly developed a learned helpless leading to a passivity, and certainly mainstream Judaism after the Bar Kochba turned on the idea of bring about the messianic age. But that's a result of Jewish failure, now Ben-Gurion has succeeded in achieving what Bar Kochba aimed for.

  • Stephen Walt: publishing 'Israel lobby' ended any thought of serving in US gov't
    • @traintosiberia

      1 I can call another lobby as a lobby- – 1 can’t do same in case of Israel lobby

      AIPAC calls itself "America's Pro-Israel lobby".

      2 I can run an election by naming and shaming another lobby. 2. – 1 can’t do same in case of Israel lobby

      Not true. JStreet identifies itself as the opposition to AIPAC and:
      link to

      3 I can regulate another lobby 3. 1 can’t do same in case of Israel lobby

      Most lobbies have strong constitutional protections. But AIPAC for example has to file all the elections documents of other lobbies.

      4 I can investigate another lobby 4, – 1 can’t do same in case of Israel lobby

      Investigate for what?

      5 I can accept money from another lobby and blast it 5. Can’t dream that in case of Israel lobby


      6 I can call lobby as powerful and inimical to US interest – 6 not in case of Israel lobby

      See answer to #2.

      7 lobbies have no ethnic bond or attachment 7. Israeli lobby is ethnic

      U.S.-China Working Group
      Irish National Caucus
      UNICO (Italian lobby)

      8. A lobby will look for the interest of its members ,of its causes,of its succeess -/8 Israeli lobby does not care for all of Israeli citizen It works against the new member ,excludes the new members ,and discriminates the new members unless it is Jews . Israel Libby is not sbout the development of Israel . It is about the development of Jewish person in israel

      This is just weird. The Israeli lobby in the USA is mostly American Jewish. Of course it backs American Jewish interests.

      9 other lobby can’t act with impunity and openly discriminate on the basis of race and religion 9 Israeli lobby do and a prima facile case could be made against them that they do.

      Lobbies, and any other non-profit for that matter, most certainly can discriminate if race or religion is critical to their functioning. A Jewish lobby can discriminate.

      10 no lobby had made America go for war. 10 Repeatedly Israeli lobby openly advocated for war

      Lots of lobbies advocate for wars. The energy lobby, the weapons manufacturing lobbies and the fruit lobby being examples.

      11 no lobby has sent its members to administration ,who has worked openly and exclusively for the interest of the lobby 12 Israeli lobby does it all the time

      Really? What American official says they work exclusively for AIPAC?

      12 no lobby member has required presidential pardon and gone back to work for the government again 12 Israeli lobby has done

      I don't know what you are talking about with respect to Israel. But certainly lots of people in the peace movement got pardoned regarding VietNam. You should take a look at the people on the casino lobby.

      13.other lobby get named and shamed by media. 13 Israeli lobby never

      Yeah they never get mentioned and disagreed with ever.

      14 other lobby has not been always successful to disable its critics 14 Israeli lobby has

      Seems to me this website is still running.

      15 no other lobby has openly said that it or its individual member work within US to safeguard and promote the interest of the lobby using US as the best place to do 15 Adelson, Schumer , Kirk and other have done that

      Can't parse this one.

      16 no lobby ever claimed that it’s interest is the interest of US 16 it is the main plank of Israel lobby

      Almost all lobbies claim their policies are in the best interests of the United States.

      . 17 people can make a career out of fighting any other lobby 17 no American can stand up against Israeli lobby.

      JSteet has professional staff.

      18 no lobby influences church,school,college,UN,local and federal administration,libraries, media,billboard and excludes its competitor 18 Israel I lobby does.

      I think the people opposing the NRA, AARP or Agribusiness lobby might beg to differ.

  • Resurrecting Passover?
    • @Walid

      Its not that much of a stretch:

      1Cor 5:7 ...For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed...
      John 19:36 For these things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled, “Not a bone of his will be broken.” which is a reference to Exodus 12:36, where bones of the passover lamb are not to be broken.

      I'd say Christianity pretty clearly makes the identification. You want to argue that Christian symbolism is confused you want get any argument from me but that isn't unique to passover.

    • @W.Jones

      Nonetheless, I question whether they equated Jesus’ love with ethnic cleansing,

      I'd agree. I can't think of any sermons that have that theme. They might have equated it with God's wrath but never with his love.

      I actually find that some Zionists like yourself can be more tolerant toward Christian religious beliefs than some anti-Zionists. Granted, discrimination against Christians is not uncommon among the Israeli right.

      Well yes I think Zionism more and more tends to be pro-American Christianity. The Israeli right discriminates against most American forms of Judaism as well. One of the few things all American Jews agree on is disliking the chief rabbinate system in Israel. IMHO this isn't really a left vs. right issue. Even leftwing Israelis consider mainstream American Judaism to be what Christians would call a heresy. So I think Israel needs to be considered in the context of having a semi-strong state church. Israeli Christians who are assimilating expect their grandchildren to be Jewish. There is some legal discrimination but not much. Jewish converts to Christianity are mostly a tiny fringe. There tends to be a decontexualization in most of the discussion about Israel around here which is very distorting.

      If we are talking Palestinian Christians that's an entirely different issue than just religious discrimination. The problem isn't that they are Christian but that they are generally politically Ba'athist. With the rise of Hamas Israel may be able to break them away from Ba'ath ideology and things might improve, hopefully.

      In terms of the right and American Christians I think the right is forming an alliance with evangelical Christianity. American Evangelical Christianity mostly didn't exist in the Eastern Europe prior to the 1990s nor the Muslim Countries so Israelis don't have much problem seeing it as a total different faith that is strangely pro-semetic. Obviously this is American but the Israelis are pursuing a warm relationship with American evangelicals. The ultra-orthodox because they are close with American orthodoxy which is republican is developing a social relationship with conservative Christianity over social issues. The nationalist right on issues like war of civilizations.

      So for example Evangelicals, Seventh Day Adventists. Mormons are expanding rapidly in Israel. They get shown a lot of tolerance.

      The Israeli left is having a harder time in the last two decades. The European churches are really cruel in the things they say. The pro-Palestinian movement's success in recruiting the NCC/WCC means that leftwing Israelis have had their feelings hurt badly by the mainstream Christian groups. I don't know what that means for the goal of the world peace movement and the ecumenical movement, but there is a lot more hostility on both sides this generations than the last. Most Israelis both left and right agree that leftwing Christianity has become apologists for Arab rejectionism. I think this shift is more harmful for the Israeli left because they had hoped for acceptance of Judaism based on human dignity while the Israeli right hadn't really had that hope and instead sees the acceptance of Israel coming from military prowess.

      To take an example. Jews are active in the United Bible Society standard texts that are used as the Hebrew / Greek originals (as well as translator assists) for almost all bible translations. The New Jewish Publication Society is officially a member for the UBS Hebrew. That is a huge ecumenical success. But I can't see how churches much more important to UBS like the PCUSA or United Methodists can have a policy of supporting a boycott of Jews/Israel while having one of the few institutions they can control retain that sort of close relationship. Either the rhetoric or the reality is going to have to give. And just to waive off the comments about conflating anti-israel with anti-Jewish there is no way that NJPS is going to remain a member if Israelis can't serve as scholars. A break with Israel is a break with Judaism.

      In the large scheme of things it doesn't really matter much. The Hebrew bible isn't going to change much over the next few decades but it is part of growing collapse of ecumenicalism.

    • @W.Jones

      You can't group all the pilgrims together temporally. The pilgrims of the 1630s tended to be moderate in their views towards the Indians. They believed they would convert and become Christian. They respected their land rights mostly and sought good neighbor relations. Relations started to deteriorate as Indian populations started to recover from the plagues that had come over with the colonists. There was a major war 1675-8 ( link to ) and after the colonist victory the attitude change to one where genocide or extreme violence was seen as reasonable. Behavior changes belief. The idea developed during and after the King Philip's war to the notion that if heathens would not regenerate (become Christian) then it was their Christian duty to redeem the land from them.

      OTOH many of the puritans did believe the plagues of the 1620-30s were God's wrath for heathenism of the Indians On the other hand many also believed that the wickedness of the whites had been a morally corrupting influence. A 1640 sermon with Indian themes sounds nothing like a 1680 sermon.

    • I had similar feelings at this year's passover (though I generally do). It seemed completely stupid to repeat lines like "next year in Jerusalem". We got Jerusalem back, mission accomplished. If it is any consolation the Haggadah we used had a big disclaimer about the prayer where we ask God to pour out his wrath on the nations who won't do his will as inapplicable now that we aren't victims anymore.

      As for your analogy with Christians your history could use some work. The imagery of Jesus as King standing over his vice regent (the emperor and/or pope depending) came from this period. Look at the change in Christian art between the 3rd and 5th century in how Jesus is depicted. The focus shifted from the crucifixion as a symbol of hope to the resurrection as a symbol of triumph over satan. I suspect the same thing will happen to passover. Just add a lot of Joshua into the mix and the story becomes one of God freeing us from bondage and identifying with slavery to one of the slaves being freed and doing his will in subjugated Canaan.

      The ethical tradition shifts a bit "remember you too were once a slave and treat your slaves well"... Sort of like how Thomas Jefferson struggled with the morality of slavery while working out ways to make the Virginia slavery system more profitable for masters and thus helping to institutionalize it before freeing his slaves. Lots of grey, lots of moral hypocrisy.

  • Haaretz joins Rush Limbaugh and company in trying to link Max Blumenthal to KC shooter suspect
    • @seanmcbride

      Would you have any objections if white Christians in the United States, Britain, France and Germany treated Jews in the same way that Israel treats Arab Christians and Muslims?

      The situations aren't comparable but let's look at your first example. When Jews migrated to the United States they became American, joined American society supported it and integrated culturally with it. For example they constructed forms of Judaism that were structurally protestant. They even shifted religious doctrines to end up adopting core Protestant notions to help make Judaism more acceptable to an American context.

      In Germany Jews assimilated as well often becoming Christian. This assimilation process was what the German anti-Semitism league objected to, and was one of the key reason that racial theories of Judaism became popular. German Jewry was then mostly killed off with some remained living in the USA and Israel. There are a bit over 100k German Jews at this point a tiny fragment.

      BTW both Germany and France have pretty nasty state discrimination against Scientologists so I'm not sure how much you want to use them as models of tolerance.

      It’s really quite simple: either every group gets to play ethnic and religious nationalist games, or none do. Jews around the world will need to figure out on which side of this grand divide they stand.

      Different states choose to govern themselves differently. The United States defines itself as a nation of immigrants. The USA doesn't have a given ethnic identity. The American nation is formed by people adopting American ideals. Which incidentally is now Israel works. Ashkenazic, Mizrahim and Sephardic joined to become one people. The Palestinians have mostly refused to join. The Russian Christians who have joined are being adopted successfully which proves that your caricature of Israel policy simply isn't accurate.

  • Two desperate anti-Semitism charges, from Foxman and Boteach
    • @Krauss

      As Blumenthal spoke about in his speech to U of Michigan, it may come a day when real anti-Semites wear that label as a badge of pride, and that is no small worry. Foxman and company are not helping matters by using it cynically against even mild criticism against Israel.

      Then what? Play it out. Assume there are say 50k people in an organization that hate Jews not because of Israel or AIPAC or Jewish money interests or all the other reasons perfectly acceptable to BDS but instead hate Jews for reasons that BDS doesn't approve of. Say they really hate bagels and Woody Allen movies. What do they do then? How many Jews do the bagel hating / anti-Woody Alleners even know? When they hold anti-Jewish rallies are they even at places where Jews go and thus even notice?

      Maybe they torch a synagogue or two. How many synagogues can be paid for with one lost commercial contract for Mekorot?

      Maybe they do a lynching or two? I doubt it they aren't lynching blacks and muslims whom they hate more. But let's assume so. So over the course of 100 years they do as much damage as one round of going at with Hezbollah.

      I don't see how any reasonable level of anti-Semitism could possibly be more of a threat to the Jewish community than BDS is. I don't think either is a threat but anti-Semitism in the USA on the right is almost completely harmless until there is a religious shift away from dispensationalism and that takes decades if not centuries. And I've never understood this threat. Even if it did pan out that there were 10m or 20m active anti-Semites in the USA life would suck and USA Jews would likely have to move to Israel. How does that justify not backing Israel to the hilt if one saw this threat as realistic?

  • To reach the 'moveable middle' in Jewish life, you must be inside the tent
    • LeaNder

      But your idea that laws were partisan only, both in the Florida Supreme Court and Washington DC is interesting. Florida election laws, or anything regulating recounts didn’t matter?

      They do matter but the problem in Florida were issues not covered by law. For example the issue of what a detached chad meant. Think about a ballet where someone pushes out a piece of paper. That chad could: detach completely, have one corner attached, have one side attached, be broken but not broken through, or just be dimpled. You got different results depending on how you count. Individual counties are the ones empowered to regulate counts not the state courts. The Florida state court starting creating their own standards, effectively writing their own laws and the supreme court rightly called them on that.

      We simply wondered, if we should better send the OSZE next time. You know, they take care of fair elections too. We were just worried over here in Europistan.

      The American system has terribly unfair systems in many states that wouldn't come close to passing international muster. We have a much more serious problem now of racially / class based allocation of polling stations in some of the states. The notion of how challenges are decided (part of the who gets to vote) is privatized to a degree that most Europeans would (and possibly rightfully) find unacceptable.

      Selection of electors to the party conventions is vastly more obscure and opaque to voters in many states.

      But ultimately there is no requirement that states even have elections involving the population to select electors. That is in theory the 50 state legislatures could if they choose (after changing state law, not federal law) just pick the president with no popular election at all.

      The problem most people had in 2000 is that we had a tie and so all the formal details of how the president gets selected suddenly mattered where generally the only detail of our system that really matters is the state by state plays.

    • @Donald --

      The policy since the Clinton administration was regime change. It is reasonable to believe there was a high chance that Gore goes for regime change. But... Gore was anti-fossil fuel. Getting USA / England companies into Iraq for development of their oil fields wouldn't have been a priority. So the occupation may not have happened. The Ba'ath government is overthrown but the war could have been over in weeks. Essentially the Biden plan of allowing a civil war and Iraq to split into 3 countries could have happened.

    • @LeaNder

      . But: I seem to remember that Al Gore would have won Florida and the election, if not the recounting was stopped. What wrong information do I store?

      A complete failure to understand how the American system works. The 50 states appoint electors. The state of Florida not the people of Florida choose who got Florida's 25 votes. In most states Florida included the people get to advise the legislature on whom they want. If the vote is clear everything is fine. if not then there are various processes that are used to pick who wins.

      The legislature and the electoral officials were Republican in Florida which means Republicans win ties. The state courts were Democratic and tried to construct law ex-nihilo from allowing the natural process to play out since the stakes were so high. The USA Supreme Court just told the Florida court to cut the nonsense out. They (the Florida courts) don't to create elections law or the electoral officials for the state of Florida are empowered to do that.

      That's what you aren't remembering correctly. In any case under most neutral systems Bush still won. Under some systems Gore would have won. But there was no legal path for Gore to win Florida without the electoral officials signing off on the result. At worst it gets kicked to the House of Representatives (which was also Republican) and they would have made Bush president.

  • 6 DC heavyweights tell Kerry, Netanyahu in West Bank is like Putin in Crimea
    • @Shingo

      So you are comparing Israeli leaders to Stalin?

      Yes I've been saying for months the process of nation formation is the same for all people through all time. Everyone does the same thing. They have to.

    • @Justpassingby

      Crimea wanted to be part of Russia.
      Does Westbank want to be part of Israel?

      The Russians moved into Ukraine by Stalin want to be part of Russia. The Israelis moved into the WestBank by Israel want to be part of Israel. Yes it is very equivalent. I agree with the analogy those six are marking but in both cases side with self determination and against Kerry. I think the idea of keeping people trapped in states they hate and reject is grossly immoral and a true danger to world peace.

  • 'There's a lot of anti-Semitism out there' -- Johansson reviews her role as 'new face of apartheid'
    • @Sumud

      Aren’t losing JeffB?

      You can’t extrapolate a decade or two and see that the game is up? Don’t believe me, listen to the Olmerts who have both said that Israel as an apartheid state is not sustainable.

      Israelis are hysterics. They are constantly talking about their society being unsustainable. I don't believe the pessimism from the left about the existential threats to Israel's character or the pessimism from the right how every opponent is an existential threat.

      I think in general most of the analysis assumes that Israelis are idiots and are incapable of taking action to resolve problems. While Israel's history shows that Israel is capable or reacting quickly and effectively to threats. I can easily think of dozens of different ways for Israel to resolve the apartheid / delegitimization problem ranging from: voluntary assimilation (my preference) to forced assimilation to creating a formal democracy to creating a bicameral legislature designed so that one house will be effectively Jewish to concentrating the Palestinians population and then renouncing territory to genocide to ethnic cleansing to ... Israelis are good.

      You can accuse BDS of being anti-semitic if you like but people don’t seem to be buying it

      Except they are buying it. That's the problem you keep having in various institutions that BDS type activities in America get denounced and attacked.

      maybe something to do with the fairly large contradiction between advocating for universal human rights and anti-semitism. They also don’t seem to be too impressed by the standard ziobot line “look over there”.

      Except they do. And that one works even in Europe where after a decade of full on demonization of Israel. The population of Europe isn't that negative towards Israel and support for sanctions is falling in Europe. Europe keeps passing trade deals with Israel because while they certainly have mixed feelings on balance they Israel more than most other countries. We having polling, these things are knowable. And what they show is that the anti-Israeli cause has some serious problems.

      Wouldn’t your energy be better directed at trying to bring about sustainable change in Israel?

      If I had a way to I would. But I certainly don't see any reason for "sustainable change" to be the end of Zionism. I'd pick almost any other solution before the end of Zionism.

    • @Hostage

      You must live in a cave cut-off from civilization. The press were all over the story about the participation of Netanyahu in Romney’s campaign against Obama.

      That's a mild endorsement indicating a preference. That sort of thing is rather normal. For example most of the world similarly endorsed Obama vs. McCain in 2008 and endorsed Obama vs. Romney in 2012. And for that matter what we are doing in India right now regarding the BJP. Israel's behavior isn't abnormal with that, other than generally Israel prefers Democrats or is indifferent.

      What was unusual because the Romney went after the Jewish vote more aggressively than Republicans ever had. It was Romney's behavior that made the story notable, but that's not Israel.

    • @Sumud

      can you please name the country that is responsible for:- creating the largest refugee population in the world today

      I suspect the Congo. Between their own refugee crisis and the spill overs into places like Angola and Burundi as well as the number of years they are probably first. People's Republic of China may be first though just because of sheer numbers.

      Israel, which is what you meant isn't in the top 10 unless you use very weird ways of counting designed to make sure Israel comes in 1st.

      - maintaining the longest military occupation in the world today

      Don't know. But if you mean the thing the UN calls the longest military occupation that would be Israel. Mali being a good example of how this sort of thing is normally handled. The UN just declares the whole country under Bambara control and moves on. No pretending there is an occupation.

      If we were to use the same standards we use for Israel that is that occupation is never resolved by incorporation then one of the societies that has been around since right after the Ice Age would probably win. If we carefully construct a standard so as to trip the Jews up and then apply it unequally then yes we can define things in such a way so that Israel loses. Again that's what Scar Jo means.

      being in defiance of more UN SC resolutions than any other country today.

      That's supposed to be evidence that BDS isn't anti-Semeitic. The UN hates Israel. Well known, well understood and openly their policy. The UN is anti-Semetic. The UN likes to regularly host anti-Jewish incitement rallies in in Durban. Using the UN to justify anti-Israeli actions is like supporting Jihad Watch as evidence against muslims.

      I get that liberals want to think more highly of the UN. But when we are dealing with reality here, i.e. is Scar Jo right then yeah someone who supports the UN is someone supporting a Jewish hating organization. The UN is anti-Jewish. I can pick anti-anything organizations and use them to justify discrimination against any group.

      Finally, we aren't losing. Seems to me this year there is more housing in the West Bank and Israel's trade is greater than last year.

    • @Brenda

      Here in America, as I am sure you are aware, there is about a 50/50 standoff between conservatives and liberals.

      No I'm not aware. I see a 40-40-20 conservative-moderate-liberal breakdown with the liberals gaining about .2% / yr right now. Now there is something like a 50/50 standoff between Democrats and Republicans but that doesn't map cleanly onto conservatives / liberals.

      the right wing Israeli government is intruding into our governmental processes in ways that are intolerable to left leaning progressive liberals.

      Brenda, that's fiction. It isn't happening. There is no intrusion into our politics by Israel.

      Some of the Israeli population, likely not from the right wing, support a goods & services boycott of West Bank products. The Knesset recently passed a law making political organization for boycott illegal, but some Israelis continue to boycott privately. Would you say these Israelis are anti-semitic? Or would you say they were progressive liberals?

      First off BDS doesn't support a settlement boycott they support an Israeli boycott. The settlement boycott is a much more mainstream position. So its kinda irrelevant to the discussion of BDS. I don't think supporting a boycott is anti-Semetic I don't even think all BDSers are anti-Semetic. For example I don't think Ali Abunimah is an anti-Semite in anyway. I don't think Phil is an anti-Semite. I do think that most gentile BDSers are but often don't realize it.

      Most anti-black racists today in the USA don't think they are racist and don't realize how much racism has intruded into their thinking. When they talk about "traditional values" they have a hard time understanding that American traditional values are racist and thus if you don't deliberately purge yourself of racism just supporting traditions ends up supporting racial disparities in the United States. They are genuinely offended by being called racist even when they are making clearly racist comments. Your typical racist is embarrassed when the Republican party engages in openly racist behavior like distributing copies of the song, "Barack the Magic Negro" or a picture of Michelle Obama with a bone thru her nose.

      You and I have had two dialogues. In one you talked about paid Israeli agents on blogs. In this one you've talked about Israel subverting Liberals. There is no secret Jewish (or Israeli) cabal. The people in the Israeli lobby are Americans. The rightwing groups are mostly run by Republicans, the leftwing groups are mostly run by Democrats. Nothing different than what you would see on the groups that push for closer ties to China or Europe.

    • @Donald

      The emotion in your post is an example of precisely what she is talking about. There is nothing unique about Israel's relationship to the United States. The United States has a long history of friendly relationships with countries with questionable human rights records. I fully agree with you that the USA is morally responsible for our actions. But were Israel not there, the USA wouldn't be sending over troops to oppress the Palestinians for their own benefit. That's entirely an Israeli policy. A fair read of the situation is the USA is somewhere between indifferent and mildly opposed.

      The idea that the USA is personally morally implicated in actions of Israel in a way they aren't with France is a perfect example of the kind of disproportionate criticism that Israel suffers from. To use the Mali example the USA government supports the Bambara. But no one make your argument that makes the USA secretly implicated in the dispossession of the Tuareg. We understand that the USA doesn't care and mostly has tactical reasons for allying with one tribe over another. So while we back the Bambara we do so out of convenience.

      And that's precisely the kind of indifference that Israel should enjoy.
      With no other country do we pretend we are directly implicated in their acts. We have an alliance with France we don't pretend that makes French history ours or French policy our policy.

      Treating Israel like just another country is what is called for. Israel does not deserve to be treated like a corrupt authoritarian regime, because it is neither corrupt nor authoritarian. Where did corrupt come from? Israel is less corrupt than most Western Democracies and certainly less corrupt that the United States. What's particularly corrupt about Israel? Another example of what she is talking about, that Jews are secretly responsible for all evils since they work for Satan. This idea that if Jews aren't perfect they become evil is yet another type anti-Semitism. Governments, including Jewish government are entitled to be imperfect. The very kind of rhetoric you are using in arguing against BDS being anti-Semetic is anti-Semetic. Israel is an imperfect society, that's it.

      Similarly it is not authoritarian it is a rather well functioning tribal democracy. It has made attempts to expand that democracy out to the indigenous population with mixed success. That's it. If this isn't about the Jews when where is unbalanced emotion coming from?

      There is no great moral dilemma with Israel. You weren't involved, the only way this is some cosmological event in which you took part was in your theology.

    • @eljay

      It’s funny how Zio-supremacists never pick a relevant example such as, say, Denmark, Austria or Canada

      Scar Jo has never been active with Oxfam feeding people in Demark, Austria or Canada. But if you want an example of how those countries formed:

      Canada = mass migration from Europe. Indigenous population slaughtered.

      Austria = Current inhabitants the result of a 3 way invasion in the middle ages. Multiple tribes have lived their violent displacing each other previously.

      Denmark = The very name comes from the Dani people who were invaders.

      OK, there you go the 3 examples you picked.

    • @Donald

      Johansson doesn’t realize that the implication of her statement is that Palestinians don’t matter. They are so unimportant that any movement conducted on behalf of their rights couldn’t possibly be sincere. No, it has to be about hatred of Jews.

      There are quite literally hundreds if not thousands of groups the size of the Palestinians being oppressed in a variety of ways. Tribes of all different sizes in wars.

      To pick a relevant example in Mali we have Al-Qaeda backing the Tuareg and the Bambara backed by the French. The President of Mali (Bambara) has openly called for genocide agains the Tuareg after this latest rebellion. The Tuareg have been under martial laws since the 1960s rebellions.

      There is no equivalent of MW for the Tuareg in the west. There is no equivalent of AIPAC backing the Bambara. Scarlett Johansson was able to make vacuous supportive statements of Oxfam without having to take sides in the conflict. The entire tone of the debate in the west is distant and unemotional. People in America don't get accused of being "Mali firsters" for backing the French Bambara position. People in America who support self determination for the Tuareg are able to do so with a dispassionate view towards either human rights or interests.

      Whether Al-Qaeda wins or the French win, neither side has expectations that either faction is going to respect international law or honor the Geneva conventions or anything like that. Both Al-Qaeda and the French are anti-racist themselves but no one accuses them of being hypocrites for backing a race war because they see it in their interests. Which puts a lie to the idea this is all about international law.

      BDSers are never able to answer the basic question of where the passion comes from if it isn't about Jews. Why isn't Israel treated like every other stupid tribal war that no one cares about where various factions can line up behind various interests and the public is mostly indifferent? The idea that events involving Jews are of cosmic importance is pure anti-Semitism. So yes. The idea that Scarlett Johansson couldn't be Oxfam's ambassador while also working for Soda Stream is precisely the opposite of what the world and Oxfam in particular did in Mali.

      She has every right to think this is about Jews.

  • State Dep't tries to clean up Kerry's 'Poof'
    • @Sumud

      Israel has never offered any concession (giving up of something it is legally entitled to) in any negotiation.

      Of course it has. It has offered to trade territory in pre-1967 Israel for territory in the West Bank. It has also offered money.

    • @pabelmont

      They annexed Jerusalem since then. Countries don't lightly give up annexed territory. So no they wouldn't listen. Anymore than sanctions would get the USA to give Texas back to Mexico. The UN doesn't have enough teeth to get a major territory concession from Israel.

    • @Blownaway

      The USA doesn't protect the settlement enterprise. They just prevent the Security Council from making threats they can't back. Once a SC power comes forward with a credible claim of being willing to war for Palestine then Article 7 becomes more meaningful. For now it would just further erode the credibility of the Security Council.

    • @Hostage

      Well congratulations. This is a win for you. For me, this is one of the few pieces of international law on a non-technical issue that the UN hadn't managed to badly damage.

      Vienna is now heading towards becoming a farce with non-countries signing treaties. I guess next to sign are Blefuscu and Westeros. I have no idea how Switzerland is going to play this out. They are within the next decade going to have to make some very complex and controversial ruling now. The UN's interpretation of events which has mainly been the Swiss' internal interpretation will now either be tied to critical treaties that Switzerland oversees or the Swiss will need to openly break with the UN's interpretation. On the other hand Switzerland works hard to be neutral and not hostile to any countries which is a position the Swiss people like. Should be very interesting as Switzerland gets called on to do precisely the kind of things that create international friction.

    • @Krauss

      Lieberman, in a normal world, should be hunting Kerry and not the other way around and ask what he and his country can do to help the negotiations.

      If this were a normal situation Kerry wouldn't care how Israel handles its indigenous population. Kerry wouldn't know and wouldn't care where Netanyahu's government decides to build housing, roads, water .... for his population. My township just finished a 15 year project of adding housing for another 20k people, which meant major shifts to school bus routes and laying out and expanding connector roads for traffic flow. Precisely 0 leaders of national or international stature were involved.

      In a normal situation, Kerry would see Israel's construction projects as a purely internal matter. Lieberman and Kerry when they rarely met would discuss issues of interest to the USA. If you want to complain that the USA shouldn't be involved I couldn't agree more. The USA shouldn't be involved. The best course of action would be for the USA to give Israel 1 year to either officially annex whatever territories in the West Bank they are taking and everything else formally repudiate claim to, including bases. Then negotiations with the Palestinian population happen in the Knesset where they belong and some minor undersecretary tracks them.

      But it is the USA that's asking Israel to engage with the Palestinians on their terms. The USA are the ones who want these splashy meetings. Ministers like Naftali Bennett don't want them as they have repeatedly said. This was one of the things Kerry was critical of Clinton for that she considered I/P mostly a waste of time.

      If Kerry would just follow USA law and when Israel announce construction in E1 tell the world that it isn't his policy to comment on where in Paris France builds or where in Beijing China builds that would end the nonsense with our being involved.

  • 66 years ago today 42 members of my family were slaughtered in Deir Yassin
    • @eljay

      Ah, yes, the victim chained in the rapist’s bunker is supposed to “dialog” with her captor and oppressor even as he continues to physically and sexually assault her. To insist that he first release her and turn himself in is “maximalist” and “destabilizing”. Why does this horrible woman hate that nice man so much?!

      That kind of rhetoric leads to no possibility of a humane solution. If Israel is a true implacable enemy, like your rapist analogy, then becomes a war to total extermination on both sides. There is nothing to talk about. If you want to view Israel that way, that's your right. But of course there is no reason what-so-ever for the Israelis to ever want to make peace with people who have such a warped hateful view of them.

    • @talknic

      JeffB “Every country is the spoils of colonialist crimes”
      Taknic: Palestine?

      Yes. They got it from the Christian civilization that lived there in the 4th - 7th century. In 613 there is a massacre followed by most of the inhabitants being sold into slavery. The Palestinian civilization (though that's really applying a 20th century term to a 7th century civilization) arises from that "colonialist crime".

    • @Hostage

      The notion that relations can be “normalized” and “neighborly”, while the state and its citizens are still systematically violating fundamental human rights, and committing a crime against humanity in the process, is far-fetched and extremely convoluted logic.

      You make peace with enemies not friends. Dialogue comes first.

    • @adele

      so that you can safeguard your access to the spoils of colonialist crimes.

      Every country is the spoils of colonialist crimes. Every species alive is the spoils of colonialist crimes. The air you are breathing while you are reading my post is the spoils of the plants having colonized this planet from the anaerobic bacteria. There is no getting away from the spoils.

    • @puppies

      Well, the Zionists started full-scale war against the Palestinians in 11/1947 and never stopped it. You don’t talk to the enemy during a war. Usually there are severe penalties for talking instead of fighting. During WW2 in occupied Europe, collaborators with the Nazis were summarily executed.

      There was never a full scale war. The large population war started in '36 and was started by the Palestinians who lost by '39. As for not talking to enemies during war, if the war is still on then don't complain about civil rights violations. Your arguments runs both ways, you can't have it both ways either the Palestinians are legitimate inhabitants of the Israeli state or they are hostiles. If you want them to be hostiles than the Israelis are fully within their rights to repel them, survival is an imperative.

    • @adele

      As if after all these years and after all the zionists’ crimes all of sudden, magically ‘dialogue’ is the key to peace, meanwhile ignoring/condoning/accepting the Israeli state crimes committed daily. They are insincere. They are trying to make themselves presentable to the world, trying to appear as if they are the rational, reasonable and peace-loving side in this conflict.

      I find BDS' constant criticism of apartheid while attacking "normalization". Denormalization is just an extreme form of apartheid an unwillingness to engage in even neighborly relations. One can advocate for people to be working / living together with the restrictions pulled where they gradually resolve problem. A process of making peace and developing warm relationships. Or one can advocate for a state of total enmity where they don't even attempt to converse and there is just a shoot on sight type relationship. Most human groups aim towards normalization with most other human groups. That's considered a desirable state and is how wars end. With something like a flu virus they aim towards a total denormalized environment since dialogue is impossible. For flu virus to live humans must suffer we understand our objectives are entirely at odds with one another.

      Their are factions on both sides who want to establish peaceful relationship. And their are factions on both sides who want the annihilation of the other. The people who did Deir Yassin were the people who felt betrayed by 1936-9 war which had been an earlier attempt at denormalization somewhat in reaction to the normalization that had occurred during as a result of the early 1930s citrus boom. The intelligence on Arab villages needed for the ethnic cleansing program came from veterans of that earlier war. The alternative to Deir Yassin is normalization. Denormalization is the father of Deir Yassin.

      There is no propaganda here. It is just simple fact. People can talk problems out or shoot them out. And if they aren't talking they are usually shooting.

  • Chris Matthews gives Adelson and the lobby a pass
    • @Citizen

      Which TV news network do you believe has not had a story on lobbying or campaign finance reform in the last 2 years?

    • @Krauss

      Why is it that the democratic and republican parties are both so craven on Israel? Inevitably you have to talk about Jewish money in particular, and you have to go into Jewish sociology,

      Not really. The electorate is 60/10/30 pro-Israel/pro-Palestinian/indifferent. That's not remotely close. Now that might not matter too much if there weren't people who vote the Israel issue but there are. And they break unevenly.

      There is nothing unusual about the Israel issue. Americans like Israel. Jews and some evangelicals like Israel enough to vote the issue. Money helps. The degree of Jewish activism helps. But more than anything else where that matters is preventing Liberal America (which is much more pro-Palestinians and much less pro-Israel) from mainstreaming anti-colonialist Palestinian cause.

  • Zionism has distorted American Jewish life
    • @eljay

      JeffB: That’s pretty much how every single state in today’s world arose.

      Really? Could you tell me where I can find:
      - the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Women State”?
      - the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Homosexual State”?
      - the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Roma State”?
      - the oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist “Dalit State”?

      There are no women only, homosexual, Romany or Dalit's states so that's not contradicting what I said. Homosexuals, Dalit and women aren't nations. The only nation is the Romany for example are mostly a mixture of Bulgarian and Indian. A Bulgarian state exists for Bulgarians and an Indian state exists for Indians. Had Bulgaria been weaker in the 10th century mostly likely today there would be a Romani state there. But Bulgaria wasn't weak so the mass migration occurred but no country formed.

      As for the today I think there should be a Romany homeland if they want. I'm thrilled that Oregon is offering them a place of safety and integration and so far they are satisfied. Others are less satisified and seem to be heading to Brazil which offers opportunities for a more traditional lifestyle. But if they weren't satisfied, I think they have every right to form work towards a homeland and if needed from there a state. But that's up to them.

    • @AbigailOK

      you either show a lot of ignorance or you are on purpose denying the Torah which would make you an apikorus.

      Abigail.... I'm an atheist. So yes I'm an apikorus.

      , Judaism was there long before the Romans ever were.

      Rabbinic Judaism was not. Jews were highly literate once they encountered the Greeks so after about 200 BCE we have a rather high quality record of the evolution of Judaism. Every single piece of evidence we have is inconsistent with Moses getting the Oral Torah from God on Sinai. I'll let others talk Jewish myth, but if we want to talk about Rabbinic Judaism as an actual historic entity it emerged in reaction to the 3 Jewish-Roman wars and the diaspora primarily from Pharisaic Judaism. If you want to talk myths OK, I don't have much to say. We want to talk history then we can talk about the documentary record we have.

      Actually, the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 B.C. at the hands of the Romans ushered in our umptieth and last exile.

      First off it was 29 or 30 July 70 CE not B.C. If you are going to be correcting my history you might not want to miss dates by 139 years.

      due to a.o. social injustice and sinat chinam or wanton hatred

      You could attribute it to social injustice. And certainly wanton hatred between different factions didn't help. But the defeat was mostly due to the Judeans taking on a larger army, better trained with better equipment and better logistics. In wars most of the time the best army not the best cause wins.

      . If Judaism is obsolete why are Jewish centers not in the USA and Israel?

      I think you dropped a word or something here. I can't parse it, sorry.


      As for the messiah who frees the world from evil and rebuilds the temple.... I think the Jews are rightfully done waiting. They'll take the old fashioned king in the image of David who wins some battles but frees his people from the slavery of the diaspora. And David Ben-Gurion accomplished that. I think the temple is being rebuilt with the conquest of Jerusalem. I expect by 2164 there will be a temple there. In the end though, fundamentally there isn't much to talk about religiously we just don't share many of the same ideas.

      I like the direction Judaism is moving in and the Jewish people are moving in.

    • @kalithea

      So how does the following interpretation of the core of Christian faith jive with your analogy of the Crucifixion with Holocaust and the Resurrection with Zionism?:The Crucifixion represents Christ’s sacrifice for the salvation of mankind from sin.
      The Resurrection is the manifestation of Christ’s divine authority, fulfillment of scripture, and symbolically represents man’s triumph over sin and rebirth into a new life through faith in Christ.

      Exactly the rebirth is analogous to the rebirth from Israel where salvation is not from sin but from the death / slavery caused by the fall of Judea.

      Not so fast! Even you can’t predict the day and the hour; rather it seems to me that Zionism is merely trying to tempt fate i.e. force God’s hand.

      You are talking about the 2nd coming. There is no 2nd coming doctrine in Judaism. In Judaism, a messiah who doesn't deliver isn't the messiah. But regardless I was saying the messianic promise (national salvation, not individual salvation) had been fulfilled.

    • @eljay

      But you don’t see these other people using terrorism and ethnic cleansing to establish oppressive, colonialist, expansionist and supremacist states.

      The way you define those terms. Yes you do. That's pretty much how every single state in today's world arose.

    • @Donald

      You were missing my point, JeffB. My point was about whether a religion is for social justice, or if it’s just another excuse for elevating one group above another and committing human rights violations.

      I don't think most any religion is for social justice. Most have some moral content and I think most human moralities are going to end up being very similar to one another so in some sense they touch on social justice. But ultimately I think social justice is handled fine by secular philosophies and so there isn't much value to introducing a religion if that's all one is aiming for.

      Ultimately I think Judaism and Christianity are pretty similar in this regard. In the end sola fide and solus Christus demand that the social gospel never be the gospel even for Mainline Churches. Traditional Judaism and thus Zionism has a strong tradition of social justice but in the end it is not central.


      In any case my response was to Brownfeld who was trying to act as if Judaism should be unchanged by the reality that the messianic promise of the prophets has been fulfilled.

    • @puppies

      Brownfield's claim was what Jews believe not what you believe. It doesn't matter what you think is objectively true about the nature of Judaism. The point is debate is a question of polling.

    • @Donald

      I’d want to see my religion as the religion of the Hebrew prophets–social justice, condemning the powerful, Nathan going to King David and saying “Thou are the man” after he plotted the death of Uriah. But whatever. Make it about yet another form of stupid nationalism.

      Donald, that's the religion you do belong to. In Judaism the center of the bible is Deuteronomy. Once you take the "stupid nationalism" out and recenter on the prophets then you end up with a theology very much like Paul's. The reason Brownfeld's Judaism which did the same thing fits so well as just another liberal Protestantism is not accidental.

      So when someone takes an event that occurred in the real world

      One of the keys to your religion is taking events which Hellenistic Jews (and for that matter most of your epistle's authors) believed occurred in a sort of mythical past and placing them in a real place in time and space. The early Catholics (and before them to some extent the Encratites) took the Jewish idea of a historical revelation at Sinai and expanded it to the idea of a second historical revelation in Judea in the person of a Great Angel (Son of Man) / Messiah incarnate.

      Now I'll admit that Protestantism has been drifting in a Gnostic direction for the last two centuries and since for mot Protestant ecclesiology there is no longer a need for Jesus to have actual founded a physical church the core historical claim no longer matters. So in some sense you can say that on the Christian timeline we Zionist Jews by placing our key theological events in the 20th century are regressing. And that's a fair criticism. But in the end, if you want a complete ahistorical faith Buddhism does a way better job than Christianity. You all still do have some historically based claims.

    • What would we, as Americans, think of any religious institution in our society that flew a foreign flag in its houses of worship, that told young Americans that this is not really their homeland, that some place else is their homeland, and that the highest form of their religious expression is to immigrate to that country?

      Hmm that would be tough to imagine.... What we would as Americans think for example if the Christian God said stuff like:

      John 15:18 “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me first. 15:19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you do not belong to the world, but I chose you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you. 15:20 Remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they obeyed my word, they will obey yours too. 15:21 But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. But they no longer have any excuse for their sin. 15:23 The one who hates me hates my Father too. 15:24 If I had not performed among them the miraculous deeds that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen the deeds and have hated both me and my Father. 15:25 Now this happened to fulfill the word that is written in their law, ‘They hated me without reason.’ 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me, 15:27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.

      I believe that the position I represent represents a silent majority of American Jews, not those who are members of AIPAC or the American Jewish Committee. But the vast majority of American Jews believe they are Americans, believe that Judaism is their religion, do not believe that Israel is their homeland. Zionism is in retreat, in my opinion, within the Jewish community.

      Dude I believe I'm an American, I believe Judaism is my religion (in just a cultural sense not even a faith sense), I don't believe I'm Israeli and yet I'm still a solid Zionist.

      My point is why don’t American Jews say a word about this? Not a word of criticism of the racism and extremism growing in Israel. It has distorted Jewish values. It has distorted American Jewish life.

      The Judaism you are talking about is a diaspora religion, a religion that came out of our defeat at the hands of the Romans and our dispossession. Where small groups of Jews lived scattered all over the face of the earth. The diaspora is most countries is over either through mass extermination or migration. The two centers of Jewish life are America and Israel now. That religion simply doesn't make sense anymore.

      The great Jewish wish for many centuries was for a messiah who would gather the exiles back to Zion. That's happened. It has been fulfilled, the fulfillment is Israel. Judaism cannot exist in the form it did prior to those events. The Holocaust was our crucifixion and Israel our resurrection.

      The question then arises, American Jewish organizations who have dedicated themselves with such fervor to a strict separation of church and state seem not really to believe in separation of church and state when Jews are a majority

      I don't think that's true. I think most American Jews don't like the religious structure of Israel and would like to see it reformed. Israel has an Eastern European not a western European concept of religion. The notion of religion as a personal choice and not a community is rather alien to the Eastern European frame. Americans Jews can mostly believe in the Protestant concept of religious choice while at the same time understanding that:

      a) Traditional Judaism doesn't really support that
      b) Israelis aren't Americans and were far less influenced by Protestant concepts

  • Friedman says Iran's friends include BDS and Jews in Open Hillel movement
    • @Sumud

      JeffB – You didn’t address this part of what I wrote:

      Likewise the nefarious influence of the Israel lobby and it’s distortion of US foreign policy.

      Seems to me a bipartisan concern and if you read comments from the NYT to the WaPo and beyond they have changed flavour significantly in the last few years – a lot of anger and disgust now being displayed by Americans towards Israel and their behaviour, and zionist influence on US foreign policy.

      I think comment sections are a poor way of determining public opinion. They get you an interesting insight into specific groups that may be passionate enough about an issue to not only read it but to comment (i.e. a sampling of activist opinion) but they don't tell you much about the public. What does a good job measuring public opinion are public opinion surveys. And those show longterm large substantial gains in Israel's popularity in the United States. I don't see any reason that long term trend is reversing. Israel is becoming non-controversial in the United States. Americans tend to trust Israel a lot and put their relationship with Israel above their relationship with UK, France, Germany, Australia... and often it comes in second only to Canada.

      Outside the hard left I don't see much upset by Israeli behavior. Most Americans believe a state needs to be aggressive towards its enemies: look at USA foreign policy that doesn't come out of a vacuum. They believe that Israel is fundamentally doing what is should be to protect its society. Most Americans, particularly below the top 20% economically strongly support the notion of nation states and the idea and understand fully why a Palestinian 5th column would be discriminated against. So I don't see how this is likely to change minds.

      As for Zionist influence of foreign policy. I don't see it. Clearly AIPAC has lost 2 big issues recently in Syria in Iran. But they lost that's not the sort of the thing that generates backlash. In terms of general trends Neo-Conservativism is still the dominant paradigm in the Republican party. Among Paleoconservatives there is concern about Israeli Lobby, there always has been. But ultimately they aim for a general withdraw from institutions like the UN not a shift towards an activists pro-human rights orientation. Their position were it to become dominant (which I doubt) might be very very good for Israel.

      The Democrats are rather unified on issues of foreign policy, with the old Realist school (HW Bush) firmly in charge and the Peace Camp having some limited influence. The Realists are generally hostile to Israel but far less so all the time as the cost of being pro-Israel decreases. The Peace Camp is something like 40% Jewish or 1/2 Jewish. My belief is the hight of anger at Zionism in the Democratic party was right before the Iraq war and the peace camp was brutalized when Jews walked away. They learned clearly that when asked to pick between Zionism and Liberalism on average even fringe lefty Jews pick Zionism.

      People keep being told how much they love Israel by the media but nobody can tell them why.

      Sure they can.
      a) Christian Zionism and dispensationalism
      b) They hate muslims and Israel kicks muslim ass
      c) They hate anti-USA countries and Israel kicks anti-USA country ass
      d) Israel is a loyal ally of the United States
      e) Israel is a western country


      You claimed Israel serves American interests but when challenged to explain how your answer was rather limp and mostly about Israel serving it’s own interests.

      First off that's always the case with allies. What drives an alliance is a confluence of interests. The reason we are allies with the UK is because American and UK interests are closely aligned. When the UK acts to help us they are usually advancing their own interests. That's the norm.

      Second, you just ignored things like Latin America where Israel was clearly acting in our interests and not their own because you didn't like the policy.

      Perhaps if Israel had a mutual defence treaty with the US and the IDF had fought beside the US army like a genuine ally, then you might have a point.

      We don't need help in the genuine army world. We have a crushing advantage there. Moreover Israel is a country with 6m people they aren't going to be useful on that front. Where we need help is in intelligence operations. And there Israel has been fantastic.

      I agree with some of what you wrote otherwise but your argument rests on a left – neocon axis, not left – right. You’re ignoring non-neocon conservatives.

      I think paleoconservatives exists but they control very few seats in the House or Senate. The Republican party is still overwhelmingly neocon. Just look at the latest controversies:

      a) Is Obama too soft on Syria?
      b) Is Obama too soft on Iran?
      c) Is Obama too soft on Russia?

      I don't see the paleoconservative politicians on all these issues much influencing the debate or even willing to take strong public stands. I do see paleoconservative pundits so clearly there is a wing in the Republican party that could come to power which if it worked with the Peace Party in the Democrats might be able to build a black/red alliance to roll back quite a bit of defense spending. But again I see that as possibly helpful and certainly not too threatening to Israel.

    • @Shingo

      On the contrary, Israel is a long way down the path of pariah status. Tzipi Livni admitted as much 2 years ago. After all, the only country in which the Israel enjoys popular approval is the US and it’s falling like a stone.BDS is clearly on track to flip a solid majority of them by 2020, if not sooner.

      I'll give you credit for finally naming a date. But just to get this prediction clear, OK so a solid majority of who by 2020 Americans or American Jews?

    • @Sycamores

      We are talking about the arms sales during the Reagan administration. What's going on now I have no insight into. If I had to guess, I would think these are weapons for the MEK or the Kurds. Technically the USA is not in the business anymore of state sponsored terrorism but if Israel is doing then we get plausible deniability.

    • @Sumud

      Hardly relevant as BDS is not “a call to radical progressive politics”. You don’t have to be a liberal to understand that ethnic cleansing, killing civilians, torture, house demolitions and massive property rights violations are wrong.

      It is not a question of whether it is wrong or not for Israel internally. That's part of the point. It is a question of whether America's foreign policy should be primarily directed at USA interests or at broader human rights concerns. People on the left tend to be much more focused on broader human rights concerns and as you move right more focus on USA interests. Then of course what those interests are. Outside of the far left there is little support for the United States deliberately antagonizing allies over their internal affairs. BDS implies a full break with Israel as an ally and deliberately creating a hostile relationship. That's something an America could easily oppose even if they completely disagreed with Israel's internal policies. There are also question about the appropriate role of the United Nations and international law, with support for the UN falling off dramatically as one moves right on the political spectrum. Finally of course there is the general "war of civilization" framework that starts to pick up as you move right. Where Israel is seen as "on our side" and the Palestinians are seen as on the other side.

      Support for the Palestinians cause correlates very strongly with a left / right axis for good reason. Similarly BDS which is not just in some vague sense supporting the Palestinians but aiming to have the USA ally with them against Israel is correlates strongly with the left/right axis.

      Do you think Israel’s obsession with getting Pollard freed is any more appealing to conservatives than liberals? I don’t.

      I agree. But conservatives aren't terribly offended that our allies have different interests than we do. In general I think this is a MW obsession. I'm not shocked that we have different interests than France, Australia, Japan, Argentina... on a range of issues. We are allies because we agree on more important issues. Of course it is in Israel's interests to get their spies released same as when American spies are captured abroad we seek to have them released.

    • @Nevada

      Oh OK I get your point now. Yeah I guess I could see how that is mildly embarrassing. As far as not taking their propaganda:

      Egypt -- neutralized and in the last year an outright ally
      Iraq -- neutralized with Israel having a strong relationship in the north
      Syria -- a mess, weakened.
      Lebanon / PLO -- destroyed
      Jordan PLO -- destroyed
      Jordan -- mildly friendly
      Saudi Arabia -- officially hostile but secretly more friendly appears to be edging ever closer

      Iran is sort of last on their list of threats neighborhood threats. I completely get why Israel hates Iran

    • @Krauss

      White South Africa has lost several wars in Southern Africa so while they weren't threatened militarily yet, weapons were leaking to the ANC from hostile neighbors. Moreover the NP ruled a colonial government a genuinely hostile black population was unworkable.

      There will be serious splits in the future; we can already see the contours of them today with the rise of the Open Hillel/JVP/Jews in BDS on campuses today.

      I don't know about that. There has always been a radical fringe of Jews who were against Israel and in times past it was quite a bit larger. But just like the peace movement a decade ago most liberal Jews are repulsed by anti-Israeli rhetoric and end up pulling away from progressive movements that employ such rhetoric. So I don't think American Liberalism will go anti-Israel.

      But even if I'm wrong then all that happens is large numbers of Jews move over to become Republicans. Israel's relationship becomes with the USA right. Now admittedly that's precisely what happened with South Africa but it is also what happened with most of the anti-communist parties in Latin America which are still around today as viable parties and often in control. And if you go a bit over a generation earlier, what happened to many of the conservative parties in Southern Europe.

      I think Israel is a long way from pariah status. Yes the ASA was a stab in the back, but that's a fringe for academia. There are probably about 2000 academic societies in the United States. For BDS to flip a solid majority of them by 2020 they would have to be going at a rate of over 1 per workday. You think we are anywhere near that? As you move away from the hardcore left of the ASA towards the moderation of say American Mathematical Society or even the true rightwing academic parties like American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics how much do you think a call to radical progressive politics works?

    • @Nevada

      It is an inconvenient fact that Iran and Israel used to be allies.

      Inconvenient to whom? Israel was backing the USA's play in Latin America and the American president (or at least high ranking defense officials associated with him) wanted weapons sales to raise money for the contras. Israel followed orders. It is not like anyone thinks Israel cares who governs Nicaragua on their own.

      If the FSF takes over Syria Israel and Iran may again be allies. Al Qaeda scares Iran more than Zionism does. Everything is a situation.

  • US is 'absolutely adamant' that Palestine not go to ICC and wreck the peace process -- Power
    • @Krauss

      Israel’s persistent unwillingness to sign the NPT and the Chemical Weapons Treaty

      If Israel were to be signing those treaties today it would be signing them as a nuclear power with the job of enforcing non-proliferation. Which would mean disclosure. Here is what we know.

      The Israelis developed weapons in the early 1960s.
      They had a 3rd stage warhead by the late 1970s.
      They developed the capacity for airborne penetration of Soviet defenses in the 1970s.
      In the early 1990s they adopted USA guidance systems.
      They already today possess a rocketry program capable of a few thousand miles.
      In the early 2000s they started work on an rocketry program which is today successful.

      So let's just say the obvious. Israel like has, and on the off chance they aren't are within 5 years will have ICBMs. That's over a generation more advanced than what Iran is working on, what Iraq was working on. They likely are already passed nations like France and the UK in terms of nuclear power and today are a distant 4th after USA, Russia, China.

      Richard Nixon understood there was no reasonable way to get Israel to abandon being a nuclear power. The goal of the United States has been for Israel to have a low profile on this issue so as not to encourage proliferation. And so far that's been successful. Were Israel to join the NPT and publicly announce where they stood the result on the arab street be terror that Israel is so completely dominant. There would be a demand for Saudi Arabia and Egypt to start a massive weapons program.

      How is that helpful to non proliferation?

  • 'NYT' stamps Jimmy Carter 'radioactive' and not 'a force for good'
    • @Shingo

      JeffB:Sinai is discussed in excruciating detail the Palestinians barely at all.

      Shingo: That is because Begin insisted that the negotiations between Israel and Egypt were an entirely different matter to the Palestinian issue. When Carter pressed Begin to include the Palesitnian issue, Begin threatened to sabotage the talks and blame it all on Carter.

      Of course, Carter then pressured Saddat to drop the Palestinian issue and threatened that he would blame Saddat.

      Another case of a US president buckling to the Israelis.

      The original point by Jimbo was that Israel violated the accord and that's what got Sadat killed. I argued that Camp David was an Israeli / Egyptian accord about Sinai it wasn't about the Palestinians. You aren't disagreeing in the above.

    • @James

      The truth matters because in Egypt today Brotherhood members are being murdered and imprisoned in the thousands, with scarcely a peep of protest in the West.

      That alliance is everyone who hated the MB: Leftists, Nasrists, Socialists, Communists, Christians, Liberals. It creates a balanced alliance of interests and thus is likely to be stable. The MB's hold on the uneducated and poor Egyptians may be broken but regardless the open fighting means no more petty pandering with anti-Americanism. So we now have a pro-American and even pro-Israeli government.

      At some point the MB is crushed and the population flipped enough that SCAF can win elections. Then even the democracy problem goes away. Why would the west object? It is hard to picture how things could have worked out better.

    • @jimby

      Sadat was assassinated after Israel hung him out to dry when they reneged on major parts of Camp David.

      Wow you guys really work hard to make everything Israel's fault. Sinai is discussed in excruciating detail the Palestinians barely at all. Islamic Jihad the group that killed Sadat called it "Sinai treaty" so they saw it as about Sinai. Sadat's protege ruled Egypt for three decades after his assassination. He never declared Israel to have voided the core of the treaty and he respected the peace. SCAF is in power right now, which includes Sadat's party and they are very cozy with Israel. Egypt understood the core of the treaty to be return of the Sinai in exchange for peace.

    • @piotr

      Carter did a nice job. But I'm going to give the credit to Sadat who bravely stood up to forces on his side and lost his life for peace. In addition Sadat's protege Mubarak encouraged King Hussein. Carter deserves tons of credit for 1st class mediation at Camp David but if you are going to give the credit to anyone Sadat is who deserves it.

  • Oren says Pollard 'sacrificed himself for the Jewish people'
    • @Hostage

      You are losing the narrative when you argue that crimes, like espionage, which still carry the risk of capital punishment are normative.

      Murder has a capital punishment in the US but all states and for that matters countries have murders. Having a big penalty if caught means the state wants to discourage the activity strongly. Frequency is a different question entirely.

    • @thankgodimatheist

      He gave Israel information about how to penetrate Soviet air defenses.


      Neither really. I see both positions.

    • @Hostage

      People identified as CIA personnel working in US embassies have been abducted and killed. So, there’s no room for complaints about the treatment that Pollard has received.

      I'm not complaining about the treatment Pollard has received. I was saying that Israel's use of a people like Pollard was normative nothing unusual on Israel's part.

    • @marc b

      I agree, to a degree, but it also depends on context. If we are involved in a decades long ‘war on terror’, shouldn’t there be some consensus on what constitutes ‘terrorism’? I don’t know of a satisfactory definition.

      Bush's definition was violence by non-state actors for the purpose of achieving political aims. Chomsky made an interesting point about this definition that the first use of "terrorism" was by the revolutionary french state to describe their own policy and Bush's definition explicitly excludes state terror. But if you want the definition Bush was using....

    • @Hostage

      OK great well when the rest of the world stops doing it I'll be sure to condemn Israel if they keep it up. In the meanwhile the USA spends more than the rest of the world combined and most certainly runs it through embassies so any American has a true hypocrisy problem on this issue.

    • @Marc b.

      I said would take it if it fell out of the sky. That's different than whose investing in the footwork.

      I have some question about your list. China is far more active than Israel could hope to be, and I suspect that Cuba is far less. During the 1970s the relationship was deteriorating so I suspect espionage was running much heavier than today, no reason for Israel to spy given the close relationship. There have been lots of issues with Germany. The CIA has been reporting heavy al Qaeda intelligence gathering domestically. FWIW I'd say something like: Russia, China, Al Qaeda, Germany, UK, France then maybe Israel.

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