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Total number of comments: 1235 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • Palestinians build tunnel to attack Israeli kindergarten, Netanyahu says
    • @lysias

      Sorry I thought the context was clear. I was doubting Hamas tunnels were 1 mile long.

    • @James

      I live in New York, where it is taking years to tunnel 1.7 miles from 63rd to 96th St to extend the subway on the East Side– and you’re going to tell me the Palestinians tunnel for one mile and the New York Times swallows it?

      I'm don't know whether there are any 1 mile long tunnels and I doubt it to. But don't contrast New York with virtually anywhere else on the planet. You all have a rare geology. Manhattan is a mountain crushed flat by being under the plate with Africa on it. The rock there is incredibly dense. During the last ice age most of the topsoil was ripped out exposing that incredibly dense rock and leaving it near the surface. Your city is wonderful for sky scrappers because of its geology. Your city is particularly hard to tunnel through because of its geology. You are simply not a representative sample of anything.

  • The deafening silence around the Hamas proposal for a 10-year truce
    • @Shingo

      Yeah sure JeffB, whatever you say. It’s not like you’re a liar or deceitful in any way.

      You've just crossed the rude boundary. We're done.

    • @MHughes976

      No problem I'll respond here.

      Well as to Locke, I do not see a direct reference to defraying the costs of war in para.193,

      Yes you are right it was 183, " Here then is the case: the conqueror has a title to reparation for damages received"

      though it is there in paras.183-4, surely as a limited right. The first sentence of para.193 is quite complicated but also quite intelligible. ‘Granting that the conqueror …has a right to…estates…which, it is plain, he hath not…nothing… will follow from hence.’ He means that the premise that the conqueror has a right to estates is a) false b) unable to imply anything about the long-term nature of government. I don’t see that that paragraph is very helpful to you.

      I don't think so. I think that Locke has 2 cases:

      Case A: people who actively warred against the conquerer. Those people are liable to reparations though their wife and children cannot be left to starve.

      Case B: people who agree to live under the new government lawfully
      Those people are entitled to their property and Locke believes they should not lose it.

      Which isn't really saying anything that would normally be controversial. A conquering government is a government and has the right to reallocate property like any other government does. They have the right to tax and spend, and to enforce penalties. They don't have to offer the vanquished the opportunity to live under their laws, but if the vanquished refuse they can be treated harshly for refusing.

      I agree that he does not countenance, at least on the showing of this chapter, the permanent slavery, or exclusion from property rights, of anyone, Jewish, Palestinian, Turkish.

      Which isn't a minor point here. The whole concept that settlement is "occupation" and less illegitimate is permanent exclusion from property rights. More deeply the whole concept that Israel is illegitimate is based on the belief that Jews should have been permanent slaves and shouldn't have worked to establish their rightful position as per Locke.

      While I think he does address the question of conquered people still living on the conquered land – he considers that they have the right to regain their freedom and to disregard property claims resting on the basis of conquest – I don’t think he really addresses the question of people who have left and made lives elsewhere.
      My own view is that the most consistent application of the idea that rights may arise from consent but not from force implies that (say) Palestinians moving to the UK and taking citizenship there have all (and only) the rights and obligations common to UK citizens: this is a matter of consent on both sides, not of force. I think that they have to accept that this means laying down their right of return to Palestine as citizens, since we in the UK do not have that right and they are on equal terms with the rest of us. But where they have identifiable private property, it is still theirs, in the same way that property in Mexico would be mine had I legitimately inherited it.

      I think he simply contradicts himself. On the one hand Locke does not believe in permanent racial entitlements. People are entitled to have property and build a life where they now live. There isn't any concept in Locke that a once vanquished people forever have claim on lands.

      On the other hand Locke wants unjust conquest reversed. But of course all property is the result of a trillion generations of beings who lived by conquest. All property was acquired by force from others who had acquired it by force. That principle eliminates all contracts.

      What I think we can derive from Locke is a sort of rule that good governments that represent their people should have their contracts respected and bad governments that represent their own interests should not. Regardless however of which of these two concepts from Locke one takes, neither supports permanent racial entitlement.

      The first owners of Palestine that we (think we) know of, the Canaanites and proto-Philistines of Genesis, have descendants widely scattered.

      I agree with your point but would expand it. The first owners of Palestine are anaerobic bacteria. The plants usurped their property and stole their planet from them. There is no first.

      The various other points I made, about trade as a human right etc., seem to stand and not to have been challenged.

      Mostly you weren't following the thread. You were arguing that X is entitled to trade as a human right. That I'd agreed with. But that was never the point in question. The point in question is whether X is entitled to trade with Y as a human right, regardless of Y's wishes. That's a much stronger claim. And frankly one that I can't see Locke supporting. No question the state of Gaza has an intrinsic right to trade, they don't have an intrinsic right to trade with Israel. That trade requires Israel's consent.

    • @shingo

      What are you smoking? With the exception of Germany, where criticising Israel is partially illegal, the rest of Europe is staunchly opposed to Israel and pro Palestinian.

      I posted the data. That just isn't true. In Europe Israel is mildly more popular than the Palestinians.

      What an infantile statement. Is the UN the enemy of Iran and Russia too?

      Iran yes. Russia no.

    • @Shingo

      Because Israel is blaming Hamas for the rockets and accusing Hamas of firing them. They don’t say we hold Hamas responsible for the rockets they are not able to stop. They are accusing Hamas of being behind the attacks.

      Was the USA and Britain behind the 1953 Iranian coup d'état even though they didn't supply the direct troops? Saying Hamas is behind the attacks is not the same as saying Hamas did the attacks.

      Escalation from what? A status quo where Israel kills them on a nearly daily basis, steals their land and expels them?

      There have been no expulsions from Gaza for decades.

      Yes there is. Israel isn’t only discrimination against Palestinians, it’s abusing them, humiliating them, taking their property and murdering them

      Your claim was that this was worse than what the Jews were experiencing in Germany, not that it was bad.

      That’s false too. Between 1948adn1967, Israel imposed martial law on Palestinian citizens of Israel.

      First off 1964. They had just finished a major war against them. As things quieted down the martial law became less restrictive and finally was removed. That proves my point not refutes it. Given good behavior Israel reduced restrictions.

      As for the rest regarding nation state you are simply missing the point. Reread what I wrote.

    • @eljay --

      Yes that's correct. goals + methods are things that can be evaluated by morality.

      4 is a number, an apple is not.
      4 can be said to be bigger than 3 and smaller than 9, evaluated on the basis of math. apple cannot be bigger than 3, because it isn't a number.

    • @Shingo

      None by Hamas...

      Who cares? It was by groups on territory Hamas controls.

      So what you’re saying is that Hamas or Fatah therefore have the right to fire rockets at Israel when Israel fail to stop attacks by settlers?

      I hate the word "right" because it is meaningless. In most senses Hamas or Fatah has the "right" to fire rockets at anytime. Israel is clearly aggressive towards them at all times. However that's an escalation and is likely to be met by even more force.

      What I was saying is that settler actions that are permitted by the Israeli government are acts that should be seen as originating from Israel. Settler terrorism should be considered policy.

      But there is much more than substantial discrimination taking place against Palestinians.

      No there isn't. Moreover the discrimination against the Palestinians has escalated as the "resistance" has escalated. In Nazi Germany the issue was racial. That is immoral. In Israel there is religious discrimination and that is also immoral, though to a much lesser extent. There is also a campaign of aboriginal resistance against the society that exists. Israel fighting that is a necessity and there is nothing immoral about it at all.

      That’s pure and unadulterated rubbish. There are at least 30 laws that explicitly discriminate against non Jews. It is based on race/ethnicity/religion, so it all comes under the umbrella of racism and racial discrimination.

      Race is an intrinsic characteristic. Ethnicity is to a lesser extent changeable and religion is absolutely changeable. That's a dumb umbrella and one I don't agree to.

      The nationality BS because there is no recognized Israeli nationality and there is no way Arabs can become Jewish naitonals.

      Of course there is. Millions have.

      According to the Israeli Supreme Court, there is no such thing as Israeli nationality.

      The laws of Israel don't recognize a formal Israeli nationality, which is a very different thing than it not existing. The Israeli supreme court does not get to define the concept of Nation-State. That existed before Israel. That will exist after Israel. The court gets to define the laws of Israel not broader concepts of sociology or political science. Those aren't questions of law.

      Those Palestinians who are looking to be part of Israel (most of the Israeli Arabs for example) who look to change those sorts of bad laws have always had my full support.

    • @geokat62

      The Germans were racists for exterminating the Jews because they were loyal citizens, but the Israelis are not racists because they are exterminating the Palestinians because they are disloyal or resisting the occupation. They should just submit to Israel’s will?

      There is a distinction between a friendly foreigners (like the USA and Canada) and enemies. Israel treats the Egyptians much better today and they did in the 1950s and 60s not because Israel's interests have changed but because the Egyptian population and the government has changed their mind regarding how to relate to Israel. Israel treated the West Bank Palestinians much better in the 1970s when they were cooperative than they did after the 1st intifada, much better after the 1st intifada than after the 2nd. The attitude changed so the behavior changed.

      In those areas Israel is incorporating into itself there shouldn't be an occupation. The Palestinians should become part of Israel, join Israeli society as full members. In those areas where they are not, the relationship should be friendly and supportive. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States it doesn't feel the need to launch rocket attacks or send out terrorists. When there were Puerto Rican terrorists in the late 1940s to early 1950s the government of Puerto Rico fully cooperated with the United States in putting an end to that aggression.

    • @tree

      Henry Seigman (former Executive Director of the American Jewish Congress) has a piece up on Politico:

      There were hundreds of attacks prior to June. The situation in Gaza is very bad. Israel has no particular reason to make it bad given a friendly population. They certainly have reason to make it bad given an unfriendly population whose government is actively troublesome. I just don't find the contrary opinion plausible. One can examine the treatment of the West Bank Palestinians vs. the Gaza Palestinians and see a direct correlation between the degree of trouble each is causing and the degree of collective punishment. One can also examine the situation overtime.

      As for the Gazans wanting a change in their situation. I agree with him. Heney is absolutely right. The Hamas government has the full support of their population for the rocket attacks. I'm not denying that. The Gazans have every right to deplore their situation. Given the choice between being a cooperative and friendly neighbor and being a hostile and troublesome neighbor they choose the later position. The consequences of that have been disastrous for them, and they don't like the consequences.

    • @Shingo

      Not true. What they are being told to report as opposed to what they believe are two entirely different things. As we recently witnessed over the MSNBC fiasco, the narrative of the conflict is being tightly controlled by management.

      Max Blumenthal reports that he spoke to an NBC producer who, he said, described, quote, “a top-down intimidation campaign aimed at presenting an Israeli-centric view of the attack on the Gaza Strip,” .

      In his piece for AlterNet, Blumenthal wrote, quote, “The NBC producer told me that MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC executives are micromanaging coverage of the crisis, closely monitoring contributors’ social media accounts and engaging in a [quote] ‘witch hunt’ against anyone who strays from the official line,”

      That's nice. There are hundreds of NBC producers who are after all journalists and if one includes syndicated shows more. I'm friends with several and they haven't heard anything about this directive. Assuming that Blumenthal isn't just just fabricating the whole thing one is telling this story. That one is probably a BDSer with an active imagination.

      Meanwhile Chris Hayes is a guy with a long history of being critical of Israel who has the 8:00 pm slot and was able to discuss the issue several times. He told Rula Jebreal she was being disciplined by the staff because she had something factually false about Andrea Mitchell during her rant. In other words being protective of their own. That's both far more believable, a person of higher rank and on the record. So I don't believe Max at all.

      Palestinians conversely are going to have to answer basic questions to establish they have a legitimate point of view at all. Maybe inside the US, but not the rest of the world.

      We have polling. The public in Europe which gets rather anti-Israeli news is essentially split. link to
      There is no stomach with those numbers there either for any sort of serious sanctions. The reason Europe doesn't sanction Israel is not because of the US veto (which they don't need to impose sanctions) but because they don't want to.
      For example the UN didn't authorize the European sanctions against the US prison system that are playing havoc with our capital punishment system, they just did it on their own because on that issue they do care deeply.

      Certainly not at the UN, where Israel is completely isolated.

      Quite true. The UN is an enemy of Israel's.

    • @Shingo

      Israel attacked Gaza. There were no rockets fired by Hamas from November 2012 to June 29th, 2014, right after Israel bombed Gaza.

      There was a huge upsurge particularly in March of 2014. In terms of total rocket attacks:

      There were 2 more after the cease fire in 2012:
      link to

      In 2013 there were about 50:
      link to

      And prior to June of this year there were hundreds:
      link to

      I don't believe that hundreds happened with Hamas able but unable to stop them. They failed to stop them. As the government of the Gaza strip Hamas is liable for rocket attacks from other groups they permit to operate on their territory. Same as the Israel government is liable for attacks by settlers.

      [German Jews in the 1930s] pushed for a boycott of the state, so that is wrong.

      They pushed for a boycott once substantial discrimination was in place. There is no question about the order of events or that German Jews had been loyal before and as history has shown were loyal after. The problem was the policy not the intrinsic nature of German Jews.

      What we have from Israel is an example of pure racism a state acting against people under it’s occupation.

      People of the identical race and in fact even the same ethnicity (Palestinian Jews) are treated as full citizens with full rights. Whatever Israel is doing it is not based on race since there is no correlation between race and how people are treated. They are treated differently based on nationality. Nationality is a changeable trait. The Israeli establishment has a large majority of with people whose family often a generation or two before were of different nationalities than Israeli.

      If the Palestinians were offering to be loyal Israelis and that was declined than Israel's treatment would be entirely immoral and the whole situation quite different.

    • @MHuges

      In the very next paragraph 193, he specifically address the case of those people who rebel against their conquering government and does hold they can lose property to offset the cost of the war. I'm not sure how you can possibly see Locke as supporting the MW theory of permanent racial entitlement to property when he explicitly says quite the opposite.

      But moreover if we just focus on 192 that makes thing tremendously confusing. It pretty explicitly says that a conquest does not nullify rights to property to descendants. Which agrees with the idea that the Jews have claim to Judaea since they did not consent to the Roman conquest. Thus their successors (the Romans and then centuries later the Palestinians) would not have title. So 192 supports both people's claim and 193 supports the Israeli claim.

      More importantly in 189 he denies the idea of permanent enslavement that is the alternative to Zionism. In 190 he argues that people have the right to migrate and form new governments. That governments must have the consent of the population residing in them to be lawful....

      There is simply no way you can twist Locke into supporting the MW morality that Jews should live as permanent slaves in Europe damned without hope due to the Roman conquest, nor that Palestinians have some permanent racial entitlement to Palestine regardless of the population living there.

    • @Yonah-

      Nice to talk to someone who doesn't hate the Jewish people or Israel on here.

      The lofty goals of the Zionists vis a vis nationalism and identity are certainly interesting and might shed light on the current tendencies, but are largely irrelevant. Judaism has had a glorious history and given birth to two major worldwide religions.

      I'm not sure I'd give Judaism credit for Islam. I think it derived from Collyridian Christianity which came from the Encratites which came from Gnostic Judaism. Gnostic Judaism was Hellenistic and came from a different branch than Pharisaic Judaism which evolved into Rabbinic Judaism. So I'd say... they are distant cousins. Christianity as it exists today, is even some thing of a stretch. Obviously Judaism has done well as a minor world faith. I'm not sure that it served its people well. Our history kinda sucked. I do agree with the Zionist critique.

      The hard headed leaders of the Yishuv faced with desert and swamp, and hostile indigenous, of course hearkened back to the tribal pre history, because when there is a land to be conquered, it is not the tricks of the trade of the road learned in the exile which show the way, but the biblical forbears and their attachment to land. That’s a natural choice that those who are saying, enough wandering, time to go home, would choose the tribal antiquity rather than the recent: how to pack a bag and leave town in twenty minutes brochure. (or how to smile and curry favor with the local chieftain).

      Yes. Zionism uses Judaism to build on. Zionism also builds on Jews. So it is an appropriate use of our tribal myth to recreate the tribe.

      The challenges facing Judaism circa 2014 are many: modernity, assimilation rather than hatred in America, and hostility between Islam and Judaism due to the struggle on the few thousand square miles called Israel or Palestine.

      I mostly agree though I think American and Israeli Judaism may not be that strongly connected as you have them in the above. Two different peoples (though friendly and loyal to one another) experiencing different pressures.

      The momentum of thousands of years cannot be denied and if all Judaism needs is a surviving remnant the Orthodox Jews of Brooklyn will keep it going as long as law and order rather than chaos is the rule in the United States of America. But there is something other than survival and that is thriving (live long and prosper isn’t that what nimoy/spock says) well live long we have, but prosper is not apparent. the establishment of the state of israel is great, except for the sin against the palestinians and the violence that israel seems to cause,

      All new states cause violence. That's the nature of state formation. When we decided to form a state we decided to cause violence. The violence grows less and less with time. We finally have real friendship with Egypt. ISIS may very well lead to real friendship with Jordan. And I suspect the Palestinians are close to capitulating. It wouldn't shock me (though I wouldn't bank on it) if we are in the last generation of needing to kill large numbers of Palestinians.

      so here we have a clash of values, a type of survival violence and a type of passivism pacifism and then we have the texts mixed in. the desert warrior of ari ben canaan depicted by uris or conjured in the mind of young Jews is simple and does not satisfy the needs of modern society. constant struggle is a calling, but constant struggle meaning, periodic bombing of buildings in Gaza to maintain the refugees in their submissiveness is not really a spiritual quest, but an olympic feat that satisfies the demands of post 1945, without envisioning a future.

      I can think of lots of futures. I believe the Palestinians of the West Bank will soon agree to assimilate. I believe it likely the Palestinians of Gaza will over the next generation mostly leave.

      the “can’t we all just get along” is so distant today, that I cannot blame those who see the olympic feat as sufficient. but to label this as the ultimate expression of Judaism is to maintain the kindergarten Judaism of Ben Gurion rather than something a little bit more complex as reflecting a history that deserves something more spiritual and complex than Ari ben Canaan.

      True. But I suspect that the Judaism / Zionism that comes after Israel will need to be very different than that came before. "Next year in Jerusalem" has been fulfilled. The Judaism of the diaspora needs to come to terms with the reality that the external quest for national salvation is over.

      I don't know what form the new Judaism will take. What I do know is the Judaism of a desperate diaspora, living as a barnacle hanging off the edge of Christian society should not be our goal. For spirituality we need something. Kabbalah is getting popular. Maybe that can grow in relative importance? I don't know how it plays out, what I do know though is that the new Judaism must be Zionist.

    • @Eljay --

      Thank you. I disagree strongly you are applying my definition correctly but at least that's an honest debate. Now that we are talking my definition of morality. You are still misunderstanding.
      To pick your first example:
      whether critics should or should not be silenced is a moral question. Whether once one has decided that they should be using tongue cutting is both a moral and practical one.

      So you have the whole thing backwards. Your particular examples are incidentally things I don't agree with.

    • @eljay --

      Please refrain from fabricated things and saying according to JeffB.

    • @Shingo

      So why are Israelis complaining so much about rockets after they attack Gaza?

      Mostly no one likes getting attacked. Also it makes good PR. But if you are are asking the more principled question they shouldn't be if this is a war. Hamas having decided on war is free to try and inflict harm to crush Israel's will. Of course that won't happen so this is just stupid senseless violence. OTOH Israel often gets taken to account for crimes against humanity, weapons which are inaccurate are fundamentally attempts to attack civilians.

      In other words , you agree with what the Nazus did in WWII against their neighbors and against Jews.

      No. Jews in Germany were Germans and loyal to the German state. That was an example of pure racism a state acting against its people. That I don't support. As for the neighbors, being invaded, that's a more complex question and we'd need to break out which neighbors. Certainly I think the Western front was fully justified.

    • @Donald

      JeffB means that when it is in Israel’s own interest to obey treaties, it will do so. When it is able to steal land from conquered and oppressed Palestinian civilians, it will do that. If Palestinians fight back, they will be bombed. Israel reserves the right to steal land and use violence on WB Palestinians and if the Gazans join in the fight, they will be bombed. If they form a unity government, their representatives will be arrested. If they shoot in response, they will be bombed. Moral and ethical reasoning in Jeffworld is simple–strong Israelis have big stick, strong Israelis bash with stick.

      Yes. That's exactly what countries capable of acting effectually do towards less powerful threatening entities.

      When it is the USA's own interest to obey treaties, it will do so; when it isn't it doesn't. When it is Russia's own interest to obey treaties, it will do so when it isn't they don't. When it is China's own interest to bey treaties, they do so...

      Treaties are statements of mutual advantage. When they cease to be so one of the parties repudiates them.

      Moreover when it comes to other countries that are less powerful those countries are smart enough to avoid antagonizing their more powerful neighbors. Thailand to take an example, though they've had some rather massive shifts in government all the governments openly declares its foreign policy is centered around "avoiding being crushed by elephants" (the USA and China). They understand they exist because the USA and China has no particular reason for them not to exist, and the primary foreign policy objective of their government is to keep it that way.

      use violence on WB Palestinians and if the Gazans join in the fight, they will be bombed.

      Well yes. If you any country joins a fight against X they expect to get attacked by X. When Germany joined the USA fight against Japan suddenly we were a full participant in World War II and much to their surprise focused our attention on North Africa.

      Moral and ethical reasoning in Jeffworld is simple–strong Israelis have big stick, strong Israelis bash with stick.

      That's not morality that practicality. Morality is about what should be accomplished and how it should be accomplished. The primary functions of states are to serve the interests of their population. If Palestinians direct themselves contrary to the interests of Israelis the Israeli state is acting morally when it acts against them (to reasonable extents). If the Palestinians don't want the state to act against them then they make a practical decision to orient themselves towards the interests of the Israeli people.

    • @talknic

      Why you stupid stupid person? The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel gave them the right to Israeli citizenship.

      Yes and the state has since revoked it. The declaration of my town gave the King's representative authority to set the tax rate for all the farms. That has since been revoked. The laws of my town are what the people who live here want them to be.

      JeffB: “And of course in the specific case of Gaza the occupation did end “

      So how come Israel can make a military incursion whenever it likes?

      Stronger countries can always make military incursions whenever they like. Russia in Ukraine being a terrific example recently. Columbia wasn't occupied territory even when the USA was regularly conducting herbicide activities on its terrain, often against the wishes of the government. An occupation requires a replacement of the government not just ignoring some of their wishes.

      How come Israel can control Palestinian territorial waters and airspace?

      Because they don't recognize the territorial waters and airspace as Palestinians. Countries that are close have to work out arrangements for water. For example the USA and Canada have very complex agreements on these issues because we share so much water. Hamas has refused to form these agreements so Israel has unilaterally declared what the territorial waters will be and is enforcing that.

      Why can Israel demand Egypt close the Gaza Egypt border?
      These things are only permissible to an occupying power.

      Israel can't demand Egypt do anything. They can request. In this case they aren't doing that. Egypt is enthusiastic about closing the border.

    • @Mooser

      Why do the Zionists want to play the game every other religion has lost?

      Judaism literally is Judaeanism. The religion of the people of Judaea. One of the goals of Zionism is that Judaism stop being a religion in the cross national sense all together and return to its roots as a tribal faith. Zionism is the next generation of Judaism.

    • @kalithea

      That was tested in the 2nd intifada. The Palestinians managed to induce a serious recession. Israel didn't surrender.

    • @Donald

      I think the majority of the USA press tends to view this as unending strife. Terms like "cycle of violence" are more common than the belief that the Palestinians started it. Certainly though very few in the American press believe Israel is the aggressor. There is a real discrepancy there. My guess is the breakdown for how reports report is something like:
      60% cycle of violence
      35% Palestinian aggressor
      5% Israeli aggressor

      I suspect far more actually believe Israel is the aggressor but don't want to take that controversial of a stand.

      As for you're agreeing with me about their demands, I'm glad it makes the debate simpler when we can acknowledge there are no clear Palestinian demands. Without a clear statement of what acceptable is there is no way for people in the middle to determine of the Palestinian position is or is not reasonable. My honest opinion is that the majority of the Palestinian population's views are pretty well reflected by documents like the original PLO charter or Hamas charter. Those positions lack global support so the Palestinian spokespeople end up presenting public positions that their population won't stand behind.

      So getting back to your point, you’re right that Palestinian officials who make themselves available to the American press can expect an intense grilling, some of it fair and some not. Israelis go on American TV with the knowledge that many of their talking points, false though they may be, will be assumed true.

      Sure. Israel mostly tunes their message to support the mainstream viewpoint. Mainstream viewpoints don't get questioned. When Israel was outside the mainstream viewpoint, for example their aggressive stance of Iran, they were subject to much more difficult questioning. Where Israel does get questioned is the discrepancy between their behavior and claims. So for example when they are clearly not exercising the utmost care to protect civilians they get asked questions about this.

      Palestinians conversely are going to have to answer basic questions to establish they have a legitimate point of view at all. And the first step of doing that would be to have "a" point of view. That is a single policy. There have been PA spokespeople who have put forward serious end of conflict resolutions for example the Geneva Accords. But those types of documents don't have remotely majority support from either society. And in the last 15 years Israel and the Palestinians have both moved further away from that sort of agreement.

    • @talknic

      UNSC res 1860…ever dared to read it?

      Yep, doesn't change anything. The UN is delusional on many issues.

    • @Shingo

      If that’s the case, then you have your head stuck so far up your ass there’s no point debating it with you. Livni is on the record stating that a long ceasefire is not in Israel’s strategic interests.

      A statement by one politician does not necessarily represent the policy. There are plenty of Israeli spokespeople that are on record saying that Israel fully respects the 1967 borders and wants immediate withdraw to them. Yet somehow the settlements exist. Barack Obama ran for office unequivocally stating he was opposed to the violations of American privacy under the NSA and that as president he would put an end to them.

      The policy is represented by the consistent action of multiple politicians over multiple years. What they do and what they say consistent with what they do.

    • @RoHa

      Locke did not invent the idea of human rights and most liberal western democracies do not claim they are granted by God. One can appeal to human rights without appealing to Locke or God.

      Do it. What is a right? What are the source of human rights? Where do they come from? Why do humans have them?

    • @Shingo

      As always, one would expect that to be a two way commitment, but as is always the case with Israel, the fine print includes a clause that they are not obliged to.

      Nope not doing this. The game here is always to make false claims about Israel and then when called on them to change the topic. The claim was that Israel wouldn't agree to X. Israel did agree to X. Done, period, end of discussion about what Israel is willing to do. The fact that you don't like that the agreement was an asymmetrical agreement is irrelevant. The question was whether Israel was willing to increase trade based on Hamas good behavior, and the answer was yes. You are now changing this to this to disagreeing with the asymmetrical nature of the agreement.

      If Gaza policies its territory it gets good stuff. If it doesn't it gets the horns. It had nothing to do with itches. In 2012 Hamas failed to police and Israel was forced to. Hamas responded with 300 incidents of rocket fire and Israel rained hell upon the Gazans in response. This is simple Pavlovian training: reward, negative reinforcement, punishment. Gaza is the much weaker country, they are not equals.

      What they don’t tell you is that they reserve the right to bomb Gaza regardless and that Hamas’ cooperation is contingent on them not firing back.

      That's correct. When Hamas is willing to a full extradition treaty with Israel and act on it in good faith then it can have criminal sovereignty in its borders until then it can't. If it resists Israel carrying out these operations it will be further punished. The question above was about the amount of trade.

      It is when that land is outside the borders of the state of Israel.

      There was no state of Israel in the late 1910 early 1920s when the Israeli nation cleared the farm land.

      . If I were to climb the fence into someone else’s property who had neglected their garden for example, it does not become mine if I tend to it as rehabilitate and landscape it.

      That's precisely the opposite of Locke's position. You can disagree but you can't lay claim to him while disagreeing.

    • @lataan

      It isn't clear to me that Israel isn't interested in a long term truce with Gaza. So no it isn't clear. Wanting to create a Greater Israel on the West Bank is different than wanting to have a long term truce with Gaza. The two aren't connected issues.

    • @Kay24

      who would speak about their demands, and explain coherently that all they want is the damn occupation ended.

      The Palestinians as a people have wonderfully coherent and well spoken spokespersons. The problem is not the lack of Palestinians who know how to speak well. The problem is the population they represent is confused and incoherent when it comes to their demands. For example your claim, about ending the occupation. The first thing a host is going to ask is, "Really? You are prepared to fully renounce right of return?" And of course in the specific case of Gaza the occupation did end and suddenly there were additional demands. What started this last round of fighting was Hamas' reaction to events on the West Bank not the occupation of Gaza. Hamas' demands above are not about the occupation.

      But at the core there is a deeper problem. The reason Palestinians don't have serious spokespeople is that their leadership likes to talk out of both sides of their mouth. With the Americans and the Europeans their demands tend to be limited and in line with the Quartet's positions. Not that Israel has any intention of allowing the Quartet's positions to play out regardless of what the Palestinians do, but those are their positions. When talking to their own people they like to present the idea of Palestinians in-volatile rights and a vision of autonomy that can't possibly be achieved under the Oslo framework. You remember the controversy when the Palestinians papers were published and how the PA (forget Hamas) choose to distance itself from its own negotiating positions. If spokespersons with real rank went regularly on live news shows and had to field actual hostile questions that discrepancy would be impossible to maintain.

      Chris Hayes was complaining yesterday that he couldn't book anyone from Hamas to the show to explain their positions and goals. 1/2 of Hamas wants to liberate Palestine completely, 1/2 of Hamas is willing to possibly accede to maximalist interpretations of Oslo at least for a long time. It is very easy in a puff crowd like the Arab press to do the whole innocent civilians getting killed, Israel bad. It would be much harder facing a hostile press because they are going to get asked serious questions.

      The Palestinian non-official spokespeople allow the Palestinians to talk about how Israel is also talking out of both sides of their mouth, pretending to be supportive of the Quartet while implementing on the ground their actual position which is probably closer to the Naftali Bennett settlement. But non-official spokespeople can't answer questions about Palestinian goals and as a result Israel won the debate and has convinced most Americans that Palestinian goals are what's outlined in the Hamas charter which is not merely ending the occupation.

    • @David

      Does a punch to the nose always work? For example we are having problems with North Korea. We have pretty severe trade restrictions on them. Why hasn't that worked for 6 decades? We gave North Vietnam lots of punches to the nose to get them to agree to the puppet regime in South Vietnam. Why didn't that work? We helped fund a big war against Iran that killed hundreds of thousands of their people, a pretty good punch to object to their anti-Americanism. That didn't work either.

      And it doesn't seem to be just us. England and France gave Germany a huge punch to the nose to stop trying to rise to being a European power in the 1910s. Then they did it again in the 1930-40s. And yet here is Germany a major European power.

      Consider that maybe it isn't that simple.

    • @ritzl

      I'm not sure what you mean by a "willingness to moderate". They don't have to signal to Israel if they want to change policy they just change policy. For example change the charter and then submitting an ambassador with credentials to Netanyahu for approval. That would be moderating. If you mean that Hamas is creeping every closer to defeat, yes they are.

      But meanwhile:
      March 12–14 60 rockets
      April 19 rockets
      June 53 rockets

      That's not acceptable behavior. They deserve punishment.

    • @Maximus Decimus Meridius

      And Israel’s ‘friends’ in the junta that came to power through a coup d’etat?

      Who cares how Israel's friends came to power. Did it disqualify the Palestinian cause when their friend was Hussein under Iraq?

      By their friends ye shall know them.

      SCAF is an alliance of the Leftists, Nasrists, Socialists, Communists, Christians, Liberals and Copts in Egypt. Essentially everyone but the rural Egyptian muslims and urban poor. Yeah OK, by their friends you will know them. They support all the elements of Egypt that support education and liberalism, oppose Egypt's cultural shift back towards religious conservatism. Honestly I don't think Israel should care less who is in SCAF, Israel needs friends whereever they get them. But frankly by your own standard Israel is the voice of science, education, economic progress and cultural liberation against the forces of superstition and cultural oppression.

      That's pretty good branding for the Israelis.


      Finally if you think SCAF is so pro-Israel that they aren't an even honest broker anymore remember that the next time people are being critical of Israeli foreign policy. I consider SCAF to be a huge win, but still consider them somewhat sympathetic to the Gazans; angry at Hamas but not truly hating the people of Gaza. If that's not true and you were right that SCAF isn't even an honest broker the Gazans better get clear even faster. Gaza borders Israel, the Egyptians and the Mediterranean. The fish ain't brokering any kind of agreement. The Israelis really don't like the Gazans and tend to mess up their territory / country on a regular basis. I'd say given the options they have Egyptians are their best bet. If you think Egypt is even worse...

    • @Donald

      Yes. If Gaza wars on Israel based on whatever external causes then it will be punished. If it doesn't then it won't be. The point is that no one can claim that Israel doesn't have a good track record on borders, when the government on the other side of the border does their duty to control their territory.

      Which BTW is the reason that more and more Jordanians are coming to favor a permanent occupation of the WB so as to keep ISIS out. Jordanians know they can trust Israel to defend Jordan's western border and prevent the kind of leakage that is creating havoc in Iraq and along their Eastern border.

    • @Donald

      As for the 19th century, Israel stole the land in the 20th century and continues to steal it.

      Again can't use that idea and Locke. For Locke, property originally comes about by the exertion of labor upon natural resources. So when the Israelis cleared a swamp to create farm land they weren't stealing farmland from Palestinians they were creating property. You are free to disagree with Locke but not to claim that you are the one upholding the notions of human rights when you do so.

      Israel is blockading Gaza–that means Gazans are cut off from the world.

      You are conflating. Hamas' 10 conditions demanding trade with Israel not just international trade. That's beyond just ending the blockade.

      As an aside, International trade Israel has generally agreed to contingent upon Hamas being a peaceable neighbor. So for example in 2009 when Hamas agreed to no more rockets, Israel permitted a 20% increase in goods trucked into Gaza, up from 70 to 90 truckloads a day. Israel has clearly indicated those numbers can go up the more cooperative Hamas becomes. Then in 2010 both Egypt and Israel eased the blockade considerably when Hamas became more cooperative. There was an Egyptian easing in 2011. Lately they have been less cooperative so the blockade has strengthened.

    • @Kathleen

      Israel has a close relationship with SCAF (Egypt). Qatar is ally of the Muslim brotherhood which doesn't matter to Israel but is a problem for their friends in SCAF. Turkey has classified Israel actions as genocide and a crime against humanity so they are anything but a fair broker. Why would you expect them to want Turkey or Qatar to broker a cease fire? Why would you expect them to want their involvement at all?

    • @Abierno

      What is Israel’s track record in upholding peace treaties with Gaza?

      Israel has an excellent track record of upholding peace treaties with governments that are capable and willing to secure their borders with Israel. Egypt and Jordan are perfect cases in point. There were exactly the kinds of incursions during the 1950s with both these countries. As they cracked down on their own borders there were broader less frequent conflicts till today when there have been none for many decades.

      If the government of Gaza were exercising its responsibility to keep Gaza absolutely free of any hostile actions against Israel, Israel's track record suggests they wouldn't be subject to hostilities.

    • Page: 12
    • Donald

      First off trade is not in any system human right. No one has the right to trade with a 3rd party, trade requires the consent of both parties. Both the Israelis and the Gazans have rejected the idea of trade. What Hamas is objecting to is being subject to the consequences of their rejection.

      Moreover I don't see any way that BDSers can make a principled stand on human rights for rejecting restricted trade, non-investment and discouragement from trade as ways of changing the policy of a government. Your entire movement is based on the idea of using economic pressure to influence policies in governments you don't like. You are just objecting to what's good for the goose being applied to the gander.

      The concept come from unalienable rights which are those which liberal western democracies believe are granted by God and thus governments cannot rightfully take away. Locke held that governments were compacts voluntarily entered into by men where they agreed to common of property regulation in exchange for property preservation. You don't believe that so there is no reason let you borrow the moral capital from a political metaphysics you reject. BDS rejects the idea of human rights as Locke would envision them and instead believing in some sort of tribal entitlement theology whereby everyone of the planet is forever bound to the population distribution of the 19th century and thus Palestinians are permanently entitled to territory and Jews permanently not entitled to territory based on who held it during the 19th century. Let's not confuse Palestinian liberation with the concept of human rights, their and your political metaphysics is total rejection Locke.

      I do however believe in Jeffersonian ideals. I do believe that the people of Gaza should have the right to form such compacts. And I do believe that compact should be negotiating so as to secure the preservation of life and property with those people in an alternative compact. They aren't doing so. So there is no particular dilemma. If you are going to use the language of human rights Israel not being part of their compact has no reason to be bound by it.

    • What deafening silence? As far as I can virtually every media outlet reported that Hamas had proposed a 10 year truce in exchange for terms that Israel has no interest in accepting. This is getting covered the way most proposals for PR value in most conflicts get covered. They get mentioned and then everyone moves on to serious discussion of policy. Why should it deserve serious coverage? It is not going to be accepted, Hamas knows that, the international community knows that, the US government knows that and the USA media knows that.

      The Egyptian proposal which had USA support didn't get much more coverage once Hamas rejected it. And frankly it deserves the lack of coverage.

      Mostly the 10 terms can be summed up as: in exchange for Hamas stopping ineffectual and at best merely annoying rocket attacks Israel will agree to much broader concessions. Why would anyone treat such a proposal as serious?

      International forces on the border? Why would Israel tolerate troops from a hostile (the UN) inside Israel? The UN is a much more serious threat to Israel than Hamas. That's just frankly stupid.

      The Rafah crossing is Egypt not Israel. Israel can't open the crossing. And moreover the Egyptian government doesn't want to do that because Hamas is allied with an enemy of Egypt.

      As for the trade stuff. That goes 100% against the whole denormalization theme which MW is often so fond of. Palestinians are entitled to economic relations or a policy of as much as possible non-interaction they aren't entitled to both. Things like joint economic projects and a free flow of goods and services require a high degree of friendly relations, well beyond a full peace treaty, not merely a ceasefire. If the Gazans are beginning to realize that Gaza is not economic viable without Israel it is time they make substantial policy concessions to achieve those objectives. Not shooting missiles that mostly can't hit anything and even if they do, don't do much damage is not a substantial policy concession.

      Sure not firing in the first place saves Israel the expense and aggravation of a military incursion and that's worth something but not really that much. You go to the IDF website and you see their picture of "rocket damage": link to

      Dry wall collapse? Heck my buddy came pretty close to having that level of damage 2 years ago from a snow leak. Oh save me from the ferocious Hamas snow. A stupid offer is getting treated like one.

  • Jewish neocons and the romance of nationalist armageddon
    • I'm going to put this down as Jewish navel gazing.

      Jews are disproportionately liberal. Jews make up a huge chunk of the peace movement. Jews are relative to their numbers on the left of most foreign policy positions. Iraq was unusual in that Jews were not overwhelming opposed to the invasion, but it is worth noting the invasion at the time was overwhelming popular. Frankly given the fact that Jews are now considered white people and the fact that Jews are almost all middle class they should be biased conservative. There certainly is no reason they should be more liberal than Catholics. Yet they are. It is the degree of Jewish liberalism not the degree of Jewish conservatism that is striking.

      But even if we do focus on neocons, neocons don't have opinions about foreign policy and USA dominance that are much distinct from what most Republican interventionists have. How much difference is there between David Frum and Mitt Romney or between Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld?

  • Let’s have reasoned debate on the academic boycott
    • (moving 2)?
      Let hit some points:

      From its opening sentence, Berman’s essay deploys the tactic of recasting a fact as an “alleged” fact, factual assertions as mere “representations,” and calling forth ridiculous “promises” that were never made in order to discredit the movement. He does not bother to explain why there should be any doubt as to the veracity of the BDS movement’s basis in a call from Palestinian civil society organizations or to assume the duplicity of the movement’s statements.

      Well to start with the organizations calling for boycott don't seem to have much force on the ground. They aren't able to marshall resources nor to govern the territory they claim to represent. Israel isn't able to talk to leadership from the BDS movement about specific agreements because they can't hold up their end. If BDS did represent the Palestinians then Palestinians would be acting in concert with BDS leadership.

      Israel has been by far the largest single recipient of US aid every year since the 1970s.

      This is of course not true, as Hophmi stated. For example far more is spent on South Korea counting the cost of the deployment in South Korea and the base in Okinawa to supply it. The cost of other engagements like support for South Vietnam, the defense of Germany against the Soviet Union, etc... dwarf the cost of Israel by orders of magnitude.

      If Israel did become a state of its citizens, there would be no contradiction between its continued existence and achievement of the three goals of the BDS call.

      Nonsense. The goal of BDS is for Israel to become a state of citizens of Syria, Lebanon, Jordan who have vague ties generations back to Palestine. Not a state of its current citizens. Combine that with vicious calls for reparations and what's being asked for is the destruction of its current citizens so that this replacement population can live off the wealth of its citizenry. Moreover, the entire point of "ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza" by removing the settlers is to create vast swaths of what is today Israel where the current citizenry cannot go.

      If BDS were merely calling for Israel to be a state of its citizenry it could comfortably work with JStreet.

      The issue then is: can/should Israel persist as a state which undemocratically accords privileges to 80 percent of its citizens and millions of Jews around the world

      What privilege other than immigration does Israel accord to millions of Jews around the world?

      The Palestinian Authority, far from being “extreme” in any sense, has been overly servile toward the United States and has received little for its efforts.

      It has received billions of dollars in aide, international support the time and attention of both presidents and secretaries of state... That's not little. It may not be everything they ask for but it is far from little.

      Formally speaking, there was no Israeli proposal at Camp David in 2000 and no maps delineating proposed borders.

      Of course there were. The maps included 91% of what Israel defines as the West Bank (or 86% of what Palestinians define).

      It is, therefore, important to underscore that the category of “settler colonial society” is a scholarly designation, not a political label — certainly not a slur

      Of course "colonialism" is a slur for the left. If it weren't a slur then a positive term like "redemption of the land" could equally well be used. But those aren't used because the point is to associate Israel with earlier movements.

      Berman seems to suggest that the indigenous Arab people are not worthy of rights because they may have only lived in the region for 1,400 years.

      Just thought I'd point this line out to those people who think the theory of a mass migration starting in the 7th century is hasbara. Hilton Obenzinger, Joel Beinin & David Palumbo-Liu are all agreeing with the facts of a 7th and 8th century migration.

      The terms of the BDS movement’s academic boycott are clear: an organization honoring the boycott will not engage in any official partnerships with Israeli institutions, but its members are free to do as they wish. Period.

      This line is really disingenuous. The point of the ASA boycott is not the under $1m in damage that a lack of official partnership will create but rather an attempt to gather steam for much more substantial attacks. There is no "period". That's like saying that Bin Laden's goal was "to plant a truck bomb exploded near the Saudi National Guard Communications Center. Period." It is nonsense.

      Exactly how do entirely lawful, nonviolent protests against Israeli state practices that have been condemned (many times) by the United Nations and even by the United States government (however weakly) proliferate bigotry?

      Exactly in the same way that entirely lawful, nonviolent protests against gay rights that proliferate bigotry.

      Rather than spend considerable energy and effort in mounting lengthy and, as we have shown, deeply flawed arguments in an attempt to discredit and neutralize a movement of conscience, would it not be better to use the same energy and resources to improve the situation?

      Your "movement of conscience" makes improving the situation more difficult. By feeding into Palestinian delusions that some deus ex machina is going to allow them to avoid hard choices and hard compromises with the new inhabitants of their former country you make it possible for the Palestinians to continue decade after decade on a horrifically destructive course of action. If they came to terms with the fact that there was no deus ex machina, then they could have the internal debate about which interests are the most important and come up with proposals that would have the support of a substantial minority of Israelis. As it is, RoR has 98.5% unified strong opposition from a democratic nuclear power. That's a flight from reality and it is most certainly making things worse.

  • 'NYT' terms Islamic Jihad's 4 percent support-- 'new traction in Gaza'
    • @DICKERSON3870

      There are 2 different arguments here. You were arguing that the NYTimes is going to lose credibility. You are now making a case that the role of the press shouldn't reflect the population or the establishment but rather the "unvarnished truth" whatever that is. The NYTimes has never claimed to be anything other than an establishment paper. If they reflect the establishment they are doing what they claim to do. They don't claim to represent the "unvarnished truth" or be unbiased. They work to fairly represent different establishment factions and that's about it.

    • Overall, 68% say Russia was not justified in sending troops into Ukraine while just 10% say it was justified; 22% express no opinion

      link to

    • @DICKERSON3870

      The NYT is an establishment paper. The USA establishment is pro the Kiev government. How is "cheerleading" going to present any threat to their credibility? Assume there were a massacre, what would that change? They report what's going on and reflect the USA mainstream. I happen to agree with Putin more than Obama on the Ukraine issue, but I can't deny that the majority of non-Russians in the USA are at least as anti-Russian on the Ukraine issue as the NYTimes.

  • Obama outmaneuvers Netanyahu, at last
    • This is my country and nothing can shake that. But having come to see that the Israel as represented by the government does not genuinely want to achieve peace with the Arab world,

      This is just nonsense from the author. Israel is achieving peace with the Arab world. The recent alliance with SCAF is evidence of that. A much more enduring peace than good feelings, a peace based on shared interests and objectives. What Israel is achieving in Egypt is what peace looks like in the real world. And that far more than concessions is what causes people to overlook disagreements and come to have good feelings as behavior changes belief.

  • In historic interviews, US officials blame end of talks on Israeli land theft
    • @Kay24

      Yes Kay it is a sign of things to come. USA officials when they want to side with the Palestinians do so off the record via. leaks and even those are infrequent and isolated. While politicians on the record make strong statements of supports and take official actions indicating support.

  • The latest page in Israel's divide and conquer playbook: enlisting Palestinian Christians
    • @W Jones

      The Druze were a heavily discriminated against minority. There were a bunch of Druze rebellions when they lost local independence in the 17th century and later. As a result they reject Arab Nationalism, they understand fully well that pan-arabism means they are next after the invaders and the Jews are driven out. Conversely in Israel they get official self rule in the northern part of the country.

      For the Druze Israel has been objectively a good thing. They weren't strong enough to beat the Turks or the Arabs and get semi-indepdence. On the plus side for the Druze and negative for Israel, in Lebanon the situation for the Druze has gotten better and as a result younger Israeli Druze are not as hostile to what Arab rule would bean.

  • Red Card for Racism: Activists demand FIFA kick out Israel
    • @The Truth

      Americans had obvious ties to Jim Crow and Jim Crow related issues. Yet even still in areas outside the south there were questions raised about whether civil rights efforts weren't better spent on more local issues. The situation with Israel would be more analogous to say Spanish activists focusing on Jim Crow. And for Spanish activists of course the issues would be raised why the level of disproportionate focus or hypocrisy.

      It take a not theoretical example. Italy is quite active in the anti-death penalty movement. For a while Italy focused heavily on the United States and ignored: China, Saudi Arabia... (example last year: China several thousand, Iran carried out at least 314 executions last year, Iraq at least 129 and Saudi Arabia at least 79. In the United States, 43). And yes Italian focus on the USA was criticized as disproportionate. Moreover when there were objections to Italian justice (ex Amanda Knox) where Italians didn't feel they should have to answer to American standards, the death penalty issues were repeatedly raised.

      So yes other groups do have to deal with the same thing.

  • A surprise: Bush is respected in Africa for launching huge campaign against AIDS
    • @LeaNder

      The Bushes are rather well connected. There is some vague connection to big everything in the USA economy. But no there was nothing particular about big pharma. Bush in 2002 decided that a core piece of his foreign policy would be a focus on fighting disease: malaria, TB and AIDS. There wasn't much ulterior motive. Rather this was a foreign policy human rights issue which rightwingers were willing to support so people like Kerry and Biden were able to work with Helms, Bush... and pass this easily.

      AIDS was something that the evangelical community cared a great deal about. First off in the 1980s they had been ambiguous about the disease seeing it as divine punishment for immoral activities and this was a stain that many in the next generation wanted to fix. Further, evangelical Christianity is doing very well in both Latin American and Africa. There was genuine cooperation among the like minded. Also the UN unusually enough decided that side with evangelicals vs. seculars in treating AIDS as a moral issue with preventative counseling (morals based education). This was structurally very similar to the Christian temperance movements of a century earlier in the USA.

      And of course the entire countering disease approach helped fight Al Qaeda propaganda about the role of the USA.

  • Don't destroy our dream-castle Israel! (Why the Jewish establishment shut out J Street)
    • @yonah

      I think Bennett is right. There isn't going to be an annexation of the West Bank, but rather an annexation of Area C and some of Area B. Heck Israel could conduct elections in each town of Mandate Palestine allowing the people to vote whether they want to be under the PA or Israel and pretty much get the territory they want now from clear cut self determination. Delaying a legal resolution allowed for Israel to change the facts on the ground.

      Another ten years might be useful. This creates a situation where the builders and the people who originally bought the homes are gone and replaced by others who now just live there. The money and the contracts become convoluted. That makes any talk of "moving the settlers out" to become a monstrous injustice where the original settlers got huge profits and the people being financially devastated would be mostly lower middle class.

      I suspect that even Europeans would find that policy appalling. Which would allow the Europeans to sign onto the idea of land swaps rather than '67 borders.

      I don't see any support in Israel or the Jewish community for annexing Gaza. I've never heard a good reason to do it.

    • @Ecru

      I'm going to respond here because the other comments are closed.

      Which are you Jeffy, thick as two short planks or crazier than a sack or rabid weasels? Combination of the two maybe?

      This sort of comment makes you not worth responding to at all. You really do need to work on your manners.

      Yes because we all know that quoting and citing historians and archaeologists who specialise in this period and area is of course contradicting them…..You’re the one contradicting here not I.

      A standard modern text for this period is Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 By Guy Halsall. He talks in great detail about racial / physical changes that occurred as a result of migrations.Walter Pohl considers tribes to be cultural and talks about the ethnic groups as: Avars, Bulgarians, Germans, Slavs, Romans and charts their migrations. I see no evidence for your theory that modern historians don't support a theory of mass migration.

      corrected your use of the term “Dark Ages” with, amongst other more correct terms “Migration Period.”

      That wasn't a correction. Dark Ages is a still well understood term for the period after the fall of Rome. And frankly one that was dismissed for PC reasons not historical ones. Migration period of course is common for the obvious reason there were mass migrations.

      The Protestant Reformation again massive change in less than a generation.

      The Protestant Reformation obviously was a change. That change took several generations and it was nowhere near the scale of the changes between people replacement. Languages remained the same, most culture remained the same. Heck the religion the very core didn't even change that much. Even after the huge shifts in 19th century Christianity, most Christian doctrines are shared between Protestants and Catholics. The debates over the 5 solas are fairly subtle.

      Why marriage? People only copy things if they marry into another group?

      Large changes, yes. Cultures tend to blend where there is just small copying. Americans may adopt Japanese anime, they don't because the like anime adopt Japanese as their language or view their social interactions with business in primarily relationship terms.

      A name for the Visigoths? MAYBE an ancestral group, but referring to the same culture?

      Your claim was that the term wasn't used until late. I gave an example of it being used early and being identified. Your argument is with Notitia Dignitatum who identifies the two groups not me.

      An exact date please [for dispersion of Jews]. Considering there’s been NO evidence of depopulation in Palestine published I’m interested how you’ve found it when it’s escaped every archaeologist working in the area.

      An exact date 70-73 CE.

      No evidence. What about every single contemporaneous source and to the best of my knowledge pretty much every modern source.

      Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
      Josephus, War of the Jews
      who puts it at 1.1m dead 97k sold into slavery (I'll agree 1.1m seems way too high but he is our best source). We have records of huge migrations into Babylonian Jewish communities from Judea which in your theory don't happen. You want more modern Shanks, Dimont... Heck Cambridge Ancient History talks about the inhabitants being killed off who weren't in the northern areas that had surrendered to Rome early.

    • Hi can you move this to the main thread. This shouldn't be under Polly's comment.

      Actually I'll do the move to the main thread. Please just delete this comment and the parent and leave the new one on the main thread.

    • @Ecru

      I'm going to respond here because the other comments are closed.

      Which are you Jeffy, thick as two short planks or crazier than a sack or rabid weasels? Combination of the two maybe?

      This sort of comment makes you not worth responding to at all. You really do need to work on your manners.

      Yes because we all know that quoting and citing historians and archaeologists who specialise in this period and area is of course contradicting them…..You’re the one contradicting here not I.

      A standard modern text for this period is Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568 By Guy Halsall. He talks in great detail about racial / physical changes that occurred as a result of migrations.Walter Pohl considers tribes to be cultural and talks about the ethnic groups as: Avars, Bulgarians, Germans, Slavs, Romans and charts their migrations. I see no evidence for your theory that modern historians don't support a theory of mass migration.

      corrected your use of the term “Dark Ages” with, amongst other more correct terms “Migration Period.”

      That wasn't a correction. Dark Ages is a still well understood term for the period after the fall of Rome. And frankly one that was dismissed for PC reasons not historical ones. Migration period of course is common for the obvious reason there were mass migrations.

      The Protestant Reformation again massive change in less than a generation.

      The Protestant Reformation obviously was a change. That change took several generations and it was nowhere near the scale of the changes between people replacement. Languages remained the same, most culture remained the same. Heck the religion the very core didn't even change that much. Even after the huge shifts in 19th century Christianity, most Christian doctrines are shared between Protestants and Catholics. The debates over the 5 solas are fairly subtle.

      Why marriage? People only copy things if they marry into another group?

      Large changes, yes. Cultures tend to blend where there is just small copying. Americans may adopt Japanese anime, they don't because the like anime adopt Japanese as their language or view their social interactions with business in primarily relationship terms.

      A name for the Visigoths? MAYBE an ancestral group, but referring to the same culture?

      Your claim was that the term wasn't used until late. I gave an example of it being used early and being identified. Your argument is with Notitia Dignitatum who identifies the two groups not me.

      An exact date please [for dispersion of Jews]. Considering there’s been NO evidence of depopulation in Palestine published I’m interested how you’ve found it when it’s escaped every archaeologist working in the area.

      An exact date 70-73 CE.

      No evidence. What about every single contemporaneous source and to the best of my knowledge pretty much every modern source.

      Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews
      Josephus, War of the Jews
      who puts it at 1.1m dead 97k sold into slavery (I'll agree 1.1m seems way too high but he is our best source). We have records of huge migrations into Babylonian Jewish communities from Judea which in your theory don't happen. You want more modern Shanks, Dimont... Heck Cambridge Ancient History talks about the inhabitants being killed off who weren't in the northern areas that had surrendered to Rome early.

  • J Street rejected from the imperial court of contemporary Jewish life
    • @Nevada Ned

      As an aside you are expressing the Realist view here. I happen to be a realist as well. I agree with most of what you wrote other than your casual dismissal of the idea that there are non-realist ideologies in Washington. For example:

      The popular uprisings that swept the middle east in 2011 are exactly what the US wanted to avoid.

      I don't know about that. Rice and Cheney both spoke pretty explicitly about the doctrine of a "New Middle East" where the middle east would undergo what Western Europe did from the Reformation or Eastern Europe from the Napoleonic Invasions and the fall of the Austria-Hungarian Empire. Borders that were sensible allowing for just governments that had popular support.

      You can just say they spent their whole lives lying about what they believed and there is no way to disprove such a hypothesis. Or you can believe they actually believed in what they were doing. That 2011 was the start of what they were aiming for. What's happening in Egypt now where: Leftists, Nasrists, Socialists, Communists, Christians and Liberals have formed an alliance against extremism and are creating a semi-Western government that has broad (though possibly not majority) support is pretty close to what Rice / Cheney were talking about a decade

    • @Mark

      The “political home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans” – as J Street bills itself – survives to fight another day. The question remains – for what?

      There are 3 main war ideas in the USA.

      a) Realists: who view foreign policy as a contest for resources and power. War is a very expensive option but key to effective diplomacy. Example: Nixon, Bush-41, Obama

      b) Eschatologicals: who view foreign policy as a clash between the forces of good and evil. Examples: Bush-43, Reagan, Wilson.

      c) Catastrophists: who view peace as the objective, "you can't win a war anymore than you can win a hurricane". Examples: american antiwar / peace movement, civil rights movement, paleo-conservatives.

      The Republican party used to be Realist and has been moving for the last 20 years towards Eschatological view; with that view now pretty firmly entrenched. The Democratic party used to be divided between Eschatological (i.e. fight for Democracy, human rights organizations....) and Catastrophist but with the Iraq war the Democrats have picked up the Realists and that now represents the dominant party ideology. As AIPAC moves firmly into the Republican party and the Republican party is unifying around Eschatological views AIPAC has had to represent them. An alternative Jewish lobby needs to exist for Democrats who among Jews are are foreign policy Realists. J-Street is mainly representing that group. J-Street is becoming firmly realist allowing groups to their left to occupy the Catastrophist position.

      That makes a lot of sense but since I assume you are a Catastrophist I doubt you'll see either AIPAC or J-Street as representing you.

  • Very far from paradise: Palestinians from Fureidis protest 'price tag' attack
    • @Walid

      He hasn't said that much on Israel but he is pro-SCAF and anti-MB. Its entirely possible that he is looking to act as a bridge where just as in Egypt there was a diverse coalition against "Islam is the answer" politics, perhaps there could be such a thing in the middle east.

      He is someone who sees Israel as part of the region. I think he just rejects your framework that Jews are aliens and Israel is just some "Zionist entity" that needs to be destroyed. He most certainly has proposed for, "A radical solution ought to be adopted in the countries of the Middle East which consists in convincing Jews and Muslims to separate Religion and Politics, as is the case with Christianity." That isn't a rejection of Israel/Israelis/Jews but rather an acceptance while pushing for a policy adjustment. Notice that he considers Judaism intrinsic the same way Islam is. He considers state churches illegitimate but doesn't consider the Jewish state to be anymore illegitimate than Islamic states.

      His position is anti-Zionist in that he wants secular states everywhere but he wants them on an equal basis. At core I'd say that position is is Zionism. That Jews are a people like any other and deserve the same rights as any other people.

  • Defending Apartheid – From 1968 to the present
    • @Citizen

      Why are you pushing this B-grade HBO movie that assumes the Normandy invasion failed, and later folks learn about extermination of Jews by the successful German state? How about a movie, from the Palestinian POV, wherein Israel is defeated in 1948? Winners and losers? Why, why not?

      Look at the comment I was responding to.

    • @Dan

      The problem with your analogy is your initial analogy:

      Jewish Zionists :: Soviet Jewry as BDS activists::Palestinian refugees
      The proper analogy would be something like
      Jewish Zionists :: Soviet Jewry as Global Palestinians::Palestinians.
      or maybe
      Jewish Zionists :: Soviet Jewry as Arab activists::Palestinians.

      Jews have an obvious interest in Zionism. Palestinians have an obvious interest in Palestine. No one accuses (or should accuse) Palestinian's disproportionate attention on Israel/Palestine to being the result of anti-Semitism. That's an entirely different situation when it comes to mainstream gentile activists who have no tribal affiliation. There the argument about disproportionate attention applies.

      In the 1970′s and 1980′s Organized Zionism, through the work of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, among other Israel-oriented agencies, worked to enable the conditional emigration from the USSR of approximately one million Jewish people. (The condition being that they were not permitted to emigrate to any place except Israel)

      I was part of this struggle and that's just not true. Certainly Israel was considered the best possible outcome but we supported refugee status for Russian immigrants. My wife for example came here as part of that movement.

      Why did the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry, most active in the 1970′s and 1980′s, focus exclusively on political oppression in the Soviet Union? ... Was it fair, reasonable and logical for Organized Zionism to focus exclusively on the USSR and not address the injustices taking place elsewhere? If no, why not? If yes, why?

      Because after the ethnic cleansing in Arab countries and the annihilation of most other Eastern European Jews that was where the remaining oppressed Jews were. As far as fair if by fair you mean treating all people equally, no it wasn't fair. It was blatantly tribal.

      Did the failure of the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry to criticize/boycott the regimes of Pinochet, Marcos, Somoza, de Klerk, et. al., demonstrate Zionism’s “blind hatred” of oppressed Latin Americans, Filipinos and Nicaraguans?

      American Zionism was allied or mildly supportive of some of those regimes. Zionism was a movement about building a Jewish state. It was not a movement of universal human rights. In some senses it contradicted the human rights consensus that had developed after WWI and certainly after WWII regarding the harms of the nation state model. Mostly its opponents don't buy into universal human rights models either, rejecting them in favor of the blatantly racist anti-colonial paradigms that became fashionable after WWII.

    • @lysias

      A Germany in which Nazism survived and prospered would have been hell on earth, at least for anybody with a conscience or with intellectual honesty.

      link to

      link to

  • Boycott on the horizon if Starbucks buys stake in SodaStream
    • @lysias

      Why do you suppose the overwhelming majority of people in both France and Spain today speak Romance languages descended from Latin, not Germanic languages?

      Well first of all the romance languages have heavy German influence. I'm not a linguist and don't claim to be one. But my understanding is that the educated classes spoke Latin and the language migrated down the socio-economic ladder all during the dark ages. Certainly when we read 2nd century (CE) authors they don't have the peoples you are talking about speaking Latin. Conversely the 9th century authors do have the people speaking varieties of Vulgar Latin where the dialects have started to split enough to become the separate Romance languages.

      Take for example Charlemagne who is much later. His native tongue is Frankish. He learned to speak Latin and some Greek. He then pushes out a massive Latin education program to create an educated clergy: getting local priests to be able to read and write in Latin. By Charles the Bald (grandson) we have good quality reports of Vulgar Latins as the dominant languages of the court. Under your theory Charlemagne's native tongue should have been a Romance language but we don't even know if they existed during his life.

    • @Ecru

      We’ve been over this Visigothic/Frankish thing before Jeffy Baby, you were shown to be wrong then and nothing’s changed since.

      No we weren't over this. You have never answered basic questions like why you are contradicting all available evidence like the writings of people contemporaneous with this migrations and the archeological evidence that such migrations occurred.

      Comments got closed but I'll respond to part of the old comment:

      If you like we can also look at the Frankish cemetery at Frenouville in Normandy. Everything about it is Frankish. Except that is for the people buried there. They’re that same core population that lived in the area even before the Franks arrived, it’s just the style of burial that changed not the population the burials served.

      If the style of burial changed that means the culture changed. People don't adopt a new culture instantly. That requires marriages and the state establishing a dominant culture. So at the very least you are looking at a mass migration. If there is no mass migration you need to explain the massive very fast cultural change.

      Well it’s a general rule of history that conquest rarely involved population replacement and this is the case in Palestine with the Arab Expansion.

      I agree that most conquest didn't involve population replacement. I'm not disputing that. I am however willing to consider what people of the time described as mass migrations to be mass migrations.

      They weren’t one people any more than the Ostrogoths or even the Franks were – they were made up of many different people from different “ethnic” backgrounds – their very name only appears from the 6th Century onwards.

      "Vesi" itself is Latin.
      "Tervingi [a name for the Visigoths], another division of the Goths (Tervingi pars alia Gothorum), joined with the Taifali to attack the Vandals and Gepidae"." ( Claudius Mamertinus, 305 CE).

      Notitia Dignitatum (388 CE) uses the term Vesi explicitly and informs the reader this is another term for the Tervingi.

      Now let me address the DNA stuff:

      And might I ask that if the population at large was replaced – how did the Jews manage to escape the process that worked on Christians and Pagans?

      The Jews mostly weren't there at the time. They had been mostly driven out centuries earlier by the Romans. The Palestinian Jews are either:
      a) migrants who had returned along with the Christian pilgrims during the 2nd-7th centuries
      b) later migrants from other areas that interbred with the local population through the centuries.

      Had Palestinians been the result of recent immigration then that would show up as a closer affinity to Arabs but instead Palestinians cluster WITHIN local Jewish populations clearly proving a common ancestor with, as I recall, a genetic distance of roughly 2000 years.

      DNA studies over 2000 years are worthless. Palestinian Jews are genetically going to be Palestinian. The same reason I look Eastern European not Arabic and Chinese Jews look Chinese. If we were going to argue for some sort of genetically pure Palestinian race that inhabited the region continuously we'd want to compare their DNA to dead Jewish bodies from the 1st century not to contemporaneous Palestinian Jews. Of course those people are going to match.

      And it is here your bias is made so obvious because you make no argument of population replacement for the earlier conquests of Palestine – only of the Arabs.

      That's false. I over and over say the area was cleared by the Romans. Then there was a migration back to the region. Then the Arab invasion happened and a swarm of new people arrived. Those new people became Levant people of Syria, Palestine and Lebanon (and yes including the Jewish population). The Palestinians became a separate people as a result of a different history starting in the 20th century.

      Perhaps because if you held to your “migration” argument for the other invasions your “special pleading” that Jews were somehow miraculously not replaced at these times would be even more obvious than it is already.

      What are you talking about? The Jews were replaced, twice.

    • @lysias

      The Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths? That’s one I never heard of before. It’s true that the Visigoths briefly ruled Southwest France, from most of which they were displaced by the Franks after the Battle of Campus Vogladensis (Vouillé) in 507 A.D.

      Look up the migrations of gothic people's. 507 is about a century after when they are solidifying borders.

      and I think “ethnic cleansing” is a wildly inappropriate term for such a population movement, whether voluntary or not.

      Tribe A kicks tribe B out of their territory and moves them. How is that an inappropriate term?

      but they were only a ruling class, a small stratum of the population, ... The bulk of the population, in both what are now called France and Spain, consisted of Romans and Romanized local inhabitants

      So your claim is that the bulk of France and Spain wasn't inhabited by goths but rather by descendants of Romans? When did those populations get established? Why didn't any of the Romans notice that most of the locals were Roman...? I'm not following what you are claiming here.

    • @Kathleen

      I get all my news about the middle east or anything other issue from one source. I am a news junkie. I even subject myself to full hours of Rush Limbaugh just to listen to what right wingers are subjecting themselves to.

      My cousin (also a solid dem) does that too. I read RedState and paleoconservative stuff. I don't think you get all your news from one source. I'm just saying this source tends to make desensitize you towards anti-Israeli dialogue. Things that would never get said on mainstream TV get said all the time here.

      "France is an apartheid state because the Franks ethnically cleansed the Visigoths and the French don't let the Spanish back in..." or "any French that think that France should be culturally French and not Spanish after what they did to the Spanish is a racist bigot..." sounds ridiculous. It takes a while hearing those sorts of arguments applied to Israel till they don't sound like ravings.

    • @Kalthleen

      Chris Hayes has touched lightly on the issue when he was the host of UP…actually huge for MSNBC.

      That was a good episode I agree.

      . Interesting that you tried to escape the Sterling scandal and went to Chris Hayes program. He spent three quarters of his show on this issue.

      I Tivo Chris, Alex, Rachel and Lawrence. Normally I only watch Rachel unless I'm really interested in the topic. I did the non-NBA parts of Chris and Rachel.

      As far as the mainstream media and dumb issues I'm really proud of MSNBC. They are getting mauled by CNN with the Malaysian plane stupidity and they've held their ground in not pandering. Taking the high road when it costs earns mucho points in my book.

      I guess there was a theme racism in the NBA and Israeli racism although Chris Hayes does not have the balls to call out that racism like he is the Sterling racism issue.

      Jon Stewart made the racism theme explicit with the Cliven Bundy & Sterling comparison. Anyway Chris would be off the air if he didn't approach Israel delicately. His viewership is way down form Keith O and I think on good months is up to Ed Schultz's numbers. If he were he to then compound that and offend viewers... Being here you get immune to how out of mainstream BDS type speech is about Israel. Think about it this way. MSNBC got rid of Pat Buchanan (a mistake IMHO) for less than that with regard to Black, Jews and gays. Buchanan's big anti-Jewish comment was just pointing out heavily Jewish women were involved in the pro-choice movement and drawing the obvious inference (one that's factually wrong but...).

      You aren't going to get the MSM attacking Israel that directly unless Liberal Jews becoming willing to do it (or at least not completely offended by it). Phil Weiss is right about that 100% IMHO. Just like Sterling couldn't bash blacks and then go back to running a team, Hayes couldn't bash Jews and then go back to being the 8:00 PM host on what amounts to the DNC's official news outlet.

    • @Sean

      And has Israel already succeeded in substantially crushing its Arab opposition in its own neighborhood?

      Yes. Though substantially is not completely. There is still a lot of opposition but nothing like there was in the 1970s which was far less than the 1950s which was far less than the 1930s.

      Would it be reasonable to predict that Americans and Europeans are not likely to be more strongly committed to Palestinian human rights than Arab nations and the worldwide Arab community?


    • @Kathleen

      Anyone see Chris Hayes get rolled by Josh Block from the Israel Project. Chris allowed Block to get away with repeating a bucket full of false claims. A mountain of lies.

      Chris Hayes knew he was getting rolled by Block and parsed his response with guilty looking restraint. link to

      Yep in my desperate quest not to hear anything more about the NBA last night I saw the whole interview. Chris' facial expressions were pretty strained. I think Chris did make the core point that in the West Bank Jews live under Israeli civilian law while Palestinians live under IDF military law. They never really got to the core point that this situation isn't going to last for generations. Once there is no peace process Israel will create a different legal framework.

      BTW MSNBC is generally only about 4 days behind on transcripts to the web so if this thread doesn't close you might be able to post the transcript.

  • Apartheid label will stick
    • @Shingo

      Shingo: No state has been admitted as a nuclear power into the NPT. The nuclear powers were recognized from the onset and the NPT makes it clear that no one else will be allowed to become one under the NPT.

      When one talks about Israel joining NPT they mean under realistic scenarios. Israel has a more developed nuclear program than either the UK, China or France. Bring Israel into the NPT would be part of bringing: India, Pakistan, and likely North Korea into the fold.

      If you mean nuclear disarmament Israel will never agree to become party to the agreement. And of course Arab countries would love Israel to get rid of their nuclear weapons. They probably would love them to get rid of their conventional weapons too. So what? Israel will never disarm itself. Dimona was incredibly expensive when Israel did it. Israel didn't make those sacrifices for nothing.

      Not at all. Everyone knows where Israel is, and it’s no secret.

      Really? Does Israel have Thermonuclear weapons or just nuclear weapons? If so how many? Do Israeli missiles have multiple warheads?

      Are all 5 Dolphin-class subs nuclear armed? Does Israel have any additional subs that are active nuclear?

      Do Israeli rockets contain a single weapons package or do they have MIRVs?

      etc... No everyone does not know where Israel is.

      The Arab public has already expressed the opinion that they believe a nuclear armed Iran would be a positive development in the Middle East.

      For them it probably would be.

    • @Shingo

      No it’s not, it’s common sense. Racism is based on fear or hatred or those different to them.

      No it isn't. It is based on fear or hatred of races different than them. Hence the distinction between "racism" and other forms of bigotry.

      The Nazis spoke equally ill of Jews, people of color, homosexuals etc. It is therefore perfectly reasonable to include race, ethnicity, religion etc. within the definition of racism.

      People of color -- racism.
      Jews -- The Nazis had a racial theory of Judaism. That's borderline racism because of their racial theories but if someone wanted to exclude it I wouldn't have a problem
      Homosexuals -- Obviously not racism, nothing racial was involved.

      No. Nationality is accepted as an identity that it tied to a state.

      How are you disagreeing with what I wrote?

      False. Visitors to America don’t have the same rights as Americans because they are not American citizens.

      Citizenship in America is mostly the same thing as being in the American nation. The two mostly overlap.

      The minute they become American citizens, they are afforded the same rights.

      Part of becoming an American citizen is declaring a desire to join the USA, "I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen... I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law..."

      Part of it is also passing an exam proving some degree of knowledge about America. Moreover the United States has a very good long history of changing people's nationality within a few generations immigrants lose almost all their cultural ties. The oath of citizenship is expressing a willingness to go through this process.

    • @eljay

      Visitors to Israel – including Jewish visitors – shouldn’t have the same rights as Israelis because they belong to a different nationality.

      Agreed and they don't. Jews have to make a declaration of nationality that they are moving to Israel (immigrating) and through that process become citizens.

      All Israeli citizens – and immigrants, ex-pats and refugees – should have the same rights, however.

      Of course all Israeli citizens should have the same rights. If by refugees you mean non-citizens who reject the state and live somewhere else then they should be offered admittance providing they agree to live within the laws of the state. If you mean the great grandchildren of people who once resided there, no that's an insane Palestinian demand. They should be citizens where they were born and raised. Ethnic Palestinians in Los Angeles are as American as I am.

    • @Feathers

      Disagree. In 1995 when negotiations for permanent extension of NPT took place, Egypt, Iran and other states in the region were persuaded by Ambassador Richard Butler to agree to the extension, with the promise that a conference to discuss a nuclear-free zone in Middle East, with Israel’s nukes very much on the table. (see Penn State Symposium . ) To date, that promise has not been kept.

      And given that this promise hasn't been kept how does that contradict a policy of deliberate ambiguity?

      1. Iran does not want to have nuclear weapons; that argument is as bogus as WMD in Iraq.

      Iran has a nuclear power program inconsistent with just trying to generate power. It has refused to allow nuclear powers to conduct the enrichment for it, to weaken suspicions and it has refused additional inspections. Those are not bogus arguments.

      Besides your side can't consider the UN to be the gospel on Israel and then ignore it on Iran.

      2. Iran has been subjected to closer nuclear scrutiny than any other NNWS or NWS.

      Probably true, I don't know but likely.

      3. Recklessness in funding terrorism? Iran funded the 9/11 operatives?? The shoe bomber?? The xerox cartridge scheme? Please list the terror actions Iran has funded. Line them up alongside Israel’s terrorizing of Palestinians.

      The question for the USA is not if Israel is mean to the Palestinians but whether they are problematic for the USA. Lots of countries that are USA allies are mean to other countries and peoples that aren't.

      As far as Iran the most recent offense was their actions against the USA military in destabilizing Iraq via attacks on USA military personnel, Iraqi government and Iraqi civilians when the USA was aiming to stabilize the country. That is classic state sponsored terrorism. They also provide money for Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, PFLP. Iran has refused to cooperate in sharing information about Al Qaeda operatives and leadership they have captured.

      In 2012 India concluded that Iran had conducted a terror operation in New Delhi. Kenya has captured 2 Iranian operatives which were organizing an attack against the United States. The Africans were livid.

    • @Hostage

      I'm not saying racial discrimination based on religious belief isn't racism. We agree it is. I'm saying that religious discrimination is not racial discrimination. People can change their religion but not their race. Race is an intrinsic characteristic.

      Genesis Chapter 10 and the ancient propaganda contained in Genesis 12:1-3 that underpins the simple-minded political science of Christian Zionism to this very day.

      No it does not. Christian Zionism isn't race based. Christian Zionism is based on concepts like the chorus of 144000 righteous Jews who welcome the 2nd coming from Revelation. It also based on later chapters where God grants Israel to the Jews, a dispensation to use Darby's language.

    • @Hostage

      You are talking about international relations treaties having to do with war not telco and airline treaties. Real telco treaties are about details of billing for carrier charges and protocol handoffs between carriers / operators.

      So for example an International route is defined as: Technical facilities and installations located in different countries and used for telecommunication traffic between two international telecommunication terminal exchanges or offices. It recognizes the duty of telcos to act in accordance with national law, period. All countries have equal sovereignty over those telcos they are able to regulate. Old fashioned 19th century international law the ability to govern commerce makes you the government.

      The treaty then instructs governments, defined this way to "ensure that administrations* cooperate in the establishment, operation and maintenance of the international network to provide a satisfactory quality of service."

      You are trying to have this both ways. If the West Bank is Palestine and the Palestinians are the government then any non compliance with international agreements would be the responsibility of the Palestinian government. The treaty is crystal clear that it is the territory of operation not the territory of ownership that has responsibility for bringing companies into conformity with the treaty.

      Similarly airline treaties are about standards of maintenance, signaling, air traffic control... Totally unlike the nonsense treaties you are talking about.

    • @David

      Are you serious, JeffB? Israel complies with international telecommunications and airlines conventions, so why is MW squawking about mundane matters like human rights?

      That's not what I said, nor remotely close to what I said. What I said was that Israel was in compliance with most UN treaties hence there was no reason for them to withdraw completely. They aren't in compliance on I/P issues.

    • @Shingo

      Both the UN and IAEA have called for Israel to sign the NPT. The Arab League has called for a nuclear free middle East. Both would require Israel to come clean and give up it’s nukes.

      The NPT doesn't require Israel to give up its nukes if it is admitted as a nuclear power. What it would require is Israel to disclose the extent of its program. Which would instantly make it clear how far ahead Israel is, which would play badly with the Arab public which would then demand a buildup ....

    • @Hostage

      The USA’s 30 year declassification rule has already made the motive behind Israel’s so-called ambiguity crystal clear. It’s a condition imposed by the USA to quell the public outcry over its protection of Israel’s arms program in the UN and its failure to enforce the Symington Amendment sanctions on nuclear non-proliferation in the case of Israel’s nuclear weapons program.

      That's agreeing with what I said above, not disagreeing.

      The number of nukes is irrelevant under the NPT. It would categorize Israel as a nuclear weapons state, even if it only possesses one such weapon.


    • @Woody

      “The world right now wants Israel to be ambiguous about its degree of nuclear power.”

      Utter nonsense. The world either finds Israel’s position to be a silly joke, as everyone knows that they have the weapons; a damnable violation of the principles of non-proliferation; or an stupidly risk-filled strategy.

      See Hostage's response. He addressed this quite well.

      Why would Iran give a damn if Israel developed an ICBM?? The Jericho II, Israel’s MRBM, which the Israelis have had since the late 1980s, can hit Iran and Iran knows it. What Iran wants to know about is the missle defense systems

      Iran doesn't have a missile program good enough to hit Israel accurately from Iran proper. They would have to give a non conventional warhead to an ally like Hezbollah at this point. Though of course that can change.

    • @Annie

      I understand the UN's definition as I've said elsewhere. I think it is tortured and reject it. Racial discrimination is about race. What the UN is doing is expanding the concept beyond reason. Nationality is something all countries discriminate on the basis of. Visitors to America don't have the same rights as Americans because they belong to a different nationality. Visitors to Canada don't have the same rights as Canadians because they belong to a different nationality....

    • @Feathers

      Israel actually enjoys extensive participation in development of nuclear technology, and as Prof. Dan Joyner warned, stands to gain even more rights and ability to do business with suppliers of nuclear devices and technology, all without having to abide by Comprehensive Safeguards that NPT signatory states must conform to.

      The world right now wants Israel to be ambiguous about its degree of nuclear power. I don't think they want an open discussion of how far Israel has gone (IMHO they likely have ICBMs and if not they are very close). One of the things I think the west is doing is allowing the people in countries like Pakistan, Iran, North Korea... to convince their population they are "on par" when they aren't even close. Hopefully a situation won't arise when they have to realize the difference between 1940s quality weapons and 1980s quality weapons.

      Of course, no one resents Israel for making end runs around international treaties, while simultaneous Hurting, Hanging, Suffocating and Starving Iran which IS a signatory to NPT and IS subject to constant monitoring of its compliance with Comprehensive Safeguards.

      Well yes. Iran is a PIA for western powers for 3 decades and a bit reckless when it comes to funding terrorism so they aren't anxious for them to have nuclear weapons. Israel conversely is a USA vassal.

    • @Feathers

      So is that why it is inappropriate to think of the Islamic Republic of Iran as parallel to the Jewish state of Israel, because in Iran, Islamic is a genuinely creedal designation, while “Jewish” means many things, from ethnicity to culturicity to religion.

      Shiite is kinda the same thing. Most people born to Shiite parents are Shiite and one can convert into or out of Shiite. Iran has a non-democratic super structure (Supreme Leader of Iran, Guardian Council..) which has power over the democratic government. If the state church were answerable to the government rather than the other way around then Iran would be a democracy with a state church.

      Beyond that I'm not sure if I understand the question.

    • @Sumud

      Israel is being asked only to adhere to the laws and treaties it accepted when it chose to apply and then become a member of the UN. Serial defiance of those laws suggest it is zionists which are opposed to the UN. Why does’t Israel withdraw from the UN since they hate it so much and have ignored it from day one?

      Israel complies with lots of UN treaties just not the stuff MW cares about. For example I work on international MPLS (telco) which runs through the UN. Israeli carriers and Israeli divisions of international companies are fully compliant. Similarly with airline regulations... It is mainly Palestinian stuff that presents a problem.

      That being said, more broadly Israel is not a world leader they have to follow other countries: USA, Japan, China... lead on most international issues.

      Referring to the actual definition of the crime apartheid is relevant – the only way you or zionists in general can avoid admitting Israeli is practicing apartheid NOW is by inventing a new definition of it.

      Not really. I gave 3 criteria that I think are a huge problems with applying that term. The definition doesn't apply it is just another of the "let's use mean words to describe Israel" type attacks.

    • @Hostage

      There have always been hundreds of thousands of refugees and their descendants who satisfy that very criteria

      They most certainly have not agreed they were Israelis.

      ) Please go read the 1970 ICJ Advisory Opinion which condemned South Africa’s occupation regime and its imposition of apartheid policies in the neighboring state of Namibia. Long story short, the group you systematically oppress can be citizens of another country or state.

      In many countries rebel territory and non-rebel territory live under different laws. That's not apartheid.

      Okay, you were on a very short roll there, until you said “(which would be all the Palestinians which accepted Israel as their state). There was never any such procedure available to them in the applicable Israeli laws on Nationality/Citizenship/Entry Into Israel/or Return.

      I agree. I think it is a problem that Israeli Arabs have never requested such a procedure and I think it is a problem that Israel has never created such a procedure. I think Israel has heading in that direction till about 1980. But there certainly is room to criticize Israel on not having done a good enough job of incorporating Israeli Arabs.

      As for the commission being opposed to two school systems.... assuming the Israeli Arabs agreed to disband theirs I couldn't agree more on the goal of joint education. I think that would be fantastic and fully support it. As far as minority municipalities, same thing.

      As for the UN defining "race" to not mean race... that's very similar to defining "ability to stand alone" to not mean "ability to stand alone". It is one of my central problems with the UN all-together. But remember the challenge was for Zionists to say what criteria they believe it would take not what the UN thinks.

    • @Sumud

      JeffB: But Sumud you notice the word “race” over and over and over [in the definition of Apartheid]

      Sumud: So discrimination by race is bad but by religion is fine.

      No but it is not Apartheid. That's a different thing all together. Lots of states have had state churches, probably most have some sort of religious establishment.

      It’s in no-one’s long term interests – not even zionist jews – to pursue that line of thinking. When Israel decides on what or who a jew is, let me know eh?

      Israel has decided. They have a government agency that law to that effect.

      In the meantime lots of people claim jews to be a race and the nationality of jews in Israel is “jewish” not “Israeli”.

      Nationality and race are not the same things. All countries discriminate on the basis of nationality.

      Those living under Israeli rule who don’t belong to this ‘race’ or ‘nationality’, live in apartheid.

      No they don't. Apartheid is about race.

    • @Shingo

      JeffB: The UN and the ICC are mostly anti-Zionist.

      Shingo: The same UN that not only admitted Israel as a member, but created Israel in the first place?

      The UN didn't create Israel, the Jewish people did by moving there and fighting for it. They beat the Palestinians and then made the British occupation incredibly expensive. That is what created Israel. What the UN did was try and broker an agreement to prevent an all out civil war that failed. Since then the UN has been mildly hostile.

    • @Sumud and Hostage --

      The question was what would Zionists consider crossing the line. The UN and the ICC are mostly anti-Zionist. Their line is going to be different. You then take your aggressive interpretations and that's going to move the line even further. That wasn't the question though.

      But Sumud you notice the word "race" over and over and over. That's key. That was my point (3). You'll notice the state has to prevent participation. That was point (1). So the definition you gave agrees with me. I understand the UN has then changed the definition so the words don't mean anything like what they say so that race means just about everything... But the definition there is clear. Hostage covers the distortion well and I don't disagree with his post.

    • @pabelmont

      Someone ought to ask these guys what set of facts (whether now or in future) would persuade them that “apartheid” had in fact arrived.

      No problem.

      1) If Palestinians agreed they were Israelis.
      2) If Israeli Arabs (which would be all the Palestinians which accepted Israel as their state) weren't allowed to use the same public transit, hospitals, homes go to Israeli schools, serve in the army....
      3) If discrimination were based on race (though I'd be OK with saying substantial institutional religious discrimination is "similar").

  • Two-state solution is 'psychological solution' allowing people to take themselves off the moral hook -- Telhami
    • @pjdude

      Why does israel have a right to contiguity but Palestine gets to be carved up and not be? Why doesn’t Palestine need contiguity?

      For Palestine to be a state in a meaningful sense, which will include the "might makes right" sense in reply to your other comment they do need contiguity. And they need more territory A collection of disconnected regions without adequate supplies is going to end up effectively a colony of the Israel or Jordan not a meaningful state. That's not a terrible outcome. Monaco has the highest per capita income in the world as a colony of France or Italy for the last 700 years.

      My point above though is that the UN has already declared Palestine a state. Moreover if Israel renounces territory it really doesn't matter what happens in this territory it isn't part of Israel.

    • @Hostage

      The Israel public will undoubtedly get their wish.

      I don't agree with your crystal ball.

      have done their best to reverse and overturn the international laws that were adopted in the wake of the Holocaust to protect them.

      The laws adopted in the wake of the Holocaust didn't help Israelis. They were part of the "never again" spirit which was a good motive IMHO. But ultimately there were some serious problems in the UN's thinking on these matters. Which is why I like 19th century International law far far better.

    • @Eljay

      If “what’s Jewish should be Israeli” doesn’t apply to all Jews, it’s discriminatory and, therefore, anti-Semitic. I’m surprised you would defend anti-Semitic discrimination.

      I tend to see discrimination as having different policies without an otherwise different underlying cause. So for example a 4 year old black child not having the same contracting rights as a 40 year old white isn't racial discrimination because it isn't based on color but rather on age.

      Jeffb: The Clinton Parameters was going to have that stuff transferred to Palestine.

      Eljay: All non-Jewish Israeli “stuff” was going to be transferred to Palestine? Against its will? That’s both unjust and immoral. Very Zio-supremacist, actually.

      If you mean Zionist then yes. Clinton bought into the core idea of Zionism that Israel was a Jewish state in the same way France is a French state. One of his primary frustrations (and rightly IMHO) with the Palestinians was that they weren't really embracing the 2SS in that they didn't want to disentangle the populations.

    • @Hostage

      But not the Palestinians Arabs and Christians who lived there. The world isn’t in a position to “accept” or whitewash ethnic cleansing as part of a final settlement, so Israel keeps postponing its day of reckoning.

      hostage. There is no "day or reckoning". The Israeli public is absolutely unified and passionate behind not accepting RoR, they would rather war. A war with Israel is vastly more expensive than any of a dozen different solutions to the Palestinian refuge crisis. The world can easily accept that the refugee status doesn't extend beyond to 2nd generation or beyond 5-10 years and isn't passed generation to generation to generation. Which is the USA's official position.

    • @Hostage

      I don't buy the "never recognize".

      The European powers were all pretty firm they would never recognize the Bolshevik Party as the legitimate rulers of Russia especially after they withdrew from WWI. By 1933 everyone had.

      Or to pick an Israel example in 1967 all the Arab parties swore no recognition of Israel. A dozen years later Egypt and Israel were at peace.

    • @eljay

      If “what’s Jewish should be Israeli” doesn’t apply to all Jews, it’s discriminatory and, therefore, anti-Semitic. I’m surprised you would defend anti-Semitic discrimination.

      The Clinton parameters applied to Israel. There is nothing discriminatory about not applying a solution to countries that don't have the same problem.

      And what about any non-Jewish Israeli stuff that didn’t wish to be transferred – that wished to remain Israeli? Would it get to remain Israeli, or would it be wiped off the map and/or pushed into the sea?

      States can't be compelled to govern territory they don't recognize as theirs. I guess the people could pretend they were Israeli. But if Israel isn't collecting taxes, isn't providing services and doesn't offer military protection what would that even mean?

    • @Chuckcarlos

      Israel and the Zionists are parasites of the USA…Israel would not exist if not for the corrupt and perhaps criminal support the USA has given to the racist fascist terrorist regime in Israel

      Yeah. Because Israel after all ceased to exist during the Eisenhower administration when the USA has mildly hostile.

    • @Eljay

      Does that apply to what is Jewish anywhere in the world? If not, why not? Why the anti-Semitic double-standard?

      Because the Jews that settled in Palestine where Israeli. The Jews who built stuff in other countries are citizens of those countries. There is nothing anti-Semetic about allowing those Jews who wish to remain in the diaspora to do so, while allowing those Jews who live in / near Israel to be governed by Israel.

      And what about what is non-Jewish Israeli – does that also get to be Israeli, or does that get “cleansed” from supremacist “Jewish State”?

      The Clinton Parameters was going to have that stuff transferred to Palestine.

    • @Brenda

      Also wondering, do you hold dual citizenship?


      If so, is there any cognitive dissonance for you in the finely written US Constitution (it was an inspiration for aspiring nations of the early 20th Century) and the lack of any national constitution in Israel?

      Israel has a collection of laws passed during its first few decades called the Basic Laws which act as a constitution. They effectively passed their constitution in parts not as a lump sum. But they have what amounts to a constitution.

    • @Sibiriak

      And that “solution”, involving highly truncated Palestinian mini-state, will set the standard for an internationally acceptable outcome.

      Exactly the world, including the Arab world (Jerusalem exempted) buys into the idea of the Clinton Parameters that what's Jewish should be Israeli and what's Arab should be Palestinian. The Palestinians in rejecting this core idea of the Clinton Parameters are likely to find that they don't have international support. The international community, which has experience actually governing states and wants peace, does not support the idea of Palestine trying to govern hundreds of thousands of people with access to arms, a powerful neighbor, foreign support... which would never be willing to live under Palestinian law.

    • @Chuckcarlos

      Jewish State” should be ANATHEMA to very citizens of the USA and believer in OUR CONSTITUTION

      I love our constitution. Let's start with the very first clause:
      We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

      Doesn't seem particularly applicable to how other countries govern themselves.

    • Going to 2SS would require displacing most of the 10% of Israeli Jews who live in OPT.

      No it wouldn't. There are lots of 2SS that don't involve the 1967 lines. I'm not even sure a negotiated solution requires the 1967 lines. But certainly Israel could simply annex Area-C and some Area-B for contiguity. Then renounce all claims to the remainder. The world would then have to decide what to do with the scraps. They could call it Palestine, and argue the 1967 stuff still in Israeli hands isn't Israel's (disputed territory) but even there self determination is going to be a problem.

      Take Gaza for example. Israel didn't negotiate they just renounced claim on that chunk of the "occupied territories" and left. Slowly they are winding the Hamas government and the people of Gaza towards just governing their territory and giving up their expansionists ambitions for more territory.

  • Jewish Voice for "Real" Peace
    • @James --

      JeffB – - So, Israel should stop fussing about right of return. And the problem obviously is that Israel is trying to keep too much of the West Bank.

      They can't stop "fussing" about it. If they were to agree to it then they would likely have to do it. I'm just saying they aren't going to be forced to.

      As for trying to "keep too much of the West Bank" for peace well ... yes they maybe could give up everything the Palestinians want and maybe get a deal. That's still unclear because the Palestinians have always insisted on RoR. But they aren't going to do that. They want different lines.

    • @James

      Osama bin Laden loathed the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia after the Gulf War.

      Agreed he also loathed it before the Gulf War.

    • @James

      Chances Israel would be forced to accept huge numbers of Muslim immigrants are essentially ZERO.

      I agree which is why making RoR a sticking point is so silly.

      The real issue is whether Israel is willing to GET OUT of the West Bank. In my juidgment.

      And the answer is partially but not completely. They want to keep parts.

    • @James

      Osama wanted the USA out of Saudi Arabia and the USA willing to allow the Saudi regime to fall. That's a policy change. He also wanted the USA to stop the sanctions in Iraq. He also wanted the USA to stop giving weapons to Israel. Those are both policy changes.

      By I was talking more about his critique.

    • @libra

      But Jeff, what if the next phase is a non-violent struggle by the Palestinians for equal rights?

      First off that would be great. Equal rights means becoming Israeli and forgoing national rights. That's something that so far even the Israel-Arabs have been unwilling to do. If they do become willing to do it then Israel can just accommodate the request and move towards aggressive assimilation.

      But in practice I suspect they are going to want some degree of national autonomy. More rights not equal rights. There is also the problem of which Palestinians.

      1) The refugees don't live in Israel already.

      2) Gaza is already independent. They can't petition for equal rights because they don't live in Israel.

      3) Area A and most of area B is going to remain independent formally. Israel will likely only annex some peaces of B and Area-c. This separation is going to be how Israel defends itself by arguing these people aren't Israeli at all. That may not work since the West Bank is so broken up.

      4) The Israeli-Arabs have pretty much equal rights. They are the best case to move towards full equality and it would mean having to forgo national rights. They are close and I think it would be great for Israel to fully assimilate them. I suspect it happens as soon as there aren't regular problems with Gaza and WestBank.

      Use of violence by Israel in response will quickly rot what’s left of its moral core until there’s nothing left.

      I don't know what that means. Obviously Israeli society regardless of what they do with Palestine with still have moral values. Being mean to the Palestinians won't make them suddenly not have a problem with shoplifting or disrespecting their parents.

      If you mean being really mean to a minority will hurt their PR. Yes the Palestinians have done pretty well on damaging Israel's image.

    • @pabelmont

      However, if BDS, the Trilateral Commision, the EU, the UN finally get their courage together (*courage to overcome the political and economic costs of taking action) there can be sanctions against Israel and sanctions (not military power) can defeat Israel. Consider Iran: USA has had an easy time applying sanctions but has refused war, and Iran is not a major military power.

      Well if everyone gets their act together and considers it a high priority certainly. But that's asking a lot. There are 4 major differences with Iran though with respect to sanctions that in practice make things different:

      a) Iran has a government that seeks isolation and isn't looking for alliances. Iran isn't willing to sell its independence to a high bidding power (USA, China, Russia...) Israel is.

      b) Iran at worst faces regime change. In the case of Israel most of its opponents supporting BDS don't support a meaningful 2SS (i.e. two distinct states) but rather want to destroy the actual underlying society by flooding the country with immigrants hostile to Israeli society: religiously, politically, culturally, linguistically... That's much closer to what America did to Iraq in respect to the Sunni uprising when we became willing to shatter the country. Israeli society is going to be much more unified against that than Iranian society. Moreover Israel is rightfully going to react with a much higher degree of panic.

      c) Iran doesn't have millions of people in the west in positions of power who strongly oppose the sanctions regime and are loyal enough to the Iranian government to help Iran undermine it.

      d) Israel is substantially more powerful than Iran.


      Obviously if everyone gets together and supports a sanction regime in a measured way without countries pursuing their self interest by allowing Israel to escape the sanctions and the USA in particular is capable of maintaining this in the face of a minority who is going to blisteringly opposed (not even to speak of Christian Zionists) then sure. But IMHO that's just not a realistic scenario. A realistic scenario is probably much closer to North Korea than Iran.

      USA does not like attacking anything other than fish in a barrel.

      No one likes fighting wars against tougher opponents. In most respects of conventional war, the USA doesn't have anyone who is close. Everyone is an easy target. That being said, the USA as been going toe to toe with dozens of groups associate with Al-Qaeda in 40 countries, on the ground in their turf. These don't get much play but the revolution in Yemen and putting down the insurgency in North-West Pakistan while fighting in multiple other places ain't shooting fish in a barrel.

      Both Korea and Vietnam were hard fought if you want more recent conventional wars.

    • @mark

      Why walk the establishment-fine-line if it means blunting your critique and opting for a position that you know will go nowhere?

      Because politics is the art of the possible. Go too far and you lose credibility. Osama bin Laden had some insightful things to say about USA power but it didn't matter.

      I will agree with you on the statement. This statement by JVP you quote is simply delusional:

      The framework of the current peace negotiations does not recognize that imbalance. When the official “peace process” ends, it may finally be possible to work toward negotiations where Israel and the Palestinians come to the table with equal power, and the U.S. no longer plays the role of Israel’s enforcer.

      So we are supposed to believe that without USA power one of the top 10 military states on the planet couldn't handle a few million people with only light arms?

  • Our eviction action at NYU created more dialogue than ever before
    • @Pabelmont

      Most political organizations on college campus don't come anywhere close to violence against their fellow students. Let's take a clear example of an incident link to
      My feeling is that there was an implied threat to Professor Alan Johnson by Joseph Loughnane is to stop speaking or he and mob he brought is going to get violent. His behavior only makes senses as a threat, but Loughnane is being careful not to make an explicit violent threat. When SJP gets investigated this is the sort of behavior that gets turned up. It is the kind of intimidation one typically sees with hate groups that are working up the nerve to get violent but haven't done so yet. It is not the sort of behavior that is the norm for college political groups.

      The tone with regard to Israel is absolutely not part of the political process. People discuss North Korea, Somalia, Iran, Mongolia in a calm manner without any particular passion or desire to demonize. And I have to tell as someone who was in college at the height of the South Africa thing, I can think of one passionate encounter I ever had regarding South Africa. There were people who wanted divestment and people who wanted constructive engagement but there were 0 people even hinted that this disagreement should get violent, threatening or even disrespectful.

      That's not what is going on here. Stop pretending this is about allegations of crime against Israel. When a trial witness gets a dead dog nailed to their front door as a message the proper procedure is not to have the police ask why they are so upset someone is making them wash a door. Your whole line of questioning is offensive and assumes that the threats aren't real.

      The reason they feel threatened is because they are dealing with people who are far too emotional when discussing for them what should be a foreign policy issue of little consequence.

    • @Amigo

      When I went to college there was a dorm that was heavily Islamic women with a few women who were Christian conservative and others like Hindu thrown in. The wanted a dorm which was all female where the girls weren't bringing guys into their room for sex. There wasn't about Muslim separatism. In this case the reason to populate that particular dorm in the article was the elevator was designed to support Jewish shabbat practices which would be important to observant students.

      Stop assuming everything Jews do is for some evil nefarious purpose.

  • 'NYT' scrubs 'analysis' that Hamas is 'seen in West as the devil'
    • @John

      Hamas is on the official terror watch list. It is illegal under EU rules for an EU country to have normal diplomatic relations with them. Yes that is reviled.

  • Bait-and-switch anti-Semitism: NYU SJP accused of targeting Jews, or not
    • @lysias

      what does that make posting such notices on Palestinian homes in Israel/Palestine where they have all the legal force in the world?

      Governing. In particular regulating construction in territory under your control.

      For example in New Jersey where I live, if I do construction illegally a regulator will determine whether to make me go through a long complex permitting process or that failing the construction will likely be demolished. I was at an office last week where someone had laid consumer grade cable on an workplace ceiling (a fire hazard since consumer grade cables can release much higher levels of toxic fumes at lower temperatures when they burn) and he was given 30 days to get it corrected or the state was going to shut the room down and rip the cable out.

      It is perfectly natural, proper and common for governments to regulate construction in their territory. The fact that Israel is regulating construction in parts of the "occupied territories" is one of the hundreds of reasons they aren't occupying but full on governing.

      The place where these orders happen the most frequently is area-C. Area-C Israel governs but the Palestinians don't recognize Israel as their government. Same as the Cliven Bundy situation where he doesn't recognize the Bureau of Land Management's authority and is going to lose his cattle because whether he recognizes Federal Authority of not they have the authority.

      A legitimate objection is that the Israelis use the permitting processes in a discriminatory way. An illegitimate objection is that Israelis are using a permitting process.

    • @yonah

      Stephen- Zionists took a realistic point of view towards the antiSemitism that they found in society. ....

      Very well said, couldn't agree more.

    • @MHughes976

      But do Ms. Adkins and her supporters freely admit that people who are opposed to Zionism may well not be ‘anti-Semitic’ in the ‘classic’ or traditionally accepted sense?

      Yes I do think that it is possible to be anti-Zionist without being an anti-Semite. Ali Abunimah is even a BDSer whom I consider to not be anti-Semetic. That being said I think most anti-Zionists are anti-Semeitic in the classic / traditional sense. What confuses the issue is that new-Antisemitism people have tried to define "classic" anti-Semitism so narrowly that anything short of genocidal nazism wouldn't qualify.

      Let's take Cliven Bundy's recent statement:

      “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro... recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids—and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch—they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

      And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

      Everyone even the hard right in America agreed this was racist. So let's look at the analogy


      anti-Zionist version:
      I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Jew...recalled visiting Israel and there was discrimination and .... because of Israel the Jews do bad things.

      Because Israel was founded on another's people's land what do they do? They raise their kids in a militaristic environment, they put people in settlements on Palestinian land. Because those Israeli Jews never learned how to live as subordinates in Christian countries. And I’ve often wondered, are the Jews better off as slaves, living in Christian or Muslim Countries where they didn't have self determination or are they better off now under their own rule ? With Israel they didn’t get no more security. They got less security.

      Somehow now with that analogy we are supposed to believe it is entirely different.

  • Israel stops US-led peace talks citing Palestinian unity (Updated)
    • @Maximus

      Genuine question: Has ANY senior Israeli politician EVER recognised Palestine’s right to exist in 1967 borders (no ‘land swaps’), with East Jerusalem as its capital, with full control over its airspace, army, borders and foreign policy?

      Sort of. Right after the '67 war Israel made an offer to trade the territory acquired for peace treaties. Golan back to Syria, Sinai back to Egypt and West Bank back to Jordan. At that time the PLO was still sponsored by Arab governments and wasn't aiming for independence. The Arab response was to take the Soviet position that the Arab states should "liquidate the consequences of the war without concessions". So it was rejected.

      Israelis were kinda shocked at the reaction and having had their peace offer rebuffed the right in Israel gained strength. Since then, no there has never been an offer of 100% return.

  • 'Al Jazeera' examines Jewish constellation of lobby elites, and marginalized 'universalists'
    • @Shingo


      It was rejected by Sharon, even though it gave Israel everything it has been asking for.

      No right. Sharon was head of the Knesset. He wasn't a dictator. His opinions were subject to democratic oversight. His party remained popular and his rejection has popular support.

      As for giving Israel everything it asked for... The saudi plan included RoR. The Saudi plan didn't accept Jerusalem which has been annexed by Israel. It didn't give Israel much of anything they didn't already have.

    • The janitors rearranging the chairs are Wolfowitz, Kagan, Amitay, Krauthahhmer, Satloff,

      Deputy Secretary of Defense, Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court / former Solicitor General, openly a lobbyist on policy matters, a well known journalist and a lobbyist ... That is our government / extended political culture not people subverting our government.

      A fifth column requires some degree of subterfuge. These people were all pretty open about their opinions and participated in the system as Americans. You just don't agree with them.

    • @Shingo

      JeffB: Your problem is that you think Israel should be an enemy and thus want to treat it as one.

      Shingo: Your problem is that you think Israel is a friend because it has Congress by the cohones and AIPAC buys them off.

      Yes I think the policy of the United States is determined by the elected government of the United States. Imagine that.

    • @Hostage

      You’re dissembling. For example, Jonathan Pollard and Arnon Milchan were members of the Jewish community and were personally responsible. There’s plenty of evidence that both men enjoy broad support from the Jewish community too.

      Arnon Milchan is Israeli he can't be part of a fifth column since he isn't an American. As for Pollard there is no evidence his activities have broad or even significant minority support from the Jewish community in America. Pollard is an Israeli obsession and one that the American Jewish community mostly hasn't supported.

    • @Hostage

      It isn’t debatable that Israel used US citizens to illegally transfer nuclear materials for its own use and classified satellite, submarine propulsion, and missile technology to China and Russia that undermined US security. Have you been living in a cave?

      The USA Jewish community wasn't involved in those activities generally and didn't approve of them. It is that community that the fifth column charge is being leveled at not Israel. Israelis aren't part of a USA fifth column because they aren't American.

    • @James

      The criteria isn't security risks but rather full on enmity. Most every country which is meaningfully worth allying with poses some security risks.

    • @james

      No being pro-Jewish means supporting the Jews in their goals and working for their betterment. Working against their goals and aiming to harm them is not being pro-Jewish. The Saudi peace plan was rejected by the Jews as asking too much, that is against their interests.

    • @Maximus

      The question was the definition of fifth column. The definition does not assume a permanent state. Rather the definition realizes that when the state A is allied with state B cooperation is a good thing while when state A is enemies with state B cooperation is a bad thing. As long as Israel and the USA are friendly Jews are not a fifth column. It is that simple.

      Jews in the USA because the USA and Israel are allies are advancing the interests of the United States. You may not like that the fact that the USA and Israel are allies but that doesn't change the situation nor the definition of fifth column.

    • @ThorsteinVeblen2012

      Perceiving Jews as uniformly supporting civil rights here ignores the fact that there were many Jews on the other side of the civil rights issue. There were Jewish storeowners in the South who supported, participated and profited from Jim Crow too.

      That's fine. Those people were rare exceptions. Saying Jews did X doesn't mean all Jews but rather Jews collectively. The same way that when we say "America invaded Iraq" that's not falsified by finding one American in Saddam's army.

      Jewish groups and Jewish institutions were mostly in favor of civil rights and worked for them. Jews played a huge role in the civil rights struggle. There was nothing on the other side counterbalancing that in terms of Jews.

    • @Giles

      What assets of the United States does Israel threaten to take? What USA lands does Israel lay claim to? Etc...?

    • @Shingo

      It is when they influence America’s leaders to adopt policies damaging to America’s interests, which is what the lobby does.

      That's what needs to be proven. For a fifth column it isn't supposed to be a matter of public debate but rather quite clear cut. If it is debatable then it isn't a fifth column. So for examples Americans who believe in stronger trade and cultural relations with Europe aren't a fifth column even though some disagree.

    • @American

      What have Jews done to undermine America's solidarity? Against which external enemy: Russia, North Korea, China... have Zionist been on the other side subverting the USA from within for the benefit or Russia....

      Your problem is that you think Israel should be an enemy and thus want to treat it as one. If Israel isn't an enemy then cooperation isn't 5th column activity it is just normal cooperation. The same thing that happens when Canadian raw materials are shipped to USA factories for processing.

    • @Balfour

      Isn’t this the definition of a fifth column?

      A fifth column requires the action be against the primary state not just for another cause. So for example Americans who are huge supporters of classical music aren't a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to classical music. In much the same way Americans who are huge supporters of Israel aren't a fifth column because the United States is not opposed to Israel. Now were Israel a genuine threat to the United States were they enemies and of somewhat equal power, then those softs of actions would be a 5th column.

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

      - No country or group of countries poses a real threat to Israel, apart from the potential for a relatively small number of Jews to be killed by a few rockets from time to time.

      I agree with you Israel doesn't face any real threats. But most of your compatriots here on MW however believe Israel is terribly vulnerable an artificial colony that would collapse without constant USA support and for many a belief that they lost to Hezbollah the last time they fought. Regardless however, there most certainly are countries that if they choose could destroy Israel like Russia or the USA.

      Jews are essentially safe in all parts of the world.

      Jews just got cleared out of Venezuela. They are being cleared out of South Africa especially the rural parts at a pretty good clip right now. So no, they aren't safe everywhere. They are safe in their two largest homes the USA and Israel along with other key places like Canada. But "anti-Zionism" is popular and when it arises Jews are generally ethnically cleansed in the name of anti-Zionism.

    • @Citizen

      In fact the original findings and statement’s from the hijackers mentioned the US blank support of Israel’s treatment of Palestinians was a key motive.

      The key motive was the US relationship with Saudi Arabia. You can list the 3 motives of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Israel. But what you wrote above is dishonest.

    • @James

      Of course it is possible. Hitler proved that quite effectively. He invaded countries, gather them up and ship them off to central disposal centers. Mostly what he found was that countries when given the option were enthusiastic about the prospect and helped immediately. The Arab backlash in the 1950s as more as more recent events like Venezuala prove that Jews can be effectively concentrated easily.

      But really because of Hitler, the Arabs backlash and immigration to Israel the Jews aren't scattered the way they were anymore. Wipe out Israel and have the backlash in the USA that many of the MWers are always salivating about if American Jews don't immediate join the crusade against Israel and that's pretty much it for the Jewish population. It wouldn't even be that hard.

      If you mean the Palestinians don't have the power to do it, I'd agree. But they often have delusions about what they are capable of. That's one of the reasons the I/P conflict goes on as long as it does the Palestinians won't read the board and cut a deal.

    • @justicewillprevail

      how does one ‘ambiguously’ avow the killing of Jews, I wonder?

      I gave 4 examples of statements that do exactly that in the previous thread.

    • @Ecru

      Talk to unverified about that. And of course a struggle between Protestants and Catholics is a struggle between religious communities often called a religious struggle.

    • @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
    • @RoHa

      I have never understood why this claim is deemed to be important. Even if it is true, I cannot see how it in any way detracts from or modifies the rights of the Palestinians.

      If Massachusetts were invaded and the USA refused to allow the people of Massachusetts to settle so as to put pressure on the invaders that's very different than if Mexico were invaded, the Mexicans fled north and the USA refused to allow the Mexicans to settle so as to put pressure on the invaders.

      There was in the 19th century a single nation that incorporated Syria, Lebanon and Palestine. Moving Palestinians to Syria and Lebanon is no more some horrible trauma naturally then when I moved from CA back to NJ. It was something that until the 1940s that people did all the time there was a flow of population. This means the people making it traumatic are the Lebanese and the Syrians by not granting full rights to the Palestinians not the Israelis. Obviously the cleansing was traumatic from the Israelis but the decades of suffering after that was on the levant cultures.

      By creating this trauma they Syrians and Lebanese have forked the history of the respective peoples. Having different histories creates different nations so this act helped to form the Palestinian people but they weren't entirely pre-existing as a nation.

      Around 1920 is when you start to see strong signs of a distinct Palestinian identity forming.

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