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Total number of comments: 1449 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • Thanksgiving: The perfect holiday to ruin with politics
    • Yes Katie absolutely once one abandons fear mongering and hatred people can get along. The Jewish and Palestinian communities got along terrifically in LA when I lived there because they both recognized each other's legitimate claim to live in Los Angeles and sought ways to build a better life for all people of Los Angeles.

      Palestinians don't go around blowing up pizzerias on South Robertson and Jews don't go around bombing the crap out of Brookhurst Street. And frankly the populations are so intermixed I had a tough time even coming up with the last sentence to even find two streets.

  • When Hagee vilifies Obama as 'anti-Semitic,' Cruz and Dershowitz don't walk out
    • So let’s get this clear. The Israel lobby transcends political party. Alan Dershowitz supported Obama, but he participates in a gala at which Obama is called an anti-Semite...

      A few weeks ago New York hosted the Catholic charities dinner (before the election) both Cuomo and Rob Astorino were there along with about 800 other guests. Sen Gillibrand was there along with Cardinal Dolan. Because Catholics of all political parties support raising money to feed children. And there were a few Protestant and Jewish people there was well.

      There is nothing unusual or immoral about religions not being divided in a partisan way. The same way football and basketball events are not split down partisan grounds. Judaism and Jewish events are part of both parties. The same there are Protestants in both parties, Muslims in both parties... Regardless of party most Catholics believe that Jesus is a pretty cool guy and want to see his message, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest" spread and put into action. And in the same way influential Jews believe that Israel is a pretty cool country and want to see the message, "Brothers and sisters, come home" spread.

  • Nationalism vs imagination -- Beinart and Vilkomerson square off over two-state solution
    • @Phil

      Glad to see this dialogue is happening though I'm to the right of everyone and think they are all kind of silly. The first imperative of life is survival.

      But I though I'd respond to your last paragraph

      Just one comment from me. I’m struck by Peter Beinart’s statement that his parents in South Africa understood the need for a Jewish state of refuge, so: they moved to the U.S. To a place where church and state are separated, and where Jews have more power than we have ever had in history, as Beinart has acknowledged. I wonder how that experience is integrated into Beinart’s politics. Alan Wolfe of Boston College has just published a book: At Home in Exile: Why Diaspora Is Good for the Jews

      The actual diaspora in terms of countries is a bit more troubled than that.

      Relative to the populations:
      Austria down from 4.68% to .11% mostly due to a mass slaughtering with broad public approval (Germany, Yugoslavia, Poland... similar)
      Territory of the Ottoman empire down from 1.62% to .02% due to slaughtering and later ethnic cleansing.
      Russia a collapse from 3.2% to .15% due to widespread anti-semitism
      Iran is following a similar policy having dropped their population from .4% to .01%

      The only place that the diaspora seems to even be possibly successful are the USA, France, Australia and the UK. With both the UK and France having seen sharp drops in the last generation as the muslim minority has encouraged anti-Semitism.

      So mostly there is 1 example of a place where diaspora has been good, the USA. Is it more reasonable to assume it is a statistical outlier or more reasonable to assume that actually the diaspora sucks for the Jews? The USA model where all religions quickly become flavors of Baptist, and thus a state religion is effectually maintained with broad consent, seems to be good for everyone. But so far the USA hasn't been able to export it, we'll see if they can as more and more of the world becomes Baptist.

      But in the meanwhile one only need look at what's happening to the Kurds, Gypsies, Palestinians, Tamiil, Sindh, Uyghur, Hmong, Igbo to see the suffering of the Jews is nothing unique. Alan Wolfe is wrong. As a nation without a state you either capture territory, merge with another nation or die. Jews of Europe and the Muslim world choose tried to merge and failed, and then in choosing not to die had one option.

      American Jews still have some diaspora sickness. I can't imagine Irish Americans even understanding a question like "is Ireland good for the Irish" even though the Irish are far more successful and populous in America than they are in Ireland. I can't imagine the Chinese Americans asking if China is good for the Chinese. Capturing territory means capturing territory. It means doing injustice. The first imperative of life is survival. The Israelis realize that. They don't apologize for survival.

      And that's where the rest of this dialogue is just off. The purpose of the state of Israel is to serve the interests of the nation of Israel. Which is not to say it needs to be immoral but morality is always a secondary objective.

  • Efforts to suppress Palestinian activism on US campuses won't work
    • @Annie

      You aren't even making sense. There are groups here

      A) Jewish college kids.
      A') Jewish college kids represented by Hillel.
      Hillel is the Jewish student organization. Jewish college kids are in a vague sense represented by Hillel whether they agree with it or not. The same way I'm represented by the USA government whether I personally agree with their position or not. The only way they wouldn't be is if there was a meaningfully large alternative organization playing the same role.

    • @eljay

      Is all pro-Israel activism being conducted by Jewish students? If it isn’t, why the anti-Semitic conflation of Jews with Israel?

      Is all PETA? activism being conducted by livestock? If it isn't why the anti-bovine conflation of cows with PETA?

    • @oldgeezer

      No they aren’t. They may be targeted by civilians who they oppress, and murder, on a daily basis but they are not the victims in that situation. God forbid that someone fight back against their murderous onslaught.

      You need to separate:

      a) Civilians are not being bombed
      b) Civilians are being bombed but you fully approve of the reasons they are being bombed.

      Those are not the same things. They in fact completely contradict one another. More of less everyone who gets bombed gets bombed for some "good reason" that some large group of people agree with. That you just happen to like anti-Jewish bombings doesn't mean they aren't happening.

      BDS is not an anti-jewish movement. It is aimed against the Israeli occupation

      Anti-zionism has had little if any impact on Israel and arguably quite a bit of that has been positive for Israel. It has been successful in many countries in clearing out the domestic Jewish population. So saying it isn't an anti-Jewish movement is ignoring a long standing proven track record in favor of hypotheticals which have never proven true.

      It targets businesses that profit from assisting in the performance of those illegal actions

      Not really. There is some level of annoyances for business that perform "illegal activities" but mostly the business move involved in assisting "illegal activities" are immune to grassroots boycotts they simply don't sell products to general European / American consumers so they can't be boycotted by them.

      It targets both of those groups of business regardless of the ethnicity of the ownership.

      White citizens councils targeted businesses that supported desegregation regardless of the ethnicity of their ownership as well. That doesn't mean they weren't anti black.

    • @Annie

      earth to jeff, don’t you read the israeli press? bds has already taken root in US campuses

      There are fringe groups doing low levels of demonstrations. There isn't a widespread political movement in the USA. Most of the students are indifferent and at most campuses actively hostile to the idea. Which is not to say at some campuses there are some small wins for BDS but they don't run deep and they so far they usually quickly get overturned with the groups burning out within a year or two.

      So no. Far from having taken root.

      uses and nothing in your fear mongering comment is happening

      Well yes. They haven't yet taken root. That's like saying none of the fallout from the elections of 2020 have impacted the USA yet.

      Even hillel admits they serve only about 1/2 the jewish kids on this one campus

      So what? I wasn't active in Hillel when I went to college or graduate school. I don't think there was a Hillel affiliated organization at my college, though there was some very light Jewish community support. That doesn't mean had their been an active anti-Jewish movement on campus I wouldn't have been harmed. The same way the NBGSA doesn't serve a high percentage of black graduate students but racism still harms them.

    • What a facile analysis. Let's assume the Jewish students don't really believe what they are saying and then extrapolate .... OK sure. If widespread anti-Jewish demonstrations have no effect then sure the Jewish kid's fears will be laughed at. But you are assuming that all the fear is completely in their heads. I can get why a McConnell might think that way since there never was much anti-Scottish activism in America, or anywhere else in the last 350 years since God Save the Queen had this verse:
      Lord, grant that Marshal Wade,
      May by thy mighty aid,
      Victory bring.
      May he sedition hush,
      And like a torrent rush,
      Rebellious Scots to crush,
      God save the King.

      Jews however are still being regularly bombed so they take it less lightly.

      Mind you I don't think the BDS escalation is going to happen. I think BDS has been about the same size for the last 10 years or so, and the same size as its predecessor movements before that. The last time anti-Jewish movements were really powerful in America was during the 1930s and 40s when Jews were an ascending minority and the minorities we were trailing behind (mainly Irish and Italians) hadn't yet achieved their full political equality into the mainstream so were trying to keep their place by preventing Jewish acceptance into the mainstream.

      But let's say I'm wrong and BDS style demonstrations do become common and Jews are still upset by them. I want you to think how a college administrator is going to respond when a paragraph like the below appears in Insider's Guide to the Colleges or US News and World Report College rankings. "College X has a severe problem with ethnic tension. Anti-Israeli demonstrations are frequent with regular anti-Jewish sentiments being expressed. Jewish enrollment has plummeted. The remaining Jewish organizations have moved off campus for safety and most Jewish students and faculty stay away from isolated parts of the campus during these demonstrations and at night. While ethnic violence has been limited so far police report dozens of minor incidents per year...."

      That's best case. Let's make it worse. Newspaper article "Yesterday at college X a hand grenade was thrown into a popular bar where Jewish students congregate ... 2 dead 13 injured in the worst on campus bombing..." Want to watch tuitions really fall off a cliff, ethnic tension will do it.

      When BDS moved to France there was violence When BDS moved to Sweden there was violence. If BDS takes root in USA campuses, an armed society mind you, and though I doubt it will, that's the very least of what will happen.

  • In travesty of justice, Rasmea Odeh found guilty despite history of Israeli torture
    • @Horizontal

      Because this article is misleading. The defense was trying to have it both ways. The defense didn't want the jury to know that she was a convicted terrorist associated with a bombing because their feeling was such information was prejudicial. On the other hand they wanted to argue the trial had been unfair due to torture. How was the prosecution supposed to discuss her torture without discussing the bombing? That would have created a picture that she was tortured for ethnic reasons which the judge wasn't going to summarily decide was true. It was an impossible situation and the judge wasn't going to allow that strategy. If you want something excluded then it is excluded. The jury got the minimum that she had been convicted. That was her call. She could have given the jury the full story but she went the other way and lost.

  • NYT's opening to a 'fringe voice' excites rage from Israeli army, journalism, business leaders
    • @Phil

      Israelis are the only audience that matters because they have so much power over Palestinians human rights and freedom. And that’s the problem.

      I have to disagree with you there. Israelis are the only audience that matters in terms of the exact strategy and tactics in the short term. In the longer term the Palestinians matter far more. They are the ones who have to finally decide upon which unpalatable for them alternatives they want to accept. They are the audience that has to reconcile themselves to the reality that they are not Syria, they not Egypt and they are not Algeria. There won't be an end to the continued existence of a self governing Jewish population. They are the ones who have to decide how or even if they want to live in a Jewish country.

      That's not a choice the Israelis get to make (excluding totalitarian solutions to reengineer Palestinians culture). Hamas still believes they can win the whole pie violently. Hamas has majority support in Gaza. What solution are you willing to live with, at least for a the next few decades, that the Israelis consider acceptable?

      Zonszein isn't being silenced. Rather she's being treated the same way an American politician would be treated who took the early 20th century position that a ban on alcohol would remake society with temperance, hard work and faithfulness becoming ubiquitous once the law was changed so that the scourge of alcohol was eliminated. Gur is absolutely correct. Israel has elections. The elections establish a clear pattern that the left's land for peace formula has been discredited by Hezbollah and Hamas.

      The right's policy of containment not settlement is mostly working. If the Palestinians want to change Israeli behavior they need to change the payoff matrix by putting better options on the table. Israelis are going to do what is in the best interests of Israel the same as all rational people do.

  • Lutheran activists fear new church leadership will stifle criticism of Israeli occupation
    • @WJones

      BTW forgot to mention there was even a post independence USA instance of Jewish expulsion by a Protestant: link to

      In the Tanakh, there is Redemption from captivity, but there is also Redemption from the grave.
      Psalm 49:7 says: “None of the [rich] can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him”.
      Then the Psalm adds:
      “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me. Selah.”

      A few comments.

      1) You are starting to ask me to defend Jewish theology rather than just state it. I'm not the best person for this.

      2) Remember the Tanakh itself is 3rd century it is a product of the diaspora Judaism. Though the Tanakh would not have been an unreasonable canon, in so far as Jews even have a concept of canon in the Christian (especially Protestant) sense of the word, it there are 0 instances of that particular list of books ever appearing prior to the 2nd century.

      3) Your translation / interpretation of Psalm 49 is Christian you are essentially begging the question. A Jewish translation sees this as a prayer to avoid premature death at the hands of the rich enemy in Psalm 49, quite material. Christian translational tradition tends to read Jesus back into the Old Testament, you have to be careful using religious Christian translations on this point.

      Both kinds of Redemption are repeatedly predicted, as in Isaiah 26, Ezekiel 37, etc.

      Ezekiel 37 is pretty clearly using resurrection as a metaphor for deliverance from exile and the restoration of the nation. I get that some Jews interpreted this more literally and that passed through to Christianity but I think the Christian interpretation is a bit of a stretch. Ezekiel explicates the metaphor directly in the text itself.

      Isaiah similarly in 27:12-13 ties his metaphor to restoration to Israel the country.

      If we only need to think of the Messiah and His Redemption in terms of a nation-state, then how is the current one any better than the one already established in the times of Isaiah and Zechariah who predicted it?

      I think Isaiah is multiple authors. You have both prophecy of the Babylonian or Assyrian destruction of Judea and later Judea having already been destroyed by Babylon. But ignoring that the theme of Isaiah is that Judea will be destroyed so as to be cleansed and then restored. Nothing much is different about Israel except it is clean. i don't change much when I take a shower.

      Zechariah is written (supposedly) during the Babylonian exile and is pastoral... God has not left you he will redeem the land and restore you to it once you are pure... So same as Isaiah.

      I suppose the main problem with seeing Ben Gurion as the Messiah is that he was not particularly close to God, nor did he bring Israel or other nations to God.

      I don't believe there is a God to get close to, but assuming I did... how do you know whether he was close to God? Aren't you just assuming what you want to prove? One of the running themes of the bible is even those who believe themselves opposed to God can be whom God chooses to fulfill his will.

      That being said, Ben-Gurion himself used messianic language particularly in the struggles of the 1950s. He did win election. So his opinion identifying messianic redemption with Israel was accepted by Jews. I'm being a bit more blunt but it would be hard for a living Ben-Gurion to talk the way I do about Israel without sounding like David Koresh.

    • @WJones

      Where did you get (2) from?
      The PCUSA is the most “antisupersessionist” of any church. They have published study documents attacking “Supersessionism.” There has probably never been any “clean Supersessionism” in any major denomination including even medieval Catholicism, if by that you mean one that totally excludes Jews from any hopes or promises. This is because of Romans 10-11.

      That's not what supersessionism means. Supersessionism is the doctrine that the mosaic covenant is now void and replaced by the new covenant. And as such Israel has been replaced by the church as center of God's interaction with man. The doctrine that Jews are unable to be saved at all is a form of racial anti-Semitism. Mostly it doesn't exist outside things like the Arian Christ movement. And with the exclusion of churches inside the Axis (i.e. excluding the Deutsche Evangelische Kirche and foreign affiliates) I'd agree no major denomination ever believed it.

      About Your Point (5): The other Protestant groups didn’t persecute Jews either, except for the Lutherans in Germans. This is partly because Protestantism showed up in about 1500, after medieval times.

      Bavaria for almost 2 centuries, 1582 Netherlands, Moravia was almost always terrible... The Episcopalians had pretty intense persecution prior to the 18th century and the church institutionally was opposed to lifting the criminal ban on Judaism. I could keep going, but no Protestant groups are not totally clean. Jewish history is miserable which is why there is close to 0 support among Jews for giving up Israel because they know what a "return to normality" entails.

    • @WJones

      Were there other major mainstream Calvinist theologians who thought this way: -

      Sure John Gill "That the Jews upon their conversion in the latter day will return to the land of Judea again, and possess it, is the sense of many passages of Scripture" Cotton, Mather... all held this view of an eventual return.

      Pre-Darby the London Jewish society (early 19th century group dedicated to helping Jews living in the UK to successfully convert) becomes adamantly Zionist. Lewis Way, Joseph Wolff, Charles Simeon, William Hechler... In England though the change really happens with Darby who starts to argue not for some sort of far off eventual event but as a current reality. Was it certain from scripture that the Jews would need to convert first before their return or could the return start to happen prior to their conversion? So for most Presbyterians who are now confronted with this, mostly they were unable to argue sola scriptura for the traditional view that the conversion had to happen first. And remember they are in a defensive position theological so they take the more defendable position that Jewish return should neither be helped nor hampered, that's an issue between God and the Jews. Which in the 19th century is objectively mildly pro-Zionist since it allowed Zionists to operate freely in Presbyterian territory.

      In Europe more generally there is the response to Napoleon's advocacy. Once the idea hits America though America becomes the center of Zionism as Adventism finds fertile ground here. I'm being way too brief, but my short answer is yes many. I think a fair statement was that Presbyterians considered Zionism in the early 19th century and mostly held the Catholic position with a few exceptions, moved a bit in the pro-Zionist position under pressure and Spurgeon's view was mainstream.

      I guess do you want to get more specific?

    • @WJones

      Wait a minute, Jeff B, wasn’t the Messiah supposed to have shown up somewhere when the Redemption happened?

      Messianic theology is less central than the theme of redemption. The land theme is explicit over and over in various rituals, prayers and stories The messiah's role is implicit and comes from tying together vague comments in scripture into a cohesive whole. Which is why for example you could have 1st century Jews who were quite enthusiastic about Marcus Agrippa as the messiah and others who had come to believe that the world we live in was under the control of forces opposed to God and thus believed in an entirely spiritual heavenly messiah who suffers and dies to redeem us from sin allowing us to one day rejoin God in heaven.

      That being said, I have no problem in considering David Ben-Gurion the messiah. When he started his political career he was defending the rights of Polish-Jewish agricultural workers relative to Russian-Jewish a minority of a minority living in a country where even the majority had no sovereignty in the middle of his career he was defending that all the Jews of Palestine and consequently all the Jews of the world would not settle for the status they had in Bagdad, Cairo, and Damascus but instead wanted their own state and when he left office he had created essentially the army that won the 6 day war as well as Israel's nuclear arsenal. I don't believe in prophecy at all, but as long as one is going to interpret them loosely enough that any sort of fulfillment is possible I think we got a fulfillment.

    • @Mooser

      I think I introduced that analogy here though the analogy was Israel = resurrection not redemption. Redemption in Christianity is what comes from the saving act it isn't the saving act. So the analogy with redemption is Jews no longer being the terrified slaves walking meekly to the gas chamber but instead a proud people defending their land where they live free having been redeemed. There is no analogy for Judaism, ge'ulah (redemption) is explicitly the end of exile which has happened. Redemption in the Christian sense is an analogy on the literal Jewish interpretation i.e. redemption from slavery to sin is like the redemption from physical slavery arrived at through national liberation.

      As for the rest of your comments on the post... My comment was addressed to Joe who asked for a why not Betsy who didn't. I don't know Betsy. If she is a PCUSAer who is part of the anti-Jewish faction that's not a shock. Its a big faction and look where this discussion is happening.

    • @WJones

      I don't think you can really say Reformed Churches are anti-Israel. For example the PCA has explicitly condemned the PCUSA's stand on Israel as taking a stand outside the legitimate over-sight of the church. Certainly the Reformed elements of the SBA are generally pro-Zionist. All reformed are going to affirm things like, "the true Israel is those who believe in Christ, both Jew and Gentile" and thus reject key elements of Christian Zionism like dispensationalism. On the other hand while they reject dispensationalism's separation of the church and Israel they do believe that the biblical promises are to be taken at face value. Spurgeon while not completely endorsing British Restoration were what we would call today pro-Zionist, "we shall at once profess our attachment to the pre-millennial school interpretation, and the literal reading of those Scriptures that predict the return of the Jews to their own land." And I think a 120 years later that's still the dominant conservative Reformed position. That Israel is the land of the Jews and that via. Zionism they are returning to their land. Berkhof (1960s conservative reformed leader) used to use Israel (the country) as an analogy of election of grace: Israel was cruel (i.e. did bad works) yet was favored by God just as we are elected without our own merits.

      Even in the PCUSA itself there are ministers who are appalled by what's happening, "the PCUSA is perfectly comfortable with one of its constituent groups [referring to the IPMN -- Israel Palestine Mission Network] making repeated forays into the swamps of falsehood, bigotry, and hate. It is a scandal for the denomination, and one that this summer’s General Assembly would be wise to address."

      So to summarize I think Reformed is less friendly than Arminian on balance. Liberals are much less friendly to Israel than conservatives. The PCUSA being both seems willing to openly institutionally fall just short of BDS level hostility. But they are bitterly divided on the issue. As you move right I think the Reformed are mostly allies. Israel is mostly liked by the western right. And frankly even in the PCUSA Jews aren't doing that badly. The Israel haters only won narrowly. In America Jews are enough of a slice of the population that they have been able to head off anti-colonialist anti-Zionism/antisemitism on the left. But in churches Jews don't have the membership numbers (0 or close to it) to make a difference.

      Or to summarize my summary, I think it is a left problem more than a Reformed problem.

    • @Joe

      I think you are missing a few things.

      1) The Northern Presbyterians was the center of the International Peace Movement. The PCUSA inherited from its grandparent denomination being anti-colonial before being anti-colonial was cool.

      2) Presbyterianism doesn't have the same kind of screwy love / hate relationship with Judaism that many other Christian denominations do. Presbyterianism is cleanly supersessionist so Jews theologically are just like any other of the unsaved. For Presbyterian theology Christianity is the continuation of biblical Judaism with modern Judaism having no particular theological significance at all. The theology that Christians should dictate to Jews what is authentic Judaism that you see in for example Zionism Unsettled: A Congregational Study Guide just couldn't happen in groups that are more conflicted in their supersessionism.

      3) Presbyterianism had the earliest break with evangelicalism and the sharpest as evangelicals followed Machen out the door. Also as American mainstream Evangelicalism became explicitly Arminian this fed into even less involvement. So there wasn't much less involvement of the Northern Presbyterians in the American Board of Missions during the 1940s-50s. They never went through the transitions away from "Jews aren't real Americans" that many of the other denominations did, towards a more positive view.

      3') As a result of the Machen breaks Presbyterian denominations are more cleanly organized left to right politically (interestingly enough a lot like American Jewish denominations are). There is simply less concern among left leaning Presbyterians in not alienated the right because they broke away so long ago. And moreover alienated moderates are also often in other denominations.

      4) The PCUSA doesn't have a strong outreach to 1/2 Jews so it doesn't have a meaningfully sized internal lobby of members for whom Zionism is tied emotionally / psychologically into their faith.

      5) Presbyterians don't have a legacy of much anti-Jewish persecution and arguably looking at the record as a whole their legacy is rather positive. They have less to feel guilty about. There is no Spanish inquisition, holocaust or centuries or persecution. Presbyterians can look at Jews and say "you are treating the Palestinians worse than we treated you" while most other Christian denominations cannot come close to saying that.

  • When Rouhani says blaming ISIS on Islam is Islamophobic, is anyone listening?
    • @traintosiberia

      At any given time there are factions within the United States lobbying for closer relationships with just about every country and other factions lobbying for more hostile relationships. Republican trade associations like China, human rights groups don't. For example there are factions that want USA intervention in Honduras on both sides. And this was more common during the time of the cold war, when the USA population was more willing to establish long term military bases with large numbers of troops.
      link to

      The question is not whether there were a small number of people who wanted to invade Iraq, but how they won the argument with the more skeptical interest groups, the broader public and the government. By the time Bush-43 wanted to invade the Iraq war was a very popular policy.

      And they did it because Saddam was constantly annoying. Time and time again he interfered with USA policy in the region. Barack Obama's was elected on a platform of winding down Bush's war on terror. During his first year in office his approval / disapproval numbers of foreign policy went from 54-22 to 51-44 that is over 20% of the population that didn't have an opinion on his foreign policy began to dislike his more passive approach. Or to pick another more recent example. Right now about 58% don't like USA intervention on the Ukraine issue thinking we are about right or doing too much. 29% want a much stronger intervention in Ukraine, escalation. And that's with Russia.

      There is no conspiracy. There just a bunch a population that dislikes most foreign leaders and likes violent resolutions to conflict but doesn't want to bear the costs of interventions. Interests groups and factions try and build a semi-stable consensus among that population and enact policy.

    • @Walker

      e. This site’s restriction on replying to nested comments prevents me from directly responding to JeffB’s breathtaking claim that “over the 1990s the American people had come to believe that (Iraqi) regime change should be our policy”. According to who?

      The government of the United States: link to

    • @traintosiberia

      Iran did not stop US from planning and carrying out any meaningful establishment of some kind of stable society in Iraq after the war.

      That's been the assertions of USA intelligence, the USA media and almost all the western press. I'm sticking with that opinion unless I see very strong evidence to the contrary.

      and Saddam was attacked for not supporting war on terror

      Yes when Bush gave his "with us or against us" speech Saddam went for against us.

    • @Annie

      jeff, AQ was not indigenous to iraq and came in after saddam was not in power. saddam’s forces and sunni iraqis were referenced by US military as “sunni insurgents”. but that put the US military in the uncomfortable position of being at war with iraqis, whereas they are always more comfortable positioning themselves as ‘a moderating force’ so very conveniently AQ showed up and started attacking…other sunnis!!!

      AFAIK the Iraqi insurgency stars essentially immediately with the fall of Saddam and AQ allies itself with the insurgents in 2004. In 2003 they weren't indigenous, in 2004 they were indigenous with some foreign leadership in 2014 they are indigenous though still open to foreign cooperation. The same way chess wasn't indigenous to the USA but now there are indigenous chess clubs in the USA. Cultures borrow from one another, ideas spread and organizations spread.

      and it was under petraeus the US “lost” like hundreds of thousands of machine guns in iraq. enough to supply a civil war. i am not sure he’s the best source of info on iraq. nor the cia

      Remember you were asking my source. My source is mainstream news and opinion. Like I said I don't think what I was saying about who is in ISIS was even controversial, it is boring mainstream opinion.

      even that is 50%.

      Not all of those 15k are still alive. ISIS has lost people in the civil war as well.

      they never even admitted the vast majority of assad opposition were jhihadists

      That came up repeatedly in the debate about bombing Syria last year and in the year prior when McCain was arguing for arming the rebels. So I'd say they have been pretty open since at least Feb 19, 2012 when this was debated. There may have been references earlier I haven't checked.

    • @Bumblebye

      So you, sitting comfortably in the US, as an American, are claiming responsibility for its meddlesome actions around the world

      Yes it is reasonable to hold the American people responsible for the acts of the American government. The people know and approve if not in specific than at least in general of the policies the government carries out, with a very few exceptions.

      you’re already part of that society thru’ faith/heritage?!

      I'm not part of Israel, I'm not Israeli. Jews globally are supporters of Israel.

      Yet it seems you can have all the responsibility you want with complete impunity

      I'm not sure what you mean by impunity. When the USA gets hit I lose stuff. I don't have any more impunity than people anywhere else do with regard to their societies.

    • @Just --

      Iran was bombing USA troops and destabilizing Iraq. Even the Iraqis Shia believe that.

    • @Annie

      do. i think it is a fair question. if you’re mouthing daniel pipes, SITE, the weekly standard, WAPO, rudoren.. or some israeli think tank. just spit it out.

      I didn't even know my position that ISIS is indigenous isn't controversial. If you want a few links:

      From 2009 when the foreign influence was dropping in Al Qaeda: link to

      David Petraeus on the reason that ISIS has the support of locals: link to

      BBC: ISIS in Syria is 60-70% Syrian:
      link to

      The latest CIA estimate was up to 15k foreigners have joined ISIS with 31,500 active fighters. They didn't know how many of the foreigners had died.

      Everywhere I google that's what I find. As for your NYTimes leak in context it doesn't appear the NYTimes believes that actor theory and attributes it to trying to rattle ISIS. But you should note that the very article sees the ground forces for ISIS as indigenous and this ploy as trying to get them to view ISIS as doing the bidding of foreigners. So I'm not sure how you see it supporting your case since if ISIS were openly foreign then this ploy wouldn't work.

    • @Annie

      why? i suppose you know the majority of the syrian army are sunni.

      I don't know that I know they are a big chunk so more than a 1/3rd. I do know that secular Sunnis are backing the Alawites. Heck I have secular Sunni Syrian friends that have always been pro-Assad (though they aren't in the military). For a Sunni secularist if the two parties are the Sunni religious extremists and the Alawite seculars picking the later seems like a rational choice. Also the Christians are mostly pro-Assad.

      Same as America. The core of the Republican party is white evangelicals. That doesn't mean there aren't non-whites and non-evangelicals who support them, their 1996 and 2008 Presidential candidates being good examples.

      who is your source on this (“clearly drawing broadly from those communities “) analysis? -

      Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -- born in Iraq, educated in Bagdad. Became a major Iraqi political figure in 2003 when he founded Jamaat Jaysh Ahl al-Sunnah.

      Most of the next tier are graduates of Camp Bucca, they were Saddam loyalists or members of Al Qaeda in Iraq; manythe leadership from Zarqawi's time. In what sense aren't they home grown?

      and why aren’t you mentioning the foreign fighters?

      Because they aren't in positions of leadership. Right now they are mostly symbolic or cannon fodder.

      it’s not indigenous to iraq or syria, nor funded locally.

      Their major source of funding is pumping oil from Northern Iraq and selling it to Syria. How is that not local funding? As for indigenous your own articles have Syrians saying they are being pushed towards ISIS because the USA isn't attacking Assad. How is that consistent with ISIS being a bunch of foreign fighters.


      I don't really know what you are getting at here. So I'm not even sure what we are debating. What is your theory for the origins of ISIS? Who in your opinion forms the majority of the membership? Who do you think is funding it?

    • @Annie

      why are the only choices between ISIS government or a US designed and imposed government?

      I'm not sure if I'd call the Shia government US designed. I'd probably consider it Iranian if you are going to blame anyone. If the USA had had less interference from Iran we might have been able to import ideas which we use successfully domestically like federalism and that might have worked. But that's a long conversation.

      But in answer to your question, AFAICT those are the two choices that Iraqis on the ground in 2014 have. Often reality isn't ideal. There may be new choices in 2015 with all the countries in the region throwing force around but for the last year, those were the options.

      why was [Saddam] a threat to the US or iraqis more than isis?

      I'm not sure he was. I think Saddam was tremendously annoying and disrespectful and thus over the 1990s the American people had come to believe that regime change should be our policy. Once Saddam didn't agree to participate helpfully in the War on Terror (which had tremendous support at the time) there was support for removing his government. What was completely lacking was any consensus about what our long term policy was.

      OTOH I don't think ISIS is a threat either, I'm opposed to what we are doing. I think we should have a policy of containment and negotiation I don't see anything that justifies the expense and brutality of destroying ISIS at this time. Hopefully all this bellicose rhetoric is just designed because the 2014 elections are mainly in the South and we chill out after November.

    • Both President Bush and President Obama have repeatedly and forcefully distanced Islam from Al Qaeda and ISIS. Bush most passionately, most frequently and to a constancy where that position probably lost him support. The press covered it.

      That being said, Phil I agree with you. Israel is the state that collectively represents the Jewish people. The Jewish people in Israel elect that government and the Jewish people in America and in most other countries support it. It is reasonable to hold Jews responsible for the actions of Israel, in the same way you can hold the French people responsible for the actions of France.

      As far as ISIS I don't think its fair to say it represents muslims. I do think it is fair to say it represents at least strong undercurrents of the Sunnis of Eastern Syria and Northern Iraq. ISIS is clearly drawing broadly from those communities and is able to function in them with broad community support. ISIS doesn't hold elections but i think it is fair to say that if the Sunnis had a choice to vote between an ISIS government or the Iraqi Shia government they would pick ISIS. I think it is fair to say that the Sunnis of Eastern Syria have picked ISIS over the Alawite government of Assad. Those people might choose a different form of government if/when they are no longer under occupation (i.e. they have a government which represents their interests) but I think it is fair to hold them responsible for ISIS.

      I have always objected to the idea that people aren't responsible for the collective acts of the societies to which they belong. This idea that government have no tie to their population's political will is simply UN fantasy.

  • Anti-Zionist train makes stop at Washington Post
    • @talkback

      Name one nation in the world which makes a difference between nationals and citizens, hophmi

      You tried this before and I gave you list of about 20 a few weeks back including many democracies. So obviously your point is moot and you know that.

  • Obama says Muslims bear responsibility to counter radical Islam (so are Jews responsible for Israeli violence?)
    • @Keith

      The article was about responsibility for violence in the Middle East. srael’s failure to lift the siege of Gaza, to actually implement their responsibilities under previous cease fire agreements, and to continually engage in provocations and periodic mass murder dealt with the article.

      No actually it was not about Israel. That was taken as a given. The article was about Jewish responsibility as contrasted with Muslim and Islamic extremism.

      The point about Haiti was that given good actions on the part of Israel they are still hated which provides good evidence that the problem is not their actions. Your own reaction was pretty indicative of this.

      1) First you assume since I'm a Zionist I'm lying about Hezbollah having spread the rumor.
      2) Then when I present evidence that that I wasn't lying rather than apologize you immediately start trying to argue that Israel treating the Gazans badly justifies Hezbollah et al. making up lies about Israel in Haiti.

      Rather then saying something like "Jeff you are right. What Israel did in Haiti was pretty wonderful and what Hezbollah did in spreading that rumor was awful. There does seem to be a deeper problem where people are critical of Israel despite good actions and they are being judged unfairly at least some of the time". you decide instead to pretending that I was derailing the thread.

      How much character do you have to lack to not be able to say on a clear cut example like that, that your accusation against me was false and your tone inappropriate? Confronted with the fact that you wrongfully made an accusation your response is to try and shift rather than apologize. The reality is Israel's actions don't determine people's attitudes towards them anymore than your reactions are determined by the facts of what is happening in the world.

    • @Mooser --

      Let's start this way. You give me the moral justification for the French, the Chinese and the Polish to have their own country. Why should the Polish have not welcomed having a German government rather than a Polish one if people aren't entitled to self determination? Why should the Chinese have been upset that the British took over their government if self determination doesn't matter? So let's setup the criteria first that gives any people have the right to their own country.

      Jews are a religious group whose religion has some vague historical ties to the religion practiced in Judaea (Judaeanism so to speak) during the time of the Roman Republic and early Empire. A huge chunk of them formed a nation in Israel mostly during the mid 20th century and their descendants now live there as a nation. Israel is for the Jews of Israel the same way France is for the Catholics of France. A state is the organizing mechanism for collective action. The Israelis are a nation hence they want to engage in collective action.

      Finally, the Palestinians stole Palestine. Everyone stole every country from others that stole the country from others who stole the country. The anaerobic bacteria would like their planet back and are very bitter about the evolution of plants.

    • @Annie --

      2010? same year as the court case as i recall, so excuse some people for being a tad paranoid. of course if memri wasn’t covering it, that is probably why it slipped your attention. here are those links again in case you’d like to brush up

      As I said to Keith there is a world of difference between your story about grey market transplants in South Africa and the criminal conspiracy involving the IDF having not gone into Haiti to save people but rather on a massive organ stealing program. They aren't even close. And similarly with a pathologist removing organs illegally.

      For example in the USA we regularly have organization that sell used car parts from totaled cars without notifying the insurance companies and tax guys that they were able to salvage some parts. That's wholly different than if there were widespread rumors that the USA is going against ISIS because we wanted to steal cars from the Yazidis.

      The whole claim against Israel was insane, it doesn't make any sense. No, that kind of hatred is not understandable. No the confusion is not natural. Yes it is absolutely indicative of something much deeper and more sinister. For .1% of the cost of Haitian relief effort the Israelis could have bought on the black market all the organs they would have stolen without notice. It doesn't even make sense as a crime. It just comes from people who are so filled with hatred that they are unwilling to see any good at all in Israel or Israelis.

      The fact that people are defending Hezbollah's fiction here rather than just say what Israel did in Haiti was a wonderful humanitarian act and what Hezbollah did with their lying, which may very well have gotten people killed, was evil I think proves my point the issues with Israel aren't about violence.

    • @aintosiberia

      Will Obama excoriate his own cabinet member for blaming Assad of using Sarin gas ?

      No because the USA conducted an investigation and concluded that those officials were correct.

      Multiple streams of intelligence indicate that the regime executed a rocket and artillery attack against the Damascus suburbs in the early hours of August 21. Satellite detections corroborate that attacks from a regime-controlled area struck neighborhoods where the chemical attacks reportedly occurred – including Kafr Batna, Jawbar, ‘Ayn Tarma, Darayya, and Mu’addamiyah. This includes the detection of rocket launches from regime controlled territory early in the morning, approximately 90 minutes before the first report of a chemical attack appeared in social media. The lack of flight activity or missile launches also leads us to conclude that the regime used rockets in the attack.

      link to

    • @Keith

      1) You asked I found the links in 10 seconds. As far the rest of the organ hunting, if you believe that Israelis are running around the world stealing organs I'm not sure what else there is to talk about. At a certain point criticism just becomes willfully false and evil.

      2) The claim was the IDF was organizing it. I'm sure Israelis like people in all countries are individually involved in all sorts of crimes. But there has been no state sanction or support much less direct state action. Hezbollah was lying about this. Something vaguely similar doesn't make it any more true, anymore than the USA army is harvesting organs in Iraq because their are illegal transplants in the USA.

      3) This had nothing to do with Gaza. Stay on point. The claim was that Israel's violence created these false rumors. The Haiti example disproves that as here Israel was doing something manifestly good, and yet people such as yourself are unable to admit it so had to create a false narrative of organ theft. The fact that you want to divert a conversation about something Israel did which was wonderful, spending lots of money to help the Haitians, to something you don't like harming the Gazans is precisely the point. There will never be any possibility of Israel being perfect. If someone is unwilling to acknowledge any good Israel does in any area because in some other area there is a bad then the cause of their agitation is not the bad thing. Your shift is a good counter example of the point that it is the violence that causes the hatred. If it was the violence you would be happy when Israel isn't violent. If the hatred originates from another cause and the violence is just a way of expressing it, then anytime someone tries to talk about something else you would want to focus on the violence.

      4) On Charlie Rose just a few weeks back the head of Hamas was repeatedly asked if he would accept Israel and he continually refused to do so. So no it is not clear they would accept Israel. It most certainly is clear they haven't. This doesn't require experts. If Hamas wants to accept a two state solution, they just have to say "we are willing to accept a two state solution" they have not done so and when asked about it indicate they consider all of Israel to be occupied territory and illegitimate.

    • @Antidote

      I'm not sure what specifically you are are trying to address. I said the Kosovaars not the Ottomans. Certainly the Serbs had more recent problems with other Muslims but even then you are talking many decades.

      In terms of what life was like for the Serbs under the Ottomans, it probably was pretty bad. One of the advantages of the nation-state over empires is that it allows people to have governments which better represent their interests. That's been a key component in creating a more just world, a concentration of people large enough to engage in complex economics yet not so large that the there is no connection between those residing in the territory. So I guess I mostly agree with what you wrote above.

    • @Keith

      I am unaware of any accusations of Israel harvasting the organs of dead Haitians. Unless you have a link or two, I think you made that up

      link to
      link to
      link to
      link to
      link to

      And there are dozens more like this. Nonsense false claims against Israel even when they do good stuff. The unique hatred of Israel does not originate with anything Israel is doing.

    • @Mooser

      why don’t they have the right to impute whatever “theology” characteristics they want to Jews?

      They do. That's the problem. Jews are tree they are grafted into as part of the new covenant. Moses (along with other Jewish figures) is a prototype of Jesus and part of messianic revelation apparent since the beginning of time when the creator revealed his plan of redemption in creation. Jesus is the pesach lamb... That's why I just wish they would leave the whole thing untranslated so that their bible is about the Ioudaios who practice Ioudaismos and come from Ioudaia. Then we can go be a totally irrelevant sect whom no one cares about living in our little country without any theological implications what-so-ever.

      Just imagine how great things would be if we weren't characters in their mythos so people couldn't find Israel on a map and had no clue what Jews were.

    • If anti-semitism were a reaction to Israeli violence we'd expect to see spikes of anti-Semitism around the times when Israel is violent and huge drop offs when it is being peaceful. To some extent we see that sort of cycle in European street protests. But overwhelming what correlates with anti-Semitim is geography and the political orientation of a nation's leaders not Israel's particular actions.

      We see this BTW in both directions. For example in 2010 Israel decided to spend a fortune in providing aide in Haiti. The accusations were that the Israelis weren't really there to provide food and clear water but rather they were there to harvest the organs of dead Haitians, mass organ harvesting is to the best of my knowledge an entirely new charge against Israel. So here we have a situation where Israel is being as humane as possible, and yet this induces a surge of anti-Semitism that Jews aren't satisfied with limited amounts of blood for their matzah but thousands of organs from corpses.

      anti-Semitism is part of Christian theology. It comes from the bible putting Jews into a Christian theological play, not from anything Israel is doing. And the evidence of that is that anti-Semitism doesn't correlate with violence. Unless you are arguing for some vague unprovable causation where Israel violence at time X can induce acts in time Y even when it doesn't induce acts at intermediate times. In which case for example the Kosovaars were being justifiably punished by Milošević for their 17th century expulsion of the Serbs.

  • Will the WCC finally break the interfaith ecumenical deal?
    • FWIW I think the whole suggesting of Marc's is nuts. I agree with MHughes976, WJones and American (wow that's rare). it is not for the WCC to determine what groups represent the Jews. If they want to engage in interfaith dialogue they have to do it with Jewish groups that represent meaningfully large percentages of Jews, and that doesn't include "Jews of conscience". It would be grossly inappropriate, as well as counter productive, for the WCC to be "empowering Jewish of conscience" by recognizing them as official representatives of American Judaism when they clearly aren't.

      If the Jewish establishment wants to dialogue with Christians they go to the WCC, the Catholic church and the Evangelicals. They don't get to pick the group they like best. A Jewish group that called a meeting of Jews, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses and called that a broad ecumenical meeting would be ridiculous.


      Let's get specific here with an example. The United Bible Society is a Christian organization which works through the various manuscripts to publish an official Hebrew / Greek original for almost all Christian bible (including deuterocanonicals). So for example the ESV, NIV, REB, NJPS, NRSV, NLT, Nova Vulgata all use the UBS as their original.

      The Jewish Publication Society is a member of the UBS committee for the Hebrew. They also occasionally way in on the Greek, for example the recent work on reconstructing a timeline for the Septuagints in different regions. They have access to scholarship that isn't part of the Christian radar, they can bring to bear different manuscripts which Christians aren't as familiar with, and of course the dialogue works both ways as Christians scholars massive outnumber Jewish scholars. Good quality meaningful successful dialogue that helps both groups.

      The director of the JPS is Barry L. Schwartz, a solid Zionist who writes for the Times of Israel. The president is Gittel Hilibrand who believes that one of the 8 primary values Jewish education instills is, "Ahavas Yisrael~~love of Israel and the Jewish people~~as embracing the Land and State of Israel, and fellow Jews." The chair of the Board of Directors is David Smith who in his spare time fro being a successful lawyer wrote an entire book about ancient Israel...

      That's the JPS that in the real world actual exists for the UBS to talk to. Obviously there are other groups besides the JPS that are involved in Jewish biblical scholarship but the other ones don't represent the mainstream and UBS needs mainstream. If there is going to be Jewish participation in the UBS process so that at least the UBS is aware of areas of agreement and disagreement between Jewish and Christian scholarship then it is going to be Zionist participation in the UBS process.

  • The best U.S. 'strategy' to combat ISIS? Stop supporting religious states
    • @lysias

      I happen to know some Iranian Azeris. They are quite glad to be under Iranian rule. Azeris are well-integrated in Iranian society.

      Agreed. The question was about whether Iran had people under occupation not whether it was benign or not. The Azeris are good citizens of Iran, serve their nation, identify with its goals and live happily. That doesn't change the fact that during the Russo-Persian War their land was conquered.

      Did you know that Supreme Leader Khamenei is of ethnic Azeri background?

      Not till you mentioned it and I looked it up. But yet again a good example of how benign an occupation can be when the occupied people agree to join the society that wins their territory.

    • @amigo

      Is Iran occupying someone

      Yes. The Arabs of Khuzestan, the Baluchis, the Kurds and the Azerbaijanis are all ethnic minorities in Iran whose lands are controlled by the central government by force.

      Is Iran committing War crimes on a daily basis

      Yes. They are. Right now in Syria primarily.

      Is Iran interfering in the policies of a Sovereign Nation.

      Yes Lebanon.

      Please , jon s.If you must comment , then do so without insulting our intelligence.

      That was me. The question was is Iran a religious state, not a long list of other things you hate about Israel but somehow don't object to in other countries as the entries above show.

    • Normally I'm busy and I just ignore you since your comments are nothing more than petty silly nonsense. You don't really have anything to say and so aren't worth talking to.

      But I'll ask you a question. What worth do you think you have as a human being? Do you wake up in the morning thinking that throwing out petty insults that most children would have outgrown when they got past the poopyhead stage are a good use of your time? Is it just that no one likes you, and the "yeah Mooser your so smart XYZ really is a poopyhead" is best affirmation you can get? Are you really that pathetic?

      What do you contribute? I raise a family, I run a business. And I support the causes I believe in. What do you do that's so special? For a guy who spends hours posting on hear you don't say anything.

    • JeffB: . Israel didn’t make them destabilize Iraq over the last decade and put in place the Iraqi government that so alienated the Sunnis that they are supporting ISIS in the first place. That was all Iran.

      Lysias: Iran was reacting to the U.S./British coup that toppled Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah’s rule, now in tyrannical form

      What? 1953 was 60 years ago. If we go to war with Iran in 2039 I hope our excuse isn't a bad delayed reaction to the hostage crisis under Carter. I read (well actually listened while playing poker) Kinzer's book. Mossadegh put the USA in a difficult situation, and got overthrown. Certainly the USA and Israel were allies with the Shah. But it was Khomeini that freely decided he wanted a bad relationship with the USA. And it is the current government that has freely decided to continue it. Leaders of other countries are capable of examining the current situation evaluating the plusses and minus and reacting rationally.

    • ISIS's goals are to tear up a long term enemy of Israel in Syria and to tear up Iran's most important colony in the Shia Iraq. Both of which are extremely valuable for Israel. What the Europeans are worried about, more Muslim terrorism in Europe, would also be something that likely would be in Israel's interests. So I'd say the main value for the USA in their Israeli alliance in terms of ISIS that Israel is not on the other side: equipping, training, providing intelligence and air support of ISIS. For now the two share lots of common interests. Which is similar to their value during the cold war, when a country ran by a bunch of Eastern European Socialists wasn't part of the Soviet axis.

      But in terms of value:
      better intelligence: link to

      Also Israel is extremely active in the Kurdish areas having trained and supported the Kurdish army that took back territory this month. That was Israel.

      Besides if America isn't going to support religious states then, "forming a natural alliance with one of the strongest nation-states in the region, Iran" is not the way to do it.

      BTW Israel is not the reason Iran is not friendly to us. Israel didn't make them take our hostages. Israel didn't make them attack our ships. Israel didn't make them destabilize Iraq over the last decade and put in place the Iraqi government that so alienated the Sunnis that they are supporting ISIS in the first place. That was all Iran.

      On the wall of our former embassy in Iran: link to

      Israel didn't paint that. Iran hates the USA all on their own.

  • Salaita firing turns into a 'catastrophe' for University of Illinois
    • Good point. I don't think he has the bankroll to make it to trial but Salaita's writings in front of 12 average Americans... He's going to have to argue that his scholarship was excellent that the Indian studies department didn't decide the hire wrongly. Which means they can admit those writings and cross-X him on those writings. His books are pretty bad.

      I'd love to be the lawyer doing greatest hits from, "Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it Means for Politics" to a jury with lots of social conservatives on it.

    • @Phil --

      I don't know if you've ever been involved in lawsuits but no, Steve Salaita isn't close to having the upper hand. I don't think he has a winnable case. In the end we have undisputed fact he has issued a letter of intent that indicated a dean would pass a recommendation to hire to the board, that recommendation was passed to the board and the board agreed with the chancellor not with the dean and didn't hire. Contracts fall through all the time. Academics can wave their hands about academic freedom, and tradition and whether the American Indian studies group did or didn't do their due diligence... but lawyers are going to see this as a contract that was in late stage negotiations and fell through. He annoyed the owner and didn't the job, happens all the time. Allowing employees to bind institutions who specifically are not given the power to bind those institutions would destroy contract law. Please let Salaita win, I have no problem bribing a janitor at every one of the fortune 100 to sign a contract with me binding their institution to millions of dollars in billable work each.

      But even if he had a good case. He doesn't have the money to make it all the way to trial. There isn't going to be some great Perry Mason moment where Chancellor Wise breaks down on the witness stand agrees that she should have hired Salaita if only... The lawyers for the University if they are worried at all are just going to burn up all his money in pre trial depositions. Salaita's lawyer is going to fly out do a 1/2 dozen depositions in 2 1/2 days 3-4x at $200-500 / hr. How long do you think he can take that?

      The guy is tenured. You don't think they can find 20 x-students from all the classes he's taught he felt he engaged in incitement in the classroom? The there is the board members. The members of the Indian studies program. Let's say 60-100 depositions $500-3k each. Then they have pre-trial motions game. Salaita's lawyers have to prepare for these witnesses. there are Salaita's own witnesses. How long do you think he can keep this up?

      And even if he did win, how much do you think he gets in damages? Ward Churchill was able to prove (who had a full on tenure contract) was able to prove irregularities in his dismissal the jury agreed with him, and awarded him $1. The judge didn't require reinstatement.

      But let's assume he gets rehired and Wise just ices him for 3 years. And then doesn't renew. A court isn't going to award him lifetime employment.

      He has a bad case, and he is playing at a table where the stakes are too high for his bankroll. Maybe all this noise gets him a somewhat better settlement. But he is miles away from having the upper hand.

  • Israel's right wing Zionists, Palestine's militant resistance are political winners after Gaza slaughter
    • @WJones --

      Exactly (except for your origin of the Palestinians). So given your quite accurate assessment then the humane solution then becomes Palestinians becoming part of the Israeli nation otherwise... well I think you did a good job of point to what the alternative is likely to be.

  • Israel seizes 1000 acres from 5 Palestinian villages to build new settlement in response to teens' abduction
    • @Kay24

      Hillary Clinton has a settlement position going back almost two decades. She believes the idea of a settlement freeze is destructive to the peace process. Her belief is that the Palestinians need to understand that failure to make peace in a timely fashion results in the eventual land swaps being less generous. She's said before that when her husband managed to push through a settlement freeze the Palestinians took that as a precondition not a concession and this was a mistake she won't repeat.

      Bloomberg is on record that all of historic Palestine is Israel.

      Obama/Kerry issued his statement that this development was unhelpful. They wouldn't condemn it but they disagree with it and urge Israel to reconsider.

      Cuomo is on record considering Palestinian terrorism against Israelis to be equivalent to Al Qaeda's acts against New Yorkers.

      They aren't too dumb. They fundamentally disagree with how you view the conflict. Many of them reject the UN's view on whose territory it is.

  • Alvin Rosenfeld's Holocaust complaint
    • @lonely

      We’re right on the same page Jeffy - 1) Apply exactly the same standards to Israel you apply to other countries.

      How about – UN Resolutions 181 & 242

      Apply only to Israel. And clearly not the same standard applied to others. For one thing most other countries don't have to ancient security council resolutions thrown in their face. For example I don't see the resolutions from Indonesia and Greece from the same time period as 181 being thrown in their face now over and over and over like a broken record. What happened in those countries happened, everyone deals and moves on.

      Those are perfect examples of the exact opposite.

      the 2004 advisory opinion of the ICJ on the legality of the wall

      Yeah you gotta love that standard that a country doesn't have the right to defend itself against foreign attack. The world definitely reacted the same way when Russian classrooms were attacked by Chechnya or on 9/11.

      The fact that you can't even conceive of treating the Israel like any other state says something really tragic. You are the answer to amigo's question.

    • @amigo

      I would really appreciate it if Rosenfeld or his fellow complainers would write a book laying out just exactly what we Jew Haters have to do to avoid being called that.

      What is it we must accept or tolerate .

      Two things:
      1) Apply exactly the same standards to Israel you apply to other countries. If you believe an injustice of type X should be reversed in the case of Israel consistently reverse for all other people in all other places.

      2) Apply the same degree of passion towards Israel you apply towards any other foreign state or equal population, land mass, wealth... (whatever criteria).

    • Page: 14
  • Richard Cohen says he married Israel and has been faithful during ups and downs
    • @ckg

      Jewish ICBMs make present-day Israel no more sustainable than North Korea or 1980′s South Africa. What are you going to do–nuke Ramallah?

      Well first off so far North Korea went directly against the United States, has been hated and ostracized by the world and yet approaching 7 decades later is still standing. I'll take that level of durability. As for South Africa, South Africa was a colonialist power addicted to the native workforce. Israel broke that in the 2nd intifada. Those nukes may very well have stopped a Soviet invasion.

      The Jews don't need nukes to deal with the Palestinians. They may need nukes to deal with other coalitions of forces. I don't think BDS will get anywhere. But if it does the sanctions will start to fail. At that point the world will be faced with: token sanctions or blockade. The nukes prevent blockade. And before you throw the analogy of Gaza, yes exactly like Gaza.

    • @lyn117

      I suppose it’s no use trying to talk to people enraptured by religious fanatacism such as your, however, the “people of Judah” long ago left Judaism as a religion and their descendants would be today’s Palestinians

      The Jews were expelled from Judea in the first century. The Jews then lost two more wars against the Romans devastating any remnants. The Romans built another society that lasted until the muslim conquest in Palestine. The Palestinians are the descendants of that conquest.

      I don’t know where you get that any biblical promise means it’s OK to mass murder non-Jews (i.e., “resurrect” Judaism by creating Israel) anyway.

      Because that's what recreating a country somewhere means. Moving in and taking over.

    • I've said this before. The Holocaust was Judaism's crucifixion, Israel was it's resurrection. Phil likes to talk about how younger Jews could not relate to the Holocaust. Certainly I remember the shame as a child watching those holocaust movies. Jews of my parent's generation were still victims though though much less than other generations. Most of the walls had come down. My generation was trying to come to terms with redemption, we once had been slaves but now our free. Israel and America having played a large part.

      The younger generation perhaps cannot relate to the history of Jewish weakness. Zionism is no longer the dream of redemption but the reality of redemption. Jewish ICBMs mean that Jews no longer need fear Zyklon B. It is time to for Judaism to celebrate a our birth rather than mourn our slow death and the new literature reflects that. The messiah has come in the person of Ben-Gurion.

      To quote the verses that come before the verses in Jeremiah Christians are fond of:

      31: 23 The Lord God of Israel who rules over all says,
      “I will restore the people of Judah to their land and to their towns
      When I do, they will again say of Jerusalem,
      ‘May the Lord bless you, you holy mountain,
      the place where righteousness dwells.’
      24 The land of Judah will be inhabited by people who live in its towns
      as well as by farmers and shepherds with their flocks.
      25 I will fully satisfy the needs of those who are weary
      and fully refresh the souls of those who are faint.
      26 Then they will say, ‘Under these conditions I can enjoy sweet sleep
      when I wake up and look around.’”

      That's something to celebrate. Not everything has to be so depressing.

  • Being Palestinian got me barred from visiting Palestine
    • @Just

      Please provide links for your INSANE claim that ‘The population of Area-C mostly wants the presence of the IDF.

      You do know the population of Area-C is 2::1 Israeli Jewish::Palestinian. And among the Palestinians about another 40% are pro the settlement enterprise in terms of cooperating with it (i.e. working in the settlements or working in service industries associated with the settlements). So we are looking at a minimum of 65% support for the IDF and more than likely much higher.

    • @talknic

      I'm not sure why you keep pushing UN theories around. Yes the UN is a hostile foreign power to Israel and under the UN's definitions Israel is in violation of many of the UN's commands. That's not a disputed fact between you and I. I'm not sure why you keep bring it up.

      In real international law though there isn't a theory of racial entitlement. All people born in Area-C are legitimate inhabitants of Area-C. One can argue about the people that moved there but there is no argument about those born there. And at this point the born inhabitants are 2::1 Israeli. Of the remaining 1/3rd many of them support the Israeli government and would rather be part of Israel than Palestine (if they were hostile like the inhabitants of Gaza or Area-A they would have been pushed out long ago).

      I'm certainly going to grant the the UN fully supports an anti-self determination program where people are forever enslaved to government they hate because at some point a border was drawn. What they are doing right now in Ukraine arguing that Russians who want to be part of Russia should have to forever answer to the government of Ukraine, or in Iraq where they demand Shia rule over Kurds and Sunnis is fully consistent with their position on Palestine.

      But that's not international law that is a bastardization of international law as it existed prior to WWII. Israelis along with many other people reject the UN's pro-slavery position and God bless them for doing that.

    • @talknic

      I'm surprised you are using the 1907 laws of war. At least you are using International Law I don't reject. Yes exactly when it is under the authority of a hostile army. The population of Area-C mostly wants the presence of the IDF. It is a friendly not a hostile army to the inhabitants. The local authorities want the IDF. Ergo no occupation.

      Jerusalem is not part of Area-C and 476 applies to Jerusalem. That being said the population of Jerusalem also is supportive of the IDF. Which means unlike the status in 1980 Jerusalem is not occupied.

    • @pjduge

      um no its occupation. that israel claims its theirs doesn’t change the legal facts.

      An occupation is a temporary government setup by a military over territory it controls but lays no claim to. Is that what you think is happening in Area-C?

    • @tree

      And being a “non-integrated minority” that is currently “hostile” to “their government” is a classic Catch 22. Since the Palestinians in the West Bank have no say in ‘their government” and have no civil rights as well, it is entirely natural to be “hostile” to such a government. When they cease to be hostile to having no rights, they might then qualify as Jeff’s “integrated minority” that could be given citizenship, but then, if they are willing to have no rights, there would be no need for Israel to give them any, would there?

      Remember we are talking Area-C here not the entire West Bank. First off there is no catch-22. I suspect they are going to be given the opportunity for full citizenship during the next generation. Which is what I said. Currently they aren't being offered that because Israel hasn't de-jure annexed Area-C. Giving Palestinians in Area-C the vote in Israeli elections would be de-jure annexation. And right now the Palestinians in Area-C are hostile. Certainly if they requested annexation it would be granted and once granted they would be given the vote. Which solves your catch-22.

      For the West Bank Palestinians in general. The problem is more serious because there are far more of them. Were they to offer to become loyal Israelis in exchange for the vote I suspect something would be worked out very quickly. BTW something like this was offered when Sharon was administering the West Bank. At the time he set up village councils which then reported into his bureaucracy for coordination. The Palestinians who agreed to participate were considered collaborators and often killed. The Palestinians have consistently rejected Israeli attempts to give them greater political rights. You have to deal with the reality of the situation that the Palestinian population is obsessed with their anti-colonialist ideology and is perfectly willing to harm their self interest rather than cooperate and compromise.

    • @Shmuel

      The 300k Palestinians living in Area-C are current hostile to their government I think the right analogy is a non-integrated minority. But yes I think the resolution for them needs to be that they migrate to Area-A or become Israeli citizens legally. You can see citizenship playing out in Jerusalem where the Palestinian population is finally realizing that their situation is permanent and agreeing to become Israeli citizens rather than pretending their lives are governed by an imaginary state of Palestine. It took 33 years but it is finally happening. The same thing will happen when Israel formally annexes Area-C and offers citizenship.

    • @Amanda --

      Sorry to hear about that. I truly hate the petty harassment that Israel engages in at all levels.


      As for the discussion of Allenby Bridge, Allenby Bridge is Area-C. At this point Area-C is de-facto though not de-jure annexed. Which is not to say that Israel might not at a future date relinquish part or all of Area-C it, but what's going on in Area-C is not occupation but internal development and management.

  • Arielle Klagsbrun calls on the Jewish community to 'love and honor' those who refuse to support Israel
  • The checkpoint is burning
    • @Kev

      Do you honestly believe that ISIS has any intention of establishing a democracy?

      No I don't. Anymore than I think King Æthelstan meant to create British democracy. But what I said was they were creating a nation-state and that was laying the foundations for a genuine democracy. The fact that ISIS doesn't want one is unfortunate but irrelevant. They are doing what needs to be done.

      So you think that it’s overall a good thing to ethnically cleanse a population?

      No. I think it is overall a good thing to create nation-states. I think accomplishing good things often means doing bad things. I do think population transfers are an important part of nation-states formation and so in practice I'm usually in favor of them when they occur.

      Do you know that according to international law it is a war crime?

      Yes. The UN is terrible on the issue of self determination and is generally opposed to most anything associated with it in practice. I don't agree with the UN on many things. On the other hand I agree with them on other things. I think their rules governing peering on transnational cables are pretty good. I don't have a huge problem disagreeing with a governing body on some policies and agreeing with them on others.

      Do you understand that according to international law, wars to conquer and expand the territory of a state are also considered illegal under international law?

      The UN wants the UN to be the final authority on borders. So what?

      And you claim that you’re not a Fascist?

      I already gave you a long list of fascist core principles I reject. Not liking the UN doesn't make one a fascist. The UN is just some committee where nations meet to discuss issues. It lacks effective enforcement powers on their most outrageous views so they are often, to quote Jeanne Kirkpatrick "a letter to santa clause". She wasn't a fascist either.

    • @Peter in SF

      First, I question the phrasing that the Indian wars ended because Native Americans “agreed” that the United States would have the “right” to allocate property. But second, you call that “the most basic aspects of assimilation“?

      Absolutely. A basic willingness to live within the laws of the state and to not ignore, violent oppose or overthrow the state is core to assimilation. Today Native Americans are mostly law abiding members of USA society undergoing (and mostly completed) assimilation. 200 years ago they were in rebellion rejecting most aspects of assimilation.

      It flaws the analogy because we’re not talking about people who have moved somewhere else and should be expected to make some adaptation to the society living in the place where they’ve moved to.

      That's a disagreement not a flaw. I think people need to adapt to their society regardless of where they moved. My parents have were born in Philadelphia and they still live in the area. They don't use trolly cars much to get around since their society got rid of them. The neighborhoods shifted, television is not a social activity that the whole block gathers around to enjoy together. They have had to adapt to the society even though they didn't move. I don't think there is anything wrong in that.

      I was responding to what you were saying about the laws and government policies:

      To get equality in the United States as an immigrant you have to do a lot of stuff to work with the INS. You have to follow USA law or your potential for citizenship gets stripped. Etc...

      You also ignore the fact that Palestinian citizens of Israel go to different schools than their Jewish fellow citizens, and mostly live in separate towns and neighborhoods. The leaders of Israel like it that way.

      As do the Palestinians. That's bad and it should change. And hopefully it will change. For it to change Israeli-Arabs need to stop flirting with being a fifth column and Israelis need to become more progressive with regard to marriage. That is both sides need to get more aggressive about assimilation. This was working well until about 1980 when the Israeli-Arabs got more radicalized, now the results are more mixed.

      I don't have any problems with a campaign for better civil rights for Israeli-Arabs. That's wholly different than destroying Israel.

    • @Just

      “Ben-Ari noted that former Prime Minister Golda Meir, “a prime minister of the Labor party, a representative of the left, etc. – when she spoke about assimilation she said…’whoever marries and assimilates joins the six million (Jews murdered in the Holocaust). She saw in what’s happening here a continuation of the work of (Nazi Leader Adolf) Hitler.””

      That view was common in Jewish culture and it is racist. You are quite right to be critical of that view of the Jewish people, though it is less believed than 50 years ago. I don't know when that quote is from but Golda Meir stopped being prime minister in 1974. Since then the Ashkenazi population moved away from their racism towards Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews and generally don't hold the same racist beliefs that were common then. You can find lots of left wing Americans in 1969-1974 who believed and said that miscegenation while it was no longer illegal was still immoral. People all over the planet are less racist than they used to be.

    • @Kev

      That is utter lunacy. The Palestinians who are currently, and have been for several contiguous generations living in this land are somehow the ones “obsessed with racial land entitlement”? European, East European, and American Jews that “make aliya” and “return” to “Israel” because they believe that their ancestors came from the

      Yeah. Look at your phrasing, what you just said. Because someone's great grandfather lived their they have a legitimate racial entitlement to the land. While these other bad people (I noticed you skipped 1/2 the Israeli population that are Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews) came out of the wrong vagina so they shouldn't be living there. What you are preaching is racial land entitlement.

      My position is that people should be citizens where they are born. My grand parents / great grandparents were born in Ukraine and Russia. Ethnically and racially I'm not American. But I was born here, my culture is American and so the USA state recognizes me as an American national with USA citizenship. If my family were to leave American and move to Israel for 2 generations those grand children would no longer be American.

      What the Palestinians want is a status where if they are born in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan they are still Palestinian. That's called racial land entitlement. The reality is the overwhelming majority of people you consider illegitimate were born in Israel / historic Palestine. Many of the people you consider native legitimate were not born in historic Palestine. That's a racial theory of land entitlement: jus sanguinis (right of blood) rather than jus soli (Latin: right of soil). The entire Palestinian case regarding RoR and the illegitimacy of Israel is based on a racial land entitlement. If we were having this debate in 1914 rather than 2014 certainly the situation would be reversed regarding who was arguing for which position. But we aren't. In 2014 it is the Palestinians who believe in racial land entitlement.

    • @Talkback

      JeffB. Again you are confusing nation and state.

      Tell us JeffB: Which state makes a difference between its citizens and its nationals in post Nazi times, except Israel with its racist apartheid laws? Tell us JeffB: Which state makes a difference between its citizens and its nationals in post Nazi times, except Israel with its racist apartheid laws?

      First off you are doing the same thing Annie is. Nationality is not a question of law. The state doesn't get to determine nationality they do get to determine citizenship. The idea of a nation-state is that they should mostly overlap.

      The most obvious example would be Japan. Japanese blood is a hard requirement for citizenship being born in Japan is irrelevant. Most states though have some distinction. For example the entire battle about the dreamers is that large numbers of American nationals believe these kids and young adults to also be American nationals but they are not effectively entitled to citizenship. The Republicans want to keep it that way while Democrats object.

      Many states have large numbers of nationals that are not citizens but via. their nationality have rights to citizenship (i.e. like Israel): Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Haiti, Hungry, India, Ireland, Israel, Iran, Italy, Kiribati, Liberia, Lithuania, Philippines, Poland, Rwanda, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey and the Ukraine. There is nothing particularly interesting in Israel's right of return laws.

    • @Peter in SF

      The USA has no “agree to be assimilated” requirement for immigrants to have full equality.

      Of course it does. You just need to look at immigrant communities. When immigrants first get here they don't know how many systems work and live in their own "little X" neighborhoods. They often are forced to take jobs at illegally low wages as part of a grey market economy. They often live in housing below the health standards that exist in the United States as part of the grey market economy. They often have a de-facto legal system which is oppressive and unrepresentative. They experience intrusive de-facto governance from aide agencies. As they learn the language and develop other cultural skills they move to the outskirts of these communities and find employment in the white market though often at slightly reduced wages to native born Americans.

      Israel itself is employing this same technique with the Israeli Arabs. Though there has been more resistance living standards among Israeli Arabs have been skyrocketing as after a few generations they have become Hebrew speaking Israelis. Arguably the increased friction towards Israeli Arabs is coming from their large scale ascent into the Israeli middle class.

      And of course the analogy is deeply flawed because Palestinians are not immigrants, they are the indigenous population.

      How does that flaw the analogy? The society of Israel isn't theirs.

      Extension of legal equality to Native Americans in the USA did not come about because they agreed to be assimilated.

      Yes it did. For 3 centuries they fought assimilation and there were the Indian wars. Once they agreed to the most basic aspects of assimilation, that the government of the United States would have the right to broadly allocate property the Indian wars stopped. From there the Native American living standard was still dreadful but the violence ended. As they learned English, and reoriented their economies towards American capitalism the living standards have gone way up.

      As for legal equality, legal equality is just one of the means of equality.

      You’re going to have to come up with some different examples to demonstrate your point. I honestly don’t know what you might suggest: maybe, Tibetans should have a legal opportunity for equality in China and can get to that by assimilating to Chinese culture?

      I don't agree there is anything wrong with my original analogy but what yo said above is the position of the Chinese government. When the Tibetens were working with the British CIA in the 1950s and 1960s to have legal independence and not just be another Chinese ethnic minority they were subjected to extreme state terror (over 1m killed). Since then the population has mostly agreed to be another ethnic minority within the Chinese system that has self determination within the Chinese framework and as a result the violence has mostly stopped. There are occasional bombings and demonstrations but nothing that meaningfully threatens Chinese government and thus nothing that requires mass killings.

      In the last decade as their has been peace the Chinese government has been able to develop the Tibetan economy creating a mining economy in Tibet which requires an enhanced transportation system. The Chinese have in the last few years set a goal of raising the next generation's living standards to Chinese levels and as part of that have been able to operate a school system. Which means around 2030 Tibetans are going to be graduates of Chinese schools, working for Chinese companies and speaking Chinese. More and more ethnic Tibetans already view traditional Tibetan culture as backwards, poverty ridden and ignorant. They simply aren't sympathetic to the monks and their push for full political independence.

      I don't know enough abut Tibet to be able to work this analogy much further. But Tibet seems to be another case of assimilation leading to full social and legal equality.

    • Wow I can't believe you all dropped the comment about the error in Annie's GDP figures were coming from. That's crossing the line into very unfair.

    • @Annie

      it’s you who are confused. israel doesn’t share american values of civic nationality, they are an ethnic national state, therefore, as it pertains to israel, palestinians can never become part of their nation.

      You keep missing the point. Membership in the nation is a social thing not a legal thing. The state doesn't get to determine it at all. Citizenship is a legal thing. Equality under the law is a legal thing. Those are things the state does get to determine.

      Annie: it’s all a choice palestinians need to make as if israel has no power or duty to see to it that people being ruled by their gov have opportunities offer thru law that provide for equality in civil and human rights.

      JeffB: I’ve never suggested that. I’ve said the opposite time and time again. -

      Annie: actually you did when you wrote:, "that’s something the Palestinians have to decide they want. They have to decide they want to be assimilated"

      I think the people of Palestinian ancestry should have a legal opportunity for equality. I think part of getting that equality is agreeing to assimilation. There is no contradiction. They have to agree to be assimilated and Israel should offer full equality early in the process to those people being assimilated. Same thing the USA does with their immigrants.

    • @Annie

      israel is not offering palestinians (israeli citizens or not) to become ‘part of their nation’

      Again you are confusing nation and state.

      and you’re a fool suggesting it’s all a choice palestinians need to make as if israel has no power or duty to see to it that people being ruled by their gov have opportunities offer thru law that provide for equality in civil and human rights.

      I've never suggested that. I've said the opposite time and time again.

      and while you may portend or fantasize to wanting “the Palestinians to become willing to join Israeli society as full members” that would require the state of israel to alter it’s laws, not ‘willingness’ of palestinians to merely ‘decide’.

      It would require both. Changing laws can be done in a matter of minutes. Changing cultures is much more difficult.

    • @Annie

      think it is safe to assume people (foreigners)are just not purchasing israeli products as much because of BDS, which was felt earlier this year as well as last year.

      Let's put your BDS hypothesis to the test. If your right then Israel's economy is permanently shifts to less trade. If I'm right this was a temporary adjustment.

      Today is August 31, 2014. On August 31, 2015 we'll know whether you BDS theory is total nonsense or not. So you willing to stand by it. On August 31, 2015 if Israel's trade is above the current level as measured by World Bank, CIA, Israeli government you admit "I was wrong BDS is a total failure". If Israel's trade is below the current level I'll admit "I was wrong BDS is a success".

      So you game for that bet Annie?

    • @Just

      If your dream was to come true, it will have to be ONE STATE with freedom, equal rights, and everything that a democracy entails.

      It is your side that is obsessed with racial land entitlement. Heck I'm ethnically Ukrainian but ideologically American. Biology is not destiny people can choose to join another nation.

      I'd like to have a situation where the great great grandchildren of the people fighting Israel in Gaza today are Hebrew speaking, IDF serving loyal Israelis. I want the Palestinians to become willing to join Israeli society as full members and enjoy the fruits of Israeli democracy. I want every Israeli to have ancestors from all the various countries that immigrated to Israel so that no one cares anymore about Palestinians, Sephardic or Arabic. But that's something the Palestinians have to decide they want. They have to decide they want to be assimilated rather than act like a hostile remnant of a now dead state.

      There will be resistance, as long as their is Occupation and Apartheid. No human will lie down and take it.

      Of course they do. Nations die all the time. Everyone of us is the descendent of many generations of people whose society was being replaced by another and were lying down and taking it as they became part of another nation. Most people never stick their hand into a lawn mower. Most people who have done it once don't feel the need to do it again. It is not inevitable that the Palestinians will lose all their fingers, then their hand, then chop off chunks of their arm so as to "punish" the lawnmower for the last time. That's a choice they are making and one they don't have to keep making. But not one the lawnmower can do anything about.

    • @Annie

      Yes I did hear. Israel has been doing .7-1.1% quarter by quarter GDP growth recently. For this quarter they are down to .4%. So the Gaza war knocked about .5% off GDP, a bit over $1b. As for the -18% that was 1Q2014 nothing to do with Gaza, induced by a drop in durable goods, especially cars on the order of 24-30%.

      Conversely the Gazans were starting with a per capita GDP of $876 / yr, well below what Gaza had in the mid 1990s. In 2008 the last round with Israel induced a -6.7% GDP growth, a severe recession. The damage this time is unquestionably going to be an outright depression.

      I'm not sure how a few problems proves Ianna's point about Israel's backs up against the wall.

    • @Ianna

      Yeah it's a terribly hard place. Israel lost a bit over 100 last time they danced with Lebanese resistance and managed to push Hezbollah's allies out of power and get a quiet border. Hamas just lost 44% of their infrastructure in exchange for having done nothing to Israel.

      Get a grip. Israeli GDP per capita is $32,567.09. Israel now has real Arab allies for the first time in its existence. Hamas can crow all they want about their "victory" but any rational government interested in the welfare of its people would see their last go-round as a disaster.

      I don't see Palestinians as subhuman. I do see them as miserably misguided and throwing themselves eagerly into a path that can lead nowhere but their own destruction. I'd like them to avert that path. But if you think Hamas is going to take the IDF then obviously that's the better road. What year precisely should I expect Tel Aviv to have a Hamas flag flying over it?

    • @Just

      Oh, and JeffB– please tell me what the GoI was thinking when they authorized 1472 illegal & new settlement units in the WB while they were simultaneously massacring people in Gaza?

      They were thinking it was a good time to develop in the West Bank. At this point they are authorizing new settlements almost continuously. The GoI doesn't support the 1967 boundaries and acts consistent with that belief.

    • Badia

      People ask when this injustice will end and allow normal free movement to our homes, schools and work. When will the Israeli soldiers allow our kids to study as many kids around the world study without fear and without having to pass through check-points.

      Oh you mean the kinds of free flow of goods and people that existed prior to the 1st intifada when Israelis and Palestinians in the territories lived mostly at peace in cooperation. You mean the situation that existed when Palestinians were grateful that Israel had rescued them from the Jordanian and Egyptians governments. You men the situation that existed in the territories Palestinians wanted to enjoy the economic fruits of Israeli democracy and didn't want to try and take political control of those territories away from Israel.

      Yeah I wonder what it would take for those situations to return? Hmmm. Oh well in the meanwhile let's strap on a bomb and blow up a pizzeria or something to try and get it back.

      April 25: a 16-year-old Jew was stabbed.
      June 6: a Jewish resident was stabbed and injured.
      September 14: an Palestinian woman stabbed an Israeli soldier in the tomb.
      October 16: a Jewish resident was stabbed.

      and there was a crackdown.

      3 fatal stabbings and 9 fatal shootings between 1st and 2nd intifada
      17 shootings and 1 bombing during the 2nd intifada

      What did you think was going to happen when you behave like that? The Israelis have made it clear they aren't going to tolerate political violence in Hebron and as long as you use the free flow of goods and people to facilitate political violence there won't be a free flow of good and people.

      You can either resist occupation or you can accept and work with the government to have normal and a normal economy. You can't have both. The Israelis have decided they are keeping the Jewish quarter of Hebron. They are going to do whatever it takes to keep the Jewish quarter. The moment that stops being a point of contention all the other bad stuff stops. And BTW I do fully realize the settlers in Hebron hate you all and instigate. That becomes much easier to control when you no longer justify their hatred by attacking them.

      Work with the Israeli government not against it like you used to during the 1970s and all this can change.

  • Coming to a campus near you: ADL recruits student politicians for Israel trips
    • @CloakAndDagger

      And yet, neither the FBI, nor the CIA, nor the IRS can find the testicular fortitude to list them as agents of a foreign government, and neither does any politician for fear of being JFK’ed.

      Or how about they aren't listed a foreign lobby because the AIPAC, ADL... don't come anywhere near to meeting the definition? It couldn't possibly be something like that. No it has to be some sort of conspiracy.

      A foreign lobby is a lobby controlled (funded) by people outside the United States. A domestic lobby is a lobby controlled (funded) by Americans. Much as you may resent the fact, the people who pay for AIPAC, ADL... are Americans. Americans have the right to advocate for whatever policies they want including ones you disagree with. An American who thinks Likud's policies are the right policies is no more the agent of a foreign government than the USA peace groups that think the UN's policies are the right policies or BDS which is basically supporting the European Green party's positions.

  • Elizabeth Warren says killing Palestinian civilians is 'the last thing Israel wants'
    • @Keith

      If there were enough progressives to win a general there would be enough progressives to win the primaries. See the Republican primaries of the last 4 years for examples from the other side of the fence.

  • Yale Protestant chaplain says Americans must curb Israel so as to curb anti-Semitism
    • @Philemon

      But don’t you remember, Mooser, JeffB strongly objected to Judaism becoming “just another denomination” because that would be horrible.

      Please don't put words in my mouth.

    • Obviously Liberal Christians are far more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than their conservative counterparts. And obviously Christian denominations are not a place where Jews have a lot of pull. So we are going to continue to see some anti-Israel activity in Mainline denominations but I don't see evidence of storm clouds. The membership is well to the right of the pastorate on Israel and while I suspect that Israel is not the sort of issue that will drive people to switch to evangelical churches strong support for anti-Israeli positions generally correlates with all sorts of other very liberal views.

      Here is the latest data: link to

      Among Liberal/Mainline Christians (corresponding number for Palestinians in parenthesis)
      Total sympathize with Israel: 31% (7%)
      Somewhat sympathetic to Israel: 34% (32%)
      Not sympathetic to Israel 25% (52%)

      After Gaza is a low point for the last few years a few percent of the population has shifted their views so I'd expect those numbers to get more favorable over the next six months as the anti-Gaza violence is no longer in the headlines. Those numbers puts them to the right of political liberals on Israel / Palestine more like political independents which is consistent with the historical data. Those numbers are consistent with earlier polls that show numbers for Mainline Christians like:

      46% like Israel only
      29% like both
      13% like neither
      12% like Palestinians only

      What is striking in the last few years is a drop in support among liberal protestants for the 2SS. 40% no longer believe in it. Democrats consistently score pretty high on cooperating with the UN relative to Republicans and independents. It will be interesting how Mainline Christians resolve that issue.

  • Chancellor Wise, why not accept the scholarly inquiry of your colleagues over the politicized judgment of Salaita's critics?
    • @Annie

      Sorry I'm not buying that Salaita is asserting that believing Jews have the right to a nation-state in historic Palestine that is majority Jewish causes one to become an ineffective lover or that abandoning such a belief would cause one's sex life to improve. It is simply beyond the scope or reasonable interpretation. There is no connection between sex and Zionism. I'm hard pressed to think of any other political fight where people talk about the other party being bad lovers.

      Phil's question to me is why I thought it was about Jews. I gave you a pretty clear reason why I don't think this sort of thing works. You aren't buying it because of some vague association between demographic concerns and sex. Ultimately my answer is the same I usually give in terms of evidence. The passion / the nastiness and the use of anti-Jewish stereotypes. Like I said before if someone accused Zionist of being shiftless and too lazy to do anything but eat fried chicken and watermelon, then it would be still inappropriate but it wouldn't be anti-Semitic. If he was accusing Zionists of being uneducated dressing in loud obnoxious colors and broke all the time that wouldn't be anti-Semitic. But if the insults regarding Zionism "just happen" to be anti-Jewish stereotypes then damn right I'm going to assume that was the intent. Which is the same thing you assume when Republicans go after "the poor" using anti-Black stereotypes.

      But even if you were right that what he meant that people who held those beliefs were bad at sex its hard to see how that isn't a rather offensive statement and thus still deserving of some discipline. How is that different than "you shouldn't sleep with asians they selfish and have small penises" or "black guys treat white women like crap in relationship" or "Jewish women don't put out after you marry them" or any other such sexual drivel? Those kinds of comments would still not be acceptable from a professor.

      Anyway in terms of the rest regarding a lynch mob and rationalizations.... You do realize you are going far further than I am. I'm taking Salaita's words and examining them. You saying you should ignore the Board of Trusties words entirely since you know what they are really thinking.

      This case started with claims that Salaita was fired, which he wasn't. Now it turns out that the people who dismissed him say it wasn't merely about being offensive but rather promoting malice. Sorry but given that the board are the people in the best place to state why the board didn't approve the contract I'm going to take them at their word.

    • @Annie

      You aren't answering why they wanted him out. Clearly they were unhappy with something. As others have mentioned there are plenty of other non-Zionist professors and plenty of non-Zionists are Urbana. The people who "hounded Wise" were reacting to something. If it isn't anti-Zionism, then what is it in your theory?

      i just proved you wrong on the other thread in the “zionist uplift” reference you mentioned

      No you didn't. I'm a Zionist. I don't give a shit about whether Historic Palestine is 55% Jewish or 45% Jewish. I'm not alone in either of those opinions. Salaita knows people who share those opinions because he has written about them. Ergo your defense means that he is lying about Zionism.

      . so basically all you are doing is claiming he is one,

      Actually I'm not claiming that. You'll see on several threads I've said I don't think he is anti-Semite. I think he lost his temper and said anti-Semitic stuff. The same way you can hear racist rants from people who just had a violent encounter with blacks.

      that a ridiculous way to argue. you can’t make yourself right by chasing your own tail.

      Then prove me wrong. I've given you a simple test. Create a definition of Zionist that fits all his tweets well. I've even given you his definition from his book and it doesn't work.

    • @adele

      Could you provide for us criteria and examples of what is acceptable criticism of Israel and Zionism.

      Sure. Here are some examples of what moderate criticism would look like based on the articles here:

      1) I think the Chief Rabbinate of Israel has a negative impact on civil rights by his strict limitations on conversions. I'd like to see the Knesset trim his powers or engage in greater oversight.

      2) I think the use of heavy artillery in Operation Cast Lead was excessive and disproportionate given the ineffectiveness of Hamas rockets. Israel should have used more nuanced means that would inflect fewer deaths and less property damage.

      3) I think Israeli's policy on trade with Gaza should be liberalized.

      . Since Zionist is code for Jews, what word should we use in our discourse when discussing an ideological movement that was exclusively reserved for a select religion to settle on land where there were previous inhabitants?

      I don't have a problem with using Zionism to mean that, though I might quibble a bit with that definition Something like "pre-1948 Zionism" seems even more appropriate since after that they are the existing inhabitants. I do have a problem using Zionist to mean those demons in human form who crucified Jesus and try and subvert the good people of the earth from living in the righteous peace of Christ that would exist if they weren't present.

      Anti-Zionism: Israelis treat their ethnic minority badly, and structurally they aren't going to be able to change this.
      Anti-Semitism: Zionists subvert the entire world system of peace and undermine international human rights.

      Anti-Zionism: Having extra nuclear states is dangerous.
      Anti-Semitism: Israel is going to start World War III and kill everyone if they aren't stopped.

      What I do have a problem with then is attributing a degree of passion to this ideology that one typically doesn't towards all sorts of other foreign ideologies regarding land. For example Terra Nullius is the Japanese ideology that they should own the Senkaku Islands. Very similar to your description for Zionism. Japan and China going at it is potentially dangerous for World Peace. Notice the degree of passion attached to disputes about Terra Nullius?

      As for your link. I think that proves the point. She's obviously doesn't know who Herzl so OK you get a cheap laugh at Miss Mensch's ignorance. But I'd assume that at this point she's only heard the word "Zionist" used in such a negative connotation that she's taken it to be an intrinsically insulting word for Jews. There was a similar situation in the first forty years of the 20th century where the word "Jew" was so negative that Jews started calling themselves "Hebrews". I've even experienced the situation where non anti-Semitic Christians can't get themselves to say "Jew". This is because their accumulated mental associations with the word "Jew" are so negative that they feel embarrassed using it. They keep dodging around it with phrases like "person who practices the Jewish religion" and when I've used it about myself they visibly tense up. Miss Mensch who probably doesn't have that experiencing is sensing the underlying hated and reacting to the bigotry.

    • @Annie

      The evidence for his statements being crude is that if adjusted to say blacks instead of Jews they would be clearly offensive. The evidence that his statements were about Jews is that there is no other subgroup to whom his statements could possibly apply. The evidence that they were not about believers in a particular political philosophy is they are not the sorts of statements one makes about a political philosophy. Take those statements and replace them with "Austrian school theorists" or "Utilitarian rational egoists" and they simply don't make sense at all. They aren't the sort of statements one makes about people who support a political philosophy. They don't fit the form of such statements. Replace them with an ethnic group like Chinese and they fit the form, though obviously the details don't fit. Replace them with Jews and they work fine. Ergo... The fact that your side has not been able to construct a consistent definition of Zionist that fits his various anti-Zionists Tweets shows pretty clearly the problem.

      I should mention that Salaita's books contain an explicit definition of Zionist. Example Israel's Dead Soul p4. "Zionism is the belief that Jews have the right to a nation-state in historic Palestine that is majority Jewish".

      Which is the belief of a good chunk of the people on the planet that just object to the occupation but don't want to see Israel dissolved. So we could ask if this is what is meant. Do his Tweets make sense when applied to say a typical French liberal who is mostly indifferent to Israel but likes the UN and thus supports the 2SS? The answer becomes obvious that it is no.

      Regardless the point has now changed. Prior to this we were debating about civility in universities. That is now irrelevant since civility is not the reason he didn't get the job. The board has shifted the debate from merely being uncivil to promoting malice. So most of what we were arguing about is not relevant. The question is not anymore which statements cross the line into being anti-Semitic. The question is which statements encouraged people to commit a crime or a tort.

    • @Annie

      The evidence was a process of elimination.

    • @Annie

      OK I answered you there. Malice isn't my allegation that's the board of trusties.

    • Wow Natalie Zemon Davis. Quite a get for Salaita. As for the rest of the post she isn't addressing the charges. Wise / Trusties aren't arguing he was provocative. They was arguing Salaita was promoting malice, "disrespectful and demeaning speech that promotes malice is not an acceptable form of civil argument".

      An act of malice is an act that is an act whose intent is to cause harm to others. This can be either conscious violation of the law that injures another or an act that in itself is committed intentionally without just cause or excuse. It implies at the very least a reckless disregard of the law in general and of the legal rights of others. Most of the Tweets don't rise to the level of malice obviously. I'm thinking they mean the shanking comment. They could mean actual malice as in libel i.e that Salaita was libeling the IDF for example.

      The trusties at least are claiming he promoting the commission of a tort or a crime. An equivalent would be if Salaita had Tweeted something like "the owner of the bakery at 1306 Chestnut usually forgets to lock the side door. Money is in the safe. The combination is 23-19-51".

      I don't know what specifically they mean. But the answer to her slew of questions about "why" is the Board of Trusties believes that Salaita intends to try and induce others to commit torts or crimes.

      Anyway as an aside, I didn't know this but the chancellor herself got attacked on Twitter earlier: link to

  • 'New Yorker' limits its expose of Israel lobby to AIPAC
    • @Sycamores

      Yes exactly! As lobbies go AIPAC isn't even all that powerful. Maybe top 20.
      American Assn for Justice (trial lawyers)
      America Association of Retired Persons (AARP)
      National Rifle Association (gun manufacturers lobby)

      Banking lobby
      Real estate lobby
      Insurance lobby
      Energy lobby
      Pharma lobby

      etc... do the same kind of arm twisting. They all are much more powerful than AIPAC.

  • WATCH: Ultra-Zionists protest Muslim-Jewish wedding saying miscegenation is 'gravest threat to the Jewish people'
    • @David

      ultra-nationalists are trying to snuff out what little hope there is of coexistence by vilifying those few Jews and Palestinians who are, against all odds, living examples of the possibility that we can all get along in the land as equals.

      David the place where you posted this is mostly anti-normalization. They mostly don't like moves towards coexistence in the social realm. FWIW I agree with you that this anti-intermarriage stuff is destructive to Israel's long term future. The best way to resolve the Palestinian issue long term is for there to only be one people, and that happens through making babies together. Israel has dissolved lots of the tension between Sephardic, Ashkenazic, Mizrahi through intermarriage.

  • Salaita's hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor
    • @Annie

      why? he clearly says’ all this handwringing about demographics’ how does that scream “jew”? all jews are not handwringing about demographics??!!!!

      Neither are all believers in political zionism. So clearly when he made that statement there is no "all implied". He's talking about some...

      that’s a neat trick, using a so strict definition of race it excludes the legal definition and the definition as it applies to our fed laws regarding hate speech and everything else?

      Our Federal laws define it properly Race discrimination involves treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because he/she is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with race (such as hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features). Color discrimination involves treating someone unfavorably because of skin color complexion.

      Race/color discrimination also can involve treating someone unfavorably because the person is married to (or associated with) a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group, or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color.

      Its the UN that defines racism to have nothing to do with race.

      zionism is a political construct,

      That's correct it is one. And who is associated with that political construct?

      it’s disingenuous. you twist someones words to mean ‘all jews’ instead of zionists

      Political constructs don't have sex jokes made about them.

    • @Mooser

      Why, because those organizations have possession of the Holy Relics, and no religion can be conducted without them? They have all the fetish items? They own the word “Jewish”? New organizations can be set up within a year.

      Of course new organizations can be set up. But they would be irrelevant. They wouldn't have a large membership and they wouldn't have the resources or credibility. Those things take time, not a year. I can imagine JVP for example in 50 years a mainstream organization, but to do that it would have had to become mainstream in its politics and attracted huge numbers of people that would never have associated with the earlier radical version. The Jewish Communist parties were popular but never achieved majority support but it was the milk toast New Deal coalition that unified Jewish support.

    • @Walker

      Hillary can't included in the Zionist dream that every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime. Hillary doesn't have Jewish kids (though she may have Jewish grandkids).

      As for the rest the point about the posts were that his comments about Zionism can only mean Jews.

      The key is to harp and harp on the false analogy that because Israeli Zionists (and many other Zionists) are Jews, it follows that criticism of Israel is a criticism of all Jews

      I've never said that. I've said the opposite. Criticism of Israel for the sorts of things one criticizes other states for to the degree that one criticizes other states for is not anti-Semetic in the slightest.

      Let's cut the nonsense. The vast majority of passionate zionists are jews and the vast majority of all jews are zionists. When people talk about Zionists using the same kinds of language they used to use about Jews that's anti-Semitism. If he were accusing Zionists of being shiftless and lazy eating too much fried chicken and watermelon that would be an anti-Zionism that that is not anti-Semitism.

      We've had a debate for the last 2 years about whether to overthrow the Assad regime. During that debate I've almost never heard the Alawites mentioned. The tribal aspects of the regime are barely mentioned. They've just killed 200k people and no one even hints that this is a defect in the Alawite. When they are mentioned everyone gets that the Alawites are going to support an Alawite government. And certainly if people were making hostile references to Nusayris Islam in the context of Syria there wouldn't be apologists like yourself trying to pretend we didn't know who they were talking about.

      There is no passion about Hutus and Tutsi when central Africa is discussed. We don't hear articles about the Hutu lobby secretly controlling the government. It would be ridiculous. It isn't considered ridiculous when we talk about Israel because the intended recipients are expected to know that the Jews (I'm sorry Zionists) are allied the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this world.

      If Israel were being discussed in this sort of dispassionate disinterested way that other tribal conflicts get discussed then there wouldn't be accusations of anti-Semitism. If the attacks on Zionists were totally unlike those on Jews it wouldn't be anti-Semitism. But I have yet to see one of you make consistent sense of his tweets and who he is talking about other than Jews.

    • @Annie

      when you say it doesn’t make sense from a political viewpoint you’re forgetting it’s a joke about demographics. when he references ‘israeli handwringing’ he means why worry if you’re having lots of kids. so it’s not about sex per se, it’s about reproduction. and he is saying it about zionists...

      I get that. I think you are missing the thread. I'm saying that comment is clearly not about a political ideology but rather about a people. What does Salaita mean by "zionists". Who are the Zionists that suck at reproduction? Who is he talking about when he says the word "zionists"? I think if you look at those comments in the aggregate he can only mean Jew.

      Moreover his definition of Zionist in his book pretty much includes everyone who is even minimally Jewish.

      As an aside I agree with you the demographic talk in Israel is kinda nuts. And while I don't think it is about race (remember I use a pretty strict definition of racist) if it were about race it would be racist. So I'm not approving of the talk.

      do you know what he means by zionist uplift? what would uplift them(zionists)? what would make them happy? he’s not saying that about all jews in america. he’s saying zionists would like it if all jews in america joined the regime. how is that racist of him to tweet that? as far as i know lots of christian zionists would be very uplifted if every little jewish boy and girl ran off and joined the regime. christ would be able to come then.

      And who are these Zionists?

      how is that racist of him to tweet that?

      It isn't. I'm saying he uses Zionist as a proxy for Jew (or almost all Jews) and other tweets are. Those tweets were just selected because they excluded various other possibilities for what he means by Zionist.

    • @Phil

      I gave two examples in the post. The most obvious from the post is the sexual comment: “All of Israel’s hand-wringing about demography leads one to only one reasonable conclusion: Zionists are ineffective lovers” Now this could make sense if he was using the word "Zionist" in typical arab fashion to mean Israeli. It doesn't make sense about a political viewpoint. People generally don't talk about the sex lives of political groups. Are Republicans ineffectual lovers, or Democrats ineffectual lovers? What about Green Party members? That's not meant as a political.

      Now you could say he is using "Zionist" to mean "Israeli" that doesn't work because he clearly points it at non Israelis:
      "Zionist uplift in America: every little Jewish boy and girl can grow up to be the leader of a murderous colonial regime" (July 14). So note he's using Zionist to refer to American Jews here.

      Let's cut to the chase: If you're defending #Israel right now you're an awful human being. Clearly aimed at non-Israeli Jews. Israeli Jews aren't "defending Israel" they are institutionally part of the oppression (in his view). They are doing it, not defending it.

      So that doesn't work. You seem the same slippage interestingly about Israel itself.

      Note how the Israeli soul was pure and uncorrupted until it encountered Palestinians. Same old colonial discourse, different geography. When was it that Israel didn't encounter Palestinians? That reference can only be about Jews since Israel nor the Zionist project doesn't predate the Palestinians.

      There is no way to consistently apply his definition of Zionist without using it as a proxy for "Jew". Who else could be the referent? Who are these "Zionists" who suck at sex, are immoral, some live in America and others bomb Gaza?

      Do I think he's actually an anti-Semite when he's calm. No. I think he was emotionally agitated and said anti-Semitic stuff though while lashing out. Watch the Chris Rock video.

    • @MHughes976

      No they aren't but that's not what's happening here.

      American Universities have done a very good job of trying to clamp down on any sorts of ethnic or racial tension as they emerge. They demand that members of their staff, try and reduce not encourage this sort of behavior. So for example when white sororities and fraternities in southern schools kept being very concerned about over crowding and fire code when black students showed up to parties they didn't complement them on their excellent fire safety but rather intervened. If a professor had in such an environment made a comment like "well you can't really expect well bred Christian white people to share a pool niggers" they would have jumped down the professor's throat not complemented them on bringing a diversity of views on controversial matters.

      Academic freedom would protect a tenured professor who held a pro-lynching position. But if that professor ever ever every did anything that looked like racial discrimination on top of their non-normative views they would be crucified. Richard Herrnstein would not have kept his job at Harvard if on top of the Bell Curve he had also said openly racist things in social situations. He understood if he were going to publish research that would be taken as racist his personal life would need to be impeccable.

    • Phil

      Great job on the new website. Looks terrific.

      He doesn’t like Israel, he’s very clear about that. But he didn’t say a word against Jews.

      That depends if you consider "Zionist" to be a derogatory term for "Jew" or not. Certainly among Soviets and anti-colonial movement it is used that way. Trying to distinguish between Zionist and Jew the way he was using it rather difficult. Quite a few of his comments like the jokes about sexual inadequacy wouldn't make sense if you substituted say "Labor party voters" but would work fine if you substituted "gooks" or "niggers".

      Trying to pretend that a non-Jewish anti-Israeli activists can make common anti-Semetic comments and have them pass unnoticed because he uses the word "zionist" in place of Jew is nonsense. If I were to say something like "the Alabama underclass are shiftless and lazy. They need to stop eating fried chicken and get a job with health insurance," the use of "shiftless and lazy" and "fried chicken" makes it pretty clear who I mean.

      There is nothing in Zionism, that implies sexual inadequacy but there is plenty in anti-Semtisim thad does. The BDS movement is going to have to stay way clear of anti-Semtitic themes or get accused of racism. The same way the tea partier get accused of Islamophobia when they talk about Sharia law.

      A good analogy here is Chris Rock's well known "black people vs. niggaz"

      link to

      Obama made reference to this routine during his 2008 primary. Hillary could not have done so. When references to it were made by white people Chris Rock thought they were racist. There are just different lines of what is or is not acceptable in group vs. out of group.


      This seems to me another demonstration that we cannot come to terms with the special relationship between the U.S. and Israel till we deal with the role of Zionist funding in our political and public life. This is the factional problem identified by Madison in the Federalist Papers; there is no national interest here. And we are going to be able to have that discussion now, because it is increasingly a generational rather than a religious issue.

      1) You are going to have to prove it is a generational issue. And that's going to be impossible until younger Jews are in charge of Jewish organizations in a generation or so.

      2) Even if it were a generation issue, so what? Everyone who works for a major university has to put up with nonsense from the sports teams because they attract so much donor interest. Most universities have to put up with spending too much on landscaping and architecture because that's a donor interest. Jews in the 1950s and earlier were certainly hurt and arguably may still be hurt by the whole "alumni family" weighing on admissions. Certainly professors who are able to bring in donors get advancement and privileges that professors who don't bring in donor money don't get. Donors have interests. You write the check you get to call the shots. You vote with your dollars.

      What's to discuss? That Jewish people donate to universities and don't want to see universities become a hotbed of anti-Jewish incitement? No one disagrees with that. The evidence is too clear.

  • Hillary Clinton just lost the White House in Gaza -- same way she lost it in Iraq the last time
    • @yonah

      I don't think you can presuppose the fall of Israel and Judaism remaining anything like it is today. Consider the last time Judea fell. The reformed and conservative movement are analogous to Hellenistic Judaism. God fearers are probably analogous to the sort of mixed lineage but people who are likely to make up the majority of America's younger self identified Jews in 2 generations. We know the God fearers pealed off almost immediately to quasi Jewish sects the various Christian sects, Gnostic sects, the Isis cult... We know that most Hellenists ended up slowly shifting to becoming Christian during the 3 wars.

      Why would you expect Judaism to survive that sort of defeat? The messianic hope would have been proven a cruel lie. Just as the Romans printed coins showing the defeat of HaShem to Jupiter and Jews bought into it, HaShem would stand defeated by Allah. I can't image people enthusiastically embracing another 1000 years of discussing what you can hold in your pocket based on the configuration of telephone wires.

      Rather what would come about is much what existed after Kitos War a bitter religion of escape from the world. Possibly drawing from Judaism some symbolism but wholly non-Jewish and not able to replicate effectively generation to generation. That would span various cults and some of those would grow. But no, I don't see anything you would call Judaism surviving,

      Israel dies, Judaism dies. As I've said to non-Zionist Jews, there is no plan-B.

    • Phil --

      I'll be happy to take that bet. I think you are making the mistake of double counting. No question non-white, young and liberal correlate strongly with being more anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian. No question being non-white, young and liberal correlate with being a democrat. But... You don't get to count the same effect twice. Once you've selected for democrats you don't get to select again on demography.

      On Israel among Liberals (i.e excluding moderate and conservative Democrats):

      44% believe Israel went to far
      33% believe Israel was about right
      7% believe Israel didn't go far enough

      That's basically an even split. Who was responsible for the violence (among Liberals)
      30% Hamas
      30% Israel
      17% Both

      And in terms of caring about the issue:
      just 32% of Liberals were even following the news regarding Israel / Palestine

      link to

      Which is the kinds of numbers you see among Europeans. Those aren't the kinds of numbers you see on people willing to make this their #1 issue and break definitely in one direction like hostility toward the Iraq war in 2008.

      As far as the young and people of color. Absolutely they are a problem on Israel / Palestine... but they are also vastly less likely to vote in primaries. Before believing that a presidential primary is going to be influenced by this issue I'd like to see at least a few congressional primaries that are influenced.

      Let's end with a simple question. It costs between $50m-100m to fund a presidential primary in 2012, I'd assume more if anything in 2016. What anti-zionist Democratic candidate would raise 1/5 that amount?

  • As Salaita's case becomes a cause, U of Illinois issues declarations on 'civility'
    • @Elliot

      Salaita isn't junior faculty that was an associate professor position. I don't know what you do for a living but as an employee I've negotiated with large companies for contracts before. If they want you, you have options. If they demand an unequal contract then you assume everything they say is a definite is a maybe until they hand you a check. Hell I've had big companies sign contracts with me and then break them, with a "what are you going to do take on our legal team?" As an adult you have an obligation to play your hand well, not stupidly.

      I can feel sorry he was overly harshly punished but he most certainly had options. For example the I9 is a problem. Mail it to them, it is on the IRS website don't wait till you get there. If you have to fly down and complete the paperwork before the start date. Have the effective date of the contract be well after his start date. Or if you can't swing it what is quite common, take an unpaid leave from his current position but don't quit until the final contract is signed. Do not bank your life on a letter of intent. If they aren't signing a contract yet, there is a reason it isn't signed.

      What were his options in such an imbalanced situation?

      The same as any American dealing with an institution. See if they are flexible and if not protect yourself as best as possible against an unbalanced contract.

      And how was he supposed to know that while this system has always worked in the past

      It hasn't always worked in the past. All the time tenure gets recommended by assistant deans and gets killed at higher levels. Every year thing like this happen. Rare yes, unheard or, no. Educated Americans are expected to be better negotiators than that. He's both older and more experienced than my wife was when she went through the moving process and she handled it better. And before she was tenured she always counted votes at every level.

      You really sound heartless.

      If you mean I'm not a moron damn straight. Everyone has been promised stuff and had it fall through. There are people in his situation who signed unbalanced contracts with less than a high school education who can barely read, without the means to hire attorneys who then got taken to the cleaners. I feel sorry for them. A guy at Salaita's level more of expected of.

    • @pjdude

      um no he was rejected for cause. he was rejected for upsetting zionists.

      Termination for cause is a legal term. It means an employee has committed a serious acts or act of omissions committed that adversely affect the company's business in a material respect. Or in the case of a potential employee there assertion that they believe he intended to engage in such acts.

      Things like: substance abuse, unreasonable absences, falsification of documentation, misuse of company property. But it also includes misconduct in the workplace: sexual harassment, workplace violence, sabotaging a coworker's work product. By making a positive assertion of cause rather then say a budget reason they make Salaita's conduct admissible if there is a lawsuit. It also eliminates the claim that this was supposed to be a rubber stamp. For Salaita's is going to have a high bar to climb to prove the University did not act with good will.

      There were multiple ways the University could have gone with a defense. For example they could have argued they eliminated the position for budgetary reasons and then Tweets would have been irrelevant. Or they could have argued he was unqualified, that not enough of Salaita's work was in Indian studies. That they picked one is highly relevant and is something newsworthy in the announcement.

      BTW if you see my posts on this from the start; I've said the University was wrong multiple times especially with regard to the paperwork sequence. So now let's see if you can admit you were wrong. :)

    • @Elliott

      Would Chancellor Wise have fired Prof. Salaita over his Twitter comments if Israel had attacked Gaza three months later and he was already on staff?

      Almost certainly not. The bar for firing an employee is much higher than the bar for not hiring someone.

      If the answer is no, then she should have the decency to make Salaita whole.

      I love this idea. So anytime a client says to me they intend to buy XYZ service but they need approval I just go ahead and enforceably bill for the service. Wow sounds awesome. I'd probably triple my billings. Heck I could give some low level employee $10k and he'd commit to a $1m contract and then...

      Seriously. Think about what you are saying here. Contracts exist for a reason. Salaita was not under contract. The university issued a letter of intent. Salaita engaged in acts which caused them to change their mind. He incurred costs associated with preparing for the contract and he's entitled to be compensated for those immediate costs.

      Adults in the USA are expected to understand contracts they sign. People with far less education and life experience than Salaita have signed brutal one sided contracts and then gotten screwed. Salaita is a terrible negotiator to have put himself in this position where he was expected to be this far out on a limb before the contract was signed. No question. But I've done things like that too with clients and with employers. Sometimes you decide to throw you money in the middle and take your chances. If things don't work out you don't get to keep the pot because most of the time you would have won the hand.

    • @Donald

      Add to this the climate scientists

      Climate scientists who present information about climate science are answering true / false questions. That is within their domain. What they shouldn't be doing is advocating for specific approaches to the environment. They can freely advise on the impact of various approaches to to the environment.

      physicists and engineers who fall on one side or the other of the nuclear power issue

      I'd have problems with physicists or engineers using their academic position to advocate for particular nuclear power approaches. Again they can freely comment on costs, benefits... But they shouldn't be activists.

      scientists who intervene in debates about the effectiveness of this or that weapons system

      That's absolutely fine. That's answer a true / false type question not a good / bad type question.

      There’s are fairly well known biology professors like PZ Myers and James Coyne (I think) who go beyond defending evolution and attack religion in general.

      Again that's fine. The existence or non existence of supernatural beings and whether they did or did not influence the history of this planet is a true / false type question.

      Myers once somehow obtained a consecrated Host from a Catholic Church and desecrated it

      And that I'd have no problem with him being disciplined for. That's activism.

    • @justicewillprevail

      that should bar people like Dershowitz and his like-minded rabid zionist self-appointed censors then.

      With Dershowitz I wouldn't say the biggest problem is his Zionism, because he's in the law school and there is nothing particularly interesting in criminal defense law regarding Israel. The biggest problem I have his having run a large private practice while being a professor. I think you should either be a law professor or a lawyer. That kind of criss crossing is a clear conflict of interest.

      So yes I would agree that Dershowitz should have to quit one job or the other.

    • @Elliot

      Anyway, academia is packed with former senior government people.

      Former is fine. Current not so good.

      Why start to undo that with Prof. Salaita, of all people?

      They aren't starting with him. The issue of activist professors has been coming up for decades and their have been plenty of cases in other fields and on totally unrelated issues.

    • Well first off this kills the argument that he wasn't submitted to the board. Now he was submitted to the board and rejected for cause. I think the key line is, "Most important, every student must know that every instructor recognizes and values that student as a human being." It appears the board has made a definitive statement that his comments crossed the line into hate speech ("disrespectful and demeaning speech that promotes malice") and indicated an intent to engage in discriminatory behavior.

      I can't imagine an Illinois court faced with someone in a position of authority whom they believe has expressed intent to discriminate by promoting malice not seeing that as a legitimate reason not to move forward on a contract. If they are willing to say what they said in that letter when deposed I have a hard time seeing how Salaita can win more than moving costs. Contract law only requires good faith after a letter of intent.

      I don't agree with the decision on not offering the position. I can see a rationale for lesser discipline, like probation, and not granting tenure immediate tenure.

      But a “philosophical” standard for discussion of others’ “viewpoints” would seem to bar angry denunciations of the Soviet Union for invading the Ukraine, or of Communism for limiting human freedom, or of the United States for bugging millions of citizens and killing thousands of Muslims. That sounds absurd, of course;

      More generally I'm not sure how angry denunciations advance anything in academia. Academics should not be political activists. They should be studying phenomenon primarily not taking moral positions on them. That is answering true / false type questions not right / wrong type questions. So I agree with your analogy but disagree with your conclusion.

  • 'NYT' op-ed calls on Jews to abandon liberal Zionism and push for equal rights
    • AIPAC not as a representitive of American Jewry

      Finkelstein is right. AIPAC however is representative or Jewish Republicans which is about 15% of the Jewish population. This isn't an elite group. Jews are disproportionately liberal while roughly 20% of the population is liberal roughly 50% of Jews are. Finkelstein tends to like to ignore the other 50% entirely as if they didn't exist and tends to exaggerate how liberal the 1/2 that are liberals are. J-Street does a pretty good job of representing the broadly where that leftmost 50% are on the issues.

      The Palestine cause is very popular on college campuses. By far, it is the most popular political cause in American universities.

      Baloney. Cost of college / college loans and the jobs situation score way higher than anything else higher than just about everything else combined. Then come gay rights / same sex marriage, marijuana legalization, environmental issues (drilling, fracking, global warming)... I'd be shocked if Palestine made the top 20 in surveys of college campus voters. I've never seen it make a top 10 list in any poll.

      But let's flip the question around to something that actually matters to politicians:
      What percentage of Jewish Liberals offended by Israel would be willing to vote for, campaign for or donate to an anti-Israel Republican? I would bet the number is 0%.

      OTOH Jewish moderates have a long track record of doing the opposite.

  • Democratic Party leader echoes Netanyahu's new theme: Hamas equals ISIS
    • @Just

      Nonsense. If the Gazans declared that they wanted to live in peace with Israel in Gaza and were willing to take forward actions to structurally meet Israel's security demands there wouldn't be any attacks on Gaza. The West Bank 10 years ago was being treated fairly roughly. Since the PA has been keeping violence under control Israel has rarely had to militarily intervene.

      In America since we've started fracking we've been having lots of oil fires that are doing property damage and killing people. We've taken pretty strong action, regarding improving safety infrastructure. Those actions are both expensive in terms of materials and labor. That's not because oil fires are a symbol of the illegitimacy of American inhabitation but rather states try and protect their people from injury.

    • @john h says:

      There are two different questions here:

      1) Were the Palestinians offered the vote?
      2) Were their good reasons when they were offered the vote they turned it down?

      I completely agree with you the Palestinians had good reasons for turning it down. But the claim was they were never offered it when in fact they were offered it repeatedly and refused. I absolutely agree with you that when Palestinians at the time they were offered equality were trying to stop Jewish migration not jointly build a state. They wanted their culture to dominate the land. One claim is factually true, one is factually false.

    • @adele

      JeffB: would you be so kind as to tell us when the vote was extended to Palestinians?

      Sure several times. During the 1920s the Communists Zionists (at that point the bulk) wanted to form a unity with the Palestinian people as part of the common proletariat rising up against capitalists as common laborers... That was rebuffed. During the late 1920s to early 1930s there was a movement of creating a common future by that point the Palestinians had become pan-Arab nationalists so that attempt was rebuffed. Then after 1949 all the Palestinians living under Israeli control were moved to having the vote and Ben-Gurion himself helped found Arab-Israeli political parties and worked with them. That's been semi-succesful yet even with full citizenship and the vote the Arab-Israelis have refused to fully integrated. Then when Israel annexed Jerusalem they offered (and still do offer) the Arabs of Jerusalem full citizenship. Until recently that offer was rebuffed.

      And I'd imagine there were other offers I'm forgetting towards parts of the West Bank.

    • @Donald

      Well, at least you’re being honest, except for that glowing phrase “genuine self determination of peoples”.

      I happen to think the invention of the nation-state was a huge moment of progress. It finally allowed tribes to scale up to the sort of super complex civilizations required to support an advanced economy where the primary mechanism for contracting became trust and affinity and not violence. I see the impact of the Reformation as a huge positive both for Europe and for humanity. So we might disagree but I'm not being dishonest.

      But you realize that that doesn’t really fit the usual narrative of Israel as a wonderful democracy which does its best to avoid civilian casualties and has the best of intentions and so on and so forth.

      The nation-state is not a global state. It is limited geographically and culturally. Part of the formation of nation states is a collection of tribes coming together and increasing their level of cultural connectivity. In Israel that happened as Jews from all over the planet starting sharing a common language, sharing cuisine, sharing a common media...

      Palestinians have rejected this process. The entire point of "denormalization" is to prevent them from become Israeli. The point is for them to remain permanent aliens. The denormalization inevitably leads to political differences the political differences lead to violence and that feeds the destructive cycle. They've rejected becoming part of the nation of the state in which they choose to live.

      So I think Israel is a wonderful democracy. A democracy is a mechanism for people within a nation to decide how their state should be run. Israel has successfully integrated many groups quickly and effectively overcoming their culture specific issues. But a democracy can't handle systematic rejection. That's not a failure a democracy, that's a failure of the Palestinians.

      The distinction between an empire and a nation-state is whether there is a common culture. Part of what made the nation-state such an advance in allowing for both humane and large government was a better understanding of culture. A kay part of being a democracy in the nation-state is establishing that trust and affinity that makes democracy possible. The Palestinians rejected being part of Israel. Palestinian rejectionism is the central issue.

      As far as avoiding civilian casualties. Israel has been moderately humane. The 2nd intifada changed Israeli society in the same way the 30s violence changed an earlier generation. Liberals are frequently willing to talk about how western violence radicalizes other people, but don't seem to want to address the problem that non-western violence also radicalizes westerners. 9/11 shifted American political opinion, particularly liberals and moderates, on foreign policy quickly and drastically to the right. Because the terror was short lived liberals had mostly recovered by 2004 and moderates stared shifting soon after 2004. But the effects were dramatic.

      Palestinian violence, primarily Hamas from the 1990s has changed Israel. Israelis are becoming less concerned with treating the Palestinians humanely. The current Palestinian program is changing Israeli moderate bigotry and frustration into hatred. Israel is becoming less constrained in their violence. I think the whole, "Light Unto the Nations" is Jewish self obsession so there is some upside and healthy maturity in Israel losing this over-important view of themselves.

      You’ve lumped Israel in with ISIS and the several bloodlettings between the Hutu and the Tutsi

      Yes. I've Israel in with the history of just about every other nation formation on the planet. Jews are no better than other people. Jews are no worse than other people. They are just people.

    • @amigo

      it,s also how they end.Someone else comes along and decides their needs are greater than yours. Oh well, easy come , easy go.

    • @petersz

      Isn’t it more like Israel is like ISIS? Both fanatical theocratic states that murder and slaughter people of the wrong type.

      That's what state formation looks like. All successful nation states start that way. What's happening with ISIS is the Sykes–Picot Agreement is finally being unravelled and the people of the Middle East are choosing their own borders rather than living within the borders the French and British found convenient for their partition. What is happening with Israel is Israel is choosing its borders. What's happening in central Africa (Burundi, Rwanda, ...) is the Hutu and Tutsi are deciding on their borders and unscrambling their population.

      This process isn't pretty but it how nation states are born, and what allows for genuine self determination of peoples.

    • @lysias

      Why does everybody in the U.S. government call it “ISIL”, while everybody else calls it “ISIS” or “IS”? (I noticed for a while that the media occasionally called it “ISIL”, generally when the source of the story was somebody in the U.S. government, but they seem to have dropped doing that now.)

      That one is on them. They used both Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to refer to themselves along with a bunch of other names. The State Department issued a memo on this and picked ISIL for references in the USA: link to

  • Entitled ideology supporting 'incineration' of Gaza resonates with Nazi ideology -- Siegman
    • @RoHa

      Thanks for the clarification, I had no idea what he meant.

      Robert --

      Fukushima doesn't have remotely the same system as Stuxnet was designed to attack. As for causing massive underwater earthquakes... if you believe Israel is remotely that much more technologically advanced then the rest of the civilizations on the planet then they can easily establish a global empire and there isn't anything anyone can do about it. There is nothing left to discuss.

  • Salaita’s stellar teaching record exposes political motivation behind his firing
    • @Donald

      I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that a university has opened itself up to a big fat lawsuit if it tells someone he will be teaching some courses in September, the person quits his job, moves 1000 miles, only to be told that the university rubber stampers have decided not to rubber stamp the appointment.

      I am not a lawyer either. Normally in academia the job offer is made by the dean but the tenure offer is made by the board. So what I had thought was that Salaita was being offered a job, but had been promised tenure and now was either going to have a serious tenure review or not get it at all. And he and the media were just characterizing this as "fired".

      But that letter makes it clear that, no in fact Illinois has a non standard process. The problem is the letter is explicit about their process. In industry it is common for this sort of thing to happen but there it is made crystal clear that you are an at-will employee.

      I kinda agree that the University is on very questionable ground. I don't agree they clear cut lose.

      My read of this earlier was that the school issued a letter of intent not a contract. Which means Salaita is entitled to the cost of goods and services he had to procure and did procure prior to the contract going into effect. It doesn't entitle him to lost opportunity costs like a breach of contract would. So I can easily see him winning damages for the cost of the move because clearly that document is a letter of intent. And if that's all he goes for, I think the University will settle quickly. But I can't see him winning damages for the quitting his previous job because that's not a good he procured which is what people are claiming he'll get.

      That being said, the University's reputation is also on the line in a suit. I'm still of the opinion that if I had to pick which hand I'd rather hold it would be the University's if this went to a suit. Remember Salaita if he is going to try and prove breach on grounds free speech then has to prove his allegations by preponderance of the evidence. The University's lawyers could choose to respond to a suit by trashing him in court. Anyone with a multiyear career can be made to look bad once someone crawls up their ass with a microscope. As another point as others have pointed out, Salaita was hired for Indian Studies but most of his professional work is on Israel / Palestine which isn't Indian. Wise could say that's why she rejected him and if she does Salaita is going to have to prove otherwise. Etc...

      Finally let me say that lots of stuff in academia is done on the basis of faith with stupid contracts. For example for my wife's thesis copy in the library she had to sign a contract which puts her in crystal clear violation of copyright law for about 1/3rd of her entire body of work (i.e. the electronic distributor owns clear copyright and she doesn't even have legal license). I was horrified when I read the contract and told her not to sign it. She blew me off and said it was standard. I learned later signing over of rights this broadly is normal. Academics sign contracts all the time that say one thing but via. tradition are taken to mean another. Which is a very bad practice and in no way unique to Salaita. When it is ambiguous I can't see how the courts are supposed to deal with nonsense like this other than to just enforce the contract as written.

    • @Stephen Shenfield

      Well it developed from the civil rights movement where concepts like "hostile work environment" became common grounds for suits. Creating a "offensive, intimidating, or oppressive atmosphere" was a way of denying blacks and women employment. There was a general notion of constructive dismissal that driving someone out of the workplace is effectively firing them in cases like Turner v. Anheuser-Busch

      Ignoring complaints, bullying, swearing, verbal abuse (especially in areas related to sex, race, religion), unfair or biased criticism especially public have been explicitly cites. You do have an obligation to be polite in the workplace. If Salaita's tweets are read as indicating an intent to engage in those behaviors that puts the university in legal jeopardy if he then carries through on the threats.

    • Since this issue keeps coming up I thought it worth noting that the offer letter is now online with all the disclaimers:
      link to

      The letter indicates several times this is a tentative offer ex:

      The University of Illinois Statutes (Article IX, Section 3.a.) provide that only the Board of Trustees has the authority to make formal appointments to the academic staff. New academic staff members will receive a formal Notification of Appointment from the Board once the hiring unit has received back from the candidate all required documents, so the appointment can be processed. Required forms normally include the electronic Employee Information form, the I-9, W-4, and the Authorization for Deposit of Recurring Payments form.

      In his defense Page 1 of the document makes it clear that the I-9 in his case would be handled when he arrives on campus which is very odd, I've never done that with an I-9 since the invention of the fax. So in theory the letter's contradictions seems to indicate he's supposed to be working before his appoint is formally approved. This is unquestionably a sloppy hiring process. Well everyone can read and judge for themselves.

  • 'Lesson: The Jews will defend themselves even if it means killing children'
    • @Danaa

      Of course, speaking of un-cool – well, there’s always Florida

      Me thinks you haven't seen the right parts of Florida. Miami can go toe to two with the New York City or LA club scene. Even cities like Tampa have a lot of cool.

      Also the American constitution is kind of nice

      I think it is a work of genius. I'm constantly impressed when I look at other country's government how well our constitution adverts the problems they have. I'm continuously shocked when countries are trying to come up with governments why they don't look to the oldest functioning democracy and see what worked. For example America has a really good system of federalism, especially if you remove the later amendments as we gradually moved towards a national government. Which likely would have worked to relieve the tension between the various communities in Iraq. But we couldn't get the Iraqis to go for a federal system.

      America IS the real zion,

      America is a Protestant country. The forms of Judaism that evolved in America had to become structurally Protestant to allow Jews to assimilate. The Catholicism that has evolved among Catholic believers is ideologically Protestant. There is a lot to admire about America, and a lot to like about it. But Zion cannot be Protestant.

      no other way to explain the influx from the Holy land to the new jerusalems known as new York, Boston and LA (not gonna say notin’ about new jersey…or Florida).

      There isn't that much flow between Israel and America. But I'm not sure why you would find the flow surprising. America has moved politically closer to Israel. Europe has become less friendly and America more friendly. Financial ties have grown stronger as Israel has become more capitalist in its orientation, especially loosening your financing and banking laws. About 13 years ago I was an executive on the board of a company. I think I was the only Jew there and we were working to get acquired by CheckPoint. Those sorts of ties mean people move back and forth. Lots of Japanese Americans are either from Japan or move to Japan, there is flow there as well. Certainly the flow to and from Mexico is gigantic.

      That's part of how America does business. We have an immigrant culture so moving here for business or moving away from here happens rather freely.

      but the wanna-be zion is doing everything it can to ruin it

      Don't buy into the Mondowweiss obsession with Israel. The wanna-be Zion (Israel) has a GDP of $243b. The GDP of New Jersey and Florida (which you just dismissed with contempt) is $465b and $748b respectively. Israel couldn't ruin America if it tried. Jews are not the center of the universe. The belief that what Jews do is of cosmic importance is a sick part of Christian anti-Semitism that Jews absorbed. That theology is part of what Zionism critiqued and aimed to reject. Unfortunately it failed since Israelis are as self obsessed if not more-so than their diaspora cousins.

      So, since you are Israeli, get a grip! Israel is a good friend to America. Americans put Israel 2nd only to Canada in terms of most trusted allies, ahead of the UK. Israel is a valuable strategic asset. But we've lost assets before, like the fall of Iran or the deteriorating relationship with Pakistan. If Israel tomorrow set up a giant blender and Rabin Square and made 10,000 Palestinians into milkshakes every day it wouldn't ruin America or in the larger scheme of things matter very much. If tomorrow the Israelis decided to retreat to the 1967 borders and recognized a Palestinian state the biggest impact would be trying to prevent Iran or Al-Qaeda or whomever was really running the newly independent Palestinian state from flipping Jordan.

      What's really doing damage to America is underinvestment in our human capital and infrastructure nothing with foreign policy at all. Jews are working hard to fight that, they are on the side of the angels.

    • @Shingo

      Which begs the question, why do so many Jews insist on living in America rather than Israel.

      Zionism arose out of Jewish culture because it fits Jewish culture and experience. Just as Judaism conflicts with Christianity in some areas the Zionist philosophy of state conflicts with the American philosophy. American Jews became Zionist after the period when Jews faced discrimination. As Zionism has integrated into American Judaism many of the themes in Zionism have become parts of Jewish culture. Cultures are complex and multi layered.

      American Jews are fundamentally American, they are happy here and they live well here. At the same time Jewish alienation is a genuine cultural issue. That doesn't mean it is worth abandoning one's home and culture and moving to a foreign country. Jewish women adore yoga, it is even more popular in Israel. Buddhist / Hindu religious themes about non-attachment and constructive reality are totally alien to Judaism but popular among Jews (as well as lots of other non-Jewish upper middle class). No one expects American Jews and Israelis to move to India just because they admire Indian exercise.

      Normal people have nuanced and contradictory relationships with things important in their lives. They are able to look at things in terms of positives and negatives. They can admire things about other people or societies without wanting to whole heartedly embrace them. And they can dislike things about other people or societies without having to demonize them in every respect.

      America has been good for Jews, Jews have been good Americans and the whole thing has worked out well. But other countries in other times have also been good for Jews and then things changed dramatically. The Yazidi were up until recently rather well accepted in the region as they posed no demographic or political threat. Then last year a prominent Islamic Sunni movement came along and decided genocide was appropriate and lately that's been in the news. Jews have been through those sorts of cycles many many times.

      As an aside you are using the expression "beg the question" incorrectly. To beg the question means to assume the conclusion in the argument.

    • @Sean

      Since you seem to be obsessed with this. Yes, you were right. It appears Libby was Jewish. So there you go one of the key neocons directly responsible for Iraq was Jewish.

    • @Annie

      jeff b. re that woody allen skit. families are often on their ‘good behavior’ when a daughter or sister brings home some stranger. i can’t recall the movie from start to finish but there’s a good chance that jewish family he was imagining (his own one presumes) might not have acted like that had she been in the room.

      Absolutely agree. Everybody's family is screwed up. And of course the grass always looks greener. That sort of stilted conversation Allen's character (Alvy Singer) is admiring in the Annie's family can be even more difficult as everyone works very hard to keep the conversation on boating and not talking about the obvious. Frankly given the alternative I rather like the openness.

      Any as far as I can tell Asian families in the USA seem to have this measuring up insecurity issues far worse than Jewish families do. In America while the specifics of integration are unique to each group I think the pattern is pretty uniform and analogous.

      as a matter of fact i recall some pretty strange undercurrents when i was invited to a jewish household/home not that long ago with some very weary family members. but after we got to be friends a little bit into the trip, the mom started preparing some of her special dishes and that’s when i knew i had passed the grade. but non jewish families, like my own for example, have some very raunchy lively dinner table conversations.

      My parents have never had a raunchy conversation with me, nor have I ever had one with my siblings. Which is kinda the opposite extreme on sex. It is still off limits. I always thought that was stupid. But funny enough my wife, who is really liberal, is rather puritanical around our daughter regarding any kind of conversation with a sexual theme (she's 15 at this point). My daughter has responded to my wife's discomfort by being puritanical around my wife. So at least daughter - mother looks like we are passing the no-sex talk on to the next generation. My daughter will talk pretty freely around me, though.

      OTOH the Woody Allen family is pretty close to what conversation was like with my family. Jewish families talk freely about disease which I've noticed other families won't touch.

      but i get that this is or has been a ‘theme’ in jewish thinking and literature. the blind spot tho, is thinking this is unique or a somehow ‘jewish experience’ in terms of exclusivity. it isn’t, it’s not uncommon treatment for strangers or outsiders. hence the english idiom, don’t hang your dirty linen in public. but once you get to know a family well, or become one of the family, they are more likely to start arguing in front of you. that’s not jewish, that’s normal.

      Agree 100%. The specifics of what gets hidden and with whom differ a bit. But everyone tries to look good. The anxiety about being inauthentic it is Jewish. But the conversation not so much.

      and that grandmother in allen’s video, that is NOTHING compare to the ‘evil eye’ i got from the dad (jewish) at that gathering. nothing!

      Yep. Jews especially of Allen's generation and older do not like intermarriage. I was engaged to a gentile right out of college. My parents seriously considered not coming to the wedding at all. It is much worse in that direction.

      I see with worse with Hindu immigrants. They want their kids to marry Indian.

    • @Danaaa

      Well then if you are Israeli this was just standard: שלילת הגולה ideology.

    • @Elliot

      There was Israeli state violence in earlier generations?

      No there was existential angst where Jews were neither one thing nor the other and unable to reconcile it. They were unable to effortless live the cultures of the societies they live in.

      Woody Allen's Easter Scene is a good example of this in an American context:

      Even as he tries to eat the easter ham and fit in he really can't. Next to "real Americans" he feels like a fake American. This is a theme in diaspora literature 100 years ago as well. American Jews still weren't assimilated enough to have this kind of angst but but you see the same themes in British, French and German literature from that late 19th early 20th century time period.

      That's what I meant.

    • @Danaa

      Phil, lost in the verbiage of Lozowick is a barely concealed contempt for the Jews of the world. Not sure others caught just how very dismissive his tone is towards Jewish people in general, including those who may be zionists but do not live in Israel.

      That's standard Israeli Zionist discourse and has been for over a century. link to

      The article doesn't mention it but Zionism has held to 3 central ideas:

      1) Exile serves no purpose and fulfills no mission (i.e. rejection of the rabbinic interpretation of the exile)

      2) Exile causes suffering and distorts the soul.

      3) Exile is non-feasable in a world of nation states.

      During the pre WWII years American Jewish Zionists used to argue (and this is still the majority view in practice for American Jews) that the negation of the diaspora had happened in America, because America is a homeland for the Jews who live there. Thus Israel was an appropriate homeland for the Jews of Eastern Europe who were still in exile but that the spiritual sickness of exile weren't applicable to American Jews who had found a home. In the current world where most of the non-American diaspora no longer exists the debate is more nuanced. Both sides have softened their positions over the decades. Israelis no longer hold the utopian socialist ideals that made the unabridged form possible and most American Jews will agree that they are not fully at home as Jews in America.

      On point the angst that liberal Jews feel towards Israeli state violence which they can neither fully embrace nor fully break from is precisely the sort of existential angst that Zionists writers of earlier generations critiqued in diaspora Jews. Anyway (and I'm assuming you are Christian since you found this surprising) there is still a point of debate between Israeli and American Jews and we are used to hearing this sort of stuff. IMHO (and I say this as an American who is not moving) he has a very good point in his critique.

    • @W. Jones

      percent of a group’s support or performance of something does it become correct or permissible to say that the group supports or performs it?

      1) the group has institutions which draw broadly who perform the action
      2a) a supermajority of the population is supportive directly or indirectly
      2b) a majority is unopposed
      3) at best a tiny fraction dissents in a way designed to prevent the action rather than merely oppose it in principle.

      So for example is is reasonable to say Americans invaded and occupied Iraq. After 2006 it would probably be best to limit that to the Bush administration or Republicans or...

    • @Gracie Fr

      There is another way of looking at this, which is that the UN keeps trying to push an inappropriate frame onto the situation in the West Bank and Gaza.

      An occupation is supposed to be a temporary situation where a military exercises control over a territory for tactical or strategic reasons during an armed conflict. For example America occupied Iraq recently.

      In the case of Gaza what you have is a an area of land, a government of the people with support by the people and an army (Hamas armed wing) loyal to that government. Gaza should be considered a state. The UN by insisting that the West Bank and Gaza are indivisible confuses the issue and thus confuses a partial blockade conducted by one state against a weaker state during an armed conflict with an occupation. That confusion means the laws governing occupation don't fit the situation. And thus countries and individuals are coming to believe that the laws governing occupation aren't sensible. The solution is to return to a stricter definition of occupation.

      In the case of the West Bank the situation is clearly not designed to be temporary. Israel has moved 10% of its population into the West Bank and has built permanent infrastructure for the West Bank tying it to 1967 Israel, which is a defacto annexation of huge chunks of the West Bank (Area-C plus parts of Area-B). Moreover Israel has formally annexed a large chunk of the West Bank and altered both the architecture and the demography.

      Again that is not an occupation it is forcible annexation. There is a concept that forcible annexation is not permitted and the UN's response is to pretend that what is illegal is non-existent. Which is essentially like pretending that a murder victim is still alive because murder is illegal. And again what you find in this situation is the laws regarding an occupation fit a forcible annexation poorly. Which is having the effect of discrediting the laws.

      And again the situation would be the same thing. For the UN to admit that while Area-A might be under occupation, Jerusalem and Area-C have been forcibly annexed. As there is no military other than the IDF that is a plausible contender for the IDF with interest in that territory, it is not even disputed territory. Acquisition of territory by force may be a criminal act under international law but it is fait accompli. Pretending there is an occupation just damages international law. The proper response would be to recognize their status as part of Israel.

      The institution damaging international law is the UN not Israel. A robber doesn't damage the laws against robbery. But a DA and judge who keeps misclassifying bar fights as robberies and trying to apply the statutes against robbery rather than those against assault does damage the laws against robbery by making them seem poorly conceived.

      (I actually think forcible acquisition is an oversimplification of what happened in the West Bank. But that's a separate misunderstand from the UN from their deliberate misclassification of occupation).

    • @Harry

      You can't have this both ways. Larger more complex rockets have longer launch times (unless you are speculating a massive upgrade) and more a more complex launch process. There are also much harder to conceal. The current rockets that Hamas has:

      a) Have very short range
      b) Are wildly inaccurate
      c) Have very light payloads

      Fix any of those 3 and the complexity of the weapon goes way up. Fix all of those 3, which is what would be required for the kind of mass killing you are talking about and the complexity of the weapons becomes orders of magnitude greater.

      So of course they can be stopped it is question of proportionality. In the 1980s the USA built an infrastructure in Germany to be able to disable most of the Russian nuclear force which is vastly larger, more sophisticated, much more hardened defenses with far more distance for the anti-missles missiles to cover.

      Yes certainly one near miss panicked the FAA in a period right after there were several planes shot down in other parts of the world.

      We don't have to speculate. The Palestinians in the 2nd intifada managed to conduct a successfully bombing campaign. And during that campaign there was a huge drop in tourism it did induce a severe recession. That wasn't a game changer. Israel survived a successful bombing campaign, they survived it relatively easily and weren't anywhere near close to crumbling.

    • @HarryLaw

      Yeah we've been hearing about how Israel will fall for a long time. What would happen the day after a rocket explodes into Israels only International airport? There would be a minor disturbance in flights, the damage would be quickly repaired and life would return to normal. 9/11 which dropped tons of rubble on the New York Stock exchange didn't end America's ability to trade securities. Societies are more resilient than that.

    • @lyn117

      Is he implying Israel is killing innocent Palestinians in order kill what, Palestinianism?

      Yes. Palestinians and Israelis are debating the nature of the state that will exist in mandate Palestine. The Palestinians want to try and recreate their state and construct a culturally Arabic state, with a large Palestinian population ruling over a smaller subservient Jewish population. The Israelis want a Hebrew speaking hybrid state culturally crossed between the various Jewish population groups that immigrated with possibly some light Palestinian flavoring.

      That's what the wars/debate is about. Not equal rights. Not occupation. But totally contrasting views for what the state itself should be.

  • More Orientalist insinuations in the New York Times
    • @lysias and Eljay

      FWIW. With the rise of the Hasmonean dynasty in Judea Hasmonean Judaism forms. The previous forms of Judaism that existed are not applicable to the culture that now exists and a legal caste emerges which becomes Pharisaic Judaism. Pharisaic Judaism exists in a world of multiple Jewish sects which in a meaningful sense all die out as forms of Judaism though many of them do have "god fearers" / gentile followers and become non-Jewish religions with Jewish influence. Christianity being the most well known example. Rabbinic Judaism is generally considered to be the Judaism when there are is one sect which also coincides with the completion of the Mishnah.

      Judean Sacrificial cult of the 4th century -> Hasmonean Judaism -> Pharisaic Judaism -> Rabbinic Judaism

      Islam emerges from a variety of sects. The largest contribution is Collyridian Christianity which is a matriarchal Christianity that exists in the Arabian peninsula which came from Tatian's group of Encratite Christians. Taitan was gentile and was inspired by Jewish literature among many other things, but had no more "Jewish blood" than any other 2nd century Roman empire citizen would have had. The various Encratites who followed him were if they were descended from Jews at all were likely 1/2 or 1/4 Jewish.

      So you would be looking at much longer chains which are intermixing but each chain would be substantially longer something like:
      Judean Sacrificial cult of the 4th century -> Hasmonean Judaism -> Sadducee Judaism -> Tzadok Movement -> Essenic Judaism -> proto-Christian group (like Elkasaites) -> early Logos Roman Christian movement -> Tatian Encratites -> Collyridians -> Islam.

      So Eljay is right. Both biologically and literarily Rabbinic Judaism is closer to 6th century BCE Judaism. I don't believe "ancient Judaism" in the sense of Abraham ever existed but if it did exist it would be a few steps earlier on both chains.

    • @lysias

      So your alleged evidence boils down to the fact that the Palestinians today speak Arabic.

      No you had claimed there were grounds and I asked you what grounds. I then gave you one specific. You can reread it, it was not that they spoke Arabic.

      As an aside on your point regarding Gaul:
      a) Gaul is a bit south of what you are thinking it is I suspect
      b) Check out a history of the Merovingian dynasty

    • @lysias

      There are good grounds for believing that the Palestinians, at any rate, are descended from the ancient Hebrews.

      Really, which grounds? What evidence does anyone have for this claim? The fact is there are no grounds for believing this claim and plenty of grounds for rejecting it. We have good records regarding the migrations of people's and cultures and we know they moved in when Roman civilization created a vacuum. Their predecessor culture the Nabataeans lived in what today would be parts of Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia. They speak a form of Arabic descended from the Nabataeans (i.e. a language that evolved in the eastern Arabian peninsula spoken in the trade city of Petra). If they are the original inhabitants and theirs if the original culture of Palestine, where did they pick that language up from? The evidence is fully consistent with believing they migrated west as the Roman empire collapsed during the Muslim conquest. Which means they aren't descendants of the ancient Hebrews, their predecessor culture didn't even exist then (not that I believe there were ancient Hebrews but that's another topic).

      There are no original inhabitants anywhere. Humans are a migratory species. It is one of the reasons you can find us in every climate on this planet.

  • Rob Reiner wants to pick Palestinians' leaders for them
    • @Citizen

      And let’s not forget Ribbontrop, the head diplomat for Nazi Germany, was the first defendant executed at Nuremberg.

      The charges against him were for things he did not his functioning as a diplomat. I suspect in particular the policy of lynching allied pilots. The charges against him were for planning of the invasion of Poland not just presenting the case of why Germany should invade Poland. That's a crucial distinction. Or in the case of Jews coordinating the shipment of Jews to the death camps in 1942 i.e. being an architect of the final solution, not defending the final solution diplomatically.

      If Modai were actually orchestrating current war-crimes then I could see Ireland's point. If Modai had been involved in previous war-crimes then rejecting him as ambassador and requesting a different one would be reasonable. Otherwise they are confusing the battery and the wire.

    • @eljay

      Then why not be consistent and include on every mention of Iran the "ethno- supremacist state of Iran"? If ethno-supremacism is really the issue.... Or when discussing virtually every European country historically since in the 19th century that had institutional state churches...

    • @Clios

      I think we understand each other on the issue of Norris. I don't have much else to say. I think he quite explicitly gave a reason for his actions and you keep saying no... he meant something else that can be inferred and we should ignore his explicitly stated reasons. I don't think the topic of their disagreement is relevant, you do. But there is a point below which might explain this better in your reincarnated Nazisism so I'll pick it up from there.

      And? Modai is under no obligation, as you noted, to betray an oath –though of course one wonders whether a functionary of a state committing war crimes can even claim honor

      Of course they can. The UN's role is not much different than the Church / Pope's was in earlier centuries claiming to be a sort of unaccountable super-government that all governments had to pay homage to. Jews wouldn't exist if they listened to that claptrap.

      It’s fairly obvious. The special pleading you’re making for the state of Israel (all the while declaiming bigotry) whilst not applying the same standards to the Palestinians is evidence enough that you’re no friend of these oppressed people.

      I'm not a friend to these oppressed people. I'm a partisan on the other side. I advocate some degree of compromise with them. But there is no reason they shouldn't consider me an enemy.

      It’s why it’s annoying and pretty obvious when apologist cant like yours is larded with a throwaway line about caring about Palestinian X, Y, or Z. Let’s be completely honest here. When push comes to shove, you don’t actually care.

      Of course I care. I want Israel to be humane. I want other things for Israel far more. As I've said before Israel should be: as moral as possible, as brutal as necessary. I advocate offering full citizenship for West Bank Palestinians who agree to become Israel and full independence for Gaza. That's IMHO is a reasonable and ethical position even if I weren't a partisan.

      You mean Mr. Norris believes he has a morally superior policy to that of Israel’s? I know you’re not a relativist because later on in your post you describe the special manifest destiny of Israel so this meaningless.

      I'm a relativist on the proper role of ambassadors. I'm not a relativist on the proper conduct of the underlying governments. That is part of the distinction I've been making for 3 posts.

      The world doesn’t work like that. In diplomacy you have opportunity costs. If Mr. Norris’ position prevails –and I am certainly sympathetic– then Israeli diplomatic relations with Ireland will suffer. Such is life.

      Well yes of course. That's always the case for any country X if the enemies of that country in Y are successful in getting their way than X's relationship with Y suffers. Nothing unusual about that.

      Rather, let us suggest that in the near future, anti-semitic fascists –a New Reich perhaps in Germany– take control of a major power. Would Israel be immoral in breaking relations with such a state if it began discriminating against its Jewish population? What about pogroms? Etc.

      Good this gets to the meat of the issue.

      I don't think Israel should break diplomatic relations because as I've said before I don't think that's ever a good thing. What I do think Israel should act to rescue those Jews. One of Israel's successes has been rescuing Jews when anti-Semitism heats up. Situations like this have arisen since the creation of Israel numerous times and when they do Israel has effectively mitigated the mass slaughter or less oppression that would have otherwise resulted. The ambassador might be very effectual in negotiating the migration rather than extermination.

      This is why your nonsense is so transparent. See you can’t make the argument that you disagree with Mr. Norris on the merits –Israel has certainly committed war crimes (hell, I’ll concede that Hamas has too and we can both go to the ICC)– so you try and make up an extra-special metaphysical principle of international relations which makes your special pleading for war crimes by a particular state into a principled stand.

      Not really. I have a general pleading that I think most of the 4th Geneva convention is completely unrealistic. I pretty much oppose most of post WWII international law in other situations. For example I agree with Putin not the UN on Ukraine. That isn't a special pleading it is a generalized strong belief in self determination. While I favor some of the liberation movements of the anti-colonial movement I think good deal of their ideology was destructive and the UN did poorly to adopt it. Far more sensible were the 19th century international standards which were based on a realistic and thus enforceable standards of conduct.

      If you want my actual position on Norris... In the case of Ireland's hatred for Israel I don't think it has much to do with the Palestinians or human rights. The Republicans / IRA were part of the "liberation movement" along with the anti-colonialists and later PLO and traded arms back and forth as well as helping one another. That tradition has held and Ireland is thus a hotbed of anti-Israelism. Conversely the Unionists are strong Israel supporters more so than even the USA. Both parties relate to Israel / Palestine out of their own history with no genuine understanding. This gets compounded by Catholic replacement theology for Ireland while Protestant Christian Zionism plays a huge role in Northern Ireland. Which is to say that Ireland is strongly inclined to be hostile to Israel and if they can find a good excuse they will be. Probably Israel cannot be genuinely friendly with Ireland for another century or so regardless of what happens with Palestinians. Though Ireland I suspect is only going to want to make symbolic moves. Norris was advocating in that speech for Ireland to send peacekeepers to Gaza against Israel's will... given the relative strength of the IDF and the Irish Army (I don't think they would last two hours in a full on fight) a position that strikes me as proving the man is simply off his rocker.

      This is really rather off-topic, but it’s still a fascinating look into the rot in Israel’s moral core. A state religion?

      Your questioning a state religion when talking about Ireland? Ireland only exists because of Catholicism. The state religion has been the central political issue for Ireland since Queen Elizabeth I.

      An exclusive ethnic character to the most powerful force within that state (and certainly that force could never be turned against Israeli citizens of non-Jewish ethnicity, no?)

      I didn't say that. It most certainly could be if they continue down the road of identifying with the Palestinians. The Israeli Arabs since the 1980s have been waffling whether they want to be Israelis or a Palestinain 5th column. They seem to be creeping towards 5th column. If they keep going in that direction, eventually it will be turned against them.

      It’s part and parcel of the Zionist argument to tend towards maudlin sollipsism so I’ll simply point out that you don’t make mention of the fact that there are competing rights here. Idem there are other people there who have the same rights.

      Of course there are. It is a true tragedy for Palestinians that their society was destroyed to make room for Israel. God (I'm also an atheist, being metaphorical here) has a cruel sense of humor. The Palestinians of the last century had no empathy or sympathy for the Jews of the diaspora so he is turning them into the Jews of the diaspora. Jews meanwhile never understood the world from the Tzar's point of view and so they have had to relive it from the other side.

      I get they have competing rights. But the fulfillment of those rights is the annihilation of Judaism and Israel. At best they can settle for some sort of half baked totally unfair compromise or IMHO far better for them agree to become Israeli.

      Are the Irish dispossessing an ethnic group to govern their country?

      Ireland is one of the very few countries in the world where the ethnic group there now did not forcibly displace another group. So no. But with virtually every other country, including the Palestinians, yes.

      Does the Irish state claim one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century as a special rationale for its security?

      I'm not sure why you see that as a negative. But the Irish do claim one of the great tragedies of the 19th century (the potato famine and the policy of starvation) as the special rationale for their independence. So that one they do pretty much match on that accord.

      So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have
      rejected being ruled over by Arabs.

      Nice try, but Arabs here are the colonial natives.

      No one is native. Both groups are migrants. Jews have better aboriginal claims. Palestinians have better recent claims. BTW most of the colonial natives weren't really native to the places they were expelling the whites from, just earlier.

      This is almost as funny as that Lawfare article positing that Zionism is an anti-colonial ideology. It’s at best a more murderous form of Garveyism

      That's a fair comparison. Had Black's chosen to return to Africa rather than be Americans then likely they would have had to do much of what Israel is doing now. And if you look at the history of Liberia when the natives finally rose up against the descendants of the African Americans they slaughtered them.

      and if you know your African-American history (I suspect you do not), that was more than well-supported by racist white imperialists.

      No I don't know my African American history. But I do know that repatriation was supported by both racists and 19th century liberals.

      Except Dublin is not internationally recognized as a divided city.

      Who cares? There were periods of time that Dublin was internationally recognized as British property. So what. The people of Dublin decided on what the proper government of Dublin should be, just as the people of Jerusalem should decide on what the proper government of Jerusalem should be. That line is a pretty clear denial of self determination.

      JeffB: I don’t know why this is hard to understand. Israel should not attempt to pressure McKee to betray and misrepresent Irish policy and similarly Ireland should not attempt to pressure Modai to betray and misrepresent Israeli policy.

      Clois: The United States should not attempt to pressure Chancellor Hitler to betray and misrepresent German policy.

      The analogy would be: Hans Luther, Hans-Heinrich Dieckhoff and Hans Thomsen. All 3 were treated well by the United States. All 3 were allowed to come and go. And Hans Thomsen in particular when the war started was treated in accord with his position. Luther and Thomsen helped the USA in the reconstruction of Germany after the war given positions of respect and honor. The USA treated them like ambassadors. America understood their role was to faithfully represent the 3rd Reich to America and that was all. Luther went further than that and gave a well covered lecture series to Americans at Columbia which was an apologetic for Nazism which he was allowed to freely present.

      They are counter examples to your position.

      The Zionist –aka the special homeland for the Jews who deserve it because of their unique historical status– is arguing that Jews should live like everyone else (in their isolated ghetto where intermarriage rates are nearly non-existent) by… not being subject to any sort of pressure on policy ever?

      I didn't say that. I have no problem with reasonable levels of pressure on Israel for things they have done wrong. For example when Teva Pharmaceuticals violated Pfizer's patents I had no problem with Israel having to pay damages. That was just them being held to the standards that every other country is held to.

      Alright. Let’s see if you can spot it here. An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza –a foreign policy issue– but he is also a conduit for Ireland’s objections to said policy.

      That's right. He is a conduit he is not responsible for the policy. That's the distinction between a battery and wire. There is no contradiction there.

    • @Citizen

      There is good video on Palestine and who is the colonial power:

      [youtube link to
      I don't agree with all the details but the message is spot on.

    • @Eljay

      There is no nation of Persia either. There isn't a perfect mapping between people who live in the territory of Iran (and certainly not expats) and those who have rights in Iran. For example those who practice the Bahá'í Faith is a criminal act, equivalent to espionage in the USA. Does that mean that Iran is an illegitimate country, not entitled to self determination and thus Mitt Romney's position of regime change morally legitimate?

      If you are all for treating everyone equally then why is total cultural annihilation appropriate in one case and nothing in the other?

      Jews have the right to self determination as Israelis. Whether they also have a civil rights problem and should include others in that definition is a question for political reform. Reform isn't what is being discussed by you. You want to flood Israel with an alien and hostile people. That would be the sort of action America would visit upon Iran if they wanted to permanently destroy it.

    • @Amigo

      That's the dispute about where the Palestinians have self determination. In the case of Jews the issue is not merely about where. Read Eljay's reply for a good example.

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