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Total number of comments: 1462 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • Memo to Sen. Warren: More young Dems want US to side with Palestine than Israel
    • @Ritzl

      That's not close to enough. First off when I did this stuff 2 decades ago the rule of thumb was that donors under $35/yr cost more to recruit than the $35. The purpose of the donation was to fund the awareness that the donation gathering generated and to increase their level of commitment, behavior changes belief.

      Today with higher costs of fundraising it's probably the case that you need to be a donor at around $200 to be throwing off any substantial percentage for the campaign to use for its own needs.

      But even if that weren't the case. In 2012 the general election, forgetting the primary was:
      Committee to elect Barack Obama: $738m
      Committee to elect Mitt Romney: $625m
      That doesn't include either party's general fund nor super packs which gets the figure up around $2.6b.

      2016 is going to be way more expensive in the same way that 2014 was way more expensive than 2010. $20x10m people is both unrealistic and still falls far short even if it were possible. A campaign that has 10m people committed enough to donate wouldn't need money, they just win. 10m willing to donate probably represents at least 100m people who would be willing to vote for Money is needed to influence low interest and uncommitted voters. Money shifts things a few percentage points. A huge money discrepancy can do 8-10%.

      So you don't have a solution to the money problem. But it isn't all about money. The fundamental problem is that hard left views are unpopular with voters and when they have a chance to vote on them they generally reject them. Campaign commercials aren't the problem. Rather to get someone to agree with a left candidate you need to reorient a person's entire political philosophy. And that takes years if not decades. The reason Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders are rare and there is no one to their left in the senate is because people to their left can't win a statewide race. I doubt they could win a national race. We might see a good example of that in reverse if someone like Ted Cruz gets the Republican nomination.

      The issue with Palestine / Israel is not Jewish money. AIPAC et al is around 10-20th place in terms of money and influence, important but nowhere near the influence of groups like the NRA or the Agriculture lobby. The issue with Israel / Palestine is the American public favors the Israelis by 45-50 percentage points. The voter's political opinion, not the money is the difficult to overcome problem you face. The 1950s State Department with their "screw the Jews, get the oil" lost to the "a reliable ally in the middle east" coalition. Israel comes in 2nd to Canada in terms of most voters affection towards the country. The voters like countries that are "on our side". European Social Democracies are iffy allies, as Iraq showed. The Arab countries are seen by most voters as just as likely to be opposed to USA interests as in favor. The Palestinians have a 100 year history of mainly being on the opposite side of the USA.

      Once you move beyond liberals arguments based on anti-colonial dialogue are going to carry 0 weight. Sure many Americans object to Israel treating the Palestinians badly though mostly they see the Palestinians as kinda obnoxious and sort of deserving it. Sure if they could wave a magic wand many Americans would rather Israel be a secular democracy than an ethnocracy (and even on that question Israel's current setup Israel can mostly get a majority in its favor). But if you ask the question "do you want the USA government to take actions which will cause Israel to become an enemy of the United States so as possible benefit the Palestinians" that polls in the single digits. Most Americans consider advancing human rights to be a secondary foreign policy objective not a primary one. Your argument against Israel is based on assumptions the voters do not share.

      Even if you had a magic source of money it wouldn't fix that much bigger problem. Politicians don't support your policies because voters don't support your policies. Voters don't support your policies because they are based on a moral / political philosophy they don't share.

    • @ritzl

      It was field tested in the 1960s during the Black riots. Human rights / justice / fairness lost to their own parochial interests. Jewish voters flipped like a dime once on their position regarding civil rights once the movement attacked Jewish interests and not just the WASP power structure. Jewish voters are just like everyone else they support those things in the abstract and tend to be much more more circumspect in the particular.

      Look at the Pew report regarding support for torture:
      51-29% support the torture program
      56-28% think it provided valuable information
      The only political group in America that opposes torture is liberals and even they are 25-65%
      once you get to moderate Dems you already are at 48-32% and by the time you get to Republican voters 76-12%.

    • @Phil

      Young hispanics Democrats are ethnic minorities and Catholic. It is not surprising they dislike Israel. They are way to the right on Israel of where people are mostly in the countries their parents / grandparents / great-grandparents came from.

      The question is not in some abstract sense would they like to see the Zionist entity dissolved. The question is how much do they care? Tthe question as it is likely to be asked in 20+ years when that age group steps into power: "Do you want to pick a fight with Jewish American over Israel that might drive them into the Republican party and will likely cause them to support anti-Hispanic measures in exchange for flipping the Democratic party to a formal anti-Zionist position". That is going they need to answer meaningfully and their answer will be "hell no".

      The reason American Jews are liberal is because they are Jewish. Take away Jewish and they are just a predominantly upper middle class group of white voters i.e. Republicans. The Republican party would love a big fight over Israel in the Democratic party. The Hispanic leadership when they are in their 40s and working for broader coalitions on issues like education, housing, income equality... will know that as much as their elders do.

      You have never addressed the basic question in your vision. Jews today are vastly less liberal than they were 50 years ago and those vastly less liberal than those 100 years ago. What percentage of American Jews are today active in communist or anarchists movement, is it greater than 1%? 100 years ago was it lower than 30% anywhere?

      Jews are becoming less liberal more quickly than they are having qualms over Israel. Frankly I don't see the current qualms as being all that much different than the anti-israeli sentiment as Jews distanced themselves from the massacres in Lebanon 30 years ago, so I don't think they are functionally less Zionist at all. But even if I'm wrong and they are, that's happening very slowly much more slowly than they are losing their attachment to the Democratic party. No Jews are alive today who remember the strong Irish / Jewish alliance that brought the Jews into the Democratic party. The last time the Republican party was openly anti-semitic at all was when Jews in their 70s were becoming politically aware.

      How do you keep Jews in a Democratic party that has become anti-Zionist? Why doesn't the French or British experience of Jews shifting hard to the right in the face of BDS repeat here? Can you imagine Nancy Pelosi (who probably in her heart agrees with you far more than me on Israel) kissing off 10% of her donation base, 20% over any issue much less a foreign policy issue? Can you imagine Harry Reid kissing off 10% of his activists, 20% over any issue much less a foreign policy issue? Why do you think Hispanic party leaders when faced with the real consequences will make a different choice?

      Political parties are coalitions of people with diverse interests. Trample on each other's interests and they fragment.

  • United Auto Workers local becomes first major U.S. labor union to endorse BDS
    • @Citizen

      Tell us some things that are more important than justice

      Life, health of the population, material progress for the culture, the happiness of the population, adequate resources, preparation for the future, the existence of law, the enforcement of law, protection of property. Reciprocation / justice is obviously important. But starving people would much rather an unjust allocation of food than a just equality in death. And that applies on lesser matters as well.

      And what do you think of the Zionist claim that the Jewish people’s claim to land dates from biblical era?

      I think the whole idea of multigenerational claims to land is mostly destructive nonsense. People have should be citizens and have rights where they are born not where their ancestors once lived. If we were having this argument in 1914 and not 2014 that would be relevant. But in 2014 the vast majority of Jewish people living in Israel are the direct not far off descendants of people who resided in Israel at the time of their birth. So in 2014 the Zionist claim dates from 2013 which dates from 2012...

    • @Annie

      did you just compare african americans to Nancy Pelosi and palestinians to Strom Thurmond as a justification for not advocating equality for palestinians??

      No in the analogy I saying I was rather close to Nancy Pelosi politically while you were accusing me of being Strom Thurmond.

      you referenced support of “full equal rights” for african americans and thus far you’ve written more excuses explanations but still not once referenced full equal rights for palestinians. or did i get that wrong?

      You got it wrong. I want those Palestinians who live in Israeli territory to be integrated towards full equal rights. No, exception, nothing held back.

      i was merely paraphrasing what you wrote. you support israel gradually ending palestinian discrimination, just not yet.

      I'd be more sectional about it, but basically right. So for example for Israeli Arabs I'd end housing discrimination immediately. I'd hold a referendum to end the Arab school system and have a unified school system. At the same time immediately drop he racism in Israeli school materials. I'd stop the racism of soft expectations about Israeli Arabs and terrorism. They have the right to equally support whatever resolution they want regarding Gaza. They give material support to Hamas they hang (figuratively). Start maybe 3 years from now where Israeli Arabs have to do 3 service, while Christian Israeli Arabs do the army and if that works in 5 more years move Muslim Israeli Arabs to the military. Not doing service is still one of the biggest reasons Israeli Arabs can't get jobs.


      Jerusalem I'd stop making the citizenship optional. At the same time I'd end the housing discrimination.

      Basically do what you can as fast the societies allow.

    • @Annie

      lol. shorter jeff: after many many decades i still support israel gradually ending their discrimination against palestinians, just not yet. and notice how i referenced support of “full equal rights” for african americans in this country, but nothing remotely the same for palestinians in israel, because i support civil rights.

      Or could it be that there really is a difference between Nancy Pelosi and Strom Thurmond? African Americans have legal equality their issue at this point are social barriers to realizing social and economic equality. While in the case of Palestinians their are civil issues which once fixed will still leave behind social and economic issues which would then need to be fixed later. Nah couldn't be that would hate to assume anything but the worst.

    • @Just

      I'm a moderate. I believe in justice. I believe there are things more important than justice and often societies need to act unjustly. UCLA in the mid 1990s wasn't in one of those situations. We didn't really want very much and what we wanted at worst would have marginally increased costs. The right to collective bargaining for me was the great moral cause. Our laws our simple: there is a union election, 50% of the people ask for professionals to negotiate their contracts then you have to collectively negotiate the contract. I can see both sides of the coal minors strike in the 1940s, but there weren't really two equal and conflicting interests when we formed 2865. UC-Regents were just blatantly breaking the law mainly because Pete Wilson's administration didn't like unionization under any circumstances.

      Why don’t you stand up for the civil rights/right to life of the Palestinian people to live in peace and on their land and with dignity and hope?

      I do. I fully support the gradual integration of those Palestinian people living in whatever territory Israel governs (whether defacto or de-jure) fully into the Israeli nation and the end of all legal and social discrimination based on ethnicity. I do not at all accept the idea of Israel establishing a permanent ethnocracy. You don't accept that as supporting civil rights of Palestinians because you have in your head that Israel is incapable of working through social problems the same way other countries have worked through their social problems.

      To pick the UCLA analogy. I supported and performed organizing for pickets. I supported consciousness awareness. I supported striking. And when it went to court several times I support our labor complaints and lawsuits. I wouldn't have supported assassinating Chancellor Young even though he was the guy giving the orders to UC HR to break the law. I wouldn't have supported arson or terrorism against the board of regents. The normal means of working through issues were the means we employed. I thought at the time they could work and they did work, though it took some time and I personally never benefited from the fruits of my labor other than the sense of satisfaction.

      I want Israel to handle the Palestinians the way it has handled the class issues between different minority groups in the 1920s, the way it handled racial issues of Mizrahi immigrants, Russian immigrants... Those issues took time. And they took time because they required complex compromises both from the society those people were integrating into and the people being integrated.

      I get that you don't see that as supporting civil rights. But I do. I support black Americans having full equal rights both as a matter of law and effectual practice. That does mean I support things like more funding for public schools in bad neighborhoods and better public defenders. It does mean I support encouragement for minority owned business. So I'd be happy if the black people of Ferguson vote in the next election and get a city and St. Louis County government that better represents their interests. That doesn't mean I'm going to support them burning down business.

      That's where are disagreement really is. It isn't about supporting civil rights.

      I've seen the collapse of the ethnic neighborhoods I grew up with where the children of people who often didn't speak English can't even relate the concept of ethnic neighborhoods. Israel has gone through similar successful integrations.

    • Wow. I helped form that union back during its struggle with the administration. We were interested in graduate students having safe health insurance and limits on RA workloads being observed and medical students not being worked to the point they were too tired to properly care for patients. But mostly we fought for the idea that all people should have rights. Not once was there ever a suggestion that black TAs, or Jewish TAs or muslims TAs/RAs should be treated any differently. No one even thought in terms of racial claims to the campus, we were all part of one group. Heck we didn't even hate the administration that was breaking the law. For an organization that worked for the common better of all to be twisted two decades later into openly embracing the anti-colonial BS that particular races have permanent claims to land, in California a state with nothing but immigrants no less, is so disheartening.

      Well congratulations on your victory. You definitely captured territory with this one. Not much to say other than as someone who helped create 2865 I sure didn't intend for it to be used for this.

  • What if the USA was the state of Anglo-Saxon Protestants round the world?
    • By Anglo-Saxon Sand can't mean anything ethnic since a slim and very long term declining percentage of America's population is Anglo-Saxon. If by Anglo-Saxon he means speaking English and having some ties to English culture then yes the USA is that. It is culturally much closer to England, Canada, Australia... than any other countries in the world.

      As far as Protestant... America accomplishes that by undermining every religion on its soil till it becomes de-facto like a Protestant denomination. American Judaism, American Catholicism, American Hinduism are culturally (and to some extent even theologically) Protestant.

      That's precisely what should be happening to the Palestinians! They should be becoming culturally and religiously Israeli. Their Islam should be overemphasizing those aspects that fit best with a Jewish culture and underplaying those aspects that fit poorly. Their general speech should be migrating through bilingual Hebrew / Arabic towards a Hebrew with a few hundred Arabic phrases intermixed like what's left of Yiddish. Their taste in movies, music, sex, jokes... should be becoming more Israeli. And at the same time they should be dragging Israeli culture more towards its Mizrahi / Arabic culture and away from its Ashkenazi culture.

      Then there would be one Israeli people with a common identity living comfortable in the Middle East. Or the Palestinians can focus on their rights, keep fighting it assimilating into the country in which they now live and be forced out. Jews certainly have been on that side of the fence enough to understand why they might find the alternative more tempting.

      The USA uses primarily economic soft pressure to achieve assimilation. But one need only look at the history of immigrant families to see how quickly and how effectively it assimilates. Don't confuse soft pressure with not desiring the endpoint.

  • UN commemorates Palestine's long journey
  • 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
    • @eljay --

      You are conflicting in these paragraphs. You can have one of the other.


      a) The government of Israel is the government over the territory in which case it categorically can't engage in "land theft". The government is the ultimate authority as to who owns what, that is all the land is ultimately the government's. It can't steal from itself it just reallocates. Just like when you move money from your money market account to your checking account you aren't stealing from your money market account.

      b) The government of Israel is just a party to the dispute and doesn't have such authority. In which case it isn't really a government over the territory you are claiming it is supremacist on.

      In particular you can't have both an occupation and an expectation that a government represents the interests of an occupied people. I don't think you have really thought about what a government is. You just like repeating BDS talking points which make no sense at all.

      As for serving the interests of non-Israeli Jews. The government of Israel does very little for non-Israeli Jews as a government. It infrequently is asked to represent Jewish collective interests in the same way the Republic or Ireland has ties to America's Irish population. The only meaningful policy towards non-Israeli Jews is the government of Israel is of the opinion they should all migrate to Israel and offers them admission, social services on admission plus minor funding towards encouraging immigration.

    • @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.

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