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Total number of comments: 1340 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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

    • @CliosBitch

      I refrain from the sort of rude comments this post is littered with. If you are going to present yourself as being ethical you should as well.

      Let's start with the key point:

      In essence, Israel has no particular right to have an ambassador anywhere. That applies to any country. Posting an ambassador in a given place requires the host country’s consent and willingness to engage. If Ireland prefers to shun Israel or to make its displeasure known by expelling Modai –who is even without the confines of your stultifying argument– one of the more racist and vile Israeli apparatchiks, Ireland is well within its rights to do so.

      Of course Ireland is within their rights to no longer have diplomatic relations with Israel. They are free to go to war with Israel on behalf of the Palestinians if they so choose. That was never the point in question. Though as an aside I happen to disapprove of using diplomatic relations as a way of showing displeasure generally, I think it is stupid, dangerous and damaging to world peace in all situations. So even if that were Norris' stated reason I would still disapprove as I disapprove of the USA not having diplomatic relations with Cuba.

      What Norris was doing was advocating something different. He was advocating a position that the Israeli ambassador should be expelled for faithfully representing Israel's position. He didn't say that Israel's position was wrong, he said the ambassador wasn't listening to him. What Norris' stated reasons were for wanting to take a variety of acts was Israel's behavior. His specific reason for that particular act was that Modai had (evidently) failed to betray his oath to faithfully represent Israel when Norris asked him to.

      You don’t actually support the notion of Palestinian resistance because otherwise you’d extend many of your arguments to Hamas in the same way you privilege Israel.

      I don't know what "support the notion of Palestinian resistance" even means. So I have no idea whether I support it or not. I'm not sure how you supposedly know my thoughts better than I.

      to draw an equivalence between Israeli war crimes, and international attempts to sanction said war crimes.

      All policies are equivalent in terms of diplomatic relations. That's why I used the analogy of ice cream. "War crimes" is just inflammatory and confuses the underlying issue. Norris would assume uncritically that Eamonn McKee's job to to reflect the policy of the elected government of Ireland, not the policy of Israel. Yet he doesn't apply this equally and that is a serious problem. You keep trying to dance around this issue, but that is the core issue.

      For example I don't approve of Ireland's handling of cloud computing laws. That doesn't mean I advocate for the expulsion of Anne Anderson. She is the point of negotiation, she is how the issue should be resolved. Nor do I think she is doing anything immoral in faithfully representing Ireland's position, even though I consider Ireland's position to be stupid. And even if Ireland never changes their policy on cloud technologies I'd still be opposed to expelling the Irish ambassador. And more importantly were the USA to expel Anderson for faithfully representing Irish policy that would be immoral.

      Norris by encouraging Modai to betray Israeli policy is attacking the very concept of the role of an ambassador.

      Sure. If Ireland was bombing Israel to overturn election results, blocking its ports, stealing its land etc.

      I don't think I ever argued that expelling the ambassador was unduly harsh action. I've said it was stupid, likely to have the opposite result desired, destructive to world peace... But not unduly harsh.

      JeffB: It is up to the people of Israel not the people of Ireland to decide how the IDF should act.

      Clois: They’re not Jews anymore? Ah well, the mask came off a few sentences ago and sort of tipped your hand for ethnic supremacy (Jewish self-determination, naturally, not Israeli self-determination) but whatever.

      No the IDF is Jewish (though there are non-Jewish IDF soldiers). I don't agree with your whole breakout. Israel is a state formed by Jews to advance Jews. Judaism is the state religion of Israel. The Jewish communities in most countries have responded to Israel by migrating there, and the the Jewish community in the USA has responded by strong political support; though there were delays depending on country. Israel has some non-Jewish inhabitants and has a variety of policies towards them depending on their relationship to the state.

      I do believe the objection to Israel however is fundamentally an objection to Jews. In the case of self determination an objection to Jewish self determination. I start with the basic premise that the Irish have all the rights to govern Ireland in the same way that Israelis / Jews have towards Israel. So the Irish people rejected British rule for the same reason the Jews have rejected being ruled over by Arabs. Israel has the same rights to govern Jerusalem that Ireland does towards Dublin. And in particular Modai should be held to the same standards but only the same standards that McKee is held to.

      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. I know you consider me a "moral idiot" for believing that Jews should live like all other people but I'm not changing that opinion.

      Were you honest, you’d have stopped here and admitted your initial argument is bullshit, and the type of bullshit meant to use the currency of real Palestinian suffering and make it about Israel

      An ambassador has nothing to do with Palestinians in Gaza. They live in another country. It does have something to do with "war crimes" and his job is to act as a conduit for Ireland's objections.

      I agree with you. Saudi Arabia, etc. have terrible human rights records and should be duly sanctioned. Bigoted though? Once again you overreach on the merits.

      Yes bigoted. Unequal application of the law is bigotry. For example if the police issue me a $100 ticket for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit and arrest black people for going 15 mph faster than the speed limit that's bigotry. Israel is being treated unequally. In the case of Norris he fully expects Kevin F. O'Malley, the USA ambassador, who represents a country that has an army that kills far more people than the IDF to represent the USA and not Ireland.

      So in response to your article, my objection in the original was to Norris' argument in that it was essentially the same as Reiner's and was blatant hypocrisy. I also happen to think it is bad policy if Norris were making the argument you are making.

    • @CliosBitch

      Boilerplate about how, of course you support Hamas (and thus let the terrorists win, amirite?)

      What terrorists? If you mean Hamas I think that once a terrorist group has the support of a population and a fixed territory they aren't a terrorist group. Hamas of Gaza IMHO can engage in terrorism they can not be merely a terrorist group. Once could perhaps call Hamas of the WestBank a terrorist group but again given their degree of support I'd call them a political party that engages in terrorism. Besides mostly Hamas of Gaza engages in war not terrorism. They suck at war, their strategy is terrible but they are not a terrorist group.

      That JeffB draws an equivalence from such scenarios as an expelled ambassador, or boycotts to 2,000 dead Palestinians (the proportionate equivalent of the Nazi Blitz on Britain, to give an example) is evidence of extreme bad faith, intellectual torpor, and moral blindness.

      That's not what JeffB did. JeffB simply didn't discuss at all the comparison between Israel's objections to Hamas and the Irish left's objections to the Israeli government. Which BTW is the comparison not the acts that each engaged in. I'll hit the acts in the next response.

      Nothing about Ireland recalling its ambassadors or expelling the Israeli ambassador will result in the Israeli electorate losing its franchise or in the Israeli government losing its monopoly of power within its borders.

      Of course not. I never claimed it would. What I did claim was that Norris was rejecting Modai because Modai faithfully represented that government. That was Norris' charge. Modai doesn't agree with Norris.

      Modai has no obligation to agree with Norris, the whole concept is ridiculous. Modai's job might and probably would include faithfully represent to Israel Norris' opinions but that's the extent of it. If Ireland believes Israelis should eat more ice-cream it is Modai's job to negotiate on that issue. If the government of Israel rejects Ireland's opinion about their ice-cream consumption Modai is obligated to reflect that disagreement, nothing more.

      The fact that Norris thinks otherwise shows that he believes Modai does not have the right to reject Ireland's opinion about ice-cream consumption. Well of course that implies that he is rejecting Israel's right to decide how their people shall live that is to say self determination. There is no way to make sense of his statement without seeing a rejection of self determination.

      Your comments about the real underlying issue, i.e.the level of violence being used in Gaza actually speaks to contempt for Jewish self determination. It is up to the people of Israel not the people of Ireland to decide how the IDF should act. Ireland of course is free to apply pressure and Modai can and should be a conduit for that pressure but it is not is his job to betray his country or his government on behalf of Ireland's positions.

      This is about privileging power and access by leveraging a democratic discourse. The power being privileged? Videlicet, Israel’s access to a rich Western country with which it wants to do business as well as its wider “legitimacy” and thus ability to sway the multinational system. Power.

      I don't know what's particular democratic about ambassadors. Ambassadors predate democracy and mostly existed in a world where there were few or no democracies. I'd say that ambassadors are arguably more important for less democratic states than they are for democratic states where the countries can just read one another's media to get a general sense while in a despotism or tyranny that would be much less effective. So if one wants to argue that Israel is non-democratic Ireland should reasonable be more inclined not less inclined to have an ambassador.

      Now if the goal of Ireland is to sever business relationship with Israel because they object to Israel's human rights violations. I think that's stupid policy and bigoted to boot since Ireland is certainly willing to trade with far worse tyrannies most notably Saudi Arabia. But that has no connection with expelling an ambassador for not listening to Norris.

      Which addresses your last point conflating diplomatic relations and trade.

    • @Kris

      Norris is saying that because of Israel’s crimes against the Palestinians, Ireland should not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

      He didn't say that. He said the ambassador should be expelled for failing to listen to him. He was quite explicit. Severing diplomatic relations is of course a major step towards war. And one I incidentally don't approve of even during wars. That would have been a reasonable position but that is not at all what he said.

      This means recalling the Irish ambassador from Israel,

      I understand what severing diplomatic relations means. He didn't call for that. You may be calling for that, he didn't.

      Either you respect international law and human rights, or you don’t. Israel doesn’t.

      If by International law you mean subservience to the UN, you are absolutely correct Israel doesn't. If by International law you mean the standards for conduct between states and nations that have existed for thousands of years and evolved through tradition then Israel absolutely does. The UN is a perversion of International Law not its embodiment.

      As for human rights, Israel has a pretty shoddy record on human rights with regard to Palestinians. That's a fair criticism. It is not fair to say they reject human rights generally as they have pretty strong protections in their society for those under their law. They also have a pretty wide understanding of it in their media.

    • @Amigo

      Bullsh-t, Israel does not believe in Palestinian self determination.

      Of course they do. When has Israel ever objected to self governance among the Palestinian town in Syria, Lebanon or Jordan? For that matter most of the Israeli right at some points favored a Palestinians overthrow of the Jordanian government. Almost all of Israeli society wants Gaza to be an almost entirely self governing colony. Israel is rather supportive of the PA.

      I'd say that's a long track record of supporting self government for Palestinians. Now supporting self government for Palestinians doesn't mean they themselves want to be ruled by them nor that they are going to tolerate Palestinians bad behavior.

    • @Phil --

      I'm all for the right of self determination including the right of the Palestinians to elect Hamas to represent their interests. Rob Reiner is dead wrong on this.

      The problem with David Norris in the speech you quote is he is doing precisely what he is accusing the Israelis of. He is proposing that the Israeli ambassador (I'd assume Boaz Modai though he never directly names him) not be able to negotiate with Ireland on behalf of Israel because Modai is faithfully representing the positions of a government Norris disagrees with. Either you believe in self determination or you don't. If you do, then Modai's job is to represent the Netanyahu government in Ireland, period. If you don't then you throw the ambassador out because he is an "apologist for war criminals". Norris doesn't. He is a hypocrite.

  • Witnessing Gaza
    • @tree

      These boycotts and pickets against hiring Palestinian Arab workers continued through all the of pre-state period.

      They most certainly did not. That is simply false. During the mid 1920s to 1935 Israel aggressively expanded the Arab role in their economy and imported Arab workers. The 1936-9 war was not a result of a the failure to utilize Arab labor but arguably was a result of the willingness to utilize Arab labor. The expansion of the citrus industry beyond what the Jewish population could self sustain made Zionists into classic colonialists and thus made them vulnerable to damaging the supply of labor and thus less likely to engage in broad reprisals. It was not until 1937 that there was a return the Communist ideology of the late teens through early 20s when Zionists had boycotted Arab labor.

      Your own quote from Simha Flapan here supports my point. There was an expansion of Arab labor going on that Ben Gurion was opposed to. The reason he had something to be opposed to was because it was happening

      What you are doing here is trying to grossly oversimplify 4 different Zionist waves of immigration into one large conspiracy. That is part of how demonization works. And I'm not going along with it. If Jewish Zionists are rapidly and drastically expanding the Arab labor pool in the Jewish economy that proves that Jewish Zionism was not at all times and all places opposed to Arab labor in the Jewish economy.

      Flapan goes on to note that this campaign to forcibly remove Arab workers was a significant factor in the outbreak of the Palestinian Uprising in 1936.

      In 1936 the Arab labor pool was still expanding. It wasn't until the uprising that the pool started to contract and not until '37 that it started to rapidly contract. The cause of outbreak was the influx of anti-colonialist ideology from Syria which was more applicable now that Jews were acting like classic colonizers.

      The Palestinians in the 1930s-40 were not the ones fighting integration into society.

      The Palestinians in the 1930s were the ones who bought into an anti-colonialist ideology and started tossing bombs into Jewish centers to drive the colonials out. That's fighting integration.

      It was clearly the Zionists who immigrated and then refused to integrate into the existing society

      Zionists were not merely immigrants to Palestine. They sought to construct a new homeland in Palestine. They were not immigrating into an existing state and meekly trying to fit in. The Ashkenazi Jews were not migrating to become Mizrahi Jews or Palestinians. There is a distinction between not integrating into Palestine and your claim that they always supported total exclusion.

      and sought by all means to prevent the integration of Palestinians into the discriminatory state they created in 1948.

      Total nonsense. They immediately created structures to integrate them during the military rule and the integration process continues with increasing success in some areas until today. Just look at the jobs Israeli Arabs hold, those simply wouldn't exist if Israel were trying to exclude them from the economy by all means.

      And “liberating land from enemy control” is exactly what Nazi Germany did to Poland in WWII.

      And it also what Poland did at the end of WWII. Same process works in either direction.

      No, the founding fathers were mostly Deists,

      No they weren't, though there were quite a few deists.
      Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were the only founding fathers who signed the declaration with strong Deist ties, the other 54 did not have such ties. Cornelius Harnett was the only signer of the Articles of Confederation with such ties the other 47 did not. Benjamin Franklin was the only signer of the Constitution with such ties the other 54 did not.

      But every single one of all three groups came from a Protestant background and had a Protestant affiliation. Deism certainly was an influential movement in the 18th century among America's leaders but it is simply inaccurate to say that our founders were Deists.

      and never believed that Protestantism was intrinsic to being American

      Their intent as clearly indicated by their writings at the time was to expand the government beyond Church of England to include nonconforming Protestants. Loyalty to the Pope was considered a foreign loyalty, veneration of Saints was still considered a disqualifying belief. Jews and Catholics were mostly excluded from juries, public employment, public notaries (they couldn't validly swear)...

      Because treating everyone in Israel as equal before the law, regardless of ethnicity or religion

      I'm perfectly willing to treat everyone in Israel equally before the law. And I'm a Zionist. In your theory such a belief is impossible. You may want to consider that contradiction a bit. BDS is not advocating equality before the law.

    • @MHughes976 says:

      Well, what is this right of self-determination and how does it apply to all concerned?

      The right of people living in a territory to form a government for that territory which sets and enforces the laws for that territory.

    • @Talknic

      The French do not have a law of return nor do the Chinese

      They most certainly do. The French did not leave the Pied-Noir to die in Algeria when they lost the Algerian war. The Chinese just recently allowed a huge influx of Indonesians of Chinese ethnicity in the 1990s when anti-Chinese violence drove them out.

    • @tree

      The Jewish National Fund discriminated against non-Jews from its very inception in 1901.

      That's partially correct. We are talking about the government of Israel. If we include quasi governmental institutions things get murkier. Then things like Agudath Israel of America even though they aren't in Israel become an import.

      [The JNF] set up covenants on the land it bought denying any tenant farmer who was not Jewish from farming on the land, even though such tenant farming was legal under Ottoman Empire law.

      Well yes, but at that point it was a trivial amount of land it was setting up for Jewish redemption through labor. I don't suffer from housing discrimination because I can't go live in a monastery. There is a difference between 90% being inaccessible and .09% being inaccessible. By the mid 1920s the position reversed due to the citrus explosion. If Zionism were as blanketly as committed to discrimination as your side claims that wouldn't have happened.

      They also discriminated against Arab Jews from the very beginning by not allowing them to become equal members of the kibbutzim.

      That was racism in the community. But it has been reversed. If racism were intrinsic to Zionism it wouldn't have been reversed.

      No, Israel does not recognize “Israeli” as a nationality. It claims it is a Jewish State, and even demands that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish State, rather than an Israeli State.

      That's recognizing the legitimacy of the inhabitants of Israel which in the case of Palestine is constantly called into question. Even though the French are descended from tribes that evolved in Germany there are not frequent statements that the French should go back to Germany. Israelis are mostly Jewish, and Israel is Jewish in the way that France is Catholic. Catholicism is embedded within the culture and the language to the point that even atheistic French hold mostly Catholic views on most issues. No one considers that particularly troubling. When it comes to Judaism however it is considered particularly troubling. That's what the Palestinians are being asked to recognize.

      In terms of getting rid of the legal distinctions based on nationality I'm all in favor of that. But right now Israeli Arabs are not. There is a notion of multiple nationalities with separate educational systems and separate systems of social law which all the nationalities support. I certainly would prefer that those distinctions be dissolved. But it is hard to call something discrimination that Israeli Arabs widely support.

      JeffB: Israel has a pretty good track record of integrating minorities willing to be integrated.

      Tree: Ethnically cleansing anywhere from 750,000 to 800,000 people does not in any way shape or form constitute a “good track record”.

      Did you notice the conditional part of the clause? "minorities willing to be integrated". The Palestinians in the 1930-40s were not willing to be integrated, they had an anti-colonial pan arabist orientation. The sephardic and mizrahi Jews were. The Russian Christians are. And frankly the Israeli-Arabs that saw the mass ethnic cleansing and thus threw in the towel on were being successfully assimilated all through to the 1980s. So clearly the Zionist state is willing to assimilate minorities that are willing to be assimilated. The bulk of Palestinians are not.

      Neither does the confiscation of land from non-Jews in order to benefit Jews only.

      I'm not sure which you mean here. Generally when people on Mondowweiss talk about confiscation they are talking about Israel taking territory in the West Bank. That's liberating land from enemy control. That is something that both China and France have done many times in their history.

      There is a asic institutional discrimination against non-Jews in favor of Jews and that is how the government and the majority of Jewish Israelis believe it should be.

      I agree with you. But that's intrinsic to Zionism. Israel needs a civil rights movement. I think what's halted the civil rights movement is the fact that the Israeli Arabs identified with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza rather than Israel. After the slaves were freed in America, Americans really weren't sure whether blacks wanted to be Americans or not. African Americans decided in the late 19th century that they sought to be fully American and to create an America that didn't have institutional racism. But that was a trade. Had they gone the other way, and decided not to be American then it isn't a civil rights movement.

      Similarly Jews and Catholics in America were able to convince Americans that Protestantism was not intrinsic to being American. They did this partially through religious reform, creating structurally Protestant versions of Judaism and Catholicism so as to make their religion less threatening. The Jewish minority in France sought to be fully French and argued that they were fully French for many decades. Again a civil rights movement is a two way dialogue.

      This is a dialogue I fully support. I completely agree that it would be much better if Israel were engaged in this dialogue. I think it is tragic that the occupation / colonization of the WestBank is causing Israeli Arabs to regress from identifying as Israeli. And I think you would agree I'm not a slouch when it comes to Zionism. In the end though Israeli exists for Israelis, and if Israeli Arabs want to be Palestinians and not Israeli Arabs then they can't be part of Israel.

      That is asking the French to support their country being overridden by enemies. I said French like France not French like Belgium for a good reason.

      . You are in complete denial about what Israel is and what they believe in. I suspect that you know better but cannot admit as much because you know that admitting that Israel was founded on oppressive discrimination would lead to calls for its reform and you like the privileges it accords to Jews.

      I'm all for the reform of Israel. I'm all for a civil rights movement. The debate with BDS is about the annihilation of Israel not its reform. Most BDSers support policies that would turn Israel into a Palestinian state with a religious Jewish minority. That's what happened to France in the 5th century when the country was overridden by Franks and the previous culture destroyed. The debate is whether Israel should be annihilated, not whether it should be reformed. I support reforms in America, that doesn't mean I supported the 9/11 attacks. I can acknowledge that Al Qaeda can have legitimate complaints about the USA policy without wishing for them to get sufficient military power for them to be able to force those changes on the American population.

    • @tree

      No Zionism was the belief that Jews should migrate to Palestine and form a society called Israel. Today it is the belief that Israel is for Israelis the same way France is for the French and China for the Chinese. There is no belief about discrimination and in fact Israel has a pretty good track record of integrating minorities willing to be integrated.

      The reason Zionists have trouble buying your view is because it is simply false.

    • Page: 13
  • Gruesome tales surface of Israeli massacres against families in Gaza's Shujaiya neighborhood
    • @Ritzl

      Absolutely many Israelis have relatives in the USA and visa versa. You could attack Jews at random in the USA and have a fairly good shot at hitting Israeli relatives.

      But in your hypothetical / prediction you would be talking about Hamas allies or Hamas itself committing acts of terrorism on USA soil against USA targets. The degree of blowback from that would range from pretty bad for Hamas to truly awe inspiring in its level of destruction. I don't think they will cross that line but could happen, might happen. I do find it hard to imagine much the Palestinians could do that would be more harmful to their cause than that.

      But let's play with numbers. There are 5.4m Jews in America. Jewish fertility is low, depending on how you want to count between 1.65 and 1.8. So let's ballpark at around 335 Jewish births per day. Do they in your hypothetical even knock off one day's worth before hell rains down on them? How many do they get in your theory?

      As an aside this has been tried. Rashid Baz tried to avenge Israel by attacking USA Jews. I don't think he had any actual association with Hamas (for one thing he was Druze) but Hamas at the time tried to link themselves: "With great pride the movement embraced his act and bestowed upon him the title of mujahid, a holy warrior and ibn Islam, a son of Islam, meaning one who serves as a role model and inspiration to others: We will retain the cry of condemnation on your heads and our hand is backed by millions of Muslim hands that are ready to carry out their execution role against Jews." Hezbollah to whom had Baz had stronger but still very weak ties distanced themselves immediately the same way that Chechnyan resistance groups did regarding the more recent Boston bombing.

      I'm sure Hamas today regrets those words regarding Baz.

    • Two very interesting comments in Max's piece.

      The first is the map corresponding to on the ground damage. The claim frequently gets made by the human rights community that the damage to Gaza was indiscriminate. If the damage corresponds to what had been preplanned via. a map then the damage was quite discriminate. Max is finding evidence refuting a major anti-Israeli claim. The month before the day is also quite interesting, he's right to draw attention to that.

      The second is his comments about the deployment in eastern Shujaiya. Immediately clearing the area of all civilians and enforcing a perimeter is an odd action. It implies the Israelis were going to be doing something that would leave them very vulnerable to attack. I'm thinking they were looking for tunnels and needed to be essentially unarmed and not effectively mobile.

      So Max's report if fully believed presents evidence for war crimes (deliberately killing civilians rather than trying to peaceably clear them, for example) but helps refute two of the main charges against Israel.

  • Hillary Clinton's 11th-hour diplomacy
    • @Shingo

      JeffB: No question a USA / Iranian war is in Israel’s interests.
      lysias: Once a war starts, nobody can predict to what disasters it will lead. Israel wanted the U.S. to invade Iraq. Who has that helped?
      Just: It’s also WRONG thinking. Normalized relations between Iran and the US are in the best interests of the region and for the US.
      JeffB: The question was in Israel’s interest not in the USA’s interests.
      Shingo: NO, the question was in USA’s interests. Israel’s interests are of no concern.

      I think that's about as clear cut as it can ever get.

    • @MHughes976

      I was mainly addressing the getting attacked from the right as a way to get Zionist / Jewish backing part. My point was that Romney's ability to do unusually well in Florida's Jewish community on the Israel issue had to do

      a) With a large spread in position between dem and rep
      b) Obama being black

      neither of which is liley going to present in 2016.

      As for the rest, I don't claim to be able to read politician's minds. I mostly assume they pretty much believe what they claim to believe unless there is strong evidence of their lying. I think voters choose between candidates who accord with their views. Additionally behavior changes belief so that a person who begins to consistently and assert a particular view will mostly hold that view even if they started out not having any particular opinion or a different weakly held one.

    • @Kathleen

      Give yourself time. Bobby Jindal has come out already against any nuclear deal with Iran that allows them to enriching uranium in getting to the right of Christie who is for greater aggression against Russia, Syria, and Iran. How will President Cruz sound to you in 2016?

      Maybe you'll sit this one out, but if you've been working hard for dems for 46 years I kinda doubt the Republicans won't do a good job of making you an enthusiastic Hillary supporter.

    • If you are going to go with the analogy. There hasn't been a Sulla. I suspect we have time till Caesar.

    • @Just

      Normalized relations between Iran and the US are in the best interests of the region and for the US. btw, what on earth has Iran done to deserve a war??? Nothing, nada, zip!

      The question was in Israel's interest not in the USA's interests. As for what they've done to deserve a war, they sent arms and possibly troops to oppose USA consolidation of Iraq during the American occupation. They've sent arms to Hezbollah and supported Lebanon's switch from a pro-western country to effectively anti-western. They have destabilized Kenya which the USA has been pulling into their orbit.

      That may not be worthy of war, but it ain't nothing.

      “That BTW is normal Obama, he is for an American, pro-diplomacy on almost all foreign policy issues.”
      JeffB– how do you feel about that?

      I agree with him. I vote and donated to both his campaigns and support the Democrat's approach to foreign policy.

    • @lysias

      Once a war starts, nobody can predict to what disasters it will lead.

      That's true of many influential events. For example the changes to the energy industry are hard to predict their influence on Israel. Fracking driving down the price energy and thus the viability of solar has been terrible for Israel. On the other the shift away from nuclear has been great for Israel.

      In life you look for a good place to put your money in the pot and take your chances on the next card. The fact that there is risk doesn't mean it isn't a good bet.

      Israel wanted the U.S. to invade Iraq. Who has that helped?

      It has been wonderful for Israel! First off it has shattered the old pan-arabist coalition that developed from the 1920s onward and has helped to encourage the ethnic breakup across the middle east. A Jewish state has a tough time surviving surrounded by Arab-Muslim states. A Jewish state would have no particular difficulties in a middle east split on ethnic and religious bodies: Maronite, Alawite, Hashemites, Copt, Kurdish... states would just make the Jews / Israel one of the many. They would advance tremendously in just fitting right into the background.

      Moreover as the prime minister of Lebanon has said, and quite accurately, ISIS in their ethnic cleansing / religious behavior as part of the Sunni resistance is legitimizing Israel's behavior. They are showing quite explicitly to the people of the middle east (and most importantly to Sunnis) what state formation normally looks like. Once the Iraq / Syrian Sunnis form their state it is going to be impossible to talk about the Nabka as a unique historical event.

      There were also advantages like the breakup of UNRWA camps in Iraq. UNRWA has worked hard to keep the Palestinian refugees together as a cohesive group rather than through intermarriage having them assimilate into their host countries as citizens of those countries.

      Drawing Iran and Saudi Arabia into more direct conflict has played well for Israel. Once the Shah fell Iran's relationship with Iran was terrible yet their relationship with Saudi Arabia did not improve. With the Saudis no longer having Iraq as an effective buffer they are moving away from their pan-Arabist orientation and towards the kind of alliance with Israel that the Shah's Iran had.

      I could go on and on and on. For Israel the Iraq war was a huge win.

    • @MHughes976

      Since you aren't American let me just clarify a bit from reality. Israel would rather stay out of USA elections and enjoy the warm support of both parties. In general Labor governments have somewhat better relationships with Democrats and Likud has somewhat better relationships with Republicans. In 2012 Romney / Obama we had a moderately supportive candidate vs. an extremely supportive candidate particularly on the issue of war with Iran. Romney was running on a pro-war platform, while Obama had a long history since the start of his candidacy in 2006 in trying for diplomatic solutions. In particular he was running on a policy for Iran that likely had a willingness in practice to tolerate a nuclear Iran over the next decade. The Israeli population strongly sided with Romney on this, which is completely understandable. No question a USA / Iranian war is in Israel's interests. That BTW is normal Obama, he is for an American, pro-diplomacy on almost all foreign policy issues.

      Jews are disproportionately reliable democrats. Older Jews like many other older democrats have a tendency to be much more antsy regarding black democrats. Moreover Jews disproportionately since the late 1960s race riots have a tendency to demand strong pro-Jewish sentiment or their level of support plunges.

      Romney did terribly with essentially every ethnic minority in the United States. Among religious minorities it was mixed: Mormons who are disproportionately Republican were even more enthusiastic about Romney, Jews who are disproportionately reliable Democrats were notably much more pro-Romney than one would expect. The state where this is most applicable was Florida which is a key swing state and has a sizable older Jewish population.

      Hillary who has a lifetime of pro-Jewish positions is not going to face the same problems. While Jews may be slowly drifting right her appeal against most other plausible Republican candidates is huge. So the Romney situation is a one-off.

  • Gov. Cuomo annexes Jerusalem to Israel -- and 'NYT' echoes him
    • @Blownaway

      Obama's approval among liberals is 84/10 by pew and 90-94% by gallop. Obama has not lost his base at all.

    • @travellerh

      Jerusalem under the 1948 partition plan was supposed to be an international city jointly governed. During the '47-9 war the Jordanians wen't aggressively for Jerusalem and were able to capture most of it. So the bulk of Jerusalem lies to the east the green line. The Jews were entirely expelled from the eastern section during the 47-9 war so the city was fully Jordanian. In 1967 Israel captured all of the West Bank including Jerusalem. In 1980 Israel declared an area containing all of the Jerusalem proper plus some suburban areas "greater Jerusalem" and formally annexed it.

      In 1990 the US Senate passed a resolution acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The Bush-41 administration disagreed strongly and said that US policy was opposed to Israel's annexation. The Clinton administration took the position that with the annexation Jerusalem ceased to be occupied territory and instead was disputed territory. In 1995 congress passed into law the Jerusalem embassy act which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel along with requirements that Dept of State take actions including moving the embassy. The Jerusalem embassy act allows the president to suspend those actions every 6 months renewably if the international situation of the USA would be damaged and so far every president: Clinton, Bush-43 and Obama has used those 6 month extensions.

      The United Nations considers claims against territory through war to be inadmissible. However Israel has also shifted the population distribution so that if there were a referendum in Jerusalem today as to whether it should join Israel or divide, joining Israel would easily and overwhelmingly pass. The United Nations is very iffy on the issue of self determination but it is hard to imagine in practice the UN trying to keep a city in a country whose government they hate and want no part of rather than having them join with a bordering country whose government they would respect and obey. So in practice, though not on paper, this issue is dead even for the UN. Most of the world talks as if Israel has not changed the facts on the ground and the situation were the same as it was in 1967 where the eastern city was Palestinian Jordanian.

      Palestinians who live in Jerusalem are entitled to apply for Israeli citizenship and it is easily granted to those who do apply. Something like 95% won't accept Israeli citizenship and consider their city occupied. This BTW proves very effectively that anti-Israeli one stater people aren't really opposed to civil rights since Israel in the case of Jerusalem is doing exactly what they advocate offering full citizenship and yet...

  • With 'anger grounded in law,' Muslim group sues US gov't over arbitrary 'terror watchlist'
  • Israel and its advocates have a new target in sight: Head of UN inquiry William Schabas
    • Schabas should never even have been considered. If he has a history on Israel / Palestine that's disqualifying. Moreover even if he was picked he should have declined. In decent justice system judges with a long history of interest in a topic particularly one side of an issue recuse themselves. For example Justice Kagan recused herself on SB1070 because she had argued one side previously. Schabas should have done the same.

      Not that I care much about the UN but the fact they would pick a biased judge and that this biased judge wouldn't recuse himself is yet again more reason that no one should take their statements seriously. This inquest is already a farce. Boteach is right.

      I'm not a judge nor a member of any bar but when I have even slight potential conflicts of interest on matters I act on professionally I don't defend myself with "I leave my interests at the door" but immediately let other people know who might not know about my conflicts of interest before I say anything else on the matter. That is ethical behavior.

  • Question for the American Jewish Establishment: Where does Zionism end and Judaism begin?
    • @RoHa

      If I wrote "I just got a big promotion with a lot more money so I need to upgrade my wardrobe" that isn't a message that getting promoted is bad. It is however an understanding that changes have consequences.

      As for the rest, culture isn't my idol. Self determination is however the core of moral philosophy about politics. I don't think people should have a government not of their choosing and in particular I don't think Israelis should live under Palestinian rule.

    • @MHughes976

      The Palestinians didn't exist either. They are a product of the migrations of migrations around the 7th century. If we are not going to buy into myths let's not buy into myths.

    • @Eva --

      No AFAIK it's mine. Mao does better than I do with the fruit analogies. Though I do like Mao's sayings:
      The cardinal responsibility of leadership is to identify the dominant contradiction at each point of the historical process and to work out a central line to resolve it. or Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed.

      Also on the 6000 year question in this thread. No almost all the archeological and literary evidence we have has Judaism being a hybrid of evolving Babylonian religion and a few of the regional religions in Palestine that evolved around 600 BCE. Moses, David, Joshua, Samson... are Jewish myth which seemed based on a confused amalgamation of other surrounding cultures. For example the book of Joshua has Joshua hitting various cities that did not exist within centuries of one another. If Judaism had existed at that time it could not possibly have made that sort of error, that kind of error could only evolve from a later culture accreting earlier cultures.

      Which is BTW the norm. Cultures and the peoples associated with them grow they thrive they die and new cultures build on amalgamations of the previous ones. This idea of continuity that cultures exist on a piece of land for thousands of years and that in any sense anyone has a natural home is a myth from the anti-colonial movement that the UN promotes and western Liberals have eagerly swallowed.

    • @Philemon

      A glass. But lightbulbs make a much louder sound and are less dangerous. :)

    • @Pixel --

      Thanks! That was a kind thing to say.

    • @Pixel

      Damn we even lost the lightbulbs! I'm assuming the bridde in the Jewish wedding didn't do the 7 circles. Did any of the gentile couples go for that one too?

    • @Zachary --

      As one of those older generation Jews, there isn't a distinction. At this point Zionism is part of American Judaism. Just as one can keep or not keep kosher, observe or not observe shabbat, belong to or not belong to a minyan one be zionist or non-zionist.

      The American Jewish community in 1967 was faced with a serious assimilation problem. Jews became white people in the 1950s. The ethnic neighborhoods across the United States that had existed in WWI were collapsing. Jews no longer went to Jewish schools (whether in practice or public schools so Jewish), they no longer grew up in all Jewish neighborhoods. Judaism had effectively become just another denomination.

      Sure they may not eat ham and cheese sandwiches, sure they may think worshipping a cracker is outright blaspheme, sure they might still might like to break a lightbulb at their wedding but those things will not hold a culture together. They can't.

      Globally Hitler had wiped out Eastern European Judaism and most of what was left had migrated to Israel. Sephardic and Mizrahi Judaism had migrated to Israel. There are a few scattered communities but outside America fewer and less important all the time. There is no plan-b for Judaism. Every 100 years or so half the cultures on the planet die. Do you want Judaism to be one of them that doesn't make it this century or not? Everything else is details of implementation.

      Everyone dies. In 50 years I'm worm food. I live on through my daughter. Jews have always believed in the idea which is why we name our children after our dead not living ancestors. Israel is our progeny. Israel is how the American Jewish community will live on. Israel is what gives meaning to 2000 years that are otherwise a pointless exercise in stubborn stupidity.

      What else in Judaism is more important? You sound like a sensible person. If your back is really against the wall do you think preserving arcane debates about what can or cannot be in your pocket when your town is surrounded by a wall vs. a telephone wire vs. a string are the crucial thing that absolutely must be passed on from generation to generation? Sure we have some fun songs, but in fairness so do the Christians. Who really cares about that stuff if Israel dies?

      If your generation has their attitudes about Israel when you hit your 50s there will be a struggle and since our generation will be dying off you'll win. But that buys Israel another generation to grow, to strengthen to prosper. If American Judaism doesn't make it that's bad. If Israel does, that's more than fair compensation.

      Besides I have a feeling as BDS grows stronger on campuses we're going to see a lot more militant zionists. When a Jew criticizes Israel you know deep down they are coming from a place of wanting Israel to be more moral. I often give this analogy. Assume that one of those 3000 rockets had a chemical weapons tip and guidance system from Iran. And instead of landing harmless it had killed 40k people in Tel Aviv. For many of Israel's enemies that would be a good thing, the Palestinians managed to have an effectual resistance.

      In the end life is the rearrangement of the world for your will. You kill or you die. Israel may seem like it doesn't have to kill right now but is choosing to be cruel. I get how you can be offended by that. Its been decades since Israel has been genuinely threatened but no one gets lucky forever. Israel will get hit by enemy one day, hard. Not hard enough to break them but hard enough to hurt. 9/11 and the 2nd intifada which you likely were too young to remember in the early years was like that. You probably only remember the tail end not the early years when it was scary. Your gentile liberal friend will be thrilled to embrace Jewish sacrifice with a really truly beautiful elegy. Or Judaism can live and deal with the moral consequences of that. As moral as possible, as brutal as necessary. And from there we can discuss details.

  • How to respond to thoughtful people who can't help saying 'but Hamas'
    • @piotr

      : WHAT it terrorism and WHO are terrorists. These two questions have surprisingly unrelated answers. “What” usually lists attacks on civilians, or “innocent civilians”, which opens room for quibbling who is a civilian and who is innocent.

      The issue here is that there are 2 different core of terrorism.

      1) The use of violence short of war against a population to change political opinion.
      2) Violent actions by militias not in control of specific territory (i.e. not a government or guerrilla organization) as a way of exerting political pressure.

      Now mostly these tend to be related. But they are not the same. For example state terror meets criteria (1) but not criteria (2), while something like the French resistance meets criteria (2) but not criteria (1). Moreover there are two more confusing issues.

      There is often an attempt to twist these definitions with a "do I agree with the cause" claim. So for example in anti-colonial thinking resisting colonials becomes "resistance" and "aggression" is something the colonizers are doing. Under that definition "terrorism" is either something the bad guys can do but the good guys cannot do. Most governments, especially those that are frequent state sponsors of terrorism like USA, Russia, Iran are fond of this distinction.

      The second is the criteria of "do I agree with the act / target" and that only bad acts against bad targets can be terrorism. This is one lots of terrorists groups are fond of. And what you are alluding to in trying to distinguish between civilian and military targets.

      But if you use either definition (1) or (2) terrorism becomes pretty easy to define.

      As for the State Department's list being a farce, I'd agree. The USA because we don't have a colonial army and our military is very expensive to deploy has generally made generous use of state sponsorship of terrorism to achieve our aims. At the same time of course we don't like to admit we do this so... As an aside, while not a perfect record under Bush-43 the USA did move away from state sponsorship of terrorism mostly, and as a consequence had to use troops more directly. People didn't like that so we are quickly backtracking to the previous strategy.

  • Israel's foundation in a 'terroristic campaign of expulsion, ethnic cleansing and murder' is the 'deep wound in that part of the world' -- Sullivan
    • Two interesting comments by him side by side:

      But the thing that happens to me in this debate in America is that many of my Jewish friends cannot debate this, it seems to me, without extreme emotional investment in it, and that’s a very hard thing to deal with. It seems as if when you criticize Israel, every Jewish American takes it personally. That, I think, makes debate about this very tough. Do you not think that your being a Jew affects the way you talk about this thing?

      and he is absolutely right they do take it personally. For most Jews attacks on Israel are attacks on them. I lived in LA during 9/11 yet I still took the World Trade center bombing personally. But note this one:

      If I suddenly found that the south of England, where I grew up, had been occupied by the French through a war of conquest, and they were then populating England with French people dedicated to creating France in Britain, then I don’t think I would be some bigoted anti-Semite to be furious about the land that was taken from me.

      Funny how he doesn't see the connection where he too takes it personally.

  • Accounts of Israeli war crimes in Khuza'a, Gaza pile up
    • @Talknic

      Is Germany illegally claiming Swiss territory, displacing Swiss citizens with illegal German settlers?

      In the way you define "illegal" and settler if applied consistently, then yes they are occupying the bulk of Switzerland: link to

      An of course another huge chunk of the population are the result of the Burgundian conquest. Fact is you are unlikely to find anyone in Switzerland who isn't the product of one a handful of these "illegal" settlers. And of course all those people were the results of an earlier wave of Bronze age conquest. Probably best to depopulate the place and return it to the fish. Who for some reason might have trouble living there now.

  • Hope in the one state solution 
    • @eljay

      States demand loyalty from their people. Treason is a hanging offensive (or at least very serious) everywhere. Where the Palestinian residents of Gaza and the West Bank citizens their acts of subversion would be vastly more serious crimes. There is a reason states don't allow invading armies. So no they are not invading armies.

      And you should think about my point regarding the 4th Geneva convention and not duck it. Moving huge numbers of civilians changes the very structures of a society in a way that occupation does not. Enemy civilians in huge numbers are far more dangerous than an enemy army.

      As the rest of your rant you can feel free to call them poopy heads too. It gets tiresome dealing with name calling.

    • @Eljay

      Equality demands that preferred immigration for people up to n generations removed from the geographic region a state comprises (for brevity’s sake, I’ll use the term “n-gens” from now on) must be extended to all people from that region.

      No. Equality demands that if the criteria for immigration is generations removed then the state must equally extend citizenship to all people n-generations removed. The criteria for Israel is not n-generations removed. It is a willingness to be loyal to the state. The Jewish founders of Israel are so many generations removed that most of the planet would qualify if they used an n-generation criteria. Russian Christians are likely even further removed.

      If Israel were fighting off – or were to fight off – non-Israeli troops their territory, I would not classify Israel’s actions as supremacist.

      Why do you believe that the 4th Geneva convention prohibits transfer of civilian population into occupied territory? If the issue is just troops and not civilians why would this be a problem?


      As for western style democracy in so far as Israel has one it is much more similar to what western nations had in the 19th century. Since then it has had extensive influence from eastern european democratic forms and American democracy (which is quite different than European). In the last generation or two the 1/2 the population which is not western is expanding their influence. I don't think it is reasonable to try and classify Israel like a Western European country. I don't think it ever was and it is not now.

    • @Can

      In the future please don't say something is mine use quotation marks and then make any changes to the test. If you want to quote and comment please mark it properly. As for Mooser's comments they are just rude, I ignore rude.

      As for national allies: USA, India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia coming around, Jordan, most of Europe, the Kurds... As for the segregation in housing, yes that's bad.

    • @Eljay

      It’s in the interest of maintaining Jewish supremacism in a supremacist “Jewish State”, not in the interest of Israel as the secular and democratic nation

      Israel has never claimed to be a secular. state.

      of and for all of its citizens, immigrants, ex-pats and refugees, equally.

      Nor has it claimed to be for refugees.

      If Israel is going to entitle Jews:
      - up to n generations removed from the geographic region comprising Partition-borders Israel to return; or
      - with no tangible ties whatsoever to the geographic region comprising Partition-borders Israel to…*ahem*…”return”,
      - equality demands that Palestinians up to n generations removed from the geographic region comprising Partition-borders Israel also be entitled to return.

      No equality demands that all people who agree to live in the state of Israel, under the laws of the state of Israel in a way that supports the state of Israel be able to migrate there under equal terms. It most certainly does not demand that future traitors whether they be Syrians descended from Palestinian great grandparents or Oswald Rufeisen be able to migrate there. Jews who make aliyah intend to live as Israelis. If Palestinians were willing to live as Israelis there wouldn't be a Palestinian / Israeli conflict. The situations are not symmetrical. One group intends to support the state the other group intends to undermine the state. Your argument is like saying that because I had a banana for breakfast equality demands I eat cyanide for lunch. It is not banana supremacism that I won't eat cyanide.

      States and Nations exists in a symbiotic relationship. Enemy nations exist in a hostile relationship to the state. The state needs to advance the interests of its nation. Not all people who happen to reside in its territory. When the Somalian state fought off Ethiopian troops in their territory they weren't being Somalian supremacist the armies were supporting their nation.

      Your problem is you simply don't understand what a government exists to do.

    • @can of worms

      Note that JeffB, with all that talk of separate administrations and “bi”, is also eager to ensure that equal civil rights and equal economic opportunities could not break out.

      That's false. I have no problem in a system of separate regional administrations with either equal civil rights or equal economic opportunity. And not only that I happen to think it is good policy.

      So maybe your powers of observation regarding Zionism kinda suck?

    • @Mooser

      Yeah that would be a pity. The Jews get all this bad PR with leftists. In exchange all they get is: a country to live in, an army to defend their interests. a strong economy for them to prosper economically, their self respect and dignity back, a unified culture and language, and national allies.

      Wow tough to balance the scales on that one. Seriously you are going to have to make a better argument for national suicide then that.

      Also I don't know what an illegal nuclear arsenal even means. I know the Mondowweiss tradition is to put the word "illegal" before everything Jews do, but there is nothing illegal about it. Even if one wanted to take the NPT seriously Israel is not a party to that agreement. There is no law that says that Israel can't develop whatever nuclear program they want.

    • @Eljay

      Similarly, Jews and non-Jews with no tangible ties to the geographic region comprising Partition-borders Israel – they were not born there, they are not n generations removed from there – are not Israeli and have no right to return there.

      I'm going to shock you and agree. I shouldn't have a right to move to Israel in some abstract sense. The people and the state of Israel have determined that Jewish migration from the diaspora is in the national interest. States and nations are entitled to recruit. The United States has multiple times recruited various types of immigrants and there was nothing immoral in that. The UAE is encouraging immigration to support an economy larger than what the native population can handle and again immigration there is in the national interest.

      Though I do find your position contradictory. Because the Syrians, Jordanians, ... you want to flood Israel with to destroy the country have no ties to the land even if their great-grandparents did.

    • @Bandolero

      Let's take an actual working example. The Israeli-Arab minority has responded to rapidly declining economic inequality with a growing political alignment against their state Israel and with its external enemies. If they were interested in equality they would be doing the opposite pushing for equality in the political arena primarily by serving in the IDF. They would be pushing to eliminate the distinction in education and housing which exist. They don't. Instead they push for impossible to achieve goals of further autonomy and further integration.

      I think they provide a good counter example of a group of Palestinians inside Israel who could effectively work towards an equal state and are rejecting it in favor of a Nasserite pan-Arabic identity explicitly based on religion and ethnicity. I've never understood how anti-Zionists are unable to get that Palestinians don't share their politics.

      There is no happy end of the rainbow. There are many possible pretty ends if the Palestinians were willing but they aren't. They are too inflamed by anti-colonial struggles like Algeria and believe what happened to white Africa and what happened to Algeria is how their situation will play out. And I'll add that of course the Israelis also treat them badly which further inflames anti-Jewish sentiment.

      I think that even many of the die-hard racists of which the Israeli society mainly consists today,

      What you are calling "racism" isn't racism since it isn't based on race. Mitzrahi Jews are the same race as Palestinians. Heck there were Palestinian Jews who were even closer and they have managed to join Israeli society. What they have is national identity. Germans and French aren't racially different but the French did resist a German takeover of their country. The Sunnis in Iraq aren't racially distinct from the Shia but they still reject a Shia government. They weren't racist to do so.

      Charges of racism is simply oversimplified nonsense to allow for the creation of a fantasy solution by analogy to America's experience. Black Americans always considered themselves Americans, they just wanted an America that allowed them to be equally American. That is simply not the case in Israel. It is a totally different struggle over entirely different issues.

      however, when a unified Palestine will become reality, they won’t get the international support they’ld need to win, so that option will be limited,too.

      How do you think they won in the 1930s civil war? Under far worse conditions, far weaker than they are today they still won an ethnic struggle. The Palestinians are something like 5x stronger than they were then. The Israelis are more like several thousand times. There was tremendous international opposition to Zionism at the time yet they still won. People, including Jews, are pretty effective fighters when their life depends on not losing.

      will prefer to live in a equal Palestine than going somewhere else.

      I think the idea of a unified Palestine is a fairytale. think the idea it is going to be an equal paradise one as well. Look at the simmering hatred on this board. The goal is not equality. There are frequent objections to Jewish equality in America. When Jews do things that other ethnic groups do it is evil.

      The typical zionist method of false-flag-terror won’t work neither, because by then the zionist false-flag-terror will have been long exposed.

      I don't even know what that means. I false flag operation is one that a military carries out designed to look like it came from another group. Israel mostly doesn't do that today, maybe a handful. It certainly isn't core to any strategy they have.

      What I think will be the only thing what likely will remain of Israel for a long time in the hearts of many then-former zionists will be a deep feeling of shame.

      Shame for what? Not meekly going to the gas chamber. This time they fought and tried before they died. Nothing to be ashamed of in that.

    • @Talknic

      Just to remind you the post you are responding to was a request for my opinion.

      1) It is my opinion that everyone should have citizenship where they are born. I understand some states object to granting citizenship to people born there. I think that is very bad policy. BTW that includes in Israel which has a guest worker policy that doesn't include citizenship for children born to guest workers. It is also the reason I objected to Republican proposals that included this concept in the last 2 decades.

      2) There was a war in 1947-9. What happens in wars is situations permanently change. Your theory that the 1947-9 borders are the borders of Israel and that the people are entitled to going back to a situation as if they hadn't had a war is ridiculous. Czechoslovakia is not still part of Germany even though there was a written agreement prior to the 2nd world war granting it to Germany. The war cancelled the agreement.

      , why can’t Jews simply stay in the countries where they have citizenship instead of becoming illegal settlers in non-Israeli territories.

      This is typical Mondoweiss trying to pretend we are debating Zionism in the 1930s or 40s. The Jews you are talking about had parents who were born in Israel. They don't have citizenship anywhere else. They didn't come from anywhere else. They are a mix of grandparents from different countries so even deporting them like the Pied-Noir cannot happen. Israel is their home. And even back then they mostly weren't citizens in the places they came from in a meaningful sense.

      Unfortunately “Israel, the Occupying Power” prevents this from happening

      You missed the "if" part of the clause.

    • @Mooser

      So basically, if it comes to an outside agency, like the UN or an International force, imposing a one-state solution,

      What typical multinational UN force is likely to be able to take on the IDF? A real UN force can't impose a one state solution. A major power would need to decide they are willing to go to war with Israel for the Palestinians. Something like what happened with the UN and Korea, or the first Iraq war. A war with Israel would be vastly more expensive than taking the Palestinians in. If you are going to propose a UN force capable of beating Israel into submission then you might as well propose Zeus descending from Mount Olympus and throwing lighting bolts at the Israelis until they change their policies.

      Zionists will go underground and use terror to try and prevent it, and thus, it will all end as it begun.

      Zionists wouldn't need to use terror to prevent it, they have an army. Terror is what happens for the next several generations after the solution is imposed. The binational state would look like what Iraq looks like with an ethnic group that hates their internationally recognized government, and won't obey it. You'd have a situation of the ethnicities having various international backers tearing the place up. Let's not forget the Zionists beat the Palestinians '36-39 in one of these ethnic conflicts when they were relatively and absolutely much weaker.

    • @Can

      Well I'm American not Israeli. But if I were to go down Gaddafi's Isratin proposal:

      1) Creation of a binational Jewish-Palestinian state called the "Federal Republic of the Holy Land"

      Don't like it. Binational damages the ability of the state to function. Not a deal breaker.

      2) Partition of the state into 5 administrative regions, with Jerusalem as a city-state

      Yes. Like that idea a lot of separate administrative regions as a way to govern. More than just accept it I've advocated for that.

      3) Return of all Palestinian refugees;

      There basically are no Palestinians refugees anymore. The "refugees" are a bunch of Lebanese, Syrians and Iraqis... that had Palestinian great-grandparents. I've got Ukrainian great grandparents that doesn't mean I should have right to return there nor that I'm Ukrainian. UNRWA should be gone and those "camps" should just be called villages. That's the solution to the refugee problem. If there are two states then the Palestinians are free to import whatever populations they choose whether Syrian or Vietnamese.

      4) Supervision by the United Nations of free and fair elections on the first and second occasions;

      Don't like but I could go along with it.

      5) Removal of weapons of mass destruction from the state;

      Hell no, not ever. As Sharon put it the world should know next time we don't burn in Auschwitz alone. Use them before I'd lose them. Ben-Gurion was absolutely right to make the nuclear program a high priority and having gotten there why would Israel ever give them up?

      6) Recognition of the state by the Arab League.

      That would be good. Up to them but certainly helpful.

    • @Leena --

      OK Leena let's discuss a one state solution. First off on the refugees if you are joining Israel in a one state solution then creating the refugees is something you in a national sense did not something you in a national sense were a victim of. That's what a one state solution really means that you agree to become Israeli in a national sense, “For wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried.” If you don't mean becoming part of the Israeli nation then the question becomes of what value is your nation to the state of Israel? How does your nation intend to serve the interests of the state?

      I love a the discussion of a one state solution. But a one state solution will never be a Palestinian state with Jews living in it which is what I think most Palestinians picture.

  • US branch of the Jewish 'family' owes the homeland 'unconditional love' -- Rosner
    • @James

      Perhaps even higher rates of intermarriage between Jews and non=Jews is the way forward.

      Absolutely it is. If the Palestinians hadn't been so rejectionist over since the 1920s the population of Israel would have been intermixing for five generations. Even if only 20% intermarried it today would consist mostly of people who were Palestinian Jewish mixed, a majority. There wouldn't be two nations just one. And there wouldn't be ethnic conflict.

      Of course instead the Palestinians preach denormalization, which not only aims to present a healthy merger of the nations but attempts to prevent the kinds of healthy human interaction that lead to Israelis developing any positive feelings at all. And after dehumanized themselves to the more powerful tribe "shockingly" the level of violence the soldiers are willing to use to put down Palestinian uprisings skyrockets.

    • @Philemon

      Americans were opposed to the damn thing and didn’t shift until it was well underway

      In the year leading up to the war 59-64% favor
      31-38% opposed
      link to

      That's a 25% better for favoring. No Americans were not opposed. You are right that immediately after it started support went even higher;

      The war started March 20th 2003.
      March 24 2003 Americans were polled:
      75% in favor
      23% opposed
      2% undecided

      And the reason for that was the early successes.
      At the time when asked how the war was going:
      21% Very well
      64% well
      12% moderately well
      2% badly
      1% very badly

      But just to prove the point. 3 years earlier when asked to evaluate Iraq:
      2% ally; 8% friendly; 39% unfriendly; 47% enemy; 4% no opinion

      Office of Special Plans manufacturing intelligence about WMDs and Nigerian uranium,

      The person most responsible for Nigerian Uranium spoof was Scooter Libby a WASP.

      Of course, by the time of Fallujah, “popular support” (and those polls weren’t exactly unbiased) was waning sharply.

      Really. After Fallujay support was 72/27 down just 3% from the all time high. You wouldn't have stable majority opposition until Aug 2005.
      link to

      They’re noticeably less than 2% of employees?

      Yes Jews are less than 2% of oil company employees.

      why can’t U.S. citizens contribute to either the political or military wing of Hamas? Fair’s fair.

      Because unlike the IRA Hamas has gone after Americans:
      Yitzhak Weinstock, Nachshon Wachsman, Scot Doberstein. Eric Goldberg, Joan Davenny. Tons in bus bombings.... and then quite a few more since 1996.

      In 1997 (February 23, 1997) a Hamas affiliated person conducted an attack in the USA proper. August 9, 2001 they attacked a USA owned pizza chain killing a bunch of Americans along with Israelis. October 15, 2003 Hamas based attack on American diplomats: John Branchizio, Mark Parson and John Martin Linde. Etc.... The USA considers Hamas to be an enemy not just of Israel.

    • @Sean

      Colin Powell himself, who had a front seat at these proceedings, laid the blame for the Iraq War on “the JINSA crowd” — this network of neoconservative groups.

      Yeah that's believable. The JINSA crowd were the ones who dress up and Powell and went before the UN and lie. It was JINSA that caused him to ignore his own staff who found dozens of factual problems in his speech. The JINSA crowd's lookalike Powell was the one who went on television week after week after week to defend obviously fraudulent sources. I'm guessing it was some JINSA guy that went before a closed door session of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to back the Bush administration intimidating CIA officers about the Nigerian Uranian leaks. And I'm guessing s JINSA kidnapped him so he didn't go to Congress and testify under oath about how he had been lied to. The JINSA crowd were the ones who still wearing their Powell disguise flew all over the world trying to get extra support for Iraq.

      And I'm guessing it was JINSA that when he resigned caused him to keep his mouth shut until after the 2008 election about all that went on.


      Now in point of fact in his book he clearly lays the blame on Cheney. JINSA is not supportable. Powell doesn't like the fact that he did it.

    • @Sean

      And how much financial and military aid has Ireland received from the US government over the past half century?

      Very little. But notice how you have to keep narrowing and narrowing and narrowing your comparison.

      As for top recipient. By any reasonable measure: Iraq, Afghanistan are #1 and #2. After that South Korea. It is only by playing the same game of excluding most forms of aide like bases and direct troop deployments that Israel comes out on top. Also this is a weapons procurement deal. Most of the money (75%) has to be spent on USA arms. I'm not sure why having USA troops carrying USA arms is carried at 0 while having Israeli troops carrying Israeli arms is carried at the retail price of those arms. That seems like very strange accounting.

      Anyway Israel would love the USA to stop meddling. Naftali Bennett ran on a package of 0 military aide in exchange for the USA giving Israel a totally free hand. I'd fully support that.

    • @Sean

      Aníbal Acevedo-Vila, Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
      Joe Baca, U.S. congressman
      Herman Badillo, U.S. congressman
      Joan Baez, folk singer and activist
      David Barkley, soldier and Medal of Honor recipient
      Xavier Becerra, U.S. congressman
      Jaime Benítez, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico
      Ben Garrido Blaz, Delegate from Guam
      Henry Bonilla, U.S. congressman
      Albert Garza Bustamante, U.S. congressman
      Dennis A. Cardoza, U.S. congressman
      José Francisco Chaves, Delegate from the Territory of New Mexico
      Cesar Chavez, labor leader
      Dennis Chavez, U.S. congressman and senator
      Linda Chavez, conservative commentator
      Linda Chavez-Thompson, labor leader
      Henry Cisneros, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
      Anthony Lee Coelho, U.S. congressman
      Antonio J. Colorado, U.S. congressman
      Jorge Luis Cordova Diaz, U.S. congressman
      Baltasar Corrado-del Rio, U.S. congressman
      Félix Córdova Davila, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico
      Ron de Lugo, Virgin Islands territorial senator
      Federico Degetau, Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico
      Lincoln Diaz-Balart, U.S. congressman
      Mario Diaz-Balart, U.S. congressman
      Antonio Manuel Fernandez, U.S. congressman
      Joachim Octave Fernandez, U.S. congressman
      Antonio Fernos-Isern, U.S. congressman
      Maurice Ferre, former mayor of Miami
      Jaime B. Fuster, U.S. congressman
      Ernesto Galarza, labor organizer
      Robert Garcia, U.S. congressman
      Alberto Gonzales, U.S. attorney general
      Eligio de la Garza, II, U.S. congressman
      José Manuel Gallegos, U.S. congressman
      Roberto C. Goizueta, businessman
      Charles A. Gonzalez, U.S. congressman
      Henry Barbosa Gonzalez, U.S. congressman
      Raúl M. Grijalva, U.S. congressman
      Luis Vicente Gutierrez, U.S. congressman

      Should I keep going?

    • @Mooser

      I always wondered what Israel is working towards

      I'll help

      when it murders all those Gazans

      Well it appears they were trying to clear a 3km buffer near the fence. So either they wanted them more concentrated or they wanted something like a DMZ. We'll know what the buffer was for over the next few years.

      won’t declare where its borders are

      The borders are Mandate Palestine X-Gaza.

      settles people in stolen land.

      Get land under the control of a friendly population and away from a hostile population. Also, governments can't steal on their territory it is definitionally impossible. All the land in Israel is the ultimately the Israeli governments. They can reallocate resources. And that's what they are doing.

    • @Sean

      I've tried posting that list of Hispanics twice. Not sure what's happening. But you are now limiting the conversation from a discussion of ethnic groups discussing their particular ethnic which is common, to one particular issue that you are defining so narrowly that it only could apply to Jews. If you want to say that Jews are the most prominent group of ethnic Americans supporting a state that Liberals don't like based on some ethnic bond. Yeah that's true.

      If the UK became aggressive about promoting an Anglo-Christian agenda as official British policy, you and other Zionists would probably finally understand the distinction.

      What do you think the British empire was but an organization to promote the Anglo-Christian agenda?

      If you exclude the discussion of the Palestinians (effectively a hostile invading force, even though they were there first) then Israel is a state for all its people. The Palestinians aren't willing to be Israeli that's what the fight is about. They won't live under Israeli law, they won't go to Israeli schools, they won't speak the Israeli language, they won't participate in the Israeli economy.... They reject the state they live in. They want their own state complete free of Jews, they want large Palestinian minorities to remain in the "Jewish" part and then they want to flood the Jewish part with Syrians, Jordanians, Iraqis and Lebanese. That's their "peace offer".

      But when Israel is confronted with minorities who are willing to assimilate they have done so quite successfully the Mizrahi and Sephardic, then the Russian surge including Russian Christians. Israel is not incapable of exactly the same kind of nationalism that exists everywhere else on the planet. They just happen to currently have a large minority group that doesn't want to be Israeli.

      No state tolerates an invading population. And that's what Israel is currently faced with, a group of people that are effectively invaders.

    • @lysias

      My discussion with Sean was about Irish support. Not American government support. The USA was always a British ally after the Spanish American war and thus officially on the British side.

    • @Citizen

      Did the IRA ever get an annual giant chunk of foreign aid from US?

      Yes. From the 1850s onward many of the Irish political groups in the United States called themselves Irish Republican Brotherhood. 1916-1920 they poured money into Ireland in support of the civil war while the British were otherwise occupied. Most Brits and IRA members acknowledged the majority of the IRA's budget in the 1980s came from America. The American Irish Foundation was founded by a Massachusetts politician by the name of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Tip O'Neill whip, majority leader then speaker '71-87 was very critical publicly of British policy and shifted the USA public discourse on the IRA even though the IRA was supporting all sorts of other leftwing causes the USA opposed. On particularly bad days during the 1980s Irish bars used to have drinks called "car bomb" and "kill a brit" where the cost of the drink was put off the the side.

      Yes the funding came from the USA. Yes the IRA had the support of Irish Americans.

    • @Sean --

      George W Bush -- president, Evangelical
      Dick Cheney -- powerful vice president, Methodist
      Donald Rumsfeld -- Sec Defense, Congregationalist
      Colin Powell -- Sec State, Episcopalian
      Condoleezza Rice -- National Security Advisor, Presbyterian

      Something like 60% of the American population supported war with Iraq. If even 10% of Jews did that's 500k Jews. So I don't doubt you can list the names of Jewish supporters. But that doesn't make it a Jewish war.

      The Neo Conservative Centers you are talking about were moderately influential lobbying groups. If I went through AEI positions and listed them out most of them are not in-acted into law. They just don't have that much pull. The people with the cool sounding titles are in fact the people in charge of stuff. There is no secret conspiracy. The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 was pushed by Bill Clinton (President at the time, Baptist) which made regime change the USA policy towards Iraq. We then elected a president who thought it was a good idea. And then Saddam after Bush's "with us or against us" speech decided to press his luck.

      The Iraqi war was discussed for a long time and the people who led the charge were the elected government of the United States.


      Now the one thing you can say about Jews is that the peace movement was ineffectual. And that was mainly because of Jews.

      1) Jews who normally would be opposed because of Saddam's support for the suicide bombings weren't opposed.

      2) The peace movement in the lead up to the Iraq war took a pro-Palestinian position at the time (i.e. the cause of Islamic stress at America was Israel) so Jews in the peace movement felt uncomfortable and distanced themselves.

      Jews were much less supportive of this war than evangelicals. They were much less supportive than almost any other subgroup of Americans. They were much more supportive than they normally would be because Saddam was anti-Israel. If you want to start saying that Jews are acting against America's interests based on secret government conspiracies then it is like discussing politics with LaRouche's guys who blame everything on the British Monarchy's secret control.

      Yes I agree there are large groups of Americans who hold those conspiracy views about Jews. They are in your bible. And ultimately the fact that you consider these plausible is one of the reasons that Jews will never let Israel fall. But in the real world, the people who decided to go to war in Iraq were a bunch of Protestants and it was about oil. A business which BTW Jews are strongly underrepresented in.

    • @Sean

      But clearly Israel, contrary to Theodor Herzl’s expectations, has become an increasingly abnormal and controversial nation with each passing decade,

      I don't see that. I see it become less controversial with each passing decade. Israel's status in 2014 is better diplomatically then it is has ever been by far. They just launched a brutal campaign against the Palestinians and had the Egyptians (the former protectors of the Palestinians) and Saudi Arabia egging them on. 2004 they had diplomatic relationship and trade far greater than 1994. Etc... going back all the way to the 1880s.

      in ever-escalating conflict with the entire world — including Europe and the United States.

      What ever-escalating conflict? They haven't had a war with a foreign country besides Lebanon since 1973. The USA is closer to Israel than it has ever been. Europe is arguably closer than it has ever been.

      Most religious Zionists have no interest in being normal people — they believe that they are special and exceptional — on a mission from God.

      All religious people believe they are on missions from God. So what?

      You exert no influence over messianic Greater Israelists in the pro-Israel community.

      Are you concerned about apocalyptic thinking or greater Israel? Those aren't the same thing. If you are concerned of course the seculars Israelis have ways of exerting influence. They control most of the financial resources of Israel. They hold many of the governmental slots and they comprise well over 1/2 the population. They are currently unifying the education system to increase assimilation. Mandatory service is being expanded to the religious.

      The division between secular and religious parties is disappearing and so the religious are being brought into the mainstream.

      What is the Irish version of AIPAC in the Democratic and Republican Parties?

      The North Eastern Democratic party was the Catholic party! The equivalent of AIPAC is the Democratic party. That's the difference between 100m strong and 5m strong. They don't have to lobby. The same way gun owners have a powerful lobby (the NRA) while food eaters don't need a lobby.

      Count up the number of angry exchanges between Jewish and non-Jewish Americans over Jewish nationalist issues in the comment sections of leading publications on the Web — you will find many thousands of such comments, with a great deal of verbal abuse being directed by Jews against non-Jews over Israeli issues. Sure looks like disassimilation to me.

      How does that number compare with say comments sections on the web between supporters of various football teams? Or say pro-choicers vs. prolifers?

      Look at all the angry and abusive remarks that have been directed at Barack Obama and John Kerry by American Jewish nationalists over the last year.

      As contrasted with say the angry and abusive remarks from birthers, people opposed to the Patient Protection Act, people ticked off about the Veterans affairs department, people mad about the NSA, people angry about Solyndra....

      Jews overwhelming vote Democratic. When Kerry and Obama act against Jewish interests they get critiqued. When Obama acted against Catholic perceived interests with birth control he got critiqued. When Obama acted against gun owners he gets critiqued. When Obama acted either for or against hispanics he got critiqued. Big deal that's how the system is supposed to work. Obama is not a dictator. If people disagree with his policies they are free to express that disagreement.

      This behavior is noticed and remembered by many Americans.

      I doubt it. There aren't many Americans except Jews for whom Israel is a major voting issue. The other main group for whom it is are evangelicals and they are usually well to the right of Jews on Israel. The disagreements on other issues are far louder.

      Now it is true that foreign policy liberals who normally can count of Jews being in their camp are notice that Jews start sounding like Republicans when the issue becomes Israel. And if they remember that good. They should take a look at France where the French left pushed the Jews into the hands of the right in the 1990s and 00s. They should remember their history on other issues like the race riots of the 1960s where blacks attacked the Jews who had been the previous generation living in the ghettos and still owned many of the business. Jews today are thought of as white and generally wealthy. They are liberal because liberal politics is a Jewish hobby part of the Jewish identity. If they voted like Christian Americans with the same racial, economic makeup they would break about 2/3rds Republican rather than being the most liberal minority in America.

      Democrats are shy about guns because they know democratic gun owners will jump ship over the gun issue. Republicans are often shy about women's issues because they know Republican women can flip to the other side over these issues. I don't think it is a bad thing at all if Liberals understand what mainstream Democrats understand, that Israel is one of the few issues that can get Jews to vote Republican.

      Jews are:
      2% of the population
      4% of the electorate
      10% of liberals
      25% of liberal donors and activists

      Liberals shouldn't want to lose that group over a BS foreign policy issue. If they take note of that fact, good.

    • @Sean

      Jewish ethnic and religious nationalists abound in the mainstream media — they led the charge for the Iraq War

      Jews were split on the Iraq war. The group that led the charge for the Iraq war were evangelicals. Let's deal with reality here.

    • Eljay

      I like how, in one paragraph, Israel goes from being an innocuous “Israel is for Israelis” right back to a supremacist “Israel is the home of the Jewish people”.

      You missed that those were the answer to two different questions. One was my opinion one was about mainstream Zionism.

      I'm heading to London next week who also shockingly believe the UK should be governed by a government elected by the people of the UK to act for the benefit of the people of the UK. We can call them UK supremacists. Or we can just use normal language and say they are people who believe in self determination.

    • @seanmcbride

      Ethnic and religious *nationalism* stands in stark contradiction to fundamental American and modern Western democratic values.

      Not really. Most states are ethnic No one is opposed to Ireland being the state of the Irish ethnicity or China being the state for the Chinese ethnicity. America is not an ethnic state itself, neither is Brazil. But that certainly doesn't mean it opposes ethnic states. And certainly the rests of the Western nations haven't agreed to dissolve their ethnic states.

      Now it is the case that the European ethnic states often don't like people's trying to undergo nation formation especially when that involves border changes even though that's how they themselves formed. That's Europeans being hypocrites. It is most certainly not a fundamental value.

      First off the people you are talking about are not ethnic nationalists. If they were they wouldn't have any problem with what's going on in Gaza. Ethnic nationalists don't wring their hands about whether nation formation is a going to damage Israel's soul. It is because these Jewish writers are not ethnic nationalists that they sound so confused. Israel isn't part of America.

      f Blow, Bruni, Douthat and Dowd did begin promoting their respective ethnic and religious *nationalist* agendas in the mainstream media, the American Jewish establishment would go crazy with outrage and brand them as anti-American.

      I can disprove that pretty easily. There has been substantial debate since about 1990 regarding Iraq. During that time we've had writers support Sunni supremacy (the majority position until the 2nd Clinton term ). We've had writers support Shiite supremacy(the current majority position since 2003). We've had people like our current vice president argue for dissolving Iraq on ethnic lines. There was no outrage.

    • @Mooser

      I don't know your views. We haven't been on too many threads so you might want to give me the 3 sentence where you stand.

      But yes. If you are indifferent you consent to either option.

    • @John Douglas --

      You didn't answer that list of questions. Kennedy did but Kennedy was secular. Rick Santorum is not secular, and takes the Catholic church's teachings on these issues more seriously. Should be disqualified?

      My point was about the national allegiance on those who purport to carry out their oath to serve the interests of the American people.

      What Jewish politician do you believe sees themselves as acting against the interests of the American people? That is which Jewish politicians if you could read their mind see themselves as violating that oath?

      bought or scared politicians

      Scared politicians is another word for responsive to interests groups. Should politicians who support gun rights because they don't want the backlash be excluded from participating in our democracy? Should politicians who vote for tough on crime legislation be excluded? On what other issues should a politician who goes with a special interest group should people be excluded?


      You did give one example though of evangelicals and the end times. Which is something like 30+% of our country. So let's work that one. How would you propose that be enforced? I mean our previous president held those views. Rick Perry sponsored an entire conference on those views.

    • Who are the Anglo-American, Irish-American, German-American or Italian-American

      Let's pick the NYTimes a very Jewish paper. Yet still

      Charles M. Blow -- black issues.
      Frank Bruni -- Catholics and sexuality
      Gail Collins -- women's issues
      Ross Douthat --WASP issues
      Maureen Dowd -- could you get more Irish Catholic? Writes about Catholic issues frequently.

      To have columns there has to be controversy. There is not a global movement in 2014 who want to see Italy conquered by a hostile foreign power and its population either subjugated or expelled. No one is bombing Italy right now. The UN, the EU ... are fine with Italy's borders. No one questions the legitimacy of Italy as an entity. So Italians when they talk ethnicity get to talk about food, religion, sex and sports. Jews would love it if the world would leave Israel alone and American Jews didn't have to talk about Israel. That will happen but it will take time.

      A better analogy to Israel would be the debate over immigration and America's relationship with Hispanic Americans. Where I could easily create an infinite list of Hispanic Americans talking about their ethnicity and ethnic issues. Similarly you see it with Black writers because Blacks face the kinds of issues in America that Jews face and faced in Catholic Europe the idea that you can't be fully: Greek, French, Spanish, ... without being Catholic. When you read Florida papers you'd see lots of Cuban americans fretting about cuban issues...

    • @seanmcbride

      Well, yes they are — they are fully assimilated into American culture.

      But quite a few American Jews seem to be DIS-assimilating from American culture — moving backward, not forward. The American mainstream media are flooded with the excited opinionating and politicking of Jewish ethnic and religious nationalists, both neoconservative and neoliberal, many of whom are more preoccupied with the interests of Israelis than of Americans.

      I think you are conflating two different things here. Let me just use my family. I'm much more focused on Israel than my grandparents were. But they were much less American than I am.

      My great grandparents grew up in Ukraine and Russia. They spoke Yiddish and Russian natively. Most learned English but Yiddish was often their primary language. They lived in Jewish ghettos, and primarily socialized with Jews. They loved American and wanted their children to be American but they themselves were not.

      My grandparents spoke fluent Yiddish as a 2nd language. They had gone to American public schools and had only a few scattered memories of Europe. They lived in mixed neighborhoods with a heavy Jewish population. They were completely at ease with other American minorities but still had a strong Jewish identity.

      My parents grew up in these Jewish mixed neighborhoods mostly being close friends with other Jewish kids though they had lots of non-Jewish friends. They had American Christian culture, and had to go to go synagogues where they got Baptist / Jewish hybrid religion to try and maintain the Jewish aspects of their life. They felt comfortable living in places where there wasn't a strong Jewish presence though mostly lived where there was one. While they can understand most yiddish they are only capable of speaking pigeon yiddish.

      I went to Hebrew school and got a decent Jewish education. My parents needed to focus on that because without it I would have been entirely American Christian. I've lived in places where there were few Jews. I married Jewish but I could have married a gentile women I dated for 5 years and was engaged to. I got synagogue related activities a 1/2 dozen times a year. I have a weak Jewish identity, and culturally am entirely American. I know a few hundred yiddish words. I have entirely American politics. OTOH I do identify with Israel. I lived in LA at the time 9/11 happened but I still understood it as an attack on me and in the same way I view BDS as an attack on me. Even though in neither case I do live in the specific place being attacked. On foreign policy I have about a dozen things that meaningfully influence my vote one of them is that Israel should be treated the same as France or China in particular be given full autonomy to govern itself and act in its people's interest without outside interfere. I don't see that as "going backwards". I'm not nearly as Jewish and unassimilated as either my great-grandparents or grandparents or parents. Given your last name you probably don't remember 1st or 1st 1/2 generation immigrants in your family but the difference between them and people who have some vague tribal loyalty is huge.

      I remember during the 1980s when Irish people used to pretty openly raise money for the IRA. Which was directly opposed to USA foreign policy. No one considered that to be a sign that the Irish were disassimilating .

      My daughter goes to a school where Jews are a fraction of the population. Mostly she hangs with the Asian kids not the Jewish kids. Compared to her first and 2nd generation Asian friends she's very Jewish but compared even to me she is far less so. OTOH when she heard the 3rd witch in Macbeth throw
      Root of hemlock digg'd i' the dark,
      Liver of blaspheming Jew,
      Gall of goat, and slips of yew
      Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse,

      into the cauldron she kind of curled in a defensive crouch. She's rarely heard anyone with genuinely anti-Semitic views live but when she has she understands the threat to her. When she hears a Taliban or North Korea on the news she understands those people are her enemies, even though they would say they are only opposed to the American government not the American people. She believes that American government for all its flaws is a government of the people for the people and those opposed to it are opposed to her. There is no real difference in extending that to anti-Semities / anti-Zionists.

      sort ethnic groups by number of ethnocentric op-ed articles by members in the New York Times and Washington Post for the past two decades
      Which group do you think would rank at the top of the list?

      Blacks. Probably followed by Hispanics. Then likely European expats. Probably Irish and Italian Americans come next. Let's say Jews are about 8th on the list.

      What is going on? Do you have any ideas? And where is this going? What’s the endgame from the Zionist perspective?

      The endgame from a Zionist perspective is that Israel becomes just another country with no particular interest at all. Israel is for Israelis the same way France is for the French, Argentina for the Argentinians and China for the Chinese. Nobody continues to talk about the Sui dynasty's joining of south and north China were legitimate or not. Or whether China should or should not have internationally recognized borders. They simply accept China. The end goal of Zionism is that same sort of untroubled existence where a statement that Israel is the home of the Jewish people is met with an indifferent shrug.

    • @Sean --

      Take a look a 19th century Irish, German, Italian media Those groups are further along in their assimilation. German Americans in the first half of the 20th century faced the same sorts of issues. If you read the Cuban Americans or Iranian Americans you'll see that kind of searching for how best to walk the line between their competing interests.

      Think about it we all know what Pope Francis says or does, why?

      Jews who are a few generations into America are by far the most assimilated non-Christian minority. Jews in their first generation have generally: learned to be fluent in English, taken on American social habits, raise their children to be fully American... On one foreign policy issues involving a semi important country oppressing an even less important ethnic minority within their borders they disagree with about 1/2 of all liberals but instead agree with moderates and Republicans. Now they hold that belief intensely in the same way that gun rights advocates or pro-life advocates often hold their beliefs intensely. That's the extent of this disagreement. It is a bunch of nonsense hyperbole to treat this issue on par with much more serious issues for most Americans that they are divided on like should we have higher or lower taxes, should we have more or less business regulation, should we have more redistribution of wealth, should we support or oppose government investment in the economy (crony capitalism), should the government encourage or discourage the use of birth control by young unmarried women?

    • @John --

      What other political philosophies in your book should be excluded from participation in the American dialogue. Should human rights supporters who give allegiance to UN positions be excluded? Should Catholics who give allegiance to a church that holds to a theory of church / state relations fundamentally at odds with our founder's theories be excluded? Should Chinese Americans who don't think Taiwan should be allowed to remain independent be excluded. Should Taiwanese Americans who believe that Taiwan should be a separate country be excluded?

      Who besides Jews fails the John Douglas criteria for real Americans?

    • @Citizen

      On Cable TV news/infotainment shows, the Muslims are constantly being called upon to publicly separate themselves from groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda, and condemned for not doing so, but nobody is calling on Jews to do same regarding Israel’s conduct.

      No one is calling upon Iraqi / Syrian Sunni muslims who are opposed to the USA / Assad / Iranian axis to separate themselves from ISIS because they mostly are ISIS or at least ISIS supports. American Jews with very few exceptions won't separate themselves from the Israeli government because they in large part agree with them. In my conversations with American Jews, most of whom were pacifists, they were pretty stridently in favor of Netanyahu's position. Once the people of Gaza decided to launch missiles into Israel proper their feeling was the attack on Gaza was a defensive war and as such they fully stood behind Israel. Joan Rivers was only slightly to the right of the Jewish mainstream.

      The media stops trying to get someone to take a clear position once they have one.

    • I think a not bad analogy to this is the attitude of conservative or hawkish American Jews towards Oslo. Rightwing Jews didn't support the Oslo peace process when Israel was seriously making peace (or at least seriously talking about making peace). They didn't support the the huge land giveaways that Israel at the time was promising and didn't think Israel was getting nearly enough. There was a push for America to sweeten the pot for both sides to help close the gap and those rightwing American Jews were agitated against the USA making those guarantees to enhance the possibility of success for the process. Israelis felt that all American Jews including the right should simply fall in line with Israeli policy.

      The American Jewish right at the time replied with: If Israeli policy represents Jews then we should voice in making it in which case our objections to Oslo should be considered. If it doesn't then I'm an American and free to support whatever American foreign policy I think is in the best interests of my country and thus free to object.

      Most American Jewish Liberals mirrored the Israeli claim. That if Oslo fell apart it would be Israeli Jews not American Jewish hawks that would bear the brunt and thus we should defer.

      I think Liberal Jewish discomfort has a lot to do with the current government. If Yair Lapid was Prime Minister I suspect that the liberal Jewish handwringing would disappear almost entirely. I certainly remember Liberal Jews being absolutely disgusted with the massacre in Lebanon under Sharon. There was a lot of handwring at the time about how the Jews possibly commit war crimes given their history.... I was at the time genuinely non-Zionist, by which I mean I was completely indifferent. I didn't identify with Israel, didn't feel responsible in the slightest and thus didn't feel anymore emotion towards it than I do towards the Rabaa Massacre that happened last year. BDS (for Jews) is not the opposite of Zionism, indifference is.

      But those Jews bounced back. Within a few months those very same Jews were raising money for the JNF, helping Russian Jews escape to Israel. That was the wave of renewed Zionism where I first became Zionist. Mostly the handwringers just hated the Begin government, when Shimon Peres became Prime Minister of Israel and Reagan won his 2nd term in a landslide showing America's deeply troubled soul in their eyes those very handwringers often spoke of how much better America would be if it was more like Israel.

      Say that Iran leaked powerful chemical weapons to Hamas and Hamas killed 40k Israelis in a chemical weapons strike on Tel Aviv. Roger Cohen, Jonathan Chait, Ezra Klein and Peter Beinart would not be cheering that the Palestinians finally managed to be effectual in their resistance. None of them has ever advocated anything remotely like the horrors the end of Zionism would really entail. They just want a Labor government. They aren't falling in line with policies they oppose. They are objecting to Israel's policy not Israel's existence. They don't hate Israel they hate being identified with Netanyahu.

  • Professor Salaita was fired for disagreeing too vehemently with Professor Nelson
    • @Djinn

      First off let's not get sidetracked into details. The whole controversy was about a belief that Scarlett's outside activities (doing work for SodaStream) should disqualify her from working to raise money for Oxfam. That's a very comparable situation except the professional and volunteer causes were reversed. BDS was celebrating putting the kind of pressure on Oxfam to fire someone whom they disagree with that they complain about when donors put that sort of pressure on colleges. It was comparable.

      Pillage: I found quickly
      link to

      Lifetime ban. I'm not finding the "she should never work again" type comments. But I certainly remember them so if you look through the threads, many of which you participated in you'll find them. I'm not spending that much time. But in 2 minutes
      That her endorsement should permanently damage her career:
      link to
      link to
      link to

      and offsite: Rafeef Ziadah, a spokesperson with the Palestinian BDS National Committee, a coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations, said: "Scarlett Johansson has abandoned her reputation as a progressive celebrity in exchange for the check that accompanies becoming the new face of Israeli apartheid. Just like the few artists who played Sun City during South African apartheid, Johansson will be remembered for having stood on the wrong side of history."

      and just to add one more that I found while looking quickly. Call for "threats" against Scarlett's agent: link to

    • FWIW here is my take. My gut is the media isn't covering this quite right. Generally dean's offer appointments the board of trustees is needed for tenure not hiring. So likely here is what happened.

      1) Salaita is offered a position by the dean, since he is already tenured the dean implies the new track would be tenured.

      2) He agrees and a contract goes out. The contract has some language that the school will forward his name onto the board of trustees for tenure. The dean can't promise tenure and the contract likely reflects this. There may be letters of intent but those are probably carefully worded to fall short of a promise.

      3) Salaita signs the contract and quits his current job.
      4) The dean does forward to the chancellor (Dr. Phyllis Wise). Wise decides Salaita is unfit and decides not to forward to the board. So what is usually a rubber stamp becomes not so rubber.

      5) So at this point Salaita does have a position but it is an untenured position and he is unlikely to get tenure if he takes it. Which means that he would be very unwise to accept the position, not that it was rescinded.

      I don't have any inside information but I think the media is getting this wrong. The above version of events fits the most facts since some of them conflict.


      In terms of what can he do now he could accept the position and then ask for a tenure review. The review can probably force the chancellor to forward to the board but it would be going forward with a "not recommended for tenure" by the chancellor and the board is unlikely to grant tenure. My guess is there was no breach of contract here. What Salaita could argue is that the tenure offer was supposed to be a given but I would bet the actual documents he signed indicate his acknowledgement that it wasn't a given. So if he sues he likely loses.

      Remember in a suit the burden is on Salaita not on the University. It is hard to imagine a court requiring the defendant to offer Salaita lifetime employment. I think the best he could hope for would be to have the contract for employment treated like a letter of intent for employment with tenure, in which case Salaita would be able to collect for enabling acts (moving...). And frankly I doubt he'd win even that because I suspect the actual contract and other documentation was quite explicit about the process.


      As for the moral situation on the surface it is pretty questionable. I think Salaita Tweet's were definitely way over the line of civility. He most certainly engaged in misconduct. I don't think he quite rose to threats (ex. “Jeffrey Goldberg’s story should have ended at the pointy end of a shiv.”) and incitement of religious harassment (“All of Israel’s hand-wringing about demography leads one to only one reasonable conclusion: Zionists are ineffective lovers”, “All life is sacred. Unless you’re a Zionist, for whom most life is a mere inconvenience to ethnographic supremacy”), though I could see someone disagreeing. If the chancellor does disagree then I think she's within her right to believe his conduct deserves review prior to granting tenure.

      I support free speech. I think there is a difference between pulling a gun and saying "bitch give me your f* money" and "I'd like to see HR 217 amended to include the following clause so as to redistribute property". And that difference is civility. There was no simply no need for the tone Salaita choose to present whatever views he wanted to express.

    • @Jim --

      We had a test like that with an even milder case: Scarlett Johansson. The general feeling here if you read the threads was she should be subject to a lifetime employment ban and tried by the ICC for pillage (I kid you not) because she wasn't opposed to the settlements.

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

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

    • @James

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

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

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

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

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

    • @MHughes976

      No problem I'll respond here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @shingo

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

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

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

      Iran yes. Russia no.

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

      There have been no expulsions from Gaza for decades.

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

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

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

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

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

    • @eljay --

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

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

    • @Shingo

      None by Hamas...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Of course there is. Millions have.

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

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

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

    • @geokat62

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

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

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

    • @tree

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

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

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

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

      In 2013 there were about 50:
      link to

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @MHuges

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

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

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

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

    • @Yonah-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @Eljay --

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

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

    • @eljay --

      Please refrain from fabricated things and saying according to JeffB.

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

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

    • @Donald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @talknic

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

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

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

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

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

      How come Israel can control Palestinian territorial waters and airspace?

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

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

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

    • @Mooser

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

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

    • @kalithea

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

    • @Donald

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @talknic

      UNSC res 1860…ever dared to read it?

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

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

    • @RoHa

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

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

    • @Shingo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • @lataan

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

    • @Kay24

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

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

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

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

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

    • @David

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

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

      Consider that maybe it isn't that simple.

    • @ritzl

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

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

      That's not acceptable behavior. They deserve punishment.

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