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Total number of comments: 1771 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • Netanyahu flips off Harry Truman
    • @Phil

      The truth is: Israel never would have come into existence without the United States.

      Sorry I don't see that. The USA government was mostly overrun by Arabists. There was support among the population but even that wasn't too key. Truman was not hostile but he was not a strong supporter of Israel either. Get rid of American support and you still have a strong Jewish terrorist organization in Israel driving the British cost of the mandate through the roof. The Soviets are going to much more supportive. So Israel comes into being as a Soviet ally, and is simply hostile to the west during the early 1950s.

      It gets harder to read the what-if from there. As a Soviet ally the Soviet union might not push the anti-Zionist line and instead encourage of its historically troublesome Jewish population 40 years earlier. Which makes Israel even more culturally Eastern European, economically communist and religiously atheist / Jewish which makes it even easier for the Soviets to trust Israel and thus develop them militarily as the cornerstone for Soviet interests in the middle east.

      I don't see the disaster for Israel if the USA doesn't support. That scenario might make life a lot more complex for American Jews. In this alternate history Zionism might remain so thoroughly associated with Communism that American Judaism never becomes Zionist. Or alternatively the huge surge in anti-Semitism under the name of anti-Zionism happens in the USA and not as it did historically in the Soviet Union. But American culturally doesn't keep people in so perhaps it is American Jews that flee to Soviet Israel in this hypothetical.

      Regardless I don't see the USA as instrumental to Israel's existence. America becomes much more instrumental after 1967.

  • Jewish groups that blindly support Israel make US and European Jews potential victims of violence -- Avnery
    • @Brewer --

      I'd love anti-Semitism to be in the scrap heap of history. The problem is that it isn't. Objectively Jews are a tiny population. Objectively Israel is a tiny slice of a peninsula whose main importance to the west is oil, and that slice doesn't have any. So were it not for anti-Semitism Jews would get classified with the other 1000 tribes that westerners don't like but don't particularly care about. There wouldn't' be a Mondoweiss because no one would care. Sure there might be lip service paid people don't like the droughts caused by Eritrea governent's mismanagement and they don't like that Israeli's dominant tribe picks on another tribe that lives locally. But they wouldn't really care.

      The idea that Christians should care about Jews, that what Jews do is of cosmic moral importance is the core anti-Semtism. Avnery's example of killing Jews because you are upset about what happened in Algeria while possibly a mean thing to do is not really anti-Semtisim. That's the kind of normal cultural revenge (now frequently called terrorism) that most national groups are subject to. Anti-Semitism has to be rooted in the belief that Jews are knowingly furthering the objectives of the King of this World (Satan). So the classic expressions of anti-Semtisim are things like:
      • Jews are behind a plan for global conquest,
      • Jews work through Masonic lodges,
      • Jews use liberalism to weaken church and state,
      • Jews control the press,
      • Jews work through radicals and revolutionaries,
      • Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold,
      • Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard,
      • Jews promote financial speculation and use of credit,
      • Jews replace traditional educational curriculum to discourage independent thinking,
      • Jews encourage immorality among Christian youth,
      • Jews use intellectuals to confuse people,
      • Jews control “puppet” governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials,
      • Jews weaken laws through liberal interpretations,
      • Jews will suspend civil liberties during an emergency and then make the measures permanent.

      You see this argument on this board all the time the 3rd from last, "Jews control 'puppet' governments both through secret allies and by blackmailing elected officials, " is the one you see on Mondoweiss most commonly with regarding to AIPAC. Even though the polling shows that the pro-Israel position is quite popular with the American public and that congress is just reflecting the public's view. There is this paranoia about this lobby. There is a Christian theme that power induces moral corruption: it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God . And Jews end up in this story becoming the means by which those good Christian in the legislature are corrupted.

      Chinese or Arabs or whatever don't deal with this theme of a deep underground evil. They may have to deal with other problems. For example Jews aren't associated with violent crime and lack of emotional control. That's a specific problem to anti-black racism that's not present in anti-Semitism.

      Why should you as a Christian humanist in Australia even know who the Jews are much less have strong opinions about their territorial disputes? Do you normally know about tribes that are .15% of the world's population?

  • Leaked e-mails show that Israeli consulate, StandWithUs tried to thwart Northwestern divestment (Updated)
    • @philadelphialawyer

      Well if you want examples there are multiple ones where representatives from the Territory of Utah addressed congress over the objections of Democratic Presidents. Democrats (in the south particularly) were highly anti-Mormon and strongly opposed to Utah moving towards statehood while Northerners and thus a majority of Congress could care less about Mormon issue and didn't want to risk the possibility of Utah territory allying with another power especially the UK who was courting them.

      I'll agree it has been a century and a half though. Generally congress meets with foreign leaders against the express wishes of the POTUS on their soil not ours. Mostly foreign leaders hostile to the President don't believe they can safely travel here. The best example of that recently would be at the start of Obama's term when congressmen flew out to meet with the Honduran military leaders responsible for the coup undermining Obama's commitment to oppose those leaders and their coup.

      Our relationship with every country is different. But the claim was that Israel was uniquely close not that there were some particulars unique to Israel. Sure on some particulars Israel is closer. OTOH lots of honors are unique to Liberia, Canada, the UK or Mexico.

    • @philadelphialawyer

      Your claim was that the relationship with Israel was uniquely close. I gave a lot of parameters and examples by which it was not uniquely close. For example with Japan it isn't that we trade with Japan but the quantity of trade is so staggering. Or in the case of South Korea while it may be true the war was decades ago, we have 30k troops there today defending them and if you count Okinawa as primarily existing to allow us to beef that up military spending on South Korea that dwarfs by an order of magnitude what we spend on Israel.

      The war in South Korea was fought over a half century ago. And it was fought not for S Korea’s sake, but as part of the Cold War.

      I'm not sure there is much of a distinction.

      Ditto all the other aid, military presence, etc, you mention. Israel, on the other hand, really had very little to do with the Cold War.

      That's not true. During the 1950s-early 1970s. Israel was key to defeating the non-aligned movement with its Soviet tilt in the middle east. It helped shift the balance of power away from Egypt / Syria / Iraq and back towards Iran and Saudi Arabia. By the 1970s Israel was involved in anti-communism all over the planet from Latin America to South Africa. It acted as an American proxy where it was politically difficult for the USA to openly support regimes.

      And, with the Cold War over, it certainly has nothing to do with it now. Israel is aided and coddled for Israel’s sake, not as part of overall US policy.

      I don't think that's true. I think quite a lot of hawks would argue that having a reliable military partner in the Middle East remains incredibly useful. For example when Syria invaded Jordan during Black September the USA was able to instantly deploy IDF. If in 1991 Saddam had crossed into Saudi Arabia the USA didn't have the troops available to push him out. We probably would have needed to use Israel.

      And, indeed, Israel is a millstone around the neck of the USA, when it comes to its FP overall.

      I don't see that. I think that's an assumption frequently made by the left where the discount huge sections of the American foreign policy establishment. Certainly there have been Arabists who have made that case for having the Arabs slaughter the Jews for 3 generations. I'm not going to argue those people don't exist and haven't existed. But they haven't been the only voices on foreign policy. But even the Arabists it is not really Israel's value as an asset but how serious of a detriment to USA interests Israel as a free agent (or aligned with a hostile power) would be. Eisenhower who had a foreign policy team run by Arabists put the USA on a course for a hostile relationship in 1954. By 1956 he was freaked at how destabilizing an Israel not tied even remotely to the USA could be and wanted to bring them back inside the tent.

      Israel's natural interests and the USA natural interests conflict greatly. Israel is really good at stirring the shit. Israel has foreign allies inside of the western alliance which make it very difficult to discipline. The Israeli government's policy has overwhelming support from its people. Israel has a whorish foreign policy and can be bought cheap. It still makes sense to pay off Israel to keep them from messing things up. That's a simply cost / benefit even assuming I'm an Arabist.

      Even at that, the US government is nowhere near as close to S Korea as it is to Israel. The US shares virtually all of its intelligence with Israel.

      No it doesn't. There is no evidence for anything remotely like that being true.

      The US gives its latest military technology to Israel.

      In some areas, and in exchange for the Israel giving back their improvements. And a few times as specific concessions for policy. But not across the board the way you are making it sound.

      <blockquoteL S Korea also does not need, and does not get, the blank check that Israel gets from the USA in terms of diplomatic and political cover. The US does not routinely veto measures in the UNSC for S Korea’s sake. Nor does the US work against boycotts and sanctions against S Korea.

      I don't think America's record on the Arab boycott is quite as clear as you are making it. Plenty of USA companies were active in it when it existed. Certainly the USA has encouraged Israeli / Western European trade for generations but that's pretty standard USA foreign policy to believe that trade encourages cultural ties and peace and thus to encourage countries to be part of of the Western Financial system.

      Why would the USA want a country with Israel's level of inventiveness particularly with the military focus to not be allied with the West and say partnering with Russia, China, North Korea, hostile African regimes...? What you saying is that the USA doesn't encourage a uniquely hostile relationship with Israel, it just treats it like any other country, and that is true.

      Now if you mean that the USA vetoes nonsense in the UN, it does do that. What if it didn't? The UN last month passed several resolutions directly ordering the parties in Yemen to stop fighting. No one gave a damn. The UN is a nice place for countries to vent and thus it helps maintain the peace since screaming at each other is less destructive than shooting at each other. But ultimately the UN can't do very much to Israel. Nato and the USA can. But you don't need the UN for Nato to decide to starting being troublesome to Israel. If they wanted to they could. If Europe wanted to sanction Israel they could do it in the EU they don't need the UN to do it. And if they don't want to do it, the UN isn't going to be able to make them. Similarly for the USA.

      Israel would basically not exist but for the USA.

      During the crucial stages of forming the USA was not heavily involved. Lots of countries aren't close to the USA and they still exist.

      Israel, despite the dubious claims of Zionists, is a recent creation, and it would be a world pariah, boycotted and sanctioned, were it not for the USA.

      Israel was a world pariah, boycotted and sanctioned in the 1950s. It picked up allies and broke the sanctions. It now is vastly more powerful.

      The USA bankrolls and enables and protects Israel.

      The GDP of Israel is well over $300b annually. We toss a tip in that gets used to buy some USA military hardware and for which we get policy concessions. Our trade with Israel is much larger than the aide / military trade. And Israel's trade with Europe is even larger still.

    • @philadelphialawyer

      How is the USA / Israeli relationship closer than the USA / Japan or USA / South Korea relationship? The USA army was the group that pushed the North out and essentially created the country. We spend far more on South Korean defense than on Israel. We fought a major war for South Korea. We have tens of thousands of troops permanently stationed in South Korea. We have directly harassed their antagonizer for 3 generations.

      With Japan the dollar figures in terms of trade are staggering. Our Japanese imports last year were over 1/2 the size of the entire Israeli economy, about 6x our level of trade with Israel. Our exports (which include the weapons) to Japan are about 4x what they are to Israel.

  • One-state 'fantasy is very dangerous' because it cannot tell us what the military looks like -- Manekin
    • @ justicewillprevail

      <blockquoteL Yes, those KKK guys really had affection for the individual blacks they hanged.

      I say Southerners about Blacks in general and you make it KKKers and the Blacks they specific lynched. Were trying to be dishonest in your response or are you unable to see the distinction between the two much broader groups and the specific cases? That would be like me talking about driving in America and you responding that no one can get anywhere because every car trip ends in a fatality.

    • @Talknic

      Sorry JeffB but that’s not a quote ! Do you know what a quote is?

      When I directly refer to the BDS points by number those are the direct quotes. The part you were citing was the explanation of how the quote imply the effects I attributed to them.

      <blockquoteL 1) Flood the country with a hostile foreign population allied with a domestic population which is hostile to the state. (i.e. BDS demand 3 and their interpretation of SC 194)”

      A) Only Israelis have RoR to Israel under UNGA res 194.

      194 applies to non-Israeli refugees. Palestinians and many Arabs believe it applies to their descendants often 3-4 generations removed from those who ever lived in territory now called Israel.

      How can they be a flood? The non-Jewish Israelis who fled the violence were a minority and the majority of that minority are already dead thru natural attrition.The oldest non-Jewish Israeli to flee Israel in 1948-50 and still alive today, was a baby in 1948

      I think Israel would accept an RoR limited to only direct refugees from 1948 in a second. There are mostly dead and those that aren't soon will be. They aren't the issue it is their grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren that are the issue. The BDS movement uses an incredibly liberal definition of refugee. I think they are wrong but we are talking their opinion of who would return not your's or mine. The rest of your counter is dependent on RoR not being a flood of 5-10 million

      <blockquoteL // There were no Israeli’s in the 1930’s //

      “Of course there were. They didn’t have a state yet but they had a proto-state. “

      WOW! What was it called? What was its currency? Is there an example of a passport? Did it have a Nationality Law? Palestine had all those things!

      I think you may want to look at the distinction between a proto-state and a state. As for all those things Palestine as a British colony certainly existed as a state but not one tied to the nation that inhabited it.

      <blockquoteL “The same way there were Palestinians prior to the establishment of Gaza”

      Strange, the UNSC said this of Gaza on 8 January 2009, when it adopted UNSC Res 1860
      Recalling all of its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008),
      Stressing that the Gaza Strip constitutes an integral part of the territory occupied in 1967 and will be a part of the Palestinian state,

      What does that have to do with anything? That's a total non sequitur.

      // Uh? A) They’d still have a state B) your argument goes against the usual Jews are a nation twaddle. //

      “Reread the scenario you are responding to. In the scenario the Jewish state is gone. The Jews at best now live in a Palestinian state”

      So? They’d still have a state. Same as they had a state under the LoN Mandate for Palestine (Article 7)

      No they do not have a state. This is not complicated. For the Jews to have a state they have to have
      a) A government which acts in the interests of the Jewish people and / or the Jewish people in Israel.
      b) The army that controls the territory loyal to that government.

      If there is a government which doesn't act in the interests of Jews it is no longer a Jewish state. Once the Romans took Judaea, Judaea ceased to be Jewish.

    • @Walid

      There are a couple of million refugees currently living in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon that none of these countries are capable of absorbing, even if they all get fat compensation cheques fom Israel, the US, EU and the oil Arabs.

      Jordan has absorbed the refugees in its territory. The population of Syria has increased by almost 20m since 1948. The population of Iraq by almost 30m. Why can't they absorb the refugees? Right now we have a government in ISIS that is desperate for more Sunnis and while it isn't USA policy to support them, they certainly would take the Palestinians Refugee Muslim population if it were offered. Lebanon I agree has a problem though they might want the Christians. If not Israel might very well be OK with a return limited to Christians.

    • @Annie

      That's a terrible definition of colonialism. It fundamentally is so broad that almost every country on the planet and government that has ever existed would be colonial. A far better one is: establishment, exploitation, maintenance, acquisition, and expansion of colony in one territory by a political power from another territory

      There is such a term as "settler colonialism" which is just mass migration. But there is no reason to link settler colonialism / mass migration which does not have external state support with systems that do have an external state support. The goal of colonialism is to extract resources from a territory usually as cheaply as possible. The goal of mass migration is to inhabit a territory, and while that means extracting resources it almost means long term cultural developments.

      The early Zionists when they drained swamps at tremendous human cost to create farmland were investing in the territory not trying to extract from it. Very much like the investment Palestinians talk about with olive trees. Neither of them is colonizers both are inhabitants.

    • @Kris

      but the overall meaning of the information does not seem to me to support the spin that you are giving it. It would be so helpful if you would link to your sources from now on.

      There isn't one source. Seems like you hit a source for most of what I was talking about. On prohibition google "Anti-Saloon League". If you want good background: link to

      As far as "spin" I'm not sure what exactly you are arguing. We agree there was a large scale government organized intimidation program against the USA's German population. I'm assuming you aren't disagreeing the population was pushing for neutrality in the war. If so any good book on German American history from that period. From online it appears that Leslie V. Tischauser, The Burden of Ethnicity: The German Question in Chicago, 1914-1941 or Bonds of loyalty;: German-Americans and World War I . I learned about it when studying the origins of the German Bund.

      So assuming you are willing agree that the Germans wanted neutrality and Wilson launched state persecution to intimidate them, what's left for us to disagree about? Most of your quote is just "when the USA did X it was bad". Which is what government always say when they do bad stuff. I get that the tone is disapproving a "oh we in the USA aren't like the Russians when it comes to intimidating minorities..." but the reality is they did do precisely that to the Germans. And that was all I was trying to point out. We did it and Wilson had his reasons for doing it.

    • @Kris

      The problem with that is that people all over the world are seeing the similarities between Nazis and the Israelis

      I suspect that comes from not knowing much history and just not having many points of comparison and not knowing much about the Nazis. The things that were unique or interesting about the Nazis the Israelis don't do. So people may make the analogy but the analogy falls apart rather quickly.

      As for the definition of genocide. There are cutoffs in the common law. Because otherwise killing a single individual is "killing a group in part"... The definition you are quoting does exist but it is never applied as liberally as you are using it. The UN wants genocide to mean something more than the sorts of pedantic war crimes that occur in every conflict.

      The Russell Tribunal which is about as biased a kangaroo court as is imaginable couldn't find for genocide. What they found for was that:

      a) Serious war crimes
      b) Israel was failing to prevent genocide... i.e. a genocidal atmosphere was developing in Israel.

      (a) and (b) I'd still dispute but they are within the realm of reason. Claims of genocide simply are not defendable. Israel has a long standing consistent pattern of cleaning people from land without killing huge numbers of them. Ethnic cleansing is a reasonable charge, genocide is not.

      I'm sure there is some definition of giraffe poorly written enough that Netanyahu meets the definition. That doesn't make him a giraffe. Your definition above assumes this being done to a huge percentage of a population so as to make a noticeable and significant in that population's existence. Otherwise it is just abuse of language.

    • @Tree & oldgoozer

      You are grossly oversimplifying. During WWI there were real problems with both Irish and German loyalty. Both German-American and Irish-American communities were strongly in favor of neutrality not support for the allies. People like Teddy Roosevelt had attacked "hyphenated-Americans" and their communities essentially arguing that the Anglo policy of his ethnic group was American while the minority positions were not. As the situation continued to heat up Wilson appointed George Creel to head a government Committee on Public Information (CPI) to create pro-war propaganda.

      The American Irish community fell in line quickly. The German community not as much. To get compliance there was a ferocious state suppression of almost all German culture in the USA. Wilson adopted Roosevelt's rhetoric and attacked German Americans as either loyalists (i.e. would follow him) or traitors. Bach, Beethoven were banned. German newspapers were closed, driven out of business. Sauerkraut was renamed "liberty cabbage", dachshunds were mocked.... There were public book burnings of German books. German language instruction was dropped from most public school systems. There were threats to go further: there was a campaign for the St. Louis mayor "wipe out everything German in this city."BTW for those people who owned phones speaking German was often illegal so that operators could monitor their conversations. Many Germans changed their last or first names to escape the state organized discrimination. The result of all this was that the German American culture that had existed for generations was almost completely wiped out.

      And it continued after the war. So for example prohibition included beer which was rightly seen as an attack on German culture. So, no, you are selling fake history of what you would have liked to have been true. Real history is a lot messier.

    • Care to quote this alleged BDS plan to destroy Israel.


      1) Flood the country with a hostile foreign population allied with a domestic population which is hostile to the state. (i.e. BDS demand 3 and their interpretation of SC 194)
      2) Enfranchise everyone with the vote equally so minority rule becomes impossible. (BDS demand 1 and 2).

      That's national destruction.

      There were no Israeli’s in the 1930’s

      Of course there were. They didn't have a state yet but they had a proto-state. The same way there were Palestinians prior to the establishment of Gaza.

      Finally from above:

      Uh? A) They’d still have a state B) your argument goes against the usual Jews are a nation twaddle.

      Reread the scenario you are responding to. In the scenario the Jewish state is gone. The Jews at best now live in a Palestinian state.

    • @Stephen

      On the one hand, they complain that the advocates of a 1SS have not worked out their ideas in sufficient depth and detail, implying that if they did do this those ideas might be worthy of consideration (otherwise why go to the trouble?). On the other hand, they know in advance that “trying to be creative” is a waste of time. If all aspects of a 1SS were fully worked out would they then consider it? Of course not.

      Of course they would consider it. Everyone would love to hear reasonable solutions to this crisis. They don't believe it is possible to come up with a creative solution. OTOH if someone were to prove them wrong and propose something that both Jews and Palestinians thought sounded great that would instantly become a topic of conversation and start to drive solutions.

      For example in the 1970s there were terrible political conflicts in LA regarding smog. Then in 1972 the catalytic converter and unleaded gasoline were invented and suddenly this great idea solved the smog problem. The political debates which had been almost unsolvable became easy to solve and there was a huge unified push towards getting leaded gasoline cars off the road quickly.

      My impression is that their claim that “virtually no Palestinians are interested in it” (a 1SS) is now incorrect.

      I think you should talk to Palestinians in Israel then. My impression is that most of them do support a 1SS. However, most of them do not want to live in a western liberal state modeled on Europe. They are, not shockingly, Arabic culturally and want many of the kinds of cultural institutions you find and Arab countries rather than the kinds of institutions you find in Europe. They may support the western BDS movement as putting pressure on Israel, but they don't support the liberal secularists egalitarian political philosophy of BDS.

      What they want at an individual level is often quite reasonable. The problem is that individual to individual it is wildly different. Palestinians internally have not had the debates themselves about what a solution would look like, they just keep getting told what they are supposed to be fighting for and the distance between the official positions and the position on the ground is stark. One of the big advantages of even semi-functional democracies is that there has to be a higher level of public support for policy and so this sort of thing doesn't happen.

    • @Kris

      It is delusional to insist, on the one hand, that paintings, etc., stolen from Jews by the Nazis, should be restored to the victims’ heirs, and on the other hand, that the Israeli Jews should be entitled to keep all that they have stolen from the Palestinians.

      Delusional I don't know. Hypocritical yes. So feel free to keep the paintings.

      And that old men can be accused of being Nazi criminals and tried, while Jewish Israelis who have committed much more recent war crimes should be excused.

      The total number of people who died in the latest fight in Gaza is roughly equivalent to one Nazi shower. During the entire I/P conflict the number of Palestinians killed is about 1 days worth of a single death camp. There is no comparison between the Nazis and the Israelis. Not remotely.


      Finally as for the Jim Crow south, while I grew up i the North I had cousins down south and they had relationships that were well over a decade old during the 1970s. The 1960s is not an obscure time.

    • @oldgeezer

      Larry is quite right about the loyalty issue. And let me put that to rest with your quite appropriate analogy.

      If not then what should the west do, if there is conflict between the west and Israel, with it`s Jewish population? If there is a conflict of interest between western and Israeli interests is it necessary for the state to question the motives and actions of it’s Jewish citizens?

      Yes they should.

      In the mid 1940s the USA policy was to support the arms boycott. My great uncle abused his ties with the army to help get weapons to Palestine. This wasn't something he kept secret after the war but is the highpoint of his life in terms of heroism. It is what he is remembered for by neighbors and nephews like me. Jews weren't powerful enough to do anything about the holocaust. But we were powerful enough to make sure the refugees who survived the camps didn't die in Palestine and thus help prevent round 2.

      I don't have ties to the military but I do have ties to telcos. You better believe if Israel needed me and those were helpful I'd use them. I love America but it is hard to imagine any situation where America faced the kind existential threat that an American / Israeli war would represent. Damn right I'd be wanting the USA to lose and if I had a way to do more than want, I would.

      Everything in life is a situation. Sane people don't put other people in situations like that.

      I can imagine a unified Israeli Army because I can imagine situations where the pan-Arab identity doesn't mean much anymore. I think that's faded rapidly in the last 2 generations already. So I'm more optimistic than Larry but I think the spirit of his questions are right.

    • @Scott

      I think the easiest solution is the Palestinians get assimilated. I think Sari Nusseibeh makes a good solution and is in line with what Bennett is proposing. I like the idea of aiming for:

      1) Something that people can live with for now
      2) Something that is getting better

      I've heard lots of Palestinians offer solutions I can live with (and I'm not a liberal Zionists) the only problem is they often don't agree among themselves and so choose a maximal solution between each individuals "red lines".

      You are absolutely right that Israel would quickly choose war over dissolving the state.

      As far as EU membership, Europe is Israeli's equivalent of having sex with the X. I actually think the Arab league makes much more sense. They are local and Israel needs to integrate into the region. They could be much more helpful if they wanted to resolve this situation rather than score rhetorical points.

    • @Phil

      I agree with you. Those sorts of attitudes are present in both populations. They are even worse in Israel since the Israelis have started severing contact. The southerners at least had a great deal of affection for individual blacks even if they had collective racism. The Israelis (especially the young) don't have social contacts.

      If the confederacy had won the civil war and the 1936-9 war hadn't happened (or the 1st intifada hadn't happened) then a comparison between the south and Israel isn't totally off base.

      The difference was the South was part of the USA so many blacks migrated north and the North was able and invested enough to force formal equality over and over again n the South. And that required backing off in the 1870s till the generation angry about the humiliation of the civil war and its aftermath died off. And then very ginger steps from the 1920s to the 1960s. And still... 140 years later there is still resistance and problems. Similarly the South was invested enough in the USA to not military rebel again. The 1870s was the last incident of strong anti-North terrorism though there were some limited applications of violent resistance since then.

      Who do you see invested enough to play that role in Israel. How does this analogy play out? I don't see how the comparison with the South helps you case.

    • @Peter Feld

      For precedent you have to look to South Africa and other multiethnic countries that went through decolonialization and independence

      South African whites were always dependent on black labor. That was the basis of the economy. Even with being heavily outnumbered, losing several wars and tremendous global pressure it took decades for the whites to lose power.

      The Israeli Jews have already walked away from Palestinian labor during the 2nd intifada though there are a few tens of thousands working now. They aren't heavily outnumbered. Israel has never lost in a serious way a war. And the global pressure movement is still well behind where the anti-Apartheid movement was in 1960.

      So absolutely let's look at the precedents. And what we see is that Israel looks absolutely nothing like the typical anti-colonialist comparison. What it looks far more like are other mass migrations where the goal was not to use indigenous labor like the European peasant migration to the Americas or the ethnic partition in India / Pakistan.

    • @MHughes976

      Yes it is absurd. The problem in Israel / Palestine is that the Israelis don't like the Palestinians and don't want the countrymen and the Palestinians don't like the Israelis and don't want them as countrymen. Your solution is to pretend that somehow magically they come to believe they have common interest. If they come to believe that there is no Israel-Palestine problem. And if they come to believe that the Jolly Green Giant is their high God he has commanded them to work for each other and eat their vegetables that also solves the problem. But they are never going to believe in the divinity of the Jolly Green Giant and they are not going to believe in a common interest without one or the other nations being totally defeated.

      Even if you can magically make the state Palestinian, why would the Jews be interested in defending a Palestinian state against foreign invasion? Foreign invasion quite likely would be to their advantage. Jews traditionally support empire over nations for the same reasons that most national minorities do, the same reason that blacks in the USA support a strong federal government and weak states. If they lost their state they resort to type and they are going to want Palestine absorbed by some expansionist power.

    • @Phil

      In 1948 Whits believed that Blacks were Americans and Blacks believed that Blacks were Americans. Blacks and whites had extensive contact with one another. Blacks were fully integrated into the American economy, even if often in subordinate roles.

      That is not at all the case for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Druze it is the case. For many of the Israeli Arabs and Israelis towards the Israeli Arabs it is the case. But once you say look the Gazans, I can probably count on one hand the number of Israelis who consider them Israelis in any sense and those are mostly the older Israelis who remember the Gazans before the 1st intifada. The young more often simply hate them.

      The 1st intifada destroyed the common citizenship in Gaza and the 2nd intifada in the West Bank. That's not to say it is not fixable but it will take time and care. The south was a society addicted to black labor, Israel in 1937 and then again in the intifada made the choice they would walk away from Palestinians labor.

      On top of that, what you propose for Israel is worse than what the North proposed for the South at the end of the civil war. And after a decade of recuperating from their losses the the Southern regained their pride and nailed the "moderates" (scalawags) you are talking about to trees alive. They drove the carpetbaggers out and established Jim Crow.

      I get that you don't think that Israelis are a real people or Israel or a real country. But it is, and that country is inhabited by people that would rather die then live under Palestinian rule. What's going to be required is generation after generation of subjugation to get the Jews to cooperate with your schemes. And those Jews have a top 10 army including lots of nukes. So they aren't going to be subjugated. They may die in some war to conquer Israel but they won't be subjugated.

      I'd love to hear a fully mapped out plan for BDS leads to enough pressure on Israel for them to cooperate in their own nation destruction rather than just doing something else to undermine the pressure. I'd love to hear how given the total failure of western nation building in Iraq you expect to pull it off against a vastly more powerful national group.

      The British couldn't manage the Israeli Jews of the 1930s at reasonable cost. Would the Israelis of the 1930s last 5 minutes today's IDF?

  • Warriors for 'the ultimate truth' gather in New York
    • @Eljay

      <blockquoteL JeffBeee: You are just repeating platitudes. If there is a nation who has it as their culture then it is a national culture. ||

      What you’re saying is that every Jewish person – even if atheist – has the religion of Judaism in his life and, therefore, every Jewish person – even if atheist – requires the existence of a religion-supremacist state in order to avoid living an “almost undead existence” in whatever country in the world happens to be his homeland.

      No that's not what I'm saying.

      I'm saying that the Israelis have a national culture. The state of Israel represents to fully represent that nation will be embedded in and reflective of that national culture. That national culture may also have a religion, the Israeli religion which is commonly called Judaism.

      For Zionism Judaism is not just a religion. Judaism is a national culture that has a religion. The same way there is a Navajo culture and a Navajo religion that is part of that culture. As an example of the distinction there is nothing particularly religiously Jewish about Israeli folk dancing, but it non the less part of Israeli Jewish culture.

      You just keep trying to minimize Judaism to make it nothing more than a religion.

    • @eljay

      You are just repeating platitudes. If there is a nation who has it as their culture then it is a national culture. I get that you don't like this because it violates your sense of how the universe should work. I may not like the gravitational constant but my opinion of it isn't going to change anything.

    • @ eljay

      There’s something seriously wrong with a religion that requires the existence of a religion-supremacist state in order for its adherents to avoid living an “almost undead existence” in their various homelands around the world.

      Yes there is something seriously wrong with a religion like that. There is nothing wrong with a national culture like that. Ergo...

    • @Marnie

      What kind of Jew can one only be in Israel? What are the magical properties in the borderless “state” that enables this Jew-ness that just isn’t possible anywhere else?

      Judaism as the state religion. As (I presume) a Christian you often don't realize how Christian your society is. As a Jew when you go to Israel where Judaism is reinforced as part of the culture rather than something you need to fight against it is simply amazing. Every sink in a restaurant has a cup for doing the netilat yadayim blessing. The bus schedule on Saturday is organized around when the 3rd star appears in the sky. For a women where ever you are on shabbat there will be candles to light. Well over 1/2 the restaurants are kosher. I have to carry a kippah at all times, in America twice a year needing one would be pushing it. etc... There are some real upsides to having your religion be the state religion. Especially a religion like Judaism which is a PIA to practice.

      Even the Muslims or Druze know quite a bit of Jewish law the same way that I as a Jew know a lot about Christianity. Conversely Christianity and Islam unless you go searching for it, don't exist. To the age old, "don't they know its Christmas time" the answer is "no they don't. they have heard of Christmas time but it passes unremarked on". I've been in Buddhist countries for Christmas and they know what it is. It is truly delightful to see Christmas decorations as an oddity in Christian places.

      Then you combine that with the fact that the undermining messages associated with Judaism don't exist there. You don't see Jerry Seinfeld as the model Jew but rather children grow up with IDF heroes. Jewish children are raised with values like loyalty and love not sarcasm and cynicism.

      If you could just for a moment drop the anti-colonial nonsense see how much going back to Judean soil heals Jews from angst that characterizes their almost undead existence in the diaspora, never really fitting in, you wouldn't be calling it someone else's home. Israel is their home.

  • US and Israel divorce rumors over Iran
    • You were being unclear.

      You want references to Iran killing USA soldiers in Iraq:

      Despite its pledge to support Iraq’s stabilization, Iran trained, funded, and provided guidance to Iraqi Shia militant groups. The IRGC-QF, in concert with Hizballah, provided training outside of Iraq as well as advisors inside Iraq for Shia militants in the construction and use of sophisticated improvised explosive device technology and other advanced weaponry. Similar to Hizballah fighters, many of these trained Shia militants then use these skills to fight for the Asad regime in Syria, often at the behest of Iran. (link to

      as well as:

      link to
      link to
      link to


    • @Annie

      You mixed me post with someone else's. I don't know who that 2nd paragraph in your post is a response to. The first is me however so...

      JeffB: When the Iraq war started it had the approval of 73% of the population.
      Annie: if your first sentence was correct (it isn’t) the cheney admin would not have had to cook up fake evidence to force feed the american public.

      I think you meant 3rd sentence. which you quoted. In case you didn't and meant the 73% link to

      As far as the 3rd sentence what I said was that "many of the neocon views are popular because they represent long standing American opinion on issues of foreign policy". If you look at support for regime change in Iraq it is pretty high predating any specific claims of weapons of mass destruction. WMD definitely payed a role with 15-20% of the population's attitude but more broadly there was pre-existing hostility to Iraq, hostility towards Iraq's policy of supporting terrorism and general support for the Neocon 10 point plan. India during the Clinton administration went nuclear and there was no discussion of invading.

      Wikipedia has a good article on the support for the invasion of Iraq and the role that WMD played.

      link to

    • @David

      When the Iraq war started it had the approval of 73% of the population. That's far more than just fringe. Deal with reality that many of the neocon views are popular because they represent long standing American opinion on issues of foreign policy.

      Iran funded terrorism against USA soldiers in Iraq. That's pretty close to a direct attack on the United States. Iran being opposed to the USA establishing a USA ally in Iraq had nothing to do with the Palestinians. They opposed us for their own reasons and as a consequence heightened the already existing hostility towards their regime. Neither the Palestinians nor the Israelis are the ones in Tehran screaming "death to America". That is the Iranians.

    • @just

      I remember when the twice elected president of the United States was having his foreign policy in Nicaragua undermined by the Speaker and liberals didn't seem to mind too much. I certainly remember about 7-8 years ago when the twice elected president was being constrained by the speaker and many of the same people who are so offended today didn't mind much.

      The president implements the policies of the congress. That's his job. I think Obama's policies do reflect the American people, but ultimately Boehner, McConnell and their respective bodies not Obama are the final authority on that.

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
    • @RoHa

      Jews are not a nation. Zionists are not a nation... The Zionists did not have a territory, but chose to take the territory of another country and drive out the people who lived there.

      I put these two together because they conflict so obviously. If the Zionists were capable of the kind of collective action needed to
      a) conquer a territory
      b) displace its population
      c) replace that population with another population consisting of themselves

      which is your theory of events, then they are a nation.
      Do they share a culture: yes
      Do they live in a unified territory: yes
      Do they share a common history: yes
      Do they have a common descent: probably not in the 1940s but today they've interbred with each other enough that yes.

      France is a nation, and the French are citizens of that nation.
      China is a nation, and the Chinese are citizens of that nation.

      You may be confusing nation with state again. I'm not sure that legal French citizens are part of the French nation that's part of problem with the Muslim immigration that France has allowed herself to have a lot of residents that aren't part of the nation.

      France and China defend their territory and act (or should act) in support of all their citizens (French and Chinese Jews as well), regardless of the ethnicity or religion of those citizens.

      Well the Chinese, along with most other people, including the Palestinians, define themselves ethnically. So they don't buy into your theory of what they should do. The French define themselves ethnically but also as a set of cultural ideals and they most certainly do not equally defend all cultures.

      The Zionists did not have a territory, but chose to take the territory of another country and drive out the people who lived there.

      Now just to point out. You've been around long enough to know there was no country called Palestine and hadn't been one for something like 1300 years. There was a territory called Palestine.

      If you wish to refer to Algeria and Tibet as examples of France and China behaving like Zionists, go ahead. That might make the French and Chinese governments of the time enemies of mankind. It won’t stop the Zionists from being enemies of mankind.

      China is still holding Tibet. More importantly if you accept the analogy neither France in Algeria till the 60s nor China in Tibet is an enemy of mankind. The French were enemies of the Algerians it had close to 0 impact on Americans or Chinese. Tibet has been going on all through my life. I hear about the Dali Lama once a year other than that... I'm hard pressed to think of many societies that meet the criteria of enemy of mankind. Possibly the Nazis fall to that sort of extreme title but France of the 60s and China aren't close.

      As for Judea, it has long ceased to exist. Israel is a new invention, not a continuation of that ancient country.

      It claims to be the resurrection not the continuation. Judaea reborn. One can of course impose strict standards of what a continuation is. Then for example most countries fail. Is Spain a continuation of Hispania? If your answer is no then I'm not even going to attempt to make the case of Israel.

      61:2 to announce the year when the Lord will show his favor,
      the day when our God will seek vengeance,
      to console all who mourn,

      61:3 to strengthen those who mourn in Zion,
      by giving them a turban, instead of ashes,
      oil symbolizing joy, instead of mourning,
      a garment symbolizing praise, instead of discouragement.
      They will be called oaks of righteousness,
      trees planted by the Lord to reveal his splendor.

      61:4 They will rebuild the perpetual ruins
      and restore the places that were desolate;
      they will reestablish the ruined cities,
      the places that have been desolate since ancient times.

      From the late 1st century on believing in Zionism meant believing in that promise. In the 19th century a group of people decided to bring about that promise and called themselves Zionists. In the 21st century the people in Israel live the fulfillment of that promise. I'm not religious but I think if you disagree with God / the bible the burden of proof is on you. There are a group of people who have carried the name of Judaea with them for 2000 years and defend her customs, remembered her history and when they had a chance restored themselves to her lands.

      Ultimately whether it is a "continuation" a rebirth or a new country doesn't really matter. But if you believe that losing the land and being displaced removes all claim, then lets stop talking about the Palestinians. Because whatever Palestine was, is now certainly dead. The country that exists there now is Israel.

    • @RoHa

      Of course, since Christianity is waning dramatically in Europe, the first reason will soon cease to apply

      I think it will be centuries till Christian memes disappear from European societies. In theory that might fix the problem eventually and that would be nice. But Jews need to live through those 1/2 dozen plus generations.

      It seems to me that your second reason is suggesting that that Jews bring a lot of anti-Semitism onto themselves by refusing to be part of the society they live in.

      Well yeah. "anti-Semitism" in the racial sense, believing that Judaism is a genetic disease for which even baptism cannot cure, is relatively recent. While Jews could in previous centuries be killed for denying Christ, those that accepted Christ joined the societies to which they were a part within a few generations. The problems came in Eastern Europe primarily where they couldn't / didn't do this because the Jewish community was large enough to form a long term viable sub-culture.

      One of the reasons that anti-Semitism is less pronounced in the USA is that USA Jews created a form of Judaism which was structurally Protestant. So they became effectively just another denomination, Jews became to white Christian Americans white people in the 1950s.

      So Judaism is the same as Zionism? A lot of Jews on this site disagree with that. But, since Zionists are the enemies of mankind, you (and not I) have just declared that Jews – followers of Judaism – are the enemies of mankind.

      I read your enemy of mankind post. It is silly. Every inch of France exists to serve the interests of the French. Every inch of China exists to serve the interests of the Chinese. They are unapologetic about this. That makes either France or China the enemies only of those who attempt to steal France or China from them. Similarly every inch of Israel exists for Israelis.

      Your problem is that you simply refuse to treat Jews equally to other nations.

      JeffB: “Judaism is not a religion of belief but one of practice.”

      So the God stuff is just an optional extra?

      Judaism is not say Buddhism which takes no position on the deity. Belief is a far less important facet than the practice. Whether it is fully optional or not, is a stretch. Being religious or not is question of practice: shomer Shabbos, non-kosher vs. kosher for Passover vs. kosher vs. specific orthodox systems / hekhshers.

      All those centuries of keeping up the practices of a defunct country for no discernible reason, and being persecuted because of it, when the easy (and morally preferable) alternative was just to become part of the surrounding culture. (Or is it that which I am not allowed to say?

      It might very well have been morally preferable for Jews to have just disappeared in the 2nd century. But they didn't and they formed a system designed to last. And how they got their country back.

      Incidentally, Judea is still defunct.

      You certainly whine about the new Judaea not being defunct enough to disprove that.

      Judaea today has its people back. They speak its language. They worship the God of Judaea. They pull in the worshippers of that God back to their land where they have lots of Judean babies. Judaea has risen from the grave and in her resurrection a wonder to behold.

    • @Annie

      oh i see jeff is ignoring the request to back up his allegation while trying to post it on another thread. hmm.

      What allegation? The population data? Heck the Wikipedia article has that: link to

      As far as the dates of various restrictions being lifted: link to

    • @Walid

      Are you keeping score of the times Netanyahu got slapped, just?

      1. Paris Chief Rabbi, on the day of the big Charlie Hebdo parade
      2.Prime Minister Valls and President Hollande (twice)

      Seems to me there has been a pretty big crackdown against anti-israeli and anti-Jewish activity in France. A hard shift to the right on the Israel issue. And emigration from France is up. This isn't a popularity contest it is about policy. Who cares if Hollande likes Natanyahu? What matters is if he enacts policies that benefit Israel.

      Please let me get slapped daily where people say mean things and then do what I want.

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