Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2093 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

Showing comments 2093 - 2001

  • Map map on the wall, who's most existing of them all?
    • @lyn117

      MHughes didn’t push for an argument where people’s rights are dependent on their ancestry.

      Actually he did. He's been pushing this argument about ancestry. I thinking he's backing away from it a bit because the argument regarding ancestry in practice but I'm not sure.

      Zionism is all about giving privileges to Jews and only Jews in Palestine.

      Nonsense. Palestinians still exist in Israeli controlled territory. Israel is obvious strong enough to end that existence. They haven't. Ergo there are some privileges Zionism wishes to extend to non-Jews in Palestine.

    • @lyn117

      Israel didn't acquire territory the Yishuv did. You vague language is screwing you up.

      Government is British. British government controls a territory, mandatory Palestine.
      There are 2 factions

      Yishuv: Jews living in the territory they have some allies abroad

      Arab faction: Palestinians living in the territory plus foreign terrorist organizations plus direct military intervention.

      There is no Israel yet. A civil war can result in one group becoming dominant, the territory splitting or any number of other possible outcomes.

      Outcome: 73% of the territory ends up in the hands of the Yishuv that territory becomes Israel. The remaining 27% is divided between Jordan and Egypt. Israel, Jordan and Egypt all don't recognize each other's claim and all of what had been mandatory Palestine is disputed territory.

      Later diplomatically Egypt and Jordan both make peace and recognize Israel's claim to the 73%.

    • @Ossinev

      Reread what you wrote. It doesn't even make sense. They are having implementing but have managed so far. So then how are they having problems?

    • @RoHa

      Understood. There is a more formal definition being used. Its not uncommon formal definitions are less liberal than informal ones. That happens in most areas of speech. Moped, electric bike and electric motorcycle are used interchangeably informally formally there is 0 overlap.

    • @inbound39

      I don't know that the UN didn't and for that matter doesn't have a mandate to carve up countries to avoid civil war. That's precisely what they have done many times. The fact that their partition failed and there was a nasty ethnic civil war proves their intent. More importantly though Israel wasn't born out of UN partition it was born from the ethnic civil war.

      Israel was imposed in essence on the Palestinians by roaming hordes of European Jewish Terrorists like Irgun and Sterngang-Lehi and Palmach et al no different to ISIS tactics in many ways.

      That total nonsense. Israel was imposed on Palestinians by the 600k Jews who lived within the proto-state of the Yishuv and wanted full self determination most importantly control of the immigration policy whose barriers had just induced millions of deaths.

    • @RoHa

      Would Canada, Brazil, India, Iran, China, and Russia count as countries?

      Under the above definition.

      Canada. English dominated since 1760s, yes.

      Brazil. Seems to have one dominant culture. Not sure because I don't know enough about Brazil.

      India. Probably there is no Indian nation. This is a classic confederation that is trying to build a cohesive national identity. They aren't there yet. A century from now they likely will be.

      Iran. Not even sure why this is borderline. Would put in clear cut yes unless I'm missing something.

      China. Hard to tell because the dictatorship is so strong. We'll have to see.

      Russia. Yes, dominant nation.

    • @MHuges976

      We don't disagree there. Once one backs away from the idea that there are illegitimate people whom one is morally obligated to oppress / destroy and instead works for the equality for all residents in a territory you are agreeing not disagreeing with Zionism. Zionism is having practical problems implementing this equality, and those practical complications need to be overcome but that's an entirely different line of argument than the one you have been pushing for where people's rights are dependent on their ancestry.

    • @talknic

      The provisional government of Israel. And it has been illegal for states to acquire territory by war, not parties in a civil war.

    • @echinococcus

      Not to mention that history outside his myth book does not even bother to document his mythical kingdoms.

      Excluding all the archeological evidence both in Israel and outside (for example the Arch of Titus in Rome) that still exists: and of course the many books of the Christian Apocrypha that that are quite detailed:
      Eusebius of Caesarea in Præparatio Evangelica ix. 18, 23, 27
      Clement of Alexandria i. 23, 154
      Strabo, The Geography, Book XVI.ii.34-38, 40, 46, c. 22 CE
      Tacitus: The Histories, Book V
      Josephus of course
      Pliny the Elder writes about the conquest of Judaea throughout

      etc... I don't know where you got this idea that Judaea's existence is questioned by anyone.

    • @talknic

      I really don't want to be covering the same ground over and over. But Israel did not proclaim its borders in 1948. There was no Israel to proclaim borders. The Yishuv agreed to proposed borders. Those borders were rejected by the other party and the civil war continued in mandate Palestine. In 1949 there was an armistice. Israel has never relinquished claim to any territory from Mandate Palestine except Gaza.

    • @Zaid

      Don't know what you mean by "the Islamic Caliphate" but there were lots. For most of the time Palestine seems grouped with Egypt:

      Tulunids (868–905 CE)
      Ikhshidids (935–969)
      Fatimid Caliphate (909–1171)
      Ayyubid dynasty (1171–1250)
      Mamluks (1250–1517)

      If you meant the earliest then Palestine wasn't a province. There were 2 Aylya and Ramlah covering the territory.

    • @Boo

      You are having a big war in Syria and Yemen, and one just recently in Iraq right now showing that those nations certainly are real. If the Alawites don't exist how are they fielding an army?

    • @Ossinev

      would make all those Brooklynites illegal illegal settlers

      There aren't that many Brooklynites settlers. That's one of your regular tropes that simply lacks factual evidence.

      Anyway people born in Brooklyn have USA citizenship. They may be invited by the government of another country whether it be France, China or Nigeria to emigrate there and become citizens. That's what happened in Israel. Few take the offer but those who did are there by invitation of the governing power of that territory. So no they are under no obligation to return.

    • @MHughes976

      How so? Keep going with that hypothetical where you drop "rightfully present".

    • @MHughes976

      There are for most places not clean natural borders. How does one define where one place (territory) ends and another starts?

      Is Alderney part of England?
      Is Sark part of England?
      Is Lihou park of England?

      How does one answer those questions. That's why we talk in terms of nations.

      This gets worse for most places in the world that aren't Islands. For example the Island of Hispaniola is divided into Haiti and the Dominican Republic because two nations (one French speaking, one Spanish speaking) live there.

    • @echinococcus

      There was a period of time that Judaea was independent and it didn't perhaps exist. The evidence for Judaea: historically, archeologically, linguistically is overwhelming.

    • @Yoni

      Jew is just a translation of Judaean as you well know. Jews make claim to be Judaeans. I don't buy into your conversion theory it falls apart too quickly. If these converts had no contact with descendants of original Judaeans how did they come to be able to do things like speak Hebrew and Aramaic? If had contact why do you suspect the missionaries didn't have natural children?

      Similarly for Palestinians. If Palestine is descended from Judaea then why do they speak an Eastern Arabian peninsula language and worship and Eastern Arabian peninsula god?

      Unless you want to talk pure racism in terms of percentages of DNA I don't know how your theory makes any sense at all.

    • @talknic

      Whether or not Palestine existed or was a state doesn’t give Israel any legal, moral, ethical or historical right to claim ANY territories outside of its borders

      I'm not sure how your concept of "right" here is relevant. Tom's article is about what happened. Not what should have happened. I'd also say you are disagreeing with the author. He's saying precisely the opposite. That nations do have a right to form states and the borders of that state are defined by the borders of the nation not the borders imposed by external entities.

      So read the article and take it up with him.

    • @RoHa

      Sort of neither and sort of both. If the p-nation is also an n-nation then since they created a government they become a country. If the p-nation isn't an n-nation you might very well have an empire or a confederation not a country.

      Your assumptions and Tom's assumptions are a bit different which is making the question complicated.

    • @Tom

      You are unusual for the BDS crowd in supporting the rights of Israeli settler children. That's a moral position and I applaud you for it. The post was written under the assumption that wasn't your position. Taking that position eliminates the contradiction.

      As for your question about the relevance and the Zionist project the change from Israel (a place with little evidence) to Judaea a place with enormous evidence makes a huge difference in the argument. We know a lot about Judaea from independent sources and evidence and Judaea meets the country criteria (up until at the very least 63 BCE and likely for about 130 years after that) while Palestine (the Arab country not the Roman / Byzantine country) never did.

      We may not be disagreeing here.

    • @Tom

      I think this is worth responding to.

      The claim that Palestine was never a sovereign territory (we are supposed to think: never a ‘country’)

      The definition of a country is a nation residing in a territory governing that territory. So yes, if there is no government there is no country. Moreover there is little evidence for a distinct: language, culture, history or national culture prior to Zionism. Inhabitation does not make a country. New Jersey is inhabited but it isn't a country.

      The claim that historical Israel was a sovereign political entity (we are supposed to think: the land in the Bible was a ‘country’).

      Actually the claim Zionists make is Judaea was a sovereign political entity. The Greeks certainly agreed when they conquered it. The Greeks certainly agreed when they were pushed out. And then Romans certainly agreed it was one when they conquered it and tried to rule it as part of their empire.

      people’s right to live their own lives in their own homes on their own land is contingent on a ‘sovereign state’ having once ruled over them

      That's precisely the right you all seek to deny them. Every day there is an argument about the "settlers" right to live their own lives in their own homes on their own land. If you believe that people have a right to live where they are born, welcome to Zionism of the 2017 regardless of whether you would have agreed with the Zionism of 1917 or not.

  • The agony of J Street
    • Just to add for the 100th time. I was there at the UN anti-BDS conference. There was no deep repudiation of J-Street. Leftwing Jews who had far more practical experience in dealing with BDS were listened to and generally respected, at least as much as any Democrat would be respected in that crowd. A pro-Zionist hard right Mormon made a rude remark from the stage towards them. That's it. There was no crisis moment. This is all in your heads. It didn't happen in the real world.

      As for the analysis.... it is also off base.

      JStreetU kids are center leftists. They want to be staffers in congress or running for state house or public interest lawyers. They are mainstream They agree with groups like Center for American Progress. They are just mainstream Democrats and thus find AIPAC to far to the right. They aren't going to join hard left causes, not because they are conflicted on Zionism but because they disagree with the entire hard left program: from socialist economics, to radical social change to environmental extremism... They (in general) don't support any of it. If they were 15 years older they would have been Clinton supporters in the primary. They aren't 1/2 way to being JVP they are comfortable liberal Zionists. The don't support anti-Zionism because they love Israel and they don't want to see it destroyed. They are capable of nationalist pride even while being unhappy with some aspects of policy.

      And finally. INN and JVP are coming from a totally different place. If you want to see the difference ask a JVPer to get specific about Judaism. Like which candle blessing change in Israel vs. America and what those changes to the prayers are. The JVPer won't know, the JStreetU kid also won't know the INNer will. INNers look like a cross between Mercaz and Hatikvah supporters much more than young JVPers.

      You all aren't helping any of those groups by lumping them together.

  • How grassroots activists defeated anti-BDS legislation in Maryland
    • @JWalters

      It is not the purpose that would be the problem it is the means. You aren't allowed to discriminate even for a supposedly good purpose unless it is business essential. For example a company that refused to hire women because they want mothers to spend more time with their children would still be engaging in discrimination.


      Typical Zionist, can’t see the difference between national origin and being part of, or subject of, a given state. So much for your chewing law. -

      The law doesn't care. Either one is national origin discrimination.

    • @Talkback

      The Jewish boycott of Nazi Germany likely would have violated today's civil rights statutes. I ain't the one who made those laws.

    • @echinococcus

      The state is allowed to permit discrimination, permit violations of what would normally be covered by civil rights, if they have a compelling interest. In the case of Iran or Russia the state has a compelling interest.

      BDS is claiming they aren't a compelling interest, after all BDS is not law, but a matter of freedom of political discourse. Compelling interest is an entirely different standard. Not the same thing remotely. The correct analogy with Israel is if there were sanctions passed as a matter of law against Israel then a business complying with those sanctions would not be a violation of civil rights law.

    • @JWalters

      No it just requires classifying Israelis as a national origin. BDS proclaims itself as ntending to discriminate on the basis of national origin. You provide a reason "they are land thieves" but the courts traditionally haven't tried to evaluate the reasons behind discrimination. There is no reason to believe the courts would find some special argument that claiming discrimination is legal on the basis the group engages in land theft, would be the court's ruling. Even if the courts were to segregate land theft, as allowing for ethnic discrimination, just about any group could be classified as a land thief so that still opens the door to just about any form of racial or ethnic discrimination. This loophole your propose could extend to sex discrimination, many men claim that women stole their homes in divorces and thus women collectively could be discriminated against under your "land thief" exemption. It still punches the same holes in pretty much all civil rights laws.

      As for your comment at the end. The facts 2 years later proved my points in that thread. It shows nothing more than I accurately predicted what MP Shaked herself said, that you were mischaracterizing her views and statements.

    • @festus

      They haven't actually lost in court. Groups like Palestine Legal have claimed they would lose in court, but it hasn't been tested. Moreover actually defeating these cases in court will put progressives in a terrible quandary because defeating these bills likely opens up the door for all sorts of other civil rights laws to be taken down.

      To pick a simple example, it's going to be very difficult to argue that Cuomo can't prohibit NY State from contracting with BDS companies; while at the same time Obama can issue an executive order banning the Federal Government from contracting with companies that practice anti-LGBT discrimination. Both orders ride on essentially the same argument.

      And not distinguishing is assuming the states don't argue they have a compelling interest in insuring protection against discrimination on the basis of national origin. Once it becomes legal for private businesses to discriminate on the basis of national origin, and the state to contract with them regardless, a ton of civil rights laws could fall. You could easily have the equivalent of White Citizens Councils arguing they are just discriminating against people descended from these 43 African nations, which is now (after the BDS bills are overturned) perfectly legal. Or to pick a more modern example, think about the possibilities with the states that outsource the production of IDs for voting, and voting suppression campaigns if it is perfectly legal to hire companies that discriminate on the basis of national origin.

      Alternatively this complex argument could be avoided if the states argue (and the facts would back them up) that these laws have little or no practical effect and thus are symbolic acts of the legislature to express political opinion, which is protected speech.

  • When it comes to Syria, our press is full of moralizing and propaganda, and short on analysis
    • @iResistDe4iAm

      The leaders aren't doing a whole lot of PR which is why we don't know them. The rebels also aren't unified. There is a 1/2 dozen groups and many of those divide further into subgroups.

      But for 2 I can do without googling:
      FSA: Colonial al-Assad (easy to remember because same last name as Bashar)
      ISIS: al-Baghdadi

      I could actually do three though I'll admit I had to check if al-Julani was still alive and he is so:
      al-Nusra Front (changed name to Tahrir al-Sham): al-Julani

      As for Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar... well yeah. Bashar al-Assad sided with Iran they want a pro-Iranian government deposed. Why wouldn't they jump in when the chance presented itself.

      As an aside Ho Chi Minh got support from 200k Chinese ground troops in 1945-6 and then lots of ongoing aide. So by your standards....

  • 'Why do I not cry out for the right of return?' -- an exchange between Uri Avnery and Salman Abu Sitta
    • @Misterioso

      Roosevelt was dead by the time there were displaced persons camps. So I doubt this story very much. Zombie Roosevelt would have left behind more traces.

    • @David Samel

      I'm losing your argument entirely. So let's drop back a step. What does it even mean for you to say "policy X is morally right"? You seem to be throwing any sort of evaluation of practicality to the wind so given three policies: A, B and C how would I score them to determine if A, B or C are "morally right" or not? And if it complex ordering can I determine if A is more or less morally right than B or C?

    • @MHughes76

      I think you know me well enough to know that Avnery is way to my left. But he has had substantial success. Jon S' comment, even though it is being mocked here, is quite correct. From '75-82 he had a huge impact on normalizing the idea of a Palestinian state in Israeli discourse. He normalized Arafat as a negotiating partner. He probably deserves something like 5-10% of the credit for the negotiations of the 90s and 00s. He has consistently tried to present the Palestinian moderate position in a way acceptable to Israelis. As the 2SS is getting less popular he's been a major player in trying to keep dialogue alive on both sides.

      His frustration with this settler-colonial RoR narrative is simply that he knows this kills any chance for agreement. It pushes the debate back to where it was in the 1950s, the Arabs want terms that are completely unacceptable to the Israelis and thus the Israelis have no choice but to war. I think he's making it clear to this Palestinian interlocker that there is no chance of getting agreement on what Sitta considers a fair offer. The options that exists are some sort of 2SS, probably slightly to moderately to the right of what Avnery supports or one of the even more rightwing solutions being discussed. Even someone who has a lifetime of evidence of being in the leftmost 2% of Israeli politics wouldn't go as far as Sitta wants.

      Ultimately I don't think a 2SS solution is likely. The two sides disagree too much on the details. But I think Avnery sent the message that needs to be sent. If the asking price for peace is RoR, Israelis choose war. His 500k comment is key. That number is far higher than most 2SS supporters would agree to and it is far short of 7m.

    • @David Samel

      certainly is no reason to oppose what is morally right.

      Of course mass slaughter is a reason to oppose what is morally right. The purpose of morality is generally to achieve some sort of earthly good. Once the level of violence gets high enough whatever earthly good the morality would have get created is completely outweighed by the costs of conflict. The victory of the democratic forces, and the protection of neutrals in World War I was morally right. But people at the time and since question whether the 17 million who died (and if you count plagues many more), and 20 million wounded was worth achieving those moral goods.

      but there is every reason to hope that [Israeli Jews], like white South Africans a quarter-centure ago, can be persuaded to relinquish their ethno-religious advantages.

      Given the level of violence Israel employs against moderate resistance today, the fact that the Israeli economy makes little use of Palestinian labor (unlike the South African economy's dependence) and the history of responding to ethnic civil war with aggressive counter attack why is there any reason to hope much less "every reason to hope"?

  • I am not a jew
    • @Pablemont

      And when the Zionists discerned (1930s) that there would be some objection to their hoped-for take-over of Palestine, did the Palestinians really force the Zionists to say, as they said — in actions louder than words — we want the whole country for our own, and get the Arabs outta here!

      That's not what happened. Starting in 1927, because of the citrus boom, a solid majority had developed among Zionists of moving towards a classical colonial structure. There was a strong economic need for Palestinian labor and a more inclusive Zionism was mainstream. In the early 1930s transfer was not a serious option for the Zionist project. The violence in 1936 was directed against Jewish immigration and British control, not Zionist control. Arguably the mass violence of the 1930s was against a less violent, more inclusive Zionism.

  • Academic boycott campaign is growing fast at Trinity College Dublin
    • @Mooser

      Threat of what? Threat of mean phone calls? There was no threat. As for doing nothing to eliminate the threat they eliminated the culprits.

      As for Jewish hostage situation below you aren't making any sense at all. The combination of silliness, sarcasm and no underlying event at all is making it impossible for me to figure out what you are even trying to say.

    • @oldgeezer

      I suspect the GOI wasn't looking. The same way USA law enforcement doesn't get involved in crimes in China suspected to involve Chinese gangs unless China asks. I don't know of any evidence of the FBI having shown them some new techniques. This was as far as anyone knew an American crime and it was handled by American law enforcement until they determined one culprit was Israeli and then Israeli law enforcement cooperated quickly and fully to catch him.

    • @Mooser

      Good Lord, “JeffB” you must be aware of the hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish Centers and Synagogues? What does Israel intend to do about those? Just let us get blown up?

      What does that have to do with gentile nations having Jews as hostages? A few crazies called in bomb threats and got caught. The problem was quickly solved. I don't see the connection.

    • @Mooser

      Do you think I would joke about a thing like this?

      Yes. But I'd be happy to see you serious engage rather than snipe.

      Israel better think about that, and think goddam long and hard, and take the fate of non-Israeli Jews into account.

      The Israelis want "the rest of us" to move to Israel. Ending the diaspora is essentially the national mission. That being said I think they've done a terrific job of normalizing the situation of Jews. 100 years ago Jews have the same status the Roma do today, neither fully nationals of the states in which they lived nor having any place they could really count on. Today Jews in the English speaking world are fully normalized (and likely to remain so as long as Dispensationalism remains). And that's because Jew increasing just means to Christians, "ethnic Israeli" rather than "earthly servant of Satan".

      Right now when anti-Zionism becomes popular in a country the Jewish population quickly leaves that country. There are no pogroms, no mass killings. Antisemitism barely has time to get off the ground before there are few to no Jews left for anti-zionist / antisemetic governments to oppress. Jews aren't hostages remotely, as a result of Israel they are welcome guests. And they are welcome in part because everyone knows when they become unwelcome they can easily leave.

      Do you think the IDF protects the rest of us?

      Indirectly yes (see above). Directly no.

    • @Mooser

      Oh, that’s easy. You must realize that the world has all the rest of us Jews as hostages. Israel won’t see us hurt, it’ll back down. It is very vulnerable that way.

      Sarcasm is going over my head. I can't figure out what view you are making fun of.

    • @Yoni

      The recession and capital flight from South Africa started in 1984. The manufacturing crisis started int he 1960s. The USA didn't impose substantial changes in the tax code until 1986 and didn't enforce until 1989.

    • @Ossinev

      Nope that response was perfectly polite, and thank you for that.

      It was however unfortunately factually wrong. Sanctions against South Africa had little effect for decades. South Africa lost multiple wars, and then the BDS campaign against it probably helped a bit. See the civil war in Rhodesia / Zimbabwe, the war against PLAN, FAPLA, Angolan civil war as well as Mozambique. Moreover internally South Africa was never willing to divest itself of indigenous labor and so the guerrilla forces were much more effective in their 3 decades long war.

      I know college kids dreamed of how powerful they had been. But in reality what brought down South Africa was millions of African blacks willing to lose their lives over a period of decades. Sanctions were embarrassing and reduced support for an already very weak government. The analogy with Israel that BDSers use doesn't hold up.

    • @Mooser

      You all are rude to all the Zionists and often to each other. So no, I don't think so. As for omniscience I ain't the one running preaching a small social movement centered on humanities departments at more elite western universities plus a few churches is going to get a militarily powerful state to surrender its interests in a way well beyond what losing a war would.

    • @talknic

      Why didn’t you answer the question? A poll is not people marching

      I didn't answer the question because your implication was false. You were using marching as a proxy for popularity. That's very inaccurate. There was little/no marching and the war was quite popular.

      A declaration of independence doesn’t require, in fact cannot require a co-signature.

      Of course it can. Most new UN members are formed by broad agreements. In Israel's case the Soviet block was an important core signature.

      JeffB: “The UN is something Americans know more about ..”

      Talknic: That’s a joke right? They know what the US MSM feeds them, which is in large part propaganda

      What false beliefs about the UN do you believe the US MSM is feeding the population?

      Got any other ‘knowledgeable’ bullsh*t you’d like to disgorge?

      Yes, your tone is unnecessarily offensive.

    • @talknic

      Public support doesn’t mean anything. How many people marched FOR the war in Iraq.

      It polled about the mid 70s at the time of the invasion. Support fell about 2% per month from there. Which is why the invasion happened and why 2005 and the start of America's draw down happened.

      So is your 85% through ignorance

      I doubt there is very much knowledge about I/P among the broader public. There should be even less. The very strong correlation with political orientation and race means that people are mainly choosing an opinion based on people they trust on issues they do know about. Which makes sense. For a Republican if leftists activists believe something and mainstream Democrats on rights reject it, it ain't hard to believe what their opinion would likely be if they were knowledgeable.

      For people to be knowledgable they often have to have an interest. Jews get polled extensively on this issue but of course Jews are going to be biased. Christians associated with the middle east on the other hand have little intrinsic bias. And mostly the further to the right the denomination is on most social issues the more they support Israel and don't support the Palestinians with a pretty low cutoff. Which means I/P acts like just another issue on whether you oppose or support broadly the goals of USA foreign policy especially relative to European leftists parties. Hard leftists don't support the USA and thus oppose Israel, everyone else mostly does (though there is disagreement among means) and thus supports Israel.

      For example you base your theory of how Israel is in the wrong on the importance of the UN. The UN is something Americans know more about and here too the issue is increasingly partisan, with overall falling support:

      The knowledgeable know that contrary to ridiculous ZioTheory, Israel proclaimed its borders

      I consider myself knowledge. And I know the Yishuv proclaimed agreement to potential borders for Israel that weren't agreed to by other parties. Not quite the same thing. A position taken in a failed negotiation is not generally considered binding eternally. That's part of your rather unique theory of the law.

    • @talknic

      You are getting the colors mixed up on the graph. The 23% is the group that supports neither, both or has no opinion. The Palestinian support on that graph was 15%, having been 16% and 18% in the previous 2 years.

      As for the polls being irrelevant, they most certainly are relevant to the question of public support. The fact that you are in the 15% because of your legal theories which lack support even in the body you claim has the authority to make law, contrary to obvious observable evidence, doesn't change public support. As for the earth being flat... the earth was thought to be flat by the ignorant. The knowledgeable for millennia had known the earth was round because there was too much evidence contradicting the earlier simple flat earth theories. That's an analogy you might want to consider more. It works against your case not for it.

    • @Festus

      and still the support for Israel continues to decline in America

      No actually it is slightly increasing with support for the Palestinians stable:

      Gallop comparative:

      Gallop favorable rating:


      Over the last 15 years support among liberal democrats is down 15 points and support among conservative and moderate democrats is up 16 points, pretty much a wash for Democrats. Among Conservatives support is way up and among Independents support is moderately up. And that nets out to a huge gain.

      Americans know the truth. They just don't agree with your worldview, and thus understand the Israeli position.

  • Passover has become little more than an act of communal hypocrisy
    • @Marnie

      Okay then; there’s no need for holy days including, but not limited to pesach, yom kippur, shavuot, shabbat; kashrut, and all of its accoutrements including your fav – ‘jewish sinks’ or, most important of all, no need for a jewish state. What a relief! Glad that’s over with.

      Of course there is. Rich cultures have cultural holidays. The existence of the God associated with those holidays is irrelevant. For example in the USA we still celebrate New Years, which was the holiday of Vejovis the first God. I've never met an American who believes in Vejovis. Heck during the Roman Empire there is a lot of question whether the Romans themselves even believed in Vejovis anymore (or even remembered what their society had believed centuries earlier). He probably was too heavily associated with the pre-Greek religion of faeries and household deities for them to even relate to the religious meaning of the holiday they were celebrating.

      Marnie you are supposedly Israeli. Israel was founded by atheists and still has a strong Jewish atheist culture. Why do I have to explain this to you? You should have lived it for decades.



      Don't know why you are attributing that quote to me. Don't even know who those people are.

    • @Mooser

      I don't see your point. The question of what Judaism teaches, what it is becoming, and the question of whether the Jewish God (or any other God) exists are distinct questions. Judaism is a religion of practice not belief.

    • @Mooser

      -- What are the borders of the Israel God has restored to us?

      In 2017 the former Mandate Palestine with the Jordan border adjustments, minus Gaza plus the Golan.

      -- Yeah. And nobody will ever say that about Zionism. It serves the needs of the Jewish people everywhere!

      Not even getting the sarcasm here. My answer is yes it is.

    • The passover story is a story about freedom from bondage. There is haroset on the plate as much as maror.

      Zionism, which set out to create a modern redemption of the Jewish People, has slowly and surely destroyed the integrity of our Passover remembrance.

      How by fulfilling it? By restoring the Jews to Israel. Far be it from me to quote to a Rabbi but:

      וְהָיָה | בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא יוֹסִיף אֲדֹנָי | שֵׁנִית יָדוֹ לִקְנוֹת אֶת שְׁאָר עַמּוֹ אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׁאֵר מֵאַשּׁוּר וּמִמִּצְרַיִם וּמִפַּתְרוֹס וּמִכּוּשׁ וּמֵעֵילָם וּמִשִּׁנְעָר וּמֵחֲמָת וּמֵאִיֵּי הַיָּם:
      יבוְנָשָֹא נֵס לַגּוֹיִם וְאָסַף נִדְחֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּנְפֻצוֹת יְהוּדָה יְקַבֵּץ מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ:

      As for your "did I go mad" question. You went mad. The same way a 3rd century Rabbi preaching animal sacrifice as the central rite of Judaism would have been mad. You are looking backwards to a Judaism that no longer exists, designed to serve a Jewish people that no longer exist, in a political position that is no longer relevant.

  • 'This miracle, this gift, this jewel' -- Obama's ambassador to Israel declares he's a Zionist
    • @Mooser

      JeffB is too old to have gone on birthright. He also doesn't speak Hebrew. If I had made different choices when I was younger... I don't know if I would have scurried back. It isn't a viable option. But if my children / grandchildren / great-grandchildren make aliyah I will be happy.

    • @Talkback

      You meant this as a sarcastic slip but it isn't entirely false. There is a terrific Russian book, The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin where a man gets to repeat his life including mistakes he wanted to avoid and finds that faced with the same situations he would have done the same things. Harper Lee's expression, "You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”. Jews could never understand how or why the Tzar did what he did. It was terrible psychic wound. One of the many gifts Israel has given the Jews is the ability to see the situation not from the vantage point of the oppressed but through the Tzar's eyes. They are faced with much the same problem the Tzar was and end up finding to their horror that faced with the choices the Tzar had to make they would not have been more moral or kind but rather they would have acted like he did (not exactly the same specifics of course). Of course this is what creates the dissonance since so much of Jewish culture is about seeking justice against oppressors.

      There is a process of maturation. Much like children more fairly evaluate their parents when they become one. Rather it is understanding the competing needs of holding and governing territory under all the competing strains. Frustration with the arrogant minority not appreciating or understanding what makes the government possible. It isn't psychopathology, that's just cheap rhetoric, and arguably failure to provide realistic solutions is one of the many reasons BDS is rejected. Rather it is moral people weighing the competing interests and choosing the lesser evil to advance the common good.

    • @JosephA

      Yes it was the title of that book. It means before memory, which is how I was using it above.

      It also has a more specific usage. It originated as a legal term in the Statutes of Westminster (1275) meaning a time before legal memory (often taken to be prior to July 6, 1189 when Richard I of England took the throne), "No one is to be given a hearing to claim seisin [feudal ownership of land] by an ancestor of his further back than the time of King Richard, uncle of King Henry, the father of the present king.". In 1832 the law was changed and the new law is 60 years from the current date. Joan Peters was using the term correctly in her title as in before memory, a history of the Jews through all time (and yes Norman Finkelstein did a good job in refuting some parts of it).

    • @echinococcus

      As an advocate for genociding immigrants you don't get to play the "how can anyone be annoyed by the behavior of strangers" card.

    • @Stephen Shenfield

      I get it. Though I'd say dispersion is an essential part of what it once meant to be a Jew. Israel has changed that. Judaism is changing before our eyes. In Israel Judaism becomes part of your life unavoidably the way Christianity is here. A tribal cult not a diaspora minority faith.

      I'd agree that Judaism's negative features get elevated as well. Hopefully as Judaism heals for 1900 years of diaspora and becomes the organic faith of a nation many of those disappear.

      Still it is magical to experience it.

    • @JWalters

      You keep quoting that discussion. Since that discussion MP Shakid has repudiated the interpretation of her her statements that you were asserting was her position publicly multiple times. The facts do the opposite of what you claim.

    • @Phil

      It may not be transparency, it could be conversion. I get that you don't experience these emotions when you are in Israel. But for most Jews experiencing a Jewish state is amazing.

      I can remember the first time I walked into a crappy restaurant and there was a Jewish sink (two handed cups and towels for netilat yadayim). Or having the time of the 3rd star at bus stops. Or people who have no idea its Christmas while every year my life has to revolve around this holiday I don't celebrate (do they know its Christmas time at all -- nope). And of course the immense pride in seeing a Jewish army.

      I can easily see after how years of being in Israel Ambassador Shapiro went from supporting Israel to identifying personally with it. Ambassadors from time immemorial "go native", start identifying with the country they are posted to. And for Jews in Israel with the incredibly strong pull, I'd say it is much more likely.

  • The liberal double standard on boycotting North Carolina and boycotting Israel
    • @Mooser

      Jews (including Ben Noach) were 10% of the Roman empire's population. In most senses we aren't still here. A tiny fragment survived to cross the finish line. And that's mainly because we found niches to survive in.

      If there was any point of still being here it is Israel.

    • @Mooser

      When have you ever heard me make a genetic argument for Zionism? I have a 5 year track record of calling these genetic arguments racist crap across the board and stating unequivocally that racially (genetically) there are no differences between Palestinians and Mizrahi Jews.

      At least mock me for stuff I actually do.

    • @Yoni

      In this rather interesting theory, how did the Jews get their missionaries to stay chaste over all these generations and not intermingle with the natives?

    • @Yoni

      You are contradicting yourself:

      * Only a moron, ignoramus, or liar claims the natives, who descend from Greco-Roman Judeans are “just remnants from earlier invasions” (April 10, 2017, 1:58 am)

      * Palestinians descend from all the native populations of Palestine (including Arabs like the Herodians or Tobiads and including Greek Cleruchs and including many other groups). (April 10, 2017, 11:29 am)

      You are also contradicting yourself here:

      S1: I can very simply explain the logic of removing the white racist genocidal European invaders and their non-European lackeys from the Levant.
      S2: European Jews came as racist colonial setter invaders, who intended to steal the country and to commit genocide. They are still trying to complete the plan. They are perpetrators of crimes against humanity and must be so treated, and likewise are those who stand with them (under the international anti-genocide legal regime). (Both statements showing your belief that the descendants of genocidal invaders need to be ethnically cleansed)

      But of course in the above you acknowledge that the Palestinians descended from genocidal invaders. As for the international legal regime. The international legal regime rejects the concept of group guilt and genetic guilt both of which of which are key to your arguments. Under the international legal regime the descendants of “the invading E European Jews” are Israelis with the full rights to live in Israel in peace. What you are proposing is not enforcement but a total contradiction to the international legal regime. International law firmly rejects punishments for genetic guilt.

      And of course your proposal is an open invitation to unlimited genocide. Everyone, the entire species, is descended from 10,000 groups of genocidal invaders. Your very cells as does everyone else's show evidence of these previous invasions.

    • @talknic

      BDS asks for Israel to adhere to the law. For dispossessed non-Jewish Israelis to return to Israel and for dispossessed non-Israeli refugees to return to non-Israeli territories

      Actually using your rather unique 1947 borders even RoR is still asking for those refugees to return to Israeli territories. It wants the to return to the location of the original villages. Most are within UN partition Israel. That's not, even using your definition, non Israeli territory.

    • @talkback

      Not letting me edit so adding on.

      But if one insists on talking pure biology then yes I think it is almost impossible that Palestinians are pure descendants of the Palestinians that existed prior to the Arab invasions. Too many people migrated in over the centuries as evidenced by the cultural changes.

      So if one found genetic markers of various invading groups that weren't present in the Palestinian population of say 500 CE you would find them in Palestinians of 2017. Palestinians are humans and thus they breed like humans.

    • @talknic

      States have borders that tell us where their citizens may legally settle

      First off your argument is with echinococcus who doesn't seem to believe in nation states based on rule of law. My position is closer to yours than his. You two should be debating. You and I mostly disagree in your belief on the almost divine authority of the UN. I think it is possible for the UN to err.

      As for your claim, that's not true. There are countless examples of states with fuzzy borders and little interest in where their citizens may legally settle. The USA during the 18th to early 19th century being a good example. The state policy was to encourage westward expansion of its citizens well outside its borders. Probably the majority of states today don't have enough control over their citizens and borders to control where they legally settle.

    • @Talkback

      They practice a religion that came from eastern not western arabia.
      They have a language descended from eastern not western arabia.
      They have a political ideology originating from eastern not western arabia.
      They lack the domestic understanding of history of Palestine, there was a historical break in cultural knowledge, which is why for example the belief that Judaea never existed is even possible.

      Yes they are the descendants of the invading population. Just to clarify I'm not terribly interested in the pure biology of the situation. An almost complete cultural collapse and replacement is all I'm claiming.

    • @echinococcus

      You can't have it both ways. If there is no birthright citizenship for the descendants of invaders then the Palestinians aren't the owners of the place. Just remnants from earlier invasions.

      I'll wait for a representative assembly of anaerobic bacteria to determine which of us plant descendants get to live where.

    • @Bumblebye

      You aren't disagreeing with my point, you are confirming it. The types of demands you are making of Israel are way beyond what liberals are demanding of North Carolina. I understand that you think Israel is far worse, but that was exactly my point to Phil. North Carolina the demand is for a minor point of reform; Israel the BDS demand is depending on interpretation for something ranging from massive reform in dozens of areas to total destruction.

    • @Eljay

      You have been here for years. I never see you complain about people from your side who oppose the legitimacy of Jewish residency / immigration in Palestine (agreeing you aren't one of those) while fully supporting the 14th Amendment when it comes to Mexicans: i.e. regardless of how their parents got here, every child born in America is a full USA citizen with the same rights as a descendent of people who have been here for centuries.

    • @Phil

      There is a huge difference in the relative demands. No one is asking North Carolina to stop existing, no one is asking North Carolinians vacate huge chunks of the state, no one is asking North Carolina to accept being flooded with a few tens of millions of Chinese immigrants.

      There is also a difference in tone. There is no hatred of North Carolina. The boycott North Carolina movement says the state is fine they just want a simple policy change. There is no demonization of North Carolinians. There is no delegitimization of North Carolina as a state. That's not at all the case with BDS which has an awful tone regarding Israel.

      If BDS was pushing for a say and end to workplace discrimination or housing discrimination in a moderate tone that would be a comparable situation.

  • The real free speech threat
    • @HHM

      It is time to admit that more and more Arabs are dropping the Palestinian cause as a pan Arab cause and seeing it as a local injustice. Arabs are tired of the cost of the war with Jews. Israel is every year more openly being part of the intra-Arab strategic defense framework. Economically the remnants of the Arab boycott are failing and trade (often indirect) is in a pre-boom stage. What remains is lip service mostly, and even that is starting to wane.

      I think it is time that Arabs openly tell Palestinians the window of time that they will have their support is closing. They don't have a decade or so not a century or so to solve this conflict with even the level of political support they receive today.

      There is nothing wrong with Arabs openly admitting the Arab world has more serious problems and issues to address than whether Jews run .3% of their former territory or not. That this problem doesn't appear tractable and they are moving on.

    • @Radhika

      Palestinian Solidarity as a specific endeavor started campus mass action with organized disruption of Israeli events and a desire to in an organized fashion suppress Zionist expressions. For example the some of the earliest protests were against Israeli expats having access to international student association services, and protests against Israelis being allowed to speak on campuses because they were "war criminals" (that even if true would make no sense). I will acknowledge that the recent Zionist opposition to having Rasmea Odeh speak at JVP is essentially the same dumb argument in reverse coming from my side but it is important to note the order of events regardless.

      Palestinian solidarity (later BDS) in the early years supported a full fledged individual boycott of Israelis, it was a desire to reignite the Arab boycott and import it into the west. For example in England the attempted boycott of sitting on doctoral committees for Israelis (whether in Israel or in England). That cultural boycott has gotten less aggressive recently. It now tries to distinguish between individuals and institutions where in the early years where it was openly directed at all Israeli individuals like the South African boycott had been. I think this change is a response to the obvious hypocrisy of saying one sort of boycott is a suppression of free speech and the the other a moral duty. It is also a response to the fact that a boycott of Israelis is clear cut discrimination on the basis of national origin which with enhanced civil rights protections is illegal (or a tort) now in a way it often wasn't with regard to South Africa. (In case there is any claim this wasn't the early policy let me just present the infamous George Galloway "I don't debate with Israelis" which was a BDS action: ; or the controversy regarding Gal Gadot: )

      In sports we still see the cultural boycott going for institutional suppression, for example expelling Israel from FIFA. The olympics this year presented a good example where you had clear attempts at individual intimidation both with Egyptian Judo performer and towards the entire team by the team from Lebanon.

      It is the mix of political activism, interpersonal rudeness and cruelty with academics that is creating the poisonous environment. It is not the Zionists who want this battle. Zionists would love a situation of pure free speech with no disruption, no pressure, no economic threats. Let anti-zionism become an obscure purely academic enterprise which doesn't harass Jewish students on campus and the problem goes away. In a world where Israel's ethnic conflict is treated with the indifference and ignorance that most other country's internal problems are discussed with there isn't going to be counter activism. But we don't live in that world. So anti-Zionism gets treated the same way other hate groups get treated. Your side is the aggressor here.

  • IfNotNow is promising, but not without its problems. Here’s how it can improve.
    • @Carol

      Are you the libertarian Carol Moore? And if so I'm going to hijack this thread for a second for a question...

      I completely agree with you on the libertarian party being non-interventionists and desiring neutrality. What I don't understand is why you believe the party should care at all one way or the other regarding Israel. In other words why the anti-Israel position rather than the indifferent to Israel position? For example you mention here supporting right of return. Given this is all outside USA borders why do you have any position on it?

      If you aren't the Libertarian feel free to ignore the question.

    • @Yazan

      Your article is pretty similar to another recent article from a JVPer:

      I think you are misunderstanding INN. INN is not about Palestinian liberation first and foremost. It is about Jewish morality first and foremost. Palestinian oppression is just the particular sin that Jews are collectively engaging in now. If it were excessive gambling and the Jewish community were institutionally corrupted by gambling interest and showing indifference to the negative effects of gambling on people's lives little about INN other than the particulars of the moral call would need to change. Judaism doesn't have the concept of a revival exactly. Baalei Teshuvah is the closest concept and it really means a call to observance not a call to repentance. But these kids are American and thus picked up American norms even religiously. So IMHO you should think of INN as primarily a Jewish revival movement not primarily as a Palestinian liberation movement. This is going to sound harsher than I mean it too: INN is not about you, you are the object of the conversation not the subject.

      There is a funny video that captures this dynamic when it happens accidentally: In the case of INN I think it is more intentional than accidental though they wouldn't phrase it quite as bluntly as I'm doing here.

      That's very different than JVP where the political oppression and unifying Jews with the oppressed not the oppressors. JVP does want to be in solidarity with Palestinians unlike INN. It is not because of INN's narrow focus that it is effective, rather it is because of its internal focus that it is effective.

      The Palestinian diaspora is angry. There is a huge difference in tone between:
      Palestinian Solidarity: "You are evil and wicked invaders"
      INN: "You are too good a person to countenance these evil and wicked acts".

      They can't be in solidarity and be totally off message to that extent. It isn't about policy differences.

      -- American Jewish establishment’s apprehensive attitude towards Palestinians

      Now we are moving further to the right. Were INN to be coordinating with Palestinians institutionally they would be seen as traitors by mainstream organizations. Part of the reason they are seen as legitimate is that they keep the debate internal to the Jewish community. I may object to the Bush / Obama war on terror and am free to lobby other Americans regarding my objections. If I coordinate those objections with Al Qaeda that moves from being dissent to possibly criminal. And I don't mean that just in terms of terrorism, same logic would apply to say coordinating antiwar activity with the Vietnamese during the Vietnam war.

      I think you may be misunderstanding the mainstream Jewish community. It isn't apprehension it is seeing you are the opponent if not the enemy. The Jewish mainstream isn't apprehensive at all with regard to engage with Palestinians but the see you as proxies for the Israel Arabs, West Bankers and Gazans while they are proxies for the Israelis. They have no interest in engaging with you from a place of solidarity. They might have interest in engaging from a place of negotiating conflicting interests and seeing what sorts of win-win deals can emerge.

      The occupation is not a taboo subject. Rather the occupation in theory (I'm over simplifying a bit since I happen to think this isn't really an occupation but that's another topic) is often strongly supported by the Jewish mainstream, until recently more than it was by mainstream Israelis. What is a somewhat taboo subject is the inhumanity required to maintain the occupation.

      INN could be really valuable in raising the issue of the inhumanity of the occupation. Where Palestinians could be really valuable is negotiating a believable alternative vision acceptable to Israelis and mainstream Jews.

  • Israeli Jews maintain the occupation because it is in their interest -- Noam Sheizaf
    • @ Maghlawatan

      Nice try, Jeff

      The good news is that Empires die younger now. The British Empire expired after 200 years The American one barely lasted 70.

      So not only is Israel failing the USA is as well? I'm not even sure what to say to that other than start adding specific refutable dates to your predictions. Like for example what year do the Chinese have troops in more nations than the Americans?


      My country has pretty serious racism during the 17-19th centuries, and then a less bad but arguably worse than Israel for much of the 20th it survived and thrived. Your country had pretty horrific religious hatreds, it survived. Japan is probably the most racist country on earth and it has survived many centuries. Racism doesn't end countries. Racism diminishes economic productivity as it does in Israel. It is offensive. But no that's not going to kill the country off.

    • @Stephen

      So why the hysterical reaction to criticism? Why the obsession with “delegitimization”? It doesn’t suggest confident optimism to me.

      Well first off the BDS movement isn't really criticism. Israel has a vibrant democracy (for Jews, don't want to get distracted by "not for Palestinians" stuff for this thread). There is plenty of robust discussion of Israeli policy within the Israeli mainstream. Israel experiences a robust evaluative and corrective process on policies today within the Zionist framework. BDS isn't an evaluative and corrective exercise, it isn't really criticism at all. BDSers aren't aiming for a better Israel, they are mostly emoting on how much they hate Israel and looking for ways to express that hatred. Think about how difficult it has to have normal discussions on MW about government policies: who gets what and who pays in a normal way in terms of cost benefit analysis and trying to achieve win-win policies.

      This whole thread with you is an excellent example. Rapidly growing GDP including per capita, healthy population, overpowering defense capability, increasing alliances... why would anyone be talking about a country like that failing? You were emoting, because you don't want Israel to succeed, you aren't rationally looking at the evidence.

      Now why the hysteria? Anti-zionism has a long history of failure in doing much damage to Israel. It has a long history of success in raising the level of antisemitism in countries to a level that clears the country of its indigenous Jewish population. BDS, anti-zionism and antisemitism is a unifying fight for the global Jewish community. The fight helps to alienate Jews from their host countries and creates a stronger zionist identity. The more this becomes a domestic issue and not a foreign policy issue the more Jews vote, donate and volunteer their Judaism rather than all sorts of other aspects of their identity. As a result of the BDS wave there are probably one-million Jews in the USA who personally experienced personal fear and upset because of anti-Israeli activism. 20 years from now you think 5% become AIPAC volunteers or donors over that? What's the impact of those 50k additional volunteers and donors for a generation?

      It also works well because it is a distraction. Talking about whether the BDS Women's Studies group did or did not intimidate Gail Hamner is a lot better than talking about Israel's rapid creation of facts on the ground. John Kerry and Nikki Haley can agree on hating BDS. They don't agree on Israel colonizing the West Bank or playing footsie with tribal separatists movements all over the middle east. Which do you think Israel would rather have them discussing?

      Finally the BDSers are rude and angry. They get a rude angry reaction in response. A good place to see the effect is note the way INN is treated vs. the way JVP is treated. Pretty similar critique, but one is given from a place of love tinged with disappointment the other from a place of hatred tinged with self righteous anger.

    • @Maghlawatan

      -- The US Jewish lobby will fail like Tammany Hall.

      Be careful what you wish for. The Tammany societies started in the 1770s. They grew in power through to the 1850s where it ran New York for 80 years. Then it still took another generation before it faded from power completely.

      I would not be so bold as to make that prediction but if the Israeli lobby follows a trajectory like that only 170 years later than the Israeli lobby peaks around 2020 and is dominant on middle east policy until 2100 and then falls gradually till about 2130 where it dies completely.

    • @Ossinev

      You keep worrying about 2234 while I notice that Netanyahu was in Beijing with King Salman. That Israel and Jordan are discussing a rail link. While Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is openly talking a full alliance with Israel. While Nassar's grandson invited the Israeli ambassador to his wedding.

      That's the real deal. Israel is being accepted in the region as part of a alliance against Iran.

    • @Stephen

      I think you are making an assumption here that the tied will turn which Israelis would disagree with. Obviously if Israelis believed that Israel was a short term plan that would eventually fall and become a Palestinian state they act very differently. But they don't share that belief.

      The reality on the ground for now 13 consecutive decades of Zionism vs. Palestinian nationalism is that the relative to Palestinian Nationalism Zionism grows stronger and quite quickly. At this point Israel's economy surpasses Egypt's and approaches Iran's. At this point Israel's military is on par with the rest of the peninsula combined. Israel has never been more diplomatically effective than it is today. Israel's cultural influence is increasing. Pan-arab nationalism, the great threat to Israel, is almost completely dead being replaced with an ethnic tribalism that is going to be much more comfortable for a Jewish state.

      Why should an Israeli look at that with anything other than optimism for the future? There are lots of solutions to the Palestinian problem other than defeat.

  • New book by Larry Derfner, the American-turned-Israeli journalist, crushes liberal Zionism
    • @iResistDe4iAm

      -- In other words, the 600,000 Jewish settlers are Israel’s human shields…

      No that is not what Koch means at all. Wartime armies burn up supplies at a tremendous rate which creates awful logistic problems. For example in the early 1990s the USA had a 8 soldiers and civilian aides involved in logistics for every solider involved in combat. Supply lines are highly vulnerable to sabotage. To avoid saboteurs you either need to depopulate the territory around supply lines or you need a very friendly civilian population. The Palestinians are obviously not a very friendly civilian population towards the IDF and thus could not be trusted in the case of a war. Conversely Jewish settlers are a very friendly civilian population.

    • @James

      So where are comments from the liberal Zionists in the Mondoweiss online community?

      You didn't really give his arguments but...

      Israel is not the victim, but itself provokes the regular conflicts: Israel isn't a victim. It is a country utilizing military power to advance its interests against hostiles. Classifying that as provocation is nonsense. The provocation for the military strikes is the hostile policies of the countries it is acting against. He is somewhat arguing a false dichotomy here.

      Israel is a segregated society: He's correct. Housing discrimination is a serious problem in Israel. The government recently has gotten more aggressive in addressing this we'll see in a decade or so how that plays out. I wish liberal activists were working on this, because this along with workplace discrimination is something I think is achievable to correct.

      Both the 1993 Oslo agreement and the negotiations in 2000 led by Prime Minister Ehud Barak were fatally flawed, and no Palestinian leader could ever have accepted either agreement: That's going to need to be argued not asserted. I think Camp David was a sweetheart deal and the Palestinians were fools not to take it. That it got better in Taba and they still turned it down was incompetence of the highest order.

      The occupation is not just a flaw, but a morally fatal flaw: By this he seems to mean that the West Bank is under a military dictatorship. I don't think that's a fatal flaw, lots of military dictatorships do fine. Regardless though Israel is moving towards annexing Area-C and thus correcting a key part of the problem.

      The purpose of the occupation isn’t security; it’s conquest: Again false dichotomy. Its both. Also I'm not sure "conquest" is the right word. Areas like the Jordan Valley are primarily security. Areas like Ariel are clearly mostly "conquest", the establishment of permanent Jewish cities. After the failure of Oslo, it seems Israel is keeping the West Bank. So yeah the policy is conquest.

      Israel’s problem is not what it may become, but what it already is: Dead wrong. The Palestinian denormalization has created a generation of Israelis with few if any memories of good things about Palestinians. In addition most of the Palestinians are surplus labor and not integrated into the Israeli economy. That combination is really really dangerous. Sane Palestinian leadership would be fixing that as priority #1. Things could get much much worse. So yes, the problem is what it could become.

      Stop blaming both sides equally: He's wrong on this one. Most of the world already pretends to hate Israel . However the world is not going to challenge a nuclear power over equal rights for Palestinians. The reason pressure doesn't skyrocket is not the New York Times but because it doesn't make practical sense to challenge Israel. What's in it for Poland to challenge Israel?

      US diplomacy is not the solution; it’s a central part of the problem: I think we disagree too much on what the problem is.

      Boycott Divestment and Sanctions is a necessary part of the solution: Argued extensively here already why this is wrong.

  • The Jewish revolution
    • @Keith

      First off after the war Roosevelt is dead, there is no Roosevelt administration. Second, there was almost no USA government involvement in the creation of Israel. There wouldn't have been a weapons embargo in the USA if Jews could have changed policy. They were evidently able to twist Truman's arm to get him to agree to vote for the Soviet recognition in the UN but that took extraordinary effort to accomplish something that had little effect on the USA.

      As for not being willing to take in immigrants. The history of the USA... not taking in immigrants from the holocaust is well known. You would have to show a change in attitude. What's happening with Syrian refugees today is pretty much the same story repeated. Some mild opposition to killing civilians verbally but no willingness to directly take in large numbers of them to save them.

      I guess you still are watching this thread. You are assuming the policy. What you would need to find

    • @Keith

      Don't know whether you will see this since this thread is off the front page. We should probably take this up another time. But you are mixing up two very different things:

      a) American Zionist groups opposed resettlement outside of Palestine
      b) American Zionist groups were able to change what would otherwise have been allied policy on this issue.

      I agree with (a) not with (b). You are proving (a) not (b). The claim however was (b) not (a).

    • @Keith

      Prior to the Holocaust and extensive Zionist recruitment efforts, the vast majority of Jews opposed Zionism, relatively few made aliyah. Surely you are aware of this?

      Yes. I was quite explicitly talking about the majority of Yishuv / Israelis, which prior to the holocaust were a tiny fraction of the Jews.

      Keeping Jews in concentration camps so that they could be persuaded/forced to immigrate to Israel was a particularly dark chapter in Zionist history.

      Come on. Cut the paranoia. How did a small group of several hundred thousand Jews in Palestine force the allied powers to do that? The allies forced the immigration to Israel because they didn't want their Jews. Zionism had nothing to do with, though it did benefit from it.

      If given a choice, most of these Jews preferred Britain or the US.


      Later, Soviet Jews frequently diverted to the US until the Zionists were able to better control them. Surely you are aware of all of this?

      Also correct.

      Your point about ANC South Africa is too confused to respond to.

    • @Ossinev

      Few Israelis came from America, especially in percentage terms. Jews in America aren't terribly oppressed. But that's not Israel.

      Israeli's ancestors were fleeing the mistreatment and discrimination in the Ottoman world. Then the eastern European pograms. Then the desire to finish the final solution by having the surviving Jews freeze to death in the remnants of the concentration camps. Then massive anti-Jewish pogroms in the Arabic world.... through to what happened in Iran, Venezuela and South Africa in the last generation.

    • @Eljay

      You are getting confused on the argument. Self determination is the right to form a government that represents your interests. That is what you are calling a supremacist state. Again, you tend to be back and forth on this but when Japanese people form a Japanese government that represents Japanese interests that is precisely what Israel does.

      Self determination is not merely the right to call yourself stuff.

      Now in this particular argument it isn't even political but rather religious. A Christian (Annie) is asserting what is the contents of the Jewish religion are. In this case among other things the proper interpretation of the morning prayer call to a restoration of Zion. What Judaism preaches. You yourself have made similar claims. Which I think demonstrates a shocking level of contempt for Jewish self determination. I'm taking the simple position the contents of the Jewish religion are whatever the Jews collectively consider them to be. Jews have institutions, those institutions take positions, those positions are Jewish positions.

      One can disagree that Jews rightfully decided something but arguing they didn't decide what they decided is nonsense.

    • @Keith

      I'm not sure I see much evidence that the Jews of the Pale were economically privileged. However, relatively privileged economically relative to peasants while suffering political and social discrimination is not the same as controlling your own country and living in peace. Obviously the Palestinians are a good example here of the argument you are making. Relative to most middle easterners West Bankers have a higher living standard. That doesn't mean they don't have reason to dislike their situation.

    • @Annie

      I skipped your counter argument because I don't believe you take personal responsibility for Israel's actions. I've read you off and on for years. You don't have a self esteem problem. You wouldn't be capable of the unhinged hatred you have expressed towards Israel for years if you actually identified Israel with yourself. If you actually identified with Israel you would have a vastly more nuanced view and be more situational. The difference between Mondoweiss' tone and INN's tone is striking. I suggest you listen to their protest songs and compare them to yours.

      yeah well, the ol saying is 2 jews 3 opinions, so “jews get to decide the status of what’s jewish” is a moot point

      Jews have things that are similar to your Christian creeds. We have rabbinical colleges. We have (though not in the USA) formal chief Rabbis. We have active religious courts. Not all opinions are equal.

      As for your comments about BDS. Reread what you were responding to. Your response is a non sequitur.

    • @Annie

      but everyone already knows jstreet tried to get in the door, and were rejected.

      No they weren't. JStreet is part of the Jewish community. They go to Jewish political events and participate fully. They aren't excluded. Since you picked ZOA let's use them as an excample. Hatizvah has 8 delegates to the WZC and explicitly includes JStreet. ZOA only has 7 delegates.

      if not now and jvp are both to the left of jstreet. now you are saying they can’t join because there is too big of a divide?

      You are getting confused here. Let me give you an American analogy.

      Alex: The environmental caucus of Pennsylvania (INN) is not welcome as part of the political process.
      John: Of course they are. They are welcome to join.
      Alex: Well can they join the Republican party of Pennsylvania (ZOA) ?
      John: No they are anti fracking and the Republican party is pro fracking. But they can join the Democratic party of Pennsylvania (Hatikvah) and run against the Republicans.

      “holding a seat” doesn’t really mean anything if they are not allowed to join until they pass some sort of litmus test which even jstreet didn’t qualify for.

      JStreet qualifies. INN qualifies. JVP doesn't. JVP are heretics (using a Christian term which doesn't exactly map for clarity). INN are righteous Jews who just happen to be a little to the left politically. They aren't comparable situations.

      your rhetoric continually implies jewish = zionist. it doesn’t.

      I disagree. I think Jews get to decide the content of the Jewish religion. I don't think you all rightfully decide the Arian / Trinitarian debate but I don't get a vote on that. Christians get to decide Arianism is heresy while Trinitarianism is mainstream.

      i wouldn’t be surprised if the fastest growing political identity inside the jewish community is that of “anti zionist”.

      I suspect the fastest growing political identity in numeric terms is Republican. In percentage terms who knows? No one tracks the politics of small movements on small subsets of the population. Getting back to numbers though: anti-Zionists are mostly not inside the Jewish community (even excluding the fact that I think left secular anti-zionist beliefs you are thinking of are herem). That's why the JVPers get their backs up if you start asking religious questions to verify if they are actually Jewish like where did they get bar mitzvah or knowledge questions like to recite the prayer before lighting shabbat candles. JVPers are usually 1/2 or 1/4 Jews with no Jewish education, no ties to the community and no involvement in Jewish activities outside of anti-Zionist politics. They are mostly (not all) Christians claiming to be Jews while trying to discredit Judaism / Israel.

      I'm not saying that's all of them. But that's one of the things that great about INN. INN creates a home for people who are actually Jewish religiously but are upset about Israeli behavior: a healthy alternative to JVP. JStreet creates a home for people who are often ethnically and culturally Jewish aren't filled with self loathing and hatred for their people that JVP demands. JStreet makes it possible to critically engage in a healthy way.

    • @Annie

      I'll respond to the rest here since that stuff I'm not lost about.

      btw, as far as i know neither jvp or if not now identify as anti zionist.

      I agree that JVP doesn't self identify as anti-Zionist. But again this is the reverse of the situation with INN where they are mislabeling themselves. JVP certainly advocates for anti-Zionism quite openly. But worse they conspire openly with enemies of the Jewish working for the destruction of the Jewish people (I know you claim that's not the goal of BDS but Jews disagree and Jews get to decide the status of what's Jewish). They are straight up traitors.

      last i heard, zionists holding a seat for you at the table doesn’t make you a zionist.

      Reread my post. I talked about what made them Zionist.

      and what difference would it make anyway because even jstreeters, many of whom moved to if not now (as i understand it), were called anti semites at a recent zionist/anti-bds conference.

      Yes they were called anti-semites by a Mormon. The Mormon is a friend to the Jews and a true ally but he doesn't get to decide who is or isn't classified as part of the Jewish national liberation movement. He's entitled to an opinion. His achievements entitles him to express it. That doesn't mean Jews have to endorse it. And they don't. JStreetU are liberals not antisemites. This whole incident is much ado about naught.

      As for moving to INN. Some of the INN leadership came out of JStreetU originally. But most JStreetU kids don't have enough Jewish education to be part of INN. The INN founders were atypical JStreetU in terms of their religious education, they are going to remain distinct. JStreet is a lobby, JStreetU kids are learning how lobbies work in the context of an issue an issue they care about. Your typical JStreetU kid is ooking to be congressional staffer, work for a public interest group, work for a lobby after college.... INN is a moral / religious call. Judaism doesn't have the concept of a revival but that's the analogy (i.e. stop drinking and whoring come back to Jesus ~~ stop being apologists for the oppression of Palestinians and live the values of Judaism). Politically they are pretty close and I'm sure they will work together but I don't think the groups will merge or anything.

      the fact that they take personal responsibility for Israel’s actions, is an acknowledgement of being a zionist?


      There entire political protest motif is couched in Jewish terms. They reflect Jewish symbolism …. That IMHO is Zionist.
      my understanding is this is atzmon’s take on it too. hmm.

      Its anti-Zionists who keep trying to cut the ties between Judaism and Zionism claiming its antisemitism. This is actually anti-Zionist hatred of Jewish self determination. Not only do they want Jews not to exercise political power they don't want Jews to have authority over the content of the Jewish religion.

      In the real world: Jews & Zionists don't deny the ties between Judaism and Zionism. Judaism has for centuries had proto-Zionist teachings that Zionism built on. Zionism today aims to further strengthen those ties, as I've said before to over the next two centuries make it impossible to discuss Judaism outside an Israeli context. I was at a funeral today. Wonderful eulogy for a great man, Jewish prayer in Hebrew, 3 rabbis, a torah and an Israeli flag. That's the reality of Judaism in 2017 and was the reality of Judaism in 1977 too.

    • @Annie

      I think I may be missing what you are getting at. So I'll just answer naively and let you hit me with whatever followup. Yes I do consider the ZOA a mainstream Jewish organization. As does the INN since this is one of the mainstream organizations they protest against.

      If you are asking if INN can join ZOA, no they can't there is too much distance on the left-right divide. However, I sincerely hope in years to come that INN runs as part of HATIKVAH (or as part of Mercaz where they might also fit quite well) against the ZOA in the WZC elections . And I suspect that ZOA does too. That's how they should get their seat with respect to ZOA.

    • @Mooser

      I suggest you read the Torah. The God of Israel promises stuff to his people. Judaism isn't beyond the transactional, the God gets worship and the people get the God's protection and blessing.

      As for whether it is a prominent trend, yes. Reform was markedly anti-Zionist 100 years ago, today it is firmly liberal Zionist. Modern Orthodox even in the United States has become religious Zionist. Hasidic faiths are becoming more functionally Zionist and in last decade are merging in with Religious Zionist. The Judaism of defeat and despair no longer fits a people that have regained their health.

    • @Annie

      I wouldn't group INN with JVP in as anti-zionist. They claim to be neutral on the question. But in practice the fact that they take personal responsibility for Israel's actions, is an acknowledgement

      a) There exists a transnational political entity the Jewish people
      b) This political entity runs the state of Israel
      c) They are part of that entity

      There entire political protest motif is couched in Jewish terms. They reflect Jewish symbolism (and incidentally unlike a lot of people here use that symbolism correctly). That IMHO is Zionist. They have absorbed negative connotations to the word and don't want to use it. But they are Zionist, part of the Jewish community.

      INN is certainly anti-occupation. Their moral critique comes from within Judaism not from outside it. They don't want to negotiate with mainstream Jewish organizations but we are holding a seat open for them, whenever they want it.

      I agree with Yonah, they shouldn't be grouped with JVP.

    • @Broadside

      I can't really follow your argument. Israel has failed because the UN disagrees with something Israel is doing? Huh? That doesn't even make sense. The UN disagrees with the USA all the time. So what?

      Was that your idea of what a successful Israel would look like?

      I'm not old enough to know of a pre-Israel. So I can't answer your question directly. The Israel I see is a pretty spectacular country. Not perfect, but a really exciting, diverse wonderful place to live. The Israel that exists with its health GDP growth, vibrant culture rich overlays of cuisine... is far better than what a minimally successful Israel would look like. I love what I see. I think the strengths outweigh the imperfections 20-1.

    • @Mooser

      If we trace the start of the fall of Judaea to the Macabees the last time Judaism was defeated like that the religion completely changed. The sacrificial cult died, the magical cults died. A nihilistic variant of Judaism, Gnostic Judaism, often reversing the meaning and teachings of the scriptures became popular and cut off most of the marginal members to become Christians. For many of the 2nd century sects, procreation became sin. After Yahweh's defeat by Jupiter why bring a Jewish child to life? Eventually things leveled out and the Pharisaic sect forked off to become the Rabbinic Judaism of the middle ages. But that had very little in common with the religions that existed before it. Judaism of 160 BCE didn't survive. The loss would be much worse.

      As far as American Judaism, in a situation where Israel has fallen most likely the USA has turned against Israel. American Jews, would have been a 3rd column, they were probably pushed out or killed a generation earlier. But even if one imagines some fragment continuing to exist in the USA, the entire messianic promise of Judaism is gone. Judaism will have proven to be fake and a fraud. What would be the point of the religion anymore? There never is going to be a national salvation. Judaism offers nothing but sorrow. Why would anyone care about fulfilling religious obligations or worshipping a fake lying god?

      There is no Judaism anymore without Israel.

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