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  • Young Jews protest Reform leadership's silence over Passover massacre
    • @Pabelmont

      I'll assume this is a serious question. INN believes in positive engagement talking to people not at people . They engage from within not from without.

      So the first thing they would say is Jews don't need a mechanism to get justice. Jews are the ones creating the injustice in Israel. The mechanism to stop the injustice is to decide to stop being unjust. That is INN approaches the I/P conflict from the perspective that they are tangential participants not outsiders. Their discussions with the Jewish community (including Israel) come from a place inside that community not outside it .

      INN: We, us, our… what we did
      JVP: Them, their… what Zionist did

      They want the American Jewish community (and to some extent the global Jewish community) to start having serious conversations about Israel's behavior in a Jewish ethical context. They approach American Jews and say when "we (note the "we" here) support things like the Gaza shooting look who are allies are, look who is objecting. Do you really feel comfortable on that side? Are you really telling me you are comfortable being someone who works to facilitate shooting demonstrating teens in the back?" They consider the occupation to be a crisis of conscience not a foreign policy crisis.

      American Jewish organizations in an open and public way attacked the Netanyahu administration's handling of the Kotel. American Jewish organizations in an open and public way have for years attacked various policies of the Israeli Chief Rabbinate with respect to conversions. American Jewish organizations have been able to bring pressure to bear on issues where the Israeli public mostly sides with taking a very hard line. They see no reason why a similar thing couldn't happen with respect to the occupation, providing American Jews decided they oppose the occupation.

      They want a positive message not BDS's entirely negative message: "freedom and dignity for all Israelis and Palestinians... flourishing, joyous, liberated Jewish community that actively supports the dignity of all people." They agree with Phil's position that as long as American Jews support Israel, America will support Israel. They will not fight the American Jewish community nor try and bypass them. Instead they talk to them.

  • Israel denies entry to Amnesty International staffer due to alleged 'BDS activities'
    • @Maghlawatan

      If Jews are being persecuted there is no Israel. If there is no Israel there likely are no Jews. After Israel there is no future. All the eggs are in the Israel basket.

  • UN rapporteur urges sanctions on Israel for driving Palestinians 'back to the dark ages'
    • @Citizen

      She's Sikh which is not the same ethnicity as "indian". Sikhs all belong to the same caste which is likely the best they could do in undermining the system given their minority status.

    • @xanadou

      There is an easy way to avoid being called an antisemite. Stop using racial language towards them. "ghetto-israel", " lily-white ashkenazis" and fake history about nations. Shlomo Sand believes all nations are constructions, why apply his arguments to Jewish nations exclusively and not say France when the same argument would apply.

      Mostly yeah the Palestinians have been a troublesome minority for the state of Israel. They have refused to live under Israeli law, sided with Israel's enemies and been treated badly as they have violently rebelled. The Israelis have tried negotiation and compromise which mostly failed and they tried violence which is mostly successful, hence violence becomes the preferred method. Lots governments have problems with interior groups that are hostile. Generally one doesn't find westerners expressing much hostility towards those governments especially ethnically. We just had an ethnic cleansing by Myanmar, yet western leftist were emotionally indifferent. Similarly right before that we've had several large scale ethnic cleansing by Sunni Muslims with Western Leftists being supportive. Iran and Russia are horrifically oppressive towards rebelling minorities and yet your group often supports them. I have yet to hear a good argument from leftists why they don't just group Israel in with say the 100 or so countries that ethnicities problems and leave it at that. The passion in this particular case deserves explanation.

      The two countries Israel has the most culturally in common with are Lebanon and Turkey. Look at the differences in language from western leftists towards those 3 cases.

  • My journey away from Zionism
    • @Elizabeth

      But not divided on the role of ethnicity – or, if they were, the ones who wanted Israel to be a state of all its citizens – names that come to mind are Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, and Judah Magnes – lost

      Hannah Arendt and Albert Einstein weren't Israelis. But absolutely Israelis have been divided on the role of ethnicity and citizenship all throughout history. Just to pick a few examples that are current debates there are Russian Christians which Shas party is extremely hostile to while the rest of Israel's society is rather welcoming. The Labor party's ethnic attitude towards Mizrahi Jews is one of the biggest reasons for Israel's shift to the right. Early Zionists hadn't really considered the role of Mizrahi Jews when the Palestinians started their attacks against the Jewish population in the 1920s they drove Mizrahi indigenous Jews (and Ottoman religious immigrants) into the arms of the Zionists. Zionism then had to address this issue. There was a similar issue in the 1950s when the Arab countries expelled their Jewish populations.

      Similarly on the Palestinians die. Circassians were originally classified as being Palestinians but have had their legal status changed and now serve in military sensitive roles. Something similar to what had happened to Druze earlier though mostly in the prestate days. The Israelis are trying to engage in something similar with ethnic Palestinian Christians.

      Part of what Zionists complain about when they talk about the demonization of Israel is a tendency to not look at actual policy and make blanket untrue statements about Israel. The reason you thought Israel has this blanket discriminatory policy is because you are getting your news about Israel from antizionist sources which almost always oversimplify and often simply lie about Israeli policy. Israeli ethnic politics in the real world are complex and nuanced dealing with all sorts of subgroups that have their own opinions and trends. The actual situation bears little resemblance to the version you are going to hear in leftist propaganda about "Jews" and "Palestinians".

      There is to this day no such thing as Israeli nationality.

      Of course there is an Israeli nationality. That's the nationality of the citizens of Israel, quite a lot of non-citizens in the area broadly influenced by Israel and broadly many children of expats. I think what you probably mean is that the courts have been unwilling to recognize an Israeli nation for legal purposes. To contradict your point above this is an active area of debate. There most certainly area members of the Knesset today that support the creation of an Israeli nationality which would allow Muslims willing to be loyal to Israel but who don't want to convert to have higher obligations (military service) and greater privileges (no housing discrimination).

      In general though this is an area where the Western Left is simply intolerant. Israel is populated almost entirely from people whose origins were Byzantine (Orthodox Christians and Muslims) not the Western Roman Empire (Latin Rite Catholics and later Protestants). The West went through an evolution on the concept of nationality and state that the east didn't. There are lots of issues in the Israeli / Palestinian conflict liking the Western European definition of nation instead of the Byzantine one is not one of them. Everyone involved in the conflict agrees with the Byzantine concepts and not the Western European concepts. A lot of your theology about religion and state are a product of the Reformation and the French Revolution. When you are dealing with Israel you are dealing with people for whom the Reformation and reactions to it are not part of their cultural heritage. In Eastern Europe the church and the state are still comfortably unified. Your choice of church is essentially a product of your ethnicity not your theology. A person is Greek Orthodox vs. Russian Orthodox because he’s Greek not because he holds that one does not need to take confession before every communion.

      If you talked to a typical Israeli they don't even have the cultural background to even understand what you as a westerner mean by "separation of church and state" or how you were using "Israeli national" above. Their concept of both "state" and "religion" are too different from your concept of those terms. Israel really is a foreign country. I've never been able to understand why western leftists have so much trouble just accepting that Israelis aren't westerners.

    • @Walker

      He is quite explicit in the article on his definition of a non-Zionist state, "It means, that one is not in rejection of a democratic, secular state, a state that is not a “Jewish state”, but that accepts Jews as Jews, as it allows religious freedom, as it separates religion from state."

    • @Amigo

      You still have state supported church schools. The constitution may forbid but that's still an established church. So no you aren't finished.

    • @John O

      Why would anybody who is opposed the the settler-colonialist project that is Zionism think that the Plantation of Ulster was laudable?

      Anti-colonialists at this point rather randomly choose which races are "indigenous natives" and which are colonists. There doesn't seem to be any set of consistent rules to it. South Africa was one of the best examples where many of the tribes supported were 13th century settlers. Of course many of the Palestinians are themselves recent settlers. So if you are asking me to pick which side in any particular anti colonialist venture you will find appealing and which you will find totally beyond the pale I have no idea. I don't understand leftists racism.

      That being said though the goal of anti-Zionism is to take the population that exists in Israel and overwhelm it with a bunch of Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians...

    • @Johnathan

      what does this departure from Zionism really mean in more practical terms? It means, that one is not in rejection of a democratic, secular state, a state that is not a “Jewish state”, but that accepts Jews as Jews, as it allows religious freedom, as it separates religion from state. That’s all.

      That's not all. Meretz supports a secular state. The discussion about which powers, including none at all, the Israeli state church should have occur entirely within a Zionist framework. The Status Quo Agreement ( ) was an agreement reached because 1940s Zionists were divided on the role of religion. It is likely the majority of 1940s Zionists opposed any role for a state church but at the time simply didn't want to fight that battle. The Israeli state doesn't need a Jewish state church more than France's move away from state Catholicism caused the state to cease to be French.

      Anti-Zionism is a desire to destroy the Jewish nation, not a desire to reform the Jewish state in any way including religious relations. A series of political reforms which left the Jewish nation intact and secure while merely changing some laws would be a failure of anti-Zionism not its completion.

      Let's pick another example to make this easier. Ireland has for the last 150 years been slowly weakening their state church. One can support Catholic control of the education system, support the church's influence or oppose either of those things without ceasing to be a supporter of the Irish Republic. The equivalent of an anti-Zionist would be someone who supported Cromwell's policy of England conquest and the settlement in Ireland of a non-Catholic population. The equivalent of anti-Zionism is opposition to the Irish nation, not just opposition to particular state policies.

  • Balfour anniversary drives a wedge into British consensus on Israel
    • @Amigo

      I suspect you are going to be sadly disappointed in Corbyn's wrath. Momentum is a majority of Labor party primary voters, it is not a majority of MPs nor Labor Party voters. More importantly Momentum oriented MPs will a definitely minority within Commons. Corbyn needs to get majorities to pass his agenda regardless of whether he is PM or not. The whole antisemitism thing is a symptom of the bigger problem for Corbyn that the Blairite Labor party does not agree with Corbyn's policies and are not going to want to see them enacted into law. If he tries to govern the way he has led all that happens, even with the title of PM, is bill after bill just gets voted down and potentially other legislation takes its place. Corbyn to get policies through either needs to compromise or horse trade. He can only compromise or horse trade to his right. The enthusiasm for Momentum will fall off as Corbyn ends up passing bills far to the right of what his supporters expect. The numbers just aren't there for a strong Corbyn and will never be there. PM Corbyn needs to avoid all of:

      1) A Blairite faction that negotiates and compromises with the Tories to pass alternatives to the official Labor Party agenda.
      2) An outright party split.
      3) Constant erosion as MPs and moderate Labor voters defect to the Tories.

      #3 is the reason he can't intimidate himself a majority. Deselection is a serious threat in an environment of a strong Conservative party. In a weaker environment the Conservative party will be actively recruiting Blairite MPs to switch. Unless the Blairites are in the Cabinet and actively making decisions what is he going to threaten them with?

      Getting specific to Jews there is even less he can do. 75% of Jews are Tory. The remaining 1/4 mostly float between Labor and Lib-Dems with little attachment to either party. The purge you think is going to happen already happened a generation ago. An anti-Israel Tory PM combined with Corbyn would be threatening to Jews interests. Corbyn alone not so much.

      Sure Corbyn can crack down on Jewish Friends of Labor and watch his Jewish support fall below 3%. If Labor has 3% or less Jewish voters are considering Labor, the view of Labor as an openly antisemetic party is going to be mainstream opinion. What Jewish Friends of Labor allege now the British public would be saying openly as simple fact after they are purged. There wouldn't be a debate. This gets compounded because some of the public might would like having a mainstream antisemetic party. You better believe the Tories and Blairites are going to have lots of televised interviews with voters who talk about how much they love PM Corbyn and voted for him because he is finally standing up to and sticking it to the Jews. So Corbyn in your crackdown world is not going to be having subtle debates about when anti-Zionism turns into antisemitism like leftist like. The whole define antisemitism so narrowly that no actual person qualifies trick won't work for a PM.

      You think Corbyn doesn't like the pressure now when the conversation is about antisemitism in Labor. He would like it far less when the conversation is Labor's antisemitic platform and policy. The Daily Mail or the Sun writing about antisemetic incidents is trouble. Those are mean papers. But wait until in your crackdown world it the USA State Department in an official report. PM Corbyn likely will need to fight desperately to keep the problem at only the current level of heat. So sorry. Your revenge fantasy ain't going to play out.

      If anything I mostly suspect much the opposite happens. Momentum is where Corbyn is strongest. It is going to be far easier for him to moderate Momentum on Israel than to effectively do anything about British policy or politics on the issue. Corbyn will drag Momentum to the right, because he has to on Israel and many other issues.

  • Newspaper ads offer employment help for new immigrants to Israel -- but only if you're Jewish
    • @echinococcus

      No actually the claim was skin color in the quite literal sense:

      Ossinev: " It would be interesting to know how many non blue eyed Aryan Jews get through the filtration process. I simply can`t imagine any British Jew with any significant skin darkening eg Arab or heaven forbid African background getting past the security guards at these meetings never mind through the initial “interview”.

      JosephA: " Let’s see if the white zionists in charge in Israel let dark, native, Palestinian Jews make aliyah!?

      And as for Marnie the claim was about the Jewish Agency not Israel generally. The proof for them is simply their history. During the 1940s and 1950s when racism in America and Europe was still very much a norm they were aggressively recruiting non-white Jews to make Aliyah in huge numbers. They cleared most of the world of its non-white Jewish population and made them Israelis. A process that they continue to this day.

      As for the more general claim I don't agree with you that Israel is particularly racist. The very high rate of mixed Mizrahi / Ashkenazi marriage offers definitive disproof of societal support for racism.

    • OK reality time. The Jewish agency is active in Muslim countries. They started dealing with large numbers of Mizrahi Jews in 1947 and the 1951 influx of 130k Iraqi Jews they handled. They did a lot to help move the Iranian Jews in the last generation. They are active in India where they are working with the Bnei Menasheh community to move 7000 Indian Jews. So all the comments about skin color are racism are simply nonsense. The Jewish Agency is not racist in the slightest. I have no idea where you people get these crazy ideas.

      Anyway in terms of the legality of this... in the 1970s it was ruled that Arab foreign contracting restrictions on Jews were perfectly legal under UK law. Kuwait pushed the issue against Rothschild, Warberg and Lazard Freres.that they needed to be excluded from all financing deals. That discrimination was going to be occurring inside the UK not in a 3rd country but on behalf of a country. So your predecessor anti-Zionists already established far worse than this is perfectly legal.

  • Israeli women march to 'wage peace' but refuse to challenge the occupation
    • @Misterioso

      In what possible world does that screed even attempt to make the argument it is easy to displace those 650k people? At best it seems to make an argument as to why you think its a good idea.

    • @Marnie

      I don't normally respond to you because you are too rude. But I'll give it a shot.

      1) Of the 3 major forms of government that can exist: large aristocratic government, nation states, small local governments I think on balance nation states offer the best combination of scale for economic projects with the most room for human freedom. So on balance I support nation states over the other alternatives. Given that Israeli Jews have a national identity and meet the other criteria for a nation state (the ability to maintain an army capable of standing alone...) I'd want them to have a state.

      2) I focus on maximizing the good to people in the here and now. An individuals benefits from a society are best measured through their utility (the log of annual spending). For a population then the sum of utility is the geometric mean of the annual spending of the members of the society. There are a lot of measures of good government and bad government but if we wanted to choose a single one that would be it. Israel and the Yishuv before it continue to do a wonderful job in boosting utility under challenging circumstances. Which means it is a good government.

      3) The Palestinians with the strongest national identity live in Gaza and have a terrible standard of living. The Palestinians with the weakest national identity live in Europe or Israeli Arabs and have a high standard of living among Palestinians. Palestinian culture is destructive to the utility of its participants. I hold brown people to the same standard of good government as I do white people. The Palestinian nationalism has resulted time after time in bad government that damages utility. And that includes their nationalism in places outside of Israel like Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon... so this is not solely the result of Israeli policy.

      4) Therefore the best thing that can happen to the Palestinians is they become Israelis and lose most of their cultural identity. A weak destructive culture dies and is replaced by a strong healthy culture.

      5) That still leaves the issue of "original sin" or whatever. I'm not particularly concerned with going back into ancient history and trying to fix wrong from generations past. I think there is some value in prosecuting criminal behavior near to the time it occurs, that value falls off quickly with time. That means in particular I don't approve of trying to right injustices that occurred more than a lifetime ago. The choice of Palestine as where to locate the Jewish state falls into that more than a lifetime ago category. There are other apologetics as to why it is a good choice, but mostly I don't think it matters. In 2017 as opposed to 1887 the cost of undoing this choice at this point far outweighs any possible benefit. Move on deal with the facts as they exist.

      6) As far as Kate's stuff I don't necessarily approve of the day to day brutality that Israeli society engages in. There is quite a lot of it I don't approve of. I think Netanyahu is being terribly inhumane and missing opportunities to make things better for everyone. And if this were a Liberal Zionist discussion board where we were rationally discussing less destructive alternatives to current Israeli policy I'd be happy to suggest those. But MW doesn't do that. It isn't interested in policy reform. It instead focuses on unfixable problem and tries to address them by advocating for the total destruction of a state and society. The levels of violence that Kate reports pale in comparison to what the destruction of Israel would involve. When you talk about the kinds of sequences of wars (since it usually involves multiple wars) that destroy a prosperous military strong state and society you are talking horrific losses. So my back of a napkin estimate for implementation of the anti-Zionist program is 100m dead. I don't like seeing kids shot unnecessarily. I don't like seeing whole cities full of kids incinerated more. You all advocate for more violence and hatred. Marnie have you listened to your tone lately? I have trouble taking you seriously when you talk about objecting to violence and hatred.

      7) So with all that the question becomes a search for the most humane way to implement the Zionist program and normalize Israel's relationship with a destructive minority. And that's the policy I support. Maximizing utility.

    • @Jonathan Ofir

      I disagree. I think the cause of the ‘conflict’ is Zionist settler-colonialism.

      I think you are right that's the root of your disagreement. All the other points about whether settlers should be included or whether a women led negotiation could make a difference or ... don't really matter. It all comes down to settler-colonialism.

      Settler-colonialism IMHO is just leftist for a mass migration. When one asks what characteristics "settler-colonialism" has there tend not to be any other than a group of immigrants that maintain a distinctive identity and sovereignty from the country they are moving to. Israelis certainly did and continue to do that. Israelis are completely unwilling to live under Palestinian law so they have strong incentives to continue to do that. Israelis are the much stronger party so they cannot be forced to live under a Palestinian sovereign .

      So then what? Where do you go from there? The problem as you phrased it is unfixable. So let's rephrase the question using that frame. If the eventual inevitable outcome is the total transformation of mandate Palestine into an Israeli state do you are at all what path that takes? There are paths that involve genocide, there are paths that involve a warm acceptance of Palestinians as individuals and there are paths where there is a warm acceptance of a Palestinian national identity render unthreatening to Israel. If you were a Palestinian I assume you want the less hostile paths. If you are Israeli I assume you want to implement the less brutal paths.

      Assume that's what the Women's Walk means by "peace". All they are saying is given the actual circumstances that exist they are looking for a best possible path. They want to construct a nice path that doesn't involve lots of killing. What objections do you have then?

    • @ Jonathan

      Well I can start by saying I don't disagree with your facts or your analysis. Which is good normally MW is squabbling about minor details and you can never get to the bigger more interesting points. Here I can.

      I agree with you about the fact that women aren't more moderate. Female led groups have higher rates of successful compromises then groups with male participants in decision making. More importantly for peace men are much less negative towards compromises drafted by women than by other men. That being said extremists are disproportionately male and that could derail a female led compromise. So it might work. I kind of lean towards giving it a shot.

      I agree with you that the Woman Wage Peace normalizes the settlements. You have Palestinians, left Israelis and rightist Israelis all petitioning the government to go back to negotiating in good faith. What that probably means with this crowd is that one starts from scratch. You start with we have groups A, B, C, D with interests Ai, Bi, Ci, Di and we want to negotiate between them.... That would be the approach they are advocating. There is no demonization, the settlers are just as entitled to have their interests reflected as leftish Israelis. You are correct this is a rejection of the UN framework that starts with the idea that we ignore the interests of the people on the ground in 2017 and instead look at lines created by accident in 1949.

      And that leads to the big area of disagreement. I think that rejection of the UN approach is absolutely fantastic. The easiest place to start is the settlers. Their are 650k settlers. It is rapidly growing population. There is no chance of any peace agreement being workable that settlers strongly oppose. You can engage in name calling like "war criminals" and get nowhere. This group can derail a peace if they want to. Make a peace entirely at their expense and they will. This is not like the Sinai or Gaza. Even if you could magically teleport the settlers back to Green Line Israel 10% of the population enraged for generations about a peace will necessarily undermine it. Think about how effective Hamas was in the 1990s at undermining the forward progress and you are talking a much larger and more influential group than the Hamas of the 1990s. So I fully support the alternative of engage them as a party that has interests, and choosing to respect their interests. Which does mean working to get their buy-in on a future agreement.

      Moreover not just in this specific I disagree strongly with the basic approach to the conflict you are advocating .of exclusion and demonization. The reason the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is hard to solve is that Israelis and Palestinians don't like each other. They dislike each other so much that they are unable to work together on building a better society for both of them. The dislike and quite often hatred is the cause of the conflict. Normalizing activities where everyone is working together undermines the conflict by undermining the root of the conflict. Eliminate the hatred and you eliminate the mistrust that makes the border such a serious matter. Eliminate the hatred and you eliminate the need for a border.

      Consider 4 classes of Arabs: Mizrahi Jews, Israeli-Arabs, West Bank Palestinians and Gazans. From left to right you have
      1) Greater levels of freedom in their day to day lives
      2) A greater desire for the Ashkenazi Jews to include them
      3) A greater desire among those Arabs to be included
      4) A greater willingness to work with Ashkenazi Jews on evolving Israeli society rather than seeking to destroy and replace it.
      5) A greater willingness to tolerate slow incremental improvement rather than taking drastic actions

      The Gazans would love to have the problems the West Bankers have. The West Bankers would love to have the problems the Israeli-Arabs have. The Israeli-Arabs would love to have the problems the Mizrahi have. The thing I have never understood when it comes to normalization is why someone interested in peace would encourage the West Bankers to pursue the Gazan's policy choices (in the 1980s) and not the Israeli-Arabs policy choices?

      You end with this line, "But when the party is over, the Palestinians go to their Bantustans, and the ‘moderate settler women’ drive on their Jewish-only roads to get to their settlements. If only the Arabs could somehow accept this as ‘peace’, then all would be well… " The difference between the "bantustans" and the "settlements" are on the ground, materially, fairly easy things to change. Far easier than displacing 650k people.

  • Wichita teacher sues Kansas for denying her work because she boycotts Israel
    • @Tom

      Thanks that is very helpful. That form as written is illegal unless elsewhere Kansas prohibits contracting non-corporate entities and everything I'm seeing on the website seems to indicate the opposite. Looks to me like they are going to need to change the form for sure. But I don't see why they need to change the law.

    • @Emory

      Or the state did not send Koontz a certification form to affirm that she does not boycott Israel?

      As I wrote in the long comment that's the part that I find unlikely. They likely asked her to certify the company which was going to be contracting does not boycott Israel. Or if they did ask her this question then there is a procedural error on the part of this agency. Or it wasn't an agency. Or any number of possibilities but Koontz's story doesn't seem likely.

      What is wrong with you JeffB?

      What's wrong with me is I don't believe Esther Koontz's version of events. I do not believe that Esther Koontz was ever offered a job or contract by the state of Kansas. Her story smells extremely implausible. Don't get me wrong, I don't think she's lying but I do think she's misunderstanding. Her story does sound authentic to a teacher not really getting all the tax / legal implications that are going on and describing what she perceives to have happened. But that's different then saying that's what happened. Her I get. The ACLU on the other hand? They know better.

      Critical details are missing that those present don't make sense. Basic stuff like whether she was W2ing or 1099ing? Are we talking amounts over or below the thresholds ($400-1200)? What's she's describing is behavioral control (they are sending her to training class to tell her what to do) and financial control (she can't take a loss). Why would a state agency be hiring her as an independent contractor under those conditions?

      I could imagine something like this was a contractor to a state agency that was W2ing her as a temporary employee but also offered 1099 and had unified paperwork (stupid and legally dangerous but not uncommon for hiring subcontractors). Then I can believe the events. I can believe she woudn't have caught the wrapping. I can't believe ACLU wouldn't have caught her being wrapped. But if she's wrapped Kansas ain't the one that broke the law here.

      So we are going to spend a year fishing till we actually see some detailed filings.

    • @Phil

      It's not in the NYTimes because it is a fundraising gimmick for the ACLU. Her version of events is unlikely, I'd say the most likely outcome is she loses on standing. No exciting 1st amendment debate at all.

      Here is the problem with the case in brief. She claims she was going to hired as a "contractor". "any individual or company seeking a contract with the state " . So first off contract as what. Does she mean she was going to be a W2 temporary employee? They why would they be applying a business document that they ask of companies? If they do that's a procedural error on that part of that agency. The next possibility would be a 1099 an individual without an underlying but that's very unlikely for a state agency. And while I've never done business with Kansas I suspect illegal.

      So probably there is some LLC call it Ester Koontz LLC this paperwork was directed at. Ester Koontz LLC may pass money through to Ester Koontz but it is not Ester Koontz. The LLC doesn't boycott Israel, the managing director does in her personal life. So all that happened is the managing director of an LLC she refused to sign a document indicating that her LLC does not discriminate on the basis of national origin. Most likely she didn't understand the document (most Americans don't understand the distinction between these various corporate classification, it doesn't come up if you aren't doing anything complex).

      Her lawsuit is based on the state having offered her a contract, and I suspect that Kansas is going to argue she was never offered a contract at all. No exciting first amendment case. No big showdown on BDS. Nothing of the sort. And even if they did offer her a contract Kansas is going to rightfully just argue the means of redress is to fix the procedural error.

      That's why there is no coverage. We just have a school teacher who just doesn't understand tax law and the ACLU grabbing some headlines for fundraising on a case I suspect they know will blow up. But it will blow up harmlessly while they wait for a much better case.

      There are other possibilities of course. But this is a not a good case.

      And before I get posts below about first amendment stuff. Read what I wrote. There are no first Amendment issues unless you want to agree with Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores that corporations are entitled to religious opinions. And before you go there think through what that means for just about every anti-discrimination and anti-corruption rule affecting government contractors.

  • In Ireland, a Palestinian is understood
  • On my sixth visit, I've never seen Gaza so devastated
    • @oldgeezer

      If I use your logic then Israel is responsible for carrying out attacks against 20 Christian churches including total destruction proving that there is no freedom of religion in the 2bit state and that they are waging war against Christianity.

      I think your analogy is correct and your analysis of it is off. Yes it is reasonable to hold Israel responsible for the actions of settler militias that operate freely on Israeli soil. That then means there is some religious persecution. It doesn't mean there is "no freedom of religion in Israel". There clearly is quite a lot of freedom of religion in Israel not none.

      In most areas of policy in most countries goals conflict and at the point of conflict you often contradictory policies. States and societies have to choose between various goals, prioritizing them to resolve these conflicting policies. Israel is not going to have any less of a problem with this issue of conflicting goals than any other state.

      To pick a similar example: Germany officially persecutes Scientology. At the same time they have Freedom of Religion in Germany. Germany wants to persecute groups they see as totalitarian. They also want people to be able to freely practice the religion of their choice and not discriminatie. You end up with a mixed policy where the church is persecuted, especially by German states. Members are persecuted by the broader culture and some governments. Yet there is are Church of Scientology buildings in multiple German cities.


      As for "external pressure" and peace that's absolutely true. All the countries in the middle east make their policies based on USA pressure. We have no idea what the politics of the middle east would look like without extensive USA involvement and we can only speculate.
      We do know that Israel's natural foreign policy is extremely destabilizing and contrary to USA interests. Since the 1956 war the USA policy towards Israel has been to bring them into the USA orbit by giving them weapons and international support in exchange for the acting against their own interests to advance USA policy. The situation with ISIS in Syria being an example. Fracking is changing the USA political calculation. And at the same time Iranian aggression in the middle east is changing many other country's attitudes towards Israel.

      It is possible at some point the USA steps back from its heavy handed role and lets Turkey, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel design their own middle east policy and structure. Then we will have a state where the countries aren't responding to USA pressure. A very different middle east but one governed by the regional powers and not by a global power. But today that is not the case for any country in the region. They all make policy in response to the USA.

    • @Donald

      Israelis and their supporters think BDS is viciously antisemitic when nothing anyone has proposed comes close to the effects of the Gaza blockade

      You have been on Mondoweiss far too long to believe that. You see things to be done to the Israelis proposed well beyond the Gaza blockade regularly here. Ask Amigo or Echinococcus about their proposals (100% ethnic cleansing and 100% population destructive respectively). The rhetoric of the BDS movement is genocidal. That's been the objection. There are BDSers who only support mild sanctions but then why belong to a movement with such rhetoric? If you mean the BDSers don't have any realistic possibility of carrying out a blockade in the near future, of course that is true. The movement is silly in trying to achieve policy objectives well beyond what mild sanctions can with mild sanctions and the movement is equally silly in believing that anyone wants to all out war on a nuclear power over the Palestinians.

      The Gaza blockade is cruel. It never should have been necessary to inflict this level of harm to get the Palestinians to finally admit their "armed resistance" fantasy was totally unworkable. When Hamas took control there should have been an immediate stated desire for cooperation and coexistence with Israel. The destruction and loss was totally unnecessary. The people though who encouraged the Gazans all through with promises of a level of "international solidarity" that they couldn't deliver on were you all, the Arab states and the Europeans. As I've said here for many years the only state in the world for whom the disposition of the territories is a matter of vital national interest is Israel. Ultimately that means Israel will decide what does or doesn't happen. That's who the Palestinians need to be appealing to and negotiating with. Not the UN, not BDS, not even the USA.

      Gaza has done a lot of harm to itself in the last dozen years. It needs an awful lot of help. The country in the best position to help doesn't like the Gazans. A responsible government would be addressing those problems.

    • @oldgeezer

      Egypt, Jordan is Israel's southern and eastern borders. Israel respects the Mediterranean sea, the fish haven't been invaded. So that leaves the north. Which is the one border where the Arabs won't sign a peace treaty. It is worth noting the Northern border with Lebanon was quiet before the Palestinians moved in. Which I think shows that Israel is willing to live at peace if its neighbors are.

      Witness the recent violation of Syrian airspace which Israel categorized as a routine (violation and act of war against Syria) operation.

      Yes. Syria when it existed as a country was in a declared state of war with Israel, and has attempted invasion multiple times. It is not entitled to security of its airspace while being at war. If there ever is again a Syria to sign a peace treaty then can sign one and then there will be secure border.

      This was confirmed by Israel in interviews with the ToI in which they admitted that Hamas had been respecting it’s agreement and enforcing the agreement against other militant groups that disobeyed.

      Hamas as the government of the territory is responsible for any militia operating within its territory that they are not actively opposing. If the Michigan militia attacked Canada, the USA wouldn't be respecting the border.

    • @Jane Porter

      Why does israel have to be “recognized by the Palestinian?”.

      That was the big agreement that came out of the 1991 talks that led to Oslo and the early Oslo talks. All the peace for all the land. Israel had wanted to give the Palestinians some land in exchange for resolving most claims. The Palestinian side had wanted to resolve some claims in exchange for all the land. This formula was the compromise. The final status would resolve all Palestinian claims. The Palestinians would get all the 1967 territory back. Both sides then started waffling a bit. Palestinians felt that RoR was an individual right that they could not totally negate in a peace treaty. Israelis had certain specific pieces of land they really really wanted like the road to Hebrew University or the Kotel.

      And then you have settlements making "all the land" harder and harder. And then you have Palestinian terrorism and Gaza making "all the peace" something the Palestinians can't deliver. Then you have the Arab league sweetening the deal, and then pulling back....

      But without a solid resolution what do the Palestinians have to trade for any of the land Israel wants? Even with a solid resolution it is getting harder to see that they have enough to trade to justify the cost. That's why Liberal Zionists were so upset about the settlement project. Without settlements reasonable people could argue that Israel was getting a much worse deal. With the settlements having raised the cost.... almost everyone can see the '67 are not a good deal for Israel.

      A real country doesn’t have to demand to be recognized

      Is China a real country? Was the Soviet government of Russia real? Is Norway a real country? The Philippines? Zimbabwe? They all had recognition problems.

    • @Eljay

      Gaza was reduced to a small coastal region, its popuLation confined and isolated from the remainder of not-Israel.

      That's also their fault. Prior to the 1st Intifada there was free and liberal travel from Gaza, to Jewish and Israeli Arab parts of Green Line Israel, to the West Bank. There was even reasonably good travel in and out of the country for Gazans.

      The Gazans had that. They more than the West Bankers decided to screw that up. The first intifada starts at Jabalia. And their really good reason for screwing up that coexistence was there was a bad traffic accident that was, I will admit, an Israeli guy's fault. Normally you would expect them to argue for a bigger settlement check from the company that owned the truck or protesting to have the driver's license rescinded. The Gazans instead decided to: call a general strike, boycott cooperation with the Israeli Civil Administration institutions in the Gaza Strip, start an economic boycott, refuse to pay taxes, refuse to drive Palestinian cars with Israeli licenses, graffiti, barricading, and throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the IDF. And after a 1/2 dozen years of them not being willing to act appropriately, they got a sealed border. As they engaged in terrorism against Israel and Egypt that border has tightened and now mostly they can't travel.

      I will agree you can blame Israel for not being a society of perfect drivers, where traffic accidents happen. The rest of the mess is mainly on the Gazans. Its sheer bigotry to ignore their role in constant escalation.

    • @Eljay

      Your sanitized analogy conveniently omits the fact that those self-entitled people entered the dog’s yard, claimed it for themselves, set up tents, beat the dog, chained it in a corner of the yard and killed its pups. But, yeah, it’s all the dog’s fault for being “nasty”.

      They never did that to the Gazans either. Here is a map of Yishuv settlement. You can see there is almost nothing in the towns and villages for the people who became Gazans.

      The only major incident in Gaza prior to the 1947 war was in 1929 when the Gazans ethnically cleansed hundreds of Palestine Jews (not recent immigrants from Europe) to Tel Aviv. I know you want to make this a reaction to Jewish aggression but there wasn't any. Gazans have nothing to gripe about prior to 1947. And I should mention in the early 1970s when Israel does a major construction project which even neutral foreign observers agree is for the benefit of the Gazans (the effects of this construction problem are probably the reason the health problems took until the 2010 to appear) it is the PLO who objects. You don't have any settlement until 1972. The barrier doesn't exist until 1994.

      Much as you would like to blame the Jews history doesn't allow it. The Gazans were the aggressors on this one. Excluding the 47 war, the conflict with them starts with the first Intifada.

    • @JohnO

      “The Gazans will not agree to respecting the border.”
      You mean Israel has agreed where its border lies? Who knew?

      Israel has a clear cut border with Gaza. There is no debate on that border at all. Interestingly the Israeli right has been talking about granting Gaza more land in Israel proper (and potentially exchange some Israeli land for Egyptian land) and expanding the territory. There remain property issues with the West Bankers but not the Gazans.

    • @lonely rico

      Your missing the reference to chains in the analogy. Answer my question I always ask. If the situation is as you say, why haven't the Gazans asked the Israelis for terms of surrender? Why is the Gazans don't (or at least didn't prior to 2014) see themselves as being as helpless as you do?

    • @Keith

      These are the terms:

      There is no promise to remove the blockage much the opposite. And no Gaza has never agreed to live at peace with Israel. Mowing the lawn is degrading enemy forces that's a standard tactic against an enemy where you don't see concentration of force. And no Israel cannot unilaterally get Gaza to stop attacking Israel. That's the problem. The Gazans will not agree to respecting the border.

    • @Eljay

      Sorry that analogy doesn't cut it. It isn't even close to true. There are no chains. Israel's desire for Gaza is that they agree to be a peaceful state in Gaza. It the Gazans not the Israelis who insisted on no peace. "We recognize the State of Israel. We agree to live in peace with Israel and will coordinate with them as neighbors. Gaza makes no further claims" would end this immediately. If you want to make an analogy the analogy would be something like a nasty attack dog that tries to kill someone every time people go near it and so hasn't been stuck on a chain tied to a pole in the ground.

      I think the Gazans in 2017 probably are ready to accept an Israeli offer. Netanyahu is missing an opportunity here. But in 2014 they Gazans weren't. You can read the rhetoric here in the archives about how they were going to defeat Israel.

  • The low-rent bullying of the Zionist ideologue
    • @Annie

      it doesn’t matter what you think because this will never happen. and your analogy is stupid because israel is not a civil state where “the same laws that would be applied to a jewish kid” and you damn well know it.

      No actually I don't actually damn well know it. In Green line Israel, in Jerusalem and in the Golan that is what happens. There is some discrimination for sure but there is the application of civil law to both parties and flawed but real attempts at fairness. Area-C is unique in that one ethnic group lives under a military dictatorship and another has the civil law of a democracy. That's extremely problematic and those 150k Palestinians have every right to complain about gross violations of their civil rights and I hope they do petition for Israeli law to apply to them. But that is where the problem is and that problem is best addressed by applying civil law to all residents of Area-C. A policy that you all reject. Israel deserves some blame, but mainly it is the pro-UN crowd that is at fault for civil law not being applied in Area-C.

      The sort of unhinged response to me advocating for Palestinian rights is a good example of what Ellen's friend finds troubling. And this is not the first time that when I do agree there is a problem with some aspect of Israeli policy and do agree to advocate for reform of that policy you immediately attack. Which is a good argument against the policy being the cause of your distaste for Israel.

      As for the rest of your response you are intermixing too many areas. When we restrict to Green Line Israel and Golan I'd reject your description as remotely accurate. I don't like the small percentage of mixed housing. But it most certainly exists and new units are created regularly. In terms of Arab villages there about 20 that have undergone major expansion projects this decade alone with full legal approval.

      Is there still discrimination, yes there is. Is your bleak picture remotely consistent with reality, no. Israel housing laws are obnoxious even for Jews. You can see plenty of threads from USA American Jewish investors complaining about how complex construction is in Israel. You can see similar comments from Israeli Jews. Israel after many years finally got its first REITs and that took a lot of work from American Jews and Israeli partners. Arab investors from Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Kuwait ... are quite experienced in REITs it would be good for everyone if they assisted Israel here in an area where they have far more experience and knowledge than Israelis do.

      But that's exactly the kind of thing your group opposes: cooperation based on mutual respect to advance coexistence. You want to complain about the effects of hatred then stop advocating for more of it. There are constructive initiatives to fix housing problems in Israel, work with those if housing bothers you.

    • @Eljay

      want Israel to be primarily for Jewish Israelis and non-Israeli Jews

      As you well know that's not true. In Zionist thinking we are in a transitional phase during the ingathering of the exiles. Which is happening rather rapidly. Zionists mostly don't want there to be many non-Israeli Jews long term.

      And moreover this has little to do with Ellen's friend's objection to the report. Imagine if Ellen were like you claim to be primarily concerned about state churches and was liking reports that were critical of Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Greece all the time This would create a context where objecting to Israel's state church wouldn't raise any flags regarding bias. Focusing on Israel's incessantly while being indifferent to the others OTOH is a double standard. That double standard doesn't get defeated by brushing the other's aside like you do with, "well I also object to those but let's go back to talking about Israel". If state churches are the problem Israel is far from the worst offender.

    • @Ellen

      I'm going to assume the question was honest. You didn't mention who the report was from. My guess is this also isn't your first post on Israel. More importantly I don't think anti-Zionist quite understand the extent to which they assume double standards when it comes to Israel. So let's eliminate the Israel part, you are going to balk here but don't if you want to for a moment see this from your friend's point of view.

      Imagine in the United States if you had a bunch of say ethnic Mexicans (including some illegals) moving into a neighborhood and the local black kids would gather every week to throw stones from a hilltop at them saying this town is for Americans only and hispanics shouldn't be there. The local and state police show up, try and stop them keep them from getting too close and sometimes arrest them. The black kids toss molotov cocktails at the cops. The cops mostly keep the people apart but of course over the course of multiple encounters because this is a violent demonstration there are shootings, beatings... Now imagine there was a report written by a black civil rights group that talked about these arrests. It showed that some kids who were there to demonstrate against the Mexicans but who weren't throwing stones at a specific incident had gotten hurt. Many of the people arrested were juveniles and there had been procedural problems. Being arrested for tossing gasoline on fire at a cop carries a stiff penalty and those kids were suffering terribly by doing several years in jail. The report definitely came from a framework that Mexicans should be in Mexico and they had no right to be in a black community. So it saw the black kids as protesting an injustice and police as oppressors.

      On what side of that issue would you be? Your friend fundamentally rejects your frame which starts with the assumption that Jews are not entitled to the same rights as other people. If you don't start with the frame of assuming that Jewish inhabitation is somehow illegitimate you never get to your positions reflected in that report. What she's rejecting is your support for the idea that Jews do not have the same rights to Israel as the French do in France or the Chinese in China. Jews are never going to accept the position that they are an illegitimate people not entitled to the same rights as other people. That is the position the Palestinians reject. Including Palestinian children who engage in demonstrations. When you "like" the report you are supporting the assumptions underlying the report and those are Antisemitic in the views of every mainstream Jew right or left.

      I fully get the argument that Anti-Zionists make that somehow if they don't oppose Jews as long as they live as a disempowered minority and make no attempt to change that they aren't Antisemitic. Essentially 0% of Jews accept that argument. Jews don't believe that there only rights should be those of a disempowered minority. You have an extremely narrow view of Antisemitism and thus react with shock when someone with a more expansive view calls you one. The definition most Jews use is anything short of full and total equality they would apply to any other people in a similar circumstance.

      In 1917 a non-antisemite could oppose the existence of Israel. In 2017 you can't. Without at some point falling racist criteria about how some people are entitled to move somewhere, form governments to represent their interests... and others aren't based purely on birth, religion, ethnicity... there is no argument for opposition to Israel. That's not to say one can't object to some Israeli policies and not be an antisemite. I'm a strong Zionist and I find Israel's use of summary detention (which probably was being applied) appalling. I think those kids are entitled to a full and fair trial under the same laws that would be applied to a Jewish kid who committed similar crimes. But you notice the distinction between my position and what's likely in that report. I'm starting with the assumption that the Israeli government is legitimate and has a bad policy. The report most likely is coming from a place that the Israeli government is illegitimate and has no right to make any policies at all. From there it denies the state the authority to have legitimate interests and then concludes that almost anything Israel does constitutes a violation of the legitimate people's (the Palestinians) civil rights.

      If you actually do ever really want to understand why your friend was upset. Do the replacement I suggested. Turn that report into a report about black kids objecting to a Mexican settlement in their city and see how it reads. I know you object to that analogy, but she doesn't. And your refusal to agree to that analogy is why she found your acts and statements offensive.

    • @lyn117

      However, no one in the BDS movement that you’re seeking to suppress is seeking to depopulate Israel of Jews

      Look at Misterioso's comment right above yours. That's a wonderful example.

      and I don’t know any other organized movement that’s seeking to depopulate Jews from what used to be Palestine.

      The country of Iran as a matter of state policy. Hezbollah openly and explicitly. Hamas until a few weeks ago in their charter. The organizations you all often support. Moreover the BDS movement frequently talks about the permanent illegitimacy of Jewish inhabitation. Jews born in palestine are still "colonial invaders". Finally, BDS itself explicitly takes the position that the 650k Jews who live beyond the Green Line should be ethnically cleansed.

      No one is attempting to make Jews uncomfortable, or go after companies that do business with Jews.

      Oh really? 1952 Arab league boycott against the Federal Republic of Germany for their reparations regarding the use of slave labor. Those were Jews. And measures like that have continued to this day. For example non-Israeli citizens with Israeli stamps which include most Jews who travel or people who do business cannot enter: Lebanon, Libya (? unclear in last few years), Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria (? unclear if they can enforce anymore), Yemen.

      As for not going after business within the BDS movement proper. Take a look at the MW archive.

      As for harassment at a social level. There have now been thousands of complaints. Do you really think all those people are lying? I can certainly point to specific documented examples. this one doesn't even happen to a Jew but is a wonderful example of the boycott harassment:

      The BDS movement in Concordia ended up banning Hillel (backfired but still they did go there).

      The bullying attacks aren’t made by anyone in the BDS movement.

      BDS doesn't have formal membership. When anti-Zionist marches happen calling for a boycott of Israel that's the BDS movement. The people who do that in "in the movement". When they then decide to take things further they are still "in the movement"

      But maybe Zionists shouldn’t commit crimes or discriminate against the non-Jewish indigenous people of the territory they claim, simply because the Zionists want the place to be as cleansed of non-Jews as they can make it.

      Or maybe when you use hateful rhetoric you should be honest enough to admit the effect of it. If you choose a style of rhetoric whose inevitable effect is violence then you are deliberately inducing violence. Have the moral courage to admit that's what you are doing. Netanyahu hasn't personally shot anyone but stuff he says causes people to get shot.

    • @Thomas

      I don't think your analogy holds up.

      1) Jews are not a large and diverse group. They are a small and diverse group.

      2) Your hypothetical criticism of Italy is very different than the critique of Zionism being complained about. Those types criticisms are mainstream and don't get attacked. There is no movement that pushes for depopulating Italy and replacing it with say Chinese people.

      3) The anti-Zionist movement doesn't happen in casual conversation. It happens as an incest public interest group that continually attempts to make Jews uncomfortable. It goes after companies that do business with Jews, it goes after Jewish business, it goes after foreign diplomats. It goes after arabs who engage in any sort of social discourse.

      There is nothing comparable to bullying attacks in France against Jewish children in your Italy analogy.
      There is nothing comparable to the desire for total hatred implied by acts like:


      This isn't about a conversation.

  • Anti-blackness and the core logic of Zionism
    • @Kev

      Link to source:

      As far as registering as a foreign agent: Hillel doesn't lobby (its parent does) those laws don't apply. You can freely work on behalf of a foreign country's culture in the United States. Anime book stores, Symphonic metal websites and Latino music stores all do that. The purpose of registration laws is to disclose hidden ties. Hillel's ties are open and explicit.

    • @Eljay

      So…according to Hillel, Judaism requires Jews to engage in oppression, colonialism, (war) crimes and religion-based supremacism. Huh.

      No that's according to Eljay not Hillel. Hillel has a positive view of Israel and doesn't agree with your belief they do any of those things. It is anti-Zionists who pretend that Israel is some sort of one dimensional country and all they do is oppress Palestinians.

      Hillel understands that Israel is a thriving democratic state with a range of opportunities and a rich culture. Hillel does israel travel programs, professional education and training in partnership with Israeli educational institutions and companies, and Israeli cultural events. I've lived in America approaching 50 years. There are 8.66m highway miles in the United States. I've built 0 of them.

    • @[email protected]

      they are wrong because Hillel is supposed to represent ALL Jews on campus.

      When does Hillel ever say they represent anyone? It doesn't have formal membership and doesn't have a lobbying arm (though the parent organization does). Hillel is a student group that provides services. It is a means for B'nai B'rith to "promote Jewish unity & continuity". That is the goal not representation.

      If some Jewish ideas are banned at Hillel, it can not claim to be universally Jewish.

      I think you are confusing ideas promoted by Jews and Jewish ideas. Those are not the same thing. For example Santa Muerte is believed in by some Catholics. The Catholic church considers it a form of devil worship and a heresy. The fact that Catholics do it does not make it a Catholic in the religious sense. It does make it a part of some Catholic's culture.

      Anti-Zionism is clearly something that some Jews do. It is not something that Hillel considers a legitimate part of Judaism.

      Israel is at the heart of Hillel’s work. Our goal is to inspire every Jewish college student to develop a meaningful and enduring relationship to Israel and to Israelis. We know that engaged and educated students can become committed Jewish adults who are passionate supporters of Israel. Hillel welcomes, partners with, and aids the efforts of organizations, groups, and speakers from diverse perspectives in support of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.

      Hillel is quite specific they consider the following 4 activities to be anti-Jewish even while acknowledging Jews engage in them:
      * Deny the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish and democratic state with secure and recognized borders;
      * Delegitimize, demonize, or apply a double standard to Israel;
      * Support boycott of, divestment from, or sanctions against the State of Israel;
      * Exhibit a pattern of disruptive behavior towards campus events or guest speakers or foster an atmosphere of incivility.

      BTW non-Zionists are fine for Hillel. Certain forms of anti-Zionist activity are prohibited.

    • The definition of antisemitism is a cluster of beliefs that assert that Jews are knowing agents of the forces of evil. It is rather specific in its theories:

      • 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.

    • @Devyn

      Hopmi excellent points. Devyn you should consider his points. And just to flll in the example include Jewish Voice for Peace in your coalition doesn't make your coalition any less antisemetic than the neoconfederate militia movement including a few black members makes them any less racist. All groups have dissidents who are alienated from their group. Liking dissidents is not the same as liking the group.

      As for your basic thesis you probably are being condescended to because right now Jews don't believe blacks are really long term opponents of their interests. Politicians are the best example. Faced with a black candidate who had a well thought out carefully considered opposition to Zionism, Jewish voters and donors would back their primary opponent, back the Republican in the general, and keep going at them for the rest of their career. By Jews giving Blacks the "ignorance" out Black politicians don't permanently lose the support of a key constituency.

      So right now your activists backpedal on their opposition to Zionism as they move to go mainstream politicians. They are the ones who publicly assert that anti-Zionism is based in ignorance. Let's take some Keith Ellison statements for example:

      * It was difficult for me to see that the struggle for equality for African Americans could be subverted into hatred of others, specifically anti-Semitism. I focused on Farrakhan speaking to concerns of Black men. When I became aware that he made hateful statements about other groups, including the Jewish community with whom I was so close, I knew that I must reject his teachings. And I rejected them completely.

      * In my mind, confident that the Iron Dome funding that I have always strongly supported would pass, I cast a vote reflecting my commitment to restoring calm and quiet at a moment of violence. My voice was not being heard and I felt in the moment that casting my vote was a vital way to amplify my message. It was the wrong way to speak out and it was the wrong way to vote. I regret it deeply.

      The problem with claiming ignorance is coming from your community. I don't have any doubt a majority of Blacks who understand the issue would identify with the Palestinians. But I don't think the Black community wants anti-Zionism more than it wants Jewish votes, Jewish money, Jewish activism. For much the same reason Jewish politicians don't want to lose Black votes and Black activism. Israel is for the Jew's collectively the #1 issue. That's not to say individually, I'm a strong Zionist and it comes in #3, but collectively it is #1. If the Black community becomes institutionally anti-Zionist then there is a split between two constituencies in the Democratic party who refuse to support each other's candidates. Ultimately if it lasts the Blacks win the battle and lose the war because Jews become Republicans. They can leave, Blacks can't. I think most Black activists are ignorant of the priority. And so when they need broader support that's what they suddenly discover. Its just a political trade for most black politicians. They back the side they disagree with in a tribal war in the middle east that they don't care much about and in exchange they keep an ally they care a great deal about.

  • The problem with Miko Peled's 'Holocaust: yes or no'
  • 'A blot on Judaism, Jewish history and ethics' -- British Jews regret the Balfour Declaration
    • @RoHa

      Not off message. Don't know much about that conference. But if in 1938 the allied powers had agreed to help the Germans resettle the Jews there is no holocaust.

    • @JLewisDickerson

      That's what the USA Irish community did. And they weren't even a state just a nation within a state. American Committee for Relief in Ireland, Irish Northern Aid Committee, Friends of Sinn Féin (IRA and other groups) had sitting governors, senators, mayors... on its board. Very similar to Saudi Arabia and Al Qaeda where there the state was not quite willing to do so but large factions within the society were clearly not torn.

    • @Misterioso

      It should not be forgotten that the Balfour Declaration was illegal.

      When it was issued, Palestine was still a province of the Ottoman Empire. Hence, by viewing “with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish peoples,” the Balfour Declaration violated the well established legal maxim, “Nemo dat quod non habet” (nobody can give what he does not possess.)

      I don't buy it. If you are going to take the status literally then the British just promise two things.

      1) to view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people
      They did favor it at the time and then waffled. So they broke their promise in the other direction. Countries are allowed to view with favor developments in other countries.

      2) They will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object
      And they didn't do this. But they certainly are entitled to make endeavors to facilitate and objective.

      For example the USA objected to the legal status of Scientology in Germany in the 1990s and early 2000s. We didn't own Germany. But we viewed with favor the change in status and did make endeavors to facilitate the change in policy.

  • From Greta Gerwig to NYU, Israel has deep reservoir of cultural support in U.S.
    • @Keith

      The Zionists were primarily concerned with what they euphemistically describe as the national redemption of the Jewish people, that is, reestablishing Jewish tribalism on a secular blood and soil basis. Zionism was NOT about refugeeism and saving individual Jews.

      Refugees were Jews, the Zionists wanted Jews. I'd agree the focus is not on individuals but if you save large groups those groups are composed of individuals. I'm not even sure what the distinction would be.

      Palestine was totally inadequate to handle the large number of refugees that would have entailed.

      We know that's not true because from 1945 on Palestine does handle large number of refugees who are far poorer than the refugees from the late 1930s would have been. I don't see evidence that this couldn't have been done.

      I'm not being dishonest, I just disagree with you.

    • @Maghlawatan

      Progressives destroyed elite corruption such as Tammany Hall.

      Tammany Hall was corruption coming out of ethnic ghettos. It was poor people's corruption. It was anti-elitist not elite corruption. It was the end of widespread immigration and thus the lack of need for ethnic ghettos that undermined Tammany. Things like non discrimination in housing. And if one were going to attribute the fight against Tammany to any political party I'd say moderate pro business Republicans and moderate Democrats had far more to do with it. Ed Koch, Nelson Rockefeller, Fiorello H. La Guardia, Thomas Dewey,... that crew is what killed off the last of the Tammany machine.

    • @JosephA

      Misterioso writes long well researched documented lists that don't respond to the point in question.

    • @JohnO

      “Indiscriminate” In the narrowest dictionary definition of “indiscriminate” – lacking in judgement or purpose – you are correct: the Zionist terrorists had a goal and their actions were in pursuit of that goal.

      OK good that's progress. Now let's move onto "constant". I'll assert that Jewish terror is highly non constant and situational. That the levels of Jewish terror have huge non-random swings year to year. Precisely the opposite of constant. Most of the time there is little if any. There is a big spike in 1937 against the Palestinians and a big spike after WW2 against the British. There is a spike for a month or so in 1947 but that turns into full on armed conflict quickly.

      In the context of conflict, however, “indiscriminate” has a wider, pejorative, meaning – a failure to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants – as I am sure you must be aware.

      That's true for a military. The goal of the Irgun and the Lehi was not defeat British Army militarily. They couldn't win that war. The goal was to drive up the cost of the occupation both political and financial. I'd argue they were doing that.

      “[A]chieving major territorial objectives with a low loss of life”. Did the terrorists consider achieving their objectives with no loss of life?

      Yes. It most certainly was considered by Jews (obviously not by terrorists). Up until the 1920s when the British started restricted immigration and were rather indifferent towards Palestinian slaughters of Jewish immigrants. Then the policy changed. Zionists have consistently proven willing to pursue peaceful when they are effective. They have proven willing to utilize violent means when peaceful means prove ineffective.

      Did they consider the morality of having major territorial objectives in a land where many of them were recent immigrants?

      Of course. Considered and agreed to.

      “… since the refugees were blamed it increased British belief in Jewish fanaticism about Palestine.”

      And you’re OK that the end justifies the means?

      Yes I'm OK with that. Yes I support what the Zionists did. They freed the Jews from 1900 years of horror. I see a record of very ethical people making reasonable choices given a bad situation. That's not to say all choices were perfect, but I'm very hard pressed when I look at Yishuv or Israeli history to see widespread violence that is beyond what is probably required to achieve the objective. I see a tremendously ethical record.

      One can look at the Roma which are another group of Europeans that are similarly hated. The Nazis wiped out 1/2 the Roma. And yet they still live in fear and suffering in Europe. Like 19th century Jews they do well in the USA but there is no hope of the USA absorbing the entire population.

      “By demonstrating British complicity in Hitler (what was evolving towards and would quickly become the extermination program) the Zionist put tremendous pressure on Britain.”

      In November 1940, Britain (and its empire) stood alone against Nazism and was suffering grievously for it: with the exception of the Battle of Britain and some naval actions in the Mediterranean, Britain was being regularly defeated. The Zionist pressure on Britain was not helpful to the defeat of Nazism,

      The Zionists did not consider defeating Nazism the primary goal they were trying to save Jews. Britain locking Jews into Holocaust countries so as to maintain the Arab alliance resulted in the deaths of millions of Jews while simultaneously making Britain more able to defeat the Nazis. There is a conflict of interests there in terms of priorities. Both sides wanted Britain to defeat the Nazis, both sides were opposed to the mass extermination. But in the end Britain eliminated alternatives to mass extermination, in their goal of defeating the Nazis.

      The Zionists were right to be on the British side, but don't confuse that with 100% agreement over tactics and ends. And BTW there is a good example of where your country did what you are so upset about regarding dozens of people to millions.

      “… by 1940 the policy that a Jew in Palestine was under Haganah discipline was well established policy. When the refugees boarded that ship they accepted Haganah rule.”

      Have you asked them?

      Yes. There is no shortage of books and memoirs from that generation. That generation was the height of Israeli patriotism. They understood without a moment's doubt what the alternative to Israel is.

    • @John

      JeffB: “What does a bombing in 1940 protesting British immigration policy have to do with 1947-8? And that the Haganah had done it was not known until 1957. This point doesn’t make sense.”

      John O: My point was that your claim that before 1947-8 there was only “sporadic terrorism” is wrong.

      That was in the context of the migration. There was no migration in 1940. There was pretty serious violence 1937-9.

      Zionist conducted a campaign of constant, serious and indiscriminate terrorism for almost as long as they had been immigrating into Palestine.

      Let's start with the weakest point, indiscriminate. I'd argue the Zionist terrorism was highly focused and purposeful achieving major territorial objectives with a low loss of life. I'd like you to make a case for indiscriminate.

      That they would target a ship carrying Jews to safety from Hitler’s Europe almost beggars belief.

      The ship was being turned away and the refugees sent back. By disabling the ship they got the refugees sent to Palestine. 81% were alive and legally in Palestine by August 1945. Moreover since the refugees were blamed it increased British belief in Jewish fanaticism about Palestine. It increased the belief of some British that there could not be a peaceful solution without Jewish emigration that this would become an unsolvable problem unless immigration were opened.

      But more importantly the incident hit global news, especially American news, that the Britain was sending people back to concentration camps. America in 1940 was still trying to decide whether to be on the side of the Allies, strictly neutral, or neutral biased towards the axis. One of the strongest cases Britain had was their moral superiority. That Hitler was a unique evil (an argument they won but hadn't won in 1940). By demonstrating British complicity in Hitler (what was evolving towards and would quickly become the extermination program) the Zionist put tremendous pressure on Britain. They would have to stop talking out of both sides of their mouth on the issue of Jewish resettlement. They would likely have to stop supporting rescue in theory, while opposing it in practice.

      Publicity stunts to raise awareness is exactly the sort of thing activists do all the time. Pressuring enemies is exactly the sort of thing guerillas and governments do all the time. I'm hard pressed to see how that is remotely indiscriminate. It was extremely effective.

      Stepping aside and making a moral case. Governments have to make choices about whether to lose their own people to achieve strategic objectives for the nation. That is one of the primary purposes of government. The British government had done that for the British people in deciding to fight World War 2. As the government of the Jews the Haganah was entitled to endanger specific Jews to achieve collective interests. But even if that were not the case, by 1940 the policy that a Jew in Palestine was under Haganah discipline was well established policy. When the refugees boarded that ship they accepted Haganah rule.

    • @Maghlawatan

      Where are the Zionist cultural centers in Dakota and Arkansas?

      1) All the places Republicans gather who rather like Israel
      2) Dispensationalist churches

      Quick question for you theory. If Zionists rule by fear how is that Zionist manage to scare 70% of Americans into strongly supporting Israel?

    • @JonS snd Annie

      JonS os exactly correct. There was a typo (my fault) but from context the intent was obvious. The sentence should have read, "So there is an emerging consensus that Palestinians should not be under a Israeli military dictatorship".

    • @John O

      As for your argument that people leaving a territory before a war were not forced out by one side, would you not agree that they were forced to flee by those who were threatening that territory, whether or not the bullets and bombs had started to fly?

      Now we get to a perfect example of the double standard as per my list to RoHa. Because you just made a mistake and we are going to watch the standard suddenly change. In 1947 and early 1948 the Jews were not "threatening the territory". They were part of a diplomatic process that while not entirely meeting their needs they were willing to accept. The group threatening war were the Palestinians and the Arab league. It was the Arab side asserting that partition was a great injustice they were going to violent resist.

      So we know if had been the Jews under your standard they are responsible for the ethnic cleansing. Go check all the facts and you'll see that the Palestinians and the Arab league are responsible by the standard you just cited.

      JeffB: “The claim was they were forced out by Israelis. The truth is that first 350k left prior to the war starting and/or when there was just sporadic terrorism. A war incidentally the Palestinians thought they would win. People leaving a territory to avoid a war were not forced out by one side. So no, it doesn’t count.”

      John O: Someone forced the first 350k to leave.

      No one forced the 350k to leave. They made a quite reasonable decision that being in the country for what was shaping up to be an all out nasty ethnic war was probably a dumb idea and got out. Completely sensible choice. But they weren't forced out by either side IMHO. OTOH by your standard they were forced out by the belligerent party which was the Arab league and the Palestinians.

      If you read Tom Suarez’s book, you will see that what you describe as “sporadic terrorism” was a years long campaign of almost daily bombings, shootings, arson and intimidation –

      I'm not sure I know what you are talking about. There is a 1 month period where there is Jewish on Arab terrorism between Nov 30 1947 through early Jan 1948. That's it. It mostly Arab rioting and reprisals. Feb 22, 1948 you have troops engaging each other so that's not terrorism anymore. For example one of the largest areas of flight was Jerusalem. That was under blockade by al-Husayni. In March the Haganah tries to take the city and fails (another example of how the Jewish forces were not vastly superior) losing most of their semi-armored vehicles. If the Yishuv army can't get into the city how could they be the ones responsible for the flight from Jerusalem?

      including against Jewish Palestinians who refused to co-operate with the Zionists (and never forget, the highest death toll of any of these acts of terrorism was when the SS Patria was bombed at Haifa in 1940, killing 267 Jewish refugees from Europe).

      What does a bombing in 1940 protesting British immigration policy have to do with 1947-8? And that the Haganah had done it was not known until 1957. This point doesn't make sense.

      Let us assume that the total number of Palestinians who left their homes in that period was 750k. What of the 400k who didn’t leave before the war?

      Mixture of things. Single biggest reason was ethnic cleansing. Both sides at that point had a policy of cleansing territory they took control of. And the Yishuv had prepared detailed maps starting in 1942. Also remember that as Czechoslovakia armed the Yishuv/Israel and the Arab armies entered the war the intensity was quite a bit higher than the civilians had probably imagined it would be a year early. They had banked on militia against militia and this was army against army. Neither side was being too careful to make sure Palestinians didn't get killed. I can understand why they fled.

      Again though this isn' t the group being talked about. It is the first 350k that I was objecting to characterizing as ethnic cleansing not the 2nd 400k.

    • @John

      JeffB: “The first 350k Palestinians were not forcibly expelled. They simply fled a war that everyone knew was going to happen.”

      JohnO: Clearly, in your view, the *threat* of deadly force doesn’t count.

      The claim was they were forced out by Israelis. The truth is that first 350k left prior to the war starting and/or when there was just sporadic terrorism. A war incidentally the Palestinians thought they would win. People leaving a territory to avoid a war were not forced out by one side. So no, it doesn't count.

    • @Eljay

      And there is no “Land of Israel”.

      What does that even mean? Well over 2/3rds of the regular posters on this board either pro or anti have been there.

    • @Annie Robbins

      uh huh. we’ve heard this before. so why is it the zionist machine is spending so much trying to fight this scourge of anti zionism infecting their youth?

      There isn't a scourge of anti-zionism infecting Jewish youth there never was. Anti-Zionism is still rather rare among Jews, mainly part of the hard left. There is a lot of non-Zionism which in practice is turning into a next generation of Liberal Zionism. Anti-Zionism starts with an anti-colonialist ( basis and Zionology (for lurkers ) repurposing of Nazi propaganda was simply not something that even most hardcore leftist Jews could support. Most Americans even on the hard left are anti-racists they don't favor racism against oppressive races and thus reject anti-colonialism. Most Americans even on the hard left oppose antisemitism and thus don't want to engage in materials that are fundamentally based on the belief that Jews are an intrinsic evil. If they are anti-nationalist they are anti-nationalist for both Jews and Palestinians. If they favor non-racism not reverse racism. Also remember as the communities intermarry increasingly your group are talking about exterminating or at least politically oppressing forever their biological relatives. Liberal young American Jews have nuanced feelings and as anti-Zionist are being replaced with a shared humanity framework. They want a world where both Palestinians and Israelis live a better life in Israel. Liberal Zionism is finally getting its footing in a world where the 2 state solution along 1967 borders is becoming increasingly impractical.

      What is the case though since ANSWER is that many leftwing groups leftist Jews would like to affiliate with have adopted an explicit anti-zionist platform. You yourself wrote a good article about this last year. By creating a situation where their leftwing friends attack them and Zionist groups defend them the idea was to create positive feelings of loyalty. The problem is the most unapologetic attackers of anti-Zionism mostly disagreed with these leftwing groups for too many other reasons. Jewish Republican critiques of the Black Lives Matter platform of LGBT antisemitism doesn't help leftish Jews.

      While defending Israel can be a fun type of activism for Jewish Republicans it may have worked to increase not decrease leftwing Jewish alienation. Donald Trump though is helping a lot. The Republican defense establishment and neoconservatives were principled attackers against Trump even during the election, also before and after. Donald Trump's unfitness is an areas where rightwing and leftwing Jews genuinely are in agreement. Ultimately the goal is to make these kids into Zionists not Republicans. People like Sheldon Adelson are realizing that.

      Finally there is Hillel. Hillel is more important for secular Jews than for religious Jews because it creates a space for Judaism that doesn't revolve around religious rituals. Anti-Zionist attacks on Hillel went over terribly in the USA even with left leaning Jews. I can't believe the anti-Zionists in the USA made exactly the same mistake as they did in Canada 12 years ago.

      Nuance is back in fashion, hate is less in fashion. Take for example Jacqueline Rose (a BDSer) who opposed academic cooperation with Israeli citizens not just the institutional academic boycott that the BDS movement called for. She did a televised interview with Shlomo Sand which focused on things like reforming Israel's marriage laws. She wasn't advocating for reform not eliminating the marriage laws by eliminating Israel. During that interview she was asked why she was boycotting a professor at Tel Aviv University and responded by explicitly called for a place for nuance in the I/P dialogue.
      Listen to her tone in the video you all posted yesterday: She's expressing a shared humanity and equality viewpoint. That's not the same woman from 2006 who was an unapologetic defender of a policy of a total ban of Israeli graduate students attending any British university.

      Leftwing Jews agree with Tzipi Hotovely that Jews must have access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Kotel. Which means they don't support the Green Line and the 2SS.
      They don't agree with classic Liberal Zionism, that's what's keeping them out of JStreetU. JStreetU is being given more freedom from the parent organization to focus on human rights and not borders. INN has a similar focus. So there is an emerging consensus that Palestinians should be under a Israeli military dictatorship. And at the same time an insistence that the solution to that problem cannot be Jews living under a Hamas dictatorship. There is no scourge of anti-Zionism among young Jews.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- ” If the Arab armies are vastly inferior why are the casualty numbers so similar?”

      Are they? As usual, you provide no references.

      Not a hard number to get.
      From the point the Arab armies enter 6,373 die. The Arabs lose somewhere between 3700-7000. The Palestinians don't have uniforms but lose about 6500 plus or minus a few thousand in terms of fighters. Which means the kill ratio is about 2::1 not what you would see from a vastly superior army or anything close to it.

      The US being what it is and the Internet being what it is, most of the information provided will be highly prejudicial in favor of Israel.

      I think that's paranoia. But if it were true it would work in the opposite direction. The myth is about a divinely ordained victory over 6 armies. Making the ratio as large as possible is consistent with the myth.

      And I have little confidence in the Jewish Virtual Library on this issue. Besides, most of the Arab casualties involved civilians and Arab volunteers, the actual “Arab armies” playing it safe.

      Not according to the figures.

      The ethnic cleansing and murder started well before the pathetic intervention of the Arab armies.

      What happened prior isn't relevant to whether the kill ratio is close to 1::1. The claim Misterioso keeps making is that the 1 day old Israeli army is so vastly superior to 6 Arab armies one should barely consider it a victory at all.

    • @Misterioso and Betty

      OK let's go through the issues with this.

      1) If the Arab armies are vastly inferior why are the casualty numbers so similar? When grossly mismatched armies meet you often seen casualty discrepancies in the range of 20::1 - 300::1. Similarly why did the Arab armies claim they were going to be easily victorious?

      2) The first 350k Palestinians were not forcibly expelled. They simply fled a war that everyone knew was going to happen. There were forcible expulsions prior to the Arab intervention.

      3) The context was a brutal ethnic war the Palestinians had started. We know this because there was 100% ethnic cleansing of Jews in areas under Arab control. You all like to forget to mention that part.

      4) Your assymetric quote makes no sense. Jews in Arab lands didn't want to leave either. We've now had about 40 countries emptied of their Jewish population. When there is not a surge in antisemitism Jews remain. The Jews were forced or at least pushed out by their state. However there it does become asymmetric. There were mostly treated well by Israel and are now integrated. Many Palestinians were not resettled as a matter of policy. That's not Israel's doing.

      5) Resolution 194 requires the refugees to be willing to live in peace with their neighbors. Something the Palestinians even in 2017 have been unwilling structurally to do. More importantly during the 1940s the policy of Arab governments was not recognition of Israel and peaceful resettlements of Palestinians but rather conquest, depopulating the Jews and replacement by Palestinians. Essentially the BDS program. The Palestinians were in a state of active hostilities towards the country they wished to move back into.

    • @RoHa

      Sure I can do a list of lies:

      1) That there is anything particularly unusual about how Israel was created. In particular that Europeans didn't go through the same process centuries ago.

      2) That the definition of state and church that most of Christiandom and the Islamic world utilized until recently is somehow unheard of. In particular that policies that were in effect in many countries up until the 1960s never happened.

      3) That Israel isn't being singled out and that the fact that people even hear about this tribal in any depth isn't based on an unhealthy obsession with Jews.

      4) That Israel isn't being held to an impossible standard not applied to other tribal conflicts.

      5) That there is any meaningful distinction between the population of "Jewish Zionists" and "Jews" in 2017.

      6) The the BDS movement isn't aimed at intimidating Jews domestically but is somehow aimed at foreign ones who have on involvement.

      7) That Israel does not have a long and successful track record of integrating minorities into its society fully who are willing to be integrated. And moreover is engaging in those activities today.

      8) Lies about the policies of Arab governments during the decades right before and after Israel's creation.

      9) Lies about the context of Israel's actions.

      10) Lies about the history of Muslim / Jewish relations n the centuries prior to the creation of Israel.

      11) Lies about the relative military strength of Israel and its choice of tactics.

      Should I keep going?

    • @Donald

      How is that Nabka denial even remotely? She's agreeing it occurred just putting in a frame / context you don't agree with.

  • Leading journalists call 2nd Amendment an anachronism -- but spare Zionism
    • @mondonuevo

      I think if you look at the articles you posted even the people arguing for applying the establishment clause outside the borders of the USA agree they are arguing a fringe position. Baptists have a long and wonderful track record on church-state issues. They may be able to advance their position into law. And we might have a different conversation in 2117. But in 2017 there is no such laws nor policies nor anyone who is in a position of power who has advocated those policies.

      Your assertion that it is obvious the USA can't have relations with a country with a state church goes even well beyond the fringe position in those articles.

      Also, you haven’t clearly answered whether Israel is a religious Jewish state or an ethnic one. Possibly there is no answer to that question, in the same way as there is no consensus as to what defines the condition of being Jewish.

      My short answer is they would reject the distinction you are making with good reason. I'm going to repeat what I wrote earlier on this. Colonies like Massachusetts were founded on the desire for a regenerate church. That is a church of believers and people who act consistently with those beliefs not merely a church of all citizens. They way they aimed to achieve this was through having a regenerate citizenry. Within a few generations of course you arrive at the problem of what to do with the clearly non-regenerate residents. The way this gets resolved in colonial America is a strong belief in a regenerate church with citizenship not tied to religion. And within 2 generations that evolves into an explicit “separation of church and state” (though what they mean by that doctrine is somewhat weaker than what we mean in 2017).

      That model of religion is American. It is not universal. As America’s cultural influence has grown it has spread but colonial America is the native soil and the USA is where that ideas grows. It is starting to have substantial influence in Western Europe and Latin America where “religion” and “personal beliefs” are becoming unified. And because people don’t know their own history they are assuming this is universal.

      Most of the world has never gone through that conflict. Your “religion” has nothing to do with belief but rather with your ethnicity. Western Europe historically this system broke down in a different way due to an attempt to take over the state church by people with different theologies. They ended up with diversity but most diversity being geographic. If you live in a Lutheran state you are Lutheran, in a Presbyterian state Presbyterian, a Catholic state Catholic. People in Finland mostly don’t understand the distinctions between Luther and Calvin’s position and justification well enough to either believe or disbelieve in them.

      As you go further east the Reformation events never happened. The church and the state are comfortably unified. Your choice of church is essentially a product of your ethnicity not your theology. A person is Greek Orthodox vs. Russian Orthodox because he’s Greek not because he holds that one does not need to take confession before every communion.

      Everybody involved in the Israel / Palestinian conflict evolved in Byzantine societies: Eastern European Jews, Arabic Jews , Arabic christians and Arab Muslims. They all share a Byzantine definition of religion which conflicts with the Western one. The definition of religion is not a point of dispute in the I/P conflict. Israelis mostly don’t have the cultural background to even understand what Americans mean by religion and separation of church and state much less to accept it or reject it. Israel really is a foreign country populated by foreigners. Don't assume you can just apply American concepts to it. They don't share your mental frames.

    • @mondonuevo

      If as you say, “US support for Israel doesn’t constitute support for Judaism anymore [sic] than support for support for Saudi Arabia does” then the “Jewish State” must be an ethnic one, correct? Or if not, what? Please define “Jewish State” in this context.

      I think you clipped that improperly. Saudi Arabia is explicitly a Muslim state. A judicial common law procedure in Saudi Arabia is an Islamic religious dictate. Middle ages Islamic dictates are enforced with state power. That's as tied together as you can possible get. However cooperation between the United States and Saudi Arabia does nothing to establish Islam as a state church in the United States.

      This isn't about national security. The establishment clause prohibits establishing a state church in the United States. It doesn't prohibit cooperating with one abroad. The same way that traffic codes don't regulate the laws regarding surgical procedures. The government can freely form relations with countries that have state churches even if there is no national security interest.

    • @oldgeezer

      If someone supports Israel it is not pro Jewish but if someone is opposed to Israel it is anti Jewish and they are antisemitic.

      I agree with the first part jeff. And I’m not sure you have ever made a claim on the basis of the 2nd part but it is the typical argument. Clearly the two clash.

      OK. The point above was about the establishment clause. My point is there is nothing in the establishment clause making it illegal for America to wipe Israel out, or deciding to grant it $500b / year in aide or anything in between. Because whether Israel becomes amazingly successful or fails completely the USA will not have an established church either de-facto or de-jure.

      I think you are talking in a social context not a establishment clause context. That's a totally different situation because you get much more into the world of grey than the black or white of establishing a state church in the USA. In a social context I would say that supporting Israel is pro-Jewish and opposing Israel is anti-Jewish. However that effect may be accidental. If it is accidental it is not philosemetic / antisemetic. Antisemitism is a set of beliefs and stereotypes which ultimately come down to beliefs that Jews are demons in human form. Beliefs that Jews knowingly and willingly serve evil, because that's what they were designed to do.

      So when you say is being anti-Israel being antisemetic or not the question of double standard plays a huge role. Would those same behaviors if done by a Christian, Muslim, animist or Buddhist be equally troubling? If yes then it isn't antisemetic. It could still be stupid or wrong but it is not antisemetic. If no then it is antisemetic. Which is why Zionists find the double standard argument to be disqualifying with respect to anti-Israel arguments. A good standard not regularly applied shouldn't be applied to Israel.

      A huge percentage of the debate on Mondoweiss revolves around this basic tenant of equal application. This idea that Israel to be legitimate must meet a moral ideal, rather than just be another state, flawed like any other state.

      In short the why they act against for or against Israel is how I determine whether it is antisemetic or not. I frequently talk about the example of had Britain not held back Zionist development Hitler very easily could have done a massive forced deportation to Israel. Britain's fundamental motivation for retarding Zionism was not antisemitism. In this hypothetic Hitler's assistance to Israel would have been motivated by profound antisemitism. Liberal church opposition to Israel, while certainly having a basis in concern for Palestinian human rights is fundamentally rooted in an extremely anti-Judaic replacement theology.

    • @mondonuevo

      Well this is a new one. The Establishment clause forbids the Federal Government from establishing a state church. The 14th Amendment extends this to American states and local governments. Combined with non-discrimination rules the government cannot deliberately discriminate in its local laws regarding religion nor incidentally do so with a compelling state interest.

      There is no prohibition on the government engaging with countries that don't follow American law. No other country has our legal system. No country follows American law in its domestic affairs. Most of the countries America has dealt with throughout history had established state churches.

      US support for Israel doesn't constitute support for Judaism anymore than support for Saudi Arabia does. US opposition to Iran doesn't constitute discrimination against Shia or Islam. In fact when the USA was conducting its dirty war in Latin America it was aiding and likely directly engaging in the destruction of churches, the assassination of priests and nuns, the torture of priests and nuns. None of that constituted discrimination against Catholicism.

      So nice try. But no.

    • @johneill

      The claim was I "introduced the subject of UK lobbies". I didn't do that. I did discuss American lobbies and I did discuss British voters. Nowhere did I discuss British lobbies. And I introduced neither British voters nor lobbies as a subject when using them as an example. The subject was American lobbies and American lobbies throughout.

    • @just

      Bret Stephens is a well known neoconservative. Former editor in chief of The Jerusalem Post
      David Brooks' son served in the IDF.
      Terry Gross plays her cards close. I'd guess Liberal Zionist. But no way to tell, she's appealing to a Liberal Zionist audience.

      They all support a relationship with Israel. Your position is very fringe.

    • @johneill

      Just for 2 sentences then the rest of the paragraph starts with were something similar to happen in the USA it would be devastating to Democrats. . Britain is just a case in point (France and Canada also work) where Western Jewish communities swung right over anti-Zionism and demographic changes. USA is a holdout. The Democrats (and I suspect most of the world) want it to stay that way as long as possible. The point is about the USA Democratic party and that Jews can abandon the left when the left abandons them (becomes hostile to Israel).

      In terms of the lobby like the NRA the Israeli lobby has a genuine constituency that can move. Unlike the NRA's constituency that move is likely to be permanent if it happens. You would have a generation where Jews become swing voters and then they are just Republicans.

      As an aside you think the Israeli lobby is powerful now, that generation when Jews are up for grabs in the general election... AIPAC would get to decide how Florida and Pennsylvania come in (assuming demographics haven't changed too much before that happens). That's when the Israeli lobby will be a top 10 and maybe top 5 lobby rather than bottom of the top 20.

    • @John O

      So, why did you introduce the subject of UK lobbies if (a) it was irrelevant to Phil’s argument; (b) you don’t know what you’re talking about?

      I didn't. My entire post was about USA lobbies. I did make a point bout what happened with British Jewish voters and how American political parties wouldn't want the same thing to happen to American Jewish Voters, since there are ton of Corbyn threads lately. But this entire conversation is about american lobbies. NRA is a USA lobby. Terry Gross, David Brooks, and Bret Stephens are all Americans...

    • @John O

      What Phil is talking about is an American lobby. I know USA lobbies much better than UK lobbies.

      Opposing the gun lobby causes Democrats to lose elections especially in Pennsylvania and Colorado. Bill Clinton has said his biggest mistake as president (and he quite a few) was the semi-automatic weapons ban for this reason.

      Opposing the Zionist lobby is damaging. But there certainly are politicians that do so. They tend to have a strong reputation so they don't have to worry about a primary challenge, and they have a safely blue or red district so they don't have to worry about the general election. They don't have ambitions to move up, so they can stay in their safe district. That's a lot of eliminators. Same way there used to be prolife democrats. But as Democrats have decided that choice is an issue over which they won't support a candidate they start eliminating them. So in today's congress we have 3: Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.). Given a selection bias and an effectual selection mechanism its not hard to create an overwhelming majority. That's how evolution works.

      As far as journalistic careers... This is in the USA btw. The purpose of television is to fill the space between commercials. The purpose of television news is to create a mildly agitated emotional state in news viewers due to them being confronted with difficult and complex problems. That mild agitation makes them maximally susceptible to advertising. which offers simply solutions, "Are your dishes dirty after you wash them... well Palmolive ...". Statements that are politically unacceptable to viewers create a distraction to maintaining this emotional state. Helen Thomas' position that 3rd generation Israelis should go back to Poland made some viewers, some product purchasers, intensely dislike her. They simply could not watch her and be moved to change their opinions on dish soaps. Same thing that happens with anything else that truly offends viewers.

      So really the question is why does strong anti-Zionism offended some viewers as intensely as say racism, lying about their military service or pediophilia would? But your issue again is not a lobby but the American people.

      Academic tenure is more complicated. Obviously it isn't true because the academy is where the BDS movement and pro-Palestine lobby is centered. It isn't underground. Colleges and Universities are where Jews get attacked by BDSers. As the war has been escalating both sides are collecting heads. Andrew Pessin was taken out by BDS forces. The Zionists have a few more but not a ton. This hasn't gone all out yet.

      If I had to guess I'd say that University and College administrators understand in a country with militant funders on both sides and fairly open gun laws how ugly severe ethnic tension on their campuses could get if they let it get out of hand. Even a few violent incidents could damage or lead to closing of a college. The Israel/Palestine debate isn't being held in a way that is civil. The BDS forces are generally activist not academic thus they often refuse to be constrained by norms of civility. They push things to and sometimes slightly beyond the legal limit. What's the upside for administrators in having this problem on their campuses?

      This is the same problem they face with rightwing agitators who also want to unify a small group of disgruntled students who then want to lash out at broader non-academic societal problems. Student activism is a fun extra curricular activity up to a point. After that point it starts to threaten the bottom line.

      Then you compound that with Jews disproportionately donate to higher education and this makes things worse for administrators. BDS activity driving Jews off their campuses is bad.
      Activists students fighting with Jewish donors is terrible.

      And before someone objects this isn't targeting Jews. Stanford just released a study of Jewish students on UC campuses, where there has been years of serious problems.
      Main results (outliers excluded on all points):
      * Jewish students did not believe BDS activism was a threat to their physical safety
      * Jewish students did believe the debate on both sides lacked nuance. They mostly took a Liberal Zionist position (Israel is not horrible but some of its policies are).
      * They simply refused to discuss the issue with anything other than trusted people feigning ignorance and disinterest to avoid the noxious tone.
      * They restricted their Jewish religious & social activities to avoid getting enmeshed in I/P issues.
      * They strongly resented the pressure they felt as Jews to have to take sides constantly.
      * They believed BDS caused antisemitism and they had experienced antisemitism on campus as a result of it.

      In other words the I/P debate is making college less pleasant and less fulfilling for Jewish students on UC campuses. Why would administrators want more of what students are going to perceive as a negative experience about their education?

    • Terry Gross' question is easily answerable. The issue is not gun manufacturers have so much financial power. The issue is that there is around 1.5-3% of the voting population who normally vote Democratic that will vote Republican over the gun issue. The reason we have the gun laws we have is because a small but determined group of voters wants the gun laws we have. The lobby is powerful because it reflects the views of a subset of the voters who will vote and donate based on their views.

      And yes the same math applies to the Israeli lobby. The Democrats do not want to permanently lose the votes of gun enthusiasts. The Democrats do not want to permanently lose the votes of Jews. Political parties are coalitions of interests. Most members of any parange between effectively indifferent to mildly opposed to what other members of their coalition want to achieve.

      The Labor party took a mildly anti-israel line (nothing like what you suggest the USA take). As a consequence of this and demographic factors British Jews are now 3/4 Tory with 1/4 floating between Labor and Lib-Dems. Were something similar to happen in the USA it would be devastating to Democrats. They lose a rich supply of donors and activists and a not trivial number of voters. There is no group of Republicans that is willing to change over and vote Democratic if the Democrats took a harder line against Israel. Pushing Jews out is just a permanent loss of support for the coalition.

      And like gun owners helping solidify libertarian leaning voters losing Jews might even compound loses further because Jewish Republicans could make the Republican party more sensitive to Republican leaning minorities (particularly Asians) that they have been alienating.

  • In decertifying Iran deal, Trump caves to Israel. But who will say so?
    • @Keith

      Prior to fracking I'd say they were the same things. USA policy to quote Dulles was to "secure control of the greatest treasure in the world" (from memory so possible paraphrase). Since fracking, oil reserves are a nice to have but no longer vital. OPEC did one price spike too many and got a successful disruptive technology mainstreamed. And that's on top of the advances in solar and wind that have happened over the last 20 years.

      Part of my argument with neoconservatives is that I'm not sure if the USA has vital interests in the Middle East anymore. If we do I'd like to know what they are and why. If I agreed with you regarding the importance of oil, then that would move me a considerable distance towards agreeing with Cheney on the permanent occupation of Iraq. It would also make Israel a vital USA interest regardless of whether one was Zionist or not.

      Getting to Iran. If I believed that oil were vital for American and Iran intended to threaten USA oil interests (again neither of which I believe) then I’d agree with Tom Cotton and want to move towards war. Since I don’t … I’m comfortable letting Obama’s experiment play out and see if Iran can be brought into the USA orbit. The situation in Syria isn’t promising but our policy is so confused that I can’t be certain of whether Iran is opposing us strongly or not, or might even view itself as helping us.

      I think you will admit you are way to the left of the two sides of this debate. Neither wants to end the neoliberal world order (American empire).

    • @Yonah

      To start I'm a strong supporter of the deal. That being said the anti-side isn't being treated fairly here on MW. The issue was really over the objective of the negotiations. Obama wanted an American strategic shift away from Saudi Arabia and towards Iran. In his mind Iran had at least a quasi-democracy and a middle class society. With time it was likely to become more politically stable and could be fully integrated into bodies like the G20. The nuclear weapons issue was likely to force a military confrontation that would make diplomacy impossible. So a successful negotiation would
      a) Get the nuclear issue and thus the possibility of war off the table
      b) Be an example that less serious Iran / USA issues could be resolved diplomatically.

      For Obama that would never be true of Saudi Arabia. He believed that structurally the Saudi regime requires political extremism. There is no way they could ever deliver on a promise not to generate extremism

      The anti-deal people saw this differently. They believe that Iran is ideologically and thus structurally opposed to America the issue is not situational. Iran is too much of a threat to American interests. It will forever be a destructive force in the middle east undermining America's policy goals. Conversely they believe that the political extremism from Saudi Arabia is rectifiable. Saudi Arabia has been working with the west for a century it is a proven ally. For them Obama by focusing on just the nuclear issue, and getting a so-so nuclear deal helped Iran become much more powerful and threatening. He made the Iran problem worse not better at a time when containment was working. Essentially they want regime change or a substantially reduced global role for Iran. Not just a non-nuclear Iran.

      The debate has moved down to the next level: nuclear weapons are bad, political extremism is bad, war is bad, Iran is bad.... This is one of the problems with Democracy. The voters don't have those sorts of opinions about Middle East policy so the think tanks talk to each other and the voters get silly sound bites that don't make sense from either side.

    • @JLewisDickerson

      I think the common wisdom on what's wrong with Trump is correct:

      Let's put it this way the Republican head of the Senate Foreign relations committee has essentially accused Trump of being unfit for office due to his mental state. A danger to USA interests and the world. That's pretty strong criticism from a senior and seasoned player. The problem so damaging in the USA is not that Trump is unfit for office but that a rather large group of voters likes a president that is unfit for office. Were it just an unfit president we have easy solutions. We don't have easy solutions for a dysfunctional electorate.

      American democracy has proven very robust. The one thing it has not proven robust against however is the collapse of a major political party. The last time it happened we were unable to deal with the structural issues that led to a civil war. The time before that we almost lost our democracy and ended up with an oligarchy. The time before that everyone associated with Washington was pushed out of power and we had the sitting vice president murder the founding Secretary of the Treasury. Had Britain played their cards better they could very easily have ended up back in effective control of at least the North East.

      A healthy political system doesn't elect a Donald Trump. But the nice thing is there is a bipartisan consensus (at least behind closed doors) that Donald Trump is unfit. I think Europeans will get lots of support from both sides of the aisle in taking the lead while America spins out of control.


      An Aside. As long as we are talking the history of party trouble in America. For British readers Boris Johnson does not know what Mugwump (a faction in the Republican party that supported the Democrat for President because of corruption issues). means. There are lots of names one can call Corbyn. But a Mugwump is:
      * A civic minded aristocrat who opposed to immigrant politics and the spoils system.
      * More concerned with the means of government than the ends of government
      * Political ineffectual with the masses.
      * Willing to swing between parties disapproving of both ideological and personal loyalties over moral principles of good government

      This is about as terrible a description as I can imagine for Corbyn. He may be a lot of things but a Mugwump is not one of them. David Cameron I could see calling a Mugwump.

    • @RoHa

      There are as far as I know 3 proposals

      Mainstream proposal (almost all democrats, many Republicans) -- Trump decertifies the deal and the American establishment pushes the deal back to the Europeans. Trump may drum up enough votes for sanctions but even if sanctions pass they are quickly overturned once Democrats return to power and undermined by the bureaucracy.

      Trump proposal -- USA passes strong sanctions through Congress. Europeans realize Trup is right (for some reason) and go along with this.

      Cotton proposal (Iran hawks=some democrats, many Republicans) -- USA emposses a blockade to enforce sanctions. This moves from a multilateral conflict to bilateral. USA policy becomes implicitly or explicitly regime change not nuclear containment. Iran has previous threatened terror over this approach but generally has avoided direct conflict when the USA actually seeks war.

      Trump's policy is stupid. Which means if he does this Trump likely ends up drifting towards either the mainstream proposal or the Cotton proposal. The mainstream proposal is more in line with Trump's desire to avoid costly wars. The Cotton proposal is more in line with Trump's desire to use hard power not soft power as the primary tool of American diplomacy. European container ships are not going to run an American blockade and Cotton is willing to sink any that try. There is nothing you can call American foreign policy anymore there are just different factions pushing their agendas directly and seeing what happens.

  • Israeli plan to 'transfer' 300,000 Palestinians to West Bank is new normal -- Zoabi
    • @Nathan

      Agree completely. Saved me writing a reply. If there is a country called "Palestine" which has territory is occupied by Israel then Israel via. negotiations can relinquish territory to this country. If there is no country of Palestine there is no occupation. I'm not sure how either way this is apartheid.

      MP Zoabi is correct that the Israeli center is considering solutions from the right that they used to dismiss. But again MW has always argued the peace process failed. Now Israelis agree and are discussing alternatives. That's what they had claimed to have wanted for years.

      Also agree with you on the damned if you do, damned if you don't approach to Israel.

  • Moshe Machover and the battle for the soul of British Labour
    • @Jonathan Ofir

      So you agree that the “colonial themes” are “intrinsic”. In other words, Zionism is BASED UPON them.

      Unquestionably the USA constitution and political constitution has Presbyterian themes. That doesn't mean the USA is based on Presbyterianism. Zionism also has intrinsic: anti-colonial themes, religious themes, anti-religious themes, Romantic themes, themes from Labor politics.... His statement is simply too strong. It is inaccurate and uncharitable. It is designed to be dishonest and offensive.

      Indeed, also its ethnic cleansing, as part of this colonisation “theme”, was “inbuilt in Zionism”, as Israeli historian Benny Morris said

      Which is fair (though I think Morris even goes too far). Make it stronger and say Zionism is based on ethnic cleansing and it becomes false. Phrase it as offensively as possible so as to whip up hatred of Jews and it becomes antisemitism.

      In the end, your ‘offense’ with Machover for not being more ‘sensitive’ as it were with his formulations, ends up pedantic.

      It ends up as a demand for care, charitable interpretation, understanding, fairness, honesty, etc... A rejection of those ideas ends up being just being offensive even if there are some elements of truth. One sees that all the time here. An anti-zionist says something incredibly offensive, gets challenged on the fact and that backpedals to some sliver of their statement being accurate. Just present the accurate defendable sliver in the first place in context and no one gets offended.

      Every other paragraph but the last in Machover's piece did that.

    • Just to throw in $.02 here. I had made the comment in the previous articles that attacking Zionism without attacking Judaism requires nuance and care. Moshe Machover's article up until the last paragraph is a good example of this while nuance and care. Corbyn's rhetoric is not. It is not shocking that Machover understands Judaism better than Corbyn and thus is able to do a far better job. But it is worth looking and this example for how delicate one has to be to do a good job. There is a lot in that article I'd agree with, some I'd disagree with and excluding the last paragraph nothing I found offensive. I'm probably politically slightly to the right of your typical JLMer and a solid Zionist.

      That article is not antisemitic, you can't be this nuanced and be a bigot. However the last paragraph is a problem and does cross over. Zionism as a movement based on both colonisation and collusion with anti-Semitism. . "Based on" is over the top. That conclusion is precisely the opposite of the nuance the rest of the article demonstrates. Machover simply understands Zionism too well for me to believe he thinks Zionism is based on colonization rather than has employed colonization or has intrinsic colonial themes. As far as based on collusion with anti-Semitism that's simply nonsense. Machover knows it is nonsense. Something like "is a political response to anti-Semitism and a cultural engagement with the anti-Semitic critique of Judaism" would be fair.

      I have no idea why he wrote a balanced nuanced article only to switch in the last paragraph into hateful rhetoric he knows to be false. What could have been a good how to example of how to critique Zionism instead demonstrates how leftist anti-semitism works.

      One thing of interests is je does admit himself his critique is mainly the 1930-40s sort of critique. It is an odd critique. I'm sure there were Indians who lived in British India who opposed Ghandi and liked being British subjects, just as there were loyalists in America. But South Asians are not constantly forced to defend against those arguments. It is considered passe India exists, it is real, argument about independence is finished. That should be the uncomplicated status of Israel. I have 0 times in my life as an American been asked by Europeans to respond to Loyalist arguments.

      Ultimately it is worth considering why that is.

  • As battle rages in UK Labour Party, Moshe Machover expelled after asserting 'Anti-Zionism does not equal anti-Semitism'
    • @Stephen Shenfield

      That's not what happened.
      Since you mentioned terrorism I'll use that. Irgun and Lehi didn't have British Jewish support. But Haganah most certainly did and they forced Britain to make concessions to keep it that way.

      The Jews in Britain used terrorism the way it was supposed to be used to pressure government to either negotiate political change or crack down so hard they lose support. Lehi and Irgun began organizing in Britain proper starting to create a plausible threat of an assassination and bombing campaign in Britain of anti-Jewish politicians. MI5 conducted an investigation. They determined that SOE (sabotage unit in the army) was infiltrated by Irgun and Lehi. They examined all ~7000 Jews in the Army and immediate dismissed 40 with obvious connections. There were a few token bombings in Britain mainly designed as a warning.

      MI5 approached Britain's Jews for help. But of course they needed help from people who had the right contacts. The Jewish Agency for Palestine, the Jewish Legion, the Jewish-Arab Legion, the Zionist Federation of Jewish Labor and the United Zionist "Revisionist" Youth Organization started coordinating the the Haganah Haganah policy was to trade information on terrorists for Britain advancing their aims (you know sort of like how Sunni moderates used Al Qaeda in Iraq and later Syria). This made British intelligence coordinate their anti-immigration activities with Jewish agencies they were dependent on for counter terrorism activities. So for this and many other reasons the immigration quota policies started to fail badly. Moreover it made British intelligence highly dependent on maintaining British Jewish public opinion. MI5 and SIS had to win hearts and minds of Zionists in their approach. Which of course shifted the debate.

      Jews in the 1940s were a much poorer and weaker group as well. Terrorism (in this sense) is a tool of the weak. What you see today with JLM is what Jews can do when they are in the establishment. So no... nice history but not true.

      Same situation you all had with other ethnic groups. It is anti-Zionist propaganda that Jews don't support Zionism.

    • @Keith

      Well you would wouldn’t you. Unconditional support,

      More or less unconditional support for Zionism, absolutely. Unconditional support for every policy, no. I've been very critical of some Israeli policies, like every other Zionist. Zionists are not totalitarians. They can agree with the aim and disagree on the means to achieve the aim. They can disagree about priorities.

      Within Zionism there is healthy debate.

    • @Amigo

      What I want to achieve is equal rights and justice for “The Palestinian Father and his kid and future Grandchildren”

      Bull. You've been pretty clear for years about wanting an Algeria type solution. Your hatred is pretty obvious.

      I ask again , if you are so completely dedicated to the (Rogue) state of Israel , then why do you not go live there and get your family out of harms way in the US , which is hostile to Jewish interests.

      The USA isn't hostile to Jewish interests. Your group is. The USA is not, rather it is supportive of those interests mostly.

    • @Keith

      Harry Truman disagrees the problem was Zionists he blamed Republicans (who at that point couldn't care less what Jews thought)

      Zionists got them out. I can understand that Kovel who is an anti-Zionist thinks they would have rather gone other places but most mainstream sources say they wanted out of Europe. Its possible maybe even likely they would have preferred Argentina and the United States. But if those countries had been open to large scale Jewish immigration there wouldn't have been a holocaust in the first place. Given the record of opposition to immigration prior to Palestine being available I don't that was an option. We know for sure the USA wasn't. Ultimately DPs were what moved Truman to side with Jewish statehood.

      As for fighting in the war and why shouldn't they have fought in that war? Turning victims into soldiers was the Zionist's agents working in the DP camp's job. Since you are rather leftist Lenin had a pretty good critique of the Bund for mostly the same reason the Zionists didn't like them:
      There aren't great works of poetry, art, theater in Yiddish that came from the Bund. They never established a recognized minority in Poland, the Poles hated them. The movement had a 50 year track record of failure, which they didn't admit until well into the 1950s. The kind of debate that happens here wasn't going to be tolerated in 1946. To quote Mitt Romney, "politics isn't bean bag".

      I think the Zionists did the right thing.

    • @Ghazi28

      No, we don’t. We have nothing of the sort. Calling for the rights of Palestinians to be respected and upheld, and for the state of Israel to be held accountable under international law, does not constitute hostility to Jews’.

      I said hostile to Jewish interests.

      “At the very least he want to organize a worldwide anti-Jewish campaign to force approximate twice the number of Jews who live in the UK out of their homes. ”

      No, he doesn’t. He’s called for nothing of the sort. Why are you making stuff up?

      I'm not making stuff up. There are 650k Jews who live on the other side of the green line. When you call for the settlements to be disbanded you are calling for a massive forced migration. If you find the policy offensive, don't advocate for it.

    • @Eva

      You said that both accusations ...are both equally damming.

      You basically responded you believe one type of epithet and not the other.

      Originally the argument was the rightwing anti-semitism, the epithet you rejected, was worse. You aren't actually disagreeing with me at this point, you are rather agreeing. You may have forgotten the context.

    • @Misterioso

      Israel is neither a “state” nor a country, i.e., it has yet to officially declare its borders and have them accepted as such by the international community.

      Where do you get this nonsense from? The definition of a country for centuries is the ability to enforce sovereignty in area of law. That is to have civil law over a territory.

      Montevideo Convention makes this explicit:
      "possess[es] the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) a capacity to enter into relations with the other states"

      Israel has done all of those things. They are sovereign over Mandate Palestine x-Gaza plus the Golan that is a defined territory. Israel has a permanent population of citizens. And they both can and have entered into relations with other states.

      They aren't even borderline. There are some border disputes certainly but lots of states have border disputes. As long as some territory is definitely theirs they are a country.

      As for the long screed about International law you like to post. Yes the UN's position is 1967 borders. That is also Corbyn's position. It is impractical and stupid but it is their position. That's not a disputed fact. I'm not sure why you keep presenting evidence showing that a fact not in dispute is true.

    • @Eva

      If someone calls you a “motherfucking yellow/black/brown bastard”, and its a belief and an insult based on their prejudice, and another calls you a rapist and this is based on proved fact ( with pictures) of the crime you committed, are both of these equally damning?

      That's not the fair analogy to what Jews are facing with anti-Zionist rhetoric.

      1) In your analogy the rape actually happened and it was done by one person. The accusation is against the one person. The accusations about specific behaviors are being blamed on huge groups: all Israelis, all Zionist...

      2) The racism is generalized the rape is specific

      The claim is not particular acts of Israel by particular Israelis are illegitimate but that Israel is illegitimate.

      So let's change your analogy to a modern version, directed against blacks that does involve rape.

      Now this is a fair analogy to what Jews face from anti-Zionism. Clearly the point of this poster is not to change black behavior but to change white behavior towards blacks. It is designed to inspire hatred and fear not to reduce rape. The numbers are misleading and presented in a way that is uncharitable. The combination of misleading statistics and uncharitable presentation makes this poster a pure lie.

      Now imagine that just like the anti-Zionist case if one interviewed the person who did this poster and challenge them. They would fall back on a weaker true statement that black on white rape is much higher than white on black rape. Or they might fall back on the fact the data set said 0 and that even though it put an asterisk next to the 0 as "not accurately measured" which is excluded from the poster, that's not being dishonest. It is being say pedantic. They might very well throw in lots of personal insults towards the black person defending his people against this poster, trying to blur his argument against the poster with somehow defending rape...

      What I would say is. Look at the discussions involving other countries where there are desired policy reforms. You don't have the same sort of hate speech.

    • @Misterioso

      Not sure if I see the connection. Gandhi believes that Jews should remain forever trapped in countries that treated them badly. Jews disagreed with him and did something about it. His line was obviously a response to the "as France is French" slogan. He disagrees with the vision. That's fine. Lots of people disagreed with the vision.

      Now it is reality not a vision.

    • @Tony

      Well nice to be talking to an actual Jewish anti-Zionist politician who has been hit with these issues. You are usually smarter than this response. But let's start.

      He speaks about ‘Jewish interests’ without ever defining what they are.

      Actually he has. Pretty much the same as any other people's interest. Maximizing their spending power, having a rich diverse and entertaining collection of cultural products, ensuring health and the general welfare, creating a vehicle for freedom and political expression.

      He says that ‘British Jews believe…’ He could be an anti-Semite who believed in an all-embracing and powerful Jewish conspiracy where Jews are of one mind and have one particular set of interests. In other words he operates in a racist paradigm with a racist mentality.

      Or he could be someone who has no problem saying the obvious. Common traits can create common interests and so rational people who share those traits will be drawn to similar policies. Tall people want more gross diversity in men's clothing stores. Guys like me who are 5'10" (178 cm) would want more fine diversity.

      No one is suggesting that Israeli Jews should be forced to emigrate

      I suggest you read here more often. That most certainly is frequently suggested. The entire narrative of the settler colonialism and the illegitimacy of Jewish inhabitants of Palestine is an apologetic forced emigration or worse. The arguments and tone of the BDS movement are genocidal. The goals are objectives which are achievable only through winning multiple wars. But when pushed they talk about only advocating for mild sanctions.

      To some extent this is leftist silliness. People power and that sort of nonsense. To another extent it is however dishonest and the intent is clearly genocidal, but at this point the movement doesn't want to take the political hit for genocide advocacy.

      I don't think it is unreasonable for the center-left on right to call anti-Zionists on this. The rhetoric is inappropriate for the desired change in British policy.

      or even the vast majority of Jewish settlers on their Jewish only settlements

      That is Corbyn's position that the settlements should be dismantled. To the best of my knowledge he's never been questioned in detailed how one destroys the housing for 650k people in detail but yes that's his position.

      though there is an overwhelming case for the proto-fascist American settlers like Baruch Marzel and Naftali Bennett to be sent back to their real homes.

      Natfali Bennett was born in Haifa. Israel is his home. Baruch Marzel immigrated when he was 6 weeks old.

      Dude I argue against your position all the time with regard to people who hate Mexicans. My position is pretty simple, everyone is entitled to live in their country of their birth as a full citizen, period. I don't remotely support the racism of the anti-colonial movement like your examples above. Not sure there is much to say beyond that.

      Despite repeating the phrase ‘Jewish interests’ not one does Geoff B explain what these interests are. He repeatedly confuses the British Jewish community with Israeli Jews, which is again an anti-Semitic trope.

      How is it Antisemitic? Mainstream British Jewish organizations are openly and unabashedly Zionist. They openly and explicitly declare that support for Israel is part of their core mission. Considering the Jewish people of Britain entitled to make alliances and identify how they choose, taking their positions seriously, and showing them deference is respect for a community not hatred of it.

      Jeff speaks about those who call Jews ‘Christ killing kike bastards’ whilst forgetting that those who do use this language, Andrew Anglin of the The Stormer, Richard Spencer of the alt-Right and David Duke of the KKK also happen to be some of the foremost admirers of Israel’s hostility and hatred of Muslims.

      I'm not sure what I said that remotely indicated this. You are going out of your way to be offensive. First off all those people are Americans not Brits. Second, David Duke is on your side not mine. Duke is an anti-zionist who supports Palestinians in their struggle. For him Jews are an intrinsic evil, Arabs are just a lesser people.

      We can thus unpack the repetitious lies and disingenuous statements of Geoff B. Somewhat stupidly he asks, parroting the normal hasbara what have ‘real anti-Semites’ as opposed to anti-Zionists done over the last two generations. It is rather simple. Anti-Zionists have given solidarity and support to the Palestinians whereas the former have done their best to make Jews uncomfortable in the diaspora in order that they can emigrate to Israel. Although he is politically blind, to any normal and rational person these are polar opposites.

      They would be if that were true. In reality anti-zionists have cleared the Jewish population out of about 40 countries in the world. As you have personally documented quite well. The people who were causing the mass migration from France were the left not the right. The people worrying Britain's Jews are the left not the right. Heck the people worrying me about American colleges and made me consider sending my kid to a Republican leaning school are the left not the right.

      So sorry but no. Jewish persecution has lately been a leftwing hobby. They are the ones who think it is somehow a rational and sane policy for the PM of the UK to consider a small middle eastern tribal war a primary foreign policy objective. The hatred of Jews on the right is either expired or tired. It is pro forma. The best they can argue to their base is that Jews are no better than blacks, hispanics, muslims... and even that the base is finding unconvincing. Your side has all the passion and fervor when it comes to Jew hatred.

      In the process he engages in a bit of logic chopping in order to confuse and blind people.
      He says that ‘the issue of trying to separate antisemitism from anti-zionism’ ‘isn’t working and mostly can’t work.’ Again he is wrong. In his own mind nothing will work which contradicts his own assumptions, but that is the product of a circular and closed mind. Anti-Zionism was, as A B Yehoshua, the famous Zionist novelist wrote, a product of Jews not non-Jews. On the contrary it is the non-Jewish anti-Semites who have always wanted to be rid of the Jews in their midst by exporting them to the ‘Jewish’ state.

      I think you dropped some words. That being said. Yes Zionism is a reaction to failed assimilation. It emerged as a Jewish critique of antisemitism's of the Jewish problem. It agreed often though argued the problems with Jews were situational not genetic. Which makes it fundamentally an anti-racist organization. Saying that blacks in America commit far more violent crime is fact. Arguing it is because they are black rather than because of divorce, poverty.... is racist.

      He asserts without ever going to the trouble to explain, that ‘these populations are the same’. Presumably he means Israel’s Jewish population and that of Britain.

      That language actually was me responding to Eva. She was using that language about Zionists and Jews globally. (she wasn't agreeing but was summarizing her position on my view).

      The latter community is not a community largely made up of racist bigots whereas the former certainly is (e.g. the Report Israel’s Religiously Divided Communities which shows that a plurality of Israeli Jews favour the physical deportation of their Arab citizens).

      One does not have to be racist to favor deportation (I don't favor deportation). Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians are the same race. The root of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is not racial. It is anti-colonialism not Zionism that uses these biological notions of peoplehood. Zionists can often assert that nationality is a social construction with no biological component. Palestinians if they were willing to be Israeli could be. Israel has had tremendous success in integrating Mizrahi Jews, and moderate success with Israeli-Arabs. It is not unreasonable that Israelis have given up hope that they will ever agree to peaceful coexistence. The behavior of the Gazans has been incredibly demoralizing to Israelis. I think you are jumping to conclusions here.

      That being said I would agree that Israel has a racism problem. I hope the Israeli right will hopefully address it as they move towards coexistence on all of greater Israel.

      This gives a good example of policy reform. Were BDS advocating to fix problems, for example state sponsored sensitivity training to be introduced into Israeli schools and work places along with an end to housing and educational discrimination I'd be fully in support of the movement. That's what Liberal Zionists do. Anti-Zionists call for extreme rejectionism and hatred not understanding and cooperation.

      Most British Jews would like to see an end to the settlements. 31% don’t define themselves as Zionist as opposed to 59%, a drop of 12% in five years, who do.

      I seriously doubted that number. And sure enough when I click on the link, "Although about 90% support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and express attachment to it, only 59% consider themselves to be a ‘Zionist’. There is some evidence that this reflects the view of some respondents that people who are critical of Israel’s current policies should not describe themselves as Zionists even if they are fully supportive of Israel’s legitimacy as a Jewish state.". Which means that 90% are Zionist but 31% of Jews at least don't know what the word "Zionist" means or more likely have been intimidated by your hate campaign into not using it. Same way my grandparents would call themselves "Hebrews" not "Jews" when talking to gentiles.

      British Jews are under a lot of pressure. No doubt. That's why most Jews fled the Labor party long ago and became Tories. Ultimately it probably doesn't matter that much how Labor hates Jews, Corbyn will never get a majority in parliament to act on his hate.

      The problem on your campuses is really bad. I would certainly support Jews bringing back Jewish Universities and prep schools. I'd like to see Carmel College and more like it were Corbyn to win. Given state sponsorship for the harassment going on in places like Manchester this could get quite bad. But unlike in centuries past they don't have to live in a world where their enemies have power over their lives. They have somewhere to flee to if they lose and know enough to fight as best they can.

      And that is the core of the shared interest between British Jews and Israel Regardless of what happens in the UK every British Jews knows the IDF will never under any circumstances turn against them. The worst Corbyn et al can do is make them leave.

    • @yourstruly

      why then are so many of our youth becoming disillusioned with Israel?

      I don't think they have. I think they are frustrated with some policies and the attitude. Jews are Democrats. The labor party lost and lost credibility. We have in power in Israel right now a rightist government and a Prime Minister who values the relationship with Evangelical Christians and Republican Jews while not paying much attention to the relationship with Liberal Jews. Many of the other rightwing leaders are much closer to American Jews and consider outreach important.

      And why such rapid growth of organizations such as Jewish voices for peace?

      You are out of date. Last few years those groups are shrinking. They were growing. Groups that don't work on inspiring hatred in the community like INN and JStreet-U are replacing JVP. Anti-Zionism being replaced by the next generation of Liberal Zionism.

      Could it be that an apartheid state based on religious/ethnic supremacy is a living contradiction to Jewish concepts of justice and freedom?

      Of course it is. Jews have always sought to take unjust immoral systems and build better ones. Jews have however been both reformers and revolutionaries for the cause of justice. Israelis agree that their system is problematic they just believe it to be the least bad option under current circumstances. That's a system capable of reform, that's a system that desires reform. And if you look at the details and not demonizing propaganda a system that is experimenting with reforms to see what works as we speak.

    • @Ismail

      Poor Jeff B. He describes a Zionism that is unchanged for 130 years. But of course there were many streams of Zionism from the get-go. Some did not imagine a Jewish state but a multinational one or a confederation, among other iterations.

      Actually I've frequently talked about how Zionism evolved including on here quite a bit.

      perhaps we could have a reasonable discussion about whether or not the aspirations of (some) of the Jewish people would best be served by a nationalist solution.

      So you are admitting your position is unreasonable?

      That is, the Zionism JeffB defends is an abstract one; when one fills in the ghastly particulars, it’s a different story.

      Really. I'm not willing to defend the particulars? Ask you fellow anti-Zionists about that.

      . After all, if its antisemitic to oppose the numberless violations of basic human rights, the fake, race-based judicial system, house demolitions, confinement without charge, everyday brutality, etc that are required by the current instantiation of Zionism, it would be the moral duty of any thinking person to be an antisemite!

      First off what you list are policy position that can be reformed. Corbyn and BDS don't see policy reform they seek destruction. Policy reformers are the Liberal Zionists you all like to mock. Corbyn's policy is clear he doesn't believe Ma'ale Adumim have different laws he thinks it should be depopulated and razed. So no, you don't get to propose essentially genocidal solutions and claim this is an attempt at policy reform.

      Now excluding the dishonesty of pretending this is about policy. Reread my original post. The original author was making the case they were distinct. I agree with you they aren't.

      Happily, those of us who live unblinkered by Zionist ideology and remain committed to antiracism of any sort fully understand the difference between a corrupt political system and a religion/ethnicity and have no problem focussing our arguments squarely on the former.

      I'd say you have a great deal of problem focusing squarely on the former. Including in this post. Your big objection to Israel is how it was founded and hence you have to use your own words unreasonable. How Israel was founded 70 years ago is not something current day Israelis can do anything about. It is a completely unfixable problem. Hating Israelis because of stuff their grandparents did is not a policy position.

    • @Eljay

      We've had this discussion dozens of times. No exactly like France. A strong national identity with citizenship tied to that national identity so that being French is reflective. That process takes time and Israel isn't there yet. It has been moving at tremendous speed, but tremendous speed is not the same as instantaneous.

      There is a French nationality today because there is no Aquitaine nationality, no Brugendians, no Lombards and Frank has become the norm for all. Stop being so impatient.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- “Politically it is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.”

      Liberated from what? From assimilation? Are American Jews planning on seceding from the Union? Living as a people apart, their first loyalty to Israel? Jewish interests above all?

      American Jews aren't the ones who live in Israel. Liberated from what? Horrific anti-semitic purges is Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Hungry. Followed by Nazism. Persecution and poverty throughout the Muslim world. American Jews are happy in America.

      Zionism represents the interests of the Jewish elite who supported it from the start.

      Tell that to the non-elite who died as a result of its failure to change policy fast enough. Tell that to the 750k displaced persons who didn't freeze to death in the DP camps as a result of having somewhere to go. Tell that to the 1m+ Jews in muslim countries who live in freedom today. And frankly tell that to Western European Jews who live a life almost entirely free of antisemitism as a result of Israel.

      Prior to the Holocaust, the majority of Jews were either non-Zionists or anti-Zionists, and chose not to go to Palestine if there were alternatives.

      Hitler changed people's mind about assimilation as a long term strategy. The failure of assimilation in Russia was no longer a one off. Palestine was a rough place to live prior to the holocaust. Our brave forefathers and mothers who did the hard work of healing that shattered country deserve credit for their sacrifice.

      Even the more recent Russian immigration required restrictions to prevent the Russian Jews from diverting to the US or UK. Zionism has only been popular with the majority of Jews after 1967 when the organized Jewish leadership gave full propaganda support to the project. I take it that you are part of that support.


    • @Amigo

      I don't think you'll be successful but I have no doubt about the intentions of people like you towards me, my kid, my future grandchildren... No doubt at all about what you want to achieve.
      You are the sort of person who made Israel a vital Jewish interest rather than Jews living comfortably in Europe.

      Enjoy your fantasy of Corbyn's victory but do note how many of your other vile predictions have proven false over the years.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- “We have a guy who is a plausible candidate for prime minister, running on a hostile to Jewish interest platform.”

      Why is opposition to illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied territories hostile to the interests of UK Jews?

      Opposition to settlement isn't. Lots of people including Israelis are opposed to settlements. Corbyn is not merely opposed to settlement in the way that Peter Beinart is, rather he wants to put the UK on a trajectory of aggressively forcibly changing this Israeli policy. This policy has broad support of the Israeli people, so another way of putting that is he wants to move towards a stance where the UK becomes an enemy of Israel because of the settlements. And that is hostile to the interests UK Jews. The closer that UK interests and Israeli interests are the less UK Jews are under pressure. In a situation where they are allies one can be 100% British and 100% Jews easily.

      You make them enemies and that becomes not so easy. Again I think even if Corbyn is PM he fails at this, he hasn't actually thought through what this means. He's never shown any serious depth on these issues. Besides the fact I doubt there is any support in the UK for this being a foreign policy objective to which the UK dedicates resources outside the hard left.

      But for a moment consider what happens were the UK and Israel to be enemies and this to be a primary UK foreign policy goal. Jews are then rightfully considered a fifth column. Jews are going to be people who are passionately and personally opposed to the UK's success in this critical foreign policy objective. Individual Jews inevitably are going to use their station to be involved in internal subversion of the policy. Uniformly they are hostile. The natural result of that is the government wants to be successful it will need to weaken their broader power in society. As Amigo put it, "send them to the back of the class". Which in practice means encouraging and often funding all sorts of Antisemitic elements in the broaders society. Those elements successfully make it uncomfortable for Jews and they leave. This is how anti-zionism cleared Jews out of about 40 countries since world war 2. Consider Venezuela where until strong anti-zionists came to power the Jews were quite comfortable. Today 2/3rds of the population has left. Iran 95% has gone. South Africa the number is over 50%. Those purges happened during the time Mondoweiss existed as a website.

      Most of the people living in Israel today are there because of this process by which anti-zionism when put into practice becomes antisemitism. Since the end of world war 2 the combination of Zionism and Anti-Zionism has been what's created the semi-forced migrations of Jews to Israel.

      This isn't theory it happened over and over and over again. BTW started to happen in France just 10 years ago. The fact that it was happening discredited anti-zionism and the broader left. The French people to their credit wanted to be the kind of country that minorities flee to not flee from. Seeing large scale emigration from their country horrified them.

      So yes it not only could happen in democratic western Europe it did start to happen. UK Jews have good reason to now want to experience what France's Jews went through.

      How exactly do UK Jews benefit from the violent abuse of the Palestinians?

      They don't. No one benefits from the violent abuse of the Palestinians. But that has nothing to do with Corbyn. He's not opposed to violent abuses his stated policy is to depopulate and destroy whole Jewish cities most of which have no meaningful levels of abuses.

      JEFFB- “He is surrounded by people who are hostile to Jewish interests.”

      Jewish interests? Anyone who doesn’t support Jewish power-seeking is an anti-Semite? Tribal solidarity uber alles? Support for universal principles of justice is tribal treason?

      You are exaggerating well beyond what I said. But yes. Jewish people have interests just like any other people. Working with your people's enemies to apply force to your people so as to achieve your policy objectives is traitorous. That's what Vidkun Quisling did that got him to become a word in English.

      But assume I'm wrong What I'm saying above is not true on the left so then its not true for the Tory Jews. There is no connection between Jews and Israel at all anymore than there is between Jews and Nigeria. Then why do they mysteriously hate Corbyn? Does anyone believe it is about Facebook posts?

    • @Eva

      Your answer basically comes down to "I don't agree with the first epithet but do agree with the 2nd". Which if fine, I understand that. Jews understandably don't agree with either epithet. The argument in the article was not whether the first is true and the 2nd false or the 2nd false and the 1st true but rather the 1st somehow presented more of a threat than the 2nd.

      They are both equally damning. Arguably the 2nd is far worse since the 1st is out of fashion and thus unlikely to gain as many adherents. They both aim at the same goal. Take a look at Amigo's response. He clearly indicates the point is to use the 2nd to accomplish the same goals as the 1st.

      Why are you arguing so hard these two population are one and the same?

      The discussion was about British politics and the issue of trying to separate antisemitism from anti-zionism and why this isn't working and mostly can't work. The central claim of Zionism is that these populations are the same. Assuming they are not the same is anti-zionist thinking. Mainstream Jews are Zionist. If Jews were anti-zionist there wouldn't be an Israel. But they are not anti-Zionist.

      British Jews believe, rightfully IMHO, the reason the 1st epithet is out of fashion and that are enemies need to replace it with the 2nd is Israel.

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