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Total number of comments: 2493 (since 2013-01-23 13:17:29)

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  • A plea to Israel: Don't start the third Lebanon War
    • @Brewer

      It is astounding to read what you fellows write. It is as if all that David Bar-Hayim says is so deeply ingrained that you cannot even conceive that Israel might be wrong,

      David Bar-Hayim's influence is in your head. You introduced me to the guy. I'd never heard of him before.

      Israel invaded Lebanon on trumped up charges in 1982 and slaughtered 20-30 thousand indiscriminately.

      Trumped up charges? Come on now. An army operating on Lebanese soil was attacking Israel. That's an act of war.

      The massacres at Sabra and Shatila massacre were atrocities, huge crimes for which Israel was responsible.

      The Lebanese army killed Lebanese residents on Lebanese soil. Sure Israel knew about it. But I'd say your sense of responsibility is a bit off.

      What were they thinking? By what possible right did they unilaterally invade a militarily weak sovereign nation?

      The right to invade attacking nations. Lebanon choose to engage Israel. I agree it was stupid.

      Because the Palestinians were causing them trouble?

      Yes. The Palestinians army operating on Lebanese soil was causing them trouble. Lebanon never should have permitted such a thing.

      Let me remind you that the Palestinians, to this day, legally own most of the land Israelis occupy.

      The government of Israel says otherwise. As far as I'm concerned government has right to determine title.

      They were driven from their homes at gunpoint and forced to become refugees in camps in Lebanon.

      They were driven out of Jordan into Lebanon by the Jordanians because they tried to flip the government.

      Every single situation Israel faces is a direct consequence of its illegal and immoral actions in dispossessing a million indigenous people. Put that right and the vast majority of Israel’s problems will fade – plus it just might survive the next decade without a major War.

      Those people are mostly dead of old age. If you mean their descendants. Israel has agreed to go 51st in correcting mass deportations from generations ago. Just get 50 other countries involved to put it right and Israel will go next. Let's start with the USA returning the country to the natives.

    • @amigo

      If the Laws that made it possible to bring the Nazi criminals to justice were Willy Nilly , are you saying those individuals were unjustly convicted and punished???

      Depends on which ones to pick an example
      Karl Dönitz who was the only head of state indicted clearly took reprisals against prisoners of war -- It was established in 1648 prisoners of war should be released without ransom at the end of hostilities. Right of parole was a norm. Exchange was a norm. He was rightfully convicted.

      His conviction on submarine warfare against neutral shipping similarly violated a treaty Germany had itself signed. Rightfully convicted.

      And he was properly found not guilty on aggression.

      I don't think this conversation is going to go anywhere though. You like to rant too much.

    • @talkback

      That was before international and humanitarian law existed,

      International law was not invented after World War 2. It existed for thousands of years. Similarly humanitarian law. All that happened after World War 2 was a particular body was created that started amending these timeless codes that humans have evolved over centuries of wisdom willy nilly with current fashion.

    • @Brewer

      The airlift didn't affect '73. As for the missiles hitting Tel Aviv maybe. What are the size of the warheads? How good are the guidance systems? Same problem Iraq had in the first gulf war. They had tons of missiles they just couldn't hit much of anything.

      As for asymmetric warfare, you were postulating them invading Israel. Nothing asymmetric about that.

    • @Brewer

      JeffB:“Except that Rabbis do oppose the bombing of civilians. ”
      I have not seen evidence of this. Can you link me please.

      Here is a the largest hasidic denomination:
      modern orthodox:
      reflective of conservative Judaism:
      wikipedia overview:

      JeffB: “A rabbinic court doesn’t mean as much as you might think.”
      I have always assumed they are equivalent to Sharia courts – ruling on ecclesiastical matters and disputes between parties who consent to their authority. Is that a fair assessment? To what extent are their rulings binding on all believers? How fragmented is Judaism?

      A Rabbi's authority extends to anyone who asks them an opinion on an issue. You ask about that issue you are bound by the answer but you can take it to a court. The appropriate court would be the appeal. Which court is appropriate depends on the rabbi asked. Believers essentially choose which court. Same way that in a Christian in choosing a church would choose the Session that would decide a case (in conservative that practice discipline).

      They are not universally binding.

      I am very curious as to where you, JonS and other pro-Zionist posters stand with regard to David Bar-Hayim’s interpretation of the Torah and History.

      I'm not a Rabbi. I'm not qualified. And I haven't studied the source material enough to have an informed opinion.

      I have not yet seen you dismiss his dicta. I can say unequivocally that I find his interpretation repugnant and his History risible. Can you? How widespread is this notion that divine law is selective, i.e one law for Jews, another for Gentiles?

      That's universal in Judaism. Judaism holds that God makes different covenants with different people. Besides some very basics (called the Noahide laws) that are universal each covenant can be quite individual to the people. So for example Japanese do an Omairi involving a bell when they approach a shrine. There is nothing in Jewish law about bells. Jews take no position on whether God did or did not command that to the Japanese. We know our laws we have no idea what he wants the Japanese to do.

      To me it seems a denial of mono-theism – there is one God for Jews and another (or none) for the rest.

      You are conflating one law and one God.

      One disastrous outcome of that would be the legitimization of anti-Semitism for it is illogical to oppose a group purely for its blood or lineage, less so to oppose a group that claims divine right to steal from or kill non-members.

      Jews don't claim a divine right to steal or kill non-members.

      One law for all is to me, the very foundation of Humanist thought and progress – I had considered it axiomatic.

      That's very Christian. Jews aren't Christians.

    • @Talkback

      I don't like the term "terrorism". I think the 2 most mainstream meanings conflict. Al Jazeera has a cute video and while I'd quibble with the details sums up my feelings:

      That being said. Yes. Israel's policy in general is escalation. There is a general strategy that can be fairly effective of using low violence as constant pressure that Israel has faced since its creation. By engaging in harsh sudden escalations Israel makes that strategy too dangerous to employ against it. I don't think there is anything crazy about that. It is for example how the United States terrorized Mexico and Canada into the peaceful borders we enjoy today.

    • @Brewer

      A much weaker Israel faced Jordan, Syria and Egypt in 1967 armed by the Soviets. They faced a similar line up in 1973 and everything started off terribly. Relative to its neighbors Israel is vastly stronger today. Those battle hardened troops got battle hardened fighting ISIS not a first world army. Egypt is now on Israel's side. Jordan is on Israel's side. Huge sections of Syria hate Iranian domination. The Alawites lost a not unsubstantial percentage of their population.

      There is no threat. There would be need for nukes.

    • @Brewer

      Obviously Israel handled Lebanon poorly it went from a relatively friendly country to a hostile one between the 1930s-1990s. I think the key mistake was underestimating the Syrians / Hezbollah in 1983. I think Israel could have had a friendly Christian government if they had protected Lebanon against Syria better. They didn't Christians left and now it is pretty bad mess. Also leaving without fixing infrastructure damage was a terrible idea. The Syrian refugee crisis and the increasing anti-Iranian hostility might change things in Israel's favor.

      That being said I don't think 2006 worked out as badly as you claim:

      I agree Hezbollah has an ever increasing role in the government. At the same time Hezbollah is dragging Lebanon into conflict.

      I'd love to see polling to know if:

      is becoming a more prevalent view. The Israeli / Lebanon relationship going south is a tragedy. I wish there were better polling to figure out if a peace with Lebanon is possible or not in this generation. It's a peace that could be wonderful for both countries. There is no good reason for this conflict to continue. So one can always hope that the forces at play in the Arab world change the dynamic to make peace possible.

    • @John O

      Same argument for why Afghanistan got invaded by the USA. Or in the reverse direction the claim that the USA didn't commit an act of aggression with the Bay of Pigs. So not that much work. It is Lebanon that has a crazy doctrine that they can be a state sponsor of a militia and it doesn't count as part of their army.

      Simple question. Up until the air force got involved: Was the United States conducting drone warfare in Pakistan or is the CIA conducting drone warfare in Pakistan? If you believe the USA was doing it then you are agreeing with me.

    • @Brewer

      why Rabbis do not oppose the bombing of civilians.

      Except that Rabbis do oppose the bombing of civilians.

      A rabbinic court doesn't mean as much as you might think. His level of authority is about what a lead pastor in a midsized church. Not nothing but you are way overestimating his level of influence. What he's most known for is the fight regarding the kosher status of peanut butter and other such dishes not military doctrine.

    • @Misterioso

      The original question was whether Iran's policy was one of belligerency. You are now addressing issues of what Israel could do to change the policy. Which is fine but its another topic. Let's stop here and not get side tracked. Iran's current openly stated policy is seeking war with Israel. Hezbollah's currently openly stated policy is seeking war with Israel.

      It might be true that if Israel surrenders to Hezbollah demands than Hezbollah is less likely to attack Israel. Not clear. Remember the withdraw from Southern Lebanon was based on that calculation and it didn't entirely work though it did diminish hostility somewhat. Conversely the introduction of Sunni fanaticism to Syria has made Hezbollah much less hostile towards Israel. Looked at objectively the most successful peace process regarding Shia seems to be ISIS like groups. The Kurds create a nice potential counter threat where Israel can do to Iran what Iran is doing with Hezbollah. I think that avenue is the most promising for diminishing the likelihood of proxy wars getting out of hand. I simply don't believe the people of Lebanon have endured what they have in their fights with Israel over that tiny piece of land, which even the UN agrees is Syrian not Lebanese. So I think Sheeba Farms is an excuse not the real reason.

      As for the 2002 Peace proposal that would obviously change things. But it could make things a lot worse. A sovereign but incredibly weak state could lead to an Iranian army in the West Bank. The original proposal was a good deal, the final one was not. It has been repeatedly been rejected by Israel and in this latest government openly rejected. Israel has determined that peace at that cost is not worth the cost.

      There is almost always some degree of surrender an enemy will accept so as to arrive at peace. Same in the other direction Iran could avoid this war by giving into far less serious demands from Israel. Neither is going to at this point, so they disco. Moreover in this contest Israel gets to be in a military alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia which is such a huge positive its hard to see what the advantage would be for Israel in making a peace with Iran. Long term if Iran is helping Israel create a warm peace with the Arabs that's worth far more than whatever damage Israel takes from Iran. Iran's strategy of uniting the Arabs with it via. anti-Zionism is accomplishing the opposite. Sunnis being forced to choose if they are more worried about Jews or Shia are voting Shia and slowly aligning themselves openly with Jews. Why would Israel be interested in cutting off its greatest diplomatic success since the 1990s?

      As for Hamas statement etc... I have to agree with Netanyahu. If you don't agree to Israel as a Jewish state, you aren't agreeing to the formula of two states for two people. That's not a peace offer based on a two state solution at all. There has been a change in language with respect to Hamas, but not a change in policy. Some other language might be acceptable through negotiation and I do agree with the Israeli left that negotiations with Hamas should start. But I don't think there is a reasonable Hamas offer on the table.

    • @DaBakr

      One of the great things about the Kurds in Iraq is it gives Israel the opportunity to play the same game against Iran that Iran is playing against Israel with Lebanon. I've never understood why the Lebanese Christians and Druze tolerate the Shia dragging them into endless wars with Israel for Syria and Iran's benefit. And of course the Saudis can help hitting other Iranian assets at the same time.

      The big complicating factor is going to be Russia. Israel against Iran in Syria is as a war not too bad. Israel against Russia in Syria I think Israel likely still wins but that one is really rolling the dice, more or less anything could happen. My guess is Russia doesn't care that much and Israel can diplomatically buy Russia off but that's what would have me worried.

    • In real life on March 11 , 1978 a Lebanese special forces unit (if one considers armies operating freely on the territory with the government's permission to be part of that country's military) attacked Israel. Israel didn't start that war. Lebanon did by allowing the PLO to operate in their country.

    • @Brewer

      Christianity has plenty of people who would similarly deny common humanity. Do a google search on Kinism (white only form of Reformed/Presbyterian Christianity). You'll mostly find responsible Reformed pastors refuting it, though note that none denying it wasn't a fairly big substrain they were dealing with on the Christian Reformed right.

      It wasn't Jews who came up with the belief that blacks were the children of Ham ( )

    • @Misterioso

      The clam was that there was no reason to believe that Hezbollah Iran had an intention of hostile military acts. I listed a bunch of quotes where their leadership says they have such an intention. They have a stated intention to start a war. What you are giving sound like reasons you think it would be a good idea for Iran and Hezbollah to start a war. Which is fine, but isn't evidence they don't intend to start one.

    • @Larry

      I think there is some reason for Israel to believe that Hezbollah and Iran's policy is one of war. And that is that is their repeatedly stated open policy:

      Mohammad Khatami, the former president of Iran: “If we abide by real legal laws, we should mobilize the whole Islamic world for a sharp confrontation with the Zionist regime … if we abide by the Koran, all of us should mobilize to kill.” (2000)

      Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: “It is the mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to erase Israel from the map of the region.” (2001)

      Hassan Nasrallah, a leader of Hezbollah: “If they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.” (2002)

      Nasrallah: “Israel is our enemy. This is an aggressive, illegal, and illegitimate entity, which has no future in our land. Its destiny is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.’” (2005)

      Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps: “With God’s help the time has come for the Zionist regime’s death sentence.” (2008)

      Mohammad Hassan Rahimian, Khamenei’s representative to the Moustazafan Foundation: “We have manufactured missiles that allow us, when necessary to replace [sic] Israel in its entirety with a big holocaust.” (2010)

      Mohammad Reza Naqdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary force: “We recommend them [the Zionists] to pack their furniture and return to their countries. And if they insist on staying, they should know that a time while arrive when they will not even have time to pack their suitcases.” (2011)

      Khamenei: “The Zionist regime is a cancerous tumor and it will be removed.” (2012)

      Ahmad Alamolhoda, a member of the Assembly of Experts: “The destruction of Israel is the idea of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and is one of the pillars of the Iranian Islamic regime. We cannot claim that we have no intention of going to war with Israel.” (2013)

      Nasrallah: “The elimination of Israel is not only a Palestinian interest. It is the interest of the entire Muslim world and the entire Arab world.” (2013)

      Hojateleslam Alireza Panahian, the advisor to Office of the Supreme Leader in Universities: “The day will come when the Islamic people in the region will destroy Israel and save the world from this Zionist base.” (2013)

      Hojatoleslam Ali Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative in the Revolutionary Guard: “The Zionist regime will soon be destroyed, and this generation will be witness to its destruction." (2013)

      Khamenei: “This barbaric, wolflike & infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime has no cure but to be annihilated.” (2014)

      Hossein Salami, the deputy head of the Revolutionary Guard: "We will chase you [Israelis] house to house and will take revenge for every drop of blood of our martyrs in Palestine, and this is the beginning point of Islamic nations awakening for your defeat." (2014)

      Salami: "Today we are aware of how the Zionist regime is slowly being erased from the world, and indeed, soon, there will be no such thing as the Zionist regime on Planet Earth." (2014)

      Hossein Sheikholeslam, the secretary-general of the Committee for Support for the Palestinian Intifada: "The issue of Israel's destruction is important, no matter the method. We will obviously implement the strategy of the Imam Khomeini and the Leader [Khamenei] on the issue of destroying the Zionists. The region will not be quiet so long as Israel exists in it ..." (2014)

      Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander-in-chief of the Revolutionary Guard: "The Revolutionary Guards will fight to the end of the Zionist regime ... We will not rest easy until this epitome of vice is totally deleted from the region's geopolitics." (2015)

      Moreover in fighting Arab nationalism had to stand alone. In fighting Iranian control in the region Israel stands with Saudi Arabia and Egypt as full partners. Even if it made no sense to fight a war, the long term value to Israel's long term viability of being included in an Arab military alliance is so high that it would still make sense for Israel.

      The people forcing this confrontation is Iran not Israel. What are they doing in Syria at all? What are they doing in Lebanon at all? You are so incredibly opposed to occupation. Funding an army more powerful than the Lebanese army so as to render the government of Lebanon unable to control its own foreign policy is something that maybe you would want to object to.

  • Zohra Drif's memoir of Algeria's fight for freedom is stunning
    • Just came back from her talk. A few interesting points

      Her reasons for writing the book in 2013 are:

      1) An apologetic for the tactics
      2) A friend had died who had been anonymous so she could tell her story without implicating this friend
      3) Educate children. Very few left who remain to tell the story.

      The Q&A and discussion was quite advanced. The conversation assumed you could refer to various figures in the Battle for Algiers by name. I couldn't follow all of it. What I could was detailed opinion on specific choices of the leadership. Solid recommend to go to one of these session if you have a lot of interest. Zohra Drif is quite lucid and has an excellent memory for details from almost 60 years ago.

      In terms of the 1990s she admits the FLN had never considered the possibility of religious war because the population was 95% sunni muslim. They felt that the tensions that existed in places like Iraq simply couldn't happen in Algeria. The GIA in her opinion came out of the fight against Afghanistan and that's what started the troubles.

    • @lonely rico

      Of course the dispassionate account of the perpetrators must be true !

      First off it is a war. There aren't "perpetrators" there are just sides. There are 3 main accounts of the event. The Arab account, the western leftist account and the Irgun accounts. The Irgun account is consistent with the details we know from unbiased 3rd parties in all but a few very small details. The Arab account has substantial holes in the story and is inconsistent with some major details. The Western leftist account is simply impossible and self contradictory.

      The events most likely true are the ones most consistent with the evidence. I haven't studied any of the 3 in any detail. I listed 2 questions above I have yet to hear a good answer to them. Without that it isn't worth serious study. There is no Irgun anymore. The 1947-9 war is over. Most of the people involved are dead or close to it. It is pretty low priority to begin with. There are plenty of more recent questionable incidents.

      There have been studies by experts. I'm satisfied. If there is substantial new evidence that wasn't considered by the experts then fine. Otherwise moving on.

    • @Citizen

      There is no evidence or claim of rape. Nor is there any evidence of children killed once the Irgun closed in on the village. You are making stuff up.

      As for the pact, if there were no fighters in the village where did the POWs handed over to the British come from?


      No question the Arab version of the story involves a massacre. The question is whether these witnesses are lying or not. The two questions I started with need to be addressed to believe the Arab version of events. The Irgun witnesses are more consistent with the evidence we have.


      Same issue. Pape's version of events isn't consistent with the facts we have.

    • @Keith

      Did Zionists commit mass-murder at Deir Yassin to send a message?

      I think most of the evidence supports the Irgun's version of events. The Irgun took a village that was harboring enemy forces, located in a key strategic location at the minimum possible loss of life given the relative strengths (and experience) of the combatants.

      The Arab version of events has many problems that need to be explained. But the key two:
      a) If the Irgun's goal was extermination and not conquest why did they leave a road open to allow civilians to flee?

      b) If the Irgun's goal was extermination why did they hand POWs over to the British and not just kill them?

  • Israeli soldier-medic-killer 'endured a lot' -  so short sentence is cut by four months
    • @Ossinev

      The reason there is no controversy about Pollard is that he served his sentence and was paroled in the normal (non diplomatic) process in late 2015. He is living in New York under a very restrictive parole.

  • Seeing 'tranquillity' on West Bank, 'New York Times' whitewashes the occupation
    • @Misterioso

      In the United States the breeding of blacks was handled like the way one handles livestock. In Virginia you had a situation where young women who were kept on the Virginia plantations were kept almost constantly pregnant. Having child after child until they died in childbirth. The men on those plantations worked moderately hard and the elderly provided additional resources. A fairly good living standard except that 80% of your children were taken away at around age 10. So where were the going.

      Well of course with women dying so often in childbirth there was an abundance of of extra men. Most men were sent west. Black males were shipped to clear land in ways that were dangerous. Average life expectancy after being dispatched to a western land clearing was 4 years.

      The rest of the men and some women went to the deep south to do what you picture as slavery tobacco, cotton... Conditions were so harsh that the average number of children was around 1.3 per female. Remember they had no birth control this was stress and hunger. That's why they imported new kids from Virginia.

      No the occupation is nothing like slavery.

  • 'NYT' leaves out Dennis Ross's charge to US Jews: 'We need to be advocates for Israel'
    • @MalcolmLeftly

      Sorry it is true: Note this was passed during the Clinton administration. 360 - 38 in the House, unanimous in the Senate.

    • @Phil

      I don't think you are part Unz Reviews paranoia. So let's deal with the reality of the situation. There are Republican Jews. They hold views in line with many Republicans but not shockingly tend to focus on Israel. The position of both parties by the late 1990s was that the USA should pursue regime change in Iraq. An opportunity arose to achieve regime change in Iraq. They along with lots of Christians fully supported the war in Iraq. Their behavior is not unusual. Many of the same people are rather aggressive on North Korea, Russia, China and Cuba though of course they may differ on these issues as well. This was all out in the open, Netanyahu did testify before an open session of Congress.

      What was unusual was the USA peace camp was divided on the invasion of Iraq being only weakly opposed. Saddam Hussein funded suicide bombings against Israel. That caused peace advocates who normally would be opposed to any intervention to not be strongly opposed. The second issue was ANSWER which tied the Iraq war protests firmly to anti-Zionism. Those two factors pulled leftwing Jews out of the anti-Iraq war movement and made them ambivalent. With a weak peace movement, an American population strongly in favor of the war, and Republicans united on the war the Democrats ended up weakly supporting the war. And of course with Democrats only voicing some caution support continued to rise. The main voice of concern was the foreign policy establishment not backed by either party strongly. That's how a consensus emerged to make regime change a reality.

      The consensus started to fall apart once the Ba'ath were removed from power. The support started eroding though it is worth noting that it was only late in the 2004 campaign that Kerry turned against the war even semi-definitively and never got specific. There was no dark conspiracy. A few interests groups shifted and what had not been possible in the 1990s became possible in the early 2000s.

      You have 0 influence over Republican Jews. You have 0 influence over pan-Arabist group support or not support for terrorism. What is worth reflecting on though is the role ANSWER played, because the groups you do have influence on could easily play the same role in the next war. In the buildup to Iraq, Jews with any Zionist leanings were kicked out of the main hard left cause. Was that a good thing that needed to happen to start divorcing the Democratic party from Zionism, a bad thing since it led to a destructive war whose effects may kill millions or ...? That's really the question.

      The goal of your organization is to do for the entire Democratic party what happened to the peace movement. I don't think you'll be successful this generation, but I could be wrong. I think the anti-war Iraq movement and the ultimate policy impact gives you a nice preview of what could happen on hundreds of issues without Jews on the American left. You wrestle with the issues of Jewish politics all the time. You don't wrestle with what America looks like in a world where Jews have become swing voters on their way to becoming Republicans. What does the world look like if instead of 13% of USA Jews being neoconservatives 60% are?

  • Balfour Declaration, now 100, was 'gun pointed at heads' of Palestinians -- Khalidi
    • @Eljay

      Let me just correct this by saying you don't actually mean democratic nor secular. You are quite a bit less tolerant than that. What you really mean is Western European style secular and democratic. So for example the types of models that exist in Russia, Ukraine, Iran or Lebanon are intolerable in your view. Your objection is that a population 30% of which came out of deep Eastern Europe and 70% of which came from Arabic countries has no meaningful familiarity with Locke, Mills, Montesquieu and Voltaire's beliefs about the function and structure of government.

      To which yeah you are absolutely right. There is essentially no one in the Israeli Palestinian conflict from Meretz to Jewish Home and from Hadesh to Hamas on either side that wants the type of government you do. Which is of course a big problem for this government being "democratic". I'd love you to maybe try and think through how a democratic government functions using a structure and model that has close to 0% support. Assume somehow magically you got what you wanted, how does a democratic government maintain a structure with say 3% (at best) support among the population?

      You are going to have to accept essentially all the people who live in what was formerly Palestine came out of cultures that evolved from the Eastern Roman Empire, not the Western. None of them share your political values. None of them share your political culture. Canadians don't live there.

    • @Mooser

      Herzl never got near Israel, did he? It didn’t exist, and Herzl died in 1904.

      There was explicitly Zionist settlement starting in 1882. Herzl wasn't an Israeli politician he was a WZO politician. He has a leader among diaspora Jews to build financial support for Palestinians settlement. He was a political leader among Zionists to help them crystallize their many aims into a more clear cut political program. It took decades of hard work to lay the ground for what would become Israel.

      Kennedy never got to the moon, and never lived to see the moon landing. But he certainly was the politician most responsible for the fact that someone got there.

    • @Mooser

      JeffB: “Herzl is a political moderate.”

      And what political experience did Herzl have, in which he demonstrated his moderation?
      He was a writer and publicist. He wrote a book.
      Was Herzl ever an Israeli politician? Or any kind, for that matter?

      Yes. President of the World Zionist Organization 1897-1904. He created the governing organization that would guide the Yishuv through its early years. He also y played a diplomatic role representing "the Jews" in world forums. For example he represented the Jews at the meetings on what would become the Hague Convention of 1899.

      I'd call that an NGO but given that WZO -> Yishuv government -> Israel he's not without reason seen as a founding father. Similar sort of thing to John Carver or William Penn and the USA.

    • @Annie

      note how, regardless of your hifalutin claims of motivation or “desire” — israel most definitely steals natural resources and exploits labor.

      The claim would have to be the purpose of Israel is to steal resources and/or exploit labor. Just to pick the labor example. A society designed to exploit labor wouldn't build a big wall and a fence to cut the labor off from the internal economy.

    • @JohnO

      You do know what a myth is, don’t you?

      Yes, but I don't know what you are getting at.

    • @Annie and Talkback

      Reread the comment. I specifically talked about how exploitation colonialism and "settler colonialism" act nothing alike that they shouldn't be seen as related. Not that Israel didn't look like "settler colonialism". I'm rejecting that "settler colonialism" is properly named.

    • @Talkback

      Like accepting international law and human rights?

      Let's rewrite that to
      Like accepting the United Nation's perversion of international law -- No.
      and human rights -- yes

    • @Ossinev

      I'm going to go for this.

      2 state solution. In terms of the peace process both Barak and Olmart had specific borders. Olmert which works better with more recent growth and the wall has 5.8% of the West Bank in Israel's hands with about 1.4% of pre-Green line Israel going to Palestine. They get all of Gaza.

      In terms of what's likely given the refusal to accept Olmert.

      All of Mandate Palestine excluding Gaza and including Golan. Area-A and Area-B likely as autonomous regions. Everything else annexed with full citizenship.

    • @MHughes976

      I expect that they saw themselves as human beings and did not think that anyone had the right to exclude them from their homes.

      If only you believed this applied to all human beings.

    • @Talkback
      JeffB: “Like any religious reformation it needed to build their consent over time.”
      Yes, “reforming” Islam into Islamofascism by religious extremists, too.

      Yes Qutbism is a reform movement as well. Herzl was obvious rather genteel and far less ambitious than Qutb in terms of changing the world. They both obvious believe in a transformation of political state as a means of inner spiritual transformation. Herzl never heard of the theory of takfir and jahiliyah but had he had those words I suspect his analysis of the state of Judaism might well have used them.

      Herzl much more limited ambition makes it hard to draw any analogy between the two men. Ultimately there just aren't enough Jews to accomplish something analogous to what Qutb aims for. It is possible to construct a closed Islamic world in a way it simply isn't possible to do for Jews. And that I think is the biggest problem with the analogy. A billion people can do stuff 10 million can't.

      And then there is a degree of political radicalism. Herzl is a political moderate. The state Herzl envisions is rather normative. Getting there may not be, but the end goal is normality. Qutb is utopian. I think an analogy where we have Qutb radicalism next to a more moderate version would be Thomas Müntzer relationship to Martin Luther. Herzl is more like Luther (or perhaps even better would be Calvin) Qutb (and his most famous student Bin Ladin) more like Müntzer.

      So while you meant that as a petty insult. Yeah there is something to the comparison but not very much. Too many key differences.

    • @JeffB

      JeffB: “Losing the Trojan war led the Trojans to found Rome (at least mythically). That doesn’t mean the Romans wanted Troy to be sacked.”

      If the Trojans founded Rome, there must logically have been no Romans around to want Troy to be sacked.

      In the Iliad: : His [Aeneas] fate is to escape to ensure that the great
      line of Dardanus may not unseeded perish from the
      world. Therefore Aeneas and his sons, and theirs,
      will be lords over Trojans born hereafter

      In the myth the Trojans who fled with Aeneas become the Romans in later generations ( ). There is a brief foreshadowing reference to this in the movie version of the Iliad which was quire creative: . This myth was popular throughout the Hellenistic world. So Pyrrhus of Epirus (Greek general prior to the Roman conquest) calls the Romans the "Trojan colonists".

      Rome was far greater than Troy. Troy's destruction (again in the myth) gave birth to Rome. The Romans identified their taking of Alexander's conquests with a continuation and a vindication of the Trojan war.

      In short. The Romans and everyone around them believed them to be the reincarnation and a continuation of the Trojans.

    • @Mooser

      I didn't say that. Losing the Trojan war led the Trojans to found Rome (at least mythically). That doesn't mean the Romans wanted Troy to be sacked.

    • @Misterioso

      Unfortunately, Israel’s response to every peace overture from the Palestinians and Arab states, has been an escalation of illegal settlement construction in occupied Palestinian and other Arab lands.

      Bull. Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman made overtures that were accepted. Qatar (1996–2009) wanted friendlier relations and got them. Egypt and Jordan of course have relations. And just recently Saudi Arabia and Egypt have invited Israel into a military alliance. Israel has a proven track record of accepting peace overtures with Arab states. That doesn't mean it accepts every possible offer under all conditions.

    • @Matt

      I don't think anyone argues that Zionism was a majority position in 1917. It likely didn't become an uncomplicated majority position until 1967. Zionism was a social engineering program for Jews by Jews remaking Judaism. Like any religious reformation it needed to build their consent over time. In 1917 it didn't have and didn't need majority support. Though it already was capturing the imagination. The world's Jews who engaged with Zionism may not have agreed, but they understood the argument. Hitler and the victories in 1948 and 1967 would ultimately win the argument for Zionism.

    • @Nathan --

      Excellent points. Regardless of how often it is claimed that Zionism is a colonial movement it consistently ends up responding to various pressures in ways different than colonial movement do. Pulmonary embolism shares some symptomatology with pneumonia that doesn't mean it respond to the same treatments as pneumonia. Now of course one can redefine colonialism so broadly starting with the term "settler colonialism" so as to have a "colonialism" that acts and behaves nothing like colonialism and thus make the term colonialism meaningless. But ultimately the "triple bind" is the fact that Jewish migration to Palestine are not motivated by either a desire to cease natural resources nor a desire to exploit indigenous labor. The support for it is religious and cultural not economic and political. In other words it isn't colonialism at all.

      The Palestinian's problem is their broad support depends on post colonial nations believing they too suffer from colonialism. At the same time their actual opponent isn't a colonizer, and has a set of motivations entirely unlike those of colonial enterprises.

  • Between our life and our mother Algeria, we chose our mother: Excerpt from 'Inside the Battle of Algiers: Memoir of a Woman Freedom Fighter'
    • @Mooser

      JeffB: “Because that [ethic cleansing / genocide] was their [FLN's] openly stated policy:”

      A terrible warning for Zionism. And that was with mighty France clearly responsible, but unwilling, to reverse the situation.

      The 2nd intifada was an attempt at an Algeria type war. Unlike the Pieds noirs the Israelis cut off all labor, created a defensible interior border and strictly controlled movement. The Palestinians tried the FLN approach and failed. Jews aren't in Israel to exploit native labor. That creates huge advantages militarily. The Pieds noirs could potentially have won had they been willing to cut off the labor but they weren't.

      There is also the not important point that the FLN had more limited aims. There was never any question that the Algerians did not intend to take France. The Palestinians during the 2nd intifada attacked inside the Green Line repeatedly and thus united the Israelis with the settlers. The FLN didn't attack France in the same way and they were also quite explicit about their final goals. Think about the loses France took against Germany in World War 1. Had the FLN made it about all of France and not just Algeria they would have lost.

      The real question going forward for Israel now is not if they can hold ground, they obviously can. But whether Israel can relax these controls without another wave of bombings. Repression worked, but does that mean that the repression will end up being semi-permanent. That's what I think needs to be addressed. A way for Israel to relax these controls without having to experience violence in their streets.

    • @Helena

      @JeffB Why are you ignorantly even raising the issue of “slaughter/ racial purges” in connection with the Algerians’ attainment of national independence?

      Because that was there openly stated policy: suitcase or coffin (La valise ou le cercueil). The 100k Pieds-noirs who remained had constant discrimination and even state violence till they left over the next few decades. The Harkis who didn't leave in huge numbers had something on the order of 100k executions clearly at those numbers designed to completely shatter the community. The FLN conducted a violent ethnic cleansing with genocidal rhetoric and mass executions. It resulted in the departure of 13% of the population of Algeria. What else would you call that?

      This is all before the 1990s civil war.

    • @Helana --

      The FLN's purge was not an economic success. Their policies resulted in 2 depressions and a recession within a decade. The pie they got to redistribute was much smaller than it otherwise would have been. And I should note that since Algeria stopped killing large numbers of its own people economic growth has been rather good. It is a success story with a high growth rate, decreasing poverty, increasing wealth and good multipliers. Slaughter / racial purges, even if conducted for noble causes, is bad for the economy.

    • @Mooser

      I think you missed Jack's point. He was talking about the 1990s. But you seem to have meant the war against the French and the Zionist understood the risk. That's why when confronted with a bombing campaign that they were unable to contain easily they isolated the enemy population and created a double defense permitter. They made it close to impossible for people to place bombs in areas frequented by Israelis. They were able to do this because Israel does not have a dependency on Palestinian labor.

    • @YoniFalic

      The effect of the Nazis was the death of 3% of the world's population. Even if you assert that Zionism and Algeria are playing the same sport, they aren't in the same league. There are weeks where the Nazis killed more people than died in Algeria and it wouldn't shock me if the worst 5 minutes of the effects of the Nazis beat all the people who died as a result of Zionism.

      Me thinks you need a sense of proportion.

  • Why the split inside the Democratic Party over BDS needs to happen
    • @talkback

      Your claim was I made up the stand alone criteria. Claim falsified.

    • @Mooser

      “They are devoted to rallying their forces, which is fine. But change the name.” “Jeff b”

      Except JeffB isn't the one who said that. Learn to follow a thread.

    • @Yonah

      They are devoted to rallying their forces, which is fine. But change the name.

      Agree Jewish Voice for Peace is neither.

    • I'm going to address the stand alone criteria:

      Article 22 LEAGUE OF NATIONS
      To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.... Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognized subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

    • @Talkback

      This is not only about land. This is about ending a brutal occupation/siege and the daily state terrorism of Israel against the Palestinians.

      Then when Palestinians repeatedly said this was a land dispute and not an ethnic or religious dispute they lied. You can't have it both ways. They spent 2 decades saying this was about land, land, land. Nothing else. They claimed they fully embraced a land for peace formula. They argued repeatedly against the Israeli right that claimed there were deeper issues and the problem wouldn't be resolved by giving up the land.

      So yes the Israelis were lied to. Everything else in your post is you trying to change the topic about how this shouldn't have been about land. Which wouldn't have been a lie had they said at the time. But the Palestinians didn't do that.

      Finally though this.

      Hamas is not a goverment. But let’s allow Hamas to act like Israel in EVERY way. For example like Isarel acted in its last wars against the defenseless people of Gaza. Agreed?

      Yes absolutely. Hamas as the government of the state of Gaza is fully entitled to war on Israel the same way Israel is entitled to war on Gaza. If we put aside the whole inadmissibility of force issue, if Hamas conquers Israeli territory they are entitled to keep it same as the reverse. Hamas is fully entitled to try and diminish the Israelis people's will to resist their might and thus change the diplomatic options that exist. And if they were to conquer Israel they would be entitled to setup a new government friendlier to Hamas.

      What they lack is the practical means to do anything of the kind. They are a weak state bordering two regional powers. They don't have war as a practical option, though that hasn't stopped them.

      I've never considered what Hamas in Gaza is doing to be terrorism, it is war. A poorly thought out, totally hopeless, pointless waste of life and resources, war. But war not terrorism. One can reasonably argue that a war so hopeless cannot qualify as a just war, but that's about as far as I would go.

    • @Donald

      What sort of things would you want to see JVP doing that would win some Zionists over to supporting Palestinian equal rights?

      They have good relations with domestic Palestinian groups. Use those.

      a) Negotiate with Palestinian groups a fair sketch of agreements on specific issues (like housing and education). Vet it with other Jewish groups. Create a set of agreements on various topics that civil representatives of both sides can live with that can draw greater support from governing parties. Show what agreements are possible. In particular prove to Israelis that some agreements are possible.

      b) Provide an avenue for Palestinians to engage constructively with American Jewish organizations of all types if they want to. If Palestinians believe AJC or AIPAC or whomever should change policy create a road at least for Palestinians to engage directly.

      c) Provide an bridge for Jewish groups who want to engage Palestinians on specific topics.

      Those would all be constructive roles JVP could play.

    • @Annie

      Yes East Africa was likely the original homeland of all humans. No argument


      I think the bounds of the Jewish people is also a social construction. It can be flexible and it can expand. I also happen to think that's likely. State churches naturally expand their definition. Sects and cults need tight definitions of membership, religions less tight and state churches need to be very expansive.

    • @RoHa

      Insofar as there is a right of self determination, it the right of all the people in the territory.

      Cool so when are you going to start denouncing this incessant talk about how Jews got to Israel and how that delegitimize their presence since they are certainly people in the territory now and thus are entitled to self determination?

    • @Bumblebye

      what a load of absolute horsefeathers.
      an Irish-American’s ‘homeland’ is America. His/her HERITAGE is Irish.
      a Jewish-American’s ‘homeland’ is America. His/her HERITAGE is that of the country his/her ancestors migrated to the US from.
      faith-heritage does NOT grant a further ‘homeland’.

      Sure because all know the American Irish didn't support the IRA, Italians didn't maintain strong ties for generations with Italy, blacks don't care about issues effecting Africa... And finally we all know the American Jews spend a lot of time and focus on the internal politics of Russia, Poland and Ukraine and are completely indifferent to Israel. You can tell that by how they make sure their children learn to speak Russian, Polish and Ukrainian in their religious schools. (end sarcasm)

      All identity is a social construction. The observed behaviors don't conform with your theory.

    • @RoHa

      I see. So it should have been "went' where "would go" was and would should have shifted to much later in the sentence after the hypothetic clause. OK makes sense.

    • @echinococcus

      You missed the part about "stand alone" in the right of self determination. That's what avoids the XYZ little league club from being able to declare itself a nation able to exercise self determination.

      The Palestinians currently have the right to self determination in a place free of Zionists in Gaza. That's where they were able to stand alone.

    • @Talkback

      No. A withdraw from Gaza if this was about land should have pulled the Gazans out of the fight. The West Bankers could have continued fighting but the Gazans lost that right when Israel made huge unilateral concessions. Even if those concession on Gaza were based on not wanting to make other concessions in the West Bank.

      As for keeping troops on the border, the context here was during a suicide bombing campaign. A Gazan government interested in peace would have been enforcing the border themselves on their own side in cooperation with the Israelis as part of showing good faith. Similarly the Gazans should be resolving the killings issue by joint law enforcement the way America and Canada deal with cross border crime, or at least be no worse than America and Mexico during tense periods. So I don't agree with your analysis of the killing but don't feel with revisiting this issue in depth. Its been debated here, most of the killing made sense. They were things that Hamas should have been doing themselves if they had been interested in showing good faith after a huge concession. But that starts with the premise of holding Hamas to the standards of a government and that's where we are going to disagree. You are unwilling to hold the Palestinians to any standards and blame the Israelis exclusively for everything.

      More generally: any peace agreement anywhere has stuff that's imperfect. If the Palestinians reserve the right to attack Israel constantly because there exists something they don't like about the peace then they aren't willing to live in peace under any circumstances which will emerge in the real world. The Gazans have proven at least prior to 2014 they were not willing to live in peace. The effects of 2014 may have changed. That's called war not collective punishment.

      Finally the request for an end of the conflict would be something like this, "We apologize for our actions since 2005. What changes in Hamas policy can we enact so as to facilitate a good relationship and rebuild your trust in us to allow you to end the blockade?"

    • @Misterioso

      None of this answers my 2 questions. Even if all of it is true, it just shows why the Arabs lost.

    • @Bandolero

      JeffB: I’m not saying Jews don’t have an Israeli centric foreign policy, it’s their homeland.
      Wow. And I thought the homeland of US jews was the USA.

      A homeland is a person's native land not their country of citizenship where they are from.

      The homeland for Irish Americans is Ireland.
      The country of citizenship for Irish Americans is USA.
      The homeland for Jewish Americans is Israel.
      The country of citizenship for Jewish Americans is USA.

      Of course Jewish hawks are going to focus on that area. Every ethnicity has hawks.
      Enthnicity? And I thought judaism was a religion. You sound a lot like Richard Spencer.

      Judaism is a religion. Jew is an old French variant and shorting of Iudaeus (people of the Roman times state of Judaea). Jews are Judaeans. The religion centered on the tribal god of Judaea is Judeanism ~ Judaism. If you have an interlinear bible look at the Greek words that are being translated as "Jews".

      I'm not sure where Richard Spencer comes in. American music is the music Americans create and listen to. Its not a specific genre. That's probably the best way to think of an analogy. What I'm saying is not terribly unusual Greeks have the Greek Orthodox church, Russians the Russian Orthodox Church, Serbs the Serbian Orthodox church... Most non-Protestants wouldn't share some of what you are thinking when you say religion.

      JeffB: Your theory has to explain why 73% of Americans supported the Iraq war prior to the invasion. Jews don’t own a magic convince Christians to think stuff wand.

      Since “hawkish jews” focused on Israel and the mideast also dominate the MSM there is no magic wand needed. It’s easy to whip up support for war for “hawkish jews” when they dominate the donor class, the MSM and via AIPAC the US congress.

      Stay with the public. AIPAC is a lobby they don't attempt to influence broad popular opinion. The broad public doesn't take donations. So those two means are out. What's left is the question, how does the MSM get 73% of the public to want to go to war with Iraq? Certainly hawkish Jews don't dominate ESPN and the Food network. When we are talking 73% we aren't just talking news junkies.

      JeffB: You also have to explain why if there is this level of Jewish control that we can move the USA army [USA policy is not

      Well, that one the hawkish US jews focused on Israel and the mideast lost. While they succeeded in moving the US army into disastrous wars on Iraq, Libya and Syria, they failed to make the US army win these wars, and they also failed with their projects to start even more horrific wars, on Iran and Ukraine, just to name a few.

      Syria the USA's position was the opposite of Jewish interests. We weren't the ones who wanted the USA to jump in on Iran's side. The Jewish hawks wanted the opposite policy an anti-Assad / anti-Iran position.

      As for Ukraine, Jews like the current Ukraine government. Why would we want a war against Ukraine?

      Libya how was that Jews? That was the French.

      Your theory isn't make sense even with respect to objectives. Those are all counter examples of the theory of Jewish control they aren't examples. (with the provision that I don't know anyone who wants a war with Ukraine, but if they did Jews would be opposed across the board).

      I think in the end the effect of these wars will be quite the opposite of what Israel and the “hawkish US jews focused on Israel and the mideast” – as you call this group of super influential US warmongers – wanted. Instead of expanding Israel’s power with the aim of creating Greater Israel

      If Jews exercised anywhere near the level of control you are claiming they do, why would greater Israel even be a problem? Israel can easily finish off the Palestinians if they wanted to. They don't need American help for Greater Israel. They would just need the USA to stop interfering. If the Jews are able to radically change USA opinion and direct the USA military then why not change USA opinion to favor Greater Israel and be done with it? Heck they could let the Palestinians emigrate to the USA, problem solved. Again this conspiracy doesn't make any sense if that's the goal.

    • @Talkback

      This is starting to get too repetitive. I'll try again but I'm not sure how fruitful this is going to be if you insist on claiming I'm contradicting myself because I don't agree with definitions and concepts that I've already explained multiple times I reject. If you want to claim contradiction you need to work from within the definitions I've provided and prove a contradiction given those. Otherwise you are just asserting I disagree with your rather idiosyncratic definitions.

      What is this “legitimacy” based upon, again?

      Self determination: the right of nations powerful enough to stand alone to form a sovereign government that represents their interests. The proper meaning of self determination.

      Nation means a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory. That's the criteria. That's the only criteria. Nothing about citizenship or "legitimate inhabitation". That is a clear cut rejection of the notion that there exists such a thing as legitimate and illegitimate people. It also rejects the idea there are legitimate and illegitimate nations. All nations without discrimination have this right.

      And finally people means all people. It doesn't mean people Talkback likes. It doesn't mean people the UN likes. It doesn't people of the right race or right ethnicity. It means all people, period.

      That is what I mean. That is what I've been saying round after round with you. I get you totally reject that. But if you want to have a conversation where you claim a contradiction. Those are the definitions I'm asserting.

      That also means that "settler colonialism" which I would call mass migration is not a disqualifying factor. People migrate to new territories and having done so do not lose their right to self determination. More importantly their descendents do not lose that right. Everyone born in a territory regardless of how their parents got there is an equally legitimate resident of that territory. I don't think America should still be governed by the Welsh, Quakers, English puritans... that formed the original inhabitants. I'm very happy that Irish, Italians, Chinese, Mexicans who moved here get the vote and are allowed to participate in the nation. And again we disagree, which is fine. I think your system is disgusting racist and inhumane you think my system is a crime against international law.

      But if you are going to claim a contradiction then how people got there doesn't matter.

    • @oldgeezer

      Even the UNSC is against.

      The UN is probably the foremost opponent of self determination in the world. Why would you expect them to be for Kurdish freedom?

      And you think Israel deserves a pat on the back for helping to destabilize the region.

      Yes I do. I think helping people be free of tyrannies deserves a pat on the back. I think all people deserve a government that represent that represent their interest. The Kurds have not had one for centuries and so they are more than entitled to their own.

      And not only that I fully support destabilizing the region. I want the people in that region to have a chance for decent government. To get that there need to be states among people whose common interests are aligned. Without massive moving of people that requires massive changes to the borders and dissolving most of the states to replace them with new states that are capable of being prosperous democracies. I'm not thrilled with the amount of damage its doing to Iraq and Syria but what was happening was ultimately a good thing for the people of the region. I'm not at all happy the USA thwarted the process of self determination emerging.

      To quote Sec Rice, an American official who got it, (who unfortunately worked for a boss who didn't): "“[w]hat we’re seeing here, in a sense, is the growing—the ‘birth pangs’—of a ‘New Middle East’ and whatever we do we have to be certain that we’re pushing forward to the New Middle East [and] not going back to the old one.

      So yes, you and I totally disagree on this. I want freedom and good government for all the people's who live there. Stability of the dictatorial, economic non-productive and social regressive states that exist there now is a pure negative. I'd like this process to be peaceful and not destructive. I'd like to minimize the amount of violence required to get to a better world. But that may not be possible, and if it isn't, if civil wars need to happen, let them happen. Let the people of the region draw their own maps based on the nations that live there not based on French and British colonial interests. The hundreds of millions of people in the middle east should not be forever enslaved to preserve Sykes-Picot. In particular with Iraq, the reason a tyranny emerged in Iraq multiple times is because the people of Iraq do not share common interests and thus can never create a good government. Joe Biden was 100% right. Iraq needs to be dissolved are replaced / merged into states that are capable of forming good government.

      israel is a terrorist staye. Born out of terrorism. Enlarged through terrorism and the major world supporter of terrorism.

      Israel doesn't make the top 50 in terms of state sponsors of terrorism. Get a grip. Make a list of how most states emerged. Terrorism evolves into guerilla warfare evolves into civil war evolves into a new government. Of course Israel emerged out of terrorism. With few exceptions how else do people win their freedom? The Yishuv had to kick the British out of their country.

    • @JWalters

      1. Israel was NOT victimized by powerful Arab armies. Zionists overpowered and victimized a defenseless, civilian Arab population. Military analysts knew the Arab armies were in poor shape and would be unable to resist the zionist army.

      Two questions about this "glaring lie".

      a) If it was so obvious that the Arab armies were in poor shape and couldn't defeat the Yishuv, then why didn't the Arab governments know this. Why did they tell their population and the entire world they were going to crush the Jews, send in their armies and invade? Why didn't they just tell their population, " I know it may sound odd but those 650k lightly armed Jews are vastly more powerful than we are and we simply lack a military option. The Yishuv is vastly more powerful than our combined strength and we intend to work with the British and the UN on exclusive diplomatic solutions to the crisis"? Because the external behaviors they engaged in seem to indicate they thought they could win.

      b) If it was the case that this was an easy war that was no substantial threat what explains the heavy death toll among the Zionists? The Yishuv lost 1% of their population. The same proportion that died in the USA civil war (where we took casualties on both sides). Or about 30% less than what Belgium lost in World War 1. That appears to be consistent with a rather ferocious war not a easily won trivial conflict against a obviously inferior enemy. So what explains the heavy death toll among the Yishuv?

    • @Bandolero

      OK 2 points to you on that list. Wow! Certainly makes me feel better about holding the line on BDS. Guess I wasn't that unusual in being enthusiastic about Hillary it sometimes felt that like she was the Democrat's Mitt Romney candidate to most.

      You sound like joking. Just as if the people don’t remember the “Project for the New American Century” and their goals, participants and donors.

      I'm not saying Jews don't have an Israeli centric foreign policy, it's their homeland. Of course Jewish hawks are going to focus on that area. Every ethnicity has hawks. Italian Americans or Irish Americans or Chinese Americans focus on their backhome issues and their hawks sound like those countries hawks. You should expect Jews to have hawks and Jewish hawks to be a lot like Israeli hawks. There is nothing unusual there.

      What I am saying is that the reason we had a war with Iraq is the broad public support for that stance. Your theory has to explain why 73% of Americans supported the Iraq war prior to the invasion. Jews don't own a magic convince Christians to think stuff wand.

      Why Jewish hawks wanted to go to war with Iraq is obvious. What you have explain for your theory to make sense is why so many Christians wanted to go to war with Iraq.

      You also have to explain why if there is this level of Jewish control that we can move the USA army, USA policy isn't simply one sided pro-Israel. For example why wouldn't the USA government recognize the annexations? Why wouldn't the USA be involved in joint nuclear weapons development? Or to take Iraq why would the USA have stabilized it rather than followed the Biden plan which is far more in keeping with project for a new american century?

      Let's take an example where Jews aren't involved. We are yet thinking of getting into a war with North Korea, which I have no idea why we aren't letting China, Japan and South Korea handle. 61% of Americans want more belligerency towards North Korea. Why do they want this?

      Then on top of all that. There is also the issue that Jews were disproportionately dovish. Support among Jews was under 50%. Iraq was unusual in that Jews were vastly less dovish than normal but they are doves. Why would one of the most dovish groups of voters be the cause of lots of wars?

      As an aside. I think the ambivalence in the peace camp a good deal of which came from Saddam Hussein funding suicide bombings did have an influence on Democrats. But what you are talking about is what happened among Republicans.

      Finally Republican voters are way more hawkish than Democrats. The data shows this across the board. If Republicans want less wars then why are they the ones pushing for them?

    • @RoHa

      You sure on that. Would go is conditional present, went is past tense. They obviously didn't do such a thing in the past. Not great at this stuff but I think I got the verb tense right. If not I'm unclear where I'm off.

    • @oldgeezer

      Backing the kurds is part of the yinon plan to break up and destabilize the middle eastern states that are near Israel. It’s hardly out of the goodness of their hearts as the motive is malicious and mendacious interference in the soveriegn nations that have the right to live in peace.

      Let me start off by saying that Kurdish independence is such a huge net good, I honestly don't care what the motives are. If Kim Jong-un were helping the Kurds be free I'd be thrilled.

      Even forgetting what a great thing Kurdish freedom is the Iraqi government set free by Americans has continued the declared hostility towards Israel as Iraqi PM Iyad Allawi made clear. As an American taxpayer I'm furious, same as with Kuwait.

      Iraq is not entitled to anything from Israel until they make peace. They want respect for their sovereignty they have to show respect for Israel's. I have no sympathy and no apology for Israel getting as rough as it wants with countries that war upon it and Iraq fits the bill. There is no reason that Israel should make their disgusting behavior cost free. The Arabs have been atrocious to the Yishuv and Israel for a century. Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and Qatar are improving.

      So couldn't disagree with you more.

    • @Bandolero

      I disagree. The Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG was at the forefront of supporting the Iraqi insurgency what later morphed into ISIS.

      I'm missing this step and disagreeing with some. Since when were the KRG not pro-American during the period of American occupation? Iraqi Kurdistan was the safe place for Americans to be stationed it was friendly. So I'd disagree with you they were supporting the insurgency. As for the ISIS claim how did a KRG who aren't even Arabs morph into ISIS?

      Anyway the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were Kurdish dominated. I'm not quite sure what your complaint is here.

      . So the Yezidis became enemies with the Israeli-backed Barzani-KRG, and today they lay in opposing trenches – literally.

      the Yezidis fled from ISIS to KRG territory for safety. Sorry but simply not true.

      And what’s the general good in Israel stoking seperatism, Kurdish or whatever, among it’s neighbors?

      I was pointing to general goods like helping avoid a genocide. On this particular issue people can be mixed. But in general I support self determination for all peoples. I think holding Iraq together is a sham and agreed with the Biden plan during the Bush administration. We could have avoided years of war if we had partitioned Iraq. I think the Iraqi Shia government we left behind is an ethnic tyranny and the Kurds and Sunnis had every right to object to it. We, the USA, lied to the Sunnis about the guarantees we made. While ISIS may not have been the best means of objecting the underlying grievance is quite legitimate. As for the Kurds they have been mistreated for centuries. They deserve their own state and am glad the USA has at least been indirectly supportive. I'm even happier that Israel, while less effectual has been less mixed in being supportive.

      So as far as I'm concerned Israelis actions there are completely on the side of the angels. Though I understand people of good faith can disagree.

      US troops shall deal, fight and die for the regional mess Israel created.

      As I said above, don't. US troops don't need to intervene here. Stay out. Let the Israel set the Kurds free.

      but lot’s of evidence, that Israel supported – and still supports – the terrorism of Al Qaeda, ISIS and similar comrades:

      Hold on a second. There is no evidence that Israel supports the terrorism of Al Qaeda or ISIS. None. There is evidence that Israel supports their regional political objectives. That's not remotely the same thing. That being said another country that made that distinction was the USA. That's was the Syrian opposition groups like Al-Nusra. Al-Nusra is part of Al-Qaeda and we backed them when we want a non-ISIS non-Assad solution. Had it not been for USA pressure the Israelis would have jumped in whole hog on their side once the Iranians joined.

      The USA was inconsistent about what it wanted in Syria. At first it wanted Assad gone. Then it turned on ISIS and backed Al-Qaeda. Then the USA turned on ISIS and supported both Iran/Assad and Al-Qaeda. Then the USA mostly backed Assad/Iran with Russia's help. The fact that we had an incoherent policy is not Israeli's fault.

      Israel sacrificed its own interests (Al-Qaeda / ISIS either winning or fighting for many years) to supporting the USA's policy against ISIS. That's a perfect example of them being an excellent USA ally.

    • @Bandolero

      I'm going to end up disagreeing with a lot of your premises which is probably frustrating. I don't think Jewish American donors are particularly militaristic nor do I think they were interfering. The most military aggressive group of people towards the middle east are female evangelicals. Jews, including Jewish donors, are some of the least.

      At the time the Iraq war started 73% of the American population supported having a war with Iraq. The numbers among Jews, including Jewish donors were well below that average. American Jews contrary to those articles broke with Israel on the issue of Iran and supported Obama.

      Take me for example. I'm certainly not a soft zionist and you can look at my posts here from the time to confirm what I'm saying. I supported Obama and disagreed with Netanyahu on the nuclear deal and the need for a war (or just short of a war). I thought Obama was acting like an ass in how rudely he was treating Netanyahu. I think Congress has the right and the duty to call whatever witnesses it wants to testify before it on matters of policy, especially war including foreigners. Obama threatening a witness for appearing bordered on criminal interference with Congress. So I disagreed strongly with the Mondoweiss take and debated that. But on the actually underlying policy I agree that the nuclear deal was rather excellent and a foreign policy success for Obama. Quite happy about it. Quite unhappy that Trump is undermining it. And that's coming from a Jew to the right of most Jews and most Jewish donors on foreign policy.

      The fact is if Jews had anywhere near the power that paper claims they had the USA would have recognized Israel's claim to all of mandate Palestine. UNRWA would be defunded and the Palestinians resettled. The countries in the region would all be at peace with Israel. The Palestinians living in Israel would be seen as minority group represented in foreign affairs by the government of Israel.

      Let me go further not only does USA intervention policy not reflect Jewish American opinion it doesn't reflect Israeli opinion. Israel does not benefit from a strong USA presence. The best thing that's happened to Israel was the effect of the American withdraw that blew up the Ba'ath in Syria. Had the USA not stepped in Iran's side Israel would have had a much freer hand to work with the anti-Ba'athist groups they really support and kicked Iran out of Syria, or at least made sure the Iranian intervention was as long and expensive as possible. They are extremely unhappy the USA and Russia sided with Iran and Iran won that war easily and cheaply. Similarly if it wasn't for USA involvement I think the Israelis would have troops in Iraqi and Syrian Kurdish territory by now. The Israelis would like nothing better than for the USA to go away and let the middle eastern powers: Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt and Turkey fight out their proxy wars and build political structures among their neighbors they can sustain long term. All the powers in the region agree they essentially all want their own proxy wars in the region like the USA and Soviets Union had 1-2 generations ago in Latin America and Africa. None of them want us there, Israel included.

      Israel like any other foreign country is going to try and work the USA to its advantage as much as possible. American Jews are going to bend USA policy that exists to Israel's advantage and keep Israel within the USA orbit (they have to work both sides). But its the Christians not the Jews who are your problem with having an isolationist foreign policy. Jews want something not much different than what Pat Buchanan wants. The analysis in that paper is just plain silly. There is no dark Jewish conspiracy. We don't have that much juice.

    • @John O

      In light of this, how would you describe Israel’s regular assaults on Gaza?

      First off as irrelevant. The discussion is about the dynamics within America (and specifically within the Democratic party) between various Americans. There are all sorts of foreign wars where factions have domestic support within America. To pick a recent crisis that involves refugees Columbia. Generally the standards for rhetoric between factions are not measured against the standards between the combatants.

      To pick another similar divisive conflict Reagan supported the Contras, Congress supported the Sandinistas. Both sides were directly intervening. However, neither felt that their conduct towards one another should include torture, disappearance, blindings, assassinating each other's religious figures... It got heated but not that heated. There was a nasty debate that crossed over into criminal misuse of government resources. But the incredibly strong disagreement never came close to crossing over into violence in the American homeland. I should mention, since South Africa comes up all the time in BDS literature that the debate between Constructive Engagement and Boycott / Divestment / Sanctions supporters in the USA remained relatively civil. There were few harsh words spoken much less necklacing here.

      Now to answer the question I'd say punitive strikes to punish the Hamas government and the population more broadly for refusing to act like a good neighbor. The Israeli people were repeatedly promised that this conflict was about land and if they relinquished land they would have peace. After 100% withdraw from Gaza they want Gaza to be cooperative and constructive. They were lied to. Gaza is not peaceful.

      So now when Gaza gets violent they hit back hard enough to teach the Gazans at the minimal loss of life that Israel is not going to tolerate a hot border and will use whatever level of violence is required to keep that border calm. There is not going to the kind of low intensity high cost protracted struggle that Iran favors for ending Zionism. (i.e. the kind of battle you all had with the IRA). Specifically in 2014 they kept the body count relatively low (since the world seems to count dead) while doing a truly amazing amount of infrastructure damage. Clearly trying to show the Gazans that Israel has options that kill relatively few people directly while being able to drive to still them out if they don't stop misbehaving (essentially threatening what you all did to Ireland in the 19th century).

      And before all the humanitarian stuff starts the rational solution to end the violence is for the Gazans is to ask Netanyahu for terms of surrender what a responsible country does in an unwinnable war.

    • @Citizen

      Re: “I think most Democrats may hate Israel and still if they understand the choice is that clear will pick American Jews over Palestinian rights.”

      What does this mean?

      There exists no policy that is broadly reflective of current Palestinians demands and acceptable to mainstream Jewish opinion, nor will there be one in the near future. Given that the various factions that work Democratic policy have a simple choice:
      a) Choose a policy that American Jews will oppose
      b) Choose a policy that American Jews will support
      c) Do nothing

      Given no political repercussions it probably is the case that most of the more Liberal Democratic factions would choose (a). I don't disagree with Phl here. The problem is that (a) fails to describe the situation accurately:

      a') Choose a policy that American Jews will oppose so strongly that there is a horrific internecine fight within liberal groups between Jews, the far left and other minorities. Understanding full well that the blowback from this fight weakens the Democratic party's electoral prospects for years. And if won during the later part and for years thereafter will be years where Jews cease being an important part of the structure of the party and instead become swing voters for a generation. Followed by the becoming a key support for the Republican party long term.

      I don't know the Democratic party won't choose (a'). The Democratic party has made those sorts of choices historically on other issues infrequently, as has the Republican party infrequently. Successful political parties are extremely reluctant to do that. By definition of being successful they are good at building a base of supporters and not alienating them. So even if one imagines a Democratic party a generation from now that is mostly Hispanic and Black will Hispanics and Blacks want to lose the Jewish vote regardless about how they personally feel about Israel / Palestine. Is that an issue on which they are willing to go to the mat over?

      That's the point. The question is not do they agree with Jews on Israel, they don't. The question is how important that disagreement is to the Hispanics and Blacks that are trying to build coalitions that can win and hold majorities in various precincts, districts and states. Which is why I think it is unlikely. Jews are very slowly migrating right. My belief is the Democratic party has no interest in speeding that migration up and will not pick the issue most likely to cause a sharp sudden shift in opinion. I could be wrong, but that still doesn't mean there aren't years of ugliness on this issue.

      eventually the US mainstream media will have to address in public the factual data BDS provides, both in terms of oppression and US taxpayer dollars paying for it.

      I don't agree with you on media bias. I think if anything Jews would love coverage of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict to mirror the coverage given other ethnic conflicts involving similarly sized states. There has been a lot of activity in the ethnic conflict in Burundi this year, how much coverage do you remember this year? Heck Syria was the #1 conflict in the world over the last 3 years involving USA troops and I've had a very tough time being able to find detailed maps of who holds what in any particular month. When you talk about objective facts, objectively the Israeli / Palestinian conflict is an incredibly boring long winded slowly moving conflict with comparatively few deaths involving two people's neither of whom is a substantial percentage of the world's population.

      Why objectively does it deserve more than just the most basic surface coverage?

      And even if they do feel obligated to present the data. They can present the factual data and present the Zionist framing of that data. They can present the factual data as an aside and shift focus to issues of political contention. They can present the factual data at such a level of specificity and depth that people don't follow.

      I am aware most Americans do not favor any sort of government discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, etc.

      Most Americans don't have objections to France being French, Nigeria being Nigerian or China being Chinese. The BDS movement holds an unusual position that they apply only to this one case. American Jews don't favor discrimination either. If the topic becomes "how to help Israel move away from discrimination and towards a more equitable nation" rather than "how to destroy the Jewish society in Palestine and replace it with an Arab one" you don't have to fight the Jews on that one. They are on your side. The goal of BDS isn't to end discrimination it is to end Israel. Ending discrimination would be a negative for BDS as it would legitimize Israel.

      BDS focus its rhetoric on attacks against the legitimacy of Israel. For example the original migration Unfixable problems. They don't attack specific fixable policies of Israel. That's why there is so much objection among BDSers to being complementary in areas where Israel is on the forefront of change: woman in the military 1-2 generations ago, gay rights (BDS calls it pinkwashing), strong anti-corruption laws (something the USA could benefit from emulating), the rescue operations involving the Yazidi Kurds and backing the Kurds in general over the last 20 years... If BDS were interested in positive change it would be complementary on these topics not trying to block all discussion of them.

      Someone interested in ending discrimination would want a system where Israel gets good press for doing good and bad press for doing bad. They wouldn't want a uniform blanket on unconditional hatred.

    • @Phil

      You are an optimist. Liberal Jews are angry at Israel. They do dislike the Netanyahu government. With breaking the Kotel agreement Netanyahu has pretty much at this point gone out of his way to offend American Jews. But anger at a country over a few policies and wanting to see it destroyed are not the same thing.

      BDS hates Israel. BDS hates Israelis. BDS hates Zionism. American Jews are unhappy with some Israeli policies. American Jews are distressed at some the choices Israelis have made. American Jews love their Israeli cousins both in the biological sense, the sense of friendship and the more tribal sense. American Jews fully and aggressively support Zionism. There is less distance between Liberal American Jewish positions and Netanyahu's than their is between their positions and Rebecca Vilkomerson's. They want some relatively minor policy reforms not total destruction of the government and society. They might approve of some pressure like sanctions but they would want the scope to far more limited than the BDS demands.

      BDS discredits it doesn't lead on the issue of Israeli policy. BDS is simply too harsh.

      American Jews don't like Iran, they were strongly opposed to the Iranian war.
      American Jews don't like North Korea, they are strongly opposed to Trump's escalation on North Korea
      American Jews don't like Hugo Chavez they would have opposed a war against Venezuela.

      And those are all about countries where there aren't the deeply conflicting feelings.

      Now I do agree that IfNotNow, JStreet... have the potential to play the role of leading American Jewry to pressuring Israel and allowing for greater dissent within the Democratic party. But they will never agree to adopting the Palestinian perspective. If the Democratic party were to adopt the Palestinian perspective (which I think is unlikely but possible over the next 2 generations) Jews will be just be Republicans. In the end Jews are a wealthy group of white voters. Social Justice is a hobby, Zionism is about core identity. I think most Democrats may hate Israel and still if they understand the choice is that clear will pick American Jews over Palestinian rights.

      I think over the next few years you will get t an open BDS supporter running for state senate or congress somewhere and everyone will get to watch nonstop fire from the Jewish community directed against a Democrat and insane fundraising success for their opponent that ain't coming from the oil lobby. And the Clintonites will say to the minority liberals, "told ya". The most important number in American politics is the unfavorability rating, no politician wants high unfavorables among otherwise supporters if they can at all avoid it. That's the mechanism by which popular will turns into representation.

      Your other examples are good ones. Support for Black Civil completely changed the demographics of both parties from 1965-1995. Gun rights debates have been devastating to Democrats. Gay rights was damaging to Democratic candidates for years, and now is having the opposite effect on Republicans in drawing young conservatives into the fold. All those issues did shift voters in rather dramatic ways.

  • Rachel Maddow's lineup of crazy U.N. speeches spotlights Arafat-- and leaves out Netanyahu!
    • @RoHa

      She's an American news commentator on television. She's hosts the #1 rated news analysis show among liberals. She's well known for lengthy but interesting side tracks, lots of quality independent research, digging into depth (for television) on topics... Politically she's about where Nancy Pelosi is, and arguably sets the media bar for the left edge of mainstream discourse.

      She does excellent coverage of military issues and foreign policy issues. However her primary focus is on issues of execution. For example Congress having abdicated its role with regard to oversight relative to the executive branch, and the constant fights for influence between the State Department and the Defense Department. She's rather mainstream on the actual policy objectives of the United States her focus is mostly on the debates between government factions. Conversely on economic issues she tends to have a left vs. right focus.

      This is frustrating for your typical MW leftist who expects her to hold opinions on foreign policy objectives she simply doesn't hold, i.e. in line with their objectives for radical change in the direction of USA policy.

      So for example she supported the first Iraq war but has blistering criticism for the timing and the environment of the congressional debate. She supports the war on terror but is aggressive in her criticism of how the war authorizations are being handled.

  • Jews have religious commandment to support Israel and fight BDS -- American Jewish Committee
    • @Annie

      My hypocrisy? Your whole movement is based on refusing to treat everyone equally and continually applying standards to Israel you hold no other state or people to. Most of my time on Mondoweiss is pointing out that the arguments against Israel apply to just about every other country on the planet when they were at a similar point in their development. Which gets met with waves of personal insults so typical of the left.

      My hypocrisy you spend your time claiming to be a anti-racist movement. Yet some of the most atrocious racism. far in excess of what i hear on alt-right sites or by explicit white supremacists gets spewed here everyday. There are people who don't like blacks moving into their neighborhood. But they never say that a neighborhood that's been black for 80 years should be turned back to Polish (or whatever people owned it before it was black) because of some aboriginal claim. The worst racists in the USA aren't as racist as you all.

      You claim to be a human rights movement. But oppose the most basic principle of human rights that you try and avoid destroying civilian civilizations. Something you favor.

      And let's not forget the worst case after 5 years of how the UN was a saintly organization whose word was the very definition of truth. Suddenly on Iran when they disagreed with you all International law no longer mattered.

      My hypocrisy? What planet do you live on?

      And finally I didn't particularly support the 2 state solution as orchestrated by Clinton in the 1990s. I did support it for 1 month when the Saudi's made their original offer before the Arab League weakened it. I was quite happy when Arafat turned down Camp David and then Taba. The fact I was happy about it doesn't mean that Arafat wasn't an idiot to turn it down or Abbas to turn down Olmart's even better offer. The whole reason for picking Israel rather than somewhere in Africa or part of Argentina is Judaea and Judaea is mostly in the West Bank. That being said I could have lived with it.

    • @Talkback

      JeffB: “1966-1987: A period of rapid economic integration where Israelis extended civil freedoms and Palestinians put aside their national goals.”

      JeffB lies about “extending civil freedoms”. Israel put Palestinians under martial law and used outmist brutality in crushing Palestinan national goals and their bones which led to the first Intifada.

      Check your facts here. I was rather explicit in starting this period in 1966. Martial law for Israeli-Arabs ended in 1966 which is of course why anyone would use that date. There also were no riots and no violence prior to 1987.

      The rest is similar but this was the most clear cut since the two things you named where exactly why the date range was chosen.

    • @Eljay

      || … Attacking the domestic Jewish population assists on the ingathering of the exiles. … ||

      Jewish citizens of foreign countries – people who have chosen to acquire and/or hold the religion-based identity of Jewish, living in their respective homelands all over the world – are not exiles from Israel, they are foreign nationals. “Ingathering” these foreign nationals into Israel is nothing more than preferential immigration granted by a religion-supremacist state to those who share the religion-based identity.

      Your argument is that Zionism is false therefore Zionism is false. That's a small circle.

      I would say you are now disputing Kibbutz Galuyot directly by name. Take it up with God.

      Deut 30:4 Even if your exiles are in the most distant land, from there the Lord your God will gather you and bring you back. 30:5 Then he will bring you to the land your ancestors possessed and you also will possess it; he will do better for you and multiply you more than he did your ancestors.

      Mere asserting that God's wrong and you are right is a rather flimsy argument.

    • @Eva

      That article is about mild to semi-mild pressure helping to advance the peace negotiations. That is a more limited context. There are examples of more severe pressure having the opposite effect. Moreover I wasn't talking about peace negotiations but living together. Success for the two state solution for both sides often comes from the "I want nothing to do with the other side them and I'm willing to make concessions to never have to deal with them again" which is the opposite of coexistence. I don't agree with Noam's analysis here. It's like a couple with young kids. It's not possible to have a divorce where they never have to talk to one another again and that's why the separation type arrangements don't work.

      There were two golden age of Palestinians-Jewish relations in the Zionist age and both were driven by economics.

      1927-1936: both people were working on a joint project because of the citrus boom. They both willing put aside their competitive national goals to grow the common economy.

      1966-1987: A period of rapid economic integration where Israelis extended civil freedoms and Palestinians put aside their national goals.

      Both periods ended when factions within Palestinians society won the internal debate and Palestinians started using the economic integration to push for national aims rather than furthering peaceful coexistence. In both cases what they discovered is Israelis care about Zionism more than economics. Colonizers make the opposite choice. The problem for the Palestinians is they believe their own propaganda and so keep expecting Israelis to act like a colonial government when faced with techniques from colonial resistance.

      This is Netanyahu's argument and I think he is right. Peace comes from tighter economic integration being offered by Jews combined with a Palestinian leadership that desires peaceful coexistence and higher living standards for the population over resistance.

    • @Eva Smagacz

      What I was picturing was not Palestine but the regular idea of a coalition of countries forcing Israeli into accepting permanent re-enslavement. There should be clear understanding that Israelis have no more intention of losing their freedom than any other country. That means war, and not necessarily limited war. I don't think anything like your scenarios are likely to play out. But one of the reasons it is not likely to play out is there only a narrow band of acceptable costs for this policy for Israel's opponents. Israel can break out of the band in either direction through concession or military options.

      @Mooser, I don't think I command the IDF. The IDF and Israeli leadership do quite well. As for holding Jews hostage that's been tried since Israel's creation. It failed in the Arab world, it failed in Russia, it failed in Iran. And all for the same reason, Jews have a place to go. Jewish persecution could be so severe over the centuries because Jews didn't have a place to go. Israel changed that. And while Israel will help Jews make aliyah it will not be held hostage to them being comfortable where they are. Attacking the domestic Jewish population assists on the ingathering of the exiles. Finally there just aren't many countries left with large numbers of Jews left. A century of Nazism, Zionism and anti-Zionism has cleared most of the planet of meaningful numbers of Jews. The Jewish question is mostly solved.

    • @MHughes976

      Pretty simple really. There was a claim X implies Y. I showed that X also implies not Y. Ergo X is false. The premises of the original argument:

      1) Who owns what homeland is permanent and has nothing to do with inhabitation
      2) Given an occupation of another's homeland creates a situation of slavery.
      3) This cannot be rectified through policy
      4) Everyone is morally obligated to fight slavery.

      Which is not too different from your opinion. My response is my standard. Every society is based on the violent replacement of other societies. Every animal alive today is the product 10,000 or more genocides. Every society is the product of displacement and genocide. Either we agree to reasonable statutes of limitations on this nonsense or everyone can be justifiably displaced. You are smart enough to know how their came to be an English people, and it wasn't a nice process.

      As far as your specific comments regarding the Byzantines making claim most certainly did object at the time and continued to do so. They had bigger problems with the Muslims closer to their shores and were getting pushed back so they couldn't do much about, but the record is pretty clear on the 7th century. Once the Muslim invasion of other parts of Christiandom contained in the West a crusade was launched to retake Palestine and it was called that. They funded an operation for two centuries that would have been indefinite but was defeated. You saw similar rhetoric during Napoleon's invasion.

      So yes there was a continuity of claim. And of course the Jews always maintained it was their country, as demonstrated by the fact they choose the name of the country for the name of their people and religion. They also embedded that claim in a daily religious ritual. The Christian term "salvation" comes from the hope of reestablishing rightful rule to Judaea. And you guys certainly ran with it in your own direction.

      So nope they don't get off the hook that there was no continuity of claim. Both of the previous two tenants claimed they had been wrongfully displaced.

    • @Annie

      could you tell me just one thing (just one)the “Israeli and Diaspora community” (whatever that is) agree on and are willing to “jointly publicly defend” that is not the status quo?

      Sure Israeli conversion standards should be loosened. Joint Israeli / American committees should exist that cross Jewish denominations with legal validity in Israel and religious validity in all major Jewish communities. Essentially replace this power with something like the Denver program.

    • @Talkback

      Israel considers only the Jewish collective to be THE collective of Israel. A Nonjewish is not considered to be a national in Israel or part of its national collective.

      Not true and I've given several counter examples like Russian Christians in the part you cut.

      JeffB: “Israel has a proven track record of integrating people that are willing to live under Israeli law as Israels into the national collective.”

      You are blatanly lying. Israel prevents Nonjewish refugees from returning since 1948. And again, Nonjews are not part of the “national collective” of Israel. There is no Israeli nation according to Israel’s Supreme Court of Supremacist Justice.

      How does what the supreme court decide in one case have anything to do one way or another with whether Israel does or does not have a track record? Your argument doesn't even make sense.

      JeffB: “The definition of “Jewish” is a social construction, can expand and has expanded several time.”

      Well inot in Israel. There the Chief Rabbinate has allreday un-Jews thousands of Jews, because they don’t fulfill the definition.

      As I pointed out, this has happened. You are also correct that recently the Chief Rabbi is doing precisely the opposite and making things worse. That's a bad policy that needs to be changed. But claiming it hasn't happened is simply false. Moreover, one of the nice things about Bennett is his desire to take this over from the Hasidic community and tie the definition more closely to national goals which are integrationists.

      JeffB: “So where does one find this list of Palestinian citizens? Who was the issuing authority?”

      The mandatory Goverment of Palestine issued ID-Cards. Jewish natives of Palestine know this. Settler infiltrators and their descendants usually don’t.

      So here the final authority on citizenship is the British?

      JeffB: “When have I made that claim? I’ve tended to find that whole claim a racist load of crap.”

      Every time you suggest that todays Jews have a claim to Palestine, because ancient Hebrews lived there.

      I haven't said that. I said that today's Jews have a claim to Palestine because they live there and were born there. They have a claim on it the same reason that most posters on this board have claim to their home countries, by birth. I have disputed the false history of the anti-Zionist movement that claims there are no ties between Jews and Palestine, but that's not what I base my claim on.

      JeffB: “You asked this question two days ago and I said that I do. I’m not sure how you would know if I were lying about my opinions that claims sounds bizarre on its face. I support Palestinians refugees right to return. I don’t support expanding this definition to foreign born descendants.”

      Exactly. You are lying when you say that you “can unapologetically support human rights for all, races not just favored ethnicities.”, because these descendants have refugee status and the right to return, too.

      That's where we disagree. I don't agree with UNRWA's claim that they are refugees. They should be citizens of the place of their birth.

      JeffB: “Which means they aren’t the original people anymore. They lost their culture.”

      When it comes to the right to self determination it is not culture that defines a people, but being legally and habitually resident in one country. That is what constitutes a nation, a constitutive people.

      What defines a nation is the culture... The claim the nation was present is a claim about culture not biological descent. Lose the culture and its a new nation. Culture is learned. The people who lived in the territories conquered during the formation of France became French by changing their culture not biology. I'm American because my culture changed from what it would have been in Ukraine not my biology.

      The right to self determination is a civic right, not some pseudo legal right of foreign settlers based on a fake concept of being a “nation”.

      The right of self determination is a right for nations not individuals. So no you are totally wrong on this one.

      JeffB: “Israeli Jews most certainly are.”

      No. Israeli Jews are not a constitutive people. Nobody can become Israeli Jewish by acquiring the citizenship of any country like someone can become American by acquiring American citizenship,

      Of course they can. Tens of thousands of people do it every year.

      JeffB: “No the obvious answer is the government of that territory if it is capable of still governing.
      JeffB: “In 1947 the British government could or would no longer provide a monopoly on force and thus there was no single government for Palestine.”

      You are confused, JeffB. Goverments can’t have a right to self determination.

      That wasn't the question. The question was who had the right to determine the policy for the territory. That's a right of the state. Self determination is the right of a nation to have a state that represents their interests. Citizenship is a means of a state declaring who it represents and makes claims of authority over. You are making categorical errors. When there is no longer a functioning state there are no citizens any longer just residents. Those residents can belong to one or more nations and those nations attempt to form new states to govern the territory. That state then declares citizenship.

      That's precisely what happened in Palestine.

      There wasn’t even a referendum. Israel has not even an internal legitimation.

      I'm hard pressed to think of more than about 3 countries in the world that had referendum. Where are you getting this criteria from?

      Do you rule out that Jews conquered the land of Canaan? And maybe commited some genocides against its natives?

      Yes. If you mean a Jewish civilization that existed prior to Babylon's rule I see no evidence for its existence. The bible story as presented has some many date discrepancies that events could not have occurred in anything approaching what is outlined. I don't believe there is anything one could call Judaism in the 8th century BCE or before.

      JeffB: “I’ve already pointed to you doing it. You feel that mass murder is justified because settlers aren’t people and somehow you are supporting international law.”

      I allready told you that you are lying. I never said that “mass murder” is justified but spoke of deportation.

      You spoke of forcible deportation. As I've said. You should look at the Khmer Rouge. You want to claim you don't share their ideology then point out specifically where you disagree with what they did and how they handled the situation.

      JeffB: “Your delegitimizing rhetoric in the above about Israelis is also genocidal. Normal people who want political reform not genocide don’t talk in absolutist terms about ethnic conflicts. The people who do talk that way are the genocide advocates.”

      Well, you are just lying again. And to give you another chance to lie you can explain what you understand by “delegitimizing rhetoric in the above about Israelis”

      When one wants to solve an ethnic conflict in a territory rather than exacerbate it you talk about shared humanity. If the goal is eventually to live under a joint government you emphasize their common interests so as to facilitate their ability to work and live together. If your goal is to increase ethnic conflict in a territory or further them you engage in demonization of the other. You emphasize historical grievances and conflicts of respective community interests.

      So Talkback which do you do?

    • @Talkback

      Maybe you should ask what I my opinion is rather than just guessing. Your guesses tend to be rather lousy. I wasn't alive then so I didn't support anything. But at least ex-post facto I don't support their right to return to Germany at all. I supported the policy that eventually emerged, their permanent resettlement in Palestine. That was a far better option.

      After World War 2 and some of the post war crisis over 11.3m people had to be permanently resettled and they were. The problem was handled and it is barely remembered. The Arab league and Palestinians uniquely decided not to use the UN agencies that handle refugee resettlement than and since quite effectively (UNHCR and its predecessors like the IRO) and instead create a permanent refugee crisis with UNRWA. Israel is responsible for the refugee crisis of the early 1950s. The refugee crisis since then is UNRWA's doing.

      UNHCR's policy is exactly the correct one.
      1) Return to their homes if viable if not
      2) Return to their home country in another location if viable if not
      3) Permanent resettlement in a 3rd country under best possible conditions, where reintegration is most likely

      That policy has been a proven success through countless displacements. (3) worked well for the Jews. It also worked well for many millions of Poles, Ukrainians, Czechs, Estonians, Lithuanians and Latvians, Croats, Serbs and Slovenes, Germans and anti-Communists.

      I support permanent resettlement for Jews and permanent resettlement for Palestinians. I'm willing to tolerate some level of return because of UNRWA's terrible handling of the situation and trying to break the deadlock that's caused so much human suffering.

    • @andrew r

      I think you are confusing two things. Support for a Jewish state and the need for a Jewish majority. It is entirely possible to construct a Jewish state without a Jewish majority. America is a state has strong property protections, the majority don't own a lot of property but support these protections. A Jewish state at a minimum requires the majority to be at least cooperative with this goal. Also the definition of "Jewish" is expansive. Judaism like any human culture is learned. People can be born into it, they can be assimilated into it.

      The Palestinians after the 1936-9 war refused to accept their defeat. They tried again to retake the country in 47-9. They were expelled. They were not willing to return to live in peace to help build the new Jewish state. They wanted an Arab state. So they couldn't return. Today they are few and old. They no longer present a threat. They can safely return.

      I support a Jewish state. I support humanitarian measures that don't damage a Jewish state. I've never claimed to support humanitarian measures that would destroy the Jewish state. I've been very open I'd support all sorts of horrific measures to protect the state. The less threatening the Palestinians are the more humanitarian measures can be taken towards them.
      The more threatening they are the fewer that can be taken and the more inhumane that will need to be taken. I've had that position for years here on this forum.

      To use the expression I used years ago: As humane as possible, as brutal as necessary. Both are important. I don't Israel to become ISIS or Tibet.

      Your claim was the intent was always violent expulsion. I'd dispute that. Same as today. I would love to be able to make all the West Bank Palestinians citizens of Israel as quickly as possible. I'd love to allow those Palestinians in their diaspora to be able to return to Israel and join with us in building up our state. My position is no different than Hertzl's was 100 years ago. There was no need for a majority under certain circumstances.

      If a less violent means can be found it should and most likely will be employed. But if horrific violence proves necessary it will and should be employed. Jews know far to well what statelessness means to ever under any circumstances regardless of the cost to others or ourselves go back to that. And yes I meant that to sound as chilling as it does. That's something BDSers simply fail to understand about their opponents. Your goals of Jews agreeing to anything like what you envision are so completely unrealistic. You cannot achieve them at a cost you are going to be willing to accept.

      I don't think there is anything I've said here that your average French, Chinese or Nigerian person wouldn't say about defending France, China or Nigeria. It is your unwillingness to accept that Jews are a real people, that Israel is a real country and those people and that country have the same needs as any other people that creates the dissonance. None of them are ultimately going to apologize for the violence that formed their countries and were needed to defend their countries anymore than Jews will. There has been tremendous violence for all sorts of recently new countries like East Timor and Eritrea. That doesn't mean those people have any intention of relinquishing their sovereignty either.

      The Kurds are facing much the same resistance the Jews faced a century ago in Palestine and as someone who relates to their struggle I wish them success. I wish I new how to donate to their cause. And they analogous the Jews may have to expel Persians, Syrians or Turkmen if those people are unwilling to live in peace to help build the new Kurdish state.

    • @Talkback

      You only get to support permanent ethnic cleansing and dispossesion. And Nonjews in Israel are not regarded as being part of its “national collective”.

      Bull. The most clear cut example of that are the Russian Christians married to Jews. They serve in the IDF, obey the laws of the state and have 0 housing or job discrimination. The population and most politicians overwhelmingly supports further increasing their civil rights protections with the religious establishment being the major blockade. Another example are the Sons of the New Testament Party which are Palestinians who seek full integration and the Likud party this term is creating laws to facilitate that integration.

      Israel has a proven track record of integrating people that are willing to live under Israeli law as Israels into the national collective. The same way they expanded the definition of the state from Ashkenazi to include Mizrahi Jews early on. The definition of "Jewish" is a social construction, can expand and has expanded several times.

      ROFL. The Palestinians claim to Palestine is based on being citizens of the mandated State of Palestine and their descendants.

      So where does one find this list of Palestinian citizens? Who was the issuing authority? Where was their headquarters located?

      Your claim to Palestine is consistently based on the claim that ONLY the Jews of today and as such are the DNA descendants of ancient Hebrews

      When have I made that claim? I've tended to find that whole claim a racist load of crap.

      Nope. You don’t support the human rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland. Again, you are just lying.

      You asked this question two days ago and I said that I do. I'm not sure how you would know if I were lying about my opinions that claims sounds bizarre on its face. I support Palestinians refugees right to return. I don't support expanding this definition to foreign born descendants.

      “Palestinians are a people speaking an Eastern Arabian Peninsula dialect of Arabic and worshipping an Eastern Arabian Peninsula God.”

      Of course. They were arabized after the Arabian conquest.

      Which means they aren't the original people anymore. They lost their culture.

      Neither do Israelites or Israelis. Relevant is that Palestinians are a constitutive people since 1925 and Jews will never be.

      Israeli Jews most certainly are.

      Only because you fail to understand that the Arabians didn’t colonize Palestine. They only conquered it. Their descendants make only up to 5% of today’s Palestinians. But again. It is irrelevant. The relevant question is who had the right to determine Palestine’s future in 1947/48. The obvious answer is: Only the citizens of Palestine.

      No the obvious answer is the government of that territory if it is capable of still governing. In 1947 the British government could or would no longer provide a monopoly on force and thus there was no single government for Palestine. The power falls back to the constituent nations. The government that replaced the British came out of the militias of the Yishuv, the Israeli government.

      Again, you mistake Palestinians for Arabians. But please enligthen us how Jews came to into the posession of the Land of Canaan and how long they ruled it.

      No one knows. We start seeing strong signs of a Jewish civilization during the Babylonian conquest and something like a semi-independent Jewish civilization around the 6-7th century BCE. Most likely this civilization arose from a hybrid of Babylonian elites and indigenous natives. Our civilization continues to evolve, is conquered by the Greeks and then takes on Hellenistic elements. The religion expands independently of the nationality, even before the Roman conquest as people worship the God of Judaea. Our civilization in Palestine is badly damaged in the first Roman-Jewish war 69-73 CE and finished off completely by 134 CE. So over a period of over 700 years we were the dominant culture and ruled most aspects. We ruled entirely independently for a bit more than a century.

      But please prove me wrong and quote someone who calls for a “new holocaust”. And then we are going to have a look if Israel allready has been doing it to Palestinians.

      I've already pointed to you doing it. You feel that mass murder is justified because settlers aren't people and somehow you are supporting international law.

      Your delegitimizing rhetoric in the above about Israelis is also genocidal. Normal people who want political reform not genocide don't talk in absolutist terms about ethnic conflicts. The people who do talk that way are the genocide advocates.

    • John O

      I was afraid the “maps and diagrams” would go over your head. I lifted it from a classic of English humour, “1066 and All That”, which – appositely – is all about getting your history lessons all wrong and muddled.

      Fair enough. Know some English history. Know pretty much 0 of your popular media. Took a look at the book, and it is readily and cheaply available here seems like a riot so bought it. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • @Misterioso

      Whatever the position of American Jews is, there is no special provision in international law that enables Israel to violate it with impunity.

      I would rethink this line since it has two critical errors. The first is conflating international law with the declarations s of the UN. International law is the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in relations between states and between nations. The UN claims to make international law. Were that true then we would generally see states and nations bend to the UN on a host of issues on which they have ruled that those states and nations are in disagreement with. That doesn't happen in many cases Israel being just one, ergo the UN does not make international law. For there to be law by definition there needs to be an entity capable of enforcement, the UN has proven itself in many areas not to be an entity capable of enforcement of its declarations. So what comes out of the UN is opinion about international law not international law.

      The second claim I'd dispute is that Israel has agreed to be bound. There are video and written statements where they have said the opposite. I was at the UN this year when the Israeli ambassador to the UN Danny Danon unequivocally and unapologetically rejected the concept that the UN General Assembly was a legitimate governing body. I should mention other countries, like the United States, Russia and China have made similar claims. And for that particular comment I saw live, you can't see it in the video, but Ambassador Haley was there and nodded her head in agreement. She has turned out on many issues to be one of the very few bright spots of the Trump administration.

      The role the UN has played is a good place for countries to discuss and debate things. It has successfully avoided misunderstandings due to non-communication that have in previous times caused wars. On many issues it has facilitated negotiation and compromise. It provides some effective humanitarian services. It does have quite a few positives. But that does not make it the ultimate body of authority in the world. No one agrees to that quite self evidently.
      Moreover as an American one of the basic concepts we have is that governments need to have the consent of the governed. The UN does not have the consent of the American people nor the Israeli people to play the role you claim for it.

      So your claim basically boils down to Israel disagrees with an entity that has a loud and important voice with respect to the conflict. And I agree with you there, Israel does disagree with the UN. I think the UN's opinions are asine so FWIW I happen to agree with Israel in mostly ignoring what the UN has to say on the issue.

      For example the definition of an occupation requires that the military in control of a territory make no permanent claim. A formal annexation is the strongest possible permanent claim. Agreeing that Israel Annexed East Jerusalem and still calling it an occupying power is IMHO simply stupid. It literally sort of statement made by people who don't understand what the words mean.

      The AJC does have pretty strong ties to the UN. It is not uncommon for AJC, American UN, and Israeli UN staff to shuffle seats depending on changes from USA elections. We could, since this is an AJC thread, have a more interesting conversation than the usual "Israeli is a poopy head / is not" type conversation. I'd love to talk about and debate the AJC's role in the UN and how they have worked over the decades to try and facilitate peace and understanding in an effectual way. Since most BDSers are activists AJC provides a good example of what effectual activism that really does change policy looks like.

    • @MHughes976

      Political rights in any place or at any time depend, with minor exceptions, on being an inhabitant willing to live in peace, obey the law and pay taxes, where ‘willing to live in peace’ means not owing your presence to an act of violence that has not been set right by an agreement and actively maintaining the violent act’s results.

      I could agree with everything you wrote except for that. You run into the same problem. The Palestinians owe their presence to acts of violence and never set it right with the Byzantines.

      As for Holocaust justification we see on this board daily and regularly calls for a new holocaust. I'd say you might want to talk to your fellow BDSers about that. I'd love to see the BDS movement move away from your rhetoric that calls Israeli "axe wielding marauders" so as to justify your imagined future genocide.

    • @Ossinev

      As I said, take it up with yourstruely he's the one who made that claim not I. As for history, you don't know English history like the Tudor dynasty. Why would you expect to know anything about Israeli history? Now I will tell you and then you will come back with some sort of snark.

      After Judaea was destroyed by the Romans there emerged a Roman civilization in Palestine. As the Eastern and Western empire split because of geography it ended up in the Eastern side, Byzantine. However it was in the part of the Byzantine territory that fell to the Muslims was invaded and destroyed during the Muslim conquest. The Byzantine civilization that existed was mostly annihilated and replaced with an Arab / Muslim civilization. A combination of war, state terror and assimilation playing out over a few centuries. That civilization has been conquered multiple times, the government has been replaced, but the people you call the Palestinians do have continuity. with the civilization of the Islamic Arab invaders. They do not have continuity with the Roman / Byzantine civilization that existed prior.

      An argument that all human migrations are illegitimate and there is some moral obligation to restore all previous civilizations that existed in a place then quite ironically it not only applies both to the Palestinians as the victims of invasion but it also equally applies to them as invaders. In the same way it also apples to the Jews both as "invaders" and the victims of the Roman invasion.

      Finally the Jews who migrated did so from Eastern Europe and Arab countries where they faced extermination not from Brooklyn. You are should really rethink the ethics of making light of the horrific human suffering, your people played a decent role in that led to the creation of Israel.

    • @Eljay

      And I noticed you didn't answer the question about how the Zionists tricked Emperor Domitian into not understand that Judaea never existed and everyone converted to Judaism originally.

    • @John O

      Take it up with yourstruely. He is the one who made that argument about the moral necessity to undo migrations, not I. I was just pointing out that his argument doesn't show what he thinks it does.

      I am a Zionist. I get to deal with the reality that humans are a migratory species and welcome immigrants. I get to support a consistent morality that allows for a broad and inclusive national definition as demonstrated by Israeli's excellent track record on integrating people from all over the world into a single national collective. I get to oppose racist constructs about land claims based on DNA consistently. I can unapologetically support human rights for all, races not just favored ethnicities. I can critique Israel's failures on human rights without having to call for genocidal level violations in response.

      I'm not even sure how a map could prove what you wanted. Palestinians are a people speaking an Eastern Arabian Peninsula dialect of Arabic and worshipping an Eastern Arabian Peninsula God. They show no connection or knowledge of the Roman culture that existed prior to their migration, as demonstrated by the fact that they can possibly believe their own propaganda about the history of their country. They have no continuity. That doesn't mean they have to be expelled but their claims to being the descendants of the people who lived there then is rather dubious.

    • @yourstruly

      No no you fail to understand the moral obligation. Palestine was the homeland of the Christian Byzantine society that existed prior to the Muslim conquest that led to the migration of today's Palestinians. The first wave of Israelis are acting on their moral obligation to restore them and end their occupation. But as soon as they did that another group of Israelis realized that those Byzantines were occupying a Jewish provence and that needed to be restored. And since there is a moral obligation to restore land to its original inhabitants that's what we have today.

      They don't disagree with your morality one bit. They are rather effectually carrying it out.

    • @Kay24

      No Kay in meaningful numbers there aren't. There are lots of American Jews that are concerned about Israel committing human rights abuses and would be willing to dialogue over addressing those. But there are almost none who consider the UN's position, what you are calling "International law" to be just and fair. There are almost none that are disloyal to Israel. And there are almost none that would ever support the incredibly harsh terms of BDS even at its least destructive.

      It may or may not be the case that the most pro-peace elements of the Israeli / Jewish community and the most pro-peace elements of the Palestinian community can find enough overlap to make a deal. It will never be the case that the aggressive maximalist demands of the Palestinians as reflected in BDS will ever find anything but hard opposition from American Jews.

      Jews love their homeland and do not want to see her destroyed. If your goal is the destruction of Israel you are going to face strong American Jewish opposition not cooperation forever unavoidably.

    • @Eljay

      In your theory of Jewish being a purely religious based identity with no geographical component tied to Palestine "as anyone who knows a bit of history would understand" I'd be curious to know...

      What was the mechanism by which the Zionist propagandists manage to get Emperor Domitian to construct a large monument celebrating the victory over Judaea in the Via Sacra? Did Hertzl own a time machine, or was it Ben Gurion? How did they pull off this propaganda triumph? And how did they manage to convince a bunch of people to run around using the name of this I imagine fictional country as the name they applied to themselves for 19 centuries?

    • @Annie

      You do have a good point there. Though of course that add a lot of qualifiers about it being a duty under present circumstances for a period of time... I'd also be a little more nuanced than you are being about saying the AJC "supports the status quo". I'm not sure they care one way or the other about status quo. I think a more accurate description is they want any solution that the Israeli and Diaspora community can agree on and would be willing to jointly publicly defend. They care deeply about the level of agreement. I don't think they are deeply concerned (at least institutionally) about the level of violence or lack there of towards the Palestinians in implementing a solution once agreed upon. The status quo because it causes tension is far from ideal for them, though other solutions might cause more tension and thus be further from ideal.

      So on reflection perhaps a better way to say why I didn't like Phil's characterization is that it shifts the emphasis of their statement from what the AJC cares about (building a unified Jewish opinion) to what Phil cares about (the Palestinians). I get your argument that in practice it means support for oppression, but he's claiming they said that when they didn't and moreover wouldn't. They are coming from a mainstream not a leftist frame. They just don't have the same categories of classifying policy as the far left does. Ironically they are more postmodern and constructivist than the far left.

      Anyway if you are going to talk about in practice standards. In practice the AJC has to Republican Jews defended mainstream peace organizations. For example multiple times the AJC has effectually defended JStreet's legitimacy: winning the battle before the Jewish Congress for them to retain membership and backing the Knesset off an inquiry into JStreet. In the reverse direction AJC is in dialogue with INN for much the same reason trying to get them to not inflame tensions between Liberal Jews and Conservative Jews in the USA via INN's "Jewish resistance to Trump" theme.

      So in short I agree with your point about in practice while still disagreeing with Phil's phrasing. Its just too strong a critique.

    • @Phil

      Agree with your primary point that the American Jewish community has decided to make Zionism part of Judaism and Judaism part of Zionism. I would quibble a bit with this line though:

      The American Jewish Committee is saying that the Jewish religion commands Jews to support the occupation of Palestinian lands and persecution of Palestinians, and oppose equal rights for Palestinians (ideas embedded in BDS). These policies foster hatred of Jews; and the AJC fosters that process by saying these are Jewish commitments.

      The AJC isn't saying that, you are saying that. The AJC is saying they oppose BDS. BDS is a confrontational leftist groups. There are all sorts of confrontational leftist groups people oppose even if they do support the underlying demands. I was opposed to the Iraqi occupation and oppossed to A.N.S.W.E.R. I agree with Black Lives Matter that independent DAs and not County DAs should be prosecuting police involved shootings, while still opposing the group. I agree with a lot of Al Qaeda's critique about American policy. I think the Sunni Resistance and later ISIS have legitimate grievances.

      Saying you oppose a group is not the same as saying you oppose the demands when phrased in the most inclusive way possible. All 3 of BDS's demands in isolation are reasonable. There are broad coalitions including a majority of the AJC that would support weakened forms of any one of them.

  • How Netanyahu's son became the poster boy for white supremacists
    • @Talkback

      JeffB: “They have roughly the same amount of cultural, political and economic power. ”

      Giraldi – former CIA and counter terrorism specialit says that American Jews are driving American wars.

      The Scots played a big role in forming the alliance with Britain the core of US foreign policy. So even if true, so what? How is that any different than other groups that advance policies in their interests? American pharmaceutical policy harms Jewish interests, no one is shocked that there are groups that benefit from this policy and they advocate for their interests.

      But of course it isn't true. The idea is ludicrous. 73% of Americans supported the invasion of Iraq at the time of the invasion. American policy reflecting the overwhelming USA public opinion there was no secret conspiracy. This was broadly debated and the pro-peace camp lost the debate badly. Later on many of their points were proven correct, public opinion turned, and an anti-Iraq war Democrat became president.

      The invasion was advocated for by a bunch of Christians with a few Jews mixed in. The various congressional and executive authorizations were enacted by Christians with a few Jews mixed in. The invasion was performed mostly by Christians. Jews who are normally anti-war were mixed in their public opinion, not decided in favor which made them unusually pacifistic among American subgroups. That's reality.

      Claiming under those circumstances that "the Jews did it" is simply a lie. And a lie that is only believable based on deep antisemitism. I'm sure there are former CIA analysts who believe that the Lizard People control US policy. The fact that you choose from all possible analyst one who presents an anti-Jewish picture is the thing you should wrestle with in your conscience.

      The person most responsible for the USA deciding to attack Iraq was Saddam Hussein by being a total pain in the ass. The next most responsible person was a Christian by the name of George W Bush.

      JeffB: “Finally my definition for “new anti-semitism” is leftist taking traditionally antisemitic / anti-judaic beliefs and modifying them slightly to fit a leftist orientation and updating a bit.”

      Your examples are missing the core element of antisemitism. The targeted Jews are targeted for what they do and not because THEY ARE JEWS albeit innocent.

      Traditional anti-Judaic and antisemetic attacks were often based on what Jews did. Jewish writers did critique and help undermine Christian sexual standards during the 19th century. The idea that the hatred had no tortured reasoning behind it is a bizarre myth that comes from not having read any old books where Jews are talked about. The people back then had far more reasonable causes than the haters of today.

      Mostly what you had then and now were Jews engaging in the same behaviors as others were singled and persecuted more strongly. The singling out the persecution are the antisemitism.

      With your perverted definition of “new-anti-antisemitism” you only want to slander any accusation against Jewish individuals or interest group as being “antisemitic” only to cover up their atrocities and only because THEY ARE JEWS allthough they are not innocent at all. It’s your accusation of “new-anti-antisemitism” that is based on racism.

      Jews ask to be held to the same standards as other peoples in a fair and unbiased system. Whatever standards are applied to Jews should be applied equally to all. That's not racism, it is the opposite.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- ” Jews are roughly the same size and same economic demographics as Scots in America. They have roughly the same amount of cultural, political and economic power.”

      Do you always just make stuff up? The above statement is so ludicrous that it is an insult to the intelligence. Those Scots sure manage to keep a low profile for all of their influence on foreign policy, finance, the media, etc. And their campaign contributions!

      Sorry it is absolutely true. Good match in most respects. As for the low profile Scottish power isn't talked about as Scottish power. It is talked about as American and not differentiated on the basis of ethnic subgroup. And that is precisely the point and why the discussion of Jewish power becomes antisemitic. There is an underlying belief that Jews aren't entitled to fully participate in the national discourse and try and shape policy in line with their beliefs.

    • @Keith --

      This post is mainly about groups that still embrace old fashioned anti-judaic and anti-semitic themes. New antisemitism is about the left, which claims to abhor this kind of racism, does get upset about rightwing groups doing it but then engage in the same themes. I'll work with your comment about "referring to Jewish power and influence, etc." is kind of indicative of the issue. Jews are roughly the same size and same economic demographics as Scots in America. They have roughly the same amount of cultural, political and economic power. There are areas where Jews have more influence and there are areas like the presidency (34 out of 45 vs. 0 out of 45) where Scots clearly have more influence. Why should there be any more attention on Jewish power than Scottish power? The Jewish power conversation is just basically saying that Jews use their political, cultural and economic influence to advance issues they consider to be in their vital interest, the same as most other groups in the United States. To take it beyond that you end up having to exaggerate beyond all reason, like AIPAC being America's most powerful lobby.

      Now mostly the right is concerned about Jewish power. For the mainstream right their concern is donations and volunteering for Liberal causes and Democratic candidates. Among the far right the concern is cultural influence. Among the far left the primary concern is Israel. Jews are unusual politically active, Jews are unusual secular and Jews love their homeland and wish to protect her. All of those claims are at their root true, Jews do tilt the field. At the same time they are not particularly shocking lots of other groups tilt the field regarding their issues. Discussions of Jewish power which take place in a context of reason and balance are unlikely to create any upset. Discussion of Jewish power which take place in a context of paranoia and lack balance are going to create upset. I don't see anything particularly troubling about that.

      Finally my definition for "new anti-semitism" is leftist taking traditionally antisemitic / anti-judaic beliefs and modifying them slightly to fit a leftist orientation and updating a bit. This makes sense the Nazi antisemitism influenced the propaganda of Soviet anti-Zionism which influenced the anti-Zionism of today. For example:

      Jews control the press -- doesn't need to change. The far left is convinced that support for Israel among the American population is a result of propaganda rather than a rational self interested evaluation of the pros and cons on the part of the American people.

      Jews manipulate the economy, especially through banking monopolies and the power of gold -- Gold gets replaced by "big banks"

      Jews encourage issuing paper currency not tied to the gold standard -- Updated now concern about derivatives and so forth.

      Jews work through Masonic lodges -- They replace "Masonic lodges" with other institutions they hate like lobbies or corporations.


      Finally, I doubt Nathan Perlmutter said what either you or Finkelstein is quoting him as saying in context. That sounds simply too strong and out of character.

    • @Johnathan --

      The core distinction between anti-Judaic and antisemitic literature is the belief in the root causes of Jewish dysfunction. Anti-Judaic bigotry was situational believing at its root that the problem was that Jews were foreign, or sexual deviants or not Pagan / Christian / Muslim. Antisemitism believed the problem with Jews were genetic not situational. Zionism falls in the anti-Judaic camp. Zionism has always held a doctrine of shlilat ha'galut that living as aliens within other people's countries is morally corrupting and spiritually deforming.

      Zionists are dialoguing with these groups and explaining shlilat ha'galut to people drawn to antisemitism. More and more the far right is moving away from a belief that the problems with Jews are intrinsic to the race (as per David Duke) and instead that the problems are situational. In Israel they see a normal society filled with Jews (I understand you are incapable of seeing a normal society in Israel, but we are talking about the far right here not the far left). Israel's normality disproves the idea that Jews are biologically incapable of functioning in a normal society if given the chance to have one. For the right, Israel takes Europe's most difficult minority and shows that the problem was always situational. It disproves antisemitism and arguably a good chunk of racism.

      I would think anyone who is an anti-racist would applaud the success of this dialogue. Not so much because of Jews, Israel has solved the Jewish question. But because the argument with respect to Jews applies via the same logic to other groups like the Roma. The Roma are in far more danger in Europe than the Jews. And of course it applies all over the world to a host of other minorities. The technique of vilification, name calling and suppression that the left prefers to rational engagement has proven itself a terrible strategy in winning converts to anti-racist positions.

      Put me down as a Jew who is comfortable with this dialogue going on.

  • 'Regime instability' in Iran is aim of leading Israel advocate's memo to White House

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