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

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

      Since you like the Algerian analogy, the FLN wasn't attacking French colonial ideology they were attacking French colonials. There goal was no to convince the Pied-noirs to reform their ideology the goal was to ethnically cleans them and steal their stuff. Corbyn isn't having a debate about "Zionist colonial ideology" his goal is to attacking actual physical people in actual physical homes.

      And yes that's an attack against Jewish interests. The entire mainstream Jewish community is united that the Zionist project is the #1 most important goal of Judaism. A goal that essentially all of the various agencies from religious worship centers to day schools to homes for the elderly to spiritual retreats have sacrificed to advance.

      This ideology that Corbyn believes is what typical anti-Zionism preaches Jews should believe:
      Judaism is a religion
      Zionism is a political philosophy
      Israel is a state

      This doctrine is totally rejected not supported by mainstream Jews. They would say something more like:

      Judaism is a family of religious traditions and beliefs

      Jews are a people (full throated Zionists would say a nation) who engage with those traditions and beliefs at an ethnic, cultural and personal level.

      Zionism is an theme within Judaism. Modern Zionism is a transformative political, social, cultural and personal movement for the Jewish people. It is a reformation of Judaism. It seeks to absorb and redefine the Jewish people. Politically it is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people.

      Israel is the state of the Jews. It exists as a physical entity with borders in the middle east. For the religious it also exists as a supernatural entity tying man and Jews to God. For the more nationalistic it is a soil from which the Jewish people arose. We are part of it, and it is part of us.

      That's a lot messier. Israeli independence day is celebrated all over the world by Jews. Jewish synagogues all over the world have Israeli flags. The Jewish concepts that evolved into the Christian of salvation come from biblical Zionism. The Jewish equivalent of salvation is Zionist. One has to engage in fairly nuanced criticism to attack Zionism broadly without attacking Judaism and Jews. You have to understand both fairly well. Jeremy Corban doesn't come close to this level of nuance.

      Jews have been quite clear for 130 years the goal is Israel is Jewish the way France is French. You can't hate France and everything about it and somehow not be attacking the French.

      Your problem is that anti-Zionism is a colonial ideology. It seeks to tell Jews how they can live, where they should live and what they should think. Doesn't go over too well.

    • and further hollow out what was once the grave charge of anti-semitism. It is strategy of folly by those who may one day need the protection of both as the real anti-semites try to blaze a trail back to power.

      I've always found this argument from BDS supporters to be silly but in this particular case it is insane. We have a guy who is a plausible candidate for prime minister, running on a hostile to Jewish interest platform. At the very least he want to organize a worldwide anti-Jewish campaign to force approximate twice the number of Jews who live in the UK out of their homes. He has a history of allies who have even more ambitious goals. He is surrounded by people who are hostile to Jewish interests. The Jews in his group are people with a hostile and tortured relationship to the Jewish community. Part of their motive in politics is a desire to use their political position to attack that community so as to get power within it.

      And given that situation the worry should be "real anti-semites trying to blaze a trail back to power" who extremely unlikely to get power and if they did intend to do what exactly? Maybe call us "Christ killing kike bastards" on television as opposed to "racist oppressive colonialist baby killers"?

      What in your imagination do those "real anti-semites" intend to do that anti-Zionists have not been doing all over the planet for the last 2 generations? How could you possibly think that argument is even remotely persuasive?

  • Media criticism of gun lobby after Vegas massacre would make the Israel lobby blush
    • @oldgeezer

      If you look back at your link 89% of that isn't drugs. That's a wider classification that includes things like raw chemicals for drugs (USA pharmaceuticals companies are happy to see competitors drive down prices there, because that's a cost not a profit center) and medical devices.

      But it does appear you are right the number isn't 0. Teva (and others) are selling some generics in the USA market. No brand names yet and the branch of Teva is probably technically a USA company ( but ... point taken. I'll need to weaken this to say brand names next time I use the example.

    • @Citizen

      There has been as good discussion of BDS on mainstream media as there is on relevant foreign policy topic. The Israeli occupation is mentioned and discussed regularly for decades. Virtually every clash between US policy makers and Israelis is over settlements in the "occupied territories". That's discussing the occupation. There are regular discussion of Gaza which isn't called the "state of Gaza".

      As for aide. Aide rarely gets discussed, as I mentioned US figures rarely talk about how expensive Okinawa is to support our position in South Korea. But the Israeli aide package gets talked about like any other mid level budget item when it passes. Also people on these shows frequently bring up aide in terms of potential pressure points.

      As for the historical context I think there is more historical context than there is for virtually any other conflict. Especially in movies. Munich, Exodus, Paradise Now, far too many evangelical Christian end of times movies with Israel to count... How many minor tribal conflicts have even one movie that won multiple oscars and golden globes much less several.

      I/P is given far more press than it deserves. Any American interested has a wealth of information available to them. They just have used this information to draw conclusions you disagree with.

      I have to search really hard to find transcripts and translations of ISIS and Al Qaeda and we are actively at war with them. Think about how little context the mainstream media gives on those conflicts that involve us much more directly.

    • @Festus

      There is an easy way to test this. Israel's #1 export right now is pharmaceuticals. The Israeli lobby would like to give Israel access to the USA market. The pharmaceutical lobby's main goal is that these legal restrictions stay in place for other country's pharmaceuticals to maintain high profits.

      There are exactly 0 Israeli pharmaceuticals that can be legally sold in the United States. So the evidence shows that when AIPAC goes up against a top 10 lobby, they lose.

    • @Citizen

      Informed consent of what? There have been countless articles and stories about BDS in the mainstream media. Politicians of all stripes have gone on record regarding their feelings about BDS, often in lengthy speeches. This includes both candidates for the Presidency. Both major parties and I think all the minor ones had public debates about Israel and BDS s in their platform committees. AIPAC, JStreet, Brookings... have USA politicians on all the time discussing their position on Israel including BDS. These are often broadcast on television, quoted in news shows, and the videos are available on youtube.

      What information do Americans lack in any way shape or form regarding the mainstream opinion regarding BDS? Any American who wants to know about it knows that the division among mainstream policy makers is whether the discrimination that BDS is engaged in rises to the level of a violation of civil rights or is merely legal social discrimination. I get that you disagree that's where the debate should be. But there is no lack of information.

      The American people have informed consent. They agree with Israel. Sorry.

    • @DCM

      I'm not sure the Israeli Lobby got involved individually. Seems to me Biss didn't vet well. He discovered that Ramirez-Rosa supported BDS, which would obviously become a centerpoint of the campaign. Biss wants to keep the focus on the opponent and not the issues strategically. A focus on BDS does the opposite. Ramirez-Rosa is not willing to step away from a controversial position and gets dropped. Same thing would have happened if he were strongly prolife (as a democrat), denied climate change, supported reverting back to recognizing the government of Taiwan as the legitimate government of China, or supported pro Khmer Rouge groups.

      You can say the lobby has created an environment where BDS is beyond the pale. Which is fine but I don't think they actually did much beyond that. The whole point of dropping Ramirez-Rosa was so that there was no controversy. Which is why the MSM isn't covering it. What's the story?

    • @Phil

      There is somewhere between 1.5-3% of the American population that normally votes Democratic but strongly supports gun rights and will change their vote over the gun issue. This has been well understood since Clinton's term in office. For an issue marginal to USA politics this is expensive so we don't get broadly support gun control

      On Israel you have a similar constituency. Their reaction to anti-Israel legislation hasn't been fully tested but even minor bumps indicate the numbers are likely similar. Israel is a marginal issue to USA politics. The political calculus is the same.

      As for signature achievement I'd say HealthCare is Obama's signature achievement. In terms of foreign policy I'd say the widespread acceptance of USA mainstreaming assassination in foreign countries as a core tool of its foreign policy is far more likely to be influential. I have a tough time imagining a historian in 2117 even talking about the Iran deal. I have an easy time imagining them talking Obama's campaign being the point where assassination become a global norm again after almost a millennia where it was rarely used.

  • Feel-good Gaza poster in NY window draws feel-bad response from neighbor
    • @Amigo

      I'm a little hard pressed to even follow your logic here. The argument is that during the time of the Rothschilds there were similarly wealthy gentile families. I think that's been proven. You give as an example of Edward FitzGerald, 7th Duke of Leinster. Certainly we agree he's a member of that family. He's was a gambling addict who went through 3 fortunes before dying broke. I'm not sure how that disproves that it is a very wealthy family. If anything it proves the extent of their resources that that he not only got a lot of money as a youth, but he inherited another fortune and then married a 3rd fortune. There is no amount of money you can't lose if you work at it.

      I don't know much about the 8th Duke but we note that he had to have Edward stopped from stealing a £100,000 painting hanging in his home, in 1976 so adjust for some inflation. He also owned Kilkea Castle (and this is after independence). So the 8th Duke of Leinster seems like he has some nickels to rub together.

      Just to point out to another example that didn't work out as badly. As Edward was blowing his fortune gambling the mayor of Boston, John F. Fitzgerald, was busy marrying his daughter to the son of the leader of the Boston political machine. That son turned out to be a remarkably talented stock and commodity investor often names alongside Vanderbilt as a contender for best ever. Those two kids took that money and political influence and made their son the first Catholic President of the United States. Oh and since we are talking money, the family fortune from that couple is today worth well over $1b. Now I'll admit since Rose was a girl that's technically not part of the FitzGerald fortune. But not all the FitzGeralds gambled away their money.

    • @RoHa

      Yeah... the fought in a war against the Catholic kings to get this concession: "And since for the greater Tranquillity of the Empire, in its general Assemblys of Peace, a certain Agreement has been made between the Emperor, Princes and States .of the Empire, which has been inserted in the Instrument and Treaty of Peace, concluded with the Plenipotentiarys of the Queen and Crown of Swedeland, touching the Differences about Ecclesiastical Lands, and the Liberty of the Exercise of Religion; it has been found expedient to confirm,and ratify it by this present Treaty, in the same manner as the abovesaid Agreement has been made with the said Crown of Swedeland; also with those call'd the Reformed, in the same manner, as if the words of the abovesaid Instrument were reported here verbatim. " (Finland was part of the Swedish empire at the time)

      Pretty much a Lutheran state was completely illegitimate. Then the Swedish empire killed a lot of Spanish troops and Lutheran state was completely legitimate. Took about 120 years of killing people to get to that point that a Spanish Emperor could write something like that. The Pope is technically still grumbling but no one intends to invade Finland to put them back under Catholic rule. Israel is 69 years old so only 1/2 way through the process, I should mention having killed far fewer people than Sweden/Finland did. Which just proves the double standard.

      Arguably Israel is already at the begrudging acceptance with grumbling part. The only people seeking a forced conversion of Israel to a Muslim state are you all and Iran. The mainstream argument is about the borders of the Jewish state.

    • @Amigo

      jeffy boy, the Gov of the republic of Ireland does not recognise “Peers of The Realm”.Your map is somewhat outdated –by about 100 years.

      Actually that map is outdated by about 600 years, it shows the estates in 1450. The point was to show the extent of the family's wealth.

      We have no Barons,Dukes or Marquis.The only official title awarded in Ireland is that of “Count” , a title given to the late great John Mc Cormack , the famous Irish tenor.We are a republic and don,t do the Monarchy thing.

      I believe that the status is that Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland has titles and those titles refer places in the Republic of Ireland. That sounds to me like the monarchy has not technically renounced its claim to Ireland. I'll let a Brit answer definitely what the meaning is but these titles still exist. Maybe some date in the future they hope you all with renounce your popery and return to God's mandate under a proper English king?

      As an aside agree with your English ties (though I believe this particular family was originally Welsh / Norman). The FitzGerald family came into Ireland with the Norman invasion, they were associated with Henry II (FitzGerald is a grandson of Gerald de Windsor). Also Saint Patrick's Saltire which you all still use is from their coat of arms. And FWIW the family even has a crater on the moon named after them.

      Regardless between the 11th and 20th century I assume the stocked enough wealth away, because the family is still loaded h even without being able to draw revenue from Ireland. I was just picking a rich European family at random and I happened to pick one whose wealth and estates came from Ireland. Don't attach much meaning to it beyond that.

    • @Tuyzentfloot

      I recall Akiva Orr saying the Rotschilds weren’t zionists but rather french nationalists.
      Somewhere in here

      There were a lot of Rothschilds by the time of Zionism. But let me just mention three

      You've heard of the Balfour declaration. It is named after Arthur Balfour who wrote it. The person it was written to is Walter Rothschild.

      Edmond James de Rothschild (French btw) founded the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association

      James de Rothschild paid for the Knesset building.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- “The Rothschilds only come easily to mind because of antisemitism.”

      I only used the Rothschilds because they are the easily recognizable example of Jewish wealth and influence, the rather obvious counterpoint to Zionist “Fiddler on the Roof” myth-history. The historical reality is that if we exclude the relatively small Gentile nobility (the original examplars of birthright entitlement), then Jews as a group were, on average, better off than the surrounding Gentile community.

      Making your statement a bit more specific that the median standard of living was higher does appear to be true.

      Not all times and places, but on average true. Hardly a situation which would logically produce despair.

      Obviously starvation correlates strongly with despair. Beyond that helplessness and criticism tend to produce depression. For example personal trauma may do little to damage economics but can cause quite a bit of depression and sadness. As a percentage of GDP 9/11 directly did little, but the emotions that it unleashed did tremendous damage to the economy. Abuse in childhood, teasing and bullying are well known depression factors. My parent's generation experienced teasing and bullying as a result of being Jewish, as did my wife's generation in the Soviet Union.

      Yet, this is a typically outrageous claim you make with zero supporting evidence.

      We are the ethnic group that invented psychotherapy. Elderly Jewish immigrants from the Soviet Union have much higher levels of depression than non-Jewish elderly immigrants from other countries. Jewish males are twice as likely to suffer from depression as Catholic or Protestant males ( , ). And note this is 1/5th the rate of alcoholism. Jews are 15-40% more likely to have Schizotypal disorders. I could keep going on the psychological stuff.

      Jewish holiday themes are all essentially: They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat. A happy
      culture doesn't produce those themes. Contrast American and Russian movies and how they tend to end. Jewish humor, the reason Jews make so much American humor is dark and considers a world where injustice and unfairness are the norms. How does that arise?

      Longitudinally virtually every country on the planet has pretty horrific anti-Jewish violence. Which means Jews never developed a sense of place of belonging.

      There is a reason the Rothschilds supported Zionism, but depair wasn’t it. And, of course, when reality conflicts with your propaganda, you behave like a true Zionist and claim anti-Semitism.

      No. My problem is not that the Rothschilds were rich but that among all the rich families the Jewish one gets all the attention and conspiracies. Why is it that everyone knows who the Rothschilds are but other similarly wealthy families don't get any attention?

      Same as Israel. My problem is not with people who think that Israel is a bad country or whatever. My problem is the level of attention and focus.

      As for the Cavendish and FitzGerald families, I know nothing about them. And if they were wealthier and more powerful than the Rothschilds, something you don’t document but merely claim, then they were the fattest of fat-cats.

      Yes they are. By the times of the Rothschilds they controlled huge estates. I believe the Canendish currently have (and they've been rich since 1360s) so they beat the Rothschilds being rich both before and after:

      Duke of Devonshire
      Duke of Newcastle
      Marquess of Hartington
      Marquess of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
      Earl of Devonshire
      Earl of Burlington
      Earl of Newcastle-upon-Tyne
      Viscount Mansfield
      Baron Clifford
      Baron Cavendish
      Baron Cavendish of Keighley
      Baron Waterpark
      Baron Ogle
      Baron Chesham

      and that's on top of the less noble kids that are only Lords having started countless businesses. Cavendish Corporate Finance does a lot of the midsized M&A... Yeah they are loaded. But that's the thing. You didn't know about them.

      FitzGerald is the Duke of Leinster, Barons Desmond, Earls of Kildare. (here is a map of 15th century Ireland to give you an idea of the size of their holding: The USS Fitzgerald is named in honor of this family.

    • @Yonah

      Agree with all. As I mentioned elsewhere with Israel providing a rock point Judaism in the diaspora can become much more varied and relevant to the conditions of the diaspora. Just surviving ceases to be a diaspora concern. I expect a flourishing diverse Judaism to become more mainstream this century as well.

    • @RoHa

      “You are doing good against the double standards.”

      You are doing well against the double standards.

      Quite true, thank you for the correction. And a wonderful example of you not applying a double standard. That would have been an equally bad error for a Christian.

      But Rabbi Thingybob will not be happy about that. He says that the standards that apply to Jews are different from those that apply to other people, doesn’t he?

      Nope. I think you are getting that from Beemer. Basically he heard a religious lecture on Halacha that he understood about 5% of. So he took that 5% way out of context. He then distorted and exaggerated that 5% and then started treating it as a somehow fundamental Jewish tenant even though the speaker quite clearly indicates repeatedly he is proposing a non-mainstream approach and why he is doing so. His interest was in how to legislate (religious law not civil) on topics that Shulchan Aruch et al have nothing to say because Jews didn't have state power of any kind for so long.

      As I said to Beamer at the time. He didn't have the background for that talk and didn't understand it at all. I don't have the background for that talk. I could understand what the Rabbi was arguing but can't come to a judgement on the specific examples, they are beyond my education. Yonah is probably the only one here who might have the background for that talk and be able to intelligently engage the material in it.

      That sort of thing in a microcosm though is why BDS is accused of antisemitism. Confronted with a bunch of stuff he didn't understand Beamer choose to assume the worst and then started treating his misreading and misunderstanding as if it were true getting obnoxious and personal when I tried to correct.

    • @Sibiriak

      The establishment of Israel has involved–actually required–the denial of the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, their ethnic cleansing, their oppression, and the establishment of an apartheid regime of occupation.

      Involved not required. The Palestinians choose roads that led there. You can see how Zionism was able to expand to incorporate Mizrahi Jews, which early Zionism didn't consider. You can see how there were different relationships with Palestinians temporally as they choose different relationship with Zionism. You can see how different subgroups of Palestinians have had different relationships.

      Imagine a Palestinian leader in 1910 seeing the next 100 years and knowing what a disaster their policies would be. I don't think they make the same choices and those different choices result in very different outcomes. One can imagine what Palestine would be like if Zionism had never come. One can equally imagine what Palestine would be like if anti-colonialism had never come. It was the clash between those forces that led and continues to lead to the Palestinian's destruction, not one or the other. It was not historically inevitable that Palestinians would develop a national consciousness, that required a lot of work from Syria.

      The citizens of the colony of Massachusetts didn't view the establishment of a Quaker colony in Pennsylvania as an invasion of their territory by heretics. The citizens of the colony of Pennsylvania didn't view the religious oppression in Massachusetts as something they needed to correct. The English Catholics pushed into the colony of Maryland didn't view themselves as being ethnically cleansed by Lord Baltimore they viewed themselves as being given a glorious opportunity to have a better life.

      Non-European people make political choices as well. They aren't automatons. They are capable of evaluating their circumstances and responding rationally. And they entitled to be held to the same standards of good government.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- ” The myths that existed before Zionism were myths that led to despair and hopelessness.”

      No they didn’t. You just make things up. The Rothschilds were depressed? If anyone was depressed it was the Gentile peasants.

      The Rothschilds only come easily to mind because of antisemitism. The crazy level of focus on them was a product of antisemitism. There were many wealth European families. How many crazy conspiracies do you hear about the Cavendish family? How many about the FitzGerald family? Both of which were wealthier and more powerful. Were the Rothschilds treated like a comparable European family they probably would not have jumped in the way they did on Zionism. Because even they had suffered tremendous harassment.

      Certainly I'd agree that the Rothschilds lived well but they didn't have equality with their peers. Your argument is very much like the one made by racists in the USA that blacks in the Jim Crow south had more rights and a higher standard of living than blacks in Africa.

      JEFFB- ” We have new myths lead to freedom, joy and success.”

      In the long run, these Zionist myths lead to endless war. And to a profound antipathy to your non-Jewish neighbors who you label as irrational Jew-haters.

      No, not at all. Zionism has a theory of redemption though nationalism. When the world starts to talk about Israel the way it talks about France, when it talks about Jews the way it talks about the French Zionism triumphs. Most Jews see the difference already in their daily lives. They can see the progress that Zionism has already made. The Jewish world in 2017 looks nothing like it did in 1917 or 1817.

    • @Yoni

      That's a good article and I do like the example of the how the non-existent pogrom in Lithuania became constructed memory. The truth (according to the author) is still pretty bad. You had an oppressed minority in Lithuania and England didn't care. The true version in my book is arguably worse for the anti-Zionist apologetic than the pogroms. The myth is that Jews were slowly bled to death by the wicked, allowed to happen by the indifferent and the good people were to few to make a meaningful difference. The true story supports that version as much as the myth.

      The myth is simpler. The diaspora equals death. That's why 1/2 the IDF stands at Masada when they were are sworn in. History is mostly made by people responding to myth not history. The myths that existed before Zionism were myths that led to despair and hopelessness. We have new myths lead to freedom, joy and success. America and every country is built on these same sorts of myths.

      Ultimately the diaspora was a slow miserable bleeding death for the Jewish people. I find the details fascinating but that is the theme. The misery of the diaspora is what created Zionism. Had the aristocratic Jews been allowed to assimilate there would have been no Zionism, and potentially not much Judaism today.

    • @Jack

      You are doing good against the double standards. A quick point on the term "religion". Colonies like Massachusetts were founded on the desire for a regenerate church. That is a church of believers and people who act consistently with those beliefs not merely a church of all citizens. They way them aimed to achieve this was through having a regenerate citizenry. Within a few generations of course you arrive at the problem of what to do with the clearly non-regenerate residents. The way this gets resolved in colonial America is a strong belief in a regenerate church with citizenship not tied to religion. And within 2 generations that evolves into an explicit "separation of church and state" (though what they mean by that doctrine is somewhat weaker than what we mean in 2017).

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

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

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

      Everybody involved in the Israel / Palestinian conflict evolved in Byzantine societies: Eastern European Jews, Arabic Jews , Arabic christians and Arab Muslims. They all share a Byzantine definition of religion which conflicts with the Western one. The definition of religion is not a point of dispute in the I/P conflict.

      This definition is however a point of dispute with leftist bigots who can't understand that not everyone in the world should agree with them about everything . They believe in credo-baptist theology (you join a religion as you personally believe in it). Moreover they believe that's the only definition of religion in the world. It isn't. By defining the terms in a way supportive of western values you are putting Israeli at a disadvantage.

      Israelis mostly don't have the cultural background to even understand what Americans mean by religion and separation of church and state much less to accept it or reject it. The hostility here is just MW propaganda which when unraveled just means that Israel really is a foreign country populated by foreigners and not another state in the USA.

    • @Eva

      Your sarcasm is misplaced. Confrontation has been a disaster. When Europeans first arrived there was cooperation and Palestinians made a profit from Zionism and Jewish immigration was harmless and mostly non-Zionist. In 1920 they attack communities and drive the entire Palestinian Jewish community into the arms of the Zionists. They do very little damage to the Zionists and in exchange politicize and unify their opposition.

      1927-1935 are very good years for the Palestinians when they are cooperating.
      1936-1939 they go for confrontation and are militarily devestated

      And you don't have to believe I want the best for the Palestinians but that doesn't change the fact that I do. The Palestinians would make great Israelis. As soon as they become willing to become Israelis all sorts of possibilities open that are better for both peoples. Israel gains nothing from crushing them if their cooperation is possible.

      I've used the analogy before of putting your hand into a lawn mower. Once they stop doing that they can live in happiness and prosperity. They don't have to repeat the mistakes the Jews made with the Romans. But they might choose to. Same as any country should have towards its enemies: better to convert them to an ally then defeat them, better to defeat them than lose to them.

    • @Jack

      Excellent list! Well done sir.

    • @lonely rico

      Sorry your theory doesn't work. The venom came before the blockade not after. Hamas policy was the reason for the blockade. Hamas of Gaza after winning the election was given the opportunity to indicate it was willing to live in peace and refused. The Palestinians had a clear shot with Gaza to do state building and choose war instead.

    • @Phil

      Yep. You have a New York Jew that genuinely hates the Gazans. From the sounds of it he's never met a Gazan so this is all a product of poisonous actions and rhetoric.

      There is a solution to that. The sort of shared humanity reconciliation type approach that peace activists used in the 1980s-1990s. It worked well, but expectations were unfortunately ridiculously high and so success was measured as a family. Support for discrimination decreased and there was economic progress for Palestinians. Politics shifted left and what had previously been impossible for both sides got put on the table, they never quite reached agreement but both sides shifted towards one another.

      During the 2nd intifada and since then confrontation and more hostility got tried. Back to the pre-Oslo strategy of a rhetoric of total population war, even though the Palestinians were no longer in any position to even plausibly attempt it. So the Israelis can destroy 1/3rd of the infrastructure of Gaza in "self defense " and your letter writer mostly agrees. In the end what matters the most is not whether Gazans hate Israelis, or New York Jews hate Gazans but how much Israelis hate Gazans. The higher Israeli anger and hatred towards Gazans the more Gazans die.

      You want to avoid hate people need to be charitable. Try and see things from both sides. Appreciate common humanity. Look for win-win rather than win-lose. That's how you avoid hate. We both like INN. Think about that for a moment. As far away as we are on this conflict, we both like INN. Maybe that means they are doing something right. That INN can dialogue with both of us from a position of trust is no small accomplishment.

      I can dialogue with rightwing Israelis from a position of trust (excluding the more religious settler right, where I'm too much of pinko leftist assimilated American...). So likely can your letter writer. The violence against the Gazans has gone to far when we condemn it not when you condemn it. Or more accurately the fact that I reject the idea of Jordanian citizenship for West Bankers being sufficient matters to them, the fact you reject it doesn't. Similarly you have cred with the other side. The reason the Allison Weir thing still bothers people so much is that JVP was able to draw a line in the sand and say "this rhetoric we will not support" and make it stick.

      You do a terrific job in the "this is why the Palestinians are so pissed off" department. And that is needed. What you could do on the other side having built the credibility is.... try and work towards dialogue not confrontation. 5 years ago when we started having these conversations you believed BDS would grow and swamp the domestic counter pressure. Before that the resistance strategy would work and your role was going to be the typical domestic resistance. I think you realize now that didn't happen. The American Jewish community was able to win the fight. And the Israelis were able to win their fight. The fraying you chart, isn't happening fast enough.

      We are in a weird void period. Its a good time for articles that think through what comes next. How do we create a less poisonous environment so that the Gazan poster isn't seen as personal threat to a New Yorker?

  • New group challenges role of Israel lobby inside Labour Party as effort to undermine Corbyn continues
    • @Tigger

      No I meant what I said. There are Americans in Al-Qaeda. That fact doesn't mean that America's policy was not a war against Al Qaeda during the Bush and much of the Obama administration. I don't have to qualify it by saying "anti Al Qaeda Americans". America fought Al Qaeda. Similarly Vietnam, despite pro-Vietnamese positions within in the peace movement.

      The position of the Jews of England are the positions taken by mainstream Jewish groups in England. Those are mainly Tory positions with Blairite Labor having some influence. It is reflected in the World Jewish Congress, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the European Jewish Congress, World Jewish Relief, Limmud...

      and so many, many, unaffiliated people who do believe that she and others speak for THEM.

      Where are these many Jewish unaffiliated people? What organizations do they control. Where is their headquarters? How many people are on the payroll of their organization? In other words what evidence do you have that they exist in meaningful numbers at all?

    • @Maghlawatan

      You aren't thinking like a realist, you are thinking like a liberal internationalist. Why would a UK realist care if Israel can run indefinitely? In 2017 it's doing fine. If in 2187 you have to work with a different country because Israel no longer exists you work with them. As for making insane choices that may or may not be a good thing. Realists look at the world rather competitively. Israel making bad choices can create opportunities for the UK.

      The goal of foreign policy realism is the opposite of taking dramatic steps towards a utopian future. The goal of foreign policy realism is to exploit opportunity while managing risk and cost. Think about the mindset of Bush-41 (a realist) vs. Bush-43 (an interventionist).

    • @Rashers2

      against anyone seeking reasoned answers to how it is that a large swathe of the Labour Party can apparently support the illegal occupation and blockade

      OK let's prove you wrong. Here are reasoned answers

      1) Lots of them support Israel expanding beyond the 1947 boundaries. They disagree with the UN and don't think the Labor party should support it. But they know they are in a minority, so while they can't overturn the policy they can undermine it.

      2) Lots of them may agree with something like the Oslo framework but aren't horrified by the idea that ethnic population migrations can occur as it happens all over the globe. They disagree that this is an area of deep concern.

      3) Lots of them may agree with Oslo but think the hostility to Israel is excessive.

      4) Lots of them may be foreign policy realists and think the UK should side with a solid potential ally and while not liking the expansion don't think it should be allowed to create a hostile relationship.


      And when you start adding all these reasons together you have lots of people who disagree with your position.

      Similar, illegitimate power and influence on public or party policy wielded by Freemasonry or any other interest group

      Sorry. I'm losing you. Normally the point of a democracy is to allow people to advance policy positions they agree with. What in your mind is a "legitimate power"?

      she’s animate proof that being a Jew has damn all to do with someone’s race but is determined by their religious heritage

      I seriously doubt she has a Jewish religious heritage. Sorry religions get to excommunicate. If Jews don't think she's really a Jew then she's just a women who likes to call herself one. Seventh Day Adventists do lots of Jewish stuff and are inspired by Jewish ritual, that doesn't make them Jewish. They at least are honest enough to admit that.

      , I hope he is able to maintain the considerable courage of his convictions in the face of JLM and the other illegitimate influences seeking to silence him over Palestine and axiomatically, therefore, over Israel.

      He might, but it would be costly. You had 47 Labour MPs break with Corbyn on Brexit. For the Tories if Corbyn were PM Israel is going to be a delightful issue on which to repeat those sorts of historic failures. 1/3 of Labor keeps voting against support the PM/FM foreign policy on many issues then what? He is pretty much in same position he is today, a gadfly representing a sizable minority. The future PM Corbyn can stand tough and not have a majority or compromise and bring in representation that can unify parliament and the country more broadly and have a majority.

      Heck you guys all talk about activism. The same way activism works for you to pressure politicians it works against you when you are the ones in power.

    • @Johnathan

      I think you are missing the subtext here. The Jewish establishment in England has a cozy relationship with the British government. Anti-Zionism pushed most Jews from Labor to Conservative so 3/4 are Tory. The remaining 1/4 float between Labor and Liberal-Democrat. In the Labor party there remain solid members of the Jewish establishment who are trusted by Jews.

      There are Jews around Jeremy Corbin but they come from Jewish dissent. They aren't part of the Jewish establishment and the relationship with their community is hostile not friendly. Ultimately what's meant by Jackie Walker isn't a Jew is that she is not an acceptable representative for the people she supposedly representing. The Jews of England do not believe that Jackie Walker et al have their best interests at heart. And they are making that clear in advance so there is no misunderstanding.

      She's seen the same way as the blacks in the militia movement are seen by the black community, as completely fringe and unrepresentative. African Americans don't support extreme Libertarian and possibly neo-confederate politics. If one were to pick a leader militia oriented African American to represent them on an issue of importance to blacks their black skin color wouldn't matter one bit. Insincere tokenism doesn't work any better when leftists do it than when rightists do it.

      What the JLM is trying to say is that if Prime Minster Corbyn happens and he doesn't reform he is going to a have a very hostile relationship with England's Jews. Not a hostile relationship with some internal lobby, but real honest to god ethnic tension as PM. Very similar to the "not my president" movement that faced Donald Trump. At that point antisemitism not going to be various statements from Movement figures its going to be the whole the UK government. And it is not going to be Labor Jews who have to hold back, it is going to be Tory Jews who don't.

      To even have a prayer of not facing open hostility towards his government he is going to need to bring in people from the Jewish establishment. Unlike Donald Trump his favorite daughter didn't convert and marry one. It would be difficult for Jews to consider a leader with a position as hostile to Israel as Jeremy Corbin's as legitimate. But you combine that with rhetorical insensitivity and a colonial attitude where he feels entitled to tell Jews who they consider community representatives and it ain't even going to be a hard choice. He is going to be detested by Jews. JLM is trying to send a warning signal. Because they know how much fun the tories will have watching a Labor Prime Minister get slammed day after day after day by an articulate minority that hates the Labor Prime Minister. What Corbyn has been dealing with so far is the warning shot.

      The stuff about antisemitic facebook posts is really a side issue. The side issue keeps getting talked about because no one is willing to have the honest conversation about lobbies and ethnic community representation. Don't know British culture well enough to know how you have the conversation politely. But that's the conversation that needs to happen if Corbyn doesn't want to be taking fire for the rest of his career as party leader.

  • On empathy, Yom Kippur, and the NFL
    • @Maghlawatan

      Ultra Orthodox population growing at 3x rate of secular Jeff.

      Yep and if Jews didn't have centuries of history of secularization in multiple waves I'd see that as an unfixable problem. Israel will obviously need to fix that problem and the signs are that the UO population is getting ready for a wave of secularization. Lots of fraying along the edges on its one. Then of course they can be pushed. In the last Knesset we had bills for things like increasing workforce participation and military service. Netanyahu reversed this since he needed UTJ and Shas. But the women's workforce participation is skyrocketing which is possibly even more damaging. The too many UO isn't permanent.

      There are no perfect societies. Negative trends don't extend forever.

    • @Keith

      JEFFB- “Many of them are just eastern european traditions.”

      Many? Jeez, and to think I took your comment seriously! Yiddish and Kosher food are a shared tradition? Yuri Slezkine provides historical perspective.

      Sorry. Know too many Orthodox Christians who eat these foods just don't know the Jewish names. I think that book is a bit misleading about the degree of separation.

      JEFFB- ” I see more of that with Mormons and South Asians than Jews. I think Jews have reached the point where Zionism is a collective interest, not an individual one.”

      No doubt that is why there are so many Mormans and South Asians on Wall Street

      First off not everyone is in the same fields. 70 years ago fields like tailoring on the east coast were Jewish dominated while today there very few. That being said. Have you ever been to Wall Street banks and brokerages? There are way more South Asians than Jews at this point. It isn't even close. Incidentally Hindus beat Jews for percentages making over $100k / yr.

      As for Mormons they are rather close to Jews in wealth and influence. There are 6 Mormon senators and 8 Jews. Mormons have more dentists, more programmers, etc.. Mormons are much bigger than Jews in small home industries.

      I think you tend to have an overblown sense of Jewish power. The religion with the highest percentage of people in the USA over $100k is Hinduism. (older version of article:
      Among the world's millionaires Jews are 1.7% ( )

      JEFFB- “Ultimately they are standing against their people in solidarity with an enemy.”
      Their people?

      Yes their people.

      The downtrodden, victimized Palestinians their enemy? I see that you are an Israel uber alles kind of guy.

      I feel bad for the Palestinians. I don't want to victimize them or crush them. That being said. Yeah they are. They are the ones at the heart of Israel's acceptance problem. They refuse to be a constructive part of Israel. And at the same time they refuse to live in peace separately. The trouble with the Labor party is not about stuff British Jews are doing that is making Corbyn mad it is the Palestinians that are driving him into a conflict with British Jews.

      They seem intent on reliving our mistakes rather than learning from them.

      JEFFB- “You seek power to do stuff with it.”

      And for those sociopaths obsessed with power, what they do with it is to seek more power.

      Well what the Jews are doing with it is securing a tiny corner of the globe as a prosperous small country.

      There never is enough to satisfy the fat-cats. And what, exactly, is the “stuff” the American empire
      is doing with its global power except smashing Third World countries and imposing neoliberalism on a suffering world?

      The American empire is a Christian thing. As for what are they doing with it:
      1) Providing massive advances in pharmacology.
      2) Providing a technological infrastructure that's liberated communication
      3) revolutionized farming and ended hunger globally
      4) revolutionized energy extraction technologies and increased energy utilization per person my orders of magnitude

      etc... This is what the American empire is doing with the power:

      Create a prosperous productive world. There is room to complain but GDP per capita makes up for just about everything else. That is the single most important number as a scale for what is possible to achieve human happiness.

    • @Keith

      True enough, but let us take it a step farther. They are the traditions of Polish and Russian Jews intended to maintain Jewish tribal cohesion and separation from the surrounding Gentile community in a premodern political economy where Jews functioned as service nomads (Slezkine).

      1/2 agree. For example I think Jewish humor works that way. Many of them are just eastern european traditions. Gefilte fish for example is a popular Polish Catholic dish (karp po żydowsku = Jewish carp). Same with bagels. Were we separating or just creating products?

      In a modern political economy, this sharp delineation and obvious tribalism would be problematic, hence, assimilation requires abandoning strict tribalism.

      Agree. That was my point to Yonah.

      Zionism functions to maintain Jewish identity as a form of kinship which unites the various strands of Jews into a form of manufactured kinship. Modern American Jewish “traditions” are usually nominal in nature serving primarily to establish Jewishness. For kinship to provide de facto nepotistic advantage, Jewish identity must be made visible to other Jews, but not obvious to Gentiles. Keeping track of who are Jews of influence is a primary activity of Jewish organizations.

      Not sure about kinship advantage stuff and Zionism. I see much more of that in my grandparent's generation. I see more of that with Mormons and South Asians than Jews. I think Jews have reached the point where Zionism is a collective interest, not an individual one.

      JEFFB- “True. But 2/3rds of the kids are being raised Jewish. Intermarriage is effectively becoming a form of proselytization.”

      Indeed, and an interesting phenomenon. There is the additional phenomenon of the spouse of a Jew being accepted within the group as a temporary Jew by marriage, a Jew-in-law so to speak, entitled to partake in the joys of kinship on a provisional basis. Jewishness becoming a form of birthright guild to advance the fortunes of its members through mutual support.

      I would agree.

      Anti-Zionist Jews are usually middle class Jewish reformers who wish to eliminate the centrality of Israel and Zionism to the Jewish identity due to negative effect Israeli actions may have on Jewish identity.

      Agree with revisions here. JVP is simply destructive to Jewish identity and so hostile to the community that I have trouble considering them reformers. Ultimately they are standing against their people in solidarity with an enemy. That's not reform, that's opposition. I'd say your characterization is more the case with J-Street, INN, Reform Jewish humanism.... In other words you have to go slightly to the right. Perhaps non-Zionist and liberal-Zionist.

      A desire to see an ethical Israel I think unifies Jews it doesn't divide them. A desire to see Israel destroyed is a fringe position that alienates one completely from the community. If my brother has a drinking problem as part of the family I want to see him get sober. If I talk of wanting to see him die in a car crash that's not strengthening family bonds.

      Most anti-Zionist Jews seem less commited to anti-imperialism, support for empire consistent with success.

      Not sure what that means. I agree many of them don't have a firm anti-imperialist frame beyond what most leftists do but I'm not sure that means much.

      Jewish Zionist fat-cats are diehard Israeli supporters who see such support as critical to their power-seeking agenda.

      I'm not sure I'd agree. You seek power to do stuff with it. To quote George Bush you don't build up political capital to put in the cupboard you build it up to spend it. I think most Jewish Zionist fat cats are actual Zionist. They want Israel intrinsically not as part of a scheme.

    • @Maghlawatan

      Rapidly growing economy. Stable and growing population. Rapid increasing military power.

      Sorry don't see Israel as unstable. To think this through go down a list of countries in the world and has them on "better or worse shape than Israel". I think you'll find under 20% in the better shape box.

    • @Yonah

      Figure I'd break this out.

      In terms of sheer numbers, the flower of American Jewish culture was in the early part of the 20th century, when the traditions were familiar and the language was spoken without forethought naturally.

      True. But those traditions are Russian traditions, Polish traditions... Some could survive here but most couldn't. Community law enforcement made sense in Russia. It made sense in ethnic ghettos here when the law was mostly about keeping the workers in line not resolving their internal squabbles. Today we have good access to American law enforcement. What would preserving those traditions even look like? In 2017 how would the Jewish community (which is not even discipline a Jewish criminal more effectively than the state without committing acts that are likely to get that community in serious trouble? Most of our traditions assume you have a Jewish neighborhood, most American Jews don't. Etc...

      We could create symbolic reenactments of the tradition, but we can't have the tradition.

      That full flowering birthed a generation or two during which intra Jewish marriages dominated, creating a culture that was definable and easily findable by social scientists. We are now in a stage after that with out marriage being the rule rather than the exception. .

      True. But 2/3rds of the kids are being raised Jewish. Intermarriage is effectively becoming a form of proselytization. Hard to know how this plays out, but it could result in a growing Jewish community.

      It is this mass movement away from Jewish traditions texts and languages that I mourn.
      But weiter, as pronounced in yiddish, viter, onward further, what are the future facts.
      There are many flowering of small groups who ponder what jew will mean in the future, particularly in america, these are small groups, not a mass movement.

      I'll give my prediction. 2100 world Jewry looks like:
      70% Israeli
      15% people with strong ties to Israel (married to an Israeli, child of an Israeli, has Israeli children, owns home in Israel)
      15% no strong ties to Israel

      The world Jewish community in 2100 looks mostly like an expat community. Judaism is defined by the Israeli state church. The American Jewish establishment no longer feels any particular need to stay close to tradition because there is a huge state church for the offshoots to rotate around. So American Judaism becomes more diverse, more experimental and more focused on satisfying the needs of the immediate community not a desperate fight for preservation in a sea of Christianity. We get to have the comfortable orthopraxy that Catholic Americans do because we like them have an orthodox state church defining the core.

      Jews love create religious cults and sects. With a strong center this becomes less threatening and no one particular needs to draw strong boundaries. We can re-engage with our wealth of secondary literature. The fight with orthodoxy is now mute, the liberals have in a meaningful sense definitely lost the battle to define Jewish. So we have a Judaism centered on the Israeli state church but where that 15% loosely affiliated comfortable find expression in: Kabbalah centers, Jewish / Buddhist hybrids, Jewish humanism, Messianic Judaism... So something like the new age movement being the lived Judaism with a solid orthodoxy being able to perform religious functions like marriages. Very much like Europe. Or to use another analogy what we had in Alexandria before the first Roman-Jewish war.

      if I were to travel to the future in 50 years, in American big cities I would seek out the modern orthodox, a group that will shrink in size, but should persist,

      Good news for you. It is growing not shrinking. High birthrate, collapse of Conservative Judaism and refugees from Hasidic movements and immigration from Israel have reversed the trend. It is however becoming more theologically diverse.

    • @jon s

      You are doing better than preserving the seed. You planted it and now are letting it grow in its native soil. Chag Sameach!

    • @Mooser

      “You won’t like my answer…”
      Doesn’t matter, I won’t see it.

      Then why did you ask? Well back to ignoring you.

    • @Mooser

      You won't like my answer .. but dispensationalism. By 1750 and growing every year since then there was a general belief that Jews had specific dispensation from God and a specific role. That contrasts with the more typical Christian theology that Judaism is the burnt out husk of a once important religion and Jews in sticking to it were obstinate knowing rejectors of Christ and thus goodness. The belief that Jews aren't rejecting God's plan but rather are still fulfilling an alternative plan or different plan creates enough room to diffuse total hatred. Antisemitism at its core depends crucially on the mythology that Jews are the knowing agents of Satan. There can be variants Satan can be whatever the person sees as the force of evil in the world: archons, global capital, sexual libertines. But the myth is the same. The Jews uniquely knowingly serve evil. Dispensationalism makes that belief impossible since Judaism is still part of God's plan.

      With dispensationalism Jews are at worst just unsaved. Jews may be going to hell but they are going to hell for the same reason: Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists... are going to hell. There is nothing specially evil about them, they aren't active agents of hell. Not only that but because of our covenant we can often attain a status like Jehovah's witnesses or Unitarians of almost Christian (in their eyes). And that creates more tolerance.

      I'm very happy about Pentecostalism spreading all through Latin America and Africa.

    • @Eljay

      I've supported the Kurdish independence for decades since slightly before the first gulf war.

      As for RoHa. Given that I was citing from memory how is that wrong except it is possible worse. Jews are around 15m globally. Zionists are hundreds of millions at least. "Zionists are the enemies of mankind.". I might say that ebola or mosquitos are enemies of mankind but I can't imagine saying that about a political movement (which is how he meant it).

      Yep. You all are way over my violence quotient with that rhetoric.

    • @Mooser

      And what anti-Jewish laws or reduction of rights did they [Henry Ford and Father Coughlin lead to?

      The question was not whether they restricted legal rights but whether they were antisemites. I said two days ago that American antisemitism was mostly social not legal. My opinion hasn't changed. If you want legal changes though from those two I'd say restricted immigration laws that specifically targeted countries with high Jewish populations.

      Outside the USA it was more serious. Ford's articles were cited often by Nazi propagandists including in Mein Kampf. He was openly cited as an inspiration. So I'd say there was legal impact there. Also Ford was a major financier of the 2nd Klan's rise starting in 1922, Ford's motives were antisemitic but I'd say the legal (and social) impact was felt mostly other minorities.

      Unless you can point out the inherent or essential differences between Jews, African-Americans and Native Americans, I have to use them as a standard.

      Standard for what? My argument is Jews had it somewhat worse than Poles and Italians, that there was some antisemitism in the USA. Things were good but not idea. It obviously was never close to as bad for Jews in the USA as it was for Blacks and Native-Americans.

    • @Mooser

      Well, that seems like an easy enough thing to do, to shut your yap. But unfortunately, your own ego is much, much stronger than any feeling you have for the Jewish people.

      I think I'm helping. That little comment about Charlotte being a wonderful example. Clear evidence that after you cut through the lies and the insults there is nothing to the BDS case. The rudeness isn't about Israel, Israel is just an excuse for the rudeness.

    • @Eljay

      RoHa believes that Jews in America should assimilate and you believe that Jews in America…should assimilate. Yeah, the difference is staggering.

      RoHa has called Jews enemies of all humanity. I remember being shocked when he said that. But yeah that does make a difference about where we are coming from.

    • @yonah

      I understand where you are coming from. But I have to agree with Jabotinsky about שלילת הגלות . The Judaism of the first generation in the American diaspora was built on the horrors of the Pale of the Settlement. It was a product of the Tzar's hatred and exclusion. The Jewish culture of my great grandparents couldn't possible last in a decent society. If I myself spoke Yiddish I could pass on to my daughter the words, but I couldn't pass on the tight integrated community of my grandparents and great grandparents that made Yiddish their language of safety. There are no Cossacks to be safe from. Teaching it would be a ritualistic empty gesture. Preservation for the sake of preservation. Sure I'll do a little of that but that's just passing on some knick knacks to decorate her thoroughly American consciousness.

      I think Herzl is right about the Jewish religion being that for Judaea. It was an amazing triumph of will that the rituals and customs of that alien culture preserved through the centuries long after the context for them was destroyed with time. I delight in how Israel is creating a healthy context for those rituals of Judaism. And similarly I want Israel to create the context for whatever is worth preserving from the Pale, whatever is worth preserving from Muslim spain, whatever is worth preserving from Morocco.

      Jews like me can help Jews reach the higher plane (aliyah in its true sense) but we are also spiritual poison. We are an asset and at the same time a teether to slavery. From birth I've learned how to live in a Christian country. I know Luther, Calvin and Augustine better than I know Talmud. I try to help, but i am aware that I need to get out of the way.

      Let the Israelis over the next few generations decide what's worth preserving of my Jewish culture. I preserve that best by preserving them. The ever rising numbers of sabra and their Judaism of freedom is how a Jewish culture worth preserving is kept for centuries to come.



      And that answer to yonah is why he took the comment from me and the comment from RoHa quite differently. The context is different, the intent is different so ultimately he meaning is different. Yonah knows I'm coming from a place of love of the Jewish people.

    • @Eljay

      Since you are quoting me. Yes agree with the analogy. Quite fair and quite true.

    • @Emory Riddle

      What?The Japanese attack on the US navy discredited supposed American anti-Semites?

      Emery. Yes Henry Ford and Father Coughlin were antisemites. Coughlin spent the whole show right after Kristallnacht talking about how bad Jews were and what a terrific moment this was. He regularly was concerned about how " “Jewish” financiers controled world politics, He campaigned for the Christian Front which was an internal militia designed to protect the country against communists and Jews. He setup "buy Christian" rallies encouraging people to boycott Jewish businesses. Should I do Henry Ford as well?

      And as I mentioned the American Antisemetic movement had tied itself directly to the antiwar movement. So when an axis power attacked us, sinking most of the most of the pacific fleet the country became a lot more hostile towards the antiwar rhetoric including the antisemitic rhetoric that was an important component. Nazi sympathizers just weren't in fashion anymore.

      If you mean it makes no sense from a logical dispassionate policy perspective. Well of course it doesn't! Antisemitism never does well from people who like logical dispassionate policy perspectives. The whole thing is ridiculous. Usually based on a completely distorted sense of proportion combined with an unwillingness to consider context.

      And this is “Essentially what Jews are trying to head off in the BDS movement.”

      If you don't understand the problem with Ford and Coughlin and / or agree with them then I doubt I'm going to be able to explain the analogy. So let's hold till the next round after you respond on Coughlin.

      P.S. Mooser wonderful example this post. Henry Ford and Father Coughlin the two examples I gave are only "supposed anti-semites" now. Nothing to worry about in your organization

    • @Mooser

      What exactly did we see at Charlottesville? We saw white supremacists, white nationalists, neo-Confederates, neo-Nazis, and various militias. Most of them are not terribly fond of Jews.
      In terms of symbology we had: swastikas, confederate flags, lots of anti-Muslim banners, some d antisemitic banners, and "Trump/Pence" signs. Clear message is "Jews are just as bad as blacks and Muslims" because that's the point even the racists feels is in dispute. The rally was at the location of a civil war monument so that's mainly anti-black. FWIW the guy in the status Robert E. Lee was not only not an antisemite but appears to be something of a proto-Zionist. Lee considered his Jewish troops to be "Israelites" who practiced the "Jewish religion". The one person killed was a liberal protestant.

      After the whole thing, the entire world more or less condemned the rally in the harshest terms proving how marginal this group was.

      Sorry not feeling the paralyzing fear here.


      Now let's contrast that with your group. Which ceremonially holds week long anti-Jewish demonstrations all over the country for years running. They unite with organizations that have a long track record of deporting over a million Jews and killing thousands of Jews since the holocaust. They openly and explicitly call for the destruction of whole Jewish cities. They engage in aggressive genocidal rhetoric towards over 1/2 the Jewish population. They often engage in the same sort of conspiracy theories. There are some minor differences, they aren't concerned about us polluting white women sexually just ideologically. Their hatred towards Jews is unique and focused not a diffuse after thought. They have a long track record of attacking Jewish events in multiple forms not just holding demonstrations.

      Let's take their most popular slogans about hating Jews:

      Unite the right: "The goyim know" -- not sure what they supposedly know. Not even sure they know what they supposedly know. A little paranoid perhaps but not even a clear claim. Mostly I think they don't like the term "goyim" which somehow right wingers have decided is an insult. Might even clear the whole thing up by teaching them about shegetz.

      BDS -- "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" -- free of what? Free of oppression, well who is doing the oppressing? Free politically, it is a democracy so free politically implies a democracy that puts Jews in their rightful place at the bottom. Or most likely what it obviously is a reference to Judenfrei in the cute BDS style of staying one step back from endorsing the final solution.

      So why exactly should I consider Charlottesville any worse than what happens on major campuses regularly? If there were 1000 Charlottesville happening per year than I would have been as worried about it as I was about BDS when it was growing. But 1 diffuse rally by people who have to argue amongst themselves whether we are even worth hating anymore? Please.

    • @festus

      FWIW you can look at my posts at the time. I thought it was overblown hysteria mixed with partisanship at the time and I haven't changed my mind. I suspect we don't agree on much but this whole surge in dangerous antisemitism on the right is poppycock.

      If you do want an attack that resulted in fatalities: Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting. 3 people died, The intent was to kill Jews and "their accomlices" (stated at trial, motive is not contested: ) though the murderer didn't plan well. He ended up killing 2 Methodists who were visiting 1 Catholic who worked there and missed the shot he took at the Jewish person visiting. He did express regret about one of the Methodists (who was only 14 years old).

    • @festus

      Most Jews arrived at the same time as Italians, Poles, ... they were part of the same euro ethnic discrimination. So they got all that plus. The immigration quotas from 1921 if you notice target those Eastern European countries with high Jewish populations, that was not an accident. There were specifically Antisemetic instances, the most serious being General Grant (later president) order the ethnic cleansing of all Jews from Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky to stop the black market:

      There was an organized campaign of demonization starting in the 1920s (as part of the general rise of the 2nd klan) headed by people like Henry Ford and Father Coughlin. Essentially what Jews are trying to head off in the BDS movement. The strong ties between this movement and the anti-war movement helped Jews a lot because Pearl Harbor ended up discrediting the American Antisemites.

      Many of the lobbies (or their parent organizations) the BDSers complain about originally formed in the post WWII era to fight anti-Jewish immigration quotas. They then turned their attention on the country clubs and college quotas. Then American business that participated in the Arab boycott of Israel because at that point the Arab boycott was explicitly antisemitic (not doing business with companies that had lots of Jews).

      If you want to go further back we can talk about the German and Sephardic Jewish community and issues in colonial and post-colonial America. For example the issues regarding trinitarian oaths well into the early 19th century in many colonial / state / municipal governments to hold office. But those aren't the ancestors of most of today's American Jews.

      All told Jews have had it good in America. There certainly were high levels of Antisemitism, denying that is falsifying history. But this was in a context where there often were still high levels of anti-lots-of-otherstuffism. Jews started being counted among white people by the 1940s. Where there is antisemitism today it comes from marginal groups not societal leaders. Jews are fighting to keep it that way.

  • Zohra Drif's Algeria memoir shows how occupation leads to terrible violence
    • @Eva

      Jews don't claim to be spreading Judaism. They claim to have been the descendents of the people of Judaea (Jew is literally just another form of Judean). Its the Palestinians who claim they were originally Jews in the time of Judaea, not the Jews, the Jews disagree and associate them mainly with later migrations into the territory. Finally, one of the central claims of Zionism is that Jews exist as a people separate from the Jewish religion.

      Exactly 0 of: Netanyahu, Olmart, Sharon, Peres, Rabin, Shamir, Begin, Mair, Eskhol, Sharatt, Allon, Ben Gurion believe the Jewish God even exists. None of them kept kosher. If Judaism is just a system of belief and practice in what sense are they Jewish?

      So cute attempt, but no it doesn't work.

    • You don't have to use the Algerians as an analogy. 120 years didn't break the Jewish people. Pompy conquered Judaea in 63 BCE. The Bar Kokhba revolt started 132 CE. Odd that you don't apply this idea to the Jewish people. You think that BDS will break them and they will agree to live under an Araby government or flee their homeland forever because of mild economic pressure.

      The problem with the Algerian analogy is that the Jews have already responded to FLN type tactics in quite different ways. An analogy with Israel would be if:
      a) After the French pullout the Pied-Noir had decided to fight on their own without France, though likely taking some French weapons.
      b) The Pied-Noir unified around a territorial section of Algeria with was economically viable, expelled large number of Algerians from their sectional territory and then created a fortress state in that territory.

      I think the Pied-Noirs win if they do that. France has far less reason to abandon Algeria if they don't have to send 400k conscripts to hold it. The FLN has a much harder time attacking a fortress state from without than a France like state from within. The war in Algeria was not about whether the Pied-Noir could live their, but if they could live their as the managerial and upper class. This key difference between the Israelis and the Pied-Noir gets ignored the Pied-Noir were there to exploit the local labor. When they could no longer exploit the local labor they left. The Israelis are there for the land. The local labor is at best a nice to have. Or to put this another way, the Pied-Noir ultimately needed Algerian compliance and cooperation. The Battle of Algers was about trying to terrorize the population back into compliance and cooperation. The Israelis do not ultimately need Palestinian compliance nor cooperation.

      The other key difference is there is no France to retreat to. Coffin or suitcase, the Israelis choose the coffin and fight to take as many enemy as they can with them to hell. The Pied-Noir in a kill or die all out population war, would also have won.

      1937 was when the Yishuv made the choice not to be Algeria. The Palestinians would be better off if they worked to get into the situation of the Algerians. The analogy breaks down badly.

      These analogies IMHO have done more than anything else to damage the Palestinian cause. They continue trying to fight an anti-colonial war against a very different type of opponent. The strong global support for Palestine comes from the fact that their opponent is seen as colonizers. And while some of the symptomology is similar a permanent mass migration is a very different thing than an economic colony.

      The Palestinians have never been able to establish the (I think well named) "informal Balance of Terror" with Israelis. They keep trying but the Israelis keep being willing to escalate the conflict. And that's because escalation is to the Israeli's advantage while escalation was not the Pied-Noir's advantage. Same problem that Israel's neighbors have experienced.

      Zohra Drif doesn't talk (at least in person haven't read the book) a moral / legal frame. She speaks about people pursuing their rational self interest using the means available. Protecting the weapons lab is more strategically important than killing a collaborator. Not more or less moral. Terror is a tool for breaking political deadlock and advancing political aims not an alternative to it. On that I suspect she would disagree with the thesis in your article.

      As far as the issue with terror tunnels. The issue is that Gaza defines their war as defensive. If they are attacking Israel it isn't defensive anymore. The Algerians wanted to conquer French Algeria not France.

  • Malak Mattar dreamed of studying art abroad, now she is stuck in Gaza
    • @rhkroell

      Well then you and Amigo will get along. I stand corrected about you. We don't have to talk again.

    • @rhkroell

      Guess you don't want questions answered anymore or "thorny topics associated with the Palestinian/Israeli conflict can be debated by people in a civil manner".

      Tis a pity.

    • @rhkroell

      First, I’m perplexed by the fact that highly intelligent Jewish Americans would choose to identify with the racist ideology of Zionism while claiming to be opposed to racism/antisemitism.

      Zionism isn't racist. That's a claim of its opponents which is false. Once you accept that nationality is a social construction not a racial one you don't have racism. Israel even in practice isn't racist. Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians are the same race. Their different treatment is not based on race.

      Now there are things that make Israel a little bad on this score. For example religious conversion in Israel is crazy difficult. In which case USA Jews have a 35 year track record of trying to address this issue. There is also some more structural discrimination which Israelis and Americans try and fix.

      Consider the situation in the American south. Places like Mississippi were clearly racist states in the 1950s. The goal was to reform Mississippi not destroy it. There is no inconsistency in opposing the destruction of Mississippi and at the same time working to end Jim Crow laws.

      I don’t understand Jewish ethnic/tribal loyalties anymore than I am able to understand any person’s belief in ideologies like pan-Germanism, pan-Slavism or pan-Arabism.

      A person's individual well being is enhanced by being part of a nation. The nation is able to give them more than it takes on average by a lot. Successful nations are those that have a strong common identity, and those are the ones that grow because their population is healthy and other groups join. Nationalism is an evolutionarily successful strategy for societies.

      Jews were a tiny people scattered across the world for centuries. Without tribal solidarity they simply wouldn't have existed. Or to put it another way, the tiny scattered people that survive are those that have strong tribal loyalty. Germans developed a common identity coming out of horrific civil wars. Or to put it another way. Had Germany not developed a common identity there wouldn't be a German people they would be a family of smaller nations by now. Arabs had spent centuries colonized and look back to a time of common identity with fondness. Or to put it the way Ba'ath thinkers would have: Arabs are aiming for a living standard like Europeans and the best way for them to have gotten it would have been for them to consider Arabs first. The horrors they are experiencing now is that pan-Arabism failed. Finally, consider what's happening in America right now. America has always had a very weak set of cultural bonds. How much culture shared between Nashville, Miami and Anchorage? When we are put under pressure by deep cultural fissures create an inability to share sacrifice for a common good. Would we have had a Donald Trump if various American factions were less selfish?

    • @rhkroell

      I never talked about biology I talked about culture. I don't care about biology at all. Biologically there is no difference between Mizrahi Jews from Palestine and the Muslim Palestinians. The war is over ideology not biology. Were the Palestinians willing to become Israelis the way the Mizrahi did as far as I'm concerned there would be nothing to fight about.

      That being said I find the idea that there is no descent from Judaeans highly unlikely. There is simply no evidence in the historical record of the kind of hard breaks you would see with a 100% population shift. 10% of the Roman Empire were Jews. Why would it be the case that none of those people are my ancestors? I suspect they are also your ancestors too so I'm not saying much. 70 generations is a very long time, essentially everyone in Europe is descended from everyone that far back who lived in their region.

      Shlomo Sand is a believer that all nations are constructions. His rhetoric and book are directed at one particular case because he's POed at Israel. That book gets abused.

      What are you so perplexed by?

    • @rhkroell

      To be honest I'm not all that fluid on theories of nationalism. That being said here would be my take on nationalism. Most animals and plants are able to make sacrifices for close genetic kin. We have altruism genes. Cooperation at the gene level makes sense out to about 3rd cousins. Unlike insects humans are strictly limited in how many biological relations they are likely to create. Tribes, packs... are limited in size to the low triple digits for non-insects.

      If you want to go beyond you need a mixture of social contract and social tyranny. The smaller and more homogenous the group the easier it is to form common interests and ideology. The larger the group the more common interest conflict and the less democratic it will be.

      Nations are a particularly neat trick where you get a large number of individuals to attach extreme importance to some combination of language, culture, race, religion, ethnicity... so as to believe they have a greater common interest which allows for a greater common interest. In other words you can capture most of the advantages in terms of homogeneity of a smaller group like a city-state and capture most of the advantages of scale of a larger group like an empire.

      There really are territories. Those territories often have groups that have unique cultural characteristics. So in that sense nations are real. But they are mixed, multiple and fluid. How people identify has to do with the political options available to them.

      Not sure if that answers the question. You might have to be more specific if not.

    • @rhkroell

      Well assuming you are being sincere...

      How do Irish Americans identify with the history of the Irish? Or Italian Americans identify with the history of Italy? Same process for Jews identifying with Jewish history.

      As for a rogue criminal nation. Jews don't see it that way. What they see is a glorious country that has accomplished amazing things in a very short period of time. There are few places that have had to create themselves to that extent that quickly. It has done so against amazing odds. The rogue / criminal is seen as grossly unfair ferocious hostility using standards which are simply not applied to other countries. Israel isn't perfect but it is far better than other countries at the same stage of development either currently or historically.

  • My congressman, Ted Lieu, supports human rights everywhere but Palestine
    • @Bumblebye

      I think you lost the thread of discussion. The Jerusalem embassy act passed in 1995. The BDS related act is still being considered.

    • @just

      Ben Norton's summary cuts out all the narrative elements and just includes quotes of anger. He would have done his readers a much better service by doing the exact opposite. Cut out all the anger and quote and explicate on the narrative. Abby Martin likely cut that video to include the shocking parts already, which is a pity.

      You in the end didn't really respond to my point. If you don't want to see the anger in that video become state policy as those kids grow into middle age what do you intend that's constructive to try and head it off? Sure you can insult me. And that does what?

      Assume you are right about Remi Kanazi. Assume all he is asking for is a just and equal society that's to everyone's benefit. And the hatred and contempt distracted me. That in the end the tone was so off putting that when he got to the "I'm not the bad guy" I was like "well yeah you are" because of some defect in my listening skills. If it were just me, who cares? But it isn't. Because no one on the Jewish side believes the Palestinians want a just and equal society. Have you ever considered why not? Could it be the tone really is a problem?

      As for the Facebook question. It was a series of flirty pictures by Israeli underage teens during the Gaza war. The juxtaposition of flirty images and hardcore anti-Palestinian sentiment had a similar effect on you and we talked about the fact that the attitude in the young has me worried. Couldn't remember enough key words to find a 3 year old article to job your memory beyond that.

    • @JosephA

      Who in their right mind disputes this fact and expects to be taken seriously?

      And if you phrase the question that way then the answer should be no one. Except that's clearly not the case. You gotta ask yourself what assumptions are you making that someone else might reject. Try it out. Make a mental list of the assumptions in this one sentence: There are Palestinian families that have been on that land for 20+ generations. when you get over 3 you are starting to see the problem.

      Otherwise you are stuck with the problem that israelis must not be in their right mind.

    • @Donald Johnson

      I can’t imagine what it would be like being Palestinian and having to live in a place where someone like you would be considered relatively liberal. And to be told constantly by such liberals to be more sensitive to the racists who had their boots on my neck.

      I agree with you that's your problem in really understand Zionism. I have no trouble imaging it at all. We are bathed in that history from early childhood. That's what the good times looked like. The bad times were much worse. And mostly that's what Jews living in Muslim countries had. That's what Palestine was like before 47-9. And that's why you can't win your debate with your friend. Because in the end, he might not have been honest enough to admit it possible not to himself: but if the cost of not going back to that is doing truly horrible things the Jews are going to do those horrible things. Israel is Judaism's last stand. We become a normal country or at least we get to die like men and not cockroaches.

      Everything else is negotiable details.

      I think honest Jews can admit that one of Israel's gifts was to see the world from Tzar's point of view. Seeing it from the Palestinian's point of view we could do for centuries. That's why Jews had such a great reputation being the voice of the oppressed. That's where that tradition came from. We weren't faking it. And from the other side, the Jews are the voice of experience in handling situations like this for the Palestinians. This generation of Palestinians is the first that has a meaningful number who don't speak Arabic. As the last of the people who remember a Palestine before there was an Israel die, they are starting to struggle with what it means to be a nation in the diaspora. There is a lot of that early struggle in the Mishnah.

      The American kids the same age as the kids as the kids in the video are the first generation of Jews who don't personally have holes in their family tree because of antisemitism. Those Israeli kids aren't there yet, but their children will be there.

      Ultimately though if you don't think you can ever convince people like me to change policy then I'd ask you what is the point of the whole BDS movement again? How does this play out so you get the result you want?

      Ask yourself the question. If you can't relate and I can. Why are you so sure I can't teach them how to avoid our mistakes?

    • @Amigo

      The boycott applies to East Jerusalem. It should be the policy of the United States to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel, both de jure and de facto.

      That is USA law. Presidents have been breaking it which has created confusion on this issue.

    • @JosephA

      The average Israeli doesn't accept your narrative that Israeli-Arabs are Palestinians. They put them into a different mental category. You all think it is a good idea to change that. You all work hard to change that. Not IMHO a good idea. A much better idea is to convince Israelis that the people living in the West Bank are Israeli-Arabs.

    • @Just

      This is what I talked about last time you were freaked out about the facebook posts. Denormalization has created a generation of young Israelis who have never in their lives had a positive experience from the Palestinians. They don't know any as friends. They have however lived with the effects of conflict for life. They lost friends and family in the wave of suicide bombings. They constantly have to live with emergency protocols. They see rejectionism, and rightfully blame that on Palestinians. Young Israelis often hate Palestinians. What do you think happens in 25 years when that generation is the one in power in Israel? What happens when they are the ones deciding policy?

      When I talk about how diminishing hatred at an interpersonal level by creating more opportunities for cooperation is the most urgent issue to get addressed: I'm a racist, I'm a fascist..... No I'm a realist. Their elders remember the West Bank before the 1st intifada. They remember when the border was porous and they could go safely to the Arab parts of the West Bank. They remember cultural exchange. Many had Palestinians friends or if not friends at least coworkers. Their elders can imagine a peace. They might not have been willing to accept it on Abbas' terms but they are capable of having the 2SS debate. The younger generation may not be.

      That's what cultivating hatred does. You all work hard at encouraging the Palestinians to cultivate hatred. You justify it. You support it. You focus on unfixable problems. You want hatred to go further. I say aim for something like the Israel/Palestine of the 1970s because today the best the Palestinians can get. It is far better than what they have today. Worry about the future once you solve the rather serious problems of the present.

      What you saw in that video is the flip side and the effect of this:

    • I am sure he’s aware that no action challenging the legality of boycotts has ever succeeded in the United States

      This is a weird recent claim of the BDS movement that is obvious false.

      First off there is a standing government agency that monitors foreign boycott law compliance: . This particularly applied to boycotts of Israel which were defined as firms with Jewish employees and firms that shipped using cargo ships that also made call on Israeli ports.

      Ribicoff Amendment (Tax Reform Act of 1976) forbid US companies and their subsidiaries from complying with or supporting a foreign country’s boycott of another country unless the US also approves of the boycott. Export Administration Act of 1979 creates powers of enforcement for the US Department of Commerce to the Ribicoff Amendment.
      Enforces anti-secondary boycott laws (especially the Labor-Management Relations Act of 1947 (29 U.S.C.A. § 141 et seq.)) This would be organizing boycotts of agencies that do business with a business one hates. The most obvious example is the Teamsters not delivering goods to a company that sells products to a company whose workers are striking. Boycotting G4S, Motorolla… for refusing to boycott Israel would be a crime under the secondary boycott provisions.

      For a recent case with a finding of guilt: , 520 S. Michigan Ave. Associates, Ltd. v. Unite Here Local 1, 13-1938, 2014 WL 3720253 (7th Cir. July 29, 2014).

      A slightly older example is Yale University which prohibiting military recruiting as part of a boycott against discrimination against homosexuals. They lost.

      And of course the most famous example is federal government repeatedly fined banks in the south that refused to extend credit (asn individual boycott) to blacks involved in the civil rights movement.

      Boycotting is a regulated activity in the United States.

  • Do not turn the Balfour Declaration into a holy Jewish text
    • @Maghlawatan

      Do you know anything about the Israeli kidney industry?

      Only thing I know of is that an Israeli biotech developed a chip / cell growth program to advance towards kidney replacement (were able to replace one subsystem in the kidney) and repair. Not really an industry not even a usable technology yet for actual human patients but a major step towards organ replacement.

    • @amigo

      That,s a bit rich coming from the zio who bald faced claims the existence of a “US Law” that has only been introduced and has not moved any further.

      What are you talking about? It passed the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995. Senate (93–5),and the House (374–37)

    • @Maghlawatan

      Where do you guys get this stuff? That's just make up negative facts and assert them.

      Now in real life.
      Gun crime 1/12 USA levels
      Murder rate 1/2 USA levels
      Rape 60% USA levels
      Assault resulting in injury 1/6th USA levels

      and like most of the world higher burglary than USA levels
      only thing where Israel stands out is auto theft at 20% higher than the fairly high USA levels.

      in terms of non serious crime worth mentioning
      soft drug use 1/5th USA levels (stereotypes do have some basis)

    • @eljay

      Balfour was abouts migration. All 4 neighborhoods my grandparents grew up were Jewish neighborhoods at the time and have none (or almost none) Jewish persons living there today. The neighborhood I live in is moving from Italian, Presbyterian and Jewish to South Asian. I don't consider that immoral and when done unto me either.

      I support immigration. I support the natural flow of people from one place to another. And most directly I strongly oppose here in the USA the "anchor baby" crowd that argues that the children of illegal immigrants born here aren't Americans. So while you enjoy playing the hypocrisy card in this case you are just bald faced lying.

    • @Mooser

      If you have ever discussed these things with anybody other than other Zionists, you might understand where you are coming from.

      I do all the time. I had a longish conversation about these things in fact yesterday after the Algeria talk. Had exactly the attitude I love from gentiles. Israel is just another pain in the ass middle eastern state no different than the rest of them. Doesn't give a damn about the Palestinians, doesn't give a damn about the Jews. Cares about the American military.

    • @Maghlawatan

      It was 2000 they killed. The Israelis refused to provide intelligence assist on leftist Jews. The weapons sold to Argentina ($700 millio) would have been worthless for the "dirty war". What Begin was selling was mainly the stuff Argentina would later use against the British. Not shockingly Begin was not a big fan of the British.

      So no they didn't help in the killing of Jews in any way. They didn't object to the regime. Israel has worked (mostly succesfully) to be friendly with all of Argentina's governments.

      As an aside unknown to the Israelis many members of the Junta thought Jews were still interested in the Andinia Plan. This was an alternative location on some of the Argentinian Islands for the Jewish state that early Zionists had considered. They tortured many of the leftist Jews to find out more information about their related activities. A wonderful example of the damage your side causes in spreading all sorts of wild conspiracies about Zionists.

    • @John O

      Of course. The Arabs caused trouble first, then the Palestinians (is there a difference?) and finally, the Jews. Basically, the old Zionist crap about “you forced us to commit atrocities. We didn’t want to but we had to, because you hate us more than you love your own children …blah blah.”

      Sorry the historical of events offends you. But yes. The Arabs (not the Palestinians hey didn't exist as a distinct population yet) pushed for immigration quotas. Then the Syrians sent activists in to whip the people into committing atrocities in the 1920s. That's where a Palestinian consciousness begins to arrive as well. Jews first start hitting back hard in 1937.

    • @lyn117

      Where in that post did I say anything remotely like might makes right?

    • @John O

      Fair enough let's discuss that. I suspect Balfour had a typical colony in mind and in his mind the colony would be administered with the same civil rights to all the inhabitants. I think the British did an imperfect job, were a bit uneven but did try hard to implement that policy. The Arabs and later the Palestinians and even later the Jews opposed it, so it Britain wasn't able to pull it off.

      Where do you want to go with this.

    • Robert certainly we can have an honest conversation about Balfour. But that means an honest conversation. One where we talk about the context of Balfour. In 1882 the world moved from being merely anti-Judaic:Judaism was a pernicious evil that needed to be stamped out, to Antisemitic: Jews as a people were a pernicious evil that needed to be stamped out. Russia sponsored this change. Huge movements pushed back against Jewish advancement in France and Germany. England didn't have these problems because while there was secret Judaism in England to some extent Judaism was illegal. Permitting Jews to live in England, even as non citizens was widely seen as "abandonment of Christianity". Official toleration of Judaism didn't exist until 1753 (against strong opposition) and full legalization only occurred in 1858. Changes like this had gone through several cycles previously most recently when Cromwell had allowed for toleration but that had been quickly reversed.

      So let's start with the basic question. Why do you believe you would be writing about how terrible Balfour was from England were it not for Balfour having fundamentally changed the status of Jews from stateless parasites to just another nation?

      So continuing Balfour allows for a little migration and then England returns to normal choking off migration because the residents object. During that period of time antisemitic ideology is put into practice and 1/2 of European Jewry is physically destroyed. This happens with the widespread and broad support of huge chunks of the populations in the countries involved. The rest of the world, including your country and my country elite agree that Jews are a noxious people but thinks extermination is perhaps a bit too much. They register their opposition, they rescue some small fraction. but at the same time block any attempt at large scale resettlement to get the Jews of eastern europe out of danger during the period when the Nazi regime was waffling between ethnic cleansing and genocide.

      England's half hearted attempts are defeated by Palestinian Jews and global Zionists and the Jews end up with a state. Antisemitism and anti-judaic themes continues to spread all throughout the world by the Russians now called the Soviets who repurpose Nazi propaganda and tie it to the anticolonial agenda. Most of the world's Jewish communities are destroyed, but instead of this being some horrible tragedy the Jews benefit because Israel now exists.

      So that's the legacy of Balfour. Your life. My life. Millions of Jews living in happiness and peace. When you oppose Balfour but let's talk about how this plays out in a world without Balfour. Let's have that honest discussion. Let's discuss if opposition to Balfour is really opposition to Hitler having only wiped 1/3rd of the Jews off the map and that the final solution isn't progressing in the modern world because of Israel.

      Now I'll agree the Palestinians got the short end of the stick here. Up against a tremendous historical wave which would have required excellent leadership to survive intact they play badly and lose badly. The negative results for them is a partially fixable problem. There certainly is some unfairness that unlike many of the other post colonial people's there movement failed. Their opponents were more heavily motivated, damaging short term profits did nothing to dissuade them from the Zionist program.

      So 200 years from now there the Palestinian nation has dissolved and the descendents of the Palestinians get to live in a technologically advanced happy healthy country. OK. There was a lot of suffering to get there, quite a bit of it self inflicted. Betting into a great hand makes you lose chips even if you have a good hand. Any card that hits the board that doesn't make your hand better, makes it worse. Both of those are in some sense "unfair". But those are the rules of the game.

      So go ahead Robert let's discuss Balfour.

  • Support for Israel is tumbling-- even among young Orthodox Jews
    • @Mooser

      Only a matter of time until one of the denominations starts repudiating Zionism.

      I seriously doubt it. 87% strong support for anti-BDS activities. I think the intermarriage with Israelis and the slowly rightward shift of Jews erodes anti-Zionism's potentially ceiling.

    • @Phil

      Read the article. Very interesting. Though their definition of left orthodoxy includes 16% who didn't go to Jewish day school, 27% who don't don tefillin and 34% who don't believe the torah was given at Sinai. I'd say what we are really looking at is Jews who are Conservative in all but name. Obviously there is overlap. So I'm not sure entirely they are "like the group from which INN draws". I think we are talking the same group.

      They didn't ask enough questions about Israel unfortunately. The issues that did bother this group though are indicative of a USA focus: cost of Jewish day school and sexism in shul. The sexism is shul though makes a point again about kotel being a terribly bad policy choice.

      The other graph the article didn't mention was their "why be orthodox" which again shows a community focus:
      42% orthodox community
      22% shabbat (family & community focus time)
      20% family

      Finally I do think you may be seeing some of what you want to see. On the details page we see stuff like:

      anti-BDS scores 87% strong support and 7% moderate support
      89% want a unified Jerusalem under Israeli control
      71% support more housing in the West Bank (outside of Jerusalem in Jerusalem 78%)
      only 43% would support a negotiated 2SS

      BTW here is a better link to the report:

  • An Atheist in the Yeshiva: The education of Yossi Zvi Gurvitz
    • @pabelmont

      I don’t believe that anyone thinks of the end-of-Zionism as a military defeat, or even any sort of military engagement.

      I don't agree. The rhetoric around BDS is genocidal not reformist, the most obvious example being how Jews arrived in Palestine many generations ago. The goals of BDS are the types that come from military defeat: clearing multiple Jewish cities and towns of their entire population, Israel abandoning huge swaths of annexed and populated territory, losing control of its border and flooding its civilization with an alien hostile population... These are the sorts of results that states experience when they have collapsed. The definition of a healthy functioning state is that it is able to stop those sorts of things from happening.

      Now I will agree that while BDS calls for Israel to accept the result it only would if it lost multiple major wars (and perhaps not even then) the actual call is phrased as support for some sort of mild sanctions. There are exceptions. To pick an example people on MW have certainly called for a sanctions regime that would lead to "complete economic collapse". No idea how that would be accomplished, but if we assume it could... the carrying capacity of the land of Israel is only about 850k-1.4m people without modern farming techniques and there is a population of about 10.5m people on that land currently. You do the math, what does a call for the "complete collapse of the economy" really mean were that to actually happen? If Israel cannot get nitrogen into the soil in ways that require a functioning modern economy (or access through trade to its products) in 3 years 90% of the population has migrated or is dead. That's arithmetic. What do you think Israel would be willing to do to avoid that fate? A call for total economic collapse is a call for war, just being cute.

      One can talk about mild sanctions or one can talk about the kind of pressure that completely destroys a modern highly functioning state. You can't talk about mild sanctions destroying a highly functioning state. Israel is not going to accept terms under treat of mild sanctions that it rejected multiple times under threat of war.

      You want to talk about "ending Zionism" you talking something like 100m dead. You want to talk about pressuring Israel for moderate reforms then you we can talk mild sanctions.

      I think Norman Finkelstein is absolutely right (and I don't say that much) in this video:

      But if BDS won a bit more support from governments, then trade-sanctions might eventuate which would persuade even the Israeli hard-hearters to relent, toward either a real 2SS or some kind of 1SS (more or less democratic and heavily Palestinian I should think).

      Certainly trade sanctions might lead to a slightly better offer than Olmart's. But nothing like the BDS demands. Why would Israelis agree to live in a Palestinian state rather than just deal with and attempt to circumvent trade-sanctions? How does that make sense?


      Note to Mooser since you keep bring this point up. Yes if 100m die in a series of wars the Arabs bounce back and the Jews don't. I do get the difference in societal depth.

    • @Citizen

      your conclusionary paragraph, I guess you mean “The Samson Option”?

      The Samson option is a doctrine that in a major conventional war where Israel was losing control of their territory to enemy forces they would utilize a first strike. I explicitly talked about nuclear exchange. Not sure what you mean by last paragraph. You talk about a state as powerful as Israel going down for the count, yes there could be multiple nuclear exchanges over a period of decades or an intense exchange involving dozens if not hundreds of missiles in a few days or less.

      States die bloody horrible deaths.

    • @lonely rico

      This is one of the areas where I disagree with BDSers a lot. I doubt it will happen. But even if we assume it does. happen it would be horrific.

      We've seen a few states die recently. Libya's death sent extremists and weapons all over Africa that the region the death toll is still rising from and we don't have a handle on the scope. Iraq's death has been rough and over the last 5 years just blew out Syria. Yemin's collapse has resulted in a horrific civil war. Colonial Chad's death really got going around 1940 when France was distracted with Germany. The country still hasn't stabilized and the last round of fighting in 2010 sent 200,000 new refugees fleeing.

      The IDF can easily hold its territory. For it to die either there has to be wars which have degraded it tremendously or the state has to have weakened enough that the army shatters. Israel unlike Ottoman Palestine is the top regional power. It has both tactical and strategic nuclear weapons, with a 2nd strike capability. It has an advanced pharmaceutical industry (so likely biological and chemical weapons). It has a first world air force. I can't imagine what a state that powerful collapsing looks like in terms of bloodshed. It could be 100m dead when you talk about degrading the IDF to the extent that it can't hold Palestine with or without a nuclear exchange. In terms of shattering. Consider what 40k experienced Sunni warriors who formed the core of ISIS meant. Now imagine the IDF breaking into militias and spreading violence through the region like what happened in Libya but with nukes and subs as Jews align themselves with whatever faction will take them in a desperate fight for new homes.

      We have not had countries this powerful collapse since World War 1. No one benefits from that. I don't think your get your wish, but your wish for a sudden collapse of the Zionist state is a nightmare for the people you want to help. One can imagine a gradual reform and gradual democratization where Israel becomes a state for all its citizens.

      So no "we all will not be much better off" if Zionism ends. And I don't think the majority of the world wants the end of Zionism if they understood what it meant.

    • @Yossi
      Compared to that, Christianity was a mere shadow. This was paganism at its brightest, most splendid side; the most alien values to those of the Judeo-Christian world; and I would have one day to be cured of my Spartan obsession. But when it comes to that hoary clash, the one we celebrate on Hanukkah, between Judaism and Hellenic culture, I am firmly in the Grecian camp. And years later, when I began to write, I titled my first essay, “I’m a Proud Hellenic.”

      Agree with you. I've had the same thoughts myself about Hanukkah. The wrong side won and had the Hellenistic Jews won the Jews (and really Judaism) would have been much better off had it turned out the other way. I also had the romantic attachment to the Hellenized inclusive Judaisms that existed from the time of the Maccabees to the Bar Kochba revolt. So I can relate to you there. In books like Enoch you see what could have been. But likely that faith would have died out like the cults of Cybele and Isis.

      Not much to say other than "me too".

    • @Keith

      violent myth-history has been transformed into the ideology of the modern state of Israel and of American Jewish Zionists.

      American Jewish Zionists are by and large ignorant of most of Talmud and what Talmud they are exposed to is mostly religious. For example the Talmud people start learning with is about when to eat the evening heave offering. Note that no one has actually eaten a heave offering in 19 and a half centuries. The myth that American Zionists draw from is American myth. A small settler people landing in the continent growing and expanding. The quest to be free from an oppressive Christian churches of Europe. A native people that start out friendly (Thanksgiving) but become hostile and dangerous (Plains wars). Etc...

      FWIW the myths that I think early Zionism itself came from things like the Russian workers movement, Hegelianism, German romanticism.... The Zionists drew on Judaism as a source for the myth, that's for example why Herzl was overruled and Palestine rather than Uganda is where Israel is located. Judaism had a theory of a return to Zion but the specifics were blank. Which is why I think originally (and even today) the means of return could have been almost anything. Zionism dialogues with Judaism but it really is a new Judaism. All the Judaisms that exist today are new. The Judaism of the Talmud simply isn't a viable faith for today's world neither for the Orthodox nor the Reform.

      In terms of the transformation of Orthodox Judaism in Israel I just don't see any evidence that the Messianic Zionism that exists today ever existed in Judaism. Too much of Zionist philosophy is 19th century, a reaction to Napoleon, for it to be authentically historical. Kahane is creating new theology he isn't discovering old theology. The best evidence for this is that is that the view of the Messianic Zionists are very dissimilar to Sicarii, Zealots... who are authentic and whatever sense you can ascribe "nationalism" in a modern sense to 1st century people are nationalist. But they mostly weren't even associated with the distinct Pharisaic Judaism (and of course they all predate Rabbinic Judaism).

      The Orthodox can't draw on authentic Jewish nationalistic sources in context. Take those groups above. Some of their literature survived (though not much). If the Orthodox actually start reading those sources they step into a world of real 1st century Judaism. Henotheism not monotheism. Jewish astrology magic as a regular religious practice. The sacrificial cult as central not a side belief. No knowledge of later Mishnah interpretations. Reading them in context it will become simply impossible to believe that the Oral Law was delivered to Moses and did not evolve at a later date. Judaism is a religion of practice not belief. But ideologically it does depend on the idea that there was continuity and development not radical breaks. The historical record reflects several radical breaks. There is no getting around that problem.

  • US bans Palestinian runner from Chicago Marathon days before race
    • @Citizen

      There is lots you can blame mega donors for. Trump no. The mega donors and the Republican establishment more broadly attacked him all through the Republican primary they were pretty unified that Trump was the worst choice. They poured many millions into running negative ads against him.

      The blame for Trump goes squarely on the American people. You can blame subgroups: white people with an associate's degree or less education. But not mega donors. Trump is what you get when you the lobbyists lose.

  • A Jewish atonement for Zionism
    • @John O

      The Roman empire became the civilizations to the west of India. That's who the Zionist did address their complaint to.

    • @Eva

      I'd love to be talking in the more naturalistic terms of Jabotinsky, In Jabotinsky's political theory we have a simple world of about 400 nations with new ones forming out of successful nations and weaker ones just becoming ethnic subgroups of more successful nations or dying. Each is trying to carve out national homes and there about 150 to go around. The nations are in a constant state of low intensity conflict with each other, with subgroups nationalizing within their own territory and with potential invaders. You get to keep your country if you win these conflicts, you don't if you lose. Much more like rankings in golf, tennis or chess than some sort of right/wrong based paradigm. A number 86 tennis player who broke into the top 100 this year is not considered immoral because his breaking in caused the current 101 player to be displaced.

      Yes, absolutely, Jabotinsky is a far better frame to discuss things. We are in a frame of the natural lifecycle of nations, a circle of political life. International law simply becomes a means by which powerful incumbent nations retard the growth of potential competitors. The only thing that's special about Palestine / Israel is that it is a recent successful example of that failing but so is Taiwan.

      No problem changing frames.

    • @talkback

      JeffB: “You start with the basic idea that people of different ethnicities have no right to move into new neighborhoods. Yet all over the planet new ethnicities arrive in neighborhoods they never lived in and get along peacefully with their neighbors.”

      Ok, stop confusing countrys with “neighborhoods”. And no, people have no right to move into other countries without the consent of the country’s population.

      First off before a state forms they are both territories. The difference is just size and the existence of a sovereign. But fundamentally we disagree as I've said before. I do believe that ethnic Mexicans born in the United States to illegals are just as American as I am. I don't approve of racial criteria here I see no reason to apply it to Palestine.

      And within Israel Nonjews don’t even have a RIGHT to move into Jewish “neighborhoods”.

      Israeli housing discrimination is bad. That needs to be fixed. I'm not going to destroy the country over it. But that's exactly the kinds of reasonable reform I would support.

      JeffB: “The Palestinians choose the path of extreme ethnic bigotry.”

      ROFL. Another of your upside down perversions. Palestinians have been a constitutive people since 1925, including Jews and Nonjews.

      They were slaughtering Jews both before and after 1925 and not just Zionists. Consider Hebron 1929.

      JeffB: “I don’t think someone is crazy to believe that race war was a choice and could have been avoided.”

      No, the Zionist intentions were clear from the get go.

      You are now making stuff up. As the example of Magnes proves.

    • @Mooser

      JeffB: “The “Palestinians” in this alternative world decided their economy is more important than their anti-colonial rebellion”

      So they followed up on all those want ads in the Zionist newspaper tagged: “All Palestinians encouraged to apply” and succeeded in business without really trying.

      During Magnes' life in Palestine Jewish employment of Palestinians was quite high. The Jewish community broadly embracing the philosophy of Labor Zionism in practice happens after Magnes. Certainly during his 2nd period in Palestine the Jewish society is rapidly expanding employment opportunity.

    • @Talkback
      JeffB: “There are ethnically mixed neighborhoods all over the planet that are peaceful.”

      Yes, because one doesn’t want to colonize the other neighbourhood and expell its population.

      The way you define colonization which is simply migrating freely and living in whatever house you can, yes they do. You start with the basic idea that people of different ethnicities have no right to move into new neighborhoods. Yet all over the planet new ethnicities arrive in neighborhoods they never lived in and get along peacefully with their neighbors.

      Heck my old neighborhood in New Jersey is becoming South Asian. 50 years ago it wouldn't have shocked me if there were 0 South Asians. There hasn't been a single violent incident. There isn't even anything I'd call tension. The Dutch descendents and Italians eat at Indian restaurants and the South Asians eat at Italian restaurants. Their kids go to school together.
      The apartment I have in Boston, I doubt there is a single unit in this apartment complex where at least one of the direct neighbors is a different ethnicity from the inhabitant of that unit. No violence or hatred at all. No one cares. And even in Israel, where unfortunately very little of the housing is mixed there is some mixed housing.

      The Palestinians choose the path of extreme ethnic bigotry. It wasn't obvious that was going to be their choice. It didn't have to be their choice. They started and then lost badly a race war. I don't think someone is crazy to believe that race war was a choice and could have been avoided. It was not the inevitable consequence of living together.

      We just disagree here.

    • @echinococcus

      I don't know that Magnes was crazy. He is in Palestine at two different time periods. One can imagine an alternative history where after the early battles in World War I the major powers realize this war is simply going to be too expensive and too destructive for the issues under consideration and negotiate. The Russian Revolution if it happens is less bloody, more like a coup and a series of reforms. There is no World War 2. Colonialism survives and thrives. In a world where nationalism doesn't play as much of a role and we have all sorts of ethnicities living in mixed countries all over the planet, is Magnes really crazy?

      Now let's assume WW1 plays out the same. But 1936 doesn't happen. The Palestinian national consciousness never develops to the degree it has. The "Palestinians" in this alternative world decided their economy is more important than their anti-colonial rebellion, they don't take the advice of Syria. Jewish immigration continues at a moderate pace in an environment where there had been some violence but nothing 1936-9. Jews having not fought a nasty colonial war don't have the experience for the terrorism or to fight a colonial war. Palestine is something like 30% Jewish with strong economic diaspora support and integration in the 1940s, and thereafter. Palestinians are benefitting from the Jewish economy and have one of the highest living standards in the middle east. Certainly they are experiencing a gradual change in their at this point unique culture but at this point this change is happening in a world where they has been a generation of peace. The Sabra in this world are rather Arabic in their attitudes and culture. The Hebrew movement might have died and Arabic becomes the majority language. There is no vicious race war in '47-9, though there is some tension like there was in many middle eastern countries. In that world is Magnes crazy?

      Things didn't have to turn out the way they did. People aren't born hating each other. There are ethnically mixed neighborhoods all over the planet that are peaceful.

  • Three megadonors (who just happen to love Israel) are pushing Trump against Iran deal
    • @Talkback

      Are you one of the 95% Israeli gamblers who went there, because building casinos is illegal in Israel?

      Nope though I might have vacationed there for a day or two if it were still open. I have access to far better casinos here in the USA. It being a good idea and me personally being a customer aren't related concepts. Israel's illegal gambling industry is estimated at $3.8b a year. Converting that to something more socially useful makes a lot of sense. And certainly Jericho could use the work and the spending.

      Which is where you and I differ. I'd like to see the Palestinians in the West Bank benefit from the much larger Israeli economy. I think Israel could do amazing things to raise living standards and help the Palestinian West Bank develop economically. You simply want to destroy. Palestinians nationalism and anti-colonialism get in the way of Palestinians having a better life.

      That’s the reason why Martin Schlomo Mordechai Joschua Schlaff build it after all. And Israel hit it with a rocket.

      Israel hit it with a rocket because the Palestinians were firing on Israelis from there. The first two weeks of the 2nd intifada were decisive. This was the most important economic project in Palestine. Arafat could have made it an intifada free zone as the casino operators demand (they even disarmed their own staff). He didn't. He consider nationalism more important than economics, and ended up with neither. It is still mostly intact. It could open in 9 days if the Palestinians would go back to economic cooperation.

      If there is ever a coalition that doesn't include Shas you could have a casino resort town open in Eliat and then it really is mostly over for Jericho as a gaming hub Yet another opportunity for peace missed.

    • @irmep

      Interesting story about Kenen. Sounds to me from that quote though that Kenen decided himself to stay on in the USA, "It soon became evident to me that I could be more useful in Washington than in Israel".

      I had a good laugh from that story about Safed and the street signs. That city was Jewish for centuries, the return far predates Zionism. It still today is a very spiritual city and not terribly well managed.

      Also, are you Grant Smith?

    • @irmep

      As a percentage of Lockheed Martin’s, or the rest of the top military contractor, revenue, Israel aid is an accounting-error level concern.

      Let me first off start by saying this is a somewhat different topic. Kay's claim was the aide reflected Adelson's priorities. My point about Lockheed Martin is that this deal doesn't exclusively reflect Adelson there are broader forces at play.

      In terms of your comment, I think you are exaggerating but mostly I we agree. For Lockheed this deal probably comes in around 2-3% of revenue and 3-5% of profits. We could get into more detail (a little more detail, defense accounting is incredibly complex and petty quickly we get beyond what I can knowledgeably discuss). There is a tendency on Mondoweiss to treat this aide which is under 1% of Israel's GDP, and around .02% of USA GDP as if it were some huge figure that's breaking the bank. For the USA it's an accounting error, for Lockheed and Israel it is helpful but not by any means vital.

      Czechoslovakia's aide to Israel was vital. France's was extremely helpful. The USA was also helpful in the 60s and early 70s. At this point I'd like to have a more honest discussion about the aide package and what we are getting. But the debate unfortunately here is not starting from the fact that it doesn't cost much and it doesn't do much. The aide that really bothers me is the base in South Korea that along with the support base Okinawa is still incredibly expensive.

      AIPAC founder Isaiah Kenen considered “making Aliyah” to Israel, but was told by his Israeli partners he was much too valuable just where he was. Same goes for NUMEC founder Zalman Shapiro. Neither would have been as useful to Israel, living in Israel.

      No idea how you would know this. But anyway there is a similar jewish joke from the 1940s about a similar situation regarding Jews in Rhodesia. Not much to say on whether this happened or not.

      No question if Zalman Shapiro did what the CIA claimed he would have been an incredibly valuable asset. Diverting 93+ kg of highly enriched uranium during a time when USA policy was to try and weaken Israel's nuclear program would have been important. The reason I disagree with you is I don't think he did it. I think the FBI/NRC investigation was right and the material ended up in the ducts, in the worker's clothing, likely in their bodies, in the ground near the plant we know for sure. Cost saving irresponsibility yes, espionage no.

      But if I'm wrong and Shapiro did get say 100kg of weapons grade uranium to Israel in the early-mid 1960s, good for him. He served his people to the best of his ability. Charles de Gaulle, with Kennedy's help, almost derailed a vital component of Israel's development into a nuclear state. I think it is a great thing they failed and by the time of the Carter administration Israel was working on an independent nuclear deterrent against the Soviets. I understand why the USA, especially Ford/Carter wouldn't want that, but Israel's interests and the USA's interests aren't always the same. Israel made tremendous sacrifices to start a nuclear program as early as they did when their economy was as bad as it was. They did it with good reason. I don't know if I would have made the same call to go for it as early as Ben Gurion did or not, but having made that choice I would want it to be as successful as quickly as possible. Israel is a lot safer today in that it has both strategic and tactical ICBMs.

      As far as Kenen who knows? He was a very talented man. He did a lot for Israel in the USA and Canada. Maybe he could have done a lot for Israel in Israel. But if your theory is true and the Israelis wanted that asset where it was, it makes sense.

    • @Just

      I'd say if anything the article is underplaying it. Netanyahu pretty much couldn't have handled this kotel situation especially with conversion any worse. UTJ put him in a tough bind.

      This isn't a typical Mondoweiss issue though since it isn't right vs. left at all. Yisrael Beytenu (Likud for Russian immigrants) and Meretz (non-communist but left of Zionist Union) are the strongest backing American Jews while UTJ (Ashkenazi Hasidic) and Shas (Mizrahi ethnic) are the most hostile. The Jewish Home (Bennett and Shakid) party is taking the moderate centrist position....

    • You were kidding but that did happen. In Jericho there was a casino . Arafat and people close to him licensed it and took payments. It was only open to Israelis and tourists they didn't want Palestinians corrupted from gambling but they wanted the revenue. It was set a few hundred meters from the border between Area-C. It did about 2800 visitors / $1m in profits daily. Remember this is 20 years ago, israeli economy was much smaller, plus inflation... would likely be more like $5m / day today. Owning company is Casinos Austria International which depending on who you ask either was or was not tied to X-Stasi. During the 2nd intifada it was closed. It hasn't been able to reopen because of Hamas objections to gambling though I can't understand why they care what Jews and Christian tourists do.

      Photos on trip advisor looks a luxury Jerico hotel, something they could use:

      As far as I can tell from the politics, people in Jericho mostly want full Israeli governance back. They had the casino, the hotel, a success horse race track and breeding business, farming... all of which got destroyed in the 2nd intifada. But of course the people doing interviews in western media are the people most likely to consider money more important than national ambition.

    • @Kay24

      A couple comments. He does spend a lot of time in Israel. Adelson also spends a lot of time on China and plays pretty hard in Chinese politics.

      Moreover, he is far more active in Israeli politics than in USA politics. Same size fish, much smaller pond. For example the leading newspaper in Israel (Israel Hayom) is the leading newspaper because its free. Its free because Sheldon Adelson doesn't care if the newspaper loses money. The editorial page is pro-Netanyahu helping him against internal Likud rivals, 3rd party competitors and ideological competitors like in the ZU. Israelis call it "Bibiton" (Bibi = Netanyahu, ton = daily). Miriam Adelson (wife) is active on a regular basis. Needless to say with Adelson's indirect financing (Israel has much stricter laws about direct financing than the USA) Likud wins elections, Likud controls coalitions and Adelson controls Likud and Netanyahu. He's Bibi's billionaire.

      FWIW though that may change. Adelson like many American Jews is furious about the Kotel decision.

      I also don't think you can blame Adelson for USA military aide deal. For example there is a big set aside in the understandings for purchases from Lockheed Martin. That's not an Adelson interest.

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

      OK good. Now we've moved beyond the claim that they have peaceful intent. We can both agree that Iran / Hezbollah openly stated policy is one of war.

      I would agree that Israel is more aggressive in large scale actions than either Hezbollah or Iran. I would disagree that on small scale actions that's true. More importantly though I'd disagree with you that this has anything to do with peaceful intentions. Iran provides a wonderful example of this. Before the fall of the Shah Iran had a peaceful relationship with Israel. When Iran decided to change the relationship it got hostile. Same as Lebanon. Lebanon had a peaceful relationship until the 1970s. Egypt provides an example in the other direction. When it was hostile it experienced multiple wars, since deciding to no longer be hostile its experienced none.

      Israel's position is to be aggressive towards those countries with hostile intent and hostile actions. Israel is very able to live in peace. What it does break out from is low level conflict. Iran and Hezbollah would like a situation of low level actions that doesn't escalate similar to say China's relationship with Taiwan and Russia.

      One can argue whether permitting low level attacks and not escalating to full scale wars is a good thing or a bad thing. I think it is the right move strategically. Israel should not have as a goal that its enemies are able to safely fund operations against it at no meaningful risk to themselves. The Alamo was objectively no big deal. America's huge over reaction to it, has kept that border peaceful for 150 years. Mexico in both WW1 and WW2 rejected an alliance with the Germans similar to the one Iran offers Lebanon, because the Mexicans were terrified of the likely consequences. They understand the war with Germany may come and go, but they'll always share a border with the USA (lots of guns, very long memory). There is no reason that Israel shouldn't create a state where Lebanon is similarly terrified of the consequences of attacking Israel.

      That seems to me a route to peace through strength. I'd prefer that wasn't necessary and Lebanon just wanted peace. But they don't and Israel can't change that at reasonable cost.

    • @Talkback

      And yet you still haven't explained why the UN itself when confronted with your theories of what International Law said found against the Khmer Rouge. I don't like the UN but you keep asserting a theory of international law that even they considered a crime against humanity.

    • @Paranam Kid

      Last I checked the Palestinians don't run Iran or Hezbollah. They have nothing to do with a conversation about whether Iran or Hezbollah do or do not have those stated policies.

      The Palestinians may or may not be the reason for those policies but the claim was those policies don't exist.

    • @Talkback

      JeffB: “An army operating on Lebanese soil was attacking Israel. That’s an act of war … The right to invade attacking nations.”

      What is it now, JeffB? Do the Palestinians who were not only attacked in 1967by Israel have the right to “invade” Israel or not?

      We weren't talking about the Palestinians we were talking about Lebanon. If Lebanon chooses to back the "right" of Palestinian to attack Israel from Lebanon then it is Lebanon attacking Israel. If they choose to say support the attacks that had happened earlier from Jordan then that may be state sponsorship but it is not war.

    • @Brewer

      You aren't really saying anything different than I was though it may sound like it. The goal of the war was to depose the government of Lebanon and put in place a Christian government. The reason that Israel wanted a Christian government was the current government has hostile. They demonstrated that hostility by allowing an army that repeatedly attacked Israel to operate freely on their soil. You are even agreeing the attacks happened and were fairly regular.

      That is not an unprovoked attack. That's a provoked attack. That is precisely what the USA went to war with Afghanistan for.

      As for 1973 the decisive point in the war in the Golan was October 8. In the Sinai October 9.
      The airlift supplies started arriving October 14. How could they possible have been decisive? The claim doesn't make sense the order of events is backwards.

      As for international law, there are a lot of exaggerated claims about international law on MW. You are going to have to be more specific where you believe international law doesn't give states the ability to regulate deed and title to property within their borders.

    • @RoHa

      Since you are European I'm going to shift this a bit to call in context. This is a reoccurring problem with European basis where these basis exist under terms that the USA appears not to agree with. There are approximately 2m NATO troops from European countries. Structurally they are not mobile they aren't able to deploy outside their borders. The argument made for the pro-European troop position is not "defending Europe" but positioning US forces into that part of the world. Having nearby mobile troop presence is what we get out of it. The USA was funding 213,000 troops in Europe. I think you might want to consider the issue of why.

      As for your point about Iran and NK being suspicious I'd agree. The USA has an iffy track record on agreements. OTOH neither of those two are shining stars of honesty and integrity either.

    • @Brewer

      None of the links you provide offer any such prohibition.

      The MO one is being quoted by the red cross. I think you are seeing what you want to see.

      Your remarks on the Rabbinic courts serve only to cloud the issue and I am alarmed at this:
      “I’m not a Rabbi. I’m not qualified. And I haven’t studied the source material enough to have an informed opinion.”
      – since I asked you where you personally stand with regard to David Bar-Hayim’s interpretation of the Torah and History.

      Well yes. Brewer is taking stuff out of context and making statements which don't make sense. That one I'm qualified to argue against.

      David Bar-Hayim is considering things in context and making sophisticated arguments. Those I'm not qualified to judge.

      He is after all a direct student of Yosef Qafih and a rabbinic court judge. I'm just a normal Jewish guy. No question he is vastly more authoritative than I am. You are less authoritative than I am. He is vastly more knowledgeable than I am. You are less. Etc...

      That is a pretty simple question that requires you to set aside Rabbinical guidance and confines the source material to the dicta found in the video which I presume you have watched and which is notable for its clarity.

      Halacha is all about rabbinic guidance. There is no content to Jewish law other than guidance. What you are asking for would be like asking me to analyze rules of evidence in Alabama as opposed to Connecticut without reference to judiciary decisions. The way the courts rule on evidence are the rules of evidence for USA courts. The stuff he is quoting are what other rabbis said in centuries past.

      That being said your interpretation of what he says is wrong. For example he has qualifications like they need to be a plausible threat, there needs to be a question of survival in the context of the war, etc... You aren't including those qualifiers in your interpretation of his statements. Take out the qualifiers and that interpretation is definitely wrong. Include the qualifiers and maybe he's right, maybe he is wrong we are now over my head.

      I can only conclude that you are hedging or so deeply immersed in a cult that you do not feel qualified to consult your own reasoning – the very definition of cultish behavior. This answer indicates that I should take David Bar-Hayim at his word for he is so qualified.

      David Bar-Hayim is qualified. Whether he is right is a different question. Whether your interpretation of him is right is a 3rd question. As I mentioned he is most well known for his position on legumes not military conduct. If his view starts getting cited then we'll hear responses from other rabbis who are also qualified. That's the way Judaism works. It is a series of standards which are arrived at in conversation.

      Right now what we have is a non-bonding opinion, no different in religious status than an editorial in a newspaper. If other rabbis agree then it becomes a candidate to become law. If a consensus is arrived at it becomes law.

      We have therefore not advanced this discussion because his pronouncement of the written word conflicts with you statement: “Jews don’t claim a divine right to steal or kill non-members” – he says very clearly that they do.

      No he doesn't.

      “God makes different covenants with different people”
      Well there we have David Bar-Hayim’s philosophy in a nutshell. Precisely what you have argued against. One law for Jews, different laws for others.

      You were objecting to specific claims about killing non-Jews. That's not precisely what I have argued against it isn't even remotely similar.

      How do you jump from: Angela doesn't think she's Ben's boss to Angela thinks she can murder Ben?

      This post has only served to increase my alarm at the role Judaism has in Israel’s abrogation of Universal Human Rights and disregard for the Laws of War. My only positive takeaway is an improved understanding as to why Zionists constantly accuse others of barbarity while utterly denying their own – God made a different deal.

      You don't have an improved understanding. You have a bizarre misunderstanding. And it is beginning to sound intentional.

      You want to understand Judaism you are going to have to chill out and try and challenge some of your Evangelical Christian (not sure what religion you are but you've absorbed their hermeneutic) ideas about scripture. What you are arguing is so heinous is something a knowledgeable Catholic would comfortably agree with regarding their magisterium. A Methodist would mostly agree. An Episcopalian would mostly agree. A good deal of what you are so freaked out about isn't even all that unusual with regard to Judaism.

      But you are going to have to decide whether you want to discuss this honestly or not. There are tons of really good source material on David Duke's website if you want to grab Jewish material out of context and quote it in a way that's misleading. If you want an honest assessment of what Judaism believes you are going to need to stop jumping to conclusions half cocked based on disliking either Israel or Jews.

    • @Mooser

      JeffB: ” these timeless codes that humans have evolved over centuries of wisdom “

      Those codes which have always done so well by us Jews. Hey, those “timeless codes” left us the most numerous, most unified people on earth, in control of vast swaths of the earth and its resources. We Jews take on all comers!

      When Jews played the great game (badly but still played) we were 10% of the Roman empire. When we stopped we went through 1900 years of misery and shrunk to 1/4%. Now that we started again things are going well for the last 70 years. Seems you might have cause and effect backwards.

    • BTW this got answered above and went to the wrong place. No easy way to move. Timestamp on post is September 30, 2017, 11:42 pm

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