Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 8 (since 2009-08-30 18:30:00)

Jerome Slater

Jerome Slater is a professor (emeritus) of political science and now a University Research Scholar at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has taught and written about U.S. foreign policy and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for nearly 50 years, both for professional journals (such as International Security, Security Studies, and Political Science Quarterly) and for many general periodicals. He writes foreign policy columns for the Sunday Viewpoints section of the Buffalo News. And his website it

Showing comments 8 - 1

  • 'Let the one-state era begin'-- Tom Friedman explains there will never be a Palestinian state
    • I'm with Donald. Ok, Friedman has come a long way, though his narcissism is just as teeth-gritting as ever.

      But consider this:

      Friedman:" Hamas devoted all its resources to digging tunnels to attack Israelis from Gaza rather than turning Gaza into Singapore, making a laughingstock of Israeli peace advocates."

      Who would have guessed there was a repressive occupation that might just have had a causal relationship to Hamas's tunnels? And is it possible that the ongoing Israeli economic siege of Gaza bore some relationship to Hamas's "failure" to turn Gaza into Singapore?

      Friedman: "The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, sacked the only effective Palestinian prime minister ever, Salam Fayyad, who was dedicated to fighting corruption and proving that Palestinians deserved a state by focusing on building institutions..."

      Ah, hah. That's why Netanyahu will never allow a Palestinian state--they don't deserve one. If only Abbas had not sacked Fayyad, Netanyahu would have agreed to a Palestinian state, no doubt about it.

      Friedman: "it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore." That's me, your standard 80 year old radical chic (ex) college professor.

  • Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: An argument
    • Thanks for these comments, all of which I am happy to agree with. It would certainly be nice to get published in NYT, NY Review, etc. If only. As if. LOL.

      It's not for want of trying, I can assure you. For many, many years.

  • Chickenshitgate: A dissenting view
  • On the use of provocative analogies (Nazism, fascism)
    • Legal definitions require interpretation and application to specific cases. In any case, in common usage the term "genocide" is restricted to the very large-scale intentional killing of members of groups, simply because they are members of the specified groups, independent of any other cause--such as the wholesale Hutu murder of Tutsis, per se.

      If you don't take into account scale, then according to the definition you choose to invoke, killing or causing serious harms to, say, 15 members of a group would constitute "genocide."

      Relevant distinctions are always necessary in serious analyses--otherwise we couldn't distinguish the murder of one or two people from mass murder, and mass murder from genocide. And since such distinctions are often important, we'd just have to invent other words to describe them.

      Try to avoid characterizing arguments that you disagree with as "gross,"
      particularly arguments and distinctions that, for good reason, are very common in serious discussions of these issues.

  • Jodi Rudoren loves a winner
    • Fair enough, Mooser. However, I don't share your implied conclusion that there was never any morally legitimate basis for Zionism or the creation of Israel. Obviously any argument that does not reach that conclusion has to confront the reality of the Nakba. Not easy; I've done my best here: link to

  • The Walzer Problem
    • Annie:
      I absolutely agree that of course Israel had a choice--in fact, as written it says the opposite of what I meant to say. In one of my drafts I said "SUPPOSEDLY leaving Israel no choice" Somehow that got lost--a terrible error.

  • Peter Beinart demolishes Gaza hasbara
    • In light of David Samel's kind comment, I would like to clarify my position, re liberal Zionism. First, it's important--at least to me--to separate out the arguments for a Jewish state at the time it was created and whether it should continue to be a Jewish state today. In 1948 I think there was a very powerful argument for a Jewish state--somewhere--in light of the Holocaust and many other periods throughout history of murderous anti-Semitism. That said, in principle the state should have been established either someplace where the people living there consented to it--probably there was no such place--or, much better, in parts of conquered Germany, where the consent of its people was entirely unnecessary.

      By 1948, tragically, all non-Palestinian options for a Jewish state were dead.
      So then the question became whether the state could have been established in a way that did minimal injustice to the Palestinian people. If the Nakba had been the only way Israel could have been created, then it shouldn't have been created. The complexity is that there might well have been other non-coercive methods. (I've discussed them elsewhere--see, for example, Jonathan Freedland's brief discussion of my ideas in his article on liberal Zionism in the current NY Review. )

      What about now? Is there still a justification for a Jewish state? In the abstract, and with a number of qualifications, there might be--given history, the need for a refuge for persecuted or endangered Jews cannot be ruled out, especially if other countries are not willing to accept large numbers.

      That's in the abstract. The problem is the kind of state Israel has become: I won't mince words, it is becoming, or already is, a criminal state--and with the strong support of most of its Jewish population. That surely undermines the case for Zionism today.

  • Nicholas Kristof on how to end the Israel/Palestine conflict
    • Donald,
      I also noticed the editorial. For as long as I remember, the editorials in the NY Times have been inept, and not just those on the I-P conflict. It's exactly as you say, if you want to understand an issue, NY Times editorials are not where you would look. Who takes them seriously? In that case, why bother to take them on?


Showing comments 8 - 1