Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 33 (since 2009-11-06 01:49:09)

JLWarner

Jeff Warner is a retired geologist. Since retirement in 1999, Jeff has focused on being a peace activist with a focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Currently he is a leader in LA Jews for Peace, Cousins Club of Orange County, and Jewish Voice for; he is a member of J Street, Americans for Peace Now, and U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation. As such, he organized street demonstrations against the Israeli siege of Gaza since late 2007, and against the Israeli bombardment of Gaza during the 2008-2009 bombardment. In 2006 Jeff worked with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions rebuilding a Palestinian home on the West Bank that was demolished by Israel. In 2009 Jeff was a member of Viva Palestina, a humanitarian mission of 175 Americans that brought medicine to Gaza.

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  • 'We are losing the next generation' -- rabbis describe crisis over Israel in their congregations
    • "big donors threaten to leave the congregations if there is criticism of Israel." Aren't there also big donors who insist on criticism of Israel??

  • To be successful the French Peace Initiative must be based on international law and human rights
    • Norman Finkelstein pointed out that more important to what a resolution says, or how many teeth it has, is what the Palestinians do with it. Israel built its state on the toothless Balfour declaration and the toothless U.N. General Assembly partition resolution #181.
      Palestinians have to learn how to make political capital out of what resolutions and other documents that they have. There are many UNSC resolutions withl ots of good words supporting Palestinians, but they sit there and are almost never mentioned. The 2004 International Court of Justice Judgement is sitting there and the Palestinians almost never mention it. UNSC #2334 has some quite strong language. Now it is up to the Palestinians to convert those words into political capital.
      Note that this must be done by Palestinians, not it international supporters whose role must be limited to supporting Palestinians and maybe amplifying their voice.

  • A bi-national, democratic state is the only option Israel and Kerry has left us with
    • rosross

      You should learn a bit about bi-national states before you condemn them. Almost every "democratic" state is bi-national, including the U.S., Canada, U.K., China, Iran, Lebanon, Switzerland, and so on. Bi-national means there is some special rights given to non-majority groups. For example, the states in the U.S.

      As applied to Israel-Palestine, a bi-national state will assure rights for Palestinians and maybe other groups like Bedouins. There are dozens of way that might be accomplished.

  • Kuwait's government pension divests from G4S following BDS pressure
    • I doubt that Kuwait is divesting from G4S to support BDS and Palestinians. G4S has already announced it withdraw from Israel-Palestine. More likely, Kuwait just does not want to invest in a company as despicable as G4S.

  • Obama's ISIS czar says we can't defeat extremism without resolving Palestinian issue
  • Fear and loathing in Jerusalem
    • The arrest of the Palestinian women who did not pay her fare may have been profiling, but the article just did not give us enough information. For example, tell us about the transit official's actions before he/she approached the woman.
      Also, Othman says he was the only passenger to intervene. But how. And what was the response?

  • Mustafa Barghouti in NY: Gaza 2014 wasn't a war, but an aggression against a people
    • The author relates Joe Catron's response to a question by a student in the audience who asked how to defend herself against allegations of anti-Semitism. The author writes, "Mr. Catron responded strongly. He pretty much told her, don’t be intimidated, and don’t apologize for your activism."

      That is an unresponsive response to a serious question. Sure we must not be intimidated by opponents, but that does not help the questioner withstand an accusation of anti-Semitism.

      My first response to the questioner is to express understanding. Being accused of anti-Semitism for protesting Israeli war crimes is disheartening.

      The first response to an accusation of anti-Semitism is to remind the accuser that anti-Semitism is hatred against Jews whereas you are simply protesting the Israeli government illegal occupation and attack on defenseless Gaza, and you would protest those crimes no matter the ethnicity of the offender.

      Another defense against accusation of anti-Semitism is to jump in to defend others so accused, and hope that others will come to your defense.

  • The BDS Movement at 10: An interview with Omar Barghouti
  • Notes from the Munayyer-Beinart debate
    • Annie and many others are motivated to not allow the Israeli Jews to keep “all the stolen property.” Why not?. The goal is to end the occupation and restore Palestinian rights so the Palestinians can move forward with their lives. Why focus on punishing Israel and Israelis if it does not further that goal?

  • Understanding the 'S' in BDS: It's time to demand sanctions on Israel
    • Sanctions are indeed the key to international pressure on Israel. Sanctions, with the full weight of governments, have power to do what boycotts and even divestments cannot - bring real pressure on a country. It was government sanctions, among several other critical circumstances, that pushed South Africa to end apartheid.
      Several sanction campaign exist and they should be supported and expanded. The most important example is the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation leads an effort to stop American military aid to Israel. This effort was supported by the Christian clergy letter of Oct. 2012. We should make this a focus of our communication with Congress and the Administration.
      Another sanction effort is to hold the Administration to its commitment to re-evaluate its Israel-Palestine policy in the wake of the recent Israeli elections. A leader in this is J Street and their effort must be supported and enlarged.

  • Jewish groups stand in opposition to hate speech and all forms of Islamophobia
  • Obama's role model to journalists -- Dorothy Thompson -- turned against Zionism and was silenced
  • Combatants for Peace responds to Memorial Day report
    • What am I missing? The positions expressed in CHPs correction are quite similar to the original article. Is there a back story?

  • A response to Michael Douglas
    • Wait. Michael Douglas wrote, "A second root cause of anti-Semitism derives from an irrational and misplaced hatred of Israel. Far too many people see Israel as an apartheid state and blame the people of an entire religion for what, in truth, are internal national policy decisions." I read that as Douglas recognizing the difference between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism.

      Gil Maguire writes, "where it’s [anti-Semitism] used as a tactic to protect Israel from valid criticism, we need to reject it and avoid the slippery slope that reduces claims of anti-Semitism to little more than political theatre." Douglas did not do that.

  • Protesters aim to #ShutDownAIPAC ahead of Netanyahu speech
    • I am all for protesting AIPAC. But the protests described in this article raise two issues:

      The protester’s hashtag, #ShutDownAIPAC strikes me an anti-democratic. A more appropriate slogan would be to "end the occupation," or if they wanted to be tougher, "end apartheid."

      I noticed that many protesters wore Palestinian flag badges, and others carried Palestinian flags. That also strikes me as peculiar because the Palestinian flag suggest a Palestinian state alongside Israel. But I bet many of the protesters are for one state in all of Israel-Palestine. Any suggestion on resolving this apparent contradiction?

  • Liberal Zionist arguments against one state are born of moral or political weakness
    • Ahmed
      I am surprised at your obfuscation. Your response to Manekin and Beinart seems to assume that the alternative to a democratic single state is the present apartheid situation. You know that is not true - both favor a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

  • Roger Cohen recites Livni talking points in 'NYT' column to blame Palestinians for peace process failure
    • Yes. This is the letter I wrote to the NY Times

      RE: “Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Failed” Dec. 24 Column

      Roger Cohen gives Tzipi Livni an uncritical platform to attribute the failure of the 2014 Israeli-Palestinian negotiations to Palestinians not embracing an American framework that was accepted by the Israelis, followed by the Palestinians joining international organizations.

      Cohen does not explore why the Palestinians refused a framework that was readily embraced by the Israelis. Could the framework have been biased towards the Israelis? That would explain why the Israelis accepted it and the Palestinians did not, and it would be consistent with the long-term American position of favoring Israel.

      And Cohen accepts Livni’s tacit assertion that it was “bad” for Palestine to join international organizations. Cohen does not point out that the international organizations Palestine joined are dedicated to human rights, and that Israel is already a member of most of them.

  • You're on a roll, Mr. President, so abstain from vetoing the Palestinian bid to the UN Security Council
    • I agree. The most important thing for us peace-lovers to do is prevent a U.S. veto in the U.N. Security Council. One thing we can do is support the Moveon.org petition to that effect

      PRESIDENT OBAMA: ACCEPT THE STATE OF PALESTINE

      Petition by LA Jews for Peace

      We join with Palestinian leaders and organizations and Israeli public figures in calling for recognition of the state of Palestine alongside Israel, living in peace and security for both people. Already 135 United Nations member states (70%) have recognized the state of Palestine, and other states now are considering doing so. Recognition of Palestine is a step toward resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict that is in the best interest of the United States and the community of nations.

      You can sign by going to:
      http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/president-obama-accept?source=c.fwd&r_by=1089769

  • Bypassing Israel: The necessity of recognition in European capitals
    • I see the need for European recognition of Palestine as a way to change the dynamic. Israel has been able to disposes and oppress Palestinians because it is fully supported by the U.S. and the Europeans. As long as that dynamic remains, there will be no change.

      The Europeans are now experience a decrease in their support for Israel. That means a changed dynamic. Lets hope that the European change we are seeing happen before our eyes, will trigger a reevaluation within the United States of our support for Israel.

      Our most important goal should be to prevent a veto in the YNSC of the Jordanian/Palestinian resolution.

  • In major shift, one third of Americans want US to push for one-state outcome in Israel/Palestine
    • 2 comments:

      The really scary thing is that 14+8=22% favor the status quo of continued occupation.

      The article does not say how many one-staters favor two-states if one-state is impossible (as it surely is).

  • An open letter to J Street: Let's talk
    • Jeff
      After thinking about what the end of the 2-SS means, my conclusion is that there will be no change. In a previous post I argued that Israel would annex Area C. But the same forces that kept Israel from doing that for the past 10 years remain in place. So what would make Israel generate even more antagonism against itself by annexing Area C? I don't see it happening.
      I think Israel will keep doing what seems to have worked so well for the past decades. They will expand more settlements and build now roads and more walls. Israel will continue its systematic efforts to push Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley and the South Hebron Hills. There will be more Jews forcing their way into Palestinian parts of East Jerusalem and house demolitions will continue.
      Israel will continue to increase its footprint on the West Bank so that at some future point the annexation of Area C will be anti-climatic - it will be codification of a deed already done.
      Best jeff (Warner)

    • Jeff: your analysis posits the only option after the collapse of the 2-SS is a 1-SS. But there are other options. You actually suggested the most probably several years ago. It goes like this: Israel annexes all of Area C and builds a wall isolating Areas A & B. Like Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, it will not be legally "accepted" by the U.N. and the international community, but like the case of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, there will be no move to reverse the annexation except for a few UNSC resolutions that will go unenforced. Over the following years, just like with East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Israel will systematically revoke residency permits from Palestinians continuing its 67 year ethnic cleansing. You seem to think that the end of the 2-SS will open an era of equality. I see the end of the 2-SS as leading to more more Palestinian dispossession. best jeff (Warner)

  • Guilty on Christmas
    • I agree with your analogy to "American bread pudding" rather than the "American melting pot." The distinction is that cultures in a melting pot lose their identity into a homogeneous mass. But with bread pudding each culture retains its identity, although modified it harmonize with the collective.

      You preceeded bread pudding with the word vanish. I take exception to that. Assimilated Jewish culture does not vanish - rather it is transformed.

      I tend to make an analogy to salad rather than bread pudding, but that is a small distinction.

  • Three university presidents issue statements against boycott
    • Copy of my letter to Harvard president Faust objecting to her denunciation of the ASA boycott

      President Faust

      I am writing as a Harvard Ph.D. (Geology, 1967) to express my support of the recent American Studies Association vote to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and my disagreement with your recent denunciation of the boycott.

      You base your dissent on academic freedom. That is the same argument used by Wes president Roth in his Dec. 19 (published Dec. 23) Op-Ed in the NY Times. Here is my letter to the Times editor in response to Roth's Op-Ed - it applies equally to your statement (this letter is short to comply with NY Times letter length limits, so the arguments are brief and not expanded):

      RE: “A repugnant boycott” Nov. 23 Op-Ed

      Michael Roth only touches on a few of the arguments for and against an academic boycott of Israel. Roth’s main argument against an academic boycott of Israel is based on an absolutist position in defense of academic freedom. Like the NRA with respect to gun laws, Roth refuses to allow even the slightest weakening of academic freedom, even for a greater cause like the liberation of the Palestinian people from the grip of Israel’s illegal and violent occupation. Those in favor of the academic boycott respond that Israel’s occupation deprives Palestinian scholars, professors, and students of academic freedom and opportunity as well as basic human rights – tacitly assuming that two wrongs make a right. Neither argument is convincing.

      A compelling argument for the boycott is that diplomacy has failed to end the 45-year occupation, and boycott is a legitimate form of protest for American citizens to tell their government to stop its unconditional support of Israel because that support enables and perpetuates the occupation. The academic boycott itself is merely symbolic, but it opens space for actions by government officials that can be more authoritative.

      Jeff Warner
      213-405-1494
      Los Angeles, CA 90010

  • Kneejerk reaction to mock eviction notices rooted in privilege and denial
    • I guess I am thick, but I still do not understand why anyone would be offended. Being offended implies that a person took the mock eviction notice as a personal affront. I just don't see that.

      Given that the mock eviction notices essentially called out Israel as violating human rights, I can see someone who closely identifies with Israel feeling under attack. But not offended.

      Maybe it is just that people use the wrong word and they really mean under attack.

      I can see how someone who closely identifies with Israel would take the mock eviction notice which essentially accuses Israel of violation of human rights

  • The world will support a campaign for Palestinian citizenship in Israel
    • MSeveral

      Thanks for your thoughts. I agree with all the things you suggest that Israel must do to really be a democracy of all its people. The problem is that Israel is doing none of those things. In fact, Israel may be going in the wrong direction be increasing discrimination of its Arab citizens.

      Underlying our suggestion is the idea that by annexing all of the West Bank, and putting Gaza aside, Israel will essentially end the I-P conflict. As Gershon Baskin has argued, with the conflict ended, Israel will turn its attention and use the resources forally used for the conflict, to improving life for all its people and expanding its democracy. In other words, annexation leads to end of conflict, and end of conflict leads to improved democracy.

      That is Lillian and my idea. But your order, or ours, we agree on what should happen.

  • Kerry's 'Pax Israeliana' has failed. What next?
    • Ramzi

      I agree that the Palestinians must demand their freedom through massive, sustained non-violent protests. But it won't be easy or fast. As Martin Luther King said there will be suffering and even some deaths.

      The Israelis will respond violently but the protests must continue.

      Tidings says it willbe hard for Palestinians to protest given the occupation. I disagree. Let 100,000 Palestinians from Ramallah march to the Qualendia checkjpoint on Friday morning and demand to go to Jerusalem to pray. And do that the next Friday and the next and the next.

      Or get 100,000 Palestinians from Jordan to approach the Allenby Bridge with a similar demand. Or 50,000 Palestinians from Hebron demanding to pray in the Shrine of the Patriarchs

      The re are ways to protest, but the protests must be massive and continuous.

  • If non-white majority in US is 'good news,' why is Bill Clinton warning about 'Palestinians having more babies'?
    • This is my comment to Munayyer's essay; it is appropriate to this discussion

      Or course Palestinian freedom is a right. But the fact is that Israel has lots of power and Palestinians little, and Israel has been denying Palestinians freedom since 1948. The question is how to get Israelis to want to allow Palestinians their freedom? The answer is easy - make Israelis see Palestinian freedom is to their advantage. Israelis are just like everyone else - they care mostly about themselves - Clinton's framing is a way to get Israelis to do the right thing.

      Munayyer asserts that Clinton's statement was racist because he engaged in "paranoid baby counting. Nonsense. Clinton simply stated the fact that the Palestinian birth rate is greater than the Israeli (although not of the ultraorthodox Israelis).

      Part of the problem of the lack of Palestinian freedom is that they have not demanded it in the way Gandhi and Martin Luthor King each lead their people to demand their freedom - by putting their bodies on the line in massive, continuous, non-violent actions. The Palestinians are still divided and still engage in, or condone, violence. The Palestinians must get united and demand their freedom with their bodies. As Martin Lutor King said, the struggle will be long and many people will suffer. But better to suffer in demanding your freedom than to suffer under the heel of an oppressor.

  • No room for racism in a movement working for equality and freedom
    • I sponsored Greta Berlin’s talk to promote her book in Los Angeles this week. Here is why:
      1. Berlin condemned the offensive video she posted. She wrote “we condemn its content” in her original apology for posting the offensive video here:
      http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/56-news/1367-apology-regarding-tweet
      She further distanced herself from the offensive video by writing, “I am not a Holocaust denier. And I am not a supporter of the video that I posted, nor would I ever have been.” In a clarification statement here:
      http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/56-news/1369-statement-from-greta-berlin
      2. As several have already pointed out in this thread, Berlin does not have a record of anti-Semitic statement.
      3. Her talk was about the Free Gaza Movement and its work sailing boats into Gaza. This is important work for our cause and deserves to be acknowledged.
      4. I believe in free speech. I felt that by censoring Berlin I would be falling into doing the Zionist’s work of stifling open discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian issue.

  • Paul Ryan's foreign policy: Spinning straw into gold
  • Pro-Israel lobby tries (and fails) to spin TIAA-CREF divestment
    • How do you know TIAA-CREF divested Caterpillar because of pressure from JVP, US Campaign and other divestment activists? Did TIAA-CREF issue a statement saying so?

      If TIAA-CREF's Social Choice fund sold its Caterpillar stock in response to divestment pressure, why didn't it also sell its Motorala and Northup-Grummen stock? Divestment activists also pressured them to Motorala and Northup-Grummen, and if they did not, it suggests that selling Caterpillar was an investment decision rather than a response to divestment pressure.

      TIAA-CREF sold Caterpillar stock from its Social Choice fund, but did TIAA-CREF also sell Caterpillar strock from its Stock, Growth, and Bond funds? If not, it suggests that Social Choice's decision to sell its Caterpillar stock was a routine investment decision.

      Perhaps it is best for divestment activists to declare victory and go home, regardless of the reasons TIAA-CREF Social Choice sold its Caterpillar stock.

  • Caterpillar's complicity in Israeli occupation played a part in MSCI delisting and TIAA-CREF divestment
    • The lesson is that the TIAA-CREF Social Choice fund did not sell its Caterpillar stock due to pressure fron JVP, U.S. Campaign, and others. It divested its Caterpillar stock because Caterpillar was dropped from the MSCI index of "socially responsible" companies. Future pressure should be directed at MSCI to delist Motorala and Northup-Grumman. That is the way to get TIAA-CREF to sell its stock in those companies, not pressure directly on TIAA-CREF.

  • Why 'Brand Israel' is failing
    • Ahmed

      You say "American support for Israel is eroding" (third from last paragraph). Probably correct among the people. But still a very long way from a majority of Americans. And history has shown that popular movement don't get to change government policy until there is a 2/3rds or 3/4th majority.

      You ask, Why isn't an American-like "multiracial and multicultural, non-sectarian and non-religious democracy" good enough for Israel (same paragraph)? I would love to see that, but I don't have much hope. The answer is that almost all Israelis want to express their ethnic/religious identity in a state. And I suspect many Palestinians want the same thing.

      If you want to advocate for a one state solution, explain to us what a one state would be like. Discuss the one state’s institutions and method of governance. Give us a picture of how Jews and Arabs would interact in one state, how power would be shared, and how economic disparities would be addressed.

      You don’t have to tell us about Israeli sins against Palestinians or explain how the peace process is a fraud – we know all that.

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