Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2326 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

An Israeli history teacher,long-time activist on the Israeli Left.

Showing comments 2326 - 2301

  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • In my opinion the comments of YoniFalic and echinococcus fall under the definition of Hate Speech.
      Imagine a commenter here advocating the "removal" of the Palestinians.

    • I think that in the interest of peace we should keep our hands off the Temple Mount. The right-wing provocateurs should be prevented from setting foot there, and we should leave it to the Muslim Wakf to administer. All the statements about changing the status quo, about Jewish prayer on the Mount- are simply playing with fire.

    • YoniFalic,
      There are over 8 million Israelis, many of them 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation born in Israel.
      Who are the "racist genocidal invaders" that should be "removed""
      Precisely how do you imagine removing them?

      It looks like you're the one with the genocidal agenda.

  • Bon Jovi's Tel Aviv gig is upstaged by Roger Waters's incantation of Israeli victims, including Dawabshe boy
    • RoHa,
      I looked up "eisteddfodau", so at least I learned something new.
      -if Bali was inhabited by Welsh thousands of years ago
      -if Bali played a prominent role in the Welsh faith
      -if the Welsh prayed daily for a return to Bali
      -if the Welsh maintained a continuous presence in Bali, making significant contributions to Welsh religion and culture
      -if the Welsh were dispersed all over the world, often persecuted, and ultimately slaughtered in death camps
      and if the Welsh returned to Bali with the intention of living in peace with the Balinese population and sharing the country....
      ...then, sure , I would say that the Welsh have a good case.

    • RoHa,
      For an individual, homeland usually means the country where you were born, or grew up in. Your native land.

      As in:
      "Last month, when I visited my homeland, I rejoiced in its freedom".

      For nations , it's the territory which is the focus of that nation's aspirations.

      as in:
      "The rebels are fighting for an independent homeland."

    • Amigo, I do comment occasionally , from the Left, on ynet, in Hebrew.

      After today's holiday is over , I assume that I'll have a lot less time to comment here or anywhere.
      So you won't have to endure my tiresome tedious and pathetic comments. You can cheer up.

    • Seriously, Bryan, one does not preclude the other. I can read those great authors and also the Bible and other Jewish texts. It's not a competition.

      A little over a week ago, on Yom Kippur, I participated in a reading and study of the Book of Jonah, which is traditionally read on that day. A short book, four brief chapters, 48 verses in all, and so rich in points to discuss, from various angles. It's something I feel a connection to, and enjoy being part of.

    • bryan,

      Homer, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Thackeray, Dickens, Dostoevsky -

      I'll make a note to check them out, whoever they are.

    • I'm allowing myself to re-post parts of a previous comment of mine on this topic:
      Israel is the Jewish ancestral homeland , as proven by the historical and archaeological record, and by a people's memory. Whether or not present-day Jews are all directly, biologically, descended from the ancient Hebrews or Israelites is impossible to prove and in any case is not important in my view, since I'm not a racist and I'm not concerned with “bloodlines”. Personally, I can trace my ancestry to certain 18th and 19th century rabbis. Before that - who knows? - but that's probably no different from other nations or ethnic groups .

      Whether or not present-day Jews are biological descendants of the ancient Jews is a fascinating topic... especially if you're a racist, concerned with “bloodlines” and “racial purity”.
      Seriously, what difference does it make? Are today's Greeks descended from the ancient Greeks? Are the French descended from the Gauls? Are the British pure-bred Angles and Saxons? Of course not. Throughout history people (including the Jews) have migrated, inter-married, converted...but that doesn't mean that they don't take pride in what they consider to be their national history and heritage. What counts is a people's consciousness , their historical memory. The perception of Israel as the Jew's ancestral homeland is not something that can be erased by trying to follow “bloodlines” back through history.

    • It seems to me that asserting that Israel is NOT the Jewish historic homeland - there's the insanity, there's the fantasy.

      If anyone says that the history is irrelevant to present-day politics - ok, I can accept that as a valid argument, which should be addressed. But not denial of the history.

    • Just, I choose to live on land that is part of my people's historic homeland, and, as you know, I acknowledge that it's also the Palestinian homeland. That's the situation, that's what needs to be settled.
      As a teacher, I try to do my best to remain faithful to the values that I believe in. I'm sorry if that makes you sad.

    • Anf if you perform in the USA you're shoulder-to-shoulder
      With the bombers of a wedding in Yemen
      With the bombers of a hospital in Afghanistan
      With the imprisonment without trial of the Guantanamo prisoners

      and so on...

    • Not 40,000, the crowd was 54,000:
      link to
      link to

      It would be easy to respond to Roger Waters in the same style:
      You stand shoulder-to-shoulder
      With the jihadi terrorists
      With Hamas and Hizbullah
      With the suicide/homicide bombers
      With the Anti-Semites

      and so on...

  • How can a 'New York Times' reader possibly know what is truly happening in Israel/Palestine?
    • yourstruly
      The comparison is obscene, absurd and offensive.

      Also, since Gaza is in Palestine and Warsaw in Poland, how can they be "same place"? Makes as much sense as the rest...

  • Celebrating Eid al-Adha in Gaza
    • bryan,
      'So I am totally unconvinced that Judaism is more than a religion..." - With all respect, it's not your call. I think that people can self-define, can decide whether or not they are a nation. If millions of Jews consider themselves a people, like millions of Palestinians consider themselves a people- it's good enough for me.

      It's undeniable that Jews " emphasized chosenness, specialness, separateness". Throughout history Jews sought the right to be different. Then you write: "for this reason, like the Roma and the ethnic Chinese in Southeast Asia have incurred hostility" . I agree with you, but we should be careful not to slide into blaming the victims.

      In your last paragraph you mention the Jews " increasingly integrating, adopting purely secular lifestyles and out-marrying"... That's indeed what was happening in Western Europe, but one of the results of that process was the emergence of modern Anti-Semitism, based on racist ideology. Zionism was one of the responses to what was seen by some as the failure of Emancipation. If , despite our efforts to integrate, European society still rejects us , then what we need is a national movement and national home in our historic homeland.

    • Bryan,
      For the most part I don't read the Bible for historical accuracy. I read it –and other Jewish texts – for the great stories, for the fantastic cast of characters, for the human insights, for the moral dilemmas, for the quality of the prose and the poetry.

      For example, the story of the Exodus from Egypt, for which there's no real historical or archaeological evidence. Yet it's a great story, a nation of slaves emerging from bondage to freedom, an inspiration for oppressed people for centuries. That's why so many Jews, including non-orthodox, conduct Passover seders and retell the story every year.
      Millions of Jews regard themselves as part of the Jewish people and seek to preserve our unique identity. So that's another reason for maintaining certain traditions and rituals such as kosher food or Bible and Talmud study or the Passover seder and much more . In many cases it's a matter of belonging more than believing. All this is done voluntarily , and , speaking for myself, it's usually enjoyable. Nobody is "kidnapped".
      You assert that there's no "Christian people " or "Muslim people". Think of this: you can't be a "Christian atheist ' or a "Muslim atheist". There are no such terms or categories. On the other hand , there are Jewish atheists, plenty of them. That's because Christianity and Islam are religions and Judaism is not only a religion.
      I also object to using the Bible or other texts to justify present-day brutality and injustice. I prefer to make use of the passages that talk about peace and social justice and equality.

    • YoniFalic,
      I'll try to respond to both of your obnoxious comments.

      By seeking a peaceful resolution of the conflict, I'm justifying genocide. Really makes sense…

      If you feel that your homeland is Ukraine, fine. Why not go back there? Have a feeling that you may not be too welcome?

      Your assertion that there's no Jewish people reminds me of people like Golda Meir and other extremists who denied that there's a Palestinian people. Millions of Jews consider themselves as part of the Jewish people; millions of Palestinians consider themselves as part of the Palestinian people. That's good enough for me.

      Your comparison to the Nazis is not worthy of a response. They carried out genocide, murdering 6 million of our people (a people who don't exist according to you…). The Palestinian population is growing nicely.

      All nations and religions are based on legends, myths, and historical memories which may or may not be factually true. Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism , too. The British have King Arthur and Robin Hood. Jews are not unique in developing myths.

      Whether or not we are biologically descended from the Jews of ancient times is a fascinating topic, if you're interested in notions of "racial purity" and "bloodlines". In other words: if you're a racist. For the rest of us: who cares? Throughout history people migrated, intermarried, converted and so on. The essential point is a people's memory and identity.

      I used the term "Mizrahi " which is widely used and considered PC. If I had written "Sefardi" you wouldn't be able to claim that it's an artifact of Zionism.

      I’m acquainted with Uri Ram, but I haven't read that book so I won't comment on it.

      The Zionist literature of the 1880's: I would like to know where the literature expresses the desire to steal and murder. (The Zionist movement was founded in 1897, but there were precursors).

      The Jewish religion didn't collapse after the Bar Kokhva revolt. After that revolt the Jews in the land of Israel produced the Mishnah, the Jerusalem Talmud, and more. The Jewish people adapted to the reality of not having a temple and other Jewish centers developed. Pretty admirable and remarkable, considering that "there's no such thing as the Jewish people".

    • bryan,
      The two peoples indeed share some aspects of their beliefs and culture, but also differ in other significant aspects. As to your statement that over half of Israelis are Arabs: if you're including the Mizrahi Jews , Jews from Muslim countries- they generally don't regard themselves as such.
      So , yes, we desperately need to find the way to share the land, which is the homeland of both peoples. At this point in time, the only possible way is through two states, co-existing in peace. Perhaps the two states could evolve into a federation, or confederation, to deal with common issues. But in the present with so much distrust -and hatred- between the two sides, neither side is apt to give up the idea of a nation-state. Throwing the two peoples together into "one state" is not practical and could mean a bloodbath.
      If you've read my comments you should know that I oppose racists and fascists like the ones you mention, and of course I condemn any harm or disrespect towards holy places of all faths.
      I'd like to add that it's a relief to respond to a commenter who writes seriously and thoughtfully and in a civil tone, and mentions "peace" as a goal.

    • It's good to see people of all faiths ,especially kids, celebrating their holidays in peace.

      At the same time the Jewish people are celebrating Sukkot:

      link to

  • Fasting for Palestine
    • eljay,
      For the record, I've never ...supported or defended oppression, colonialism and war crimes.

    • Keith,
      Here in Israel, a majority probably keep kosher.
      I keep a kosher home, and I'm not even Orthodox.

    • Bryan,
      The dietary laws were one of the ways to keep the Jews separate and -this is crucial- thus ensure the survival of the Jewish people as a distinct identity.
      Today, too, people want to feel that they belong to something larger than themselves. For that feeling, that sense of identity, people are willing to give up "world cuisines".

    • Bryan,
      On the matter of " religions prescribing in detail what one should eat, how one should dress, what one should do on one’s day off" - I think that the primary purpose of whoever conceived of the Jewish dietary laws was to separate Jews from non-Jews. A lot of social interaction occurs over food and drink, so if your religion forbids you from eating at a non-Jews' table, your contacts with them will be limited.

    • A) I don't know how you expect me to "substantiate" what I haven't done. What if you just take my word for it. If you don't, you don't, what can I do?

      B) Yes, that's apparently true.

    • I served in the IDF and I wasn't trained in brutality, and I never hurt or killed anyone.

    • Keith,
      Naturally, the Talmud discusses the dietary laws, at length.
      However, if you're looking for a Jewish legal code you would find it in the "Shulhan Arukh":
      link to

      As to a refutation of Dr. Shahak's claims ,published shortly after they appeared, see here:
      link to

    • Page: 23
    • Keith,
      No, I'm not Orthodox.
      The Talmud is not a legal codex, it's not a document like, say, the Napoleonic Codex, or the US Constitution, or the UN Charter. It contains legal opinions, arguments and counter-arguments, as well as stories, anecdotes and more.
      After the redaction of the Talmud generations of rabbis and scholars continued to add more discussions to the issues addressed in the Talmud, a process which continues to the present day. So, yes, you can find anti-gentile bigotry in the Talmud and other Jewish sources, and you can also find the opposite.

      I had the impression that some comments referred to Dr. Shahak in the present tense. Maybe I was mistaken.

      And Happy Holiday for those celebrating Sukkot and those celebrating Eid al-Adha! Enjoy!

    • Tokyobk is correct regarding the Talmud. It contains every opinion, and its opposite, every argument and counter-argument.
      Incidentally, for those referring to Dr. Shahak in the present tense- he died in 2001.

  • Israeli citizens for boycott call on Reykjavik to stand by its decision
    • A boycott of the settlements and their produce is the way to go, if the goal is to end the occupation and the settlements and ultimately promote peace in the context of 2 states. The Icelanders did the right thing in correcting their original decision.

  • J'lem mayor warns Palestinians in holy site clashes: 'if they use violence we will hunt them'
    • talknic,
      You don't have to convince me that Netanyahu does not sincerely want a two-state solution. That's one of the reasons I oppose Netanyahu, his policies and his government. I would like to see an end to the occupation and the settlements and support a peaceful two state solution.
      I've said so numerous times on this blog.
      Incidentally , the term"illegal settlements" is a redundancy: all the settlements in occupied territory are illegal. (Sort of like the term "legitimate rights". If they're rights , they're legitimate).

    • echinococcus,
      Your comments are a superb -and depressing -illustration of what those who seek Israeli-Palestinian peace and reconciliation are up against.
      I referred to your determination to refer to Israel as the "Zionist entity" as denial-of-reality mode. Your reply proves my point.

    • lysias,
      That probably holds true in all countries.

    • Annie, my comment was a reply to abc's comment that her parents had expressed a desire to visit " where Jesus walked", but were deterred by potential unrest. Tourists and pilgrims regularly visit Christian holy sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, etc. and return to their homes unharmed. Israelis and Palestinians have a common interest in keeping it that way.
      And, yes, you're more likely to be a victim of violence in the USA.

    • echinococcus ,
      I didn't say "safest", I said "relatively safe..."
      Unfortunately, no place in the world is totally , 100% , danger-free.
      In the USA you're more likely to be a victim of violence than in Israel.

      Oh, and "Zionist entity". Nice touch. Denial-of-reality mode.

    • A blah chick, you can reassure your parents that the country is relatively safe and peaceful. Millions of tourists and pilgrims make the trip.
      Can't help you regarding the money, though...

  • Iran Deal's liberation: Judaism is not Zionism
    • Yes, I'm serious. The main point of my comment on this thread was directed at American-Jewish Anti-Zionists.
      They're saying to American Jews: "let's not support Israel any more".
      But are they offering an alternative with Jewish content? Something like : "let's not support Israel; instead let's strengthen our communities, or support more and better Jewish education, or establish more study groups (Bible, Talmud, Jewish History, Hebrew, Yiddish...)".
      As it is, it looks like the Anti-Zionists are passionately commited to opposing Israel, but care about little else in Jewish life. ( The Satmar Hassidim -ultra-Orthodox Anti-Zionists- may be the exception).
      Will the Anti-Zionists "win" the debate, as Phil Weiss is so sure , without addressing this point? I doubt it.

    • A blah chick,
      Absolutely. Equal rights for all citizens is a fundamental democratic principle. I'm "cool with that".

    • Reflecting, and elaborating, on points raised by Yonah Fredman,I would like to see an American –Jewish Anti-Zionist, such as Phil Weiss, address a few points:
      1. What exactly does anti-Zionism mean to you these days? Before 1948 it meant opposition to the establishment of a Jewish State in Israel. Since the State now exists- what does it mean? For Israel to change its policies? Or cease to exist altogether?
      2. What are your motivations? Is it solely moral outrage at Palestinian suffering , or are you also concerned for the survival and well-being of the Jewish community?
      3. Since support of Israel has been a major component of American-Jewish identity for decades, are you promoting other values, other components? Picture American-Jewish identity as a flag that American Jews wave proudly. You propose to take a knife and cut out a big piece of that flag , so I'm asking whether there's anything else that you offer to stitch on it instead.

    • Nahum Goldmann was a prominent Zionist, president of the WZO. Why he's mentioned as an example of anti-Zionism or non-Zionism is beyond me.

      As to the dispute between HIAS and Zionist emissaries : as I recall, one of the problems was that the Jews had applied for ,and been granted, visas for immigration to Israel. The HIAS representatives said that the Jews shouldn't be held to conditions dictated by the Soviet regime. Once out, they could "change their minds." The Zionists argued that the Soviet authorities will come to the conclusion that they are being tricked, and will re-close the gates.

  • Video: Israel's celebrated Labour Party 'is the mother and father of racism', says member of Knesset
  • This high holiday season, expect few words about Palestinians, and even less concern
  • Israeli gov't used my image for propaganda purposes without my consent
    • I can understand Ms. Abu Alouf's objections to the use of the photo without her consent.
      But that doesn't mean that the image is false: she had, indeed, passed through the checkpoint on her way to America and her smile reflects her relief . The Israeli is apparently a junior officer, who appears to be unarmed, and dragging a suitcase . Her own? Assisting Ms, AbuAlouf or someone else? Hard to tell...

  • 'NYT' misrepresents Iran's prediction about 'Zionist regime' to mean 'Israel'
  • Health Advisory: Notes from a sandstorm
    • Annie,
      This country is both the Jewish and the Palestinian homeland, and that's the essence of the conflict: one territory, two nations. Two peoples who love and feel an allegiance to the same homeland. Any initiative to peacefully resolve the conflict has to take that into account.

    • Marnie,
      I tried to explain, above, why I feel quite at home here.
      Some of us haven't given up on working towards Israeli-Palestinian peace and reconciliation.
      There's the big picture, opposing the occupation and the settlements, and there are also small acts such as visting the hospital and helping the Dawabshe family .
      It may be a long road, but I prefer not to sink into despair and hatred like you. As we read in this week's Torah portion " It is not in heaven" (Deuteronomy 30:12).

      Shavua tov and Shana Tova

    • Marnie, your analogy to a child molester etc. is way off base. I'm sure that the people raising the donations are not the perpetrators.

    • Marnie,
      Your absolutely right, I don't have to live here.
      I live here because I feel at home here in my people's homeland where my father and grandfather were born and are buried. It's where I want to live, where I want my family to live.
      Perhaps you should ask youself why you live in a country for which you express nothing but hatred.

      Your idea of a reward actually isn't bad. I just wouldn't like it to come at the expense of the funds being raised for the family, primarily for Ahmad Dawabshes rehabilitation. Reward money should be in addition.

    • Support the Dawabshe family:

      link to

      If you scroll down below the Hebrew, there's English.

      The goal was 80,000 shekels. Over 130,000 have been raised so far.

    • Marnie,
      You may have missed the account I posted:
      link to

      As you can see from my account, you're correct, and I didn't mean "bedside" literally. I was quite clear in the original description of the visit. Sorry for any misunderstanding
      As to the rest, I'm not under interrogation here. I'm not a political leader, I'm not wealthy, I'm a private citizen, a humble teacher, and as I said I do what I can.

      I've never, ever, deliberately lied on Mondoweiss. But If you don't believe me - I'll just have to live with it.

    • hechinococcus,
      I live in my home, in the historic homeland of my people.
      It's also the Palestinian homeland.
      I'm not going to "get the hell out" ,neither will most Israelis, and I don't expect, or desire , the Palestinians to go away, either.
      Not going to happen

    • Just,
      Interesting that you accuse me of egotism and a lack of empathy and compassion...
      Forgive me for ringing my own bell, but who, among the MW commenters, went to the late Saad Dawabshe's bedside and commiserated with his family and friends? And is trying to help them out? And is at present involved in raising support for African migrants? And time and again expressed sympathy for the civilians in Gaza?

    • Kris,
      I really didn't think that this would develop into a discussion of my favourite carwash.
      I assume that carwash -owned and operated by Bedouin- pays the municipal authorities for the water , like any other business or residence. The customers, such as myself , pay them, and they run a profitable business. And when this shitty sandstorm ends, they'll have a huge line of dusty cars lining up outside...
      As to the subject of the Dawabshe family, they should be compensated just like Jewish victims of terrorism. I would like to see legislation on that. My friends and I are doing what we can.

    • John O,
      What do you mean by that?
      Where does the carwash get it's water ?

    • And just my luck that I took my car to the carwash a few days ago...

    • This really one hell of a sandstorm, they're saying it's the worst ever recorded. It's almost apocalyptic.

  • Palestinians in Duma are angry that no one has been charged for murders, after 38 days
  • Riham Dawabshe dies, leaving one survivor of arson attack, Ahmad, 4
    • talknic,
      Unfortunately, I don't read Arabic.

    • Zaid,
      I understood what you were referring to and I added the English page.
      Thank you for providing a link to the Hebrew FB page. Aside from the racist and nauseating comments, and the conspiracy theories, it also shows how horrified and saddened so many Israelis are by this crime.
      Thanks for providing some balance.
      My heart goes out to 4-year old Ahmad, still in serious condition. We're hoping and praying for him.

    • Ynet has an English language page.
      Here are the report and the comments:
      link to

  • On the Road to Tantura: Interview with Hala Gabriel
    • Tree, it's an attempt to deflect because it's not what Ms Gabriel claims to have "noticed".
      Lod is not a Palestinian village , it's a mixed Jewish-Arab city, and the report is that a wall was built between neighborhoods (something which I don't condone) . A far cry from
      "most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. ”

    • Of course I'm not a Nakba denier and I didn't even express an opinion on whether or not there was a massacre in Tantura.
      What I'm saying is that Ms. Gabriel is a liar, based on this line: “And I noticed that most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. ”
      If that was true, it wouldn't be that hard to prove. "Most Palestinian villages" would mean dozens of villages, so it should be easy to provide some examples.
      Talknic, Tree - the deflection tactic isn't working.

    • She said "in Israel".
      Not in the West Bank or Gaza. In Israel.

    • "And I noticed that most of the Palestinian villages in Israel are sealed off with high walls, like prisons. "
      Most villages?
      Any examples?
      How about one example?

  • Why did a Jewish Day School student cry hysterically when she learned about the Deir Yassin massacre?
    • I agree that this is an excellent and thought-provoking documentary.
      If a student was never taught about an event such as Deir Yassin, and then finds out about it on her own, she may very naturally resent not having been exposed to more information and may suspect that she's been fed nothing but lies.
      As a teacher, I think that we should feel mature enough, and self-confident enough , not to ignore controversial and unsavory chapters in our history, and in our present-day reality. Doing so would be both morally wrong and ultimately futile.
      If American students can learn about the treatment of Native Americans, and about slavery, and other countries also deal with shameful events in their past, Israeli educators can discuss events such as the Deir Yassin and Kafr Kassem massacres.
      Another question is whether Palestinian teachers are willing to deal with unsavory aspects of their history, how they deal with massacres perpetrated by their side. I imagine that many of them feel that the time for that kind of reckoning will be in the future , after the occupation is brought to an end .

  • One year later, Gaza is still in crisis
    • talknic,
      Of course the population of Gaza sustained much more casualties and far more extensive property damage than Israel and the causes of the imbalance are also well known .
      But since when does the number of your casualties and the extent of the destruction on your side prove the justice of your cause?

  • Racism is part of the landscape in the southern Israeli town of Dimona (Updated)
    • Amigo,
      It's nice that you're thinking of me...
      Am I an example of a "submissive and cowardly" teacher?
      (OK, maybe when I'm confronted by my wife.)

  • Omar Barghouti on Matisyahu: 'Perfectly reasonable to oppose performance by any bigot'
    • The question , in principle, is whether performers should be required to conform to a certain political position, as a condition for performing.
      And was this required from every performer, every member of every band, or only of Matisyahu?

      In the end, he faced the Palestinian flags and sang "Jerusalem, if I forget you..."

  • ‘The strategic implications of these demolitions are clear’: UN slams Israeli home demolitions and settlement expansion
  • Skunk water for Palestinian protesters, not right-wing Jews, in roads near Mohammad Allan's hunger strike
    • Annie,
      Mr. Allan was originally hospitalized at Soroka Hospital, here in Beer Sheva, where the doctors made it clear that they would not participate in force-feeding. He was then transferred to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon, but it turned out that the doctors there took the same stand.
      Dr. Leonid Eidelman, chairman of the Israel Medical Association , should be commended for taking a very clear stand from the outset: that force-feeding is a form of torture, and no Israeli doctor should participate.
      link to

    • Marnie, since you asked:

      Jon Bon Jovi is not 60, yet.

      Mariah Carey performed here this week:
      link to

      Next week is the Red Sea Jazz festival in Eilat:

      link to

      And I hope that you're not implying that the "white city" label for Tel Aviv has anything to do with skin color...

    • Mohammad Allan was NOT force-fed. The doctor's organization made it clear that no doctor would participate in such torture.

  • Roundtable on the Palestinian solidarity movement and Alison Weir
  • Israeli Banks flipping out over looming European boycott
    • Kris,
      Hamas is a vicious and cowardly terrorist organization, with a racist and genocidal agenda.
      Comparing it to the Warsaw ghetto fighters is obscene and offensive.

    • The festival organizers have reversed their decision regarding Matisyahu, and reinvited him, so maybe I had a point...

    • The notion that artists should be allowed to perform only if they conform to a specific political position, and the demand to sign a "loyalty-oath " -type of document as a condition is, at the very least, a form of McCarthyism.
      If Matisyahu is the only performer required to do so, if, as a Jew, he's judged by different standards, that is, by defintion, Anti-Semitism.
      link to

      Two incarnations of Matisyahu:

    • And more evidence of Anti-Semitism in the bds movement:

      link to

      This isn't a performace by an Israeli artist , or a performance by an artist in Israel.
      Matisyahu is just a performer who happens to be Jewish.

    • Maybe Maariv was trying to show that the boycotters can't spell.

  • Leading US Jewish group opposes Iran deal, citing 'baseless hatred' of Jerusalem temple destruction 2000 years ago
    • The sages tried to explain the destruction of the 2nd Temple as divine punishment for the hatred ("hatred without cause")which prevailed between various Jewish factions:

      "Why was the first Sanctuary destroyed? Because of three [evil] things which prevailed there: idolatry, immorality, bloodshed…
      …But why was the second Sanctuary destroyed, seeing that in its time they were occupying themselves with Torah, [observance of] precepts, and the practice of charity? Because therein prevailed hatred without cause. That teaches you that groundless hatred is considered as of even gravity with the three sins of idolatry, immorality, and bloodshed together . "
      -Talmud Bavli , Yoma 9/b

      Brewer is correct that the factions of Zealots fought each other inside the beseiged city, even setting fire to the stores of food that had been prepared for the siege. According to Josephus the Temple itself was set on fire by a Roman soldier, in contradiction to Titus' orders.

  • Mother of Palestinian baby burned to death tried to save her child
    • Kris,
      The money is being raised by the "Tag Meir" forum:

      link to

      I wouldn't have participated myself if I wasn't convinced that it's reliable.
      As to your questions, as far as I know, as things stand now the Israeli gov't won't pay . Shameful, indeed. I don't know exactly how and to whom the money will be transferred. You could inquire at Tag Meir.
      The nasty questions I prefer not to answer.

    • Kris,
      You're welcome to make a donation.

    • Also, he's 4 years old, so it's 14 years until he's 18.

    • Talknic,
      Just to set you straight: Ali was the child who died in the fire, the survivor is Ahmad.

      You're welcome to make a donation.

    • Update:
      So far over 340,000 shekels have been raised to support little Ahmad Dawabshe.

      link to

    • Sad news: Sa'ad Dawabshe has died of his wounds.

    • Just, No this was not the first time I've met Palestinians, of course not. I've been active in Israeli-Palestinian encounter groups , including international conferences. Aside from that , I live here, so I meet Palestinian-Israelis in everyday life: at the supermarket, shopping mall, post office , restaurant, health-care facilities, etc.
      I don't understand why you expect me to change "my ways and ideology". As I'm sure you know, I support efforts to promote peace and reconciliaton. Are you saying that I should despair?

      Amigo, Yes, I'll definitely discuss it with my students when the new school year starts.
      As to a "different path" : see above.

    • This morning ,my wife and I , with three more friends, paid a visit to Sa'ad Dawabshe , in Soroka Hospital, here in Be'er Sheva.
      Given the severity of his condition, we didn't get to actually enter his room, nor did we expect to. Mr. Dawabshe's condition is critical, and he's unconscious. Our visit was arranged in advance through contacts between one of our group and local activists who are providing support to the stricken family, so we didn't fall on them unannounced.
      We met a group of seven Palestinian men, relatives and supporters of the family.
      At the outset there were mutual introductions. We brought them a small gift, a letter expressing our feelings and an item that they had requested (cigarettes).
      Naturally, we expressed our horror and condemnation, our sympathy and support. We told them that in doing so we speak for very many Israelis and Jews. The men told us about the village and the Dawabshe family: Sa'ad, a construction worker (who even worked in the settlements…), Riham, his wife, a math teacher, and Ahmad , 5 years old. Riham and Ahmad are in a different hospital. At one point Mr.Dawabshe's brother showed us on his cellphone a video of little Ali, playing just a few days before he was murdered. The women in our group burst into tears. One of the Palestinian men said that he knows that not all the Jews are the same, and neither are all Palestinians alike. Then they produced cold drinks for us, as if they were hosting us in their home and not in the ICU of Soroka.
      They had nothing but praise for the hospital and staff, and said that they have everything they need. Despite that, we're thinking of raising money to help them out at this time. One of our group , who is an attorney, also offered assistance.
      All in all , the men we met impressed us with their dignity and decency, in the face of the huge tragedy that has overtaken them.

  • The extremism of the center in Israel
    • Shmuel,
      Given President Rivlin's background, "dafka" *–as we say- because of that background , his words and actions (strong-worded condemnation, visiting the wounded, addressing the Palestinians in Arabic) have been exceedingly courageous.
      Indeed , Rivlin seems to be living up to his reputation : decent, honest, not too bright.
      Real hypocrisy is what's coming from Netanyahu, Bennet and the settlers.

      *Is there a good translation for "dafka"?

    • President Rivlin is a "mensch".

    • The girl injured at the gay pride event , Shira Banki, has died of her wounds.

    • amigo, It's worth noting that Lehi primarily fought the British (as can be seen in the link that you provided) and carried out very few operations against Palestinians.
      Incidentally, Yitzhak Shamir adopted the nom-de-guerre "Michael ", in honor of Irish leader Michael Collins.

    • Shmuel, Right here in my neighborhood in Beersheva are streets named Etzel, Shlomo Ben Yosef, Dov Grunner, Meir Feinstein, Eliyahu Hakim, Eliyahu Bet-Zouri...and more.

  • Leading American writer Abulhawa is denied entry to Palestine
    • I've posted an account of our visit on the "Mother of Palestinian Baby..." thread.

    • Steve Grover,
      "Maybe a few will join me in having a GoldStar or a Macabee. "

      Whoa, I wouldn't mention the two in the same breath. Goldstar is a great basic beer (despite their misogynist commercials), while Maccabee has an unpleasant aftertaste, and I recommend avoiding it.
      Of course different people have different tastes.

    • Kris,
      I'm not an official spokesperson, but based on the reactions to this outrage, and on precedents, Israel will provide long-term care.
      If it works out, I may pay a visit to Mr. Dawabshe in the hospital tomorrow.

    • Kris,
      In answer to your questions:

      4 year old Ahmad Dawabshe, and his mother, are surrounded by their relatives. See here:

      link to

      In Israeli hospitals patients are in general treated equally, whatever their nationality, religion, political persuasion, etc. And the staff doesn't consist only of Jewish -Israelis.

    • Kris,
      I'm very much aware of the effects of extensive burns. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't hope and pray for their recovery. (Also: I don't think that they lived in a "hut").

      echinicoccus, your comment is so out of whack with everything I stand for that I can hardly figure how to reply.

    • Steve Grover,
      Normally, I would say "welcome, have a good time", but it looks like you happened to have picked some really hard days: the knife attack on the gay pride event in Jerusalem, the horrific murder through arson of a Palestinian child , with the rest of his family severely burned (and we're praying for their recovery)...unhappy days.

  • It's time for American Jews to recognize they have been duped
    • I found this "story behind the photo" report:
      (the newscaster is Lucy Ahrish)

    • No, I haven't read Prof. Pappe's book, just excerpts, which is why I didn't comment on it directly. What I did was to expose the readers of this blog to some of the critiques.
      For the Palestinian narrative, I have "Palestine and the Palestinians" by S.Farsoun and C.Zacharia, and other sources.
      For the Israeli-Zionist perspective, I would recommend " Palestine 1948: War, Escape and the Emergence of the Palestinian Refugee Problem" by Yoav Gelber.

    • Don Isaac Abarbanel is also connected to today, Tisha B'Av, since one of the catastrophes being remembered on this day is the Spanish Expulsion in 1492. It was Don Isaac's bitter fate to be the most prominent leader of the Jews in Spain in those days.

    • I'm pretty sure that it's 1973, especially because of the presence of Leonard Cohen.
      Also if it was 1982 Sharon wouldn't be in uniform.

    • Wow, I don't recall ever seeing that photo, evidently from the Yom Kippur War:
      In the center are Ariel Sharon, Leonard Cohen (singing), Matti Caspi (with guitar).

  • Hundreds of Israelis join protest to save Bedouin village on brink of demolition
  • Greek Syriza-led government makes military deal with Israel that only US has made
  • 'If we don't take out Iran,' it will reenact the Holocaust in US and Israel -- Steven Emerson to Times Square rally
    • In Jewish tradition the Amalekites symbolize evil, which is why" Nebuchadnezzar, the Crusaders, Torquemada, Hitler and Stalin " could be referred to as "Amalek".
      On the other hand, the Arabs - including the Palestinians - are seen , in the same tradition, as "Yishma'elim", descendants of Abraham's son Yishmael, and , as such, our "cousins".

    • I think that the content of that sign is nonsense, and that it's propaganda.
      The equivalent you asked me to provide could be the accusation that Israeli policy towards the Palestinians constitutes genocide, an accusation which appear here quite often.

    • Following up Phil Weiss' question to the guy holding the sign, one could ask Phil : "how much of the propaganda on your blog do you really believe ?"

      On the Iran deal, several voices from veterans of the Israeli defense establishment have been heard in support:
      link to

  • Video: Israelis in West Jerusalem call for attack on Iran
  • There are 326,000 children near Tel Aviv who won't be hearing Caetano Veloso
    • Shmuel,
      By pointing out two jazz musicians performing here - I'm making the refugees a laughing matter?
      A bit of a stretch...

    • I don't object to boycotts in principle . A boycott can be an effective , admirable, non-violent strategy, which is why I supported the boycott of apartheid South Africa at the time, and today I support and practice a boycott of the settlements.
      In a previous post on this topic I wrote that one of the problems with the bds campaign, including the cultural and academic boycott , is related to the goals, and that "I don't get on the train if I don't know the destination. " Or, I may add, if the destination is known, but it's not where I want to go.

    • Whenever some performer caves to the preasure and cancels, there's a lot of celebrating and "triumphalism" on this blog. So I thought it appropriate to point out some of those who don't.

    • For jazz fans :

      Chick Corea and Bobby McFerrin will be performing here this week.

      link to

  • 'She intended to kill a soldier' --Palestinian teen charged with stabbing soldier at roadblock outside settlement
  • 'We should seize it' -- Obama announces Iran deal as 'new direction' for the Middle East
    • "Rense" is where you can find out how the Jewish bankers rule the world and what a nice guy Hitler was.

    • In mentioning Iran's killing of Jews abroad, Hophmi is probably referring to the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994, in which 87 people were killed. It's considered the single bloodiest anti-Semitic incident since the Holocaust.

  • CT bus ads feature longstanding plan to 'abolish partition'
    • eljay, I understand where you're leading with this.

      Of course criminals should be held accountable, otherwise we would have anarchy.

      I believe that , in relations between nations and states, where there's a danger of large-scale bloodshed, sometimes it's wiser to prefer peace over justice.

    • Citizen, still awaiting your reply.

    • Citizen,
      Most commenters here don't volunteer that much personal information, so I wonder about your curiosity. We should be discussing the topics, not each others biography.
      The information in my profile is correct, and I've mentioned in previous comments that I do hold dual citizenship. If you explain why you're interested in more personal information, I'll decide whether or not to oblige. If I do , the information will also be accurate. I've never deliberately lied on this blog. Not that I would be caught, just a little promise I made to myself.
      As to being on the Left: I identify with the struggle for more social justice , more equality, more democracy and human rights, and the pursuit of peace, all the classic ingredients of the Left.

    • This "great shrinking map of Palestine" is great propaganda, I'll give you that.
      It's still a lie.

    • echinococcus,
      Thanks for finally answering.
      So are you saying that Jews descended from the pre-1897 Jewish population are legitimate?not "invaders"? Would you need all of your grandparents in that category to qualify? or are two enough? or even one?
      What about Palestinians who may be descended from Arab immigrants to Palestine from those same years?

      Your idealizationof Jewish -Arab relations pre-Zionism, is just that, an idealized , romantic picture. It would have been nice, had it been true.
      As to this:

      "the serious beatings and exiling of traditionalist Jews from Palestine, obliged to seek refuge (this time from the Zionists!) in Holland or the States or Turkey."

      How could the Zionists exile anyone, seeing that the Turks, and then the British, were in control?
      Do you have a source? How many were beaten and exiled? by whom? when?

    • echinococcush,
      I've asked you before: who were- or are- the "Jewish Palestinians"? When did the "Zionist invasion " begin?
      The fanatical extremist is you. You're the one who rejects any notion of compromise, coexistence, reconciliation and peace.

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