Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2256 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

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  • 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. "
      Really?
      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 .

  • 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 timesofisrael.com

    • Marnie, since you asked:

      Jon Bon Jovi is not 60, yet.

      Mariah Carey performed here this week:
      link to touristisrael.com

      Next week is the Red Sea Jazz festival in Eilat:

      link to en.redseajazz.co.il

      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.

  • 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 news.yahoo.com

      Two incarnations of Matisyahu:

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

      link to haaretz.com

      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
    • 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 haaretz.co.il

      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
  • Greece’s Syriza 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 forward.com

  • 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 ynetnews.com

  • '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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