Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1787 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

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  • Netanyahu's 'battle for Jerusalem' can't end well for any of us
    • Zofia, You mean 1898.

    • Zofia,
      I agree that population estimates from the Ottoman period are, well, estimates and may not be entirely accurate. Nevertheless, all the figures that I'm aware of estimate a Jewish majority in Jerusalem: a relative majority (a plurality ) from the 1880s and an absolute majority by the end of the century. Those estimates are also consistent with the evolving urban geography , the building of new Jewish neighborhoods outside the Old City walls , such as Yemin Moshe , Nahlat Shiva, Mishkenot Sha'ananim and Me'ah Shearim.

      Here's a non-Jewish, non-Zionist source, the Baedeker's guidebook, 1898 edition:

      link to 3.bp.blogspot.com

    • Norman is correct on the demography .Since the late 19th century there's been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem.
      link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org

    • In reply:
      First of all, I was referring to both the Palestinians and the Arab states . Hence: "the Arab side".

      As to the rest, we need to separate facts from speculations.

      It's an historical fact that the Jewish-Zionist side overwhelmingly supported the UNSCOP partition plan and actively lobbied for it at the UN. (It's true that Begin, who was in a minority, in opposition to the mainstream leadership- was opposed). When the vote turned out favorably, the Jews literally danced for joy in the streets of Tel Aviv.
      On the other side, the Palestinian leadership (with the exception of the Communists) and all the Arab states were absolutely dead-set against partition, actively lobbied against the plan, and voted "no" in the GA.
      After the UNGA vote the Arab side still refused to accept the plan and set out to prevent its implementation, by force of arms. Palestinian forces mounted attacks on Jewish neighborhoods , towns and villages and the "Arab Liberation Army" invaded and began operating in the north.

      Those are facts. Now, we can speculate about Ben Gurion's "real intentions" , or what would have happened if the Arabs had adopted a more moderate position- even as a tactic- and the two sides would have sat down to discuss implementation of the plan, and so forth. But that would be playing "what if?" with History. Who knows?

    • The UN partition plan of 1947 did, indeed , call for the internationalization of Jerusalem.
      Need I remind you that the plan was rejected by the Arab side?

  • This is not yet an intifada, Palestinians say
  • Yad Vashem
  • West Bank protesters cross separation wall in effort to get into Jerusalem
    • Also note the critical role assigned in the plot to the female Israeli officer played by Daniella Kertesz.

    • I've got a better intepretation of that scene: uninfected Israelis and Palestinians are cooperating peacefully and are threatened by the zombies who were , presumably ,also Israelis and Palestinians. In other words , it's a warning of the threat that peace-loving people of both nations face from the violent , senseless, extremists on both sides.

  • Why I confronted Gregor Gysi
    • Seafoid,
      Somehow Hamas had the funds to acquire huge quantities of rockets and other weapons.
      And , surely, if they had the know-how, the budget , the material and the manpower to dig all those tunnels -they could have built some air-raid shelters.

    • Seafoid, Anyone who can read can see that I never wrote what you're accusing me of, that anyone at the hospital was a legitimate target. I was pointing out the "cynical exploitation of the hospital's immunity. "

    • Horizontal,
      As to the morality, see Prof. Kasher's essay :
      link to jewishreviewofbooks.com

    • The gist of my reply to Horizontal -which I believe to be true, Annie -was that Hamas bears primary respnsibility because they
      - fired thousands of rockets and mortars at our civilian population
      -used schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian residences as launching sites, weapons depots, etc.
      -invested virtually zero in providing shelters for their civilian population, while they , the Hamas leadership, had shelters.

    • Annie, Thanks for the correction. It would still be nice to get the "edit" function back.

    • Annie,
      Fine, let's remember that when this blog posts unconfirmed Hamas propaganda.

      Are you serious about telling me to stick "I believe" ? I think that it should be taken for granted that I believe that what I write is the truth.

    • Hophmi, for participating in efforts to promote Jewish-Muslim understanding , is ridiculed, while Max and David , for spreading lies and promoting hatred , are to be admired. Go figure.

    • Horizontal, I tried to reply, but my comment was critical of Hamas and didn't pass moderation.

      Mooser, Absolutely, check the archive.

    • " I was expecting him to defend the slaughter like Jon S did, a necessary cleansing to make Israel purer ..."
      I never "defended a slaughter". During the summer I was horrified by the bloodshed, especially the civilian casualties, and I placed primary blame on Hamas. And of course I never said any such nonsense about making israel " purer".

      Mr. Sheen and Mr. Blumenthal repeatedly compare Israel to the Nazis. Doing so in Germany is especially outrageous.

  • New Israel Fund partners with Israel Football Association on racism project as IFA segregates Israeli youth league
  • What is the vision of Jews who want to replace Al Aqsa mosque with temple?
    • Mooser, judging by your comment, I wonder whether you know the meaning of the term "shabbes goy".

    • Elliot,
      My comment from over a year ago:
      link to mondoweiss.net

    • Elliot,
      Actually Israel is still a pretty safe place. The odds of meeting a violent death are very low, certainly lower than in the US.

    • Mooser forgot the punchline.

      The young soldier says:" but Mother, what if the Turks try to kill ME ?"
      The Jewish mother is outraged: "why should they want to kill you , my son? what have you ever done to them?"

    • When Netanyahu smells elections coming - he veers to the Right. But this time,with extremist provocations on the Temple Mount , he and his government are really pouring gasoline on the fire. As usual , the goverments' reaction will be to use more force, more violence and more settlements.

      Interestingly, the Sephardic Chief Rabbi has spoken out against the Temple Mount lunacy:
      link to haaretz.com

  • In and out of love with Israel: Tzvia Thier's story
    • Some balance here: I know several people who have moved in the opposite direction in recent years, from Left to Right.
      Tzvia Thier felt that Liberal Zionism wasn't working for her -and abandoned Zionism, but others have dropped the liberalism.

      And, hey, I was born in West Hartford!

  • Root cause of current crisis is Israeli government effort since 1967 to transform East Jerusalem into a Jewish city
    • Right, Mooser, my buddy Eso Einai. You're embarrassing yourself.

    • The Psalmist (psalm 121) is saying that salvation is not to be found on any mountain (including the Temple Mount...)

      ...I shall raise my eyes to the mountains, from where will my help come?

      My help is from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth

  • The hidden documents that reveal the true borders of Israel and Palestine (Updated)
    • Ro Ha,
      What I mean by "nation"?
      Here's from from the webster on-line concise encyclopedia, good enough for me:

      nation noun (Concise Encyclopedia)
      People whose common identity creates a psychological bond and a political community. Their political identity usually comprises such characteristics as a common language, culture, ethnicity, and history. More than one nation may comprise a state, but the terms nation, state, and country are often used interchangeably. A nation-state is a state populated primarily by the people of one nationality.

    • Annie, I never said that the Palestinians are not as much a nation of people as Jews are. You must know by now that I support mutual mutual recognition and a two state solution. This land is the homeland of two nations -(that's the conflict in a nutshell) and they need to find a way to co-exist.
      As to your analogy to being natives of africa - it doesn't work. Humans outside of Africa didn't maintain ties to Africa, didn't dream of and pray for a return to Africa...
      I know you disagree , but in my view Jews in Israel are not foreigners. I do realize that in the eyes of most of the Palestinian population they were perceived as such.

    • RoHa,
      "Bi-national state" implies that there are two nations on the land, both legitimate, and they reach an agreement as partners in sharing it. My point was that the Arab side didn't accept that option at the time.
      Jews were not, and are not, "foreigners" in the Jewish historic homeland. (or aliens, invaders, colonialists ... all those terms). We are quite at home here.

    • Mooser, Are you hallucinating? I have no idea where I supposedly said what you're accusing me of saying.
      Incidentally, I'm still waiting for the results of your analysis of the time-stamps on my comments.

    • Horizontal,
      I haven't read Judis' book, but , from the citation you provided, I think he's wrong:
      After ten years Palestine would have become an independent Arab state, not a bi-national one. The Arab side never agreed to the bi-national option, which implies recognition of the Jews as a legitimate nation in Palestine, with whom the land is to be shared.
      Moreover , I doubt that the Arab leadership proposed allowing 75,000 immigrants over five years. They didn't accept any Jewish immigration.

      The discussion here was focused on 1947-48, and you went back to 1939, but that's ok, the Arab position was consistent.

      I would sincerely appreciate any proof of Arab support for the bi-national option. I will have learned something new.

    • As to the "request to readers":
      The origins and background of Israel's declaration of independence have been researched extensively, including the various drafts. See here, for example:

      link to jtr.lib.virginia.edu

      link to muse.jhu.edu

      link to mfa.gov.il

      link to muse.jhu.edu

    • talknic,

      The text you cite proves my point: the term" bi-national state " is nowhere to be found.
      The Arab side always rejected that option.

    • Dr. Fincham writes:

      "In 1947 the Arabs proposed an alternative to the Partition Plan. It was that Palestine should become an independent democratic bi-national state with equality for all. "

      Who were "the Arabs" who made the proposal? Where?
      As far as I know the bi-national option was supported, pre-1947, by Hashomer Hatzair, Brit Shalom and other individuals on the Jewish-Zionist side, but was rejected by the Arab side. Establishment of a bi-national state was certainly not the goal of the Arab side in the 1948 war .

  • SodaStream says it plans to leave West Bank for the Negev, but boycotters promise to not let up
    • Annie, Whether or not they stopped production, I support the Palestinian employees in this matter and not the management that dismissed them. I would sign any petition or campaign to re-hire them.

    • Talkback,
      I suppose it was inevitable that someone here would make that obscene analogy - Israel is like the Nazis, the Palestinian employees of Sodastream are like the Jews in the Holocaust...Totally appropriate and helpful.

    • According to the report in the link you provided, they were not fired for complaining, they were fired for stopping production. Not that I'm justifying the dismissals.

    • Sodastream's decision to move out of the West Bank should be the end of the boycott, especially since they're relocating to Rahat and a significant number of jobs will be available there. (I go by that facility every so often and it looks really huge.)
      Last time the issue came up I expressed concern for the Palestinian employees who may be left without jobs when the factory moves out. I think that there's still cause for concern .

  • A visit to Auschwitz
    • OK Moooser , I'll take your admission of a "mistake " and assume that you regret posting that link.
      I never urged you to visit Israel, I was just curious as to whether you ever had. Many people , maybe most people, have an inclination to see only what they're looking for , what they expect, so that their pre-determined opinions are reinforced. So, in your case, you would look for , and find, the faults and end up hating Israel even more.

      ..." you haven’t got a goddam thing you can say which would pass muster outside of an insane asylum or a prison. "
      You don't seem to have much to say beyond personal insults. Please show one comment of mine that was irrational. Or is it that anything you disagree with is insane asylum material, in your mind?

    • Mooser's comment provides a link to an Anti-Semitic website.

      Mooser, I think our "conversation " ends here.

    • Mooser,
      So I take your answer to be "never".
      Interesting.
      Actually seeing the reality may confuse you.

    • Mooser,
      I could make a list of good things (and also not-so-good) but I doubt that you would change your mind. You would probably make a nasty remark about every item.
      When was the last time you visited Israel?

    • Mooser, you're asking what actions by Jewish leaders 70 years ago, would cause you, today , to open your mind?
      I have no idea. Probably none.

    • Seafoid,
      In short, the trip to Poland stands on three legs, so to speak:
      The Jews in Poland , pre-WW2 ("what was lost?")
      The Shoah
      Poland -history and culture

      As for books, I usually recommend Primo Levi :If This Is A Man

      (and how many kids read books these days?)

    • Seafoid,
      Yes to all of the above, except the music.

    • See CNN's Wolf Blitzer on his journey:

      link to edition.cnn.com

    • I've had the experience of visiting Poland , including Auschwitz, with groups of Israeli high-schoolers. Last year I had the privilege of leading a delegation of 96 kids and 6 teachers.
      For all of us –students and teachers – it was a moving , emotional, encounter, quite different from classroom learning.
      Incidentally, I absolutely forbade them to wrap themselves in the flag like the kids Scott saw. The flag isn't a shawl, a shroud or some kind of accessory.

      One of the texts we read was this poem:

      Written in Pencil in the Sealed Freight Car

      Dan Pagis
      (translated by T.Carmi)

      Here in this carload
      I Eve
      With my son Abel
      If you see my older boy
      Cain the son of Adam
      Tell him that I

    • Seafoid, "The same insanity"? If you mean that all forms of racism are similar to a certain degree - I would agree.
      I would not agree that Beirut was "the same" as Auschwitz. And the massacre in Sabra was directly perpetrated by the Falangist Lebanese Christian militia, not a "Jewish army". The IDF was guilty - of indirect responsibility, of turning a blind eye, but not of the actual deed.

  • Israeli army kills 14-year old Palestinian with U.S. citizenship
    • Annie, I'm using the conventional, textbook definition of terrorism: the deliberate targetting of random innocent civilians. When a regular army does that , it's also terrorism, and considered a war crime.

    • Just to be clear -and repeating myself for the umpteenth time- I condemn terrorism from whatever side, and especially when children are victims.
      Terrorists always come up with some dumbass "motivation', "justification", "cause" or whatever for killing people. Who cares? The only significance of those " causes" are as leads in investigations aimed at prevention (before the attack) or apprehending the perps after the fact.

    • Just a few days ago a 3-month old Jewish baby -also an American citizen- was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist.
      Doesn't Haya Zissel Braun deserve a headline?
      link to ynetnews.com

  • The ice floe
    • On the day that Phil makes aliyah, he'll be issued his own ID card and will be able to see for himself.

    • I also did "more research", which , in my case , meant taking out my own ID card ("te'udat zehut") and noting that it was issued in 2012 (after the previous one had become somewhat decrepit) and, no, there isn't any "nationality " listed.
      Shmuel is correct in noting that the the deletion of the nationality article had nothing to do with any concern regarding discrimination of non-Jews. It was due to the never-ending "who is a Jew?" issue.

    • As someone with some experience with Israeli-Palestinian encounter groups, I think that they are worthwhile, as long as you don't expect too much. Encounter groups are not going to resolve the conflict and can't replace efforts to reach a resolution in the political sphere. However , given the present level of racism and hatred, I would applaud any effort to bring people of good will together, any effort to reduce racism and hatred.

      Oh, and "Jewish" and "Arab" nationality on id cards in Israel is a thing of the past.

  • An exciting night at the opera: 'Klinghoffer' opening dominated by protest and heavy police presence
    • Annie,
      Still waiting...

    • Annie,
      At least you admit the lack of fair play on Mondoweiss, so I don't have to worry that I've become paranoid.
      I assumed that the moderators' job is to make sure that the guidelines that appear in the "comments policy " are observed, and not to shoot down comments because he or she disagrees, or even thinks it's crap.

      I didn't say that the Palestinians want their own people to be slaughtered. I said Hamas.

      I didn't know that I have "co-horts".

      I express my own opinions and observations , the truth as I see it, -within the guidelines - and I would like to continue to do so. I'm not going to adjust my comments in order to avoid being censored .

    • Annie,
      Why should I have to hope for some other moderator?
      What is this, some kind of personal vendetta?
      This forum has a "comments policy", and I try to stay within those guidelines.
      According to your comment , it's ok to mention Hamas firing rockets, but not the strategy Bill Clinton was referring to? And it's prohibited to repeat the same point "over and over"? (What will talknic do?)

    • Annie, Do you have a link showing that same footage from Wafa hospital, dated from "Cast Lead"?

    • Annie,
      I haven' t "fabricated" anything.
      "a modicum of objectivity" - do you think Mondoweiss is objective, fair and balanced? When comments mentioning Hamas crimes are not allowed?

      I wasn't in Gaza, at Wafa hospital, in July - and neither were you, so I suppose it comes down to who is a reliable source, who do you believe?

      link to idfblog.com
      link to jpost.com

    • Seafoid,
      Was Mr. Klinghoffer firing rockets at civilians from his wheelchair?

    • Mooser, you think you're really clever, mocking the cold blooded murder of a Jewish man, confined to a wheelchair , who was shot and dumped overboard?
      Absolutely hilarious.

  • 'NYT' can't keep its story straight on anti-Semitism in Germany
    • Shingo,
      From the Central Bureau of Statistics .In fairness I should point out that the most recent year for which data is available is 2012, so if there was a significant shift this year, it doesn't show up there yet.
      I'm not aware of having been "thumped" regarding Hamas' crimes. I stand by everything I wrote on that topic.

    • Shmuel,
      You may be in a better position than other commenters here to assess the anti-Semitic threat in Europe, as long as you don't engage in wishful thinking.
      Some statistics appear here:

      link to antisemitism.org.il

    • The statistics are - and I'm sorry to disappoint some of you- that emigration from Israel is at a 40-year low.

      I've also heard that in much of Europe Jews are afraid of wearing a kippah in public these days.

  • In the last days of 'Operation Protective Edge' Israel focused on its final goal -- the destruction of Gaza's professional class
    • Dan Cohen ignores Hamas' strategy of using schools, mosques, hospitals and residential buildings as launching sites, arms depots, etc., thereby deliberately increasing casualties and destruction among their own people.

      As former President Bill Clinton said: "Hamas' strategy is to have Gaza civilians killed".

      see here:

      link to youtube.com

      Mr. Cohen notes that " the professional class, a key pillar of Palestinian society generally considered unsympathetic to the political goals of Hamas, " - which would give Hamas an added incentive in this case.

  • Pogroms rage in Europe? Kidnaped Israeli teens were Freedom Riders? Liberal Zionists' desperate slogans
  • Food writer Melissa Clark on being Jewish
    • According to the link:

      "Published in 1903, this was the original ""way to a man's heart,"" featuring authentic American recipes, European cooking, and Jewish favorites. It was put together by the cooking students at the Milwaukee Settlement House and was an important staple of the American kitchen for more than fifty years."

      What does Phil mean by "assumptive cultural attitude"?

  • ISIS wants us to come in and bomb Arabs (Rouhani and Matthews agree)
  • 'Jews Against Genocide' take the blood bucket challenge at Yad Vashem
    • Joer,
      I never ignored civilian Palestinian casualties. I was horrified by the death and destruction in Gaza but I said that Hamas bears primary responsibility.

      "Hypothetical friendly fire..." First, I wasn't snickering. Second, over 500 rockets and mortars fired by Hamas and the other terrorists landed in Gaza, on their own people , and that's a conservative estimate.

      Hamas targets civilians (and I make a distinction between the Palestinians and Hamas). That's not a "charge" I made, that's a fact , proven by thousands of rockets and mortars fired at our civilian population, causing casualties and damage. What does "the ratio" have to do with it? It's not for lack of trying, on Hamas' part.

      You may have read Hamas propaganda in disguise, maybe even here on MW.

    • Seafoid,
      "Built on the ruins of a Palestinian village " -I'm not sure about that. In any case, lots of places in Israel were built on ruined , depopulated Palestinian villages, including both Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University at Givat Ram. That doesn't make them frauds.

      "The Holocaust didn't happen in Palestine. " It also didn't happen in the USA, which has a Holocaust museum in D.C. It's entirely natural for Israel to seek to commemorate the Holocaust. It would have been strange if Israel had not established such an institute.

      I agree that never again applies to everyone.

      Young Israelis learn about the Holocaust. I don't know about an "IDF cult".

      The issue of Jewish leadership during the Shoah is controversial and way too complex to reduce to a brief MW comment. The Jewish leadership at the time was, above all, helpless.

    • Joer,

      "Parroting official propaganda " - of course I could accuse you of parroting Hamas propaganda. So please point out what, in my post, are you disputing? That many Hamas rockets fell inside Gaza? That their strategy was designed to cause civilian casualties on both sides?
      "Lack of empathy"? "total ignorance"? I've mentioned on several occasions the misery, the horrific casualties , the destruction , suffered by the people of Gaza. I'm sorry if my empathy wasn't clearer. As to ignorance- what am I supposed to be ignorant of? Would you like to compete in knowledge?

    • Actually , hundreds of Hamas rockets and mortars fell short of their intended targets in Israel and landed inside Gaza, so in that respect, they really were "dropping bombs on themselves".

      Aside from that, the hamas strategy was to try to cause civilian casualties in Israel and also among their own people.

    • Seafoid, How is Yad Vashem a fraud?
      Yad Vashem consists of:
      - a stunning museum, designed in its present form by the architect Moshe Safdie.
      - an educational center which attracts students and teachers from all over the country and from abroad.
      - a huge archive and research institute, arguably the foremost institute in the world for study of the Holocaust.
      -several memorials and monuments.
      -an excellent website.

      Where's the fraud?

      Oh, and I like your idea of an outreach centre in Gaza. Not much chance of getting approval from Hamas, though.

  • Rosh Hashanah After Gaza
    • Mooser,
      I comment here when I feel like it, when I have the time, when I think I have something to say. So, no, I don't know what a statistical analysis of the time stamps would show, except for the fact that I generally don't post comments in my sleep.

      When I wrote "we" I was referring to Mondoweiss commenters who miss the "edit" function.

      I'm being paid ?! to post comments on Mondoweiss?!! $136 a day?! Where did you come up with that?
      (On the other hand I suppose it would be nice...)
      Rest assured, Mooser, I'm exactly what my profile says, a humble teacher.

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