Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2228 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2228 - 2201

  • 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

  • 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.

    • Amigo, No, I was not "shot down" last time, and I stand by my critique of the misleading maps.
      "State land" is land owned by the government, and there were different categories. For a detailed explanation :
      link to
      Scroll down to "who owned the land?"

      Did the land belong to the Palestinians? some was privately owned, some by the government. The maps ignored Jordanian and Egyptian rule.

    • Are these the same misleading maps that have been used before?
      link to

  • Michael Oren misrepresents 1971 synagogue bombing that changed his life
    • Brewer, no coincidence at all. There's certainly a connection between the rise in anti-Semitism and the conflict in Gaza. See the report I linked to in my reply to lysias, above.

    • Page: 22
    • Annie, You're right, I should have written "the reactions on the part of the editors and the dominant anti-Zionist commenters". I'm aware of the Zionist minority here.
      And, no, in fairness , I haven't been censored recently. Last summer I was.
      One more item connected to MW policy: I'm renewing my request to allow commenters to add pictures. This could be done under the usual rules of moderation: the picture being on-topic, inoffensive,etc.

    • What's more important today is the upsurge of anti-Semitism, and its convergence with anti-Zionism -especially in Europe - and not whether Dr. Oren's personal recollections are accurate.

      The reactions I've seen here on MW to the present increase in anti-Semitic incidents are:
      (a) It isn't happening.
      (b) It may be happening, but Israel and Zionism are to blame.
      (c) It may be happening , but what about the Palestinians? what about Islamophobia? ("Whataboutery", I love that term.)
      (d) It may be happening, but I don't care (Norman Finkelstein).

  • Happy 10th Anniversary BDS
    • As Israelis, we have a vested interest in Palestinian prosperity.
      Too bad our government apparently doesn't see it that way...

    • talknic, You may find it hard to believe, but I'm sincerely concerned about the Palestinian economy and society. Not out of altruism, but because I don't believe it's "zero-sum", I don't think that it's good for Israel for the Palestinians to be miserable, and vice versa.

    • Hechinococcus, thanks for your comment, which shows that for the extremists, it's not about the occupation or the settlements, the issue is our presence in any part of the country.

    • The case of Sodastream is a good illustration of how misguided the bds campaign is.
      Sodastream announced that it's closing it's factory in the WB and building instead a facility in the Negev, near the Bedouin town of Rahat.
      With that announcement the boycott of Sodastream should have ended , and the company should have been commended for ending its complicity in the occupation and for its decision to relocate to Rahat, where it will provide much-needed jobs.
      I get the feeling that some "pro-Palestinian" activists simply hate Israel more than they actually care about real, live, flesh-and-blood Palestinian people.

  • The BDS Movement at 10: An interview with Omar Barghouti
  • I believe I can make a difference in my lifetime
    • Annie, Are you implying that Israel is behind all the violence in the M-E? Sunnis vs.Shiites? The Syrian civil war? The rise of ISIS?Libya? Yemen?

    • Annie, I totally agree with your hopes for Israel, though I would add " and lives in peace with it's neighbors".

      I do wonder about "Israel/Palestine is the preeminent human rights issue of our lifetime" seeing that it's not the worst or bloodiest conflict in the world, not even the bloodiest conflict in the Middle East.

  • Michael Oren cannot hide his disrespect for Jewish Americans
    • Everyone has a "compound identity": your citizenship, your ethnic group, your religion, your political affiliation, your profession, your sexual orientation...and more. Nobody is one-dimensional.
      On the other hand the "dual loyalties" accusation is raised to imply that Jewish -Americans are not 100% Americans.

  • 'Why this bullsh-t?' Video of Israeli navy flotilla takeover
    • Kris,
      Simple logic says that if a blockade is legal, then attempting to break it is not.

      On the other thread, see my comment there.

    • From the report of the UN inquiry into the Marmara incident:

      “The naval blockade was imposed as a legitimate security measure in order to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and its implementation complied with the requirements of international law.”

      link to

  • Oren's memoir reveals Israel's elite is hyper-sensitive to U.S. criticism
    • Just, to be clear: I wrote "jewish DNA, so to speak". In othet words dna as a metaphor for somthing etched in jewish identity..

    • Shmuel,
      As you know, the amidah is only one of numerous examples. Everything from "next year in Jerusalem " at the seder, to the oath that every Jewish groom makes, just before he breaks the glass and is engulfed by his new bride's perspiring uncles, to R. Yehudah HaLevi's poetry.
      As some of the commenters here have pointed out, correctly, it's not enough to really want something, to prove that it should be yours. The point is that the Jews didn't come to some random territory, as colonialists or alien invaders. The connections to Eretz Yisrael were always there, part of the Jewish DNA, so to speak.. The modern political movement arose when conditions were ripe, and built on those historic and religious ties.

    • Talknic,
      I'm wondering about your hysterical comment:
      I counted two "stupid"s , one "pathetic", one "devoid of any intelligence".
      Wow, really convincing.

    • Shmuel ,
      You may recall that the Amidah also includes a prayer for "ingathering of the exiles".

      For those who are unfamiliar with the prayer, scroll down to the 10th blessing:
      link to

    • Hostage,
      "The references to the Land and Jerusalem were treated as allegories that conveyed a spiritual message. "
      Why not consider the possibility that the Jews praying for a return to Zion for thousands of years - actually meant what they were saying?

  • Interview with Rela Mazali: The Israeli left, BDS, and the 'habit of hope'
  • My journey from Zionism to Palestine solidarity
    • I realize that I've stated my view in rather stark terms, but I still think that it's basically true: Israelis and Palestinians can have either justice or peace (and I hope they choose the latter).
      What each side would consider "justice" - would never be accepted by the other, and I suspect that "justice" would be little more than a code-word for retribution and vengeance. The road to "justice" will be paved with corpses.
      Our focus should be on reconciliation , on reaching peace agreements that the mainstream on both sides can live with. The extremists, the fanatics on both sides, can continue to daydream about achieving ultimate justice, just leave the rest of us alone.

    • To Adam's credit at least he mentions peace as a goal ("peaceful outcome").
      Peace is a term which doesn't appear here too often.

      And I'll take this opportunity to make the following statement:
      I am NOT running for the Republican presidential nomination.
      (I like to be different from everyone else).

  • 'Jewish cow' is udderly superior to all other cows in the world, Netanyahu says
  • Interview with a suicide bomber
    • Annie,
      I would be surprised to learn that church -affiliated schools don't teach the Bible as literal truth.
      What about the Catholic schools? the Evangelicals?. I'm pretty sure about Muslim schools.
      Anyway if any MW commenters know more about this than I do (or Annie) - please share.

      No, I don't teach the parting of the red sea as history. I mentioned that I teach the Second Temple period, so it wouldn't be relevant in any case.

      I do teach about Massada. The sole source for the events that occured there is Josephus, so, basically, the question is whether Josephus is reliable. The archaeological excavation carried out on the site showed that Josephus' physical descriptions were accurate, and signs of the Zealots presence, and of the Roman siege were found. So there's a pretty strong case that the the account provided by Josephus is basically true. There is one significant question, still a mystery: what happened to the remains of the Zealots? Where are the skeletons? We don't know.

    • Ok, I'll try to deal with the various issues raised here, in separate comments
      When the war ended, and the 1949 armistice agreements were signed, Jordan remained in control of a significant part of what had been Mandatorial Palestine, the area that came to be known as the West Bank (including east Jerusalem), and Egyptian rule was established in the Gaza Strip. In those areas, especially in the WB, there had been a Jewish population in places such as the Etzion Bloc (four settlements), and the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem. Non were allowed to remain. Such was also the fate of Kfar Darom, in what became the Gaza Strip. See here, as one example:

      In 1948 during the Arab-Israeli War, its population of about 2,000 Jews was besieged, and forced to leave en masse. ColonelAbdullah el Tell, local commander of the Jordanian Arab Legion, with whom Mordechai Weingarten negotiated the surrender terms, described the destruction of the Jewish Quarter, in his Memoirs (Cairo, 1959):

      Weingarten negotiating the surrender with Arab Legion soldiers
      "... The operations of calculated destruction were set in motion.... I knew that the Jewish Quarter was densely populated with Jews who caused their fighters a good deal of interference and difficulty.... I embarked, therefore, on the shelling of the Quarter with mortars, creating harassment and destruction.... Only four days after our entry into Jerusalem the Jewish Quarter had become their graveyard. Death and destruction reigned over it.... As the dawn of Friday, May 28, 1948, was about to break, the Jewish Quarter emerged convulsed in a black cloud - a cloud of death and agony."
      —Yosef Tekoah (Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations) quoting Abdullah el-Tal.[10]
      The Jordanian commander is reported to have told his superiors: "For the first time in 1,000 years not a single Jew remains in the Jewish Quarter. Not a single building remains intact. This makes the Jews' return here impossible."[11][12] The Hurva Synagogue, originally built in 1701, was blown up by the Jordanian Arab Legion. During the nineteen years of Jordanian rule, a third of the Jewish Quarter's buildings were demolished.[13] According to a complaint Israel made to the United Nations, all but one of the thirty-five Jewish houses of worship in the Old City were destroyed. The synagogues were razed or pillaged and stripped and their interiors used as hen-houses or stables.[10]

      link to

    • Kris,
      I'll reverse the challenge: show me one Jewish settlement, one Jewish family, even one individual who remained in territory under Arab rule (Jordan in the West Bank, Egypt in Gaza) at the end of the war, in 1949.
      Your comment connecting me- a person of the Left- to creationism is so silly, that I'd rather not pursue it.

    • Annie,
      In the religious schools the Bible is regarded as the literal truth, much as church-affiliated schools regard the New Testament as such (virgin birth, resurrection...) and Muslim schools teach the Holy Quran as the literal truth.
      In the non-religious schools, like the one in which I work, it's a bit different. The Bible is taught with modern critical methods. As a History teacher, I refer to the Bible as a source when teaching the Second Temple period , especially where events described in the Bible are consistent with extra-biblical sources and with the archaeological record.

    • Kris, you want me to look up information on the massacre that you and just have just invented?

      And why in the world would you provide a link regarding the teaching of creationism? Have you confused me with someone else?

      As to ethnic cleansing on both sides during the 1948 war: of course there were differences between the two sides. One of the differences was that on the Arab side the ethnic cleansing was total: in the territories that remained under Arab rule at the end of the war not one single live Jew remained.

    • Just,
      It's typical of fanatics not to be able to see two sides of an issue, to totally idealize one side and demonize the other.
      You're free to pity my students. I do, too, sometimes.
      But seriously: I do my best not only to teach the program, but to educate , to the best of whatever ability I have, towards the democratic ideals I believe in.

      Also, Just, I never" called for the deaths of unknowns". You know very well that I was referring to terrorists training for, or in the act of, launching rockets intended to kill my family and myself, my friends and neighbors.

    • RoHa,
      The idea of a bi-national state was promoted at the time by people like Prof. Magnes, and groups like Brit Shalom and Hashomer Hatzair, who objected to partition for various reasons, and also didn't want a state in which one nation dominated the other. The concept was that it wouldn't be a Jewish State, and wouldn't be an Arab State. It would be Jewish-Arab, Arab-Jewish. Think of Czechoslovakia.
      As to "invaders": we all know the images that term brings to mind. But when I think of the Jewish immigrants, I think of the idealists of the Second and Third Aliyah, seeking to establish a socialist utopia, and the dazed survivors emerging from the Nazi camps, and the Jews from Yemen and from Ethiopia, crossing the desert on foot...Not the images of an invading horde.

    • Just, Kris,
      Let's see: you have no facts, no evidence, no documents, no witnesses. Not even any allegations of a massacre from the Palestinian side. You're just concocting an allegation, 67 years later, out of thin air.
      I'm not denying that horrible deeds were done in that war: massacres, executions of prisoners, expulsions and ethnic cleansing-on both sides. As a teacher, I try to have my students hear not only one side , not only one narrative, but the other side as well. As to those horrible deeds, I try to put them in the context of the time, without making excuses.
      To return to Beersheva, 1948: what was the Egyptian army doing here in the first place? They had invaded , to prevent the establishment and survival of Israel, and the IDF was there to repulse them.

    • Annie, it certainly wasn't acceptable by anyone on the Jewish side. The Arab side rejected partition, rejected the bi-national model, and demanded an end to futher Jewish immigration. At best the Jews could expect to be a persecuted minority , at the mercy of Palestinian leaders such as Jamal Husseini, a relative and associate of the Nazi-collaborator Mufti. I wouldn't take the reference to the US constitution seriously.

    • Well, let's allow R.W. to answer that...

    • Kris,
      I don't live on stolen Palestinian land, I'm at home in my homeland.
      You're correct that I don't represent all Zionist Jews, just myself.
      I never, ever , supported terrorism, from any side.

    • CigarGod,
      People who blow up civilian busses, restaurants, pizzerias and a Passover seder, are not freedom fighters. If that's not terrorism, what is?
      I suppose you regard the 9/11 hijackers, the Oklahoma City bomber, the London Tube bombers, the Boston Marathon "freedom fighters". Correct?

    • Dan Cohen is once again portraying terrorists favourably. Even if we assume that Mohammad Zaidan is sincere in describing his qualms about blowing up innocent civilians, he certainly doesn't represent all the suicide/homicide bombers who showed no such reluctance , blowing up civilian busses, restaurants, cafes and such, murdering men, women and children indiscriminately. In the hotel bombing in Natanya that he mentions the target was a Passover seder.
      Terrorists such as suicide/homicide bombers are not necessarily motivated by the occupation of their homeland: The 9/11 hijackers and the London Tube bombers were living relatively comfortable middle-class lives in the West, and were not from countries under occupation. The Jewish terrorist Baruch Goldstein , perpetrator of the Hebron massacre, wasn't under occupation, he was part of the occupation.

    • Roha wrote:

      "The Palestinians have tried compromise. Before Israel was established they offered a perfectly reasonable compromise. To wit: a single democratic state in Palestine, in which the invaders would be full, equal citizens with the natives, and in which Arabic and Hebrew would be the official languages. The main condition they set was an end to Jewish immigration. "
      Aside from the reference to the Jews as "invaders", this looks like the bi-national state concept, with the addition of ending Jewish immigration.

      Tree, in support brings this quote from Jamal Husseini:

      "The future constitutional organization of Palestine should be based on the following principles: first, establishment on democratic lines of an Arab State comprising all Palestine; secondly, observance by the said Arab State of Palestine of human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law; thirdly, protection by the Arab State of the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities; fourthly, guarantee to all of freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.”
      There's no mention of Hebrew and Arabic being official languages, because Jamal Husseini was not talking about a bi-national state. He says clearly : an Arab state.

  • In letter to John Kerry, 19 reps stand up for Palestinian children behind bars
    • Following up:
      Today it was reported that the US Embassy in Israel tried to exert pressure on Knesset members of the Joint List, no less, to vote for the natural-gas deal.
      Could this also have to do with Sec. Kerry's reported personal interest? Embassies are, after all, under the authority of the Secretary of State.

    • I don't know how much this is being covered abroad, but the major news today in Israel is about the huge natural-gas deal:

      link to

      The connection to this thread is here, it seems that Sec. Kerry may have a personal stake in the deal:
      link to

  • Israeli President Reuven Rivlin calls for removal of Israeli flag
    • Shmuel,
      The symbolic gesture that the symbolic leader is supposed to make is to remove the Jewish symbol from the flag. Phil and Adam don't seem to have a problem with the Christian symbol on many European flags, or with Muslim symbols on the flags of Arab and Muslim countries.

      I understand the desire to consider Palestinian sensitivities, but I think that the answer is not in lowering the Magen David, but in ensuring that the Palestinian flag can be raised alongside it. I remember the time when flying the Palestinian flag was "illegal" and "incitement", and our soldiers and police were tasked with running around Palestinian towns to pull down flags. That was wrong –and futile- but the lesson of those days should be that both peoples should be able to fly their flags and make use of the symbols that are dear to so many.

      But let's not pretend that it's just the matter of the flag. If there's a Jewish state, there are going to be Jewish symbols: the magen david flag, the menorah emblem, the " "Hatikva "anthem . It's not the symbol, it's the concept of a Jewish state that bugs Phil and Adam.

    • Will other countries remove Christian and Muslim symbols from their flags?

  • Does Israel have a toxic personality? Ask Michael Oren
  • 'NYT's public editor slams anti-Irish bigotry in news story on Berkeley balcony deaths
  • Jewish community must 'welcome' anti-Zionist, pro-BDS Jews, Beinart says-- but Shavit says, Excommunicate them
    • Bryan,
      I was responding to Boo's comment . There's really no way to know for sure what the prophets who lived thousands of years ago would have thought of todays politics. However, if you want to play that game, and guess what they would have thought, you should base it on what they said.Based on their words, it's doubtful that they would have all been anti-Zionist

    • What Hostage did here:
      link to
      was to fuse two comments, from different commenters.
      The second part , "It's quite sad..." was indeed, mine. But the first part, "To rectify..." was from someone else (Annie, I think...)

    • Boo,
      All the Old Testament prophets are Anti-Zionists? that's a pretty weird and anachronistic statement.
      Including Moses, who led the people to the land of Israel? including Ezekiel?
      From the vision of the dead bones, chapter 37: 12 Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. 13 And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. 14 And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD."

    • translation?

    • Annie, I didn't say that Phil lost his place in the community, I said the opposite: that I agree with Prof. Beinart, that Anti-zionists should NOT be excluded.

    • Hostage,
      Thanks for the clarification.
      I had a grandfather, of blessed memory, whose main interest in life -aside from his family- was studying the Torah, and that's basically what he did for 80 years ( he died at 86). He never boasted about having read it all.

    • Phil,
      One slight correction: Bialik is known mainly as a Hebrew writer, not Yiddish.

      Hebrew doesn't need you to change your life in order to preserve it. Hebrew is doing fine. So it's not a matter of changing your life, it's more of an opportunity you could have had to enrich it.

      As to Yiddish, it's true that Zionists often saw Yiddish as an adversary, and fought for Hebrew, but that's not what almost killed Yiddish: It was the Nazis , who annihilated the mass of Yiddish speakers. Today Yiddish survives as a living language , mainly among the Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox).

    • Hostage, that's three "stupid"s in one comment.
      Reminds me of the comment in which you referred to the study of Jewish sources as "all that shit"... and claimed to have read it all.

    • To those who asked what I meant about crossing certain lines, I mean pretty extreme positions and actions. Gilad Atzmon comes to mind as a person who crossed into the realm of Holocaust denial and blatant anti-Semitism (aside from calling Phil Weiss a Zionist!) and, obviously opted out and lost his place in the community.

    • Yonah, Thanks for your reply, I figured that you meant something like that; that he died, as we say, "al kiddush Hashem".

    • I agree with Prof. Beinart that Anti-Zionist Jews should be seen as a legitimate part of the community, should "have a place at the table" , assuming that they don't cross certain lines, and despite the irony that boycott-supporters worry about being boycotted in the community.

      A while ago, in one of his Haaretz columns,probably in response to a call for Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews to get together and thrash out their differences over Israel, Beinart wrote that , on the contrary, he'd like to see Zionist and anti-Zionist Jews get together and, for a change, NOT argue over Israel. Instead, discuss the weekly Torah portion .
      (I'm paraphrasing from memory, but that was his idea...)

  • Video: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs ridicules foreign press in cartoon defending Gaza attack
    • Vera, Actually most Israelis do have a pretty good idea of what Jews went through, and would regard your analogy ("the same crimes") as disgraceful.

  • After a hard week in the news, Israeli gets valentines all weekend from NPR
    • ckg, I'm not a student, see my profile.

    • talknic, it's pretty clear:

      "Hospitals, both fixed and mobile, ambulances, hospital ships, medical aircraft, and medical personnel—whether civilian or military—are also entitled to protection from hostile fire under the Geneva Conventions, provided that structures are marked with a red cross or red crescent and not used improperly or near military objectives, and staff are properly protected. Staff include not only doctors, nurses, and orderlies, but the drivers, cleaners, cooks, crews of hospital ships—in short, all those who help a medical unit to function. Some aid workers—for example, Red Cross volunteers treating the sick and wounded on the battlefield—are also covered, as are military chaplains. Other than hospitals, certain other buildings cannot be attacked. Places of worship and historic monuments are protected, as are civilian structures like schools and other objects that are not being used to support military activities. Under the 1954 Convention on Cultural Property important places of worship, historic sites, works of art, and other cultural treasures are likewise protected from attack.
      There are exceptions. A school, for example, becomes a legitimate military target if soldiers are based there. With hospitals, the situation is more complicated since they are permitted to keep armed guards on their grounds. But immunity from attack can be lost if the people or objects are used to commit acts that are harmful to one side in a conflict."
      - See more at: link to

    • I'm certainly not an expert on this, but I understand - and the report says - that wp was used not for illumination, but for smokescreen purposes.
      In any case, as I wrote, the use of wp was discontinued, and as far as I know, there were no allegations regarding wp during last summer's conflict.

    • talknic,

      "Seems jon s has run away"
      First of all, unfortunately, I can't spend my whole life commenting on MW, I have a family, a job (and last week was the History matriculation exam), and -believe it or not - other interests.
      Secondly, we're in way different time zones. A good many hours could pass before I see your comment, and can reply.

      Finally, on topic: I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, thinking that maybe I had misunderstood you, and you were not really saying that the way Hamas uses civilian facilities for military purposes is perfectly legal. Once you made it clear that that's really your opinion, it was "case closed".
      It's noteworthy that other anti-Israel (and pro-Hamas) commenters have usually denied that Hamas has such a strategy at all.

    • Talknic, you're welcome.
      When did I justify the use of wp?

    • Amigo,
      A wonderful term I learned right here on Mondoweiss: whataboutery.

      Not to avoid your points:
      On the transfer of population (the settlements) - I agree, and I oppose them, as you probably know by now.
      To the best of my knowledge the use of white phosphorous by the IDF has been discontinued, since "Cast Lead".
      Collective punishment is wrong in principle, but I really can't think of any war, even the most justified, in which civilians didn't suffer. And the principle applies to Israelis as well.

    • Talknic,
      You wrote "is not illegal". (On the military use of civilian facilities). Is that your view?

    • talknic, Are you really saying that using hospitals , schools, mosques and other civilian facilities for military purposes is legal ? As far as I know, it's a violation of laws and norms.

    • Michelle,
      Some of the land was purchased before British rule, under the Ottoman Empire.
      The British initially allowed land to be bought and sold. The price was detemined by market forces, supply and demand. In the last years of their rule the British imposed restrictions, in the context of the White Paper, restricting the free market.

    • eljay,
      In the link you provided, the IDF is listed as one of four major employers in Beer Sheva.
      It's undeniable that there are military and defense-related facilities in and around the city. That still doesn't mean that the civilian population is a legitimate target, any more than the civilian population in the DC suburbs could be seen as such because of the proximity to the Pentagon. And there are plenty of other cities in the US with military facilities , think of the naval bases in San Diego and Honolulu and elsewhere.
      The real point is that the IDF is not using hospitals, schools, synagogues and mosques and civilian homes as launching sites, weapons depots and so forth, unlike the Hamas terrorists.

    • CigarGod, You don't need much of an investigation. All you have to do is check the record of my comments and you'll see that on numerous occasions, especially last summer, I mentioned that I live in Be'er Sheva.

    • oldgeezer, Again, I don't live on stolen land, unless you consider all of Israel as such.

      The IDF makes a real effort to reduce civilian casualties. Could it do even more? I suppose it could. On the other side, we've seen how the Hamas terrorists use hospitals, schools, mosques and civilian residences for military purposes, deliberately causing civilian casualties among their own people.

    • My family and I are civilians, living in Israel, not the occupied territories. In other words, we're not "settlers" , as the term is used these days. We don't live on stolen land.
      It's the Hamas terrorists who deliberately target innocent civilians.

    • When you're under rocket fire from the terrorists in Gaza, concerned with protecting your family, as described by Etgar Keret, it's very difficult to simultaneously feel sympathy for the people of Gaza. I tried to do so last summer, to remember that the people in Gaza were being deliberately sacrificed by Hamas, but it was an effort.

  • The 'Forward''s apprehension about sending a reporter to Gaza -- a further response
    • I agree that the use of torture is both morally repugnant and practically inefficient. Or, rather , it may be a good way to get a confession (which can't be used in court) but not a good way to get the truth. However, I understand that in the case of KSM, the FBI used vein matching to confirm that the individual wielding the knife on Daniel Pearl was, indeed, KSM.

      Yonah, why did you call him "shahid"?

    • Walid,
      Noone has ever produced any credible evidence that Daniel Pearl was anything other than a journalist, on assignment for the Wall Street Journal. Your formulation -"a good probability that Pearl was a spy"- almost implies that he had it coming.

      In his confession Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl". His captors were probably initially unaware of his dual citizenship.
      In the video released by the murderers Daniel Pearl says "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish". He also mentions his families ties to Israel.
      His corpse was was cut into ten pieces.

    • This discussion has brought to mind the tragic fate of Daniel Pearl. He, too, was a Jewish-American journalist, chasing a story in an environment crawling with jihadi operatives. He, too, had been given assurances as to his personal safety.

  • It's the borders, stupid (forget the BDS hysteria)
    • As a supporter of two states, I would say that on the issue of the borders there's pretty much a consensus: the 1967 lines, with minor, mutually-agreed adjustments. It's not even the toughest issue that needs to be worked out.

  • Gaza’s al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades prepares for next Israeli war
    • echinococcus,
      I note that once again, you're avoiding my question. Maybe you haven't thought it through, maybe you've realized that you don't know what you're talking about.
      I also note that you're incapable of even spelling my name correctly. You keep adding an "h", hechinococcus.

    • echinococcus,
      I put "invasion" in quotation marks because Jews immigrating to or living in their historic homeland are not invaders.
      You're avoiding my question on when you consider the "invasion" to have begun. Maybe you simply haven't thought it through, despite your intellectual supremacy, which I've already conceded.

    • echinococcus,
      Could you be more precise? What do you mean by " Meaning any Palestinian Jews, i.e. settled as an inhabitant of Palestine prior to the Zionist invasion; not part of the invasion. "? When did the "invasion " begin? What's the cut-off date? I'm assuming that you mean descendants of those fortunate Palestinian Jews, and not only people way over 100 years old...

    • echinococcus,
      I'm sorry that I'm no match for your towering intellect. So please explain your comment in a way that even a dummy like me can understand.

      " You have no title to participate in the land’s sovereignty, except if you are the direct descendant of a Palestinian, even if Jewish. There is no historic homeland of anyone living today in that country, except Palestinians. "
      So who exactly are the Jews who are descendants of Palestinians, and thus qualify as Palestinians?
      And what do you mean by "there is no historic homeland..."? Are you denying the history?

    • Froggy,
      We purchased our home (apartment, to be precise) from a construction company, while it was being built, so noone lived here before. It's within the "generally recognized borders" (as you put it) .
      You're welcome to visit, see for yourself.

    • RoHa,
      Regarding "my people": Most people (maybe you're the exception...) tend to identify themselves as part of a group- a tribe , nation, ethnic group, religion, class, political party, fan club, etc.- and it's perfectly natural to be proud of the group you belong to. Of course you can belong to multiple groups, so, in answer to your question ,all the groups you mention can be considered "my people" in some way.
      I don't know why you find the matter "incoherent". Don't you belong to a nation, ethnic group, religion, or any kind of collective?
      If you've read my comments, you should know that I've never denied the Palestinian's right to live in their homeland, which is also my homeland.
      That's the situation in a nutshell: two peoples, sharing the same homeland. And, in my opinion the only possible solution is partition, and two states.

    • The Hamas military wing is still on Egypt's list of terror organizations.
      The explanation I've seen has to do with the appearance of ISIS-affiliated cells in Gaza, who have recently launched several rockets at Israel. Strange as it may sound, Hamas, Egypt and Israel may have to cooperate against ISIS.

    • Shingo,
      In this comment I linked to a report about Hamas' torture and execution of other Palestinians. That's the subject of this specific report , so it shouldn't be expected to include other issues , such as the Hamas' firing from the hospital, which was witnessed and reported by other sources.
      Are you saying that people willing to use a hospital as a torture facility for alleged traitors would be reluctant use the same hospital for launching rockets at Israel?
      And do you have anything to say, any comment, on the matter itself, the use of a hospital in such a way?

    • Shingo, on the link I provided, third paragraph from the bottom.

    • Donald,
      Yes, I've read reports, and I certainly will never condone deliberately targetting innocent civilians, by anyone.
      Among the reports I've seen recently is this one:

      link to

      Note the use of a facility on the grounds of al-Shifa hospital as an interrogation-and-torture center by Hamas.

      And see Prof. Asa Kasher's essay from last summer:
      link to

      As to "numbers matter": the terrorists launched thousands of rockets and mortars with the obvious intention of killing thousand of Israeli civilians. Are you saying that if they would have been more succesful -the moral balance would have changed? I can't accept that.
      We all know why we had relatively few civilian casualties : we have an early-warning alarm system, we have shelters and "security rooms", and we have "Iron Dome". It's not that the terrorists were not trying.

    • Kris,
      I don't live on stolen land. I live in a home I purchased with my own money, and a mortgage that I'm still paying, on land that's a part of my people's historic homeland. That's not to deny that it's the Palestinian homeland, as well.
      My family and friends and neighbors have the right to live in peace, as do the Palestinians. How to achieve that goal- that's the challenge.

    • Annie,
      I wrote that had calmed down because my initial reaction would have been more strongly worded.
      Are you saying that I totally misread this article, and that it does NOT portray the terrorists in a favourable way? I wish that was so.
      I was, indeed, shocked by this article. Being anti-Zionist should not necessarily mean being sympathetic to terrorists.

    • Now that I've calmed down:

      This "report" is certainly one of the lowest depths that Mondoweiss has ever sunk to.

      To be clear: I think that the fact that the terrorists are rebuilding their arsenal and their tunnels and capabilities is news-worthy , and should be reported far and wide.
      Dan Cohen's report , however, seeks to glorify these terrorists, who have tried to kill me and my family, my neighbors and friends. So, yes, I do hope that when they go out to launch their rockets, a drone will see them and take them out before they press the "launch " button.

      As to Hamas' strategy: is anyone here seriously claiming that they did NOT use hospitals, mosques, etc. for military (=terrorist) purposes?

    • The writer , Mr. Cohen, glorifies these terrorists by calling them the "resistance ".
      Actually they are cowardly terrorists, like Hamas, who hide behind their own civilians. We saw them last summer , employing a cynical strategy deliberately intended to increase civilian casualties among their own people - by using hospitals, mosques, schools and civilian residences as launching sites, arms depots and such.
      Now they're rebuilding: rockets, tunnels, bunkers for themselves- not homes for their people.
      Hopefully, next time they hear a drone, it will be the last thing they hear.

  • 'Heart-wrenching, harrowing, transfixing' -- NYT needs to end blackout on Blumenthal
    • Giles,
      So one of Hophmi's more notable characteristics is Yonah Fredman's horrific sentence structure?

  • 'Oglethorpe stands with Palestine': BDS comes to the American south (Updated)
    • Jjames North,
      (Sorry for not replying earlier, the end of the school year is a hectic time for me...)

      I'll concede the obvious fact that there are various organizations trying to counter anti-Israel initiatives and propaganda. However, when you use a term like "Hasbara Central" (sounds like "Moscow Center " in the Le Carre novels) you get the impression of a well-organized, efficient, institution , which does not reflect the real situation. In my view any such "Hasbara" efforts will prove to be pretty futile as far as the impact on western, liberal , public opinion is concerned, as long as the occupation and the settlements continue.

    • James North ,
      Do you really think that there's a "Hasbara Central" that sends people to comment on Mondoweiss? If so : do they pay the commenters and do you know how I can get in touch with them?

    • The point is that the first line in the report is a lie.

    • echinococcus,
      I was responding to lysias' comment, which included a claim that people could obtain citizenship unintentionally.

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