Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2006 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2006 - 2001

  • Just like the Nazis, Iran 'plans to exterminate six million Jews' -- Netanyahu
    • The historical fact is that the Iraqi regime took steps to make life in Iraq impossible for the Jewish community: they were dismissed from the civil service , boycotted economically, bank accounts were frozen , access to public facilities, including schools and hospitals - denied. Then the regime declared that the Jews could leave, within a one - year deadline, while relinquishing their property. In this situation the Jews scarcely needed "encouragement" (in the form of bombings ) to leave. It was pretty clear that they had to, before the door would slam shut.

      Looking up Nuri al-Said in wikipedia:
      "Nuri al-Said, the Iraqi prime minister, was determined to drive the Jews out of his country as quickly as possible,[8][9] and on August 21, 1950 he threatened to revoke the license of the company transporting the Jewish exodus if it did not fulfill its daily quota of 500 Jews. On September 18, 1950, Nuri al-Said summoned a representative of the Jewish community and claimed Israel was behind the emigration delay, threatening to "take them to the borders" and forcibly expel the Jews[10]"

    • lysias, The Jewish community in Iraq was pretty much driven out by the Iraqi authorities, not by any false -flag operations.

  • Israel could reduce anti-Semitic violence by not calling itself the Jewish state, Finkelstein says
    • Mooser,
      Apology accepted.

      For myself , I try to live up to the following advice:

      "Guard your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceitfully.

      Shun evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it."

      -Psalms 34 , 14-15

    • Hophmi,
      Yes, that's what I was referring to, of course. "Mooser" has written around 20 comments to that one of mine, including calling me a "mother-fucking anti-semite", which the moderators allowed.
      I'll leave it to any intelligent and fair-minded reader of this forum to judge as to who writes on-topic and in a civil tone and who resorts to abusive personal insults . In any case I no longer respond to his stuff.

    • Shmuel,
      I'll take your word for it regarding the situation in Rome.
      However, in other cities in Western Europe, innocent Jews have actually been killed . Not "bruised" in turf wars, but murdered. Toulouse, Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen.

      After writing the last line , I suddenly remembered that there had been an attack in Rome, back in 1982, when a 2 year old child was murdered:
      link to

    • eljay, (may I call you eljayeee?...)
      I try to do what's right and moral, and I believe in equality, not supremacism. I hope you do, too.

    • Page: 20
    • Gamal, As to distinctive behavior , I was referring to the many ways in which the Jews were different: speaking a different language (or the local language with a distinct accent); different beliefs , traditions and customs, different holidays, different food, even their sexual behavior was different.

    • Gamal,
      Sure , there was a typical Jewish appearance: beard, skull-cap, ear-locks, long black coat, etc.(for men); kerchief for women.

    • Kris,
      Like other countries, there's a lot that's good in Israel, and also plenty that should be changed and improved.
      If you want an example, we could take the health-care system. On the positive side, there's universal, mandatory , health insurance, There's no-one who's not covered, by law. On the negative side, there are often long waiting lists, hospitals tend to be over-crowded, and there's inequality, since wealthier people can obtain better care.

    • Annie, Just,
      You're both right, of course.
      That's why Kris should have written "Germans" and "Austrians" , not "Nazis".

    • Kris, Are you saying that there were Nazis who didn't agree with Nazism?

    • Back in the 19th century Jews thought that Anti-Semitism could be reduced if Jews would change their behaviour, their appearance, their occupations , and so forth. The premise was that Anti-Semitism had something to do with what Jews actually did.

      It didn't work.

      As Jews and as human beings, we should do what's right and what's moral, without expecting our actions to have any impact on Anti-Semites.

  • Faithwashing: the Muslim Leadership Institute and the academic boycott
    • Shalom, good comment, well put.

      One correction: Rabbi David Hartman passed away in 2013. The present president of the Hartman Institute is his son, Rabbi Donniel Hartman.

    • Annie,
      In Israel there's a rising tide of racism , xenophobia and anti-democratic tendencies, especially (though not exclusively) among the Orthodox Jews.
      Now, there's an institute like Hartman, which struggles against those tendencies, an institute described as “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism…”
      And what's your reaction ?: "boycott it!"
      As I said, a good example of what's wrong with "a comprehensive economic, cultural and academic boycott".

    • Annie,
      You're welcome.
      Maybe they think that there's an advantage in trying to see the situation on the ground with their own eyes, meeting people representing different viewpoints, and that increasing their understanding of the conflict over here will contribute to their efforts to improve Jewish-Muslim relations in North America.
      My main point is that the Hartman Institute, which is committed to promoting pluralism and democratic values, is a very poor choice as a target to boycott. Unless, of course, the boycotters are not interested in promoting any kind of mutual respect and understanding.

      For more information:
      link to

    • This is what Rabbi Donniel Hartman wrote :

      link to

    • Donald,
      First of all, for the record, I stand by what I wrote about Hamas bearing primary responsibility for the civilian casualties.
      Secondly, what does that have to do with my opinion on the Hartman Institute?
      Someone can be wrong on one topic and correct on another (unless you have a totalitarian mind-set).

      In the interview with the late Rabbi Hartman it's pretty obvious that he's saying "these are the views I'm hearing, this is what's being said", not that those were his views.
      In any case, what I wrote was not based on a line from an interview from 2002, but on my direct contact with the Hartman Institute in recent years.

      I agree with Prof. Sarna, quoted in tree's link:

      "Jonathan D. Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, described the Hartman Institute as “a little island of pluralism amidst a sea of what was often religious fanaticism..."

    • This is a good example of much of what's wrong with the BDS campaign.

      I've had the privilege of participating in numerous seminars at the Hartman Institute, as well as their Purim megillah-reading. These days it's unfortunately a rarity to find an institution with a Jewish-Orthodox orientation, like the Hartman Institute, which promotes pluralism , tolerance and democratic values.
      If I had to think of a list of academic institutes which should be boycotted, Hartman would be dead last.

      (Full disclosure: my school runs a program in partnership with the Hartman Institute.)

  • Hurt by the Israel lobby, Obama kisses it goodbye
    • Huh? How am I "back peddling" (sic!)?

    • Let's not forget that basically the Israeli government and the US administratioin are in agreement on the objective of preventing an Iranian nuke. The differences are in regard to the best way of achieving that goal. And on that goal we're also on the same page as most of the Arab world.

  • Conservative revolutionaries and the echo of German fascism
    • 1.The Herut slogan was not "To the banks to the Jordan River" (which doesn't even make sense). It was:
      'The Jordan has two banks
      This one is ours , and this one, too."
      (In Hebrew it rhymes.)
      2. The historian who wrote the book on LEHI , J. Heller, should not be confused with the author of "Catch 22".
      3 " The Stern Gang was indisputably “fascist,” even receiving military training from Fascist Italy ".
      During the 1930s there were Beitar and Irgun activists who trained in Fascist Italy, but that was before the founding of LEHI. More important, the statement is disputable, since LEHI ultimately attracted not only activists of the extreme Right, but also of the radical Left.

  • NFL and AIPAC to team up to polish their brands together
  • Sanitizing the Nakba, in 'The New York Times Book Review'
    • It seems to me that anyone who reads " Yizhar uses a pen name (his real name is Yizhar Smilanksi)..." and doesn't know otherwise will assume that he's still alive.

      I would also note that around the same time that "Khirbet Khizeh" was published, Uri Avnery came out with "The Other Side Of The Coin", another effort to relate an un-sanitized account of the War of Independence, a book which had a huge influence on me, personally, as a youth.

    • Ms. Rose writes about S.Yizhar in the present tense. He passed away in 2006.
      It should be noted that after writing "Khirbet Khizeh", Yizhar pursued a political career, along with his literary pursuits, and was elected to the Knesset as a member of" Mapai", and later "Rafi", a staunch supporter of Ben Gurion.

  • Meet the Knesset members from the Joint List
    • Ritzl,
      Meretz has (only ) five seats, so having one Arab member, freely elected (no "affirmative action" needed) by the party convention, is not bad. Pretty much reflects the proportion of Arab citizens.

      Sure, I would support such a union.
      Sure, I would support including representatives of the JL as legitimate coalition partners.
      As a matter of fact, during the campaign, I had the opportunity to pose a question to Mr. Herzog and that's what I asked him. I wasn't very happy with his answer.

    • The Joint List was not the only non-exclusive and non-racist party.
      Meretz includes MK Issawi Freij, who was reelected.
      The Zionist Union Knesset faction will also also includes an Arab- Zuheir Bahlul.

    • As you can imagine, I've been in something of a funk, after Netanyahu's stunning victory. I think that what he did in the last 5 days of the campaign will be studied in political science courses in the future: "Bibi's Blitz". He went all out: incitement, racism, fear- mongering, hate-mongering, blatant lies, you name it. And it worked!

      Not that the Center-Left didn't make mistakes, such as the statements by left-wing intellectuals Yair Garboz and Yehoshua Sobol characterizing "mezuzah-kissers" as "stupid". Insensitive, patronizing, dumb and disastrous.

      Mainly Netanyahu won by cannibalizing the rest of the Right:
      The Likud won 30 seats. In the last election Likud ran together with Yisrael Beteinu (Lieberman) and won 31. (18 Likud, 13 YB).
      Habayit Hayahudi (Bennett) won 8, down from 12.
      YB, running on it's own, won 6 seats, a loss of 7.
      Shas won 7 , down from from 11.
      Torah Judaism (Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox) won 6, down from 7.
      So Likud ate up the rest of the Right. All the Right and religious parties, aside from the Likud, lost seats, significantly.
      In the Center-Right Yesh Atid (Lapid ) couldn't repeat it's 2013 achievement. They won 11 seats , down from 19.
      Instead we have a new Center-Right party led by Kahlon, which won 10 seats.
      In the Center Left, we had the Zionist Union , led by Herzog and Livni. In the last election , Labor won 15, and Livni's party 6. This time they won 24, a gain of 3.
      On the Left:
      Meretz won 5, a drop of 1.
      The Joint List, the union of the mostly Arab parties, won 13 seats. In the previous elections the four components of the Joint List won altogether 11 seats, so that's a gain of 2.
      Of course these elections will have far-reaching implications on the country, both domestically and internationally. We're probably going to have an undiluted, hard-right, government, driving us right off the cliff… the price will be high.
      On the Left , we need to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and prepare for future struggles. We may need new strategies .

  • Why I hope Netanyahu will be crushed tonight
    • Ellen ,
      I don't know which planet you live on, but in this world we do belong to communities ("tribes", if you like...), usually multiple communities simultaneously. For example , my cousin in Boston is an American, and a Jew , and a Bostonian, and a Democrat, and a Red Sox fan, and a music -lover...and more.
      It's quite natural to care about the various communities one belongs to and identifies with. It seemed to me that Phil expressed a lack of concern for a community to which he belongs.

    • sorry , the full comment appears below.

    • I've decided to revisit my comment here (written on Election Day...) which provoked so many reactions.

      If Phil writes and acts as an American, out of concern for American interests- that's understandable, and justified, and I have no problem.

      If Phil is concerned for Palestinian rights - that's fine with me, too. So am I.

      What's lacking, in my view , is any concern, somewhere in his list of concerns and motivations, for the Jewish people. If he would have written , even as an afterthought "... and (such-and-such) would also ultimately be in the best interests of the Jews". Caring about your own community is a perfectly natural ,healthy, inclination. The lack of any such concern strikes me as reflecting an alienation that's not found in Peter Beinart and Jeremy Ben Ami.

    • I've decided to revisit my comment here (written on Election Day...) which provoked so many reactions.

      If Phil writes and acts as an American, out of concern for American interests

    • Breaking news: exit polls say likud and ZU tied at 27. Right now nobody knows who the next PM will be.

    • Of course I'm hoping –and voted- for Netanyahu's defeat.
      I do have a problem with Phil's declared motivation:

      "I look at everything Israeli first in terms of my interest, as an American who wants to end the Zionist captivity in the U.S."


      "I’m in it because I want to end the Zionist ideology in the U.S. and free the Palestinians."

      Phil ,what's missing here is any apparent concern for the good of your own people/nation/religion/ethnic group (I'm not getting into the endless debate over the definition in this post). You're concerned with what's good for America, and what's good for the Palestinians, yet the question of what's in the best interests of the Jews (in Israel, in the US, in Europe...) doesn't register, doesn't even come in third.
      This apparent alienation from Jewish concerns may mean that you'll never win the debate inside the community with Jeremy Ben-Ami and Peter Beinart.

  • Fans of Barcelona basketball team show support for Palestine despite attacks on free speech
    • Speaking of Johan Cruyff, he was seen in the stands last night in Maccabi TelAviv's league game, probably visiting his son Jordi, Maccabi's manager.

    • I agree that Israel should compete in Asia. Now all you have to do is to get Asian sports associations to readmit Israel.
      Incidentally, Turkish teams also compete in Europe.

    • Towards South Africa the boycott was justified, because of apartheid, which included the realm of sports.

    • This kind of reasoning , if applied consistently , would destroy international sports.

      But the boycotters only want to apply it to Israel. Other countries, who do a lot worse, get a pass.

    • Sure, we need the attention.
      Like we need a third armpit.

    • They want to expel a sports team because of the politics of the government in the country that the team comes from?
      And this -only in the case of Israel, not any other country where the government violates human rights or pursues aggressive policies?

      Here's Maccabi:
      link to

  • 'We aim to shape the democratic and moral alternative in this country' -- an interview with Ayman Odeh
    • The Jewish Home party, led by Bennett, does not win Arab votes. I think you've confused it with Yisrael Beitenu ("Israel Our Home") led by Lieberman, which included a Druze , Hamad Amar, in the outgoing Knesset.

    • ckg,
      13-15 seats is the estimate if turnout in the Arab sector reaches the same percentage as turnout in the Jewish sector. Also, not all non-Jewish citizens will vote for the Joint List.

  • The farewell party of the mezuzah-kissers
    • Breaking news: Tzipi Livni has given up on the rotation agreement with Herzog.
      With the election just a few hours away, she realized that some potential Zionist Camp voters regard her as a liability. So she announced that she won't insist on the rotation if Herzog forms a government.
      It's a risky move.

    • W.Jones,
      Kadima is gone, defunct.

    • Phil presumes to know the election result- "the center will win".
      I wish I was that certain. A day before the end of what has been a dramatic election campaign, full of unexpected twists and turns, and the truth is : nobody knows.
      There are so many unknowns: the Arab turnout? the Haredi vote? the "Russian " vote? Kahlon? Lapid? the Left? So many factors in the equation...
      One significant development has been the emergence of Isaac Herzog as a credible candidate for PM. He was regarded as having a rather pareve personality, something of a wimp, a politician who never even made any enemies, lacking the fire-in-the-belly needed to rise to the highest elected office. Now it looks like he's found a way to ignite that fire and deliver an effective message . He's run on a message of change and hope, while Netanyahu plays on fear and more fear.
      Herzog is no revolutionary, no radical, but if he's somehow able to form a government, we will at least have some hope, it may be a turning point.
      I'll be voting for Meretz. Here's hoping.

  • Day 1 at JVP: lemon squares, pinkwashing and high rate of miscarriages in Gaza
    • Giles,
      "FYI, Cast Lead was the 2012, not the 2014 assault on Gaza. I was thinking that was the most recent one but it’s hard to keep up. ".

      No, you're mistaken:
      link to

    • There were reports of the Hamas terrorists using WP a few years ago:

      link to

    • Kris,
      The claim that I questioned was that the IDF used toxic chemicals last summer.

      Your first three links are irrelevant.

      The fourth link claims that the IDF used white phosphorous last summer , despite the fact that it was widely reported that the use of WP was discontinued by the IDF after Cast Lead. See here, from a source highly critical of the goverment and military:

      link to

      As to the use of flechette munitions: I don't know whether or not such munitions were used .
      In any case, they are not "toxic chemicals".

    • "the fact that the IDF had used toxic chemicals..."

      Really? The IDF used chemical warfare? This is a "fact"?

  • Even if Netanyahu loses, he can still win
    • They are not "back door deals". They are announced publicly, before the elections, so the voters can take those agreements into consideration.

    • The "surplus votes" rule does not necessarily mean that a larger party gives votes to a smaller one. Two parties sign an agreement and the party that's closest to the next mandate will get the votes of the other one, regardless of which is larger.

      Allison is mistaken in saying that other deals could be signed in the next few days. The deadline for signing such deals has passed.

  • UC Berkeley Israel group wants to ban imaginary word rhyming with intifada as 'triggering, terrifying'
  • Two-state-solution is at last disputed in Israeli elections (though not 'nation state of the Jewish people')
    • Talknic,
      Yes, that's the Islamic Movement (southern faction). There was no particular reason that I wrote "Islamist".

    • Just five days before the election, polls are showing the Hertzog-Livni list ahead of the Likud, which is encouraging, but doesn't yet mean that Hertzog coud actually form a government.
      Netanyahu had pinned his hopes on a "bounce " in the polls after his address to Congress. It looks like his strategy backfired badly - he's had a negative bounce. Many Israelis have understood that destroying our relations with the US administration can hardly be called am achievement.

    • Yonah, I've simply stopped reacting to Mooser's personal insults and schoolyard-bully pose.

    • talknic,
      One of the four components of the Joint List is the Islamist Movement.

    • Meretz and the Joint List both support the 2 state solution, and reject the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state as a pre-condition to any agreement.

      Unfortunately , inside the Joint List , Balad and the Islamists vetoed the effort to bring about a pre-election agreement with Meretz on the disposition of "extra votes", which could cost one or two Knesset mandates to the center-left.

      One more week to the general erection.

  • On 'Birthright,' a checkpoint is called a tollbooth, and Jews have E-ZPass
    • Seafoid, Just,

      I think we can agree that it's good to see that infant mortality has declined. Also the horrible incidents of checkpoint births.
      Of course, a lot more can be done: on the Israeli side by reducing and streamlining the administrative restrictions. On the Palestinian side, it would be nice to see a serious effort to reduce smoking. (see the causes of death.)
      Clearly it's not true that "hospitals can only be guaranteed to jews", as seafoid stated.

      As to the medical facilities in Gaza: of course they should be immune from military attack, same as schools and mosques. However if they are used by the Hamas terrorists for military purposes, they lose their immunity.

    • As to seafoid's claim that "hospitals can only be guaranteed to jews", this is from the link he provided:

      . There are 76 hospitals in the occupied Palestinian territory (51 in the West Bank, 25 in the Gaza Strip), with a total of 5108 beds in hospitals (including government, nonprofit and private hospitals). Almost three quarters of them are general beds, 16.0% specialized beds, 3.3% beds for rehabilitation and 6.18% maternity beds. Overall, there are 12.6 beds per 10 000 population (12.2 beds in the West Bank and 13.3 beds in the Gaza Strip).16 14. The Ministry of Health, with the support of donors, has continued to develop the scope and range of public health services in the West Bank. The hospital sector in particular has benefited from significant investment in infrastructure and equipment with several hospitals being rehabilitated and services developed. The Ministry of Health has also sought to strengthen its institutional and governance capacity, not least by further efforts to improve the planning process. However, the Palestinian health-care system continues to face many challenges, including restriction of movement and access to health services. Access to east Jerusalem, where the main tertiary health services are provided, is subject to special permits. Administrative restrictions also have an impact on the provision of health care in rural areas classified as “Area C” under the Oslo Accords.

    • seafoid, thanks for those links.
      This is from the first:

      19. The infant mortality rate is showing an overall decline over the past decade from 35 per 1000 in 1999 to 25 per 1000 in 2009.21 The main causes of death among infants are pneumonia and other respiratory disorders (34.5%), congenital malformations (16.3%) followed by prematurity and low birth weight (13.4%).22 20. Infant mortality rates in the occupied Palestinian territory have decreased slowly over the last two decades, but also show a growing gap between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, indicating that health determinants and health care are not sufficiently developed to achieve the expected progress in reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health. The infant mortality rate declined from 25.5 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 20.6 per 1000 live births in 2010 (18.8 in the West Bank and 23.0 in the Gaza Strip). Similarly, the under-five mortality rate declined from 28.7 per 1000 live births in 2000 to 25.1 per 1000 live births in 2010 but with a wide gap between regions (22.1 in the West Bank and 29.2 in the Gaza Strip). Conditions originating in the perinatal period are the leading cause of under-five mortality in the West Bank, at 50.8%.23 The infant and child mortality rates could be substantially reduced by efforts towards improving the quality of perinatal care.

    • Seafoid, thanks.


    • I would be interested to know if anyone has more recent information on the number of Palestinian babies born at checkpoints. Let's say over the last 3-5 years.

    • A few points:

      " In five years, sixty-seven Palestinian babies were born at checkpoints... " the five years in question were 2000-2005. I'm not trying to justify such a horror, just pointing out that the info is out-dated.

      Sure, the Bedouin tent is fake, it's a tourist attraction. Just as fake as "Colonial Williamsburg" in Virginia or "Mystic Seaport " in Connecticut.

      Calling the terrorist rockets "homemade " makes it look like they're harmless. In fact, those rockets are lethal. And they are "homemade" only if your home is in a rocket manufacturing factory in Iran or in Gaza.

  • 'NYT' reports 'surge of hostile sentiment against Jews' nationwide -- on what basis?
  • Israeli voters not impressed by Netanyahu's speech to Congress
    • I wonder what you mean by "another false flag attack against the US".

      We know of the false flag operation in Egypt over 60 years ago. Anything else is speculation, usually in the realm of crackpot conspiracies.

    • Sometimes what's important is what doesn't happen.
      In this case , Netanyahu was counting on a post-Congress "bounce" in the polls. He was willing, with that target in mind, to further alienate the President, the Democrats , and much of the American public.
      Well, it hasn't happened. No such "bounce" materialized. I heard one Likud spokesperson lamely claim that "at least our slide in the polls has halted".
      I still think that Netanyahu will probably be the next PM. In my estimate his odds are 70%-80%, but that means that we still have a fighting chance of getting rid of him.
      There's a distinct possibility that after the elections we'll have a "unity government". Herzog and Livni consistently refuse to rule out joining a Netanyahu goverment.

  • Pelosi blasts Netanyahu speech as 'insult to intelligence of U.S.', Amanpour calls it 'dark, Strangelovian'
    • Walid,
      You're right that it was the Babylonians who destroyed the First Temple, and sent part of the Jewish population-mainly of the upper class- into exile, in 586 BCE.
      The Persian King Cyrus conquered Babylon and then issued permission for those Jews who so wished, to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple, in 538 BCE.
      The story of Purim is set during the heyday of the Persian Empire, in the 5th century BCE, so King Ahasueros certainly is the Persian king. Whether or not the story is based on a real event - nobody knows. Some historians identify "Ahasueros" as Xerxes I , who ruled 486-465 BCE.

  • Hillel's segregated lunch counter
    • RoHa, Because Holocaust denial is considered to be a form of hate speech.

    • Walid, I already regret having mentioned Atzmon because I now find myself discussing him, how distasteful.
      I didn't say that he's not a Jew. Who am I to make such a determination?
      On the other hand, I doubt that he considers himself to be one.
      He's made himself an outcast- as you put it - by descending into blatant anti-Semitism , including Holocaust denial.

    • No, Walid, I did mean the Jewish community, As I've said, I think that Jewish anti-Zionists are a legitimate part of the community, and should be heard. After all, Jewish anti-Zionism has been around since the birth of modern Zionism: assimilationists and autonomists, Reform and Ultra-Orthodox and Communists, they were all part of the conversation. What makes us Jews, if not the way that we continuosly argue among ourselves?
      I used Atzmon as an extreme, atypical, example , of a person who has placed himself beyond the pale, out of the conversation.

    • As to"crossing certain lines", here's an example: Gilad Atzmon, who crossed into outright anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, which puts him out of the "Jewish communal tent".

    • I get it: people who support a boycott don't like being boycotted themselves. They can complain about being banned without any apparent sense of irony.
      I've always said that anti-Zionists are a legitimate part of the community and their voices should be heard, as long as they don't cross certain lines. However, those who support a boycott don't have a moral leg to stand on when they demand to be heard.

  • FAQ: Palestinians and the Israeli elections
  • Leading NY institutions discuss the Nakba -- and there is not a Palestinian in sight
    • oops, should have been "safe haven".

    • It is true that in 1937, in the context of the Peel Commission partition plan, which would have established a miniscule Jewish state, Ben Gurion was considering a population transfer. His thinking at the time was that if the Jewish state was going to be tiny, and would also contain a significant Arab population , it simply would not be viable, and would not be able to perform its primary mission of providing a safe for millions of Jews.
      At the time BG's willingness to accept partition was under fire from both the Right and the Left. On the Right, the Revisionists led by Jabotinsky rejected partition and demanded a Jewish state over the entire country. On the Left, groups like Hashomer Hatzair and Brit Shalom supported the concept of a bi-national state.
      In any event the Peel Commision recommendations never got off the ground, as the Arab side rejected partition in principle, just as they were to do in 1947.

    • Amigo, where do you see, in the quote you provided, any mention of expulsion?

  • Is flying a nationalist flag ever a progressive act?
    • A little over a hundred years ago many Marxists believed that a major war between the countries of Europe would not break out because the masses of workers and peasants would refuse to fight against their fellow workers and peasants. German workers and French workers would refuse to enlist in a war in which they would be required to kill each other. They would prefer their class interests over their national identities. The red flag would trump the national flags.
      Then came the summer of 1914 , and it turned out that those Marxists had underestimated the power of nationalism. And today we're still living in an age of nation-states.
      For most people loving your country – patriotism- comes quite naturally and is not necessarily wrong or reactionary, as long as you don't cross the line into xenophobia and chauvinism. Carrying your country's flag is ok if you don't trample your neighbor's flag.
      For Palestinians their national flag is a symbol of their national aspirations and there's nothing wrong with carrying it proudly, just as I , as an Israeli, regard our blue-and –white flag.

  • Boteach and Israeli ambassador say everything from BDS to Abbas places Jews under threat
    • When innocent Jews are murdered just because they're Jews, when Jewish institutions are attacked - that's Anti-Semitism .
      By calling it "blowback" you seem to be implying that somehow they had it coming.
      I think that Anti-Zionists who are not Anti-Semites -like many of those who comment on this blog- have a special responsibility to condemn and take action against the rise of Anti-Semitism, instead of denying that it's happening.

    • The consensus on this blog as to the rise in Anti-Semitism is that
      (a) It isn't happening.
      (b) It's hapenning because of Zionism, because of Israel, the Jews themselves are to blame.

  • Netanyahu calls on Jews to leave Europe en masse in wake of Copenhagen synagogue attack
    • The Zionists were indeed working to move as many Jews as possible to Israel. The Nazis on the other hand (particularly Himmler), were trying to kill as many Jews as possible. Not exactly compatible goals.

  • Hanin Zoabi disqualified from Israeli elections over a mistranslation gone too far
  • 700 UK artists pledging not to go to Israel include Soueif, Ali, Waters, Eno, Leigh, Churchill
    • TonyRiley,
      Israel occupied Sinai in the Six Days War in 1967, not in the Yom Kippur War.
      And we didn't just "give it away", we returned it to Egypt as part of the peace treaty.

  • Remembering Bob Simon
    • Bob Simon was a geat reporter. So sad that after endangering himself countless times in war zones all over the world, he died in an accident in New York.
      Here's his report from Tel Aviv, where Mayor Huldai tells him that he could die in a traffic accident in NY :

      link to

      May he rest in peace.

  • In historic vote, UC Student Association endorses call for divestment in support of Palestinian rights
  • Druze IDF soldier attacked by Israeli Jews for speaking Arabic
    • Personal insults are not my style, and never have been.
      In this one case , I responded to Mooser calling me a murderer(!) and a thief and describing me as
      " a guy who bases his judgement on a Jew’s religiosity by his willingness to hate cheat and kill Palestinians ".

    • Mooser, you're a pathetic, hate-filled, liar.

    • Seafoid, I have no idea what that song has to do with the topic, but I love it. Here's a live performace: (And weren't they the worst-dressed couple ever?)

    • Walid,
      Thanks for the link. I understand - and please correct me if I'm wrong - that the Druze don't fast during Ramadan, don't go on pilgrimage to Mecca, don't pray towards Mecca five times a day, don't venerate the Prophet Muhammad, and so they're not Muslims.

    • Walid,
      What do you mean "technically Moslem"?
      I don't presume to be an expert, but as far as I know, no such category exists, and the Druze are simply non-Moslem.

  • Ros-Lehtinen removes pro-Palestinian activists from Congressional hearing on punishing PA for joining ICC
    • Marnie,
      As I tried to explain, I think it's worthwhile to try to inject some balance into a blog which is overwhelmingly one-sided. For myself, I don't see much point in engaging only with people who share my views, what would be the point? I've always been interested in trying to understand other points-of-view (one of the reasons why I participated in Israeli-Palestinian encounter groups). Some of the posters on MW are intelligent and knowledgeable, and I find some of the discussions to be intellectually stimulating.

      As to the "treachery of the British" : the ties connecting the Jewish people to our historic homeland predate British involvement. Even modern Zionism was founded prior to British involvement . The British , after the Balfour Declaration and a period of cooperation during the 1920s and 30s, changed their tune, pased the White Paper, and I'm sure you know what the British-Zionist relationship was like in the years leading to 1948. So, in the end, it wasn't "made possible by the British", it was despite the British.
      I certainly don't agree that people who don't live on settlements are "just as bad", that there's no difference. That's the attitude of Hamas and Hizbullah, and of Netanyahu and Bennet.

    • Seafoid,
      If specifically targetting and murdering Jews isn't Anti-Semitic, I wonder what is.

      Stanley Fischer was considered a success as Governor of the Bank of Israel and I understand that he's very highly regarded professionally. If he is a dual citizen- that doesn't disqualify him, in my view.

      Marnie, Sorry if I came across as arrogant, I was trying to explain why I bother to comment here.
      And I certainly don't live in a settlement. If you read my comments you should know that I'm vehemently opposed to the settlements, I support the two state solution.

    • As to that list again, I figure that the number of members of Congress with dual Israeli-American citizenship is : zero
      On the list of "politicians": possibly Stanley Fischer.

    • Seafoid ,
      You're not making sense (or maybe I'm misunderstanding).
      How is the convergence of anti-Zionism and Anti-Semitism killing Palestinians?

    • Nobody denies that there's a Zionist lobby, or that AIPAC is an effective, powerful, organization. American Jews, like all citizens, can exercise their right to promote and support a cause they believe in, and it's perfectly natural and legitimate that many Jews share common values and aspirations.

      All of which does not constitute a conspiracy.

      I checked the dictionary definition:

      : a secret plan made by two or more people to do something that is harmful or illegal

      : the act of secretly planning to do something that is harmful or illegal

      The notion of a Jewish world-conspiracy , is "Protocols of the Elders of Zion" stuff.

    • Mooser,
      I wish all we had to deal with "shibolleths and tropes". Unfortunately, we're way past that, people have been killed.

    • Giles,
      You wrote that there's a global conspiracy, led by Jews. That was your formulation and it's a classic anti-Semitic theme.

      Of course I recognize the existence of the Zionist lobby. Who doesn't ? There's also an Arab lobby . There's a gun lobby, an anti-gun lobby, pro-choice and pro-life lobbies, a farm lobby, steel lobby, pharma lobby, and many more, and many of those lobbies play hardball politics. That's the way the system works.

    • Marnie,
      "Explain that"?
      Sure . There's a convergence when here on Mondoweiss, an Anti-Zionist blog, a commenter posts a phony "list of dual citizens" , with a link to an Anti-Semitic organization. This is, of course, a minor ,relatively insignificant ,manifestation of this convergence. In Europe -and elsewhere - it's been expressed in blood.
      As to why am I here- actually, that's a good question. Maybe I just think that someone should occasionally inject a measure of balance and sanity into the discussion.

    • Seafoid, just another example of the convergence of anti-zionism and anti-semitism, right here on Mondoweiss.
      And here comes Giles with another.

    • Pixel's "information " (the bogus list) is linked to "american 3rd position" , aka the "American Freedom Party", a white-supremacist, anti-Semitic organization.
      See here:
      link to

  • 'NYT' perpetuates myth Israel was 'fighting for its very survival' during 1967 war

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