Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2376 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2376 - 2301

  • Did 'Hashomer Hatzair' shape Sanders's views on socialism and Israel?
    • If Senator Sanders was a member of Hashomer Hatzair - it's entirely to his credit.
      Many young people were attracted to the movement, which offered an idealistic combination of what was seen as two revolutions,Zionism and socialism. By the 1960s the HH had gotten over it's Stalinist tendencies, and the bi-national state concept was also considered irrelevant.

      I suppose I could say -full disclosure- that I owe my life to Hashomer Hatzair: it's where my parents (of blessed memory) met! Their experiences in the movement shaped much of their outlook for the rest of their lives, and I know that that's true for many former members. So it could be true for Sanders as well.

  • In Photos: Israeli forces close down village of 25,000 following deadly attack by three teen boys
  • Bernie Sanders' spirituality is resonating with young religious 'None's
  • Israeli designer eroticizes the Palestinian keffiyeh
    • Echinococcus,
      It may be difficult for you to accept, but, yes, Israelis are normal human beings. Some bad, mostly good, people whom you can talk to, people with families and jobs and interests , people like other people, despite your dehumanization and demonization.
      I'm sure you're familiar with Shakespeare's immortal words:

      "Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? "

    • Eroticizing the conflict - could be a good idea, worth a try...

  • Park Slope Food Coop puts up firewall against boycott of Israeli goods
    • Annie, I mentioned Begin and Shamir in response to amigo who referred to "two former PMs" and I assume he was referring to them. Begin as commander of the IZL, Shamir as one of the leaders of the LHY (though not in overall command).

      As you must know, I despise all terrorists, from whatever side, including current manifestations.

    • Amigo,
      I have no problem pointing out terrorist acts committed by the groups led by Begin and Shamir or any other terrorist deeds.
      Don't worry about my career.

    • Talknic, calling the murdered soldier a goon and posting an imagined scenario like the one you did shows a total lack of any simple human decency, something like the comments we can expect from Mooser.

    • Talknic's fantasy about the "IDF goon" is a vile attempt to dishonor and disrespect the murdered soldier. Shameful.

    • The 1947 partition borders are relevant only in the Mondoweiss universe, not in the real world.

    • lysias, No , that would be legitimate resistance.

      amigo, yes, they were terrorists.

    • As to Sodastream: For those of us who oppose the settlements and support and practise a boycott of the settlements and their produce, sodastream's decision to pull out of the WB was a victory of sorts. Continuing the boycott at this point sends the wrong message: "companies that pull out of the settlements will still be boycotted". The message should be: "you did the right thing, thanks, the boycott is over...".
      And Sodastream should be commended for choosing to open a facility in Rahat, providing much-needed jobs.

    • Annie: "except by definition a soldier — is not a civilian therefore it’s not technically murder. "

      That could be true in a combat situation, not in this case. Certainly if an American serviceman on leave, passing through Penn Station would be killed by a terrorist, it would be defined as murder. And let's not forget that the terrorist also opened fire, spraying indiscriminately, causing several injuries to both civilians and military personnel.

    • For the record:
      On Oct.18, 2015 a terrorist attack took place at the Beersheva Central Bus Station.
      The perpetrator has been identified as Mohind al-Okbi (21), from Hura. He followed a soldier, 19 year-old Omri Levy, into the men's room, mudered him there, took his weapon, and came out shooting , injuring several people. He was then shot dead by security personnel.
      Horribly and tragically ,in the confusion and panic , an innocent Eritrean man, Haftom Zarhoum was misidentified as a "second terrorist", shot and beaten to death by the crowd. He died of his wounds. The participants in the lynching have been identified and are being prosecuted.
      Those are the facts.

    • Sodastream is closing its factory in the West Bank and has opened a new facility in Rahat, in the Negev , so it doesn't make much sense to boycott it as a company involved in the occupation.

  • 'Israel is ours'-- Dermer's settlement gift puts spotlight on Ahava
  • Video: Two prominent Israelis envision replacing Dome of the Rock with Jewish temple
  • Executed: Dania Ersheid, 17, from Hebron
    • Annie,
      So you "trashed " a comment of mine for being off-topic, or on the wrong subthread, but the comment calling the Jewish faith "silly and repugnant " and likening me to Hitler, is allowed.

    • There's also the notion that has popped up here that someone is paying me to post comments.
      Wish it were so...

    • I posted my comments on the first reply button below the comments I was responding to.
      It would help if there was a reply button beneath every comment.

    • The comments policy prohibits anti-semitism. If calling the Jewish faith "repugnant" isn't anti-semitic, I don't know what is.
      It also prohibits vicious personal attacks. If likening me to Hitler isn't a vicious personal attack, I don't know what is.

    • Kris,

      "They [the five rabbis] were killed because they were participating in a crime. "

      Mondoweiss, where the murder of innocent Jews at prayer is justified.

    • amigo,
      Where did you get the idea that I live illegally in occupied territory?
      I've been an opponent of the settlements in occupied territory since their inception, how could I be living in one?
      (Unless you regard the entire territory of Israel as such...)

    • Are the moderators on Mondoweiss asleep?
      YoniFalic calls Judaism "silly and repugnant". Would any such description of any other faith be tolerated here? Not Zionism, not Israel, it's the Jewish thing, after all.

      And then he goes on to "both jon s and Hitler..."

      Really? jon s and Hitler?

      How about "both YoniFalic and Hitler saw Judaism as repugnant..."

    • Annie, Mr. Rothmam, along with the four other rabbis who were murdered in that gruesome terrorist attack were living in Har Nof, in West Jerusalem. Are you saying that Jews souldn't live anywhere in Jerusalem? The five men were at their morning prayers, their tefillin, prayer shawls and prayer books soaked in their blood. A brave Druze policeman, first on the scene, was also murdered.
      Jews have always lived in Jerusalem, and always will. The innocent victims are not to blame . Nor is the government in this case. The blame goes to the bloodthirsty terrorists who carried out the attack.

    • I didn't know him personally, but it looks like Mr. Lakin was an admirable person, may he rest in peace.

      Good news is that the boy severely wounded in the knife attack carried out by 13 and 15 year old assailants -one of whom President Abbas erroneously claimed had been "executed" - has recovered.

    • Apparently Mr. Lakin was a teacher, a humanist and a veteran of the civil rights movement:

      link to

      link to

  • 'Caught on Camera': Extrajudicial killings of Palestinians
  • Hectored by Zionist wannabe archaeologists, 'NYT' recasts article on Jewish temples
    • I'm worlds apart from Kris, politically, yet when I saw how distressed she was by her grandson's circumcision, I wanted to reassure her that the kid wasn't harmed or traumatized. Unless the mohel screwed up big time -and that doesn't seem to be the case- he'll be fine. No need for such bitterness.

    • Kris,
      I've attended countless "brittot" (plural of "brit", Jewish ritual circumcision) and they are always warm , happy occasions, with food and drink and music, with lots of hugs and kisses, welcoming the little guy into the tribe . The procedure itself is brief , harmless and non-traumatic. The baby cries for a while, then calms down and falls asleep. He'll be fine.
      Of course I can't tell you what to feel, but perhaps it would help if you wouldn't think of it as "mutilation". I had my son circumcised (I didn't do it myself, but the mohel was acting on my behalf, so my wife and I are responsible) and I certainly don't think of myself as a Genital Mutilator. Instead, I was honored to have the opportunity to continue an age-old tradition, that has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years.

    • lysias,
      No serious historian doubts the historicity of the Temple.

    • So the Jews are really pagans, and the Palestinians are really Jews?
      Did I miss anything else in this week's episode of "Bizarro History"?

    • Kris,
      Mazel tov for your new grandson. The circumcision ritual ("bris")is, indeed, a joyous occasion, a welcoming celebration of a new life.

    • The location of the temples on the Temple Mount is not really in dispute.
      Although conducting excavations on the mount itself is now impossible , extensive excavations have been conducted around the Western Wall, and the Southern Wall and there have been important discoveries such as Robinson's Arch, Wilson's Arch, the Temple Warning Inscription, and more. The archaeological record, along with historical sources ,especially Josephus, provide us with a pretty good picture of what the 2nd Temple looked like after it was reconstructed by Herod.
      As to the 1st Temple, it was also on the Temple Mount. The 2nd would not have been built there if the first hadn't been in the same location.

  • 'It's like military reserve duty': Jerusalem mayor calls on Israelis to carry guns as tension soars
    • I never denied that any official can infer the nationality of the bearer. Many Jews have the Hebrew date of birth specified, and ,of course, there are typical names.

    • Marnie,
      In answer to your comments:

      Yes, I have the ********.

      I'm lying? How so?

      On your last comment directed at me- somewhat incoherent- you saw fit to do a take on my name ("JonASS"). How mature. Then you refer to "Richard". My only response is : "huh?"

    • hechinococcus
      You're confusing to different id cards.
      There are Israeli id cards (blue), the ones which no longer indicate nationality, as I pointed out.
      There are Palestinian id cards, issued by the Israeli civil administration (orange) or by the PA (green). Those are the cards which list the grandfather. In other words , the cards with the grandfather are only for Palestinians, in any case.
      Palestinians with blue cards don't have their grandfathers listed.

    • Kris,
      I'm pretty sure that I'm just me.

      As to the id card, Marnie stated :" If you were born a Jew, under nationality is says Yehudi (Jew). "
      Well, I'm a Jew, I have my id here, and it says no such thing. So much for Marnie's accuracy.

      Obviously , names can be an indication of religion and ethnicity. If a man is named Muhammad, it's not hard to guess his likely religion . Lifewise if he's named Moshe Rabinowitz. But that holds true in all countries.

    • There seems to be some confusion here.
      Jon s (me) and Jon66 are two different commenters.

    • Contrary to what Marnie says, Israeli id cards no longer indicate nationality.

      We've been over this before:
      link to

      Also see here:
      link to

  • Jerusalem at a breaking point
    • eljay,
      Starting from the bottom, it would be nice if there was a reply button beneath every comment.
      No, I'm not sure that Yonifalic wants to "remove" all of us, or most of us or some of us. That's why I repeatedly asked him to clarify. It looks like , in any case, we're talking about millions.

    • eljay,
      I never claimed that Yonifalic said "all". I did repeatedly ask him to clarify who are the "invaders " to be "removed", and how.

    • RoHa,
      You asked what I do for peace. I'm not a politician, thank God, and I don't claim to be a leader.
      I've been active on the Israeli Left for many years, and have been active in various organizations. I also do what I can in my professional field of education.
      Allow me a question for you: what do you think about Yonifalic's idea of "removing" the Israeli "invaders"?

    • eljay,
      I think that you should direct your question to Yonifalic, so he could clarify who are the "invaders" who should be removed? All Israeli Jews? Almost all? Some?

    • I also asked yonifalic who are the invaders who should be removed and how he imagines doing it. He hasn't answered, so I'll give it a try:
      First, you'll need to sort out your definitions , who qualifies as "invaders" ? For example: what about a person who can prove that two of his grandparents lived in Palestine before Zionism? In other words: what do you do about "half-invaders" ? And where are the "invaders" supposed to go to? Back to where the "invaders" came from? But what if one grandparent came from Yemen, one from Tunisia, one from Romania and one from a death camp in Poland?
      So you'll need some kind of selection procedure.
      This is how it can be done: the Jews (aka "invaders") can be assembled on the platforms near the railroad tracks. They'll stand in line and approach an officer - a gentleman like YoniFalic or eechinococcus - who will ask a few brief questions and then render a decision, indicating "right" (you can stay) or " left" (you have to go) with a flick of his finger. It may be tedious, but it should work, based on previous experience.

    • Annie,
      YoniFalic has called repeatedly for the "invader population " (=the Jews of Israel ) to be "removed". I wrote that his comments constitute Hate Speech, so he obliged me, and in his very next comment expressed his hatred, even comparing Israel to Nazi Germany.

      Don't misunderstand me: I'm not urging the moderators and editors to censor or ban anyone.
      Comments like that simply illustrate the fact that for the extremists the issue is not the occupation or the settlements, it's israel's very existence, in any borders. It's part of what those of us working for Israeli-Palestinian peace are up against.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • bryan,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      and so on...

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

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

      and so on...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      At the same time the Jewish people are celebrating Sukkot:

      link to

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

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

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

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

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

      B) Yes, that's apparently true.

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

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

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

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