Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2168 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

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  • New Israel Fund response to Ben Gurion harassment reinforces very system it claims to oppose
    • talknic,
      What you call "barbaric mutilation" is regarded by most Jews as an important ritual, a traditional sign of Jewish identity and a joyous occasion.

    • talknic, thanks for the good wishes, even though you couldn't bring yourself to refrain from some nastiness. ("brainwashing", "mutilation"...)

    • talknic,
      Thanks for the good wishes, though you couldn't refrain from some nastiness. Oh, well...

    • Yonah,
      Thanks , shabbat shalom!

    • oldgeezer, eljay,
      Thanks for the good wishes!

    • oldgeezer,
      Your apology is unreservedly accepted, of course.
      Sorry for not responding sooner, been sort of busy (for happy reasons: my wife and I have just welcomed our first grandson...)

    • old geezer,
      Rereading your comment, it looks like your source is "Mooser", a commenter who obssessively responds to every post of mine with nonsense and lies, even inventing biographical details of my life. Just ignore anything he writes about me, as I do.

    • oldgeezer,
      With all respect, your comments are off-the-charts nuts.
      I would be delighted by a terrorist attack?
      I was part of a mob attacking an innocent man?
      A credit to my uniform ? What uniform?
      Where do you come up with this stuff?

    • old geezer,
      Why in the world would I be elated by a terrorist attack? In my "stolen town" or anywhere else?
      I despise terrorism

    • eljay, I believe in equal rights for all, regardless of religion, nationality, race, gender, whatever. So, naturally, I condemn any form of supremacism. And I don't see the NIF supporting Jewish - or any other- supremacism.

    • The NIF does admirable work, for which it deserves nothing but praise from all those for whom promoting peace democracy and social justice is important.
      See here:
      http://www.nif.org/

      These are the causes and organizations it supports:
      http://www.nif.org/what-we-do/grantmaking/grantees/

  • Celebrating Tu B’shvat, the 'new year for trees,' as ethnic cleansing continues
    • talknic, Yes, that's what I wrote, and that's Rashi's interpretation. Natan Zach gave the words a different twist. By the way, the poem has been put to music by Shalom Hanoch:

    • Regarding the quote from Deuteronomy 20:19 -"man is a tree of the field"- it 's better understood as a question: is a man a tree? Is a tree a man? Why should trees suffer when people go to war?
      This is the entire verse:
      "When you besiege a city for many days to wage war against it to capture it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them, for you may eat from them, but you shall not cut them down. Is the tree of the field a man, to go into the siege before you?"
      This is Rashi's explanation:
      "Is the tree of the field a man, to go into the siege before you]?: The word כִּי here means“perhaps:” Is the tree of the field perhaps a man who is to go into the siege by you, that it should be punished by the suffering of hunger and thirst like the people of the city? Why should you destroy it?"

      Natan Zach's beautiful poem based on the verse does indeed remove the question mark:

      Because Man Is the Tree of the Field

      Because the man is the tree of the field;
      Like the tree the man grows up.
      Like the the man, the tree also gets uprooted,
      And I surely do not know
      where I have been and where I will be,
      like the tree of the field.
      Because the man is the tree of the field;
      Like the tree he aspires upwards.
      Like the man, he gets burnt in fire,
      And I surely do not know
      where I have been and where will I be,
      like the tree of the field.
      Because the man is the tree of the field;
      Like the tree he is thirsty to water.
      Like the man, thirsty he remains,
      And I surely do not know
      where I have been and where will I be,
      like the tree of the field.
      I've loved, and I've hated;
      I've tasted both this and that;
      I was buried in a plot of land;
      And it's bitter, it's bitter in my mouth,
      Like the tree of the field;
      Like the tree of the field.

      translated by Warren Bargad and Stanley F. Cheyt,

  • What would Anne Frank do?
  • Rallies at White House and airports across the US as outrage builds over Muslim ban
  • More and more people see 'one state only' but Remnick fears it will be like Bosnia
  • It's happening
    • It so happens that the weekly Torah portion read on Saturday, just as Trump was getting started , is from Exodus and includes this verse :

      " Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph" (Exodus 1:8)

  • Palestinians demand Israeli authorities release the remains of slain loved ones
    • Annie,
      You can't seem to bring yourself to agree to the simple formulation that all sides should release all bodies.
      The dead should not be held as bargaining chips. They should be returned to their families, no bargaining, no conditions , no deals.

    • Annie, Jon66 wrote a very clear formulation: "All parties should immediately return the bodies of ALL the dead ". Do you agree?

    • Holding on to bodies is both morally wrong and counter-productive. They should all be returned to their families unconditionally. And that principle also applies in regard to the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, fallen IDF soldiers, being held by the Hamas terrorists.

  • The immaculate conception of Louis Brandeis
    • gamal,
      I'm not implying that the Arab immigrants and their descendants are not part of the Palestinian people.
      As to the family names:
      el-Masri ="the Egyptian"
      Hourani = from the Houran
      Hijazi = from the Hijaz

    • There's an interesting similarity between Brandeis and another prominent American Jew, Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
      Morgenthau , who had never been involved in Jewish affairs, served as FDR's Treasury Secretary during WW2. In 1944, shocked by the Holocaust, he was instrumental in creating the War Refugee Board. As the war ended, he resigned from the cabinet and spent the rest of his life working for Jewish causes, supporting the UJA and Israel.

    • According to a Palestinian source, "Palestine and the Palestinians" by Farsoun and Zacharia (Westview Press, 1997), p.78 ,the Arab population of Palestine increased from 300,000 in 1880 to 1,300,000 in 1947. The population more than quadrupled in less than 70 years, so it certainly makes sense that some other factor , aside from the birth rate , was at play ,immigration.
      And it also makes sense that the development and modernization of the country opened up employment opportunities, thereby attracting immigrants from the neighboring countries.
      Also note some Palestinian family names like Masri, Hourani, Hijazi, etc.

    • Hophmi, Thanks for the illuminating critique.
      A professor here at BGU, Prof.Allon Gal (it was my pleasure and honor to learn from him) wrote a biography of Brandeis:
      https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/brandeis-of-boston-by-allon-gal/

      As to Phil's request for a photo of the late Prof.Shapira, see here:
      http://www.israel-sociology.org.il/index.aspx?id=1939
      He's the 6th from the top.

  • Video: Support for one democratic state grows as Palestinians lose hope in two-state solution
    • just,
      "Setter jon s"?. I suppose people can invent their own definitions for commnly-used terms such as "settlements" and "settlers", but without an accepted, commonly used, termonology, there isn't much chance for a discussion.
      Maybe I should simply call you "terrorist-sympathizer just".

    • amigo, I didn't say that you coined the phrase, and I have seen it before. But you used it, and it is offensive, in my view.

    • amigo,
      I may have participated in more demos, marches , petitions, etc. against the occupation and the settlements and for peace, social justice and democracy than any other commenter on this blog.
      Also, I wish you wouldn't use an offensive term like "mowing the lawn" when referring to Palestinian casualties. They are people, not grass.

    • amigo,
      I've never intentionally lied on this forum, but if you choose not to believe me, that's your choice. With all respect, it's not like I need your approval.
      I'll post a photo and my real name when all other commenters do so.

    • Annie, amigo,
      I oppose the use of administrative detention, which is what I assume you're referring to as "held without trial". As to settlers being tried in Palestinian courts, yes. I've even written something on that on a local website: that settlers suspected of attacks on Palestinians should be handed over for trial to the Palestinian courts.

    • amigo,
      Why should I be afraid of equal rights for all?
      In case you haven't noticed, that's what I support.
      Beersheva, where I live, is not exclusively Jewish, nor is my school, and plenty of people drive around and make noise, Jews and non-Jews

    • amigo,
      You quote Ali Abunimah using the term "one country". The point I'm trying to make is that "one state " is not necessarily a bi-national state, and the two terms should not be used as synonyms.
      This is a serious issue in my opinion, an essential issue, because it relates to the essence of what we want to achieve. It's not splitting hairs.
      Too bad that that you can't resist adding another ad hominem attack, calling me dishonest and pathetic and "living on someone else's property". Why not try to just address the issue?

    • Annie, It's not a matter of "my approval". I'm just interested in the question of whether there is Palestinian support for a binational state. So the exact phrase I'm looking for is "b-inational state".

    • Annie,
      "Can we back up? " Sure, .we can go back to the 1930s. At that time "dovish" Jewish groups like Brit Shalom (Magnes, Buber and others) and the Socialist-Zionist Hashomer Hatzair advocated the binational state concept as an alternative to a Jewish state and to partition. It was a minority opinion, rejected by most Zionists, and also received near-zero support from Palestinians.

      I'm not being cynical, I would sincerely like to know if there is at present any Palestinian support for a binational state. Please point out where in Jarai's website or elsewhere is there support for that concept among the Palestinians. Perhaps I'm missing something.

      In answer to your question: if the West Bank is annexed, then, yes the struggle wil be for equal rights for all. Absolutely.

    • Amigo,
      I'm not splitting hairs: I pointed out an important distinction between "one state" and "binational state". Minister Naftali Bennet, for example , rejects the two state solution. The one state that he advocates is certainly not a binational state.
      In the link you provided the late Edward Said is not directly quoted as supporting the binational concept, but he did come pretty close. In general, the Palestinians have always rejected the binational state concept. At present they're committed to establishing an Islamic state, as I've pointed out in the past. Far removed from Prof. Said's secular vision.

    • amigo, Yes, they reaffirmed the 67 lines as the basis for the two state solution. Check a reliable map and see where Beersheva is in regard to those lines. You're invited to visit Beersheva and see my "squat".
      In my experience, people usually remain loyal to their teams, through good times and bad.

    • Annie, thanks for the links. I didn't say that one state means without Jews. I say that one state and a bi-national state are not necessarily the same.

    • Also: The UNSC recently reaffirmed by an overwhelming majority the international commitment to the two state solution. So did representatives of 70 countries in Paris.
      Mondoweiss repeatedly tries to make the point that two states is finished, when actually we see that it's still the only game in town.

    • Mondoweiss Editors seem to regard the terms "one state" and "bi-national state" as being synonyms.
      See this paragraph:
      "But today support is growing according to Radi Jarai, a Fatah dissident and Political Scientist at Al-Quds University. In 2013, together with members from other political factions, he created the ‘One Democratic State’ movement that advocates for the creation of a binational state. According to Jarai: “We are in a one-state solution since 1967, after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza strip”. Young people are key proponents of the binational state. "

      Does Mr. Jarai's movement call for one state or a binational state? Do you have a direct quote from Palestinian thinkers advocating a bi-national state?

  • The formal end of the two-state solution
  • Israeli hysteria over UN vote is solidifying country's new status, as a rogue state
    • Netanyahu's hysteria, including his instructions not to meet leaders of countries considered friendly - cancelling the state visit of the Ukrainian PM!- is being criticised here as "self -BDS".

  • Rallies in 25 cities say 'No to Islamophobia; No to Racism: Yes to Justice'
  • Breaking: UN Security Council passes historic resolution against settlements as two-state solution 'slips away'
    • The UN vote is proof that the entire international community has reiterated its commitment to two states. If you read the resolution, these are the main points: the settlements are illegal and are obstacles towards reaching a two state solution. And two states is really the only possible solution, the only game in town.
      In any case, anyone who thinks that one state is a solution, should not be too happy with the resolution.

    • I welcome the Security Council resolution, as should everyone who sincerely supports two states. Netanyahu's hysterical reaction is pretty much to declare war on the rest of the world.
      Too bad that President Obama's decision is too little, and way too late. He should have acted much more forcefully against the settlements, and not have waited until now.

  • Hell just froze over: the New York Times runs an article saying Zionism is racist
    • RoHa,
      I'm also interested in the question of what we are allowed to say. Does "free speech " include hate speech? racism? calls for violence and murder?
      As for here, on this blog, we have the (loosely enforced) comments policy, set by Phil and Adam.

    • As for discussing peace, I've recently received a communication from Gershon Baskin, who is apparently relaunching IPCRI :
      http://www.ipcri.org/

    • talkback, amigo,
      The term " the settlements" has an accepted, conventional, meaning in the context of the conflict. Of course, you can invent your own terminology, and so could I (like defining New York and London and Dublin as settlements...), but then the discussion becomes meaningless.
      So, once again, in the conventional use of the term (including in the recent UN resolution) I don't live in a settlement. And I've been active in opposition to the occupation and the settlements , from the start.
      As to military service: I served honourably in the IDF, without ever committing any war crimes, even when I opposed the goverment's policies and actions. If the Vietnam War was unjustified, does that make every Vietnam vet a war criminal? I don't think so.
      Have you served in your country's armed forces?

    • amigo,
      If you think yonifalic is not an Anti-semite, and is trying to "save " Israel, you probably haven't been reading his comments.
      And your comment about my not "donning olive-greens' is a bit unfair, since I'm now past the age of military service. When I was of the right age, I did my service in the IDF.
      No, I'm not an illegal settler. I've been against the settlements from their inception. I've probably participated in more activities and campaigns against the settlements than any other MW commenter. Don't forget that I support the two state solution. the settlement issue is most significant for people with positions like mine.

    • Oh boy, Talkback is going to "expose" my game, using the archive...wow.
      I'm not a politician, thank God, so I have no reason at all to disguise my ideas. What I write is what I think.
      I think that there are nearly 200 or so states in the world, most of them nation-states . Why is it ok for all those nations, but not for the Jews to have a nation-state? And even if you say that the Jews are a religion and not a nationality -well , from Morocco to Indonesia, including the Middle East, Muslim-majority states proudly proclaim their Muslim identity, and plenty of countries have a significant Christian component in their identity. Among the nearly 200 states on this planet, there's room, and justification , for one (1!) small Jewish state, located in part of the Jewish historic homeland.

      Talkback, I see from your profile that you left the "Jewish cage". Does that mean that you're free from lighting Hanukkah candles and eating potato latkes this week?

    • talkback, amigo,

      Not a word of condemnation for Yonifalic,a despicable murderer of innocent Palestinians. Does he get a pass because he's at present a despicable Anti-Semite?

      I response to your deflections: Naftali Bennet is certainly no hero of mine. Way on the other end of the political spectrum. Incidentally, I heard him speak once, and came to the conclusion that the guy is an idiot.
      As to myself, I don't live or "squat" on someone elses property and have never commited a war crime.

    • Annie,
      Is there a difference between having Islam as the official religion and being an Islamic state?
      Seems pretty similar to me. Note also the reference to sharia law.

    • talkback,
      Yonifalic:" I participated by murdering unarmed Pali men, women, and children during Cast Lead ".
      Yonifalic is therefore a self-confessed war criminal and should be prosecuted.
      Any court of law can take into account his confession and expression of remorse, when it comes to sentencing, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't be put on trial.

    • Annie,
      That's what the Palestinians themselves say:

      https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Constitution_of_Palestine_(2003)

      see article 4.

    • talkback,
      As you may know, I support the two states concept: Israel as a Jewish state and a democracy, with equal rights for all citizens, the Palestinian state as Islamic, or any other definition the Palestinians decide on.

    • catalan,
      I also often wonder why I come in for so much verbal abuse and ad hominem attacks here.
      When I respond to Yonifalic's hatefilled and outrageous comments- other commenters jump to his defense and attack me.
      Maybe it's easier for some people to believe all Israelis =evil; all Palestinians= righteous, and they can't deal with the concept of an Israeli Left, an Israeli peace movement. Actually, it seems to me that the term , "peace", is rarely discussed here.

    • YoniFalic wants to expel millions of people , based on ethnic identity and skin color. That's pure racism.
      I recall that he has also confessed to being a murderer of Palestinian civilians. He should turn himself in and stand trial for his crimes.
      As to his issues with his own family - where catalan tries to use empathy - that's for the shrinks. I, personally, don't care.

  • Historical evidence does not support Zionist claims re the Western Wall
    • MHughes, you're welcome.
      I don't know whether you've ever had the opportunity to visit the site and see the topography and the archaeological discoveries with your own eyes. If you haven't - I recommend that you do so. I would be happy to accompany you.

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