Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2053 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2053 - 2001

  • Clues to the end of the world shared during final 2016 presidential debate
  • FIFA postpones decision on sanctioning Israeli teams in the occupied territories
    • The teams in the settlements are a clear violation of FIFA rules, and the IFA should disband them (not likely , given the present government) or pay a significant price.

  • Israel's bogus history lesson
    • The video is indeed stupid and offensive, typical of the mindset of the Netanyahu-Lieberman-Bennet government.

      And no, the Jews of Sepphoris did not worship the sun.

  • The Jewish confession on a future Yom Kippur
    • Yonah,thanks and shana tova to you, too.
      I agree with your comment . Noone had to respond to my greetings, but to choose to respond, with such venom (as you put it), is something I find hard to accept.

    • amigo,
      No, the Holocaust was something else. Why bring it up at all?

      You and I have political differences. We've never met, I don't know much about you , so I don't harbor any ill-will towards you , personally.

    • amigo,
      When you write "happy new year" or "merry christmas" , you expect to receive a similar message in return, not insults. That's what I meant by normal, decent, interaction. Such interactions can occur despite political differences.

      And I never stole anything in my life. I live in my own home, in my own homeland.

    • echinococcus,
      If you choose to respond, the decent , courteous response would be "a good year to you, too. "

      I always convey holiday greetings to my Muslim and Christian acquaintences on their holidays and receive greetings on ours. That's the way normal, decent, people interact.
      But who am I to teach you decency?

    • ehinococcus,
      Who are the" 2% invisible commanding majority" that you refer to?

    • echinococcus,
      It was the Jewish New Year. And now it's the holiday of Sukkot, leading to the celebration of Simhat Torah , which begins this evening.

    • It's nice to see that the comments are back, so I'll (belatedly) wish everyone a good year. May it be a year of peace.
      And a very happy holiday to all those celebrating this week!

  • Why I left the cult
  • A lot of the grief over Shimon Peres is grief over the end of the two-state solution
    • Dr. Fincham,
      In the period 1922-1948 Palestine was administerd by the British as a League of Nations mandate, so I don't think that it can be referred to as a "state"- bi national or otherwise - in that period.

      The bi-national concept was promoted by groups like "Brit Shalom" (a "dovish" organization, in present-day terminology) and the Zionist-Socialist Hashomer Hatzair movement, prior to 1948.
      My question was serious: is there any Palestinian support for a bi-national state today?

    • "We have entered the era of a binational state".
      I'm curious as to whether Phil -or anyone else - knows of any Palestinians who agree to the concept of a binational state.

  • Shimon Peres, Israel's greatest ambassador, will be remembered for enabling oppression of the Palestinians
    • No Jew is a foreigner in our historic homeland.

    • It's been announced that President Abbas (Abu Mazen) will lead a Palestinian delegation to the funeral tomorrow.

    • I undrestand that President Obama ordered the flags be lowered to half mast, as a tribute to Shimon Peres.
      May he rest in peace.

    • Shimon Peres will be remembered for his dynamic career, for not standing still. He started out as a protégé of Ben Gurion, a specialist in getting -things-done. In the 1970s he was known as a political hawk, and one of the sponsers of the early settlement movement. But then he started to evolve, to change , and became one of the prime movers in efforts to achieve Israeli- Palestinian peace. He was optimistic, he was committed, but , ultimately, he never went far enough.
      In his later years he became the gold-standard for "elder statesman", as can be seen by the phenomenal number of dignitaries who are planning to attend the funeral.

  • In full page NYT ad, liberal Zionist group calls for ethnic segregation to retain Jewish majority within Israel
    • I've been away from this forum for a while. I notice that the commenter profile/ archive function doesn't work. Is that temporary?

    • In my view, "separation" is the wrong term. It's both incorrect and impractical, and recalls "segregation".
      Back in 1947 the UN recommended "partition" and that's still the best possible way to go , both morally sound and politically feasible, aka "the 2 state solution".

  • In overwhelming vote, leading Lutheran branch calls on US to cut off aid to Israel
  • Israeli soldier shoots Palestinian taxi driver in head by mistake, then Israel seizes his car and entry permit
    • Refusing to even share a bus, or refusing to compete with Israeli athletes, are ugly and un-sportsmanlike manifestations of bigotry. Certainly not what the Olympics are supposed to be about.

    • a blah chick,
      Just imagine if it had been the other way around, imagine the comments here if the headline had been "Israeli athletes refuse to share a bus with Arab athletes". It would have been all about Israeli racism and bigotry. Yet you support an ugly display of bigotry. And your imagination of what the athletes would be talking about on the bus is way over the top.

    • Mr T,
      You seem to be addressing the wrong commenter.

  • Jewish organizations' response to Black Lives Matter platform demonstrates inability to engage with reality in Israel
    • As for Herzl, he didn't seek the removal of the Arab population. See his "Altneuland":
      link to

      Regarding Jabotinsky and BenGurion , you'll have to do better than "their views are well known".
      Neither of therm proposed removing the Arab population.

    • MrT,
      The perpetrators of the Holocaust were for the most part, directly under Hitler's command, while the perpetrators of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, the Lebanese Phalangists, were indirectly under Sharon's authority..

    • Sharon was , indeed, guilty for being indirectly responsible for the massacre in Sabra and Shatila.

      Herzl did not call for the removal of Palestinians by any means. On the contrary, he dreamed of peaceful coexistence.
      Jabotinsky, likewise, did not seek the removal of the Palestinians.
      Ben Gurion never said that he prefers Palestinians dead.

  • Using Rep. Johnson's innocent comment to stain his reputation was the real crime
    • Marnie , here's the tidbit:
      In Judges 13:24, concerning the birth of Samson , it says: "And the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the lad grew, and the Lord blessed him."

      In the Babylonian Talmud (Sotah 10/a) the question asked is what does that mean ?How was Samson "blessed"?

      "יגדל הנער ויברכהו ה' במה ברכו אמר רב יהודה אמר רב שברכו באמתו אמתו כבני אדם וזרעו כנחל שוטף "

      The English translation that I found on the web fudges the matter and uses a euphemism : "Wherewith did He bless him? — Rab Judah said in the name of Rab: With his physique which was like that of other men but his manly strength was like a fast-flowing stream."
      The original can be understood to mean that as a newborn or a child , he already had "the physique" of an adult man, and his seed as a fast-flowing river.

    • A Christian, by definition, believes in Jesus as the saviour. Jews don't.
      If a person was born Jewish, but now believes in the ideas of Christianity, that person is a convert.

      Talknic, likewise, you can't be a Muslim Jew.. Muslims believe in the Prophet Muhammad and his teachings, Jews don't. A person can be one or the other.

    • It would be great to see a Torah Portion of the Week column. Seriously.
      The Torah, the Talmud and all the commentaries discuss a huge range of topics, from matters of life and death to the smallest details of everyday life, to the size of Samson's member.

    • What's a Christian Jew? I thought you could be either a Christian or a Jew.

    • Shingo,
      I agree. Mr.Begin was referring to child-murdering terrorists, Congressman Johnson was referring to settlers.

    • Shingo, As I recall, Begin's quote did not refer to Palestinians, but to terrorists, specifically those who murder children.

  • Jerusalem municipality 'taking advantage' of US elections to expand settlements
    • OK, echinococcus is going to add an h to my name because he wants to. It will be fascinating to watch him grow up.

      Anyway, if Wiki is "Zionist", I don't see Hebrew here, either:
      link to

      There are Jews who are proud of their heritage and traditions, and the Hebrew language is part of that heritage. The revival of Hebrew, as an everyday, spoken language, together with the flowering of a Hebrew culture, is one of Zionism's finest achievements.

    • How can anyone take seriously a commenter who can't even get my name straight, and keeps adding an "h"? Or maybe echinococcus thinks he's being funny, in a childish way. Hilarious.

      Hebrew had ceased to be an everyday spoken language between the 3rd and 5th centuries CE. Echinococcus is off by only about 500 years, no big deal.
      Hebrew was never "dead". Had it really been dead , it could not have been revived. It was in use in the liturgy, in Rabbinic writings, in poetry and in commerce (between Jews).
      The revival of Hebrew language as an everyday spoken language and the development of Hebrew culture is one of Zionism's proudest achievments. in which Eliezer Ben Yehuda (formerly Perlman) played a significant role.
      Here's a list of constructed languages. Hebrew is not included;
      link to

    • echinococcus,
      The pin is in Hebrew, certainly not a "fake newfangled language".
      A rather old language, actually...

  • Hatim, King of the Natufians
    • MHughes,
      Sorry, I still don't get the connection.
      Abimelekh, King of Gerar?
      Phicol, his general?

      Incidentally, the reference to "land of the Philistines" in connection with Abraham is an anachronism. In the period attributed to Abraham, the Philistines had yet to appear on the scene.

    • MHughes,
      I'm puzzled as to whether you're referring to the story of Hagar and Yishmael or to the mention of the "land of the Philistines", or both, in Genesis 20-21.

  • How much should we push to change US policy towards Israel? Your contribution will decide.
  • The sensitive Zionist -- a review of Natalie Portman's new film
    • Donald Johnson,
      I didn't endorse the "one state" concept. One state doesn't necessarily follow from the recognition that this country is the homeland of both peoples. What I wrote -and have done so numerous times - is that under the present circumstances partition is the best solution. Establishing two states which will co-exist peacefully -that's still the most reasonable and morally sound solution. Both sides have the same homeland; neither side can have it all.
      My support for the two state solution is one of the main reasons for my opposition to the settlements: the settlement project - aside from being illegal - is a major obstacle on the road to achieving it.

    • Jim Holstun,
      See my comment and link, above.

    • As to the Dubliners:

      link to

      Sorry for being off-topic...

    • gamal,

      I love that song, gives me goosebumps.
      See this version:

      link to

      I think that Theodore Bikel also performed it.

    • amigo,
      Let's get some things straight: when referring to "the settlements" in the context of the Middle East, the accepted, conventional, usual, use of the term refers to the Israeli settlements established in the territories occupied in the 1967 Six Days War: Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan. Now, the settlements in Sinai and Gaza have been dismantled and evacuated, leaving those in the WB and Golan. Of course, you can invent your own definitions, expand the term to the entire country, call Beersheva a settlement, you can even call New York and Chicago "settlements'. But that's ridiculous: noone in the world, except a bunch of Mondoweiss commenters, thinks the 1947 partitin plan borders are relevant today.

      To your questions:
      No, my next door neighbor is not an Arab.
      I have no idea how close my nearest Arab neighbor lives. Never thought to estimate the distance.
      A gated community??
      Jewish only??
      In Beersheba???
      What are you talking about?
      You're welcome to visit and see for yourself.

    • echinococcus,
      How can anyone take seriously a commenter who can't even get my name straight, and keeps adding an "h"?

      Anyway there are those- like Amos Oz - who seek a future of peace for both peoples, who haven't given up despite the difficulties and setbacks. He's a better friend of the Palestinian people than those who encourage them to reject any prospects for peace.

      And I'm not "squatting on Palestinian land" . I live in a home which I purchased legally with my own money (and a mortgage from the bank...). I'm living in my homeland, which is also the Palestinian homeland.

    • Amos Oz is one of our foremost writers, and also known for his outspoken commitment to the Israeli peace movement.

      Natalie Portman- who can forget her debut in "Leon"?

  • In yet another sign of fascism, Lieberman likens Mahmoud Darwish to . . . Hitler
    • WH,
      The discussion of Mahmoud Darwish was part of a series devoted to "formative texts" of Israeli society.
      It may seem ironic, but IDF radio has usually been considered relatively liberal, which is why ministers Lieberman and Regev have taken aim at it.

      This is the famous poem , which was at the center of the discussion:

      ID Card
      Mahmoud Darwish

      Write it down! I’m an Arab
      My card number is 50000
      My children number eight
      And after this summer, a ninth on his way.
      Does this make you rage?
      I am an Arab.
      With my quarry comrades I labor hard
      My children number eight
      I tug their bread, their clothes
      And their notebooks
      From within the rock
      I don’t beg at your door
      I don’t cower on your threshold
      So does this make you rage?
      Write it down!
      I am an Arab.
      I am a name with no honorific.
      Patient in a land
      Where everything lives in bursting rage
      My roots were planted before time was born
      Before history began
      Before the cypress and the olive trees
      Before grass sprouted
      My father is from the plough clan
      Not from the noble class
      My grandfather was a peasant farmer
      Had no pedigree
      Taught me the pride of the sun
      Before teaching me to read
      A shack to guard groves is my home,
      Made of branches and reeds
      Are you pleased with my status?
      I am a name with no honorific.
      Write it down!
      I am an Arab.
      Hair color: charcoal
      Eye color:  brown
      A cord around the quffiyeh on my head
      My hand as hard as rock
      That scratches if you touch it
      My address:
      I am from a forgotten abandoned village
      Its streets nameless
      All its men in the fields and quarries
      Does this make you rage?
      Write it down!
      I am an Arab.
      You have stolen my ancestors’ groves
      And the land we cultivated
      I and all my children
      Leaving nothing for us and all my grandchildren
      Except these rocks
      Will your government take them
      Like people say?
      Write down on the top of the first page:
      I do not hate people
      And I do not steal from anyone
      But if I starve
      I will eat my oppressor’s flesh
      Beware, beware of my starving
      And my rage.

      1964. Translated from Arabic by Salman Masalha and Vivian Eden

  • My family's Nakba story
    • Jackdaw,
      Actually, the fledgling IAF did give support to ground forces during Operation "Danny" , which included battles for Lod and Ramle in July 1948.

      I wonder about this : "the Zionist captors pumped underground waterlines with water so hot that my grandfather broke one of his teeth drinking it."
      Never heard of anything like that.

  • Powerful new game 'Liyla and The Shadows of War' dramatizes 2014 Israeli attack on Gaza
    • And I'll obey Annie and leave this thread.

    • Annie,
      "claiming a palestinian intent" -that's not what I wrote, I wrote about Hamas. And yes, Hamas willfully endangered their own people. (while trying to kill Israelis).

    • Annie,
      You're ignoring the context of the exchange with Marnie.
      She wrote that the only innocent civilians in Israel are Israeli Arabs (and also granted the Thai man who was killed the title of innocent civilian). That's why I asked about Daniel Tragerman, a Jewish child.
      My impression is that some -not all - MW commenters are , indeed, motivated by hatred. I wish I was wrong.

    • gamal,
      You want the"Hamas policy statement? "OK, I assume your joking.
      During the conflict in 2014, and also previously , the Hamas terrorists used hospitals, clinics, schools, kindergartens, mosques and civilian residences as launch sites, weapons depots, tunnel entrances, etc. They knew that by doing so they were endangering those facilities and their own people.
      I posted 3 links (from non-Israeli sources)
      One is from Finnish TV. If you know someone who knows Finnish you could check the accuracy of the translation.
      The second, from French tv, is my favourite, because of the startled reporter when the rocket is launched.
      The third, also from French tv (English language service), shows preparations to fire from a civilian area, with children playing nearby.
      I'm sure that there are other such videos on the web, feel free to look for them.

      I have to ask you again, gamal, are you really saying that Hamas did NOT do so? It's not really in dispute.

    • Marnie,
      I asked you a simple question - was 4 year old Daniel Tragerman not an innocent civilian ?- which you have chosen to dodge.
      Instead you accuse me of being indifferent to Palestinian suffering (not true) , of supporting the settlements (which I oppose), and even accuse the kids in my classroom- whom you've never met and know nothing about - of being "monsters".
      I truly feel sorry for someone so consumed by hatred.

    • gamal,
      You're right: Palestinian civilians are also innocent (and long-suffering...)
      I find it hard to believe that anyone could deny what Hamas was doing, it's pretty much common knowledge by now . Anyway, I managed to find some of the items I posted at the time:

      link to

      link to

      link to

Showing comments 2053 - 2001