Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2124 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2124 - 2101

  • 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 :

    • 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
      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:

      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.

    • yonah,
      " jonah he lived in a whale"- that's the porgy and bess version.
      In the bible Jonah was swallowed by a fish.

    • I would like to compliment MHughes , for a serious, well-researched, essay, rather rare on this blog. As a person with an interest in the Second Temple period, I note , with pleasure, that reading it has enhanced my knowledge of the sources. As is written: "I have learned from all my teachers"(Psalms 119:99).
      On the topic : the essay is largely textually-centered, without much reference to the archaeological evidence. I'm not a professional archaeologist, but I know a Herodian stone when I see one.
      I don't think that "Zionist claims" are affected by the question of whether Herod completed his construction/renovation of the Temple Mount, or left unfinished business to his heirs. The title of the essay has little to do with the content.

  • 'Love thy neighbor as thyself' -- Really?
    • Some gems from YoniFalic, the Anti-Semitic meshumad:

      For anyone interested,the quote from Ezekiel chapter 23 , (verse 20, not 30) which is part of an elaborate parable constructed by Ezekiel is:
      " And she lusted for their concubinage, those whose flesh is the flesh of donkeys, and whose issue is the issue of horses."

      According to Yonifalic thhe Vilna Gaon, and Rabbis Moshe Feinstein and J. B. Soloveitchik have "little understanding " or are "clueless". I call that hutzpah.

      "Christianity is a religion far superior to Judaism" -It's weird that YoniFalic uses the image associated with the Rambam, who regarded Christianity as a form of idolatry, and was a fierce defender of Rabbinic Judaism.

      "To use the terms "Jew" or "Jewish" before the 10th century is completely anachronistic and misleading. "
      I wonder what the correct term was, then . The titles of two books by Josephus, writing in the 1st century are: "The Jewish War" and "Antiquities of the Jews".

    • old geezer,
      I never claimed to be an English teacher. Tried it for a year, didn't like it.
      I am a History (and Civics) teacher.
      I've never stolen anything, I don't live on stolen land. Unless you consider all of Israel to be "stolen".

    • There are other Israeli inventions , aside from cherry tomatoes and (soon to be unveiled, Annie) square fruit :
      Drip irrigation, which. I understand, is way more efficient than sprinklers.
      Also the penalty-kick shootout as a method for deciding tied soccer games - is an Israeli invention.

    • Annie,
      Sure, no problem, we'll get to work asap.

    • Page: 21
    • RoHa, Don't belittle cherry tomatoes. They really are a cool invention.

    • RoHa,
      All the major characters in the Bible - the patriarchs, the matriarchs, Moses and Aaron, David and Solomon and lots more - are all flawed. Non are perfect, non are saints. We see them with all their frailties and shortcomings. It's what makes them human, and what makes their stories interesting.

    • MHughes,
      Accourding to Deuteronomy, the prohibition regarding the Moabites, is not due to their incestuous origins. It's because they failed to greet the Israelites, wandering in the desert, with bread and water, and because they hired Balaam to curse them.

    • Regarding the Moabites: despite the prohibition in Deuteronomy, the Book of Ruth features a Moabite woman at it's center, a love story between a Jewish man and a Moabite woman, and reveals that King David was an offspring of that union . In other words, the Jewish royal dynasty was descended from a Moabite! Just about the most anti-exclusionary message you can think of. As I've said ,Jewish sources can provide ammunition for almost any viewpoint.

    • Jewish sources are so vast , a virtual ocean, that you can find justifications for practically any point of view. You can find expressions of blatant supremacism and racism, as well as the opposite, as in the following verses:
      Exodus (22:20): And you shall not mistreat a stranger, nor shall you oppress him, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. And again: (Exodus 23:9): And you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the feelings of the stranger, since you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Also in Deuteronomy (10:19): You shall love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.

      In the Talmud:(Gittin 61a)

      THE POOR OF THE HEATHEN ARE NOT PREVENTED FROM GATHERING GLEANINGS, FORGOTTEN SHEAVES AND THE CORNER OF THE FIELD, TO AVOID ILL FEELING. Our Rabbis have taught: 'We support the poor of the heathen along with the poor of Israel, and visit the sick of the heathen along with the sick of Israel, and bury the poor of the heathen along with the dead of Israel, in the interests of peace'.

  • 'NYT' bias amazes: long article about online incitement in Israel/Palestine only blames Palestinians
    • echinococcush,
      Yes, I have dual citizenship, like millions of other people in the world. It's perfectly legal and I don't see anything unethical , either. Nor do I see any reason to renounce my US citizenship.

      I wrote "your country" in a response to Just, because I'm not sure which country she's posting from.

    • Annie,
      "A nation of racists and bigots , not to mention murderers and thieves."
      If that's not a sweeping, bigotted, generalization - I don't know what is.

    • amigo,
      Calling an entire people "a nation of racists and bigots" is in itself a manifestation of racism and bigotry.
      Many Americans are totally opposed to the direction the country is moving as the Trump Presidency takes shape, yet they "choose to stay". Stay and fight the good fight. So, too, many Israelis , such as myself, oppose racism and fascism, oppose the occupation and the settlements, and seek a future where Israelis and Palestinians live in peace. But we're not going to leave , this is our home.

    • Just,
      I assume that in your country, too, the police and the army are different forces.

    • Maghlawatan
      Hapoel Beer Sheva is a football club not a political party or social action group.
      That said, HBS does have a significant presence in the community, which includes not only the city of Beersheva but also in the surrounding population. The youth teams, for example , train promising young players from all over the Negev (HBS is the only team based in the Negev in the Israeli Premier League).
      The Negev Bedouin who are struggling to keep their homes in Umm El Hiran and elsewhere have my support in various ways. By the way, they are confronted by the Police, not the army.

      Israeli sports teams have been playing in Europe for decades, not something new. Thanks for researching my comments. I'm quite proud of them.

    • amigo,
      Of course I'm against Ayelet Shaked and everything she represents in Israeli politics. I'm on the opposite end of the political spectrum from her.

      And who are you calling "football thugs"? The players, about whom you probably know nothing?
      The fans from Beer Sheva who travelled with the team? You characterize people you know virtually nothing about , based on pre-conceived notions. It's called bigotry.

    • Maghlawatan,
      "For the Bedouin"? The Bedouin population in the Negev are part of Hapoel Beer Sheva's fan base.
      Hapoel BS played Southhampton to a 1:1 tie, which is a fantastic achievement for the team. The away goal enables the team to advance to the next phase of the European League.

    • amigo,
      You're mistaken, the racist team associated with La Familia is Beitar Jerusalem, not Maccabi Tel Aviv. (I see that Maccabi won the game with Dundalk).
      As I write, our Hapoel Beer Sheva team is playing in England , vs. Southhampton.

  • Leading pro-Israel groups dare not criticize Trump lest they lose access to White House
    • Annie,
      The location of the temples is not seriously disputed.
      (It even sounds silly to have to assert that "the temples were on the Temple Mount". Duh.)
      That's the historical and archaeological record, in Jewish, Christian and Muslim sources, in every conventional history book, textbook, and historical atlas. Anyone who wants to promote some kind of radical , revisionist, alternative version , has to prove his or her case. Including proposing an alternative location for the temples.

      There are plenty of open historic controversies, which I try to use to arouse interest in my students. For example : the debate over the existence and extent of the united kingdom of David and Solomon; the questions and mysteries surrounding the Dead Sea Scrolls; the origins of the Bar Kokhva revolt...and more. The location of the temples is not one of them.

    • Annie,
      Noone is urging you to believe in any religion, but if you say that " i question the accuracy of the location of a temple" , you're questioning the accepted, conventional, historical and archaeological record. So the burden of proof is on you.

  • If American universities ignore attacks on Muslim students, who will defend them?
    • Annie, interesting that you're willing to rely on Ben Hecht, a right-wing supporter of the Irgun.
      From Wikipedia:
      "The Supreme Court of Israel overturned most of the judgment against Kastner in 1958. The judges overturned the first count by 3–2 and the second count by 5–0. The longest majority decision was written by Judge Shimon Agranat, who said:
      During that period Kastner was motivated by the sole motive of saving Hungary's Jews as a whole, that is, the largest possible number under the circumstances of time and place as he estimated could be saved.
      This motive fitted the moral duty of rescue to which he was subordinated as a leader of the Relief and Rescue Committee in Budapest.
      Influenced by this motive he adopted the method of financial or economic negotiation with the Nazis.
      Kastner's behavior stands the test of plausibility and reasonableness.
      His behavior during his visit to Cluj (on May 3) and afterwards, both its active aspect (the plan of the "prominents") and its passive aspect (withholding the "Auschwitz news" and lack of encouragement for acts of resistance and escape on a large scale) – is in line with his loyalty to the method which he considered, at all important times, to be the only chance of rescue.
      Therefore, one cannot find a moral fault in his behavior, one cannot discover a causal connection between it and the easing of the concentration and deportation, one cannot see it as becoming a collaboration with the Nazis.[42]
      But Judge Moshe Silberg disagreed on historical and moral grounds:
      We can sum up with these three facts:
      That the Nazis didn't want to have a great revolt — "Second Warsaw" — nor small revolts, and their passion was to have the extermination machine working smoothly without resistance. This fact was known to Kastner from the very best source — Eichmann himself ...
      That the most efficient means to paralyze the resistance wheel or the escape of a victim is to conceal from him the plot of the coming murder ...
      That he, Kastner, in order to carry out the rescue plan for the few prominents, fulfilled knowingly and without good faith the said desire of the Nazis, thus expediting the work of exterminating the masses.[43]
      All five Supreme Court Judges upheld Judge Halevi's verdict on the "criminal and perjurious way" in which Kastner after the war had saved Nazi war criminal Becher.[44] Judge Silberg summed up the Supreme Court finding on this point: "Greenwald has proven beyond any reasonable doubt this grave charge."[45]"

      Also see here:
      and here:

      Maghlawatan, As I wrote above, not only Zionists were on the train.

      Old geezer , Kastner himself didn't board the train. He did include his family. I don't know anyone, who under those circumstances, would not have included his own family

      In the appeal, the supreme court upheld the earlier ruling on one count: Kastner had testified on SS officer Kurt Becher's behalf after the war, probably saving him from the gallows. Later, Kastner had lied about that, committing perjury. On all other counts he was exonerated.

    • Maghlawatan,
      Kastner couldn't save all the Jews in Hungary, but he could save 1600, and did.

      The Supreme Court ultimately exonerated Kastner on most counts, albeit posthumously.

      Incidentally, his granddaughter is MK Meirav Michaeli.

    • Yonah is right.
      Furthermore, since when were the Nazis issuing passes to Palestine?
      Over 1600 Jews were saved on that train, Zionists and non-Zionists and Anti-Zionists (including the Satmar Rebbe), and the train took them to Switzerland.
      What's "vile" is Maghlawatan's accusation.

  • Trump aide blows off Zionist gala, and Dershowitz warns that politicizing Israel means 'we could lose'
    • In short:
      -The Zionist movement declared its aim of establishing a Jewish home in Palestine.
      -The movement debated the Uganda plan as a temporary refuge, ultimately rejecting it.
      -The movement reconfirmed it's commitment to Palestine.

    • Annie,
      No, that's not true. It is true that in "Der Judenstadt" (1896) Herzl is somewhat hazy as to the location of the Jewish state. However, in 1897, at the first Zionist Congress , the goal was set as follows:

      "Zionism seeks to establish a home for the Jewish people in Palestine secured under public law."

      Herzl's novel , "Altneuland" (1902), envisages the future Jewish state , in Palestine, Eretz Israel.

      In 1903, the Zionist Congress hotly debated the "Ugands Plan", and ultimately rejected any alternative to the Jewish historic homeland. Zionism was focused on Zion.
      Herzl died in 1904.

    • JWalters,
      The quote from Herzl is totally out of context. Efraim Karsh discussed it here:

      This is the relevant part:

      "Consider, for example, Morris's charge that Herzl wished to dispossess Palestinian Arabs because of his fear that the Jewish state would lack viability if it were to contain a large Arab minority. Morris bases this assertion only upon a truncated paragraph from Herzl's June 12, 1895 diary entry, which had already been a feature of Palestinian propaganda for decades.[16] But this entry was not enough to support such a claim. Below is the complete text, with the passages omitted by Morris in italics:

      When we occupy the land, we shall bring immediate benefits to the state that receives us. We must expropriate gently the private property on the estates assigned to us. We shall try to spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries, while denying it any employment in our country. The property owners will come over to our side. Both the process of expropriation and the removal of the poor must be carried out discretely and circumspectly … It goes without saying that we shall respectfully tolerate persons of other faiths and protect their property, their honor, and their freedom with the harshest means of coercion. This is another area in which we shall set the entire world a wonderful example … Should there be many such immovable owners in individual areas [who would not sell their property to us], we shall simply leave them there and develop our commerce in the direction of other areas which belong to us.[17]

      By omitting the opening sentence, Morris hides the fact that Herzl viewed Jewish settlement as beneficial to the indigenous population and that he did not conceive of the new Jewish entity as comprising this country in its entirety. This is further underscored by Herzl's confinement of the envisaged expropriation of private property to "the estates assigned to us"—another fact omitted by Morris. Any discussion of relocation was clearly limited to the specific lands assigned to the Jews, rather than to the entire territory. Had Herzl envisaged the mass expulsion of population, as claimed by Morris, there would have been no need to discuss its position in the Jewish entity. Morris further ignored context. There was no trace of a belief in transfer in either Herzl's famous political treatise, The Jewish State (1896), or his 1902 Zionist novel, Altneuland (Old-New Land).[18] Nor for this matter is there any allusion to "transfer" in Herzl's public writings, his private correspondence, his speeches, or his political and diplomatic discussions. Morris simply discards the canon of Herzl's life work in favor of a single, isolated quote.

      Most importantly, Herzl's diary entry makes no mention of either Arabs or Palestine, and for good reason. A careful reading of Herzl's diary entries for June 1895 reveals that, at the time, he did not consider Palestine to be the future site of Jewish resettlement but rather South America.[19] "I am assuming that we shall go to Argentina," Herzl recorded in his diary on June 13. In his view, South America "would have a lot in its favor on account of its distance from militarized and seedy Europe … If we are in South America, the establishment of our State will not come to Europe's notice for a considerable period of time."[20] Indeed, Herzl's diary entries during the same month illustrate that he conceived all political and diplomatic activities for the creation of the future Jewish state, including the question of the land and its settlement, in the Latin American context. "Should we go to South America," Herzl wrote on June 9, "our first state treaties will have to be with South American republics. We shall grant them loans in return for territorial privileges and guarantees." Four days later he wrote, "Through us and with us, an unprecedented commercial prosperity will come to South America."[21]

      In short, Morris based his arguments on a red herring. He not only parsed a quote to distort its original meaning, but he ignored the context, which had nothing to do with Palestine or Arabs."

  • I'm not worried about anti-Semitism
  • We are in an era of conservative counter-revolution
  • Trump is bad because Israeli Jews will love him and US Jews will see it -- NYT columnist
    • A few points in response to various comments:
      1. I find any analogy or comparison between the situation in Gaza and the Wasaw Ghetto highly offensive. I wouldn't be too difficult for me to point out similarities between groups like Hamas and Hizbullah and the Nazis, but I prefer not to go there. So again I suggest that we discuss the situation in Gaza and leave the Holocaust alone. Or we can discuss various aspects of the Holocaust, but without any comparison with Gaza.

      2. Regarding the use of civilian facilities by Hamas for military purposes, there seem to be two contradictory arguments. Are those accusations untrue, and Hamas wouldn't even dream of using hospitals, mosques, schools etc. as launch sites and arms depots? Or is it ok for Hamas to do so because 70 years ago the Jewish undergrounds hid arms in a synagogue? Which is it?

      3.Regarding military vs. civilian casualties, I looked at the breakdown of the data in the B'Tselem report I cited before. B'Tselem estimates that of the 2202 Palestinians killed in Gaza 1391 (63%) were civilians. On the Israeli side 6 of the 72 killed were civilians (8%).

    • rosross,
      Your comparison of the Hamas terrorists in Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto is obscene and offensive, an insult to the survivors and to the memory of the victims. It can even be regarded as a form of Holocaust denial.
      Unlike the Hamas terrorists ,the inhabitants of the Warsaw Ghetto were not firing rockets at the civilian population in Germany, were not digging tunnels into Germany, they had no conflict at all with Germany. They were victims of genocide.
      Let's go back to discussing the situation in Gaza. What Hamas does, what the IDF does and so on...Forget the "concentration camp", "Warsaw Ghetto" ,analogy.

    • Annie,
      The Goldstone report -essentially retracted by Justice Goldstone himself - was not about "Protective Edge".

    • Donald, it's never ok to intentionally target civilians, on either side.
      However you're ignoring the Hamas terrorists cynical strategy of using civilian facilities -schools, mosques, hospitals and such for military purposes, using the civilian population as human shields, deliberately increasing civilian casualties among their own people. The Hamas terrorists bear a large measure of responsibility for those casualties.

    • According to B'Tselem the number of Palestinians killed during Protective Edge is 2202, including 546 children (under 18). 72 Israelis were killed, including one child.

  • Before Trump's revolution, there was Sanders'
  • Sheldon Adelson, Trump's billionaire backer, is committed to 'the Jewish people' and believes Palestinians are a 'made up people'
    • MHughes,
      Well, commenters on MW are not obligated to always disagree ...

    • Mhughes,
      Isaiah is prophesying the defeat and destruction of the Philistines. "Philistia" (פלשת in the Hebrew) could mean both the Philistine people and their territory, which was along the southern coastal plane , around where Ashdod , Ashkelon and Gaza are today. In later years the term "Palestine" , apparently derived from Philistia, came to be used for the entire country, long after the Philistines themselves disappeared as a distinct identity. The Romans erased the name Judea, after the two disastrous Jewish revolts, replacing it with Palestine.

    • Mhughes976,
      The verse in Isaiah refers to the Philistines:
      "Rejoice not, Philistia, all of you, that the rod that smote you has been broken, for, from the root of a snake shall emanate a venomous serpent, and his offspring is a fiery flying serpent."

  • Lanny Davis's power seder, dedicated to Palestinian-Israeli peace, and Pee Wee Reese
  • Ari Shavit’s humiliating fall from grace: AIPAC, Hillel cancel events in wake of groping story
  • 'Personally I was glad to see the outpouring of anti-Semitism,' says Jewish journalist targeted by haters
    • I don't understand how anyone could be "glad" to see manifestations of Anti-Semitism, especially since it isn't just a matter of relatively harmless tweets. Anti-Semitism, converging with Anti-Zionism , has cost real lives of innocent people, mainly in Europe.

    • I don't see how anyone could be "glad" to see an outpouring of Anti-Semitism. Especially since it's not confined to relatively harmless tweets. In the real world , where Anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism have converged, real people have been murdered.

  • Jeffrey Goldberg should come with a warning label
    • Annie,
      I give the Lebanese credit for being grown-up , intelligent and educated, perfectly capable of making a distinction between Jews and Israelis if they so wish. If they fail to do so- I wouldn't make excuses.
      You write about the" little village"(in one line ) or" town "(in the next line) in Lebanon where there was a place where " the Israelis used to execute people". When did this happen? Where?
      Who were executed: civilians? Armed fighters? Executed –how? Publicly? Firing squad? Hanging?
      "Used to " implies that this occurred repeatedly. Every day? Once a week? Which IDF unit or units were involved?
      Do you have any more information?

  • 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 Jewish confession on a future Yom Kippur
    • " I support the right of all people to human rights and freedom ..."

      In that case, we don't have moral and ethical differences, since that's what I happen to believe, too. The question is how best to achieve those rights in the real world, which is where politics come in.

    • 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":

      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:

      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;

    • 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:

      Sorry for being off-topic...

    • gamal,

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

      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:

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