Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 1136 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 1136 - 1101

  • The sensitive Zionist -- a review of Natalie Portman's new film
    • 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

    • gamal,
      Are you seriously saying that Hamas did NOT use hospitals, mosques, schools...? Really?
      I recall personally posting such evidence two years ago.

    • Marnie,
      So 4 year old Daniel Tragerman was not an innocent civilian?

    • Marnie,
      Are you serious? There are no innocent civilians among the Jews in Israel? You don't recognize any such category?? Do you understand what you're saying or are you so blinded by hate that you don't care?
      I fully identify with the Left. Being on the left means -among other values - seeking peace, seeking an end to violence and bloodshed, not justifying terrorism.

      And the kids in my classroom are not zombies. They're more into vampires.

    • I don't suppose that the game includes any mention of the terrorist rockets fired at innocent civilians in Israel, or the Hamas strategy of using hospitals, mosques, schools and civilian residences as launching sites, arms depots , etc., with the deliberate intention of increasing civilian casualties among their own people.

  • Israeli rabbi who advocated rape of 'comely gentile women' during war becomes chief army rabbi
    • gamal,
      I should add that identifying Muslims as "Yishmaelim" was also a way to explain the success and power of Islam, since Yishmael had been blessed by God. See Genesis 17:20.

    • gamal ,
      It's possible that the tradition identifying the Muslims as "Yishmaelim" developed as a way to emphasize the similarities and perception of "kinship" between Jews and Muslims.

    • echinococcus,
      The Palestinians are not "Canaanites du jour". In Jewish tradition, the Muslims are identified as "Yishmaelim", descendants of Yishmael, sons and daughters of our common father, Abraham.

    • Dan,
      Naturally, Meretz and the entire Left expressed disgust that someone with blood-curdling misogynist, racist and homophobic views would be considered for the post and called on the chief of staff to cancel the appointment.

    • MrT,
      As I said , it's a theory - a plausible one in my view- for which there's no positive proof, to the best of my knowledge. And we can assume that Jews travelled the roads of the empire , including the Via Claudia Augusta, for various purposes.

    • Annie,
      That doesn't make much sense. Any enemies being fought at that time were also Middle-Eastern.
      In fact, you may have a point, only it's the other way around: After the disastrous Jewish revolts against the Romans, many Jewish women were taken captive by the Roman soldiers. There's a theory that those women found themselves in camps of the Roman legions, in Gaul and along the Rhine. With their captor-husbands away most of the time on military campaigns, many of them never to return, those women could have decided to raise their children as Jews and found ways to organize as communities, perhaps hiring teachers and rabbis from elsewhere. According to this theory, they were the first nuclei of the Ashkenazi communities. As I said, it's a theory, I'm not aware of any hard proof.

  • US media fail to report video of soldiers shooting desperate Palestinian girl holding knife overhead
    • Ossinev,

    • MrT,
      I think that all people living under a brutal occupation - including the Palestinians in the West Bank- have the right to resist.
      Resist occupation - yes.
      Resort to terrorism - no.
      I certainly wouldn't praise a girl who looks like she's trying to get herself killed.

    • I suggest that you all re-read my original comment, above. I did NOT justify shooting the girl with the knife. And I oppose the occupation , and the settlements, and the present goverment's policies in general. I support efforts to achieve peace through the two state solution.

      I identified the girl with the knife as a Muslim because of the traditional headscarf.

    • Kay24,
      In your country, what would most likely happen to a young Muslim woman , wielding a knife and approaching police officers or soldiers? Please answer honestly.

    • As I pointed out, it looks more like an attempted suicide than a real attack.

      The soldiers were probably guarding the bus stop, not waiting for a bus.

    • I certainly agree that the soldiers could have, and should have, tried to stop her without shooting .
      And I find myself agreeing with echinococcus that this is another case of attempted suicide - by -brandishing -a knife, a phenomenon that Palestinian society should address. It's very reminiscent of the incident in Afula last year ( the one in which the young policewoman drops her gun's magazine, but not her ice cream cone...)

  • As Dems vote against Palestine, Cornel West warns it is the 'Vietnam War' of our time
    • silamcuz,
      I mentioned the Quran because I doubt that a comment like the one regarding the Bible would have been tolerated , if it had referred to the Quran.

    • Annie, I just wonder if a comment as vile as that one would have been allowed if it had referred, say, to the Qur'an.

    • Never mind that echinococcus can call me stupid and a murderer and a racist and an invader , all of which is not considered a "vicious personal attack" (see the comments policy) - but what about "Ancient Testament" (=the Bible) as toilet paper? how is that allowed?

    • echinococcus,
      Your response is almost as funny as Museveni's speech.

    • Regarding Netanyahu's recent trip to Africa, for anyone who may have missed Uganda President Museveni's speech:

  • Palestinian teen is killed after allegedly killing 13-year-old Jewish girl in settlement
  • Video: All hell breaks loose in Knesset as Zoabi demands apology following Israel-Turkey agreement
  • Unlawful and brutal attack on Turkish boat improves with age in the New York Times
  • Despite Turkish posturing, detente with Israel won't change the Gaza blockade
    • a blah chick,

      "Weren’t one or both of the fallen soldiers “Hannibaled” by the IDF?"
      No. (and even if so, what difference does it make, regarding the return of the remains?)

      "Also I believe the Ethiopian-Israeli fellow is no longer in Gaza."
      Where did you see that information?

      "As for the Bedouin guy, the other Israeli, the government has shown no interest in getting him back, so why now? "
      Because of the deal with Turkey, which includes humanitarian aid to Gaza. These are also humanitarian cases.

    • Page: 11
    • Allison Deger's reports, correctly, that the agreement with Turkey is being widely criticized in Israel. However, it's not only because of the compensation to the families of the Marmara casualties. There's also the issue of returning the remains of the two fallen IDF soldiers and the two Israeli civilians being held in Gaza.

      I'd also point out that despite the diplomatic rift, commercial ties between Israel and Turkey have remained strong over the past years, as I can see in all the made-in-Turkey items in my local supermarket, and the huge popularity of Turkish Airlines

  • 'Washington Post' publishes article by Jewish leader urging boycott of Israel
  • Question for the Israeli left: Why do you discount the possibility of a second Nakba?
    • Marnie,

      "Israel is a scary place...." is a quote from Ms. Abu Rass, the writer of the piece, above. Not my formulation.
      I think that there are good and beautiful features in our country and also bad and ugly ones.
      I don't have to prove my Leftist credentials to you or anyone and why you think that I've jumped to "full right" is beyond me.

    • I share much of the writer's observations re what appears to be paralysis of the Israeli Left: it should be doing a lot more, and I believe that ultimately it will.
      Perhaps one of the keys to trying to understand the situation is this line " 2016 Israel is a scary place, despite its pleasant appearances ". People naturally tend to focus on everyday life, and even if they are worried by the ominous signs of what may come, they feel impotent as to the possibility of doing something about it.

      "Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future" . (Master Yoda)

  • Are comparisons of South African apartheid and Israel useful?
  • Condemn! Condemn!
    • amigo,
      We seem to be repeating ourselves: I condemn all terrorism , from whatever source and whoever the victims -the only position which stands on firm moral ground, in my view - while you won't condemn terrorism if the victims are Israelis.

      And I don't live in an "illegal squat ". I live in a home legally purchased with my family's hard-earned money, and with a mortgage which I'm still paying. Didn't steal from anyone. ( You really don't want to know what happened the last time I squatted...)

    • I don't know about other false flag operations, but the USS Liberty incident was not "false flag".
      Israel took responsibility for the mistake , apologized and paid compensation.

    • Nevada Ned,
      Your chronology is inaccurate.
      In Jan. 1954 Ben Gurion resigned from office and was replaced by Moshe Sharett. It was during Sharett's incumbency that the rogue operation which came to be known as the Lavon affair took place. BG returned to office in 1955 , was re-elected, and eventually resigned for the last time in 1963.

      BG did not live out his years in disgrace. He was indeed preoccupied by the "affair" , even obssesed. To his supporters it was to his credit that he continued to seek justice.

    • amigo,
      My position is that I condemn and despise terrorism perpetrated by anyone against anyone.
      Your position is that you don't condemn terrorism if Israeli civilians are the victims. In those cases it's "terrorism" in quotation marks. Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.

      "Reckless disregard" isn't far from premeditated. Of course it should be condemned. And investigated, prosecuted, and punished.

    • amigo,
      Thanks. You've shown that I've always, consistently , condemned terrorism from whatever side.
      Of course I proudly stand by those comments.
      What about you, amigo? Do you condemn all terrorism, from whatever side?

    • I can't understand why Jonathan Ofir can't bring himself to condemn an act of terrorism, the killing of innocent civilians in Tel Aviv.
      It's simple: All terrorism should be condemned, with no "ifs" , "ands" and "buts", whatever the identity of the victims and the perpetrators.

  • Following Tel Aviv attack, Israel freezes Ramadan travel permits for Palestinians and seals West Bank village
    • Correction: Dr. Feige was a sociologist and anthropologist.

    • Dr. Feige was a well-known historian at BGU , here in BeerSheva. I wasn't acquainted with him, personally.

      A horrible way for the terrorists to spoil the holidays: Ramadan for the Muslims. Shavuot about to get under way for the Jews.

  • Another Israeli leader says Netanyahu misuses the Holocaust for political gain, but no one in the U.S. can say so
    • yonah, The sewer has overflowed with with YoniFalic's latest Anti-Semitic comment , blaming the Jews for the Holocaust (and in violation of MW comments policy...)

  • To the Holocaust survivor I interviewed, in regards to Palestine
    • Also: Anne Frank's original notebooks exist, her words, written in pen-on-paper , have been scientifically scrutinized- the paper, the ink, the handwriting- and authenticated. The diary was written by her , in those years.

    • ...", Saffuri no longer existed; Saffuri was now “Zippori,” a Hebrew pseudonym "

      The writer is apparently unaware of the history of Zippori, which had a Jewish population during the 2nd Temple period and later, and played a significant role in Jewish history. The name "Saffuri" was probably derived from the original Hebrew "Zippori" and not the other way around.
      see here:
      link to

      and here:
      link to

      The Roman -period mosaics, including the zodiac-themed synagogue mosaic , dated from the 5th century are highly recommended for anyone visiting the Gallilee.

    • As I mentioned, there is an complete, un-eneditd version available.

    • Anne Frank's diary is , indeed, a favourite target for Holocaust deniers.
      For more on this see:
      Deborah Lipstadt: Denying the Holocaust (Plume, NY, 1994): pp.229-235.

    • xanadou,
      Anne Frank didn't write an autobiography, she wrote a diary.
      Meyer Levin didn't "rewrite" it, he wrote a play based on the diary.
      Otto Frank excluded certain passages from the published version, in which Anne referred to her physical development as an adolescent and to her relationship with her mother. He considered those passages "improper" , and harmful to the memory of his late wife. Mr. Frank's editing didn't make the diary a"fraud", but Holocaust deniers have jumped on it. In any case, an unexpurgated edition has since been published.

  • Jerusalem soccer club exemplifies Lieberman's rightwing nationalism -- and should be barred from international play
    • gamal,
      I didn't write "soccer" in my last comment, but I confess that I did in the original one. I actually devoted a moment's thought to the issue and decided to to take into consideration that a large part of MW readership is in the USA. I didn't want them to think that it's, you know, that American game...

    • I agree. Beitar Jerusalem is a disgrace and should be banned, not only from international competition.

  • Video: Gaza family mourns children who burned to death
    • xanadou,
      Still waiting...

    • xanadou,
      Still waiting for your explanation , as to the "social rejects".

    • xanadou,
      1.All you have to do is click on my profile . I am indeed an Israeli citizen (also a US citizen).
      2.Do you really think that I'm being paid to comment here? I wish.
      3.What do you mean by "incoming social rejects"? Please explain.

    • wfleitz,
      I'm not an apologist for the Israeli government, I totally oppose it.
      In this case we have 3 chidren who died in a horrific, tragic, accidental fire.
      The link provided by the writer explains that the power shortages are caused by a PA-Hamas dispute and that Israel provides Gaza with a significant part of its electricity. Egypt used to provide Gaza with some electricity, (around 10%, I think), but not at present.
      And yet: let's blame Israel anyway. Talk about pathological.

    • Yeah, I noticed that, too. Making a nice profit while not providing electricity, Makes total sense.

    • talknic,
      It's not my link, it's the link provided by Dan Cohen.

    • A horrible tragedy, but blaming Israel for it?

      From the link in the article:

      "Most Gazans have no option but to rely on candles for light because power cuts currently leave them without electricity for up to 18 hours a day.

      Much of their anger is directed towards the Gaza Electricity Company, which has failed to deliver reliable supplies despite last year banking profits $13.6m.

      Others blame the shortages on the 'blue tax' on fuel imposed by the West Bank-based Fatah-run Palestinian Authority on industrial fuel imported into Gaza to power the strip's only electricity plant.

      Last month, the United Nations reported that Gaza's power plant had been forced to shut down because of the PA's gradual reduction in an exemption on the fuel tax which had previously been in place.

      Prior to its closing, Gaza's plant had provided close to 30 percent of the enclave's electricity requirements, even operating at only 50 percent capacity.

      The remainder of Gaza's required electricity is bought mostly from Israel but also from Egypt, according to the UN, although power lines from Egypt into southern Gaza are currently not working."
      - See more at: link to

      So the power shortages are caused mainly by a PA-Hamas dispute, and Israel, in fact , PROVIDES some of Gaza's electricity.

  • The Making of Israel: Zionist settler colonialism in historic Palestine
    • gamal,
      I'm not sure I understand your point. Sometimes a comment is addressed specifically to a fellow commenter, sometimes it's not.
      I'm fully aware of the need for Israelis and Palestinians to talk to each other. The need for that dialogue is very high on my wish list.

    • At least until 1948 -under the Turks and then the British -the land for Jewish settlement was purchased from the landowners.

  • At Israel's birthday party, ambassador says rising criticism comes from 'killing fields of Europe'
  • Vermont artist creates 45-foot 'street comic' telling story of the Nakba
    • gamal,
      Please point out what's incorrect in that sentence.

    • Qualtrough,
      That's not the omission I was pointing out, but I agree that the critical development in this context , in 1948 ,was not the Palestinians leaving their homes (for various reasons) but the decision by the Israeli authorities not to allow them to return.

    • "In 1947 the UN called for the division of Palestine into 2 states, one Jewish and one Arab. 750,000 Palestinians were forcefully displaced from their homes."

      Hasn't some information been left out by the creators of the street comic? A few things that slipped their minds? Like the fact that the Jewish side accepted the partition plan and the Arab side rejected it and sought to prevent its implementation by force of arms?

  • Palestinians on Nakba Day 2016 -- Defiant, Undeterred and Organizing
    • Interesting that the PNC demands the implementation of Resolution 194 regarding the refugees, though back in 1948 all the Arab states rejected it.

  • A new proposal for confederated states (without any idea of how to get Israel to comply)
    • The idea of a confederation is excellent, as sort of a Phase 2 to the two state solution. It's the kind of thing we had in mind when we first conceived of the two states plan.

  • On Holocaust Remembrance Day, NPR promotes Israeli army but Obama takes a pass
    • "Heroism" , in the context of the Holocaust, could mean a variety of actions, not only armed resistance. It could also mean escaping, and hiding, and smuggling food and helping one another, or simply trying to survive in extreme conditions. All of which constitutes "heroism", along with armed resistance such as in the Warsaw Ghetto, or among the Partisans.

  • DC meeting between Israel and Saudi Arabia marks end of Arab Peace Initiative and two-state solution
    • oldgeezer,
      The same goes for people everywhere. Israelis are glad to be able to enjoy sports rather than being blown up or shot or stabbed. So, too, people in the US, UK, France, Belgium, every place which has been hit by terrorism.

    • echinococcus,
      I'm not murderous or genocidal or an invader.
      I just wrote that our city's team won the championship, and the town is celebrating, pure and simple. Nothing in my comment about Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Arabs. Just an entire city coming together in celebration...

    • oldgeezer,
      I thought your comment vile, primarily because it was in response to a rather innocuous , non-political comment of mine.
      Anf if you think that Palestinians in Israel are not interested in sports, especially in the soccer league, you're mistaken.

    • Old geezer,
      What a vile comment.
      Do you really think that Palestinian deaths make me smile?

    • The team and the municipality are organizing a huge celebration for tomorrow night. Then maybe we can start getting back to normal in this town.
      But then again, who wants to wake up and get back to normal?

    • Super-happy update: Yesterday evening Hapoel Be'er Sheva won the championship, 40 years since the last one!

      This is one delirious town today!

    • Eljay,
      In the upside-down world of some MW commenters, someone who seeks peace and mutual understanding is seen as representing the banality of evil.

      My point was that Israel is not some kind of nightmarish hell-hole. It's populated by real people with families and jobs and various normal interests, including support for our local team...

    • One state, two states three states, whatever...Right now, here in Be'er Sheva, people are focused on our beloved Hapoel Be'er Sheva soccer team, currently leading the league by 5 points, with two games left. 5 points ahead of the Evil Empire a.k.a Maccabi Tel Aviv. Especially sweet was this evening's win over Beitar Jerusalem, another symbol of evil. If our team wins the championship, it will be the first time since the 1970s. Here's hoping....

    • I wish I had a dime for every time this blog has announced the death of the two state solution, when , in fact, it's still the only game in town, the only practical and possible way to go forward, for the good of both Israelis and Palestinians.

  • Ringleader in Abu Khdeir kidnapping and murder given life sentence
    • DaBakr,
      In fact, Ben-David's attorneys did try an insanity defense, which the court rejected. They intend to appeal.
      Marnie, "beasts in human form" - "someone said". Who is the someone? Who are the beasts? Who are not really human? Who says? In short: what are you talking about?

  • Beinart's Jewish double-bind: Support oppression or you're out of the family
    • Just to clarify a point: I posted the link to Alan Johnson's article because I thought it had some good points.
      However it seems to me that ringing the Anti-Semitism bell in all these cases may be overkill: both statements , about moving Israel to America, and about Hitler being a Zionist, may be equally idiotic, but not necessarily Anti-Semitic. We should be careful about crying wolf.

    • Regarding the developments in the British Labour Party:

      link to

      An excerpt:

      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism is not “criticism” of the occupation and the settlements. It is so much more. It cruelly distorts the very meaning of Israel and Zionism until both can be forced into the categories, tropes, images and ideas of classical anti-Semitism. In short, that which "the Jew" once was, a collective malevolence, the Jewish state now is. The old racist ideas about “the Jew” as an evil force, full of blood lust, all-controlling but hidden, and the only obstacle to a better, purer, and more spiritual world, can be thrown at the Jewish state.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a political program: to abolish one state in the world, the little Jewish one formed after the Holocaust.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a global social movement: to boycott, divest from and sanction one state in the world, Israel.
      Anti-Semitic anti-Zionism has a discourse: not a rational criticism of particular Israeli policies but a spectral representation of Israel as the essence of evil, a ”Racist-Imperialist-Apartheid.”

  • 'Anti-Zionism = anti-semitism' is a formal logical fallacy
  • Segregation of Palestinians and Jews in maternity wards becomes an issue in Israel
    • silamcuz,
      Just like noone on the medical staff can refuse to treat a patient because of the patient's race, religion, ethnicity, politics, gender, sexual orientation, so, too, a patient should not be able to refuse treatment because of the identity of the staff member. Such considerations have no place in medical treatment, and your comment reveals that you're a bigot.

    • Marnie,
      Again, health insurance in Israel is universal and mandatory, in the sense that all citizens ,regardless of ethnicity, are covered, by law.
      I never said that all's well, I said the sytem is far from perfect and pointed out some of the problems.

    • amigo,
      The topic here was health insurance in israel, which you've diverted to yet another personal attack. Oh, well..
      I'm sorry that I've come across as "hollow". (Truly sorry, not being cynical).
      I'm not going to try to describe how you come across. After all, we're not involved in a competition over knowledge, intelligence, experience and so forth. And you've volunteered very little information about yourself.

    • Marnie,
      Here are the dictionary definitions (Webster):

      Universal =done or experienced by everyone : existing or available for everyone

      Mandatory= required by a law or rule

      So neither "universal" nor "mandatory" mean "free".

      Every Israeli citizen (universal) is required by law (mandatory ) to have health insurance. I didn't say it's free. And I'm well aware of the problems -inequality, over-crowding, long waiting lists and more. The system is far from perfect.

    • chocopie,
      I don't know about the boy you saw, and why his cleft lip had not been repaired but in Israel there is universal, mandatory, health insurance.
      The system, is ,of course not devoid of problems, but all citizens are covered and cleft lips are repaired routinely.

  • Goldman Sachs is funding Hebron settlers
    • MaxNarr,
      The point is that if the settlers can reclaim property owned by Jews before the 1929 massacre, why shouldn't the Palestinians be able to reclaim property that they owned before 1948? In other words: right of return. It can't work only in one direction, and not the other.

  • Against Balance: Thoughts on teaching Israel/Palestine
    • With Passover upon us, I'm extremely busy, and will keep this brief, not answering all the points raised :

      Essentially, I believe that the Jewish people have the right to establish and maintain a Jewish state in part of our historic homeland, same as other nations have nation-states in their homelands, and that the state must be a democracy , in which non-Jews enjoy equal rights, and must strive for peace with the Palestinian people and with the entire Arab world.

      As to whether or not Israel is a democracy, the "Democracy Index " lists Israel as a "flawed democracy", and I can agree with that:
      link to

      In this report Israel receives a fairly high score:

      link to

      I'd just like to point out that Jewish history can't be taught detached from world history, as if the Jews were on a different planet. So Zionism can't be studied without the rise of Nationalism in the 19th century, the Holocaust has to be studied in the context of the rise of fascism and WW2, and so forth. Even the 2nd Temple period should be approached in the context of the Hellenistic world and the Roman empire. So you're incorrect in saying that I only teach Jewish history.

      A happy and kosher Passover to all who celebrate!

    • eljay,
      Apology accepted.

      In your view, is Japan Japanese-supremacist?
      Is Portugal Portuguese-supremacist?
      Is Russia Russian-supremacist?

      The world is full of nation-states, states in which there is a dominant culture, a dominant language and in some cases a significant religious component. If those states are fortunate enough to be democratic, the minorities are respected and enjoy equal rights as citizens.

      That's why I asked whether you object to all nation-states , or just to the Jewish one.

      You are aware of the fact that around 25% of Israel's citizens are non-Jewish?

    • eljay,(continuing previous comment, I got interrupted...)

      If the Japanese can have a Japanese state, and the Turks can have a Turkish state, and so forth, why can't the Jews have a Jewish state?
      As to your preference for secular states, the reality here in the region is that all the states, not just Israel have a marked religious identity, The Palestinians themselves intend to establish an Islamic state. Yet it seems to me that it's only the one Jewish state that bothers you.

    • eljay,
      "Equality" also means that Jews have equal rights, including the right to maintain a nation-state, same as other nations. .

    • Keith,
      "Crucified...resurrected..." - I never wrote any such thing.

      One of the problems with your comment is that Zionism pre-dates the Holocaust.

    • eljay,
      I didn't mention "equality" in my comments because I don't think it's in dispute between us that all people should enjoy equal rights.
      As to "justice" and "accountability" -that's where we differ, since I think that the priority should be pursuing peace.

    • eljay,
      In your second-to-last comment you seemed to agree that "accountability" should be applied to the Palestinians as well. Yet in your last comment you once again refer only to those you call "zio-supremacists".

      In any case, I'm convinced that the road to such "accountability" and "justice" would be paved with graves. Accountability will be nothing but a cycle of retribution and vengeance , more bloodshed and tears, on both sides. Much better to pursue peace.

    • tod77,
      Regarding the "promise" which you didn't want to bother to look up, there are several such promises and prophesies. One of the best known is in Genesis (15:18):

      "On that day, the Lord formed a covenant with Abram, saying, "To your seed I have given this land, from the river of Egypt until the great river, the Euphrates river..."

      What right-wing religious fudamentalists tend to ignore is the implication that if the land can be given by God, it can also be taken away.

    • eljay,
      Do you realize that the "accountability" that you're talking about would also entail the prosecution of much of the Palestinian leadership (the entire Hamas leadership and, possibly part of the PA authorities) for war crimes and terrorism?
      Much as history is important to me, I really think that our focus should be on the present and the future and not on settling past accounts.

    • eljay,
      I stand by my position that both sides should focus on the goal of achieving peace, a fair, realistic, reasonable , agreement that both sides can live with, rather than striving for some abstract concept of "justice".

    • amigo,
      I generally don't go for any conspiracy-theory-type alternatives . I mean the conventional historical facts that can be found in any mainstream history textbook and historical atlas.
      For example : if I pose a question like this: "Should we consider Herod to have been King over the Jews or a Jewish king? " Obviously, there's no "correct" answer but I would like to see the students base their answers on the record: Herod's background, status, actions, and how he was seen by his contemporaries.

    • amigo, What I meant is that the student should make his point based on the historic facts and his or her interpretation of those facts.

    • An additional note: I also teach a course on the 2nd temple period, in which I can clearly illustrate the danger of messianic extremism. Sometimes it may be easier for a teacher to make that kind of point when teaching a course which is ostensibly far removed from today's realities.

    • Compliments to Joel Doerfler -and to Mondoweiss- for one of the most thoughtful essays I've ever read here.
      As a high school History teacher, in Israel, there's a lot I can relate to and agree with, particularly in regard to teaching the conflict and other topics in which I have my own strong opinions. I've found that it's best to be honest with the students whenever I see fit to express my personal opinion. I'll usually say that in this point I'm expressing my opinion, and it's ok to disagree, if you do so respectfully and base your argument on the historic record. There are some teachers who pride themselves in being "balanced" and "objective" , who boast that the kids have no idea as to the teacher's views. I think that such teachers are not doing their job properly, they are not even setting a good example.
      There are some moral dilemmas: when the Min. of Ed.'s guidelines are in conflict with my personal opinions and with my professional judgement; when students express extremist and racist standpoints; where is the line between teaching and indoctrination...and more.

  • Bernie Sanders and the Brooklyn dream
  • Palestinians say ‘let us move’ as Bethlehem Marathon kicks off amidst severe movement restrictions
    • El Cazador's link is to, an Anti-Semitic website.

      The quote from Ben Gurion is phony. In fact BG wrote the opposite ("we must not expel...")

  • Finding 1 'Arab' in Israeli basketball, NY Times espouses Zionist racial theory
    • One more point, in which I may be at least partly in agreement with Shmuel: much as the history is important to me, it's futile and counter-productive to focus on it. Who was here first, and who was here for how long and who did what to whom - the history becomes an impediment to finding any kind of solution. There are 8 million Israelis, many of them second, third and fourth generation, who certainly are not "invaders" by any standard, and not going to go away, and neither are the Palestinians. The vital question is the present and the future: more violence and bloodshed or a different path for both peoples?

    • Shmuel,
      A few questions and observations:
      What is it that you see as a myth and fairy tale? Not that the significance of myths can be easily dismissed in any people's historic memory, I would just like to know what you're referring to .
      Terminology is important, it's not just semantics. By using the term "invaders" you conjure certain images and bring to mind certain references : The Japanese invaded China. The Germans invaded Poland. The reader gets the picture.
      The images in my mind are quite different: the followers of R.Yehuda Ha'hasid, making their way to Jerusalem; the idealists of the Second Aliyah, intent on establishing a socialist utopia; the dazed survivors of the ghettos and death camps; the Jews from Yemen and Ethiopia, crossing the desert on foot . Some "invaders".
      As to Jews and Palestinians having equal rights in the country that both regard as their homeland: I don't know of any method to measure each people's rights, relative to the other. Should Palestinians have 70%, Jews 30%? Or, maybe 80-20? Or the other way around? The only sane approach is : equal rights.
      I don't tend to idealize the past , and Land Day is a good example of past injustices, and God knows there are plenty of on-going injustices, but Israelis are not going to see themselves as colonialist invaders. Neither side is going to deny its own legitimacy.

    • Shmuel,
      I didn't mention percentages. Once the principle of partition and 2 states is accepted, the determination of borders is a matter of politics and negotiation and ultimately mutual agreement. There's a general consensus that the pre-67 borders are the most practical and acceptable (just barely) , with some adjustments.
      I know that we differ on the significance of the historic part. In my view it carries significant weight, it makes the difference between being colonialists and our situation.
      I don't deny that from the Palestinian viewpoint they were wronged. The issue is how to reach a reasonable peace agreement for the good of both sides.
      I'm sorry that I came across as lacking humility.

    • MHughes976,
      I pretty much agree.

    • Gamal,
      The present and historic homeland of the Palestinians is.... Palestine.
      So there you have it : two peoples, sharing the same homeland.

    • Shmuel,
      In principle , the West Bank is , indeed, no different, it's also part of the same geographic unit, part of the same homeland. Nablus and Hebron (and even Gaza!) are part of Eretz Israel.
      However , those cities are also part of Falastin, the Palestinian homeland, and so are Haifa and Lod and Be'er Sheva.
      In the interest of peace, and because the Palestinian people also have the right to establish a state of their own, we should realize that we don't have to exercise political sovereignty over our entire homeland. And the Palestinians also should realize that they don't have to exercise political sovereignty over their entire homeland. In short, we can't have Nablus and Hebron, they can't have Haifa and Be'er Sheva).
      Partition , the two-state solution , is still , in my view, the best option, both morally and practically. Not perfect, not easy, but better than any other option.

    • Jews are not illegal invaders in their historic homeland.

    • James Canning, please explain who were the Jews who were "known as Arabs"?
      And known by who?

    • There's some arrogance - even hutzpah - in Scott and Phil presuming to tell other people (Mizrahi Jews in this case ) who they really are and how they should define themselves.

  • Zionism is finally in the news, as officials seek to conflate anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism
    • Reading the Book of Esther and appreciating it does not mean agreeing with and identifying with all the actions described and sentiments expressed, same as any book we read.

      That said, the megillah does not describe a slaughter of innocents. Those who are killed are the would-be perpetrators of genocide: Haman and his sons and the men he had recruited as killers. Incidentally, even regarding Haman's offspring, the Talmud astonishingly tells us that his descendants "studied Torah in Bnei Beraq " (Bavli Gittin 57b). Tikkun is always possible.

      As to the feminist angle, I definitely see it in the narrative: in Vashti's defiant refusal in the first chapter, and , primarily , in Esther's transformation . At the outset she's the meek, subservient girl, doing Mordecai's bidding, (chapter 2:10) who emerges as a smart , strong-willed character in her own right, , turns the tables on their relationship and starts giving orders to him and to the entire community.(chapter 4, 15-17).

    • eljay,
      I've been called so many things on this forum, "creepy" is almost a compliment...
      I was serious: I think that reading the book of Esther (which I assume that you did, since you posted the link) , reading it carefully and attentively, enriched by some of the commentaries, is a worthwhile enterprise. The story is of the Jews avoiding a planned genocide, turning the tables on their would-be killers. We find a narrative written by a master story-teller, with a talent for suspense and drama, an eye for details and character-portraits. In many ways it's unique in the Bible: the feminist angle; being a story reflecting the experience of the diaspora; the Jews are saved thanks to an intermarriage; the absence of God ...and more.

    • eljay,
      Thanks for the link to the Book of Esther. Highly recommended.

    • And to all those celebrating: a happy and fun-filled Purim!
      (as much as possible these days...)

    • I would like to add the point that not all anti-Zionism is the same. Zionism was opposed in the Jewish world, from wildly different directions: assimilationists and ultra-orthodox, Reform Jews, Communists and Bundists. So, too, in the world at large, there was opposition to Zionism from various quarters, with different motivations.
      Zionism is also not of one flavor: the Zionism of Meretz and JStreet is a far cry from Lieberman and Bennet and Netanyahu. The crucial debates , in Israel and most of the Jewish world are not between Zionists and anti-Zionists, (though the right-wing loves to portray it as such..). It's "inside the tent", over the struggle for peace, for democracy, for social justice, for religious freedom. That's the relevant battleground.
      And I agree that we should try to adhere to the words quoted by Shmuel : Shun evil and do good, seek peace and pursue it. (Psalms, 34:15)

  • 'NYT' columnist says Hillary Clinton is not pro-Israel enough!
    • El Cazador, we've been over this before:

      The letter shows that Einstein opposed Begin’s brand of right-wing Zionism , not Zionism in total.

      Regarding Einstein's zionism:
      link to

      It’s well known that after the death of President Haim Weizmann, Prime Minister Ben Gurion offered Einstein the Presidency. Do you think that BG would have made the offer to a person whose Zionism was in doubt?

      Einstein willed his personal papers and archive to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem:

      link to

  • What Bernie Sanders should say at AIPAC (and cause a political revolution)
    • The Zionists intention was to establish a Jewish state, with a Jewish majority. Logically that could be achieved either by drastically reducing the number of non-Jews or by dramatically increasing the Jewish population. Those who say that Zionism intended from the outset to get rid of the Palestinian population, to replace them, are ignoring the second path: immigration, leading eventually to a Jewish majority in the country.
      All the Zionist leaders, the "classical " leaders such as Herzl, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion, and others, consistently expressed the intention and need to co-exist in peace with the Arab population. The Jewish majority was to be achieved through Jewish immigration, not through expulsion of everyone else.
      Now, obviously , the Palestinians (at least many of them) objected and resisted those intentions, which is quite understandable from their perspective. So, as far as what "had to be" or what "could have been", in my opinion the conflict was inevitable.

    • Amigo,
      The state didn't have to be created by ethnic cleansing.
      It should be a democracy for all, equal rights for all.

    • What Phil can't seem to accept is that you can be against the occupation , and oppose the settlements and support the peace movement, and also still see the need for a Jewish state.

  • In bid for Florida, Rubio says Trump is 'anti-Israeli' and a peace deal must wait 30 years
    • Marnie,
      I don't see Anti-Semitism everywhere, but when I do see it -I call it.

      As to Ayelet Shaked, you have more in common with her than I do, and I'm not referring to gender. I'm referring to the fanaticism and to the hatred.

    • Marnie,
      You don't actually have an answer, do you?
      Aside from just being nasty.

    • Marnie,
      I must admit that I'm stumped: You quoted Ayelet Shaked, I wrote that she's a "malevolent" figure. Do you think that a person who opposes the fascistic tendencies represented by Shaked is supposed to make excuses for Anti-Semitism? Anyone who opposes racism and fascism and terrorism should do so regardless of where they're coming from. That's consistency.

    • Marnie,
      Why is it so hard for you to understand that a person can be against deliberately harming civilians , and also not willing to excuse Anti-Semitism? Where is there any inconsistency?

    • Let me repeat what should be obvious: Innocent civilians -especially children - should never be deliberately targetted, by anyone, anywhere. Israelis or Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims or whatever. Whether their names are Abu Khdeir or Dawabshe, Haran or Ohayon, or Fogel.

      Ayelet Shaked is one of the most malevolent figures on the political scene here, and her incitement, cited by Marnie is inexcusable. Some Minister of Justice, what a sick joke...

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