Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 2527 (since 2010-09-16 16:15:33)

jon s

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

Showing comments 2527 - 2501

  • 'I found a system of segregated roads' -- Anna Baltzer's path to activism
  • Rabbi Cardozo: outlawing circumcision would 'end the state of Israel'
    • RoHa,
      Preserving jewish traditions and what has been a sign of Jewish identity for thousands of years qualifies as a good reason.

    • old geezer,
      Delusional? Self-aggrandizement? Me? And just when I was thinking of granting you an audience here at the palace...

      Seriously, what are you talking about?
      And why do you think that I teach fake history? What I teach is pretty much the conventional , mainstream , historical narrative.

    • Yonah,
      I would suggest, as numbers 9 and 10 :

      9. community
      10. the connection to the historic homeland in Eretz Yisrael

      The point on the brit mila I would extend to include various "life cycle events": brit mila, bar/bat mitzvah, wedding, funeral...

    • Annie,
      I have no problem discussing the issue.
      I do have a problem with any attempt to legally ban the practice.

    • Child abuse is evil and malicious. Abused children are traumatised for life.
      The Jewish brit mila is a celebration of a new life, an act of love, and non traumatic.
      Too bad you don't see the difference.

    • I think that the mondoweiss editors showed very poor judgement in posting this piece.
      On the other hand, it's instructive to see the reactions. We'll remember them next time we see that "I'm anti Zionist, not anti Jewish" slogan.

    • Roha,
      I would still like to know whether you favor legislation to outlaw the ritual.

    • Annie,
      From what I know about female circumcision, it's very traumatic, unlike the Jewish brit mila.
      When my son was born, when my grandson was born, we didn't even consider, even for a nano-second, NOT having a brit. The family deliberations were about the mohel, the guest list, the catering and so forth.
      As I've said, a joyous occasion.

    • old geezer
      I was responsible for my son's circumcision (I didn't do it with my own hands, but I hired the mohel, who acted on my behalf, so I'm responsible) and was of course involved in my cute little grandson's brit mila just over a year ago.
      Now do you really think that I would even contemplate , for one second, to deliberately do something which could harm them? Are you saying that for thousands of years, millions of Jews have "abused" their children? Do you realize how crazy that allegation is?
      I'll say it again: the brit mila is an act of love and a celebration of a new life. It's a far cry from "abuse" .

    • Annie, would you support banning it by law?

    • Ossinev,
      Absolutely, this is 2018 CE, not 132 CE, when the Emperor Hadrian tried to supress the ritual.

      About a year ago I wrote this:

    • MHughes,
      Do you also support legislation to ban ritual circumcision?

    • Ossinev,
      The brit mila (Jewish ritual circumcision) is the exact opposite of "abuse". It's an act of love and acceptance, a celebration of life, performed by devoted and loving parents, welcoming the new little guy into the tribe.

    • Jonathan Ofir,
      I see that you have replied, supporting legislation that would ban ritual circumcision.
      I'm disappointed, even horrified, by your reply. It's one thing to make a decision not to circumcise your own kids. It's quite another to prevent other parents from making the opposite decision.
      You should understand that the result of such a law would be to drive the brit mila underground, to be performed in secret, in dark basements, hidden from people like you.
      For myself - and I'm not even Orthodox-I would willingly break such a law and willingly go to jail.

    • I asked:
      My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

      eljay, I understand that your answer is yes, that you would support legislation banning Jewish ritual circumcision.
      echinococcus, naturally, claims that it's already illegal.
      Ossinev also agrees.

      Yonah Fredman opposes.

      Jonathan Ofir hasn't replied so far.
      Other commenters haven't given straight answers as yet.

    • Mr. Ofir, let's forgot about Rabbi Cardozo for a moment.
      My question to you and to the other commenters on this thread is: do you support a ban? Do you think that Jewish ritual circumcision should be outlawed?

    • This is clearly a freedom-of-religion issue. a bigotted attempt to ban the practice of the Jewish religion. Jonathan Ofir objects to coercion, "forced circumcision" in his words, yet does not object to the coercion which would prevent parents from circumcising their boys.

      By the way, Mondoweiss claims to be a forum for "news and opinion about Palestine, Israel and the U.S." Yet the editors are willing to publish this piece which has nothing to do with the conflict (indeed, Jews and Muslims are on the same side on this issue).

  • Jared Kushner's swift rise and long, long fall
    • I'm reminded of a story about Stalin. Supposedly when Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin's widow, expressed disapproval of his rule and methods he threatened to appoint someone else to be "Lenin's Widow".
      Maybe Trump will apoint a new "First Son-in-Law"...

  • In calling for end of Jewish state, Avraham Burg is painted as 'troublemaker' at liberal NY synagogue
    • Amigo, if Beersheva is not in the occupied territories, it's not a "settlement", in the accepted use of the term.
      Resolution 242 refers to occupied territories as those occupied in the 1967war. Therefore it's not a settlement.

    • amigo,
      'While your at it . Show me one un resolution that defines beersheba as part of israel or that it was legally obtained from the previous inhabitants.'
      That's easy. UNSC resolution 242 refers to "territories occupied in the recent conflict" (=the 1967 war). Those are the occupied territories. That's the accepted , conventional ,meaning of the term as it's used in the context of the I/P conflict.

    • MHughes, Roha,
      A formal definition can be found in any dictionary. The wiki definition provide by Yitzhak Goodman is fine with me. What I wrote was of course my own subjective take on the issue.
      Roha, if you know of any other case analogous to the Jewish connection to our historic homeland, I would have no problem acknowledging it.
      I don't think that I ever wrote that modern European Jews are not invaders in the Jewish homeland. I think that NO Jews are invaders here.

    • Maghlawatan
      There are plenty of Palestinians in areas other than Gaza or behind the walls. In the Gallil and in Jaffa, in Haifa and in the Negev, not far from where I'm sitting. I meet Palestinians with Israeli citizenship on a daily basis, no big deal. What do you mean that they are not subject to Israeli civil law? Where? In Gaza? Please explain what you mean.

    • RoHa,
      First of all I'd like to reverse the question. Can anyone provide a coherent argument that Israel is NOT the Jewish historic homeland?

      But I won't avoid your challenge and I'll tell you what I mean by "historic homeland".

      When I go to Jerusalem I can stop at the Israel Museum –as I've done occasionally- and see the famous Dead Sea Scrolls. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the Great Isaiah Scroll. Here I am, A Jew in Israel, who speaks and reads Hebrew, gazing at a scroll written around 125 BCE, in the same country, in the same language that I speak and read by a person who without doubt also self-identified as a Jew. I can stand in front of the scroll and read it, without too much difficulty:

      That's the meaning of "historic homeland".

    • Annie,
      I have to refer you to something I wrote a year ago:
      See especially point #7.

    • amigo,
      For once, I agree with you.

    • Page: 25
    • Annie,
      || the possible 75K? how so? (and that is a serious question, i don’t know much about the holiday except what wiki says)||

      The holiday is certainly the most fun-oriented Jewish holiday, if you're ever invited to a Purim party, you'll see what I mean.

      As to biblical population figures sometimes you get the feeling that the author wants to say "a whole lot of people" and throws out a figure. For example, Exodus 12:37 gives the number 600,000 for those departing Egypt, counting only able-bodied men. Assuming a similar number of women , and ,say, 2 children per family , and the non-Israelites who supposedly went with them, it would mean 2-3 million. Rather far-fetched.

    • Eljay,
      I would't take the number 75,000, like other population figures in the bible, too seriously.
      Even if we assume that the number is accurate, they were not innocent people.

    • Echi,
      Jews are not invaders in the historic Jewish homeland.

    • Eljay,
      So now you have a problem with a popular Jewish holiday?
      It's a holiday which commemorates a story in which the Jews avoided genocide and succesfully defended themselves. In practice it's a happy, kid-friendly, carnival-style holiday.

    • Joshua Laskin,
      The Hashomer Hatzair movement also advocated a binational state.
      A point that you're ignoring is that there was no support for that concept from the Arab side: not from the Palestinians, not from the Arab states.
      I also disagree with you statement that the zionists wanted to relocate the Palestinians. By and large, mainstream zionists sought to live in peace with them.

    • Roha, it's entierly understandable and natural for people to value their heritage, traditions and identity and to want to pass them on to future generations, rather than seeing them disappear.

      Which reminds me: Happy Purim to all those celebrating!

  • Six premature infants have died in Gaza this year due to lack of medication
    • Cazador,
      Have you actually read the report you're commenting on? One of the main points is the inter-Palestinian dispute between the PA and Hamas, causing shortages in medical supplies and difficulties in access to medical services.
      Basically, if the Hamas cared about their own people, they would provide them with decent health care.

  • 'Preparing the hearts' - how the Temple Mount movement works towards their goal of building the Third Temple over the ruins of Al Aqsa
    • Emet, that's a dangerous fantasy. In real life, noone will remove al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock and the temple will not be rebuilt, thank God. We need a third temple like we need a third armpit.

  • Israel’s Justice Minister endorses apartheid -- the Jewish state 'at the expense of equality'
    • Oldgeezer,
      How could you not feel sympathy for innocent civilians, victims of suicide/homicide bombers? People going about their daily lives, going to work, going to school, men, women and children, Jews, Palestinians, tourists... Murdered at random.
      The terrorists are to blame for the victims of terrorism.

    • Huge breaking news over here: police recommend charging Netanyahu with bribery.

  • In propaganda coup for Israel, NYT frontpager ascribes Gaza's misery to Palestinian infighting
  • Englander's new novel is high entertainment, with a grim view of Israel
  • The Insult: Six points toward clarification
  • Israeli paper's publication of BDS ad marks beginning of society's return to sanity
    • Haaretz, like most Old Media, is in bad shape financially, and will take paid ads from just about anywhere and anyone. So I would be careful about attaching too much significance to this one. "Milestone"..."turning point"... I'm not at all sure.

  • I'm blacklisted and banned from Israel, but for many others this is nothing new
    • The ban on BDS supporters is stupid and counter-productive. If it was up to me BDS activists would be welcomed with red-carpet, VIP, treatment.

      Nevertheless it's ironic that boycotters complain about being boycotted themselves.

  • 'NYT' praises Israelis for restraint in attacks aimed at Arafat that killed 100s of innocents
    • Eljay,
      I did answer your question, just scroll up. A decent person does not rape, period.

    • eljay, I never justified targeted assassinations. I did call attention to the matter of proportions. As yet noone has answered my question. How many?

    • eljay,
      These days Israel is hardly a "light unto the nations" or a moral beacon. I wish it was...
      I don't understand your question . A decent person doesn't rape. Period. And if he does , he's not decent, much less a model citizen. You're not making sense.

      Keith, I asked the first question because I really don't know. Hundreds? If anyone can come with some statistics I would like to see them. The second question was rhetorical, of course.

    • Let's have some proportions.
      How many people were killed by US forces in "targeted assassinations" carried out under the Bush and Obama administrations?
      Under President Obama, was Osama Bin Laden arrested and brought to trial or executed on the spot?

    • When I'm asked whether we have the death penalty in Israel, I answer "yes and no".

      In 1954 the Knesset abolished the death penalty for murder, instituting, instead , a mandatory life sentence for first degree murder. Even before the abolition, since 1948, noone had been executed, with the exception of the unfortunate Meir Toviansky who had been executed for espionage by an illegal tribunal during the War of Independence. He was an innocent man ,as it turned out , and his case was one of the reasons for abolishing the death penalty.

      However....the crime of treason during wartime still carries the death penalty though no such case has ever been tried. And, of course , there's the death penalty for Nazi war criminals, which enabled the execution of Eichmann, the only legal execution ever carried out in Israel.
      Also, military tribunals can hand down death sentences, so potentially, terrorists could be executed. However, as a matter of long standing policy , all Defense Ministers, from Ben Gurion to Lieberman, have instructed military prosecutors not to seek the death penalty.

  • Struggle for equal rights for Palestinians is 'right choice,' and will lead to 'significant exodus of Jews' -- Henry Siegman
  • Norman Finkelstein's new book on Gaza is a meticulous account of Israel's crimes
    • I never said that it was carrying weapons ieds and other explosives. I just wrote factually that it was not carrying medical or other supplies.

    • I haven't read Prof. Finkelstein's book, but, judging from this review, his "facts and hard evidence" are questionable:
      -Hamas use of hospitals, schools, mosques and civilian residences as launching sites and arms depots has been reported and documented by non-Israeli sources.
      -The Mavi Marmara was not carrying "medical and other supplies".
      -Hamas rockets and mortars are lethal and have caused civilian casualties. They haven't caused more casualties because , fortunately ,we have the "Iron Dome " sytem, an early warning system, shelters and " security rooms". Hamas wouldn't dream of investing in shelters for their people.
      Tunnels have not (yet) been used to attack Israeli civilians because the IDF so far has been on guard and has prevented such attacks. Are we supposed to wait for such attacks to occur?

  • There are two narratives, but one reality: Palestinian dispossession
    • Elizabeth Block,
      Who are the "indigenous Jews of Palestine"?
      And what's the connection to the Yemenite Jews?

  • Examining 'Ten Myths about Israel', by Ilan Pappe
    • MHughes,
      The Babylonian province, established after the revolt and destruction of the First Temple, was named"Yehud". The Persian Empire preserved the name "Yehud" as the name of the province in that period.
      So the Romans ,in naming the province Judaea, were following precedent. It became a province after the period of Herodian rule (Herod &sons) so I doubt that they were trying to "please their Hasmonean and Herodian allies". They simply named the province for the predominant population and based on earlier precedents.

  • What's wrong with colonialism?
    • Avigail,
      Of course I read your essay on Hanukkah. I even commented on it at the time.

    • Avigail,
      I can hardly imagine what it's like to sever ties with your family and friends, with your people and your culture. Although I note once again that you do hold on to your name, a name so illustrious in Jewish history, and now borne by a person who has chosen to detach herself from that heritage. As to the holidays, I celebrate all of them and I would sure miss them if I didn't. As you said, we certainly are different.
      I don't think that Israel is a perfect democracy. In fact, these are dark days for democracy here, with new anti-democratic measures virtually every day. I still think that it's important to be here and to take part in the struggle for democracy and for peace and social justice.

    • Avigail,
      Thank you for your response, which was at least courteous, without the personal insults so prevalent on this forum.
      Just to reciprocate with some personal background: I was born in the US( though my father and grandfather were born in Jerusalem), grew up in Tel Aviv, served in the IDF as a medic.I live in Beersheva and teach History and Civics .
      I asked about your use of the term "cult", and looked up the definition. From your answer I understand that in your view "cult " applies to Zionism (the political movement ), Israel (the state and most of its population) and the Jewish people, three partially overlapping "cults". It seems to me that your choice of the term is just a way to use a term with negative connotations. One could easily use the same "cultish " characteristics you mention to describe the various anti-Israel organizations which have also developed their own terminology are also constantly on the lookout for deviants and enemies and so forth.
      But let's move beyond the terminology: you've abandoned all three: Zionism (the idea and the practice), Israel (leaving and renouncing your citizenship) and your Jewish identity ( which is the abandonment most difficult for me to understand, seems to me to be a case of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater"). Did you sever all ties with your family and friends and local institutions? Do you ever visit? Do you ever find yourself missing the Hanukkah candles or Shavuot cheesecakes or a favorite falafel place ? Ever find yourself singing Shlomo Artzi or Meir Bannai or Tislam in the shower or when driving on the highway? I note that you've chosen to keep your name, an illustrious name in Jewish history. I'm not trying to provoke, just trying to understand how such a total renunciation works.
      For myself, I dislike fanaticism. The people who see complex issues in black and white, Israel always evil, the Arabs and Palestinians always innocent (or the other way around, like the Israeli extreme Right…)I always try to understand different viewpoints and narratives, I see nuances and shades of gray. We've seen the consequences of the fanatical mind-set: totalitarianism and terrorism, violence and misery. Not for me.
      So I prefer not to be alienated from our people's identity, heritage and culture. I prefer to stay here ,to do my modest part in the good fight, for peace and social justice and democracy and not to desert from the battlefield.
      There are more points that I disagree with: Why is Jewish culture by definition chauvinistic and xenophobic? Yes, that tendency obviously exists, but our rich culture also includes the opposite, universalist and humanist values. And I certainly don't believe that we have more rights than anyone else or that we have a monopoly on suffering.

    • Avigail,
      I also must ask you whether you use this line -"We are members of the human species and need to care about everyone not just ourselves and those close to us."- only in regard to your former people . Does it apply, say, to the Palestinians?

      And regarding compassion, many of us here in Israel are just this week involved in an effort to prevent the expulsion of African asylum-seekers, motivated mainly by compassion and human decency.

    • Avigail,
      1.I don't understand why you attempt long-distance psychoanalysis on a person you've never met, instead of addressing the points I raised regarding differences between Zionism and colonialism. I could try to imagine the psychological background which led you to your present attitude towards your former people, but I would rather not.

      2.Your vaguely offensive use of the term "cult": I went to the trouble of checking the definition in the Oxford dictionary:
      • 1A system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object.
      ‘the cult of St Olaf’

      1. 1.1 A relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.
      ‘a network of Satan-worshipping cults’

      2. 1.2 A misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular thing.
      ‘the cult of the pursuit of money as an end in itself’

      • 2A person or thing that is popular or fashionable among a particular group or section of society.
      ‘the series has become a bit of a cult in the UK’

      So, who are you referring to as a cult? Jews? Zionists? Israelis? Please explain your choice of terminology.

      3.Yes, we are all members of the human species, but people –most people- identify as members of groups:nations, ethnic groups, religions , etc. and tend to take pride in their group's heritage and achievements and culture. People tend to feel more comfortable with other people with whom they share a common language and traditions and values than with strangers. It's quite natural, though we should be careful not to descend into chauvinism and xenophobia.

      4. You pretend that you know me, that I lack compassion and live in fear. Where have you observed those traits in my comments? And where is your compassion?

    • Avigail,
      Zionism was not a form of colonialism because the Jews immigrating to Israel/Palestine were settling in the Jewish historic homeland. The British taking over India, the French ruling Senegal, the Belgians in the Congo- had no religious or historic attachment -preserved for centuries - to those territories. In 1903 the British came up with the "Uganda Plan" and the Zionist movement faced a moment of truth: had the Zionists accepted Uganda, that would have been a manifestation of colonialism. As we know, the Zionists rejected the offer of Uganda or any other alternative to the land of Israel.
      Another significant difference is the absence of a "Mother Country". In colonialism there was always a Mother country which encouraged the colonialist settlers, backed them and protected them with military force. Profits flowed back to London and Paris and Brussels. In Zionism there was no such Mother Country. Profits, if there were any, did not flow back to Europe but were reinvested in the country, And the Zionist immigrants initially had no military force to provide security, they were unarmed.
      It is true, of course, that the Zionists sought political alliances with the imperialist powers of the time. Trying to recruit Big Power support was seen as the rational way to achieve the movement's goals , as any rational political "player" would do.
      As for myself, (and many on the Israeli Left) I don't think that I can be accused of lack of empathy with the Palestinians. The Palestinians were certainly victims of an injustice from their point of view, and many of them live today under a rather brutal occupation. Over the years I've devoted considerable time and effort to trying to understand and empathize with the Palestinian narrative, without being alienated from our own people.

    • Annie, even if we assume , for the sake of the argument , that Kuntar did not bash in Einat Haran's head (though her brain matter was found on the but of his gun), he did take a 4 year old girl hostage. If a terrorist kidnaps a child to use as a hostage or human shield and that child is killed in the ensuing firefight, her blood is ultimately on the terrorist's hands.

    • Annie, how was the child-killer Samir Kuntar a "victim"? He was a Lebanese Druze, who had never lived a day under Israeli occupation.

    • It's remarkable how much the extremists on both sides echo each other, each side denying the other's legitimacy . The Palestinians are not a real people and are not indigenous. No, the Jews are not a real people and are not indigenous.
      This country is the homeland of both Jews and Palestinians and both are indigenous and should enjoy equal rights.

  • From Spinoza to Vilkomerson, Jewish voices for peace have long been banned-- by Jews
    • "Jewish court" would mean a court presided over by rabbis ("dayanim" ) who rule according to Jewish law ("halakha").
      IDF military tribunals are certainly not Jewish courts, and have little to do with justice and fairness.

      Talkback, once again, noone was tried or executed in this context, not by decapitation, not by stoning... You're welcome to study Torah, nothing to fear...

    • Talkback, Yes, I've read it, thanks . As I said ,"deserves death " is not to be taken literally. Noone is actually tried sentenced and executed, according to the Rambam himself.

    • amigo,
      I tried to explain that the quote provided should not be taken literally. In reality no Jewish court ever tried- much less executed - a Gentile for studying Torah. I showed the context of the quote, in a Talmudic discussion and also a few precedents showing that Gentiles were not necessarily turned away if they expressed interest. All of which counts as "zero evidence" to you.

      Annie threw in a distraction about rabbis and the killing of gentile babies. Is that supposed to connect to something on this thread?

    • RoHa

      First of all -and most important - I wish you many years of good health.

      The rabbis were not stupid and/or nuts. Many extremely intelligent people willingly devoted themselves to the intellectual challenge of studying Torah and commenting on it. A little modesty would be in order here, in my opinion.

    • This is the Talmud, so what we're reading here is an ARGUMENT. One sage , R. Yohanan, argues against a Gentile studying the Torah, saying that such a Gentile "deserves death". This is obviously hyperbole since in any case a Jewish court can only hand down a death sentence on transgressions specifically cited in the Torah as meriting the death penalty and "a Gentile studying Torah" is not one of them. Right after this argument comes a counter-argument from another sage, R.Meir, who engages in some hyperbole himself and says that a Gentile studying Torah is "as a High Priest", in other words: more exalted than any Jew.

      In practice, then, there is no such law. Indeed ,had there been such a prohibition it's difficult to see how any non-Jew could have ever converted. There are stories of non-Jews studying Torah prior to their conversion. (For example the story -or legend – of Graf Potocki) And it brings to mind one of the most well known stories regarding the sages Hillel and Shammai:

      "There was another incident involving one gentile who came before Shammai and said to Shammai: Convert me on condition that you teach me the entire Torah while I am standing on one foot. Shammai pushed him away with the builder’s cubit in his hand. (This was a common measuring stick and Shammai was a builder by trade.)The same gentile came before Hillel. He converted him and said to him: That which is hateful to you do not do to another; that is the entire Torah, and the rest is its interpretation. Go study."

      Note that neither Shammai nor Hillel have an objection in principle to teaching a Gentile.

    • amigo,
      North Cascadian produced a quote purporting to show that non-Jews studying the Talmud are subject to the death penalty, he didn't say that there's such a "law in the Talmud". You ought to improve your comprehension skills. There really is no such "law in the Talmud".
      As to myself :
      I'm not an illegal squatter, I don't live on stolen land, I am living in my people's historic homeland, and I am aware of the revised Hamas charter (I think that I even referred to the revision in a comment a while back).

    • North Cascadian, Just to prevent any misunderstanding:In Jewish law there is no death penalty for non-Jews studying the Talmud.

    • Annie, all historical analogies are imperfect, at best. With that in mind, it did occur to me that anti-zionists like JVP, in promoting a boycott of Israel, are doing something analogous to what the leaders of the Jewish community in Amsterdam did to Spinoza. Placing him in "herem" (excommunication) was a form of boycott.

    • Like many Jews Spinoza had a "Jewish name " and a" secular" or "everyday" name.

      In any case, I think that the essay here has the analogy upside-down: Jewish supporters of BDS , like JVP, boycotting Israel, are analogous to the community leaders who excommunicated Spinoza.

    • Spinoza didn't really "rename " himself. "Benedict" is a translation of "Baruch". It's actually the same name.
      An interesting point is that Spinoza , after being excommunicated by the Jewish community, did not convert to Christianity. Out of the synagogue, and not in the church , he is seen by some as the "first secularist", taking one of the first steps towards the modern world.

  • Stop talking about Ahed Tamimi's hair
    • Reminds me a bit of when Ahinoam Nini ("Noa") and Mira Awad performed at the Eurovision and some people had trouble understanding who was the Israeli and who the Palestinian.

  • Why I am not at the MLA
    • eljay,
      You're saying that Israel is NOT the Jewish historic homeland?

      The homeland is part of what it means to be Jewish, as is known by all Jews who know something about their heritage and whether or not they draw present-day political conclusions from that concept.

    • I saw the list on a right-wing website , "Arutz sheva", in Hebrew. I occasionally comment there to challenge the right-wingers. A while ago they banned me, but lately some of my comments there have been posted. Anyway, I assumed that the list would appear shortly on English language websites.

    • A local website has just published the list of organizations to be banned here. I can't vouch for the accuracy:

      • AFPS( (The Association France Palestine Solidarité

      • BDS France

      • BDS Italy

      • ECCP (The European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine)

      • FOA ( (Friends of Al-Aqsa

      • IPSC ( (Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

      • Norgeׂׂ(The Palestine Committee of Norway) Palestinakomitee

      • PGS- (Palestine Solidarity Association in Sweden) Palestinagrupperna i Sverige

      • PSC (Palestine Solidarity Campaign)

      • War on Want

      • BDS Kampagne

      • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee)

      • AMP (American Muslims for Palestine)

      • Code pink

      • JVP (Jewish Voice for Peace)

      • NSJP (National Students for Justice in Palestine)

      • USCPR ((US Campaign for Palestinian Rights

      • BDS Chile

      • BDS South Africa

      • BNC (BDS National Committee)

  • Haaretz smears the Tamimi family to counter worldwide solidarity with 16-year-old Ahed
  • Pop star 'Lorde' honors BDS call, cancels Tel Aviv concert
    • I see from her website that Lorde will be performing in Russia. Does that mean that she supports Russian government policy and actions? Why not demand that she cancel there?

  • The never-ending crisis of Zionism
    • Talkback, in response:
      I've always supported Palestinian rights.
      Yes , my ascendants arrived before the mandate. As to consent of the native population, no such consent was obtained, any more than in North and South America, Australia and New Zealand...

    • RoHa,
      I don't know about "biological descendants". Over the centuries there were invasions, migrations, conversions, intermarriages…I can trace my ancestry back to certain 19th century rabbis,there are family rumors going a bit further back, but before that , back to the 6th century BCE–who would claim to know? And who cares? Only someone interested in notions of "racial purity" and "bloodlines", and I'm not. A people's identity, a people's history and memory and traditions, are based on a lot more.
      As to your analogy, I would say that if you find another example of a people who, after losing political sovereignty and demographic majority in their historic homeland
      • Maintained a continuous presence in said homeland, albeit as a minority.
      • Continued , fom their homeland, to produce significant contributions to their religion and culture.
      • Preserved the memory of the homeland in customs and traditions, in their studies and their poetry, prayed for a return to the homeland at least three times a day.
      • Were often victims of persecutions in their countries of residence, leading to a horrific genocide in which one third of the defenseless people were annihilated.
      • Returned to their homeland with peaceful intentions, without intending to disposes the existing native population.

      ….so if you find a similar situation somewhere in the world, let me know, and I'll consider supporting those people.

    • amigo,
      I was mainly responding to lonely rico.
      The Palestinian population in Israel is around 1.8 million, and yes, they mostly live peacefully. I admit that I'm not sure what "meaningful" means. How could any life be meaningless?

      I'm not an invader. No Jew is an invader in the Jewish historic homeland . And I'm sure not an "illegal squatter".

    • For someone living in Israel there's nothing particularly remarkable about Jackdaw's statement that he "interacts with... Arabs".
      It's part of everyday life.

    • That's right , the Jews were doing fine, except for the occasional blood libel, massacre, expulsion, persecution and pogrom. And the Holocaust.

    • Misterioso,
      A few comments and questions:
      Lord Montagu was certainly an anti-Zionist who feared that the Jews in the West would lose their equal rights if a Jewish national home would be established. Didn't happen , but a line was inserted in the Balfour Declaration to make sure.
      Do you have a source for the "...out of the ghetto " quote?

      Henry Morgenthau Sr. opposed Zionism,and initially so did his son , Henry Mogenthau Jr. who served as FDR's Sec. of the Treasury. In the wake of the Holocaust he became a strong supporter of Israel.

      The quote from Einstein expresses concern as to the direction of Jewish-Arab relations. As we know, Einstein was a Zionist.

  • How a Palestinian girl from an occupied village emasculated the Israeli army
  • Trump threatens to cut aid to countries voting against Jerusalem decision at UN
    • Since Holocaust denial is a form of Anti-Semitism, criminalizing it is seen as a means of combating Anti-Semitism.

  • In video tours of Palestine, Nas Daily plays native informant
    • Wow, lighten up, folks, my hummus comment was meant to be at least half-humorous. I'm not really outraged and insulted in the name of hummus.
      Everyone knows that hummus , falafel and shuwarma are Middle-Eastern in origin, pizza is Italian and so forth. Still, many people will say that pizza made in the US is American pizza, beer made in Israel is Israeli beer ...and hummus,too.

    • Stating that there's no such thing as Israeli hummus is outrageous and insulting. Hummus which is made in Israel, sold in Israel and consumed in Israel is, by definition, Israeli hummus.
      I'll tolerate a lot, but not insults to our hummus.

    • Nas Daily does not see the situation in black-and -white and does not promote hatred and violence . He won't become popular on Mondoweiss.

  • 'Trump's a crazy man, but I like it' -- the view from Jerusalem
    • Kaisa of Finland, I respect all cultures and religions and all decent people and don't want to throw anyone out and would like to see all citizens treated equally.

    • Meah Shearim was founded in 1874 and most of the residents would object to being called Zionists.
      My father, of blessed memory, was born there.

  • The Chanukah of fire and occupation (is not about ancient times)
    • The Chabad website isn't reliable, and has the dates wrong. The Hasmonean revolt broke out in 167 BCE, and the temple was cleansed and re-dedicated in 164 BCE, which is the event celebrated on Hanukkah.
      Judah was called "the Maccabee" (spelled with the Hebrew letter "kof") probably in reference to "makevet", a hammer. The acronym MCBY (withe the letter "kaf") is a later take on his nickname.
      Stephen Shenfield is correct , the Hasmonean rebels were not upholders of religious tolerance. And not only did they circumcise uncircumcised Jews, but the next generation Hasmonean leader John Hyrcanus forcibly converted non-Jews such as the Idumeans (Edomites). ("I'll cut off either your foreskins or your heads. Choose".)
      Ironically , the Hasmonean dynasty itself became Hellenized.

    • The killing of Ibrahim Abu Thurayah is inexcusable and indefensible, slingshot or no slingshot. What threat did he pose?

  • Anti-Christianism
    • eljay, Potiphar certainly was married . His wife tried to seduce Joseph.

    • Incidentally, this is part of Rashi's commentary on Gen. 41:45, regarding Potiphera:

      Poti-phera: He is Potiphar, but he was called Poti-phera because he became emasculated since he desired Joseph for homosexual relations. (Based on the Bavli, Sotah ,13b)

      So, according to this interpretation, both Potiphar's wife and Potiphar himself, desired Joseph sexually but he ended up marrying their daughter.

    • eljay,
      Your point is valid, though I never said that it was a marriage of equals. In those times, under those circumstances ,it could not have been.
      My point is that there's no hint of disapproval in the Biblical text.

    • Since Phil mentions his own marriage, I'll point out that it so happens that the Torah portion read this past Sabbath mentions a "mixed marriage" which is beneficial. The portion focuses on the continuing adventures of Joseph. We are told:

      "And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On. And Joseph went out over the land of Egypt." (Genesis 41:45)

      So Joseph married an Egyptian, the daughter of a pagan priest, no less. She went on to bear him two sons who would father two important tribes.

  • Trump's Hanukkah gift
  • Israeli Labor sells out African refugees, as 'infiltrators'
  • 'Struggle for basic rights within binational state has begun and we will win' --Shulman in 'NYRB'
    • Amigo,
      I stand by all those comments of mine . You can call them "self serving Zionist…"I call them "the truth". I don't know why it's so important for you that I should argue with the right-wingers here. I'll do so if I feel that I have something to contribute to the discussion. In any case I think that the intelligent readers of mw can see the differing points of view.

      I made the point that I'm using the conventional ,accepted, terminology regarding the occupied territories and the settlements. Not my definitions.

      Regarding the trial of the lynching suspects, I see there's a misunderstanding. When I wrote that the police officer "took it" it wasn't in the sense of having been the cameraman. We're talking about a surveillance camera , of the kind that are located in public areas all over the world. The officer who took the tape from the bus station ,as part of the investigation, was not authorized to do so, according to the defense lawyers. The suspects are not being charged with murder because the autopsy showed that the cause of Mr Zarhoum's death was the gunshot wounds, not the beating. They are charged with assault.

      It seems to me that a person who advocates democracy, peace and social justice is on the Left.

    • amigo,
      On "quibbling with the right wing" , I've tried doing that by commenting on a right-wing blog (Hebrew). Guess what? It looks like they've freakin banned me.
      On this blog I post my opinions and observations when I think that I have something to contribute.

      I use the terms "occupied territory" and "settlements" in the conventional, accepted sense, in the context of the I/P issue. Of course , you can invent your own definitions, but then the discussion becomes meaningless.

      Regarding the 4 suspects in the lynching , they are not being charged with murder.

      I'm relieved to know that you don't get your views from "Mooser".

      I live here because this is my home, this is my people's homeland. In general it's a good place to live and to raise kids, without underestimating the problems, the blemishes and the challenges.. You're welcome to visit.

    • amigo,
      I'm not going to apologize for being a leftist "peacenik", for supporting values like democracy peace and social justice. Hopefully I'm doing my modest part in education on behalf of those values.
      It looks to me like you're misinformed about the reality in Israel. Also about me, personally . (As if your "information" comes from commenter "Mooser"s nonsense and lies).

      Somewhat off-topic here: I recall that you were interested in and commented on the horrible lynching of the Eritrean man, Haftom Zarhoun, in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack here in Beer Sheva in October 2015. So here's an update on the case: The most important evidence in the case against the four suspects being prosecuted is the videotape from the surveillance camera. The attorneys for the accused have argued that the tape should not be admitted as evidence because of various technicalities: the police officer who took it supposedly wasn't authorised to do so, no proper"chain of evidence " was maintained and so forth. Last week it was reported that the judge was indeed not going to admit the tape ("fruit of the poisoned tree" ). That could have led to the charges being dropped. This week the judge criticized the police for screwing up but decided to admit the tape itself, especially since the suspects are not disputing the fact that they are the men seen on the tape. So now the trial can proceed with the tape in evidence.

    • amigo, I'm a "peacenik", as you put it because I've been active in groups that strive for Israeli-Palestinian peace and oppose the occupation and the settlements. We need to seek a better future for both Palestinians and Israelis.

    • Nathan has a good point. It looks like Mr Shulman -and Phil- uses the term "binational state " as if it's synonymous with "one state".
      Phil , do you know of any Palestinians who support the concept of a binational state? Such support would be a significant development.

    • amigo,
      I don't know why you refer to me as working for "greater Israel". If you've read my comments and understood them you should know that I actively oppose the occupation and the settlements and therefore I oppose any notion of "Greater Israel".
      As to non-Jewish citizens, of course all citizens should enjoy equal rights. A basic democratic principle.
      Also, amigo, your McCarthyite list-making , lumping together other commenters who may have little in common, is distasteful.

  • The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel
    • Wait a minute, wasn't JFK allegedly assassinated by a conspiracy that included the mafia, the CIA, the FBI, the Secret Service, the Dallas Police, the KGB, anti-Castro Cubans, pro-Castro Cubans and Ted Cruz's dad?

    • Citing Michael Collins Piper doesn't add credibility to the theory , any theory. He was associated with white supremacism, Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

    • Yonah,
      Allow me to point out that the Mossad and Shabak are under the authority of the Prime Minister's Office (משרד ראש הממשלה) . So as Director General of the PMO Kollek was certainly a part of the intelligence community.

  • Open letter to singer Nick Cave from the Gaza war protesters he once supported
  • How Avi Shlaim moved from two-state solution to one-state solution
  • Dear Simon Schama, you need a history lesson on Zionism
  • The Balfour centenary is also the centenary of the Zionist lobby
  • UN rapporteur urges sanctions on Israel for driving Palestinians 'back to the dark ages'

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