Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 527 (since 2014-06-05 03:23:18)

I am a husband, father, and surgeon. I was raised in a Zionist household and am interested in a peaceful solution.

Showing comments 527 - 501

  • Palestinians demand Israeli authorities release the remains of slain loved ones
    • Annie,

      I don't think the protesters need to protest both sides. But if they think that using this tactic is legitimate for their countrymen, but not for the Israelis than I don't think they have too much to complain about.

    • OG,
      The high moral ground is the return of the bodies by both sides. I don't think either side has grabbed it in this case. But if the protesters really consider the withholding of human remains to be a human rights issue, than they should demand it's consistent application. Don't you agree?

      The conversation began because there was a Palestinian protest against Israel holding the bodies of deceased 'Hamas' persons. The protesters position is that Israel is wrong to hold theses bodies. I agree. However, don't you think the morally consistent position is for the protesters to demand the same from Hamas, an organization that they have some sway over?shouldnt they be protesting against the practice in any circumstance?

    • Annie,
      The article describes the Israeli practice of holding the remains of deceased Hamas members. It is deficient in that it does not describe the fact that it is the practice of Hamas to hold the remains of Israelis.

      As I have said now and before, I think the concept of holding the remains and not allowing families to bury their dead is wrong. However, Israel is not unique in the region in doing so. Syria, Jordan, Egypt an s the Palestinians have all withheld the return of remains.
      If these poor families wish the return of their deceased, they should push to have both sides agree to the principle. If it is a "human rights" violation for Israel to do it, than it is also a violation for Hamas.

      I would like to see the practice ended by both sides. Don't you agree?

    • Israel is differentiating between Hamas and Fatah because Hamas refuses to release the bodies of Israelis that it has.

      All parties should immediately return the bodies of ALL the dead. No one should be holding bodies.

  • The Palestinian state never had a chance: a review of Toufic Haddad's 'Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and Nationalism in the Occupied Territory'
    • Roha,
      That's certainly one possibility. The issue Talknic brought up was whether it was possible to declare a state. Not whether it was wise or even enforceable.

    • OG,
      I agree that these discussions are not terribly helpful to the discussion of today's situation. But, the assertion that Palestinians could not have declared statehood in 1948 is incorrect. Other than ad hominem do you have anything relevant to add to the discussion?

    • Talknic,
      You said that complete territorial control was a "prerequisite" for declaring statehood. This is incorrect. The Palestinians eventually declared a state without territorial control.

      Had you said that complete territorial control was a prerequisite for effective control that would be correct. The current Palestinian state does not have effective control. Effective control is not a prerequisite for declaring statehood.

      Israel waited until British forces withdrew so that the would not be fighting British forces. It would make no sense to challenge the British when they were withdrawing anyway.

      Overall, I don't think these discussions are particularly helpful in an effort to resolve the current morass.

    • Talknic,
      The Palestinians would have had all of the attributes in the convention. In fact, they declared a state decades later when they were completely under Israeli control. If they can declare themselves a state in 1988 and be recognized, what prevented this action in 1948 when they actually controlled significant territory?

    • Talknic,

      So the Palestinians could have declared independence at any time. Whether or not they could have enforced that independence is a question. There is no "prerequisite".

    • "It is a pre-requisite for declaring independence that the entity declaring must control all their territories at the time of their declaration - See more at:"

      Someone should have told Jefferson. The whole US thing might have turned out differently.

  • The truck attack that killed four Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem was not 'terrorism'
    • Talknic
      Gender would be 'male'.

    • Annie,

      His lawyers didn't deny his involvement, they only said that he confessed under torture. Possibly they made this statement to provide an excuse as to why he revealed the inner workings of Hamas.

      You may not accept the evidence, but there is evidence.

      Once again we disagree. The right to resist is not unlimited. Murder of unarmed civilians is not an "available" means of resistance.

    • Annie,

      Hamas operatives admitted that they were responsible for kidnapping and financed by the leadership. forgive my ignorance, but doesn't that make Hamas responsible?

    • Jonathan,

      Here is a recent headline from MW, "Thousands of Palestinians attend funerals for two teenage boys killed by Israeli occupation forces - See more at:"
      One "boy" was 16 and the other "boy" was 19. So to be more accurate it should have said, ' One teenage boy and one adult...'. The convention on this site is to often refer to 18 and 19 year old Palestinians as boys or children.

      The sources do not say that there is no Hamas connection. Local Hamas leaders were responsible. The kidnapping was orchestrated by lower level operatives and financed by Hamas. Hamas as an organization was responsible for both financing and permitting its members to pursue individual actions even though the specifics were not planned by top leadership. The kidnapping was in line with the wishes of the leadership as shown by its statements of support.

    • Talk,
      Yes. It was planned and executed by lower level Hamas members and funded by Hamas. Senior leadership seems to have not directed it or been aware of specifics. It was the responsibility of more junior Hamas members acting in what they believed the wishes of senior leadership. The subsequent praise of senior leadership shows that their initiative was in line with leadership.

    • Annie,
      It was an exiled Hamas official in Turkey. He was responsible for some activities in the West Bank. Senior leadership was unaware, but it was a local initiative funded by Hamas without direct command from senior leadership. That seems to be the reason for the cross messages. In the end, the event was funded by Hamas and performed by Hamas members.,7340,L-4610107,00.html

    • I thought it was acknowledged that Hamas had funded the kidnap and murder of the three teens.

      I also don't see the problem with describing them as "teens" since they were in their teens. Articles on MW frequently refer to Palestinian 18 and 19 year olds as "teens".

  • Israel-Palestine conflict could 'explode' under Donald Trump, Israel supporter warns
    • Mag,
      If they are repatriated, the effect on GDP will depend upon how it is handled. If the Israeli govt needs to build new infrastructure to handle the returnees then GDP could go up. If they obtain water through desalination then GDP would go up. Liabilities may or may not influence GDP.

    • Mag,
      Can you explain the relationship between GDP and liability?
      Can you explain how disposable income affects GDP?

      I don't see the correlation.

  • Joint funeral in Hebron for Palestinians whose bodies were held by Israel four months
  • Netanyahu ignored US warnings and brought Israel's 'international isolation' on itself -- Ben Rhodes
    • In 1861 11 American states "self determined" to become their own country. This was rejected by the Union government. California would be treated similarly.

  • Abstention at the UN, or the Owl of Minerva of American Diplomacy
    • Talknic,

      What did you think of this part of the resolution, "Calls upon all States, bearing in mind paragraph 1 of this resolution, to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967;".?

  • Theresa May adopts a definition of anti-Semitism that demonizes Israel's critics
    • All,
      I'm not the one who first mentioned Palestinians. The article above was centered on the U.K. Please re-read my first comments. I was simply trying to say that Zionism is not an excuse for anti-semitism. That was not focused on the 'victims' of Zionism, but rather a general statement. I didn't think the statement would be so controversial.

    • Annie,
      I understand why a Palestinian would hate a Zionist. I understand why a woman abused by her husband would hate him. But for the Palestinian to hate all Jews or the woman to hate all men would display a narrow mindedness and lack of understanding. I would tell that woman, and I have, that obviously not all men behave that way and people should be judged by their actions not their sex. Maybe someone smarter than I can help, but there seems to be a difference between finding a 'reason' to feel a certain way and finding an 'excuse'. I guess it's just an area in which we disagree.

    • Annie,
      Mag said, "Traditional antisemitism had no foundation. Zionism gives people a reason to hate Jews. - See more at:"

      He contrasted traditional anti-semitism with current hatred of Jews. He said the older hatred had no foundation. But there were 'reasons' that Jews were hated, e.g., unclean or parasitical I do not believe that these were valid reasons to hate Jews. He put forth Zionism as a current reason to hate Jews. The contrast he presented was a traditional hatred without foundation and a modern hatred with reason. If he had said that there were irrational reasons in the past why people hated Jews and the modern irrational reason was Zionism than I wouldn't disagree.
      If irrational hatred of all Jews for the action of some Jews is anti-Semitism or bigotry or whatever you want to call it and the hatred of all Jews for the actions of Zionism is irrational, than isn't the hatred of all Jews for the actions of Zionism anti-semitism or bigotry or whatever. We can search for excuses for why some people hate others unfairly, but I think it's better to condemn the hate.

    • Page: 5
    • Annie,

      You can certainly blame the Israeli govt or the Church as institutions for their actions. I'm saying you can't hate Jews for the actions of the Israeli govt or Catholics for the action of the Church. I disagree that Zionism has given anyone a reason to hate Jews. People may hate specific Jews or hate the Israeli govt, but a "reason" means that there is a rational explanation for it. If there is no rational reason then I do think Anti-semitism is the word.

    • Annie,
      So why is Mag justifying anti-semitism because of the behavior of some people who have a particular political view?
      What he said was, "Zionism gives people a reason to hate Jews?"

      Do the actions of some pedophile priests give people a reason to hate Catholics?
      If "zionism is not judiasm" as you say, then no one should have a reason to hate Jews because of Zionism.

    • Mag,

      That makes as much sense as:
      Traditional Islamophobia had no foundation. Islamic fundamentalism gives people a reason to hate Muslims. Using trucks to run over civilians, bombing nightclubs, kidnapping hundreds of girls, beheadings, brainwashing kids to join terrorist groups...

      If you are looking for it, you can always find an excuse to hate some group. How about judging people by their actions, not their religion or ethnicity.

  • 'NYT' bias amazes: long article about online incitement in Israel/Palestine only blames Palestinians
    • Ecchi,
      Your definition of racism is at variance from the standard English definition. Racism relates to relates as sexism relates to sex.

      But perhaps you can give me the word for people who use terms like, "In the civilized world,".

    • Annie,

      " if someone called the US “a nation of bigots, murderers and thieves” would you accuse them of racism? - See more at:

      No I wouldn't. The US doesn't have one predominant race. I don't think the statement was racist with regards to Israel either because Israelis are not a race. But taking the characteristics of some part of the population and applying it to all is bigotry.

    • Annie,
      If a presidential candidate referred to undocumented Mexican immigrants as "rapists" and "murderers" would that be a generalization and not bigotry? The President elect also included the disclaimer, "some of them are good people, I assume".
      Would it have been better if Trump had said, 'The true face of illegal immigrants is rape and murder'?

  • 'Make this my dream as well' -- in historic appearance, Palestinian offers one-state vision to a NY temple
  • The lynching of Dwight Bullard
    • Annie,
      I think the problem was the background of the tour guide and the meeting with BDS leadership. We won't know how it would have played if he had met with less controversial figures.

    • Annie,

      I am really not familiar at all with the demographics of the district. My only resource is a couple newspaper articles and the EI article. I don't know the size of the pro-Israel population. I agree that his loss may have been due to redistricting and the united stance of a minority who in the past have supported him but now do not. i don't have any evidence that the district has any organized or sizable pro-Palestinian constituency. So, if Mr. Bullard took a stance that was at direct opposition to the feelings of a solid base of some voters, that may have been enough to lose him the election. Outside organizers may have factored in as well, but his trip by itself may have organically cost him the election. At best, he took a risk and lost by taking this stance since at least some of his district was strongly opposed.

      I'm not counting anything and I haven't mentioned anti-semitism. If you don't like the Cuba analogy, maybe this is better. If he had represented a district with a solid pro-life base and he came out with a pro-choice position, he would expect to lose some of those votes and possibly the election. Especially if he didn't have a significant pro-choice base in his district. Nationality is irrelevant.

    • Eljay,

      I think your being silly.
      The report from EI mentions that the district has a Jewish population that is pro-Israel. I'm not conflating anything. It is a description of the specific population of that district.

    • Annie,
      "Still, Bullard’s district in South Florida is home to a well-organized Jewish voter base that is older and strongly pro-Israel."

      If he had attended a "white lives matter" protest he would have had a similar loss. This doesn't appear to be a conspiracy, but rather a politician who took some of his voters for granted. They organized and opposed him. Holding him accountable for his action.

    • Hughes,

      The district he represents is also very Pro-Israel Jewish. He wore a keffiyeh to the Dem convention in support of Palestinians. He sounds a bit tone deaf to the district. If you represent a district in Florida with a large Cuban American population, you had better not say supportive things about Castro.

  • Tulsi Gabbard's screw-the-neocons meeting with Trump sparks anger, derision, encouragement
    • Bandolero,

      Thanks for the input. It's a dichotomy because it's based upon the question of whether or not the US has achieved a change for the better. The question was not if it it resulted in a perfect regime, but whether or not the new regime was better than the old. Do you think most Germans think that the end of the Soviet empire was a net positive for them?

    • Echi,

      The question asked was, "Have we ever succeeded in changing a regime for the better?"

      I think the answer is a resounding yes and I have given some examples. Do you disagree with these examples? It's a straightforward question and I have given a straightforward answer.

    • Echi,
      Have you spoken with people who lived during Soviet times and after the fall in Poland, East Germany, Latvia, etc? I don't know any who yearn for a return of Soviet times. I have spoken with some elderly Russians who do bemoan the change, but it's a minority. Do you think the people living in Soviet dominated areas were better off under that regime?

      Italy allied itself with us after we forced a regime change by invading the mainland.

      The question asked was straightforward and my answer was as well. I gave several examples where I believe that the regime change we pushed for was beneficial to both ourselves and the majority of those in the countries. Do you disagree with these examples?

    • "Have we ever succeeded in changing a regime for the better? -See more at:

      I guess that would depend upon your view of the regime changes in Italy, Germany, and Japan in 1945 as well as the breakup of the Soviet Union.

  • 'Peace Now' chief slams AIPAC for misrepresenting Jews -- but Peace Now is on AIPAC exec committee
    • Oss

      Amigo, Echinococcus, Kay24, to name just a few here have compared Zionism to cancer.

      I don't recall your condmenation.
      Is this a reflection of how low the anti-Zionist crowd will sink?

  • Why segregation is the single most important issue in Israel, and practical ways to confront it
    • Talkinic

      You said, "It’s normal for countries involved in hostilities to expel or intern possible allies of one’s enemies. - See more at:"

      Country A is at war with country B.
      There are refugees from Country A who openly are sympathetic to Country B and espouse the defeat of Country A.
      Should Country A be able to expel, intern, or refuse entry to those refugees?

      "They don’t want Lebanese citizenship"See more at:
      The only way we would know if this were true would be if they were offered citizenship and they rejected this. It was never offered. I thought you were opposed to "speculation".

    • Talknic,

      The peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt are not relevant. You said that it was normal to expel or intern possible allies of your enemies with which you are at war. It seems reasonable to believe that the Palestinian refugees are sympathetic to countries that Israel is at war with.

      So is it reasonable for Israel to not allow refugees who are sympathetic to countries Israel is at war with to be refused entry at this time to Israel. It shouldn't matter who currently hosts the refugees, only the fact that the refugees themselves are potential allies of the opposing side.

      Lebanon is not at war with Palestine, but it refuses to grant Palestinians citizenship and keeps them in camps. . Is it therefore reasonable for Israel to treat Sudanese similarly?

    • Talknic,

      Since Israel is still in a state of war with two of its neighbors, should Israel allow the return of "possible allies of one’s enemies" before the resolution of the war?

      Do you think Israel's refusal to integrate Sudanese refugees is justifiable?

  • New call for US investigation into killing of Palestinian-American teen in West Bank
  • 'Everything that we have done since 9/11 is wrong' -- the worldview of Major Todd Pierce (Retired)
  • Critiques not fit to print: Students and allies respond to 'NYT' coverage of Palestine activism on campus
  • Liel Leibovitz wants to excommunicate most American Jews, beginning with Beinart
    • Echi,
      "between related and unrelated (nepotism and corruption interpreted as being the same as legal obligations among first-degree relatives.) - See more at:"

      I don't remember endorsing nepotism and corruption. I do believe that if I get a phone call from some distant relative who asks for help I have an obligation that I don't necessarily have to a stranger. It's perfectly fine for you to feel differently, but that doesn't make me corrupt. You have to distinguish between personal and professional/societal obligations. In other words, Apollo has a greater obligation to Heracles, as half brothers, than he does to Achilles. But I would expect Zeus to recuse himself himself if he had to judge either because of the family ties.

    • Roha

      Read the oath. You swear not to aid in an abortion. You swear not to perform surgery. You swear to fee-split with your mentor. You swear to consider the family of your teacher "as my own brothers". You swear to teach only others who have taken this oath. There are good things as well, but it is full of things we now consider bad. It had its place, but is a historical document. Not one for modern medicine. BTW, I think it's fine to swear by Apollo if you believe in Apollo.

    • John,
      "Shared blood cannot generate obligations. Eljay is right about that. "See more at:

      In the US, shared blood does generate obligations. The father of a child is responsible for support even if he took all reasonable steps not to create a baby and had the explicit intent of not doing so.

      In general, as social animals, we have networks of bonds that weaken with distance and lack of commonality. If you choose not to feel an obligation to your cousins you have never met that's fine. I choose to obligate myself. If you choose to equally obligate yourself to help the poor of your neighborhood and the poor of India, that's fine. But even if you dislike your family, most people feel an obligation to them that they don't have to strangers.

      Lack of objectivity is why physicians do not usually treat family members. That doesn't make doctors "bad", it makes them human. Being pro-choice, I couldn't take the Hippocratic oath. I couldn't swear by something antithetical to my beliefs, but my pro-life classmates had no issue.

    • Echi,

      Have you read the Hippocratic oath? Did you take it? If so, did you mean it when when you swore by Apollo? When you promised not to give a pessary to induce an abortion? Did you swear not to pick up a knife to help a patient even to cut for a stone? The Hippocratic oath is antiquated and irrelevant to modern medicine.

      In my personal life, i feel that I have a stronger obligation to my kin than to random others even if my kin haven't ever done anything for me. I think that's basic human nature.

    • John,

      Stogumber has it right. Every baby has the same rights, but we have differing obligations. I owe an obligation to my cousin that I don't owe to some random woman. That's not a bad idea. The social OB.igations we have are an essential part of what makes us human.

  • Dershowitz will play Trump in Clinton's debate rehearsal, WNYC reports
    • Inbound,

      Did you read the link? It's ludicrous. The majority of the expenses are due to the "preventable deaths" not prevented. As if the US needs to spend a higher percentage of GDP on healthcare. We are already the highest spender by far of comparable nations. No reputable person in the field of American healthcare economics believes that more money needs to be spent. Certainly spent in better ways, but not increased overall.

      I was hoping he had a link to a real source.

    • Citizen,
      Do you have a link or evidence to support your $40 trillion figure as well as for millions of deaths?

  • The Palestine-Israel language trap
  • Defying Scottish law, football fans fly Palestinian flags during match with Israeli team
    • OG,
      I think it becomes a political act when the flag being flown does not represent either team playing. If someone flew a Ukranian flag at a Russia/Poland game or a Pakistani flag at an India/France game those would also be viewed as political.

  • The politics of Jewish ethnocentrism
  • Boycott, from within and without
    • Talknic,

      "Where Israel has withdrawn from non-Israeli territories there are Peace Treaties. Egypt and Jordan.

      - See more at:"

      I think it should be, Where there are peace treaties, Israel has withdrawn. Once again it is the peace treaties that come first. I'm not sure that we disagree on this.

    • Talknic,
      "Moreover, the treaty defined Jordan’s western borders clearly and conclusively for the first time, putting an end to the dangerous and false Zionist claim that “Jordan is Palestine.”

      I forgot. The source for this BS as you call it is the Jordanian govt.

      "Strange, when Israel withdrew from Egyptian territories as required under UNSC res 242, peaceful relations were assumed. - See more at:"
      No. Relations were resumed upon completion of the interim, that is partial, withdrawal. Complete withdrawal of Israeli forces was not required to begin normal and friendly relations.

      Israel and Palestine should begin talks and after agreeing upon peace terms, including any territorial withdrawal, peace should be established as it was with both Egypt and Jordan.

    • Talk if,
      "Strange, when Israel withdrew from Egyptian territories as required under UNSC res 242, peaceful relations were assumed. Ditto Jordan. While Israel occupies other folks territories, it is at war. - See more at:"

      You are reversing the order of events. Israel and Egypt first negotiated the terms of withdrawal and peace, e.g.,Egyptian military forces in the Sinai, and then came Israeli withdrawal. Unilateral Israeli withdrawal did not occur.

      Similarly with Jordan, "The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty was signed on October 26, 1994, at the southern border crossing of Wadi ‘Araba. The treaty guaranteed Jordan the restoration of its occupied land (approximately 380 square kilometers), as well as an equitable share of water from the Yarmouk and Jordan rivers. Moreover, the treaty defined Jordan’s western borders clearly and conclusively for the first time, putting an end to the dangerous and false Zionist claim that “Jordan is Palestine.” AFTER the treaty was signed Israel withdrew.

  • New San Francisco bus ads say: 'Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights'
    • Hughes,

      As always you are a voice of reason. I don't know how much value a 40 year old endorsement from Rosa Parks has. But if someone is going to use her name it should at least reflect her known views.

    • Marnie,

      I support Israel, America, Denmark, Britain and dozens of others. I think they all have great and not great things about them. I think humans have flaws and human institutions have flaws. One aspect of "support" is trying to help improve these institutions. I just don't see that many things in the stark contrasts you paint. There are some brights lines and if Israel or anyone crosses them they should be held responsible. I'm trying to make things better for those who come after us by reaching out and attempting to find the common ground we can build upon. Have a nice day.

    • Annie,

      OK I give up.

      Jas brings up Rosa Parks. Jas states a claim about Rosa Parks. I refute the claim by providing actual evidence. You say that it's about me 'tooting my horn'. I didn't bring Mrs.Parks into the conversation, but I did think that if she was going to be invoked it should at least be based on some fact.

    • annie,

      Here is anotheR account of Mr. Belafonte. It occurs about two years after yours and it seems he still has not "come around".

      "After Belafonte spoke about his legacy of international solidarity and action for ending apartheid in South Africa, the event moderator posed the question: “How would you see the occupation of Palestine in relation to two things: Martin Luther King’s dream and the civil rights movement’s struggle and Mandela’s dream and vision for South Africa?
      The audience briefly stirred and waited as Belafonte paused to consider his response. Unfortunately, Belafonte then deflected the question, speaking for five-and-a-half minutes about the role of capitalism and unbridled wealth in pitting people against each other, the need to address class and race in the United States, the history of the Pilgrims and indigenous Americans, the resilience of Americans through genocide and slavery, the Dream Defenders—everything except Palestine, Israel and occupation."

      Is it so hard to admit that there are well meaning people who are interested in justice and peace who support Israel? I'll admit the opposite even if I disagree with them. Supporting Israel doesn't mean that you think it's flawless.

    • Annie,

      Jas referenced Rosa Parks. We don't have to guess her position. She supported Israel. I don't deny there are many African -Americans who oppose Israel. But Rosa Parks was not one. She was a signatory to the ad in support of Israel. It defies logic that she, "would’ve loved it too and most certainly have wanted to take a ride on that bus! - See more at:"

    • Jaspeace2day,

      Actually, Rosa Parks was a supporter of Israel and opposed the link of Zionism to racism.

  • Israeli soldier shoots Palestinian taxi driver in head by mistake, then Israel seizes his car and entry permit
    • Echi,
      "You wanted war, you got war, and you are responsible for any civilian casualty on either side. - See more at:"

      You know that's not how the law works, right? IHL doesn't distinguish who started a conflict or if the obedience of the law is reciprocal. Each side is responsible for following the law. Breaches of IHL are the responsibility of those committing them, on either side. If Belgium attacks France the French don't have the right to kill every Belgian.

    • Mr T,
      From BT, not exactly a pro-Israeli govt source,
      "Under international humanitarian law, civilians are entitled to protection and may not be the object of an attack, “unless and for such time as they participate directly in hostilities.” The study initiated by the ICRC was intended to clarify the circumstances in which a civilian loses special protection and is deemed to have participated directly in hostilities. The final report, which is based on six years of activity by work groups composed of experts in international humanitarian law, states that persons belonging to two categories lose the protection given to civilians in an armed conflict between a state and an organized armed group:

      Persons who fulfill a “continuous combat function.” Such persons are legitimate objects of attack even if they are not participating directly in hostilities at the moment of attack. This category includes persons whose ongoing function involves the preparation, execution, or command of combat acts or operations. An individual recruited, trained, and equipped by such a group to continuously and directly participate in hostilities can be considered to assume a continuous combat function even before the person carries out a hostile act. On the other hand, persons who continuously accompany or support an organized armed group but whose function does not involve direct participation in hostilities maintain their status as civilians and are not legitimate objects of attack. Thus, recruiters, trainers, and funders may contribute to the general war effort, but as long as they do not directly participate in hostilities, they are not a legitimate object of attack.
      Persons who do not fulfill a “continuous combat function” are a legitimate object of attack only when taking a direct part in hostilities (for example, on their way to fire a rocket, during the firing of the rocket, and on the way back).
      Wherever there is a doubt regarding the actions of a person, the doubt works in the individual's favor, and it is forbidden to target the person for attack.

      The police officers that Israel killed only because they belonged to the Palestinian Police are not included in any of these categories. Israeli officials explained during the course of Operation Cast Lead that it was Israel's approach that all members of the Palestinian Police had participated or would in the future participate in hostilities against Israel, making them legitimate objects of attack. B'Tselem doubts whether the Palestinian Police, as an institution, can be considered a combat force in the sense that its members carry out ongoing combat action. In light of the presumption that persons are civilians who may not legitimately be attacked, it seems that, lacking unequivocal evidence that they participated in hostilities, they were not legitimate objects of attack. However, since B'Tselem does not have sufficient information on the functions of the Palestinian Police and its connection with the organized armed groups, it cannot be stated with certainty whether the police officers were a legitimate object of attack. For this reason, B'Tselem established a separate category for Palestinian police officers killed by Israel."
      If BT on the ground is not sure if the police officers status I don't know how I could be.

    • Marnie,
      Other than the snark, do you have a point. As I said, humans should be responsible for their actions.

    • Yoni,

      To clarify. Is the crime of genocide one committed and prosecuted by an individual or a state? If a person's father committed the crime before you were born, you committed no such criminal acts yourself, are you still guilty of genocide? I don't want to put words in your mouth but can the children be held accountable for the crime of genocide of the parents? If it's about stolen property/land I understand that the property would need to be returned to the rightful owners, but the kids wouldn't be charged with the murder of the security guard before they were born if the property was left to them as an inheritance.

    • Hughes,
      Targeting civilians is not "excessive". It is both immoral and illegal. It's wrong whether it's being done by soldiers, resistance, or the angry guy down the street.

      "Sometimes it may be inevitable and predictable that there are violent consequences following what we do, and we need to understand that fact – not taking such things into account when we start our actions is a moral fault – even if those consequences are themselves morally excessive. - See more at:"

      Someone's always angry about some injustice whether real or perceived. The justice system doesn't always work and then they feel that they have the right to seek redress in other ways. But those ways are not unlimited. I agree that we must be aware of the consequences of our actions, but that could result in our paralysis.

    • Mr. T,
      "Tell me, if someone votes for a government that promises to commit atrocities, is that person “innocent”? If a person is a reservist for an evil army, is that person a “civilian”? "

      Yes, unequivocally. Unless the civilian or reservist engaged in hostilities they are civilians.

      "Eitam Henkin was a reserve officer in the Israeli army but not on active duty, an Israeli army spokesman said. Army reservists who are not on active duty are civilians and entitled to the protections that civilians enjoy under the laws of war, which are applicable in the occupied West Bank, Human Rights Watch said."

      "You must always clearly distinguish between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such. Combatants may of course be attacked unless they are out of action, i.e. they are hors de combat. Civilians are protected from attack but lose that protection whenever they take a direct part in hostilities for the time of their participation. Similarly, you must always distinguish between military objectives which can be attacked and civilian objects which must be respected. The word “object” covers all kinds of objects, whether public or private, fixed or portable."

      Do you condone targeting unarmed civilians?

    • Marnie,
      "So when it comes down to it, the zionist state (and it’s enablers) is responsible for all the tragedy here, no one else. - See more at:"

      We are not automatons. Each adult is responsible for her own actions. There may be background that helps us understand why she did something, but whether it is killing athletes or shooting worshippers in a mosque the responsibility lies with the woman committing the crime. If we absolve humans of guilt because they have a grievance than there will be no limits.

    • Mr T
      The motivations for the attackers is irrelevant. Someone always has some method of justifying the targeted killing of innocent civilians. Yes, I condemn the killing of any unarmed civilians by Israel as well. I don't think anyone should be targeting unarmed civilians.

      You say it's not about Munich, but I guess to you its also not about innocent athletes who were injured or killed. You want to present the Palestinians as the only victims. You seem unable to view Israelis as human beings. Those poor kids should not have been shot and those Olympians should never have been attacked. I plead guilty to always trying to see the humanity in people.

    • "And some will never be able to compete –"

      Yes. I remember the 1972 games.

      "Horrific new details have emerged of how Israeli athletes taken hostage in the 1972 Munich Olympics were brutalised before they were ultimately slaughtered.
      Long-hidden German police records and interviews with the families of the athletes reveal that the some of Israeli sportsmen were beaten by Palestinian terrorists until their bones snapped.
      One of the athletes, weightlifter Yossef Romano, was castrated in front of his teammates.
      “What they did is that they cut off his genitals through his underwear and abused him,” his widow Ilana Romano told the New York Times. “Can you imagine the nine others sitting around tied up? They watched this.”"

  • Netanyahu distorts a Palestinian's helpless reaction to occupying soldiers to dehumanize Palestinian parents
    • Still no explanation of what "slut shaming the occupiers" means. Slut shaming is bad for both the shamer and the shamee. Can anyone explain how this relates to the situation at hand as stated by Klm or Marnie?

    • Marnie,
      "Btw – slut-shaming is a concept that’s way over your head dude. - See more at:"

      Perhaps if you typed very slowly I could wrap my feeble mind around it.

    • Ossinev,
      Now your just making things up. Do you have any evidence of any similar behavior in Warsaw or is it all conjecture? I would not laid anyone who puts his child in front of a soldier daring them to shoot. Perhaps this man is mentally unstable and that explains his action. But it doesn't condone it.

      As Malcolm X said, "Real men don't put their children on the firing line."

    • Marnie,
      At the risk of derailing the conversation, I would like to point out that "slut shaming" is not a good thing. It is the practice of trying to shame a woman for expressing her sexuality as a man might instead of playing the role a conservative society has approved for her. If he was "slut shaming" I don't see how that helps. The sluts who are shamed are the victims.

    • Annie,
      I don't think I have used the term "poor child" before but I have criticized Israeli actions and treatment.

    • Annie,
      I'm opposed to all violence, including throwing the bike of an 8 year old, targeted at unarmed civilians. I have also stated that I think it's wrong to kill and not capture unarmed murderers by the police.

      I don't think this father is anymore representative of all Palestinians than the Israelis are who commit illegal acts. But this guys actions while possibly explainable are not defensible.

      Perhaps Netty pushed it too far, but that's what happens when you try to equate the actions of a bad apple, e.g., one border policeman throwing a bike, with an entire nation.

    • The victim here is the poor child whose unfit parent placed him in harms way instead of doing everything in his power to protect him. Perhaps the father needs help as well, but if he's not responsible for his actions than someone else in the family should be caring for the boy.

    • So the bad guy is Netty, not the father who pushed his son at the soldiers.

      I guess I've been mistaken all these years when I told my kids I would take a bullet for them.

  • Israeli racism unmasks Netanyahu goodwill video
    • All,

      Talknic's original post said,"It includes a religious symbol for Jews only. There are numerous religions in Israel."

      - See more at:

      He mentions the discrimination as a function of the one symbol on the flag vs many religions in the state. That is why I asked if the discrimination was related to only this condition. Later both he and other posters have said that the conditions for a religious symbol on a flag to be discriminatory it must be used in a country where there are other discriminatory laws as well as the symbol. And so it would seem most here feel that simply having a religious symbol on your flag is not a discriminatory law by itself. So is the flag of Denmark which has a cross and the Danish constitution an official state church a discriminatory flag?

    • Talknic,
      Do you view having a religious symbol on the national flag as a form of discrimination in those countries which have multiple religions?

    • Roughly a third of all countries, 64, have religious symbols on their flags. This doesn't mean that the citizens of those countries who are of religions not depicted on the flag do not feel as included. But it is an accepted practice around the world and not generally viewed as discrimination.

  • Using Rep. Johnson's innocent comment to stain his reputation was the real crime
    • Kay,
      "I hope we are not expected to walk on egg shells at this point, because we are offending those supporting those accused of violent crimes and breaking international laws. "- See more at:

      I welcome a free and open exchange or ideas and criticism. I would not never ask you to pull punches and you are certainly free to offend anyone you wish.

    • Kay,
      You use inflammatory rhetoric, a historically offensive comparison, and name calling and then try to make a point. Is it so surprising that your point may be lost in the vitriol? Perhaps next time, if you let your facts speak for themselves, it might be less distracting.

    • Kay,
      "Meanwhile the parasites are getting rid of more Arabs from the territories". - See more at:

      Your comparisons of Jews to parasites are not original. For more details on the comparisons of Jews to parasites you might want to check out this pamphlet. "The Jew as World Parasite". The original is in German and out of print but you can find it on a number of websites in English translation. Best of luck.

    • I just thought it was interesting that he was responsible for the defeat of one of the most anti-Israel politicians in the US. Uppity is not a word I would ever use.

    • Did anyone here know that to win his seat Rep. Johnson defeated Cynthia McKinney in the primary?

  • Palestinian Foreign Affairs Ministry to World: Stop issuing useless condemnations
  • Democratic Party consultant asked about Palestinian rights: 'Not my problem'
  • The magic rubber bullet theory
    • Annie
      I'm not denying the boy was shot by a live bullet nor am I claiming that an X-ray is the only evidence. If there has been a corroborating examination than the matter should be settled. Drawing conclusions from the X-ray alone, like the direction the shot was fired, are the issue I have problems with.

    • I didn't claim the evidence was false or that the events portrayed in the article were not true. I merely pointed out that an X-ray by itself is not proof. It has to be substantiated with an examination. I don't see how that's controversial.

    • Echi,
      "we all know where that bullet was."

      That's impressive.

    • Not sympathy.

    • Echi,

      I'll defer to you on all those things. My statement about x-rays stands unless you have developed a means to judge the third dimension from a two dimensional film.

    • The x-Ray alone does not provide evidence of a bullet in the skull. Because an x-Ray is a two dimensional picture, the bullet could be lying on the skin, under the scalp, or in the skull and all of these would appear the same on the x-Ray. An examination of the person at the time of the x-Ray or a CAT scan would clarify things.

    • I guess the major didn't get the memo from JVP that the appropriate analogy of humans to insect pests is a termite.

  • Support for Rep. Hank Johnson following mischaracterization of his remarks on settlements
    • Marnie

      I would never expect an apology. I get it. To you Israelis are subhuman pests. I just don't think that words like that enrich the dialogue or add to the discourse. Termites, parasites, snakes, or monkeys the dehumanization of those with whom we disagree is a dangerous path to walk. I don't think it leads anywhere worthwhile. But that's just my opinion.

      "Our dehumanization of the Negro then is indivisible from our dehumanization of ourselves; the loss of our own identity is the price we pay for our annulment of his."

      James Baldwin

    • Gamal,

      The question is why you would invite a man who fears a capsizing island to your conference in the first place. I guess if it's the best you got...

    • Annie,
      I think analogizing Israelis to pests that invade your house and that you call an exterminator to kill is offensive. Weren't you offended when Shaked quoted another person who compared Palestinians to snakes?

      If he thinks the settlement are troublesome the analogy is offensive.

      As to his acumen,"On October 5, 2014 The Washingtonian published their 15th biennial "Best & Worst of Congress" list. Rep. Johnson was voted "Worst Speaker" and "Most Clueless" by congressional staffers." At least he was at the top.

    • I don't approve of people making idiotic statements in the public record and then when it is pointed out to them saying they were only joking. Did he or the man testifying smile? I know he is not the first or last to say idiotic things. Perhaps Cruz will let us know in a few years that he was only joking about climate change. Watch the video.

    • This is the same Congressman who asked if Guam would "tip over and capsize" if more military personnel were stationed there.

  • Clintonites knocked out platform references to 'occupation' and 'settlements' in fear of Adelson, Zogby says
    • From the US Dept of Commerce

      "Anti boycott Laws:

      During the mid-1970's the United States adopted two laws that seek to counteract the participation of U.S. citizens in other nation's economic boycotts or embargoes. These "antiboycott" laws are the 1977 amendments to the Export Administration Act (EAA) and the Ribicoff Amendment to the 1976 Tax Reform Act (TRA). While these laws share a common purpose, there are distinctions in their administration.


      The antiboycott laws were adopted to encourage, and in specified cases, require U.S. firms to refuse to participate in foreign boycotts that the United States does not sanction. They have the effect of preventing U.S. firms from being used to implement foreign policies of other nations which run counter to U.S. policy.

      Primary Impact:

      The Arab League boycott of Israel is the principal foreign economic boycott that U.S. companies must be concerned with today. The antiboycott laws, however, apply to all boycotts imposed by foreign countries that are unsanctioned by the United States.

      Who Is Covered by the Laws?

      The antiboycott provisions of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) apply to the activities of U.S. persons in the interstate or foreign commerce of the United States. The term "U.S. person" includes all individuals, corporations and unincorporated associations resident in the United States, including the permanent domestic affiliates of foreign concerns. U.S. persons also include U.S. citizens abroad (except when they reside abroad and are employed by non-U.S. persons) and the controlled in fact affiliates of domestic concerns. The test for "controlled in fact" is the ability to establish the general policies or to control the day to day operations of the foreign affiliate.

      The scope of the EAR, as defined by Section 8 of the EAA, is limited to actions taken with intent to comply with, further, or support an unsanctioned foreign boycott.

      What do the Laws Prohibit?

      Conduct that may be penalized under the TRA and/or prohibited under the EAR includes:

      Agreements to refuse or actual refusal to do business with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
      Agreements to discriminate or actual discrimination against other persons based on race, religion, sex, national origin or nationality.
      Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about business relationships with or in Israel or with blacklisted companies.
      Agreements to furnish or actual furnishing of information about the race, religion, sex, or national origin of another person.
      Implementing letters of credit containing prohibited boycott terms or conditions.

      The TRA does not "prohibit" conduct, but denies tax benefits ("penalizes") for certain types of boycott-related agreements."

  • Palestinian teen is killed after allegedly killing 13-year-old Jewish girl in settlement
    • Annie

      I'm not sure how this helps his case

      The Allies were not perfect, but in my opinion, it's ludicrous to say that the Allies and Axis were equally "evil". What do you think?

    • OG,

      My response to Zaid's statement was in context and accurate. He was wrong on the facts and my list was not exhaustive.

      This is the same Zaid who said, "As a westerner you are educated to romanticize the Allies and demonize the Axis, and I agree that the Axis were evil, but not an iota more than the Allies. - See more at:"
      I believe thy statement is wrong as well but that one is his opinion.

    • Zaid,
      "Palestinian resistant groups never attaked any country other than Israel. - See more at:"

      This is a list of some countries attacked by Palestinian groups

      Germany- Munich airport 1970, Munich Olympics 1972
      Jordan 1970-attempted coup
      Kuwait- Japanese embassy attack 1974
      Sudan- attack on Saudi embassy 1973
      Greece- 1985 hijacking

      Egypt-Achille Lauro
      Austria- 1971 hijacking Sabena 571
      Switzerland- swissair 330

  • Cuomo's sliding scale
    • It's the individual people and businesses within the state, not the state itself that is being boycotted. These individuals are being boycotted because of their national origin whether or not they participate in the things the BDS movement finds objectionable. They are not US citizens or in U.S. Territory so they are not covered under our discrimination laws but there's no reason why the government cannot extend such protections. In weighing the balance between the right to boycott and the governments right to limit economic discrimination I have no idea how the courts will react. But I don't see the government involvement in prohibiting discrimination against individual Israelis as any different than the government intervention to prevent discrimination of other people due to national origin. Of course if there is no law barring boycotts, then they are legal.

    • Annie,
      Protected class has a specific definition in the law. I have no idea why you would associate it with protecting rich people.

      From the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission-
      "Protected Class: The groups protected from the employment discrimination by law. These groups include men and women on the basis of sex; any group which shares a common race, religion, color, or national origin; people over 40; and people with physical or mental handicaps. Every U.S. citizen is a member of some protected class, and is entitled to the benefits of EEO law."

      I recognize that the Supreme Court has ruled that boycotts may be legal in some circumstances. How would you feel about some right wing organization organizing a boycott of Muslim businesses in the U.S. In order to promote some social justice goal or boycott gay business for the same end.
      I'm not saying that all boycotts are illegal or unethical but U.S. Let established that we as citizens can boycott some businesses at some times, but not others. If a business is a public accommodation it must serve the public and not discriminate. If that's a reasonable position, and I think it is, then the question is whether or not the anti-BDS position is a good idea, not whether it is illegal.

    • Toivo,

      I don't think it's that clear cut. If I own a restaurant and organize a boycott and refuse to serve African Americans that would be illegal. If I own a bakery and refuse to buy flour from a gay man that would be illegal in some states and not in others. If I refuse to do business with a Turkish American because my grandfather is Armenian that is illegal. If the government wishes to add Israel to the protected class I think there is some basis for that. I have no idea if it would be supported by the court but I don't think it's beyond reason.

      In practical terms, it's also easier to prove a boycott through a refusal to sell rather than a refusal to buy.

  • Israel commandeers UN for anti-BDS pep rally
    • Ritzl,

      Your interpretation may be correct. This type of legislation may discourage investment. But on the other hand, if the Israeli government or a company asks to do business with a foreign company, the foreign company may be too scared to say no.

  • Meet the private contractors manning Israel's checkpoints
    • Talknic,

      "Civilians of the Occupying Power are prohibited from entering Occupied Territory. - See more at:"
      That is not correct. Can you cite a prohibition of civilians entering occupied territory? There are myriad legitimate reasons for civilians to be in occupied territory. In fact, under the obligation of the occupying power to maintain order, law, and health it would be irresponsible for the occupying power not to have civilians enter the territory.

      If carrying a gun makes you a target, does carrying a knife also?

  • Note to Progressive Jews: The right of return is not the 'i'm-doing-you-a-favor' of return
    • Eljay

      In this case, the people are the message The signs are personal statements presumably about facts specific to the individuals holding the signs

      If he is from Palestine because his parents were born there, then she should list the locations where her parents were born as well

      If the holder of the sign was not from Austin, then the sign is a lie. If I hold up a sign that says, "my cousin was shot in cold blood by a cop" and I have no cousin who was shot, there wouldn't be some factual basis to the statement.

      I know it's only a small point and not central to the question of return so I'll stop here.

    • "You are the one serving to confuse not clarify. The signs and their message are very clear: A Palestinian cannot return to his (family’s) home and land, while a Jewish American can “return” to the Palestinian’s (family’s) home and land. - See more at:"

      The message is clear, but the signs misleading. They don't use the same word, "from" in the same meaning.

    • John,

      Israel allows any Jewish American citizen to claim Israeli citizenship. They don't specifically "discriminate" against those of Palestinian ancestry any more than any other American.

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