Commenter Profile

Total number of comments: 637 (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 637 - 601

  • 'We need to cut their heads off,' Bush said of anti-western demonstrators in Syria in '06 -- Tzipi Livni
    • I agree that speech should not be limited just because it offends someone.

      But where were you mighty defenders when Nada Elia wrote this on MW.

      "Anyone who would blame the protestors for “violence,” rather than resistance, is assuming that the promotion of hatred is non-violence. But that assumption, quite simply, is wrong. There is no such thing as “non-violent hate speech.” Hate speech has direct consequences, all of which are violent."

      "Preventing Yiannopolous from speaking at Berkeley was direct action to shut down fascism."

  • Ontario caves to Israel on falsely-labeled wines-- for now, anyway
    • This is not about recognition of sovereignty but rather customs territory.
      "That is why the European Union imports products from occupied Western Sahara labeled “Made in Morocco” despite not regarding it as Moroccan sovereign territory, as well as allowing “Made in Palestine” and “Made in Taiwan” labels on consumer goods despite not recognizing even the existence of those countries. Indeed, bottles from occupied Nagorno-Karabakh are imported into Canada and Europe with labels describing them as “Armenian” products or even products of “Artsakh,” the Armenian name for the region that the international community regards as occupied Azerbaijani territory."

  • Young survivors of Gaza beach slaughter three years ago 'lost their minds'
    • Ossinev,

      Do the overwhelming majority of Palestinians care about the individual or mass slaughter of Israeli civilians ...? Do they relish bus and restauarant bombings?

  • The spirit of '68 lives on! Palestine advocacy and the indivisibility of justice
    • "Leila Khaled, herself maligned by the Israel lobby industry, explained when our 2014 delegation met with her in Amman."

      How can you malign her. She hijacked two planes.

  • Four Palestinians, two Israelis killed, and Israeli forces blockade Al Aqsa mosque
    • Great
      Still can't get a straight answer

    • Echi,
      I'll give it one more try.
      What is the practical consequences of "The status is that of owners of the country".
      If the Israeli state continues to exist for X number of years until your goals are achieved. After that the question is moot.

      But for now, how should the state treat the Palestinian citizens? As "owners" doesn't answer the question. It's a practical question. There is currently a state apparatus that provides services to its population. Should the Palestinians be full and equal citizens or are they a hostile entity entitled to 'resist'?

    • Echi and Talkback,
      So no answer.
      Practically speaking. Given the situation of the world today as it is, what is is the status of the Palestinian Israeli citizens? The Israelis you wish to leave will not be going anywhere anytime soon. So what is the status?

    • Echi,

      So what is the status of the 'Palestinian' citizens of Israel? Until 1966 they were under martial law. If they have the 'right' to 'resist' in any part of Israel(since you define all of Israel as occupied territories) how do you think they should be treated? I thought that you don't distinguish between Israel proper and the rest.

    • Is the Israeli state allowed to treat them as 'enemy aliens' or should they be treated as citizens?

    • Amigo,
      The shooters were Israeli. The police were Israeli. If I go to Iraq and shoot an American soldier that is not 'resistance'.

    • Citizens shooting their own police is not "resistance".

  • At NY premiere, David Grossman will join Netanyahu minister who boycotts Darwish
    • Echi,
      Just a side note, but putting the word "civilized" in front of a statement doesn't necessarily means it's true.

  • Nadia Hijab on Palestinian options, Jewish allies, and the Zionist crisis
    • Talkback,
      The Allies annexed 25% of Germany and expelled the citizens in order to form a demographic majority. Yet, they achieved peace.

      You believe that it is Israels intent to remove all Palestinians from the areas of the West Bank. I don't. They haven't and the population there is growing not decreasing. That is why I think I am correct in the Israeli intent and that peace is possible but you don't.

    • Talkback,
      A substantial part of the Allies, the Soviets, were in interested in effectively annexing and expelling Germans from the Eastern territories. Stalin certainly viewed these gains as practically part of the Soviet Empire since there was no autonomy of Poland.

      In addition, the Soviets annexed parts of Poland.

      "The prewar eastern Polish territories of Kresy, which the Red Army had overrun during the Nazi-Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 (excluding the Białystok region) were permanently annexed by the USSR, and most of their Polish inhabitants expelled. "

      The Soviets took parts of Poland and then took parts of Germany and gave them to Poland all while controlling Poland. They then expelled the native populations from these areas.

    • Talkback,
      Sorry if I was unclear. I was referring to Germans in the 'recovered territories'.

    • Hughes,
      I'm in the camp that believes that occupying Palestinian land is bad for both Israelis and Palestinians. The Palestinians, for a number of reasons, rejected the original partition and the 1948 results in hopes of a better 'deal'. The situation has not improved for them since and the offers now on the table are even less attractive. The Israelis see the current Arab Peace initiative as inferior to the status quo and the Palestinians hope that circumstances in the future change this equation. It seems to me that one goal of BDS is to make the status quo less attractive to the Israelis in order to make compromises more attractive.

      While I understand your point about morality, practically the weaker party is incentivized to make the moves. The question from both perspectives is, 'will my position be stronger or weaker in the future?' The problem is it is unclear how the forces at play will balance and so neither side is convinced that future trends are unfavorable. BDS vs Israeli outreach to India/Africa, etc.

    • Hughes,
      "indeed I think that there is a responsibility on the more powerful party to start them and to start them again if they stop. "
      I'm curious as to why you believe that the party holding more power should be the one pushing things ahead. In most negotiations, the weaker party is attempting to achieve a change in the status quo and so is almost always the party pushing forward.

    • Hughes,
      I agree.
      What did you think of Olmert's proposal from 2008?

    • John,

      The territories became Poland AFTER they were taken from Germany after the war ended. The territory was a Polish as the Golan is Israeli.

      My entire point in this thread was a response to the claim presented by the author here and also stated many times by posters on MW that no negotiations can take place between Israel and the Palestinians until the occupation ends. That stance is ludicrous. The purpose of negotiations is to reach an agreement to end the occupation.

    • Talkback,
      The Allies did 1) expel prewar German citizens from conquered territories which they then gave to Poland
      2) Colonize those territories with Polish and Ukranian citizens who they put into the homes of the former German occupants
      Operation Vistula
      This all occurred roughly in the same postwar period in which Israel was established.

    • Yoni,
      Yes. It was returned in 1957 .

    • John,

      The Allies carved large parts of pre-war Germany out and gave the territory to Poland.
      The vast majority of German citizens were expelled. Refugees who tried to return after the cessation of hostilities were denied the "right to return".

      France annexed the Saar. The German population was integrated into France.

      While Allied servicemen were ordered to obey local laws while in Germany, soldiers could not be prosecuted by German courts for crimes committed against German citizens except as authorised by the occupation authorities.

      Starvation of the civilian population was rampant.

      The Potsdam conference, where the victorious Allies drew up plans for the future of Germany, noted in article XIII of the Potsdam Agreement on 1 August 1945 that "the transfer to Germany of German populations (...) in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary will have to be undertaken".

      There are still American military bases on German soil.

    • And the occupied countries negotiated the final peace while under occupation. To insist that the victor must withdraw before the occupied people can negotiate is not logical.

    • "That should have been a nonstarter from day 1, because you cannot negotiate with your occupier, the far superior power."

      Both the Allied occupation of Germany and Japan were ended by treaties negotiated during the occupation. Allied occupation ceased only after the peace treaties were ratified.

  • Radiation and ringworm: a tale of social policy, racism, and health care
  • Church leaders must be willing to pay a price for Palestinian solidarity
    • From Pope Francis:

      "God promised the Holy Land to the people of Israel, Pope Francis said during a public address at the Vatican in Rome on Wednesday in a speech about migration.

      “The people of Israel, who from Egypt, where they were enslaved, walked through the desert for forty years until they reached the land promised by God,” he said."

      "To attack Jews is anti-Semitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism,” Pope Francis told Lauder and his delegation. “There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.”

  • Ehud Barak says a Palestinian state would be 'non-viable'
  • Canada Park, a popular picnicking spot for Israelis, created upon the rubble of Palestinian homes
    • "To quote renowned historian/anthropologist and “Holy Land” specialist, Professor Ilene Beatty:"

      Seems a bit of a stretch in the description. Not renowned, historian, anthropologist, or Professor. An amateur who wrote one book that doesn't seem to have to sold too well.

    • Mist,
      "renowned historian/anthropologist and “Holy Land” specialist, Professor Ilene Beatty: “ - See more at:

      So do you have any data on Professor Beatty that makes her "renowned". I can't seem to find out anything about her. She doesn't seem to fit the definition of "renowned". Do you know where she obtained a degree or taught?

    • Mist,

      Can you give a little background on this professor Beatty you so adore. Like where she taught or what degrees she had. The only thing I can find on Amazon is the one book, published in 1957 and still in first edition.

  • 'Please remember the Montgomery bus boycott'-- letter to Westchester County board before BDS vote tonight
    • Amigo,
      I'll try one last time. Hamas, the government of about half of the Palestinians, does not recognize Israel. I'm not making the point that they should, but rather contradicting the assertion that the "Palestinians recognize Israel".

    • Talkback,
      My point.
      Roha-"So far the Palestinians have recognised Israel"
      The statement is false.

    • Amigo,
      How does any of that pertain to the fact that there is certainly not an agreed upon Palestinian recognition of Israel as Roha stated. Do you have anything that confirms Roha's assertion?

    • Roha,
      "So far the Palestinians have recognised Israel, given up 78% of their historic homeland, and agreed to only a token Right of Return. Time for them to make some real concessions."

      Which Palestinians?
      "Hamas says it accepts '67 borders, but doesn't recognize Israel"

  • Intersectional feminism: Wonder Woman, Palestinians, Wakanda and Zionism
  • Fake progressives
    • Hughes,

      Thanks for the thorough summary. Many pro-Palestinian authors invoke the name of King in the assumption that there is only one 'correct' or 'progressive' view of the situation and that King must have had this position. Perhaps by examining the Zionist stance of King, they could realize a broader understanding. It's not that King is infallible, but if a man of his stature who was aware of the situation in the ME, was a Zionist, than perhaps there is some merit in the position.

    • Roha,
      In his speeches and writings when he addressed the subject of Israel he was always supportive. This was not true of all black leaders and he was certainly aware of the criticism of Israel from Carmichael and others.
      So instead of using him as an example of the 'right' kind of progressive, perhaps the author should have used him as an example of why Israel is not a litmus test for progressives. Rather, King is an example of the ability to be both progressive and pro-Israel. Of course this simply undermines her point.

    • Page: 6
    • Eljay,
      Again I have no clear idea of King's view of Israel's borders. That is beside the point. What's material here is that in an article giving examples of "the greatest progressive leaders and organizers", King was given as an example. The article ignores the fact that King supported Zionism as a concept and Israel as a state. Whether or not that was the 1967 or other borders doesn't matter.
      It's fine to disagree with the support of King for Zionism, but then he shouldn't be used as an example of the 'correct' type of progressive if that excludes those supporting Zionism.

    • Yoni,
      Your link addresses King's opinion in the summer of 1967. The Rabbinical Assembly in which he gives support for Zionism and Israel is from 1968 and only 10 days before his death.

    • Eljay,
      I don't know what he meant
      If you read the full exchange from his visit to the Rabbinical Assembly you see he doesn't distinguish between Palestinians and Arabs.

    • Roha,
      Neither King, Mandela, or anyone is infallible. But It is disingenuous to mention King in an article about Palestine as a progressive issue without acknowledging that he disagreed with opposition to Zionism. King was a Zionist until at least shortly before his death when he was on record supporting Israel as a Zionist state. There is no evidence to contradict this. By the definition of the author, King would have been a "fake" as well, but she did not refer to him in this light. Rather the opposite.

    • Festus,
      That's interesting but has nothing to do with my comment.

    • We can't know how he would feel now, but we do know how he felt when he was alive. He supported Zionism.

    • Roha,
      The author references Dr. King as amongst the greatest progressive leaders. He had a thorough understanding of Zionism and was supportive.

    • Martin Luther King jr supported Israel.
      From his speech to the rabbinic assembly in 1968, after the 6 day war.

      "I think it is necessary to say that what is basic and what is needed in the Middle East is peace. Peace for Israel is one thing. Peace for the Arab side of that world is another thing.

      “Peace for Israel means security, and we must stand with all of our might to protect its right to exist, its territorial integrity. I see Israel, and never mind saying it, as one of the great outposts of democracy in the world, and a marvelous example of what can be done, how desert land almost can be transformed into an oasis of brotherhood and democracy. Peace for Israel means security and that security must be a reality."

  • 'I came to explore the wreck of Zionism': A report from the 2017 JVP meeting
  • Palestinian-American teacher brutally attacked by Jewish Defense League outside AIPAC conference
    • Kay,
      Of course they are not operating openly here. They are terrorIst organizations that are officially listed by our government as terrorist organizations. My point is that the same US govt you use as a reference to label the JDL as committing terror, labels these organizations as terrorist organizations.

    • I am not defending the JDL or any other hate group. I am happy to see them disappear. I don't deny that they have committed terrorist acts. I just don't see them listed on any official current terrorist list in the US. They have never been banned in the US.

      But since we using official US terrorist lists as a metric, these organizations are all labeled by the US govt as terrorist organizations:
      Palestine Liberation Front
      Palestinian Islamic Jihad
      Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
      Al-Aqua Martyrs Brigade

    • Kay,
      First, there is no justification for attacking someone because of their national origin. These thugs should be jailed.

      But your post has so many errors.
      1. The JDL has not been named in the US as a "terrorist" organization.
      2.The JDL has not been "banned" in the US.
      3.There were 2 arrests.

  • The martyr’s daughter: a review of 'Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali?'
    • Humans are responsible for their actions. Choosing to wake up and hijack a plane is a decision. You are taking autonomy away from Palestinians and assume that they cannot make their own decisions to which they are accountable.

    • The more accurate phrase is "any available means". This does not include illegal means. Targeting Belgian aircraft to gain exposure to your cause is not legal. The right to resist, like any right is subject to limitations. You can't yell fire in a crowded theater.

    • "Nothing to cheer about"
      Agree to disagree.

    • The plane was freed from the hijackers in Operation Isotope.

      "Operation Isotope was all the more remarkable for the fact that two other future Israeli prime ministers – Ehud Barak and Binyamin Netanyahu – were among the commandos. Hence a headline in the Times of Israel recently: “When the prime ministers took down the hijackers.”

  • 'Negation of the diaspora' as Zionist antisemitism: The JCC bomb threats came from an Israeli Jew
  • Victim's daughter responds to anti-Arab attack in Oregon: 'I don’t want this to be considered a hate crime'
    • Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    • Mental illness is particularly tough to treat. In most other diseases, the ill person wishes to get "better". Often times the mentally ill are happy with the way their brain processes the world. Additionally, many of the medications that restore a more "normal" thought pattern feel like they "dull" or "fog" the person being treated.

      There is undoubtedly a deficit of funding for mental illness in this country for people who wish to be treated, but sadly many of the ill do not wish any treatment at all. If you take the time to speak with psych patients who refuse meds, they often can coherently explain their reasons. its hard to treat people who don't want to get "better".

  • Israel detains one activist and deports another, amid int'l outcry over boycott ban
    • Amigo,

      I am against this violation of free speech as I am against all others. I don't think suppression of speech wins an argument. Your points should stand on their own. I think this law is detrimental.

  • No space for Zionism
  • See 'The Settlers,' an important documentary about the destruction of the two-state solution
    • Talknic,

      Both the pyramid scheme and the Ponzi scheme are financial fraud, but they differ. In the Ponzi scheme, like Madoff, the investors entrust money to a fraud with the intent that the fraud is putting that money to work to generate returns. In actuality the criminal is simply returning the investors and new investors money.

      In a pyramid scheme, the first level recruits several different levels below and each level has to buy-in and transfer the money to the levels above. No one believes that the money is being invested, but relies upon faith that there will always be someone below to buy-in before the scam runs out of suckers.

      In both types of scams the addition of a exponentially larger group of people or funds is the reason for the unsustainability. In your Israel example, Israel is adding more off everything, but the base is not growing and the older investor levels are not reaping benefits from the new investors directly. I don't think what you describe fits the definition of either pyramid or Ponzi scheme. More "victims" isn't a pyramid unless the base is exponentially enlarging and the higher levels receive direct benefits from the addition of the lower.

    • Talknic,
      Can you explain the mechanics of this particular pyramid scheme in a bit more detail?
      In a pyramid scheme each new recruit pays money to the top, but then receives payments from the recruits under them. Are you saying the current settlers are receiving payments from new settlers?
      In a pyramid scheme the new layers must be larger than the old. Are you saying that the amount of land being sold now is significantly greater than that of years past? In a pyramid scheme the growth is exponential which makes it unsustainable.
      From your description, the top of the pyramid is selling land an charging interest, but the old buyers do not receive any payments from the new settlers that they presumably recruit.

  • Open Letter: Against the blacklisting of activists and writers
    • Amigo,
      "I would not turn my back to Zionist –not for one second. - See more at:

      There might be undeclared Zionists anywhere. They are crafty and blend in with the general population. Better sit with your back to the wall when you go out for dinner, last row in the movie theater, etc.

    • Mag,
      "I never met a Zionist who could speak calmly about Gaza. - See more at:

      I think you need to get out more. Maybe join some social clubs or charities. Many have perfectly calm and friendly Zionists as members.

    • Amigo,
      You are confusing the message and the messager. It's not about my credibility. It's about the positive value of free speech. The positive value of innocent until proven guilty. For everyone and everywhere. I believe in those values in Israel, Iran, Ireland, etc. The behavior of Israel or any other country is irrelevant to the principle. We should strive to make it a value everywhere.

      We obviously disagree and I believe that it is your right to put forth opposing views about the purpose of trials or anything else.

    • OG,
      It's not about support or opposition to Israel. It's about the principle of free speech. I support free speech here, in Israel, and everywhere else. Whether or not I support Israel is irrelevant to the argument about free speech. I also support gay rights and I support America, even though America is becoming less supportive under this admin. Do you need to agree with every law in a country to support it? Would you have opposed WWII America because of Jim Crow, or viewed it as imperfect but better than the Nazis?

      Instead of focusing on where I stand on unrelated issues, feel free to agree or disagree on the issue at hand - free speech. You try to distract from the argument that truly free speech means listening to those we disagree with even if they represent organizations that we oppose. Present a rule we could follow that would disallow speeches from government officials that could be universally applied and I would still disagree but at least it would be consistent. If only Israeli representatives are disallowed, then it is not free speech.

    • Amigo,
      In America the point of a trial is determine guilt or innocence. Here we assume that a person is innocent until proven guilty no matter how 'obvious' the person may appear. We don't have a 'in charge of your own brain' standard. I assume from your comments it's different where you live. Here we would call your version a 'show' trial or a 'kangaroo' court. I do like our system better, but we do at times let the guilty go free if the evidence is insufficient, OJ being perhaps the most well known, but there are many others.
      I am not defending the actions of anyone, just the right for them to be heard. Free speech and free action are very different.

    • Amigo,
      "The Ambassador is an integral part of these crimes.He should be tried and locked away for the rest of his miserable life.- See more at:

      What's the point of the trial? You've already convicted him. Just go straight to punishment.

      Is the Irish version of free speech that much different from the American or is it just you?

    • OG,

      This is the ambassador. of course he has a perspective, but he has the right to speak. Has he been convicted of these crimes you describe? If not, then he is innocent. This selective defense of free speech is no defense at all. The only restrictions should be an immediate threat to incite violence. I would defend the rights of the Palestinian ambassador, the Israeli ambassador, and the North Korean ambassador to speak. Suppression of free speech anywhere is a suppression of free speech everywhere.

    • Amigo,
      I envy your ability to see the future. It must be both a gift and a curse.

    • Amigo and OG,
      "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle

      None of us know what this man would have said. That is the whole point of free speech. After hearing him you may have thought it all crap or not. But not allowing him to present his viewpoint is an injustice to the listeners.

      Free speech except for Zionists is not really free speech. The antidote to speech you disagree with is more potent speech.

    • Why does it surprise or offend you that groups that support boycotts of academia and oppose a free exchange of ideas on the grounds of "normalization" would be opposed to other aspects of free speech?

  • Campus wars
    • "Hate" speechnis in the eye of the beholder.
      Ms. Elia supports the violent suppression of ideas she consider "hate" speech, but complains about the suppression of groups that others consider 'hate' groups.
      Personally, I am in favor of allowing all to speak and share ideas. I believe that more speech is the best answer to speech we disagree with. Direct incitement to immediate violence is not the same as disagreeable ideas no matter how much 'hate' they may have. I find it hypocritical to endorse violent suppression of some speech and then complain about suppression of your speech.

    • Talknic,
      " your support of 70 years"
      I'm not that old.

      Are you saying that support of Zionism is hate speech that should be censored?

    • Speech which incites to imminent violence is restricted. Has Milo given speeches that incite to imminent violence? I don't know enough about him other than the fact that many of his views are disgusting. There is no restriction on "hate" speech or even speech that calls for violence. The Comminist party is allowed to call for violent revolution against the Governemnt and system as long the incitement is not to direct imminent violence.

    • Three weeks ago in another post, Ms. Elia was in favor of censorship. "That victory, the forced cancellation of a hate speech event, is needed confirmation that we cannot expect “the system” to protect us, but that we can protect ourselves. - See more at:".
      In situations in which she believes the speech is "hate" speech than she is in favor of suppression. But when the speech is in line with what she favors than she is against suppression. Her arbitrary definition of "hate" speech is inconsistent with free speech. Perhaps she should be evaluating her own principles.

  • Jews in Iran: a travelogue
    • Talknic,
      I think you missed the "if". Perhaps less time on the insults and more time on reading the post.

    • Mag,
      I am not familiar enough with Buddhism to give you an answer.

    • Amigo,
      CigarGod misidentifies a woman and assumes she must be Israeli because she is "arrogant" and I'm the one who is wrong? Perhaps you can explain.

      Not an argument. Just a question. The author portrays a country with relations between Jews and Muslims that is superior to that in Western countries.

    • Eljay,
      For the sake of argument, let's assume that a secular democracy is 'better' and more 'moral' than other forms of government ( it's a Western centric view, but I do agree with you).
      I don't think Israel should model itself after Iran either, but if there is no comparison to be made between the two, than what was the point of the article on this website?

    • There was no mention in the article about the woman being from Israel. It was a French speaking middle aged woman. We see what we want to see.

    • I agree that I would like to live in a secular democratic state, but much of the world has other models. many states have official religions.

    • Great article.
      Hypothetical- if the Israeli government granted the same rights to the Palestinian Israeli minority as the Iranians give to Jews, would the Palestinians be satisfied with those rights?

  • New Israel Fund response to Ben Gurion harassment reinforces very system it claims to oppose
    • Talknic,
      From your link to the Canadian Society, "The parents of male newborns must receive the most up-to-date, unbiased and personalized medical information available about neonatal circumcision, so that they can weigh specific risks and benefits of circumcision in the context of their own familial, religious and cultural beliefs."
      They do not recommend routine circumcision, but recommend that it is a valid choice for parents. That is my position as well. Your DOC organization is an advocacy group, not a medical association.

      Circumcision is certainly a recognized and valid procedure in the US, Canada, etc. it is ethically permissible to be performed by the major medical associations.

    • Talknic,
      The site you referenced is not an actual peer reviewed study. It picks and chooses quotations to support its position.
      For example, CPS paper referenced actually says, "Because the medical risk:benefit ratio of routine newborn male circumcision is closely balanced when current research is reviewed (Table 1), it is challenging to make definitive recommendations for the entire male newborn population in Canada. For some boys, the likelihood of benefit is higher and circumcision could be considered for disease reduction or treatment. Health care professionals should provide parents with the most up-to-date, unbiased and personalized medical information available so that they can weigh the specific risks and benefits of circumcising their son in the context of familial, religious and cultural beliefs. Having the right information will enable them to make the best decision for their boys. Decision aids based on current medical information can be helpful."
      The BMA reference in the website you provided is dead. Currently the BMA has no policy position.

      The website does not quote the RACP, but rather summarizes it because the actual RACP conclusion is, "However it is reasonable for parents to weigh the benefits and risks of circumcision and to make the decision whether or not to circumcise their sons."

      Instead of referencing one biased website, an actual review of the policy papers and medical literature would be more accurate.

      Based upon an analysis of the current medical literature, my point is not that circumcision is good or bad, or that circumcision should or should not be performed routinely. My point is that the peer reviewed medical literature supports the safety of circumcision both within a medical and ritual context. Non - medical circumcision does not have ill effects on sexual function. The decision is complex and should be left to the parents to determine if it's in the best interests of their children. There is room for disagreement, but it should be based upon the actual science.

    • Here we go:
      "Evidence-based policy statements by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support infant and later age male circumcision (MC) as a desirable public health measure. Our systematic review of relevant literature over the past decade yielded 140 journal articles that met our inclusion criteria. Together, these showed that early infant MC confers immediate and lifelong benefits by protecting against urinary tract infections having potential adverse long-term renal effects, phimosis that causes difficult and painful erections and "ballooning" during urination, inflammatory skin conditions, inferior penile hygiene, candidiasis, various sexually transmissible infections in both sexes, genital ulcers, and penile, prostate and cervical cancer. Our risk-benefit analysis showed that benefits exceeded procedural risks, which are predominantly minor, by up to 200 to 1. We estimated that more than 1 in 2 uncircumcised males will experience an adverse foreskin-related medical condition over their lifetime. Wide-ranging evidence from surveys, physiological measurements, and the anatomical location of penile sensory receptors responsible for sexual sensation strongly and consistently suggested that MC has no detrimental effect on sexual function, sensitivity or pleasure. United States studies showed that early infant MC is cost saving. The evidence supporting early infant MC has further strengthened since the positive AAP and CDC reviews."

      "Following non-medical circumcision, no inferior sexual function was reported (A-B). Following medical circumcision, most outcomes were comparable (B); however, problems in obtaining an orgasm were increased (C) and erectile dysfunction was reported with inconsistency (D). A younger age at circumcision seemed to cause less sexual dysfunction than circumcision later in life." Non- medical circumcision, presumably ritual, was found to have no reported sexual function impact.

      The evidence based medicine is clear. The risk-reward ratio of circumcision is favorable enough for some medical groups to recommend it. Others weigh the evidence and disagree. The procedure can be safely performed by non- medical practioners. The non-medical circumcision has no statistically significant sexual function issues.

      If we could limit further discussion to peer reviewed literature we might actually learn something. Otherwise it's as accurate as Wiccans discussing polio vaccine.

    • Talknic,
      "So circumcision itself might have no effect other than being a focus point for distributing educational and preventative material - See more at:"

      Seat belts only partially protect you in a car accident, but that doesn't mean that they are ineffective.
      The American Academy of a pediatrics after an analysis is the scientific evidence has stated that there are benefits and risks and they recommend the decision be left to the parents. Is your medical knowledge or review of the literature superior to them? I have no issue with parents who do not wish to circumcise but there is medical merit to the procedure that you wish to ignore. Instead of fictional conversations how about some actual medical evidence that addresses the procedure when it is performed using optimal standards.

    • There is also this from WHO
      "There is compelling evidence that male circumcision reduces the risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in men by approximately 60%. Three randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision provided by well trained health professionals in properly equipped settings is safe. WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

      Male circumcision provides only partial protection, and therefore should be only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package which includes: the provision of HIV testing and counseling services; treatment for sexually transmitted infections; the promotion of safer sex practices; the provision of male and female condoms and promotion of their correct and consistent use."

    • 1. Parents consent to procedures they view as beneficial to the appearance or cultural norms for their children frequently. Setting back ears, nose jobs, cleft lip, benign but ugly moles, depressed chest plates, etc. Even ear piercing leaves a scar. If the procedure has acceptable risks and benefits parents often approve.
      2. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says the benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. However, the AAP doesn't recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns. The AAP leaves the circumcision decision up to parents.

  • SJP demands that NYU president speak out against email threatening Muslims, Arabs and anti-Zionists
    • Threats of violence, or actual violence, are the wrong response to positions that you disagree with. The first amendment does not impact private institutions, but the primacy of non-violence should be a keystone of American culture.

  • Land Grab: Israeli Knesset passes law legalizing expropriation of privately-owned Palestinian land
  • Under Trump we cannot expect 'the system' to protect us, but we can protect ourselves
    • OG,
      The GOP thought Warrens speech was 'hate speech' or the equivalent. I don't like the term at all. I think it's ambiguous and in the eye of the beholder.

      Confronting ideas you dislike with violence in the name of 'resistance' is wrong.

    • OG,
      The question is not the Zionist view. The concern is Ms. Elis's view in this article that it is appropriate to meet speech with which you disagree with violence in order to shut it down. I think that it is not a traditionally liberal or conservative American view. It is very worrisome. Even if you are correct about Zionist attitudes, she is still wrong.

    • OG,
      Certainly not my view. I have always believed that antidote to speech you disagree with is more speech.
      The idea of banning disagreeable ideas is a direct contradiction of American tradition. It was Dershowitz who defended the right if the Nazis to march.
      Some in the 'progressive' movement have adopted authoritarian practices to justify their violence. Equating speech and violence is a horrible idea, but consistent with garbage like 'microagression'. I guess she would agree with the silencing of Warren for her hate speech.

    • She obviously does not understand what free speech means.

  • The Quebec mosque shooting and the Zionist connection
  • Trump 'promise' to move US embassy to Jerusalem stirs international furor
    • Hughes,
      I think the more relevant statistics would be the refugee population that we admit. In that subset we could have some actual data based upon Somali refugees we have allowed to enter here over the last several decades. We could then extrapolate to have an actual conversation based upon a reasonable set of statistics instead of fearmongering about the risks inherent in admitting folks who cannot truly be vetted.

    • Annie,
      Figure 8, page 30. It's a graphic. No real exposition. When you get a chance read the report in its entirety. It's quite depressing. The position of women is deteriorating rapidly.

      Without doubt the regional conflicts are worsening the situation. Ethnicity, culture, I don't know enough about the Arab region to have that sort of insight. I still can't understand how Trump was elected and I live here.

    • Well there is this report from the UN. Not exactly a pro-Israel organization. Of course, not all Arabs are muslims. It lists the Arab region at 5% of world population and 45% of global terrorist attacks.

  • I have been looking for a home since I came to this world
    • Annie,
      I agree that the presentation of a map without time to review it sounds absurd. There seems to be two different views, both from involved parties about whether or not there was a counter. If such a counter was proposed, the nature of it is unpublished. Did Areikat describe it? We have details on Olmerts offer.

    • Annie,
      Here's another perspective.

      Abbas says that Olmert wouldn't give him the map. But, Abbas was able to draw the map years later from memory so he must have been able to at least see it. Abbas does not mention any counter.

      We have the details of Olmert's offer, but no evidence or details of a counter.

      But I think we are lost in the weeds. The purpose of any negotiation is the attempt to reach a benefit for both parties. If either feels that the present situation is preferable to the maximum give of the other, than they won't agree to a new situation.
      My point was simply that rejection of an offer without a counter is not a negotiation.
      I do think the Olmert offer was fairly close to a resolution.

    • Hughes,
      I think a realistic Israeli analysis would believe that a settlement that leaves the Palestinians in an awful position is unsustainable and thus not ultimately in Israeli interests either. Hopefully we learned something from the treatment of Germany at Versailles.
      The minimum acceptable parameters of each side are nearly mutually exclusive.
      Olmert in 2008 was pretty close, but Abbas rejected it without a counter.
      It would be interesting to see how Israel would react to a modification of the Olmert plan, but with Fatah and Hamas divided there will be no proposals.

    • Hughes,
      The usual pattern in a negotiation is: offer, then counter-offer.
      If you reject an offer without a counter you are asking the other party to negotiate against themselves.
      The real question in this case is each party must determine their best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). At this time, the Israelis feel that they have a reasonable situation if they do not reach an agreement and the Palestinians do as well. When both parties feel that the offer on the table is preferable to their BATNA they will get the deal done. Obviously both parties feel that any offer made has been inferior to their current situation. Either the offer must be improved or the BATNA worsened for things to move.

  • 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.

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